Thursday, June 24, 2004

Bdos: Aristide's yanking Caricom's chain

IS Haiti’s exiled president returning to his country? Do CARICOM countries believe he will? Do they desire his return with all that it implies for resumption of the bloody demonstrations that forced his exit?

We said recently that Jamaica’s accommodation of Mr. Jean-Bertrand Aristide must rank as a triumph of sentimentality over rational diplomatic behaviour.

The price our northern CARICOM neighbour is paying is to be counted not only in the social friction it caused among Jamaicans, but also in the diversion from more urgent business that it created within a regional community grappling with major issues such as the Caribbean Single Market and Economy [CSME] and the Caribbean Court of Justice [CCJ].

And it is all because many critics of United States foreign policy allege he was abducted. It doesn’t matter that his disaffected compatriots had vowed and were poised to eliminate him.

Significantly, while the Organisation of American States [OAS] has agreed to pursue an investigation into the claim that he was illegally ousted, there are voices from within urging that CARICOM adjust its previous hard-line stance and recognise the interim administration of Mr. Gerard Latortue in Port-au-Prince. Realistically, there is no other credible alternative to that temporary authority. Much as CARICOM officially frowned on its US-backed installation, it is now effectively in control of the country.

It would therefore seem logical that if CARICOM is as sincere as it says it is about helping ordinary Haitians, it has no other institution with which to negotiate or make supportive arrangements, either on its own or through the good offices of the OAS.
Read the rest.


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