Sunday, March 28, 2004

Bdos: Caricom to Haiti ... grovel! to America ... eff off!

A last-minute bid by Haiti’s interim Prime Minister Gerard Latortue to secure recognition by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has failed.

Despite intense pressure from the United States government to influence recognition of the interim regime in Port-au-Prince, CARICOM leaders judged Latortue’s letter of “clarification” to be vague and insufficient and did not recognise the government.

The region’s governments will now press ahead with their March 3 decision in Jamaica for a United Nations-sponsored independent probe into the controversial circumstances surrounding President Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s removal from office on February 29.

While an official CARICOM handshake with the regime in Port-au-Prince is being delayed for further clarification of statements made by Latortue, the Community will keep the door open to Haiti’s return to its rightful seat in the councils of the region’s economic integration movement.

The CARICOM leaders have also made clear, that official recognition of a government in Port-au-Prince will be on the basis of Haiti’s “return to constitutional and representative democracy”, even as they remain “engaged” in collaboration with the international community.
In other words, bugger off. We won't talk to you until Aristide is returned. Sweet!

Even sweeter is this:
So intense was behind-the-scenes lobbying from Washington, the SUNDAY SUN was reliably informed, that while one prime minister felt obliged to refuse to take a telephone call from a Bush administration official, another was aggravated enough to respond with expletives when presented with what was viewed as a virtual ultimatum.

Possible cuts in aid and trade benefits also surfaced, as well as a threat by Washington to hold some governments responsible should any American military personnel be killed on duty in the current unstable political situation in Haiti where pro-and anti-Aristide factions continue to be involved in political violence and lawlessness.
Yep, Caricom, keep your eyes on the little ball in Haiti and ignore the larger ball forming south of you which you'll need the big neighbor to the north to help out with. These guys in Caricom are playing lash-for-lash with Bush. After all, they've got to prove to the world that the U.S. must listen when Caricom talks. Sweet!

I don't want Caricom to be appeasers. I just want Caricom to realize that supporting Aristide is not in their interest, not just with the U.S., but with the Haitian people. Haitians in New York, Miami, and Port au Prince are taking note. Their conclusion? We cannot depend on other Caribbean countries to help us when we're being oppressed by dictators. Also, Caricom doesn't know what democracy really is cuz it is more than election.

There is also this, Caricom heads, like the Euros and the Arabs, are telling themselves they can diss the Bush administration. After all, they reason, the world hates him; the U.S. doesn't seem to want him; so Kerry is a shoo-in. Advice to Caricom: ignore the polls and remember 9/11. America will not elect a Democrat even if the country is bombed on 10/31.

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