Why Haiti Should Get Out of CARICOM

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Isabelle_

Why Haiti Should Get Out of CARICOM

Post by Isabelle_ » Wed Mar 31, 2004 12:31 am

Why Haiti Should Get Out of CARICOM
by Roger Milcéus

The diplomatic row between Haiti and CARICOM has reminded us Haitians that there is an obscure entity called "CARICOM" to which we belong. Since the Preval administration and the subsequent Aristide administration kept the country in the dark about our adhesion, it is perhaps a good idea to review what CARICOM is, and why we should pull out of that organization.

What is CARICOM?
=============

The Caribbean Community - CARICOM for short - regroups 15 member states: 13 English-speaking countries (Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint-Lucia, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago), Suriname (Dutch), and Haiti. If many of these island nations sound unfam
iliar to you, do not fret. Very few people care about them as they are quite insignificant, although the people in these places are no doubt wonderful human beings. CARICOM also boasts 5 associate member states: Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, and Turks and Caicos Islands.

Our country was the last one to join the community: it was granted provisional membership in 1998 and became a full member in 2002. CARICOM's total population is about 14 million, 60% of which are Haitian. As you can imagine, without the inclusion of our country, that monstrous-sounding regional bloc would have had a grand total of 6 million people, not enough to give it any type of significance on the world stage.

CARICOM's political structure is somewhat similar to that of other regional blocs. It consists of:

+ the Conference of Heads of Governments, which sets the strategic plan of the body

+ the Community Council of Ministers - which is responsible for the development of the obje
ctives set by the Conference

CARICOM has developed several programs to create a community that makes perfect sense for the English-speaking countries (almost all former colonies of England which gained their independence starting in the 1960's or are still under British rule in one form or another.) It is also in the process of setting up a Caribbean Court of Justice, which will become quite problematic for us Haitians as our legal code is quite different from the one practiced in the other member states.

Finally, CARICOM has spawned a Common Market, which requires further study as it could be quite detrimental to the economic development of Haiti.

What's Wrong With Our Membership in CARICOM?

====================================

Just about everything pertaining to Haiti's membership in CARICOM is wrong, starting with the fact that Haiti has been slighted by CARICOM at every turn ... but I digress already. Here is, in no particular order, my li
st of complaints:

1. How We Joined CARICOM

--------------------------------------

There was very little preparation work and consultation done by the Preval administration for Haiti to join CARICOM. The notice of our provisional membership came as a surprise to the vast majority of the Haitian private sector, for example, which was not consulted on the matter. Needless to say, the average Haitian to this day has no clue about this nebulous entity that is mentioned only in passing on the radio. While other CARICOM countries take seriously the different programs of the community, it is increasingly evident that the Preval/Aristide duo only wanted to join CARICOM for the "political support" they might obtain and never really thought about the responsibilities Haiti would have to bear for such membership.

In that respect, although CARICOM had outlined for a long time the list of reforms that all countries had to undertake in order to comply with the objecti
ves of the community, it is fair to say that nothing has been done by either Mr. Preval or Aristide, to move Haiti on the path of integration:

+ no serious prep work of any type was initiated for our joining the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME for short). When we study the progress of other members states (as slow and disappointing as they are, by CARICOM's own admission), it is frightening to see that the Preval/Aristide administrations never even set a committee to start addressing these reforms.

+ there has been no effort on the Haitian side to examine the implications of the establishment of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ.) Except for Haiti and maybe Suriname, all CARICOM member states practice and are intimately familiar with English Common Law, a legal code handed down to them by the British. In the case of Haiti, we are using a completely different system inherited from the French. If Haiti is to accept and use the CCJ, what adjustments will we have to make? Will the CCJ acc
ept French and/or Creole as official languages? If not, what will that mean for Haitian lawyers and judges who do not speak English? It is worth remembering that the most spoken language in CARICOM is not English, but Haitian Creole as Haiti by itself represents 60% of the CARICOM population and Creole is spoken by 100% of Haitians. It is also worth noting that nowhere in CARICOM literature is this fact mentioned.

