Thursday, March 18, 2004

Ja: Barbados pissed off at Patterson's unilateralism

It seems that PM PJ Patterson has done to Barbados, and, possibly, other Caricom members, precisely what he is ired that the U.S. did to Caricom. I guess that means Patterson has no respect for Barbados. I guess Patterson decided to strike while the iron was hot and, thus, had no time to contact other Caricom members until everything was settled. Heh.

BARBADOS FOREIGN Minister Billie Miller poured more fuel into the deepening diplomatic row over Jamaica's decision to host former Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, when she claimed yesterday that Barbados was left out of the loop of that decision.

The Barbadian minister, in an address to the House of Assembly in Barbados, declared that the oversight would "clearly have implications" as she was not aware that Mr. Aristide was coming to Jamaica until "after the fact."

But Government sources here pointed out that Patterson's March 11 statement announcing the visit had not claimed prior consultation but said Jamaica's decision had been communicated to Caricom colleagues.

Notwithstanding, indications are that Jamaica is taking Miller's comments very seriously, and is anxious to smooth ruffled feathers, in an attempt to maintain a unified Caricom voice on Haiti.
Ah-wo! So PJ did not feel compelled to contact his Caricom partners before engaging in action that could potentially harm their interests? How arrogant of Jamaica's prime minister. Just because Jamaica is one of the biggest islands in the region, Patterson thinks he can throw his weight around and the other islands will have to fall in line. After consulting with the other Caricom partners re Aristide, what would it have cost Patterson to contact them before acting decisively to bring Aristide to Jamaica? Jamaica's Caricom partners ought to go complain to Caricom (oh, Patterson has the chair), to the OAS then, to the UN. Whomever. Caricom countries ought not to take this insult lying down.

Foreign Minister Miller also said this:
In a voice clip carried on the radio programme 'Nationwide', the Barbadian minister is quoted as saying that Mr. Aristide's move from the Central African Republic back to this region was not the subject of a Caricom initiative.

"I as Foreign Minister of Barbados was informed by the Foreign Minister of Jamaica after the fact," she said.

"This is clearly a matter between the Government of Jamaica and Mr. Aristide but clearly there are implications for us and in no way could I dream of pre-empting what the Heads might conclude when they meet in St. Kitts next week."
Now, I thought that Patterson had been speaking for all of Caricom? Oh, PJ, PJ, PJ! Tut-tut-tut!

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