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Patterson: CARICOM will not abandon Haiti (Read 277 times)

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Patterson: CARICOM will not abandon Haiti
Oct 6th, 2003 at 10:11pm
Patterson: CARICOM will not abandon Haiti

Date: Saturday, October 04, 2003

-- PRIME Minister P J Patterson says the Caribbean Community
(CARICOM), of which he is current chairman, will not support any move
to isolate Haiti from the region or the international community. --

"When we speak now of Caribbean people, Haitians are not just our
neighbours, but they are full members of the (Caribbean) family,"
Patterson told the members of the Caribbean Community during the
CARICOM 30th anniversary distinguished lecture at the Medgar Evers
College of the City University of New York in Brooklyn on Thursday.

Prime Minister Patterson was emphatic in his disapproval of efforts
by some countries to impose an economic embargo on Haiti because of
disagreement with the Haitian Government over movements towards
greater democracy.

Said Patterson: "Today, Haiti faces enormous challenges for economic
and social development. Indeed, it is in dire need of international
assistance but, over recent years, the donor community has imposed a
virtual embargo on assistance and co-operation on Haiti, which has
severely damaged its prospects. We cannot condone their isolation
which only breeds further poverty and misery for the Haitian people."

Patterson noted that now that Haiti has subscribed to the fundamental
principles on which the Caribbean Community rests, CARICOM will seek
to assist that member country to build those institutions required to
ensure democracy in that country.

Meanwhile, the prime minister said CARICOM saluted the Haitian people
as they approached their bicentennial anniversary of independence,
noting that they had struggled for many years over a long and
difficult road in what he said was a hostile world of discrimination.

"Haiti was the first black republic in the Western Hemisphere, a
nation which was born in the overthrow of slavery and colonial rule.
It is an achievement of immense significance in the history of the
Caribbean and symbolised its unrelenting quest for freedom and
equality," he pointed out.

At the same time, Patterson, in his lecture, repeated his call for
the promotion of a global order where through collective decision-
making there could be an international economic system that ensures
the equitable sharing of the Earth's resources.

"We cannot subscribe to a world where might is right and the strong
are free to break every rule and hallowed practice of international
Law. We must resist any global economic system which allows the rich
and powerful to condemn those who are small and weak, to a perpetual
state of poverty and underdevelopment," he said.[-End]


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