2. The Common Market

----------------------------------

Recent history has shown that a regional economic integration program such as the CSME stands a better chance of succeeding if the members states are on a level playing field or agree to make their economies converge around agreed-upon macroeconomic objectives buttressed by similar legal and fiscal regimes. In the case of CARICOM, the latter issue seems to be addressed but not the former. That in itself is quite problematic and does not bode well for the future of the CSME. If we are to think a
bout the varied economic conditions of CARICOM, there are too many imbalances that will not be corrected any time soon and which will work probably to the detriment of Haiti. For example:

+ Haiti has the lowest tariffs of any country in the region. CARICOM right off the bat will then be confronted with a tariff harmonization quandary with regards to Haiti: will we set the standard, thereby forcing some of these countries to bring certain tariffs to zero as we have done, or will we have to raise our tariffs again to match our neighbors, and run afoul of IMF dictates in the process?

+ The free movement of University Graduates within the community doesn't seem to have been extended to Haiti yet. CARICOM cannot claim to set a single set of rules and yet discriminate against Haiti on what is undoubtedly one of the most important aspects of any regional community: free movement of people and labor. The Bahamas has decided not to join the CSME in part because it fears an unchecked immigration of Hait
ians. Never mind the fact that the illegal immigration of Haitians to the Bahamas has been by non-University graduates, yet the Bahamas today would not survive if the Haitians left. Who would undertake all the menial jobs and the back-breaking labor that the Bahamians just will not do? Ditto for the Turks and Caicos islands where Haitian labor practically built all the tourism facilities and the roads.

+ Free movement of capital is a wonderful sounding concept. In practice, given the economic disparities and the many illicit activities (mainly drug trafficking) that are occurring throughout the region, it is more than likely that specific jurisdictions will become the overwhelming favorites with regards to deposits and that a number of entrepreneurs and corporate executives will play a shell game with the tax man, taking advantage of looser capital flow regulations. Unless the financial services industry transforms itself in the region and alliances or mergers quickly occur, some countries' financial
institutions will shrivel while others will thrive. There is nothing I see in the plan put forward by CARICOM in that regard that will allow for an orderly transition.

+ If Haiti takes more time than the other countries in structuring its legal and fiscal codes, and if the country cannot offer the same infrastructure amenities that other member states have, then it is likely that foreign direct investment will not come from CARICOM companies looking to do business in Haiti. Instead, they will produce elsewhere and export their products to Haiti, much like the Dominican Republic is now doing. Haiti is already suffering from the dumping of products by American and Dominican companies, and that will be simply extended to other Caribbean countries. We therefore will not see the level of job creation that will allow us to increase the standard of living of our citizens. So what economic benefit will we derive from our membership in CARICOM? Zero. Zilch. Zip. Nada. Anyen. Keep in mind, also, that CARICOM re
presents less than 4% of our overall trade.

3. Political Advantages of Belonging to a Regional Bloc

-------------------------------------------------------------

Apart from economic issues, belonging to a regional bloc is supposed to bring with it some political benefits, e.g. the ability to negotiate as one entity with developed countries like the United States or addressing region-wide issues regarding culture or society. Yet, when analyzing the list of agreements that are currently being negotiated for example, CARICOM doesn't seem to have done very well for itself. Weren't it for the strong stance that Brazil took during the FTAA negotiations, CARICOM would have been swallowed whole by the US. When it comes to more technical agreements, the track record of the Community is not exactly stellar. This immediately raises a couple of issues for Haiti:

+ Has CARICOM really defined the common interests of the region (including Haiti) when faced with such
sweeping agreements as the Free Trade of the Americas Agreement (FTAA) for example? And how did Haiti contribute in the elaboration of the CARICOM agenda? Since our own officials did not report back to the Haitian people on the issue, it is hard to imagine that we actually worked through the issues and that we discussed them with the other CARICOM member states. In fact, I cannot think of a single occasion when the Preval or Aristide administration actually organized broad public forums to educate the Haitian people on that process.

+ Do we believe that we can have converging interests with the rest of CARICOM? Our economic structure, our trading patterns, our sheer population size compared to the rest of them puts Haiti in a different position. It is hard to imagine that the CARICOM bloc can effectively help us in defending our interests.

