Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Gya: Caricom to Latortue ... don't tell us bugger off!

After four months of wrangling over conditionalities for the interim regime's participation in the councils of CARICOM, pending restoration of constitutional governance, it is more than time for the Haitian authorities to cut the public rhetoric and produce good faith evidence of initiatives being pursued to resolve the post-Aristide political crisis.

It was most unfortunate indeed, as noted by the current CARICOM Chairman, Prime Minister Keith Mitchell of Grenada, that Mr. Latortue should have dismissed as 'utter nonsense' the negotiating points for the five-member Foreign Ministers delegation, headed by Barbados's Dame Billie Miller, even before she and her colleagues’ scheduled arrival yesterday in Port-au-Prince.

Some CARICOM governments have been under different kinds of pressures from external sources to hasten recognition of the interim regime in Port-au-Prince.

Such pressures on CARICOM had resulted in the cancellation of at least two important meetings on Caribbean--USA relations.

Having been suddenly pushed aside when the moment came for regime change in Port-au-Prince, and contrary to the endorsement earlier given to its own 'action plan' to resolve the Haitian crisis, CARICOM has been mindful to ensure that fundamental principles in constitutional governance and respect for the rule of law are not sacrificed on the altar of political expediency.

Prime Minister Latortue has a special obligation to help the Miller-led mission to return with a plausible case for the consideration of CARICOM Heads of Government.

For one thing, he had already spoiled the mood for reconciliation at the time of the 15th Inter-Sessional Meeting of Community leaders in March in St. Kitts.

Then, within days of his requested meeting with the CARICOM leaders in St. Kitts, Latortue blew it with his shocking public embrace of convicted murderers, known criminals and armed rebels who had helped to force Aristide from power as 'heroes' and 'freedom fighters'.

He was quick to plead misrepresentation.

The question is whether Latortue would again seek to blame language translation or the media for now dismissing as 'utter nonsense' the conditionalities outlined at last week's CARICOM Summit for Haiti's return to the business of the community of which it is a member.
When will Caricom get over its snit?

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