Saturday, January 16, 2010


Within hours of the 7.0 magnitude eathquake hitting the capital of Haiti, the United States Government had already started to mobilise a national co-ordinated effort to assist the people of Haiti. US forces were dispatched; aid supplies were already being collected for dispatch. US generals had already worked out the logistics as to what machinery, military boats and air craft were to be dispatched as well as how many personnel they would need on the ground, by Monday there will be 10,000 US military personnel in Haiti.

By day two of this tragedy US forces had already landed in Haiti along with rescue units from other countries (none from Caricom). US forces had already landed in Haiti before President Obama made his first speech about the tragedy in Haiti with a Chinese relief team being first to arrive. It was only on Saturday four days after tragedy struck Haiti that the first senior western official arrived in Haiti in the form of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The USA means business in its efforts to assist the Haitian people. With the consent of the Haitian government they have received permission to take over Haitian land and air space as well as permission for US doctors to operate on Haitian citizens before receiving licenses to do so from the Haitian government. The US’ response to Haiti has been aggressive if nothing else and the Obama Administration must be soundly commended for a rescue mission well executed.

Compare that with the weak, feeble and most embarrassing response of Haiti’s brothers and sisters in the form of CARICOM, an organisation that has most certainly demonstrated its irrelevance and gross impotence if nothing else through its embarrassing response to the crisis facing its Haitian brothers and sisters. Instead of quickly organising aid and military relief what does Caricom do? They send a team of technocrats to ‘assess’ what the Haitian people need (read they went to Haiti for photo ops!), as if the fucking pictures circulating on BBC and CNN weren’t enough! Imagine American military planes and boats are busy arriving with resuce teams, military personnel, food and medical aid, and Caricom sends a delegation with their hands swinging and they expect to get clearance to land? Manning promises the Haitian people US $1 million, but with the Haitian banks in literal ruin I wonder if it occurs to Patrick Manning that US $1 million is about as worthless as toilet paper to the average Haitian? Are the Haitian’s going to make fish broth with the money?

The Haitian government has been virtually crippled so they themselves do not have the infrastructure and expertise to properly utilise US $1 million even if they did get it in cash which would mean that the Manning Administration would have to wait months to give that money to the Haitian government for them to get all the administrative expertise in place, and while waiting for this to happen how many Haitians would have died if it wasn’t for the US government? Then Mr. Manning says the T&T government is ‘considering’ using one of the fast ferry boats to deliver supplies to Haiti. Again, considering? People are buried dying or waiting to die. Those that aren’t are starving or running out of basics like water but yet still the Patrick Manning Administration is ‘considering’ whether to use one of the fast ferries to send supplies to Haiti!

I have not heard a single CARICOM country issue military aid to Haiti. Why did Manning not send a battalion of our Defence Force instead? After all these guys do nothing year after year but perform their function as ‘NATIONAL SECURITY GUARDS’. A batch of T&T soldiers despatched with medical aid, doctors, food and building material would have been a better gift to the Haitian people than US $1 million dollars.

CARICOM has passed up on a golden moment to stake their claim in the region and earn their respect from the Western powers. Instead of effecting an aggressive co-ordinated relief effort to assist Haitians Caricom has only succeeded in booking a date to have "consultations" in Dominica. Once again Caricom has demonstrated to the world that they are nothing but an old boys club whose only capability is that of holding talks and summits. Caricom’s weak response to Haiti demonstrates that the region's tax payers are not getting value for money because should there be a tragedy of catastrophic proportions within the region Caricom is not prepared, equipped or capable to deal with it and the situation in Haiti is blatant proof of this fact.

Is it any wonder then that the US authorities refused to allow the Caricom delegation to land? What purpose would the Caricom delegation have served other than to slow down the aid operations, depress Mr. Preval with a bunch of meaningless bureaucratic bullshit talk while offering no immediate assistance to his people while they starve and rot in the streets of Port au Prince? Get real CARICOM! I doubt very much it was a coincidence you were blocked from landing in Haiti and rightfully so, you would have proved to be nothing but an annoying fly buzzing in the face of the US administration.

1 comment:

  1. "I agree with President Bush that we don't need more people down there now unless they are literally delivering, providing food, water, shelter, medicine, medical care. It's chaos," Clinton told Fox Chief White House Correspondent Major Garret during an interview at the White House just after meeting with President Obama on Saturday. "After the emergency passes, we'll go and we'll go more than once," he added.

    Seems my guess was correct......blocking the Caricom delegation was purposeful and for obvious reasons! They wer enot delivering food, water, shelter, medicine or medical care!


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