+ On a lighter note, I could not help but laugh as the issue of the Cricket World Cup 2007 was on the original agenda of the Basse Terre summit. Assuming fo
r a moment that the Haitian Government had been allowed to participate, what could the Haitian representative have added to the discussion of cricket? That sport is the national pasttime in many of the member states and a point of pride, especially in international competition for the likes of Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad et al which field a common team. But we in Haiti don't know a thing about this most British of sports (even more so than football.) And cricket is a but a tiny example of the culture gap between ourselves and the rest of Caricom that can never be bridged.

4. Political Treason or How CARICOM Abandoned the Haitian People
-------------------------------------------------------------

Moving beyond very serious integration problems which simply make many of us skeptical about the ability of CARICOM to reach its objectives, we have to take a long, hard look at the duplicitous attitude of CARICOM in this most recent diplomatic crisis . The argument boil
s down to this: why is CARICOM applying a double-standard with respect to human rights violations in Haiti?

+ CARICOM countries based their hard-line attitude against the Latortue government on (1) their opinion that Aristide was illegally removed from office and (2) their objection to Latortue's embrace of the rebels during his visit to Gonaives.

+ We can understand the former point, that the ambiguity of Aristide's departure is unsettling to some Caribbean government members. To us Haitians, however, it is not ambiguous at all. Aristide has been claiming that he was "kidnapped" and that his security forces (the Steele Foundation) were pulled from him. Yet, a few facts quickly show that Aristide is trying to pull the wool over the eyes of his unsuspecting supporters: (1) Aristide and his wife had sent their two daughters away to the United States using ONE-WAY tickets days before their departure, so did members of Aristide's entourage like his communications czar Mario Dupuy - this can easi
ly be verified through American Airlines. If they had no intention of leaving, why bother sending the kids away? Clearly, they knew that their days in power were numbered and they had started taking the necessary steps to get out of the country; (2) the Aristides had packed their bags in the afternoon preceding their departure and had cleaned their apartment at the National Palace of everything they possessed. If they had no plans to leave, why did they take everything from the Palace to their private residence and pack them?; (3) the Steele Foundation had 5 of its security personnel accompany Aristide all the way to Bangui, directly contradicting the claims made by Aristide that he had no personal security except for Frantz Gabriel. Indeed, we have always known that Aristide was quite a liar. That the CARICOM leadership decided not to investigate his claims, and accepted them at face value, shows that they are either naive or have been very well paid to defend his interest. We cannot see any other explanatio
n. Dawn Rich of the Jamaica Gleaner had it exactly right about Prime Minister Patterson's ill-advised move and his blind trust of Aristide.

+ The latter point however, concerning Latortue's embrace of the rebels, shows the CARICOM leadership for the two-faced, sleazy political operators that they really are. Spewing forth all the appropriate rhetoric about democratic principles and respect for human rights, the CARICOM leaders were quick to condemn Latortue - AND RIGHTLY SO! - for his statements and stance in Gonaives regarding the "freedom fighters." But we must then ask ourselves:

+ Where were these same CARICOM leaders when Aristide was entertaining notorious GANG LEADERS at the National Palace on February 27, 2002 and appearing with them in public and on television (Télévision Nationale) ? These gang leaders had just engaged in a brutal turf war that had led to the burning and destruction of tens of houses and the death of scores of people in the notorious Cite Soleil slum of Port-au-Princ
e. And they got to be hosted by the President as a reward.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

From haiticulture.com:

Manifestation d'indignation des habitants de Cité Soleil devant le Palais national (13 mars 2002 22:28 ), hc

Des dizaines de partisans du pouvoir Lavalas de Cité Soleil, victimes des atrocités des chefs de gang, ont exprimé dans la presse leur indignation, face au mépris du président Jean Bertrand Aristide, le lundi 11 mars, devant les grilles du Palais national.
Ces pères et mères de famille, démunis et sans logis, ont adressé publiquement des reproches au Chef de l'Etat qu'ils avaient voté, disent-ils, le 26 novembre 2000.
Ils souhaitent la reconstruction de leurs maisons incendiées par les chefs de gang qui ont été reçus, au Palais national, le 27 février dernier par M. Aristide lui-même.

