Haiti- Gonsalves Challenges CARICOM on Haiti
John Maxwell August 5, 2004
Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Vincent & the Grenadines, says he has no intention of sitting down in the councils of CARICOM with any
representative of the so-called Government of Haiti. He says he will not consider the presence of Haitian representation in CARICOM until certain
certain minimum conditions are met -principally, the restoration of democracy and the stabilization of law and order.
Fanmi Lavalas and all other organizations must be free from persecution and terror and must be free to operate within the limits of the law. Criminals
must be brought to justice.
Gonsalves referred to a letter he received from the CARICOM bureau which has been examining a report of foreign ministers who went to Haiti recently
of talks with La Tortue and others.
Gonsalves declared that he would not attend any meeting with representatives of those who aided and abetted the forcible removal of a lawfully elected
President of Haiti by outside forces with the help of thugs.
Gonsalves was being interviewed on Drive Time Live, a Jamaican radio program. He said that he knows that he is not alone among the Prime Ministers
of CARICOM in the way he feels. He could however speak only for his own government and "Nobody is going to bulldoze me" he said. Although he
expects that many people inside and outside the Caribbean will be angered by his position he isn't worried by that prospect.
Gonsalves says he is dealing with principle, and he will not deal with anyone who aided and abetted those who forced a lawfully elected president to
surrender his position. He maintained that President Aristide had never resigned; that he simply told those who had come to take him that if they wanted
him to leave he would leave. That was not a resignation.
Gonsalves said that he had supported the sending of a CARICOM delegation to Haiti simply to preserve organizational unity. He had expected that the
delegation would have brought back a report which would be discussed at a CARICOM meeting at some future date.
The St Vincent Prime Minister said the Bureau had met and written him and others that it wished to have answers by the sixteenth of August. He was
astounded by the speed with which the delegation's recommendation for Haitian representation had been dealt with. The bureau had even suggested
that CARICOM could take such a decision without meeting, simply by letters between the parties as provided for by Article 21 of the Treaty. He
would not agree with this proposal.
Gonsalves says he is insisting on a full meeting to discuss the matter. He would not be part of any ' false unity' whatever the motives. The issue was
of such importance that "all must meet and all must agree."
The CARICOM treaty was not divisible. St. Vincent would not be satisfied with anything less than the restoration of democracy in Haiti.
"The same way you can force Aristide to resign is the same way you can force Manning, Patterson or Gonsalves to resign."
Forwarded by the Haitian Lawyers Leadership
"Men anpil chay pa lou" is Kreyol for - "Many hands make light a heavy load."
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