how long will we continue to put up with this

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Reply to Msg 1847

I have recently read that article in a newspaper, and I was so amazed that people from outside our country are defending us, while the people we pay to represent and defend us have been completely silent about those issues.

No Haitian media will report on them, nothing.

Damn we have a long way to go. I hope that every one who read this will do his part,

While Cuba celebrated the centenary of one of Haiti's greatest writers, by launching the 'Year Of Jacques Roumain' at its prestigious yearly international book fair, and Hugo Chavez was proclaiming Venezuela's undying gratitude to Haiti for its invaluable assistance towards the achievement of Venezuela's, (and the rest of South America's), independence from Spain, CARICOM was staging the glitzy inauguration of its Cricket World Cup against the backdrop of a disgraceful diplomatic blunder: the exclusion of Haiti from the Single Domestic Space, inaugurated on February 1, for CWC 2007.

Notwithstanding that cricket is, essentially, a British sport, which Haitians consequently do not follow, as a matter of principle, and from a diplomatic standpoint, the systematic exclusion of Haiti from the Single Domestic Space, by means of a visa restriction, was crude and offensive, and lends a hollow ring to the heads of governments' frequently lofty pronouncements regarding their eagerness to embrace Haiti into the Caribbean family.

How can CARICOM make deliberate arrangements to exclude a member country from an event, which is being touted as the "springboard for future integration"?

Of course, the usual specious blanket excuses were trotted out, to wit: "Concerns about human trafficking and terrorism ..." Give me a break!

The CARICOM Heads of Government really need to stop equivocating, declare their hand, and come clean, regarding their real intentions vis-a-vis Haiti, including how long they expect Haiti to continue putting up with second-class citizenship status.

Those Haitians, who have not the slightest interest in forming part of CARICOM, deem that Haiti has been slighted by CARICOM at every turn. They reason that CARICOM cannot claim to set a single set of rules, and yet discriminates against Haiti on literally every point, including what is undoubtedly one of the most important aspects of any regional community: the free movement of people and labour.

Not even the free movement of university graduates has yet been extended to Haiti ...

And yes, Haiti boasts many eminently educated citizens.

Those of us who believe in integration base our views on the conviction that we in the Caribbean are one people, divided only by imperialism and a deeply-rooted neo-colonial system.

Our differences are, therefore, superficial, while our similarities are fundamental.

We realise that there is a lot of work to be done in order to achieve a seamless transition into integration.

We are willing and able to do the requisite work, but a spirit of fairness, equity and mutual respect must prevail.

No surprise

If truth be told, the visa restriction decision would have come as no surprise to the seasoned observer, as it was quite in keeping with the surge of 'Haitianophobia' which has gripped Jamaica of late.

Even the traditionally friendly, hospitable and compassionate 'Jamaican man on the street', bombarded and poisoned by two years of gun-running and malaria-spreading propaganda and hysteria, emanating from both the Government and the media regarding Haiti, has turned virulently hostile and xenophobic, (Haitianophobic, at any rate), as witnessed by the vicious reaction to the arrival of a boatload of refugees in Portland, seen on CVM News on February 15.

This reaction was light years away from the great outpouring of kindness and sympathy expressed in 2004 towards the plight of the refugees.

Even before the boat touched the quay, the bewildered refugees were practically being scapegoated as the cause behind Jamaica's world-record-breaking crime scourge, by belligerent bystanders, bellowing: "Run dem! Dem bring too much gun pon wi!"

Lest we forget, Haiti in the 18th and 19th centuries, at the centre of world economic and geopolitical affairs, very graciously welcomed on to her shores, refugees from slavery, offering shelter and protection to the hemisphere's "huddled masses yearning to breathe free".

It is a long and tortuous road, which has led Haiti frombeing the bestower of such magnanimity, to becoming the proverbial poor relation of the Caribbean family, who must forever endure such routine discourtesies and indignities, as the CWC visa restriction.

But the long-standing determination of the slave-owning colonial powers to extinguish this dangerously unyielding torch of black freedom in their midst, is foremost on the list of causalities.

Freedom is not cheap.

Haiti paid and continues to pay, the price for all of us. When we honour Haiti, therefore, we honour ourselves.

Disrespect Haiti, and we disrespect ourselves.

Francois E, April 1 2007, 10:46 PM

Topic: haitian people treatment in caricom and U.S.A

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I have recently read that article in a newspaper, and I was so amazed that people from outside our country are... read more >
Francois E, 1-Apr-07 10:46 pm
Well said my friend, from time to time i read the Jamaican observer, a while back i was shocked to see that the... read more >
Mark, 1-Apr-07 11:18 pm
Guys, Francois, Mark and all the others Now you see my point when I very violently rebuke Mark statement that we... read more >
Ti Roger, 2-Apr-07 12:10 am
You know I wasn't going to respond to your comments again but since you mentioned my name i'm compelled to say a few... read more >
Mark, 3-Apr-07 12:33 am
MarK, je ne sais trop pourquoi tu t'evertues a repondre aux coneries de Ti Roger, il s'identifie par son langage... read more >
Robert P. Toussaint, 3-Apr-07 1:21 am
Dear Mark Show me one word in my last message that was insulting in any way. None. Not one Why did you not comment on... read more >
Ti Roger, 3-Apr-07 10:00 am
Brother it's not in my nature to hold a grudge, but you did trash my mother pretty bad in your first message I was... read more >
Mark, 3-Apr-07 11:06 pm
If you can value and respect others, I don't understand why Mr.Ti Roger can't do the same. I thank of your kind remark... read more >
Robert P. Toussaint, 3-Apr-07 11:52 pm
those whom are discriminating against our people are just shameless because haiti is the one that help most of them to... read more >
Jules, 4-Apr-07 9:40 am
Well my conclusion is that he has a volatile temperament, he's also very passionate. The thing is he explodes quickly... read more >
Mark, 4-Apr-07 5:08 pm
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