+ Have the CARICOM leaders read the report published on February 4, 2003, by Merrill Smith, coordinator of the US Committee on Refugees, entitled "DEM
OCRACY UNRAVELING - Political Violence in Haiti 2002"? Can they really claim that Aristide was a democrat? THIS IS PROBABLY THE MOST ENLIGTENING REPORT ON OUR FALL INTO TOTALITARIANISM AND IS A MUST-READ FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO DON'T KNOW WHAT THE ARISTIDE ADMINISTRATION REALLY DID. This report can be found in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format at the following address:

http://www.refugees.org/downloads/haiti_0203.pdf

It is ironic that we were "granted" full CARICOM membership the very year when Aristide and his gangs started to violate our Constitution in untold ways and achieved their objective of destroying democracy.

+ Where were these leaders when Aristide ordered and supervised the politicization of the Haitian National Police? Are they aware that Aristide personally endorsed the application of the "zero tolerance" policy which allowed the police to kill suspects without so much as a shred of due process? Read the following communiqué from the National Coalition on Haitian Rights,
a well-respected Haitian human rights organization:

http://www.nchr.org/hrp/safety_communique.htm

+ Did these leaders press Aristide to investigate the murders of journalists, in particular Jean Dominique and Brignol Lindor? The following links provide more information:

http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=3754
http://www.cpj.org/attacks01/americas01/haiti.html

+ Where were these leaders when the police and pro-Aristide armed gangs went on a witch hunt against our youth and our valiant university students, culminating in the horrible events of December 5, 2003 when the Dean of the State University of Haiti had his two legs broken by Aristide thugs in the presence of the police? Mr. Pierre-Marie Paquiot is now confined to a wheelchair.

http://www.kwabs.com/hotnews27.html

+ Where was CARICOM when on February 29, 2004, a plane-load of guns landed in Jamaica from South Africa, to shore up Aristide? This plane stayed on
the tarmac in Jamaica for a week without the knowledge of the Jamaican people and the South African parliament. These lethal weapons were ordered by PM JP Patterson, chairman of CARICOM, for his friend Aristide to spread more deaths in Haiti. The Haitian people will never forgive PM JP Patterson who must have received a monetary compensation from Aristide, we surmise, to enter into such a bizarre and out-of-character transaction.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/3513006.stm

+ What did CARICOM have to say when the Haitian government encouraged the now-infamous Ponzi scheme (the so-called cooperatives scandal) that robbed Haitians out of 600 million gourdes (about US$30 million at the time) and wiped out the savings of the working poor and the lower middle class, the two tranches of our society that had the most to lose and the least protection in our society? How could they stay silent when this scheme, actively promoted by the government in 2001 in a bid to undermine the influe
nce of the formal banking sector, collapsed dramatically by the end of 2002 with no effort by the financial authorities, the National Cooperative Council, or the Executive to prevent the collapse? Where were the Caricom leaders when government officials accepted huge bribes from the cooperatives promoters to grant them safe passage to other countries so that they would not be prosecuted and could abscond with the millions they stole? And is it true that Aristide asked some of the same cooperative promoters to pay the salaries of the police and high ranking officials in exchange for immunity from prosecution? Why couldn't the Aristide government promote a policy of inclusion of the less fortunate in the established banking sector instead, which is one of the better regulated and supervised industries in Haiti? And why did Aristide promise to reimburse defrauded investors - which sent the wrong signal by having the government bailout the promoters - and then RENEGED on the promise? If this is not an economic c
rime, then what is?

