LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Resolution for Haiti lies within our region

We are extremely happy to hear that a sensible decision (though long overdue) has been made by Caricom regarding the leadership of the interim government of Haiti.
Now, Caricom is focused on the issue of Haiti, it would be an opportune time to start working on a long term plan to deepen and strengthen ties with our sister country.
 Given that the Haitian population of 12 million, is roughly equivalent to more than a third of the Population of Caricom (25% of the entire Caribbean), it is quite unfortunate that Caricom leaders have never pursued establishing stronger ties with Haiti.
When the statistics are appreciated, it goes without saying that making Haiti reach its potential, is making the Caribbean reach its potential. In the circumstances of Caribbean countries having very limited access to world markets and having a very small voice on the world stage, due to our small economies and populations, I must ask what is there to lose from Caricom pursuing a more robust integration with Haiti?
Having seen the dominance on the world stage of China, the United States, Europe, and Russia, due [to] these regions’ ability to have functional unity and integration, we see no room for the continued reluctance on the part of Caricom to pursue greater unity and integration with more than a third of its population.
To permit such a vast human resource potential to be wasted should be a crime. And not just your average human resource potential: the Haitian people are [undeniably] amongst the most resilient people in the world, given their formidable challenges.
Though there may be linguistic and cultural barriers, we have one history and we are one people. And as a region, we owe a priceless cultural debt to Haiti. For, while most Caricom countries only obtained their independence in the 1960’s and 70’s, Haiti declared its independence in 1804 and was the Caribbean’s first beacon of hope for freedom from slavery and colonisation.  The deeds of Heroes like Toussaint Louverture are carved in stone; known by every Caribbean child who studies our region’s history in school.
We have to start repaying this debt and fulfilling our duties to Haiti, which in turn will provide great reciprocal benefits to the Caribbean.
There is no question on the political willingness of Haiti to connect more deeply with the wider Caribbean. The Haitian population accepts any help that is rendered. However, time has proven that the international community is intent on keeping Haiti reliant on foreign aid. Therefore, it is incumbent upon Caricom, having a shared history with Haiti and as a community who can align itself with the struggles of Haiti, to take the reins with Haiti; in taking her out of the clutches of extreme poverty and crime.
There is a large cheap labour force to be exploited. There is a market of 12 million people who could buy goods and services from other Caribbean countries. Let us in turn create a market for Haitian goods, to provide the incentive for production. Scholarships and school exchange programs for children to be educated, Caribbean Doctors Without Borders for healthcare for the sick and elderly.
To achieve these aims, we have to stop looking outwards and look inwards. We have to reinvigorate our sense of national pride. Our trained professionals must be committed to developing the Caribbean region. The expertise they have acquired locally and abroad is essential and must be employed in taking the Caribbean through a quantum leap in its pace of development.
In standing with the Haitian people, we have to stop ignoring the crimes of foreign actors and the corrupted Haitian elite. (We understand that with respect to the latter, this may be more difficult since all Caribbean countries appear to be harbouring their own corrupted elite.)
However, whatever has to be done, needs to be done. As there is no reason for a country in the beautiful Caribbean sun to have starving children.
Who knows? If the Caribbean Region can solve the problems in Haiti, it might very well solve its own problem of being insignificant on the world stage.

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  1. Without Sanctions
    March 16, 2024

    Everything said in this piece is true. Thank you for giving Haiti a voice. The Caribbean stands to gain more from a better Haiti, our sister island, devastated by western countries that have also put a whole continent, Africa, on life support of aid and sanctions for standing up for their populations. We will be better for coming together.

  2. Gary
    March 15, 2024

    Why do you think that a problem which has plagued a country for over 300 yrs can be solved by superficial understanding. Please note, I’m not trying to be pessimistic of a solution that will benefit the Haitian people so they can attain Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité, wasn’t that the reason they fought to get their Independence in 1804. As to your statement, “there is no reason for a country in the beautiful Caribbean sun to have starving children.” well what about Africa, for me there should me no where on this planet that Children should be facing starvation. It has been said, “It’s so much easier to suggest solutions when you don’t know too much about the problem.”

    • Pat
      March 20, 2024

      Gary, just so you are aware, there’s no need to go home and watch TV anymore. That’s where they brainwash us into thinking those things, on mainstream media. Your people have transitioned to other media and passed the stage you’re at, they no longer follow that narrative.

    • Pat
      March 21, 2024

      If you have no clue, best to say nothing – too much tv, you’ll never know, just listen and support your people.

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