Friday, March 26, 2004

St. Lca: Caricom needs to work with the U.S. on Haiti

Dr Vaughan Lewis says Caricom needs to engage with the United States more and push for greater international involvement in Haiti.

Dr Vaughan Lewis, professor of international relations at the University of the West Indies at St Augustine, Trinidad made his comments as he spoke to BBC Caribbean Service about the snags in the relationship between Caricom and the US, especially over the issue of Haiti.

Over the last year, Caricom’s relationship with the United States has been somewhat troubled.

First, the regional grouping disagreed with the Bush administration on the war in Iraq, and within recent weeks, they called for an inquiry into the circumstances behind the US-led ouster of Haitian leader Jean Bertrand Aristide.

“The Caricom countries must now look to the future rather than the past,” said Professor Lewis.

“The fact of the matter is we have to engage the US but we have to do that by trying through our diplomacy to ensure that the issue of Haiti becomes rapidly internationalized, multi-lateralized and that the UN be given a degree of authority to deal with that situation over the long-term.”

He feels that the Caricom initiative was abandoned because of the Bush administration’s concerns about how the Haiti situation would affect his election campaign.

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