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Extract from the NCHR 2002 Annual Report at http://www.nchrhaiti.org/article.php3?id_article=21:

As the summer drew to a close, a cooperative scandal rocked the country further exacerbating the poverty of Haiti's most vulnerable. In September 2001, President Aristide began a campaign to strongly encourage peasants to invest their money in government organized cooperatives. As incentives, many cooperatives offered outrageously high rates of return, as high as twelve percent (12%) per month and many Haitians across the country invested. By the end of August 2002, almost all of the government co-ops had declared bankruptcy. Allegations circulated accusing the Lavalas government of using the money to pay-off party supporters.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

From Haiti-Progres (English Version published in July 2002) at http://www.haitiprogre
s.com/2002/sm020724/eng07-24.html:

Cooperative Crisis Continues to Escalate in Haiti

Last year [2001], dozens of "cooperatives" mushroomed all over Haiti as part of a "cooperative movement" encouraged by President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. In theory, the movement was supposed to "democratize" the economy by offering alternatives to the Haitian bourgeoisie's monopoly control of key economic sectors, like banks and import/export companies. Most of the cooperatives spawned were unregulated banks and credit unions offering mind-boggling interest-rates of up to 15%, enticing inflation-whipped Haitians to deposit their meager life savings into accounts that seemed too good to be true.

They were. This year, the cooperatives, most of which appear to have been concocted by pyramid schemers, have begun to fall like dominos, throwing thousands of Haitian depositors into even deeper poverty and despair. Many of the cooperative directors have gone into hiding or fled
to the US.

Meanwhile, an angry movement of fleeced depositors has emerged in Haiti. They are demanding why the government made no effort to warn the public, to apprehend fugitive directors, or to monitor the cooperatives despite the existence of a regulatory agency, the National Council of Cooperatives (CNC). In an effort to calm spirits, Aristide has promised to refund the millions of dollars, which evaporated from cooperative accounts, although the Haitian treasury is penniless. He has pledged to do this by September, when families need money for the start of the school year.

On Jul. 18, demonstrators took to the streets of St. Marc to demand that the government act to arrest the directors of collapsed cooperatives and to prevent their flight from the country. "There is only one thing we can do if the government refuses to take hold of this matter," said one angry demonstrator. "Next week, we will shut down all of St. Marc, from top to bottom." Many cooperatives in that town have closed the
ir doors, including BCI, BCCH, CADEC, SOFADEC, BEFEC, and CODESO.

In Gonaives, similar demonstrations took place last week to demand that Aristide reimburse depositors as promised. "Aristide has to give us our money immediately," one demonstrator said. "We won't wait until September. We are going to block all the roads this month."

Every day in Port-au-Prince, crowds form in front of the CNC offices where people file claims against cooperative directors to recoup their losses. "I have been standing here since this morning," said one forlorn man waiting on line. "I'm just trying to survive this life they've destroyed. Since I've been standing on line, a bunch of people have gone ahead of me. If you are not a policeman, you don't get anywhere." Some cops have taken to reclaiming their money at gunpoint from folding cooperatives.

Meanwhile, Justice Minister Jean-Baptiste Brown and Finance Minister Faubert Gustave held a Jul. 19 press conference with the heads of the Cooperative Initiative
(INICOOP), an association of cooperatives formed in an effort to save the movement. They announced an agreement with the directors of failed cooperatives, but only those who had not fled or gone into hiding. They encouraged people to continue to file claims against fugitive directors and to be "patient." So far over 9000 claims for money lost in failed cooperatives have been lodged. Claims can be filed at the CNC offices, at the courthouse, or even at the Ministry of Justice, the officials said. The Ministers said they had taken various measures to protect the assets of the cooperatives, and they invited fugitive cooperative directors to return and make an arrangement with the government.

[NOTE FROM MILCEUS: THIS EFFORT WENT NOWHERE AS THE GOVERNMENT DID NOT KEEP ITS PROMISE. AND MOST CERTAINLY DID NOT PROTECT THE ASSETS OF THE COOPERATIVES. INICOOP NEVER DID ANY OF WHAT IT CLAIMED IT WOULD DO, INCLUDING WHAT IS IN THE PARAGRAPH BELOW.]

The INICOOP directors said
that they had made a deal with the government and foreign firms to buy up the assets of failed cooperatives. INICOOP estimates that the Haitian state will have to reimburse about $240 million to swindled depositors, which is more than 60% of the national budget.

"We don't think that the state, that is the Haitian people, should have to foot the bill," said Ben Dupuy of the National Popular Party (PPN) in a Jul. 9 press conference. "Those who are responsible, those who stole the money, should pay the depositors back. The state should pursue them. The state doesn't even have the funds. People are dying in the General Hospital because there is not enough serum or medicine. All the roads in the country are disastrous; they can't even afford to fill the holes. And now the government says it is going to compensate people right and left. It's pure demagogy."

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

AND FINALLY, DOES CARICOM REALLY WANT TO ASSOCIATE WITH
AND DEFEND A MAN WHOSE RECORD OF MISDEEDS IS MANY TIMES LONGER THAN WHAT HAS BEEN DOCUMENTED ABOVE AND WHOSE TOTAL DISREGARD OF THE PROPER ROLE OF DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS, STARTING WITH HIS FRAUDULENT ELECTION IN NOVEMBER 2000, MADE A MOCKERY OF DEMOCRACY ITSELF ???????

4. My Conclusions

---------------------------

I trust that the Latortue government - or the one after that - will promptly take the necessary measures to withdraw Haiti from a community that is clearly not our community, which does not share our culture, and which has shown nothing but contempt for the Haitian people. Not only did the Preval/Aristide administrations not handle our regrettable entry into CARICOM properly, but the economic, political and social benefits that CARICOM claims to offer simply do not make sense for Haiti and will not improve at all the conditions of the majority of Haitians. Finally, had the leaders of CARICOM sounded the alarm at Aristide's undemocrat
ic practices which led Haiti down the path of totalitarianism, we might have understood their position of principle in this latest diplomatic row. However, nothing of the sort happened, and they are all of a sudden protecting a despot who lied to everyone, including himself; had set up an organized crime syndicate disguised as a political party which was involved in murder, kidnapping, extortion and embezzlement of funds; shattered the hopes of the poor who so believed in him; and managed to run his country's economy into the ground. CARICOM, I hope to bid you goodbye very soon. I cannot say I will miss you.

Oh, and one last comment: I have shown my Anglo-Caribbean brothers and sisters respect by writing this article in English, which is most definitely NOT my mother tongue. Kreyol (as we know it) and French are. By the same token, the CARICOM Secretariat should have issued all of its official pronouncement in Haitian Creole as well as English, since 60% of CARICOM members speak Haitian Creole. It sh
ould also have translated its website into French and Kreyol because right now it is inaccessible to the majority of the CARICOM membership (the Haitians who do not speak English.) By not doing so, they have shown once again how much contempt CARICOM has for the Haitian people. Or is it that we Haitians are as invisible and insignificant to the CARICOM leadership as we were to the kleptocratic criminals of the Aristide government who humiliated us and violated our human rights throughout their turn in power? With friends like these...

Roger Milcéus

"Ayiti has lived; Ayiti lives; and Ayiti most definitely will live ... with or without CARICOM"

Isabelle_

Visit the www.caricom.com

Post by Isabelle_ » Tue Apr 13, 2004 9:01 pm

Visit the bulletin board on the Caricom website to see exchanges and responses by Mr. Liceus.

Isabelle_

Haiti and CARICOM - unresolved integration

Post by Isabelle_ » Wed Apr 14, 2004 9:18 pm

Jaf:

All Haitians and Haitian-Americans are cognizant of the contribution of Haiti to the struggle of blacks. The points about historical contribution and our 200th year of independence, we are all versed in it. We know the meaning of having been the first successful slave revolution.

Could we stick to the subject of this thread and actually discuss the integration or non-integration of Haiti to CARICOM.

What is in it for us (Haitians)?
Is our country ready for it?
And what will be the real economic impact for our population?


For instance , R. Deazle on the CARICOM site stated the following:
[quote]A court of justice – a body that will ensure compliance and the rule of law in each member state. This give confidence to all internal and external investors. [/quote]

1)How do yo
u practically propose to integrate our two different system of Justice?
2)Does that mean that Haiti will have to amend its constitution to make English a third official language?
3)What of the rulings of the Caribbean Court of Justice(CCJ), etc.?
4) Will they be in French and Creole as well?
5)Will Haitian lawyers be pleading in front of the Court have to do it in English?

THE TIME IS TICKING FOR HAITI

As stated by Mr. Milceus on the CARICOM website:

[quote]Haiti, on the other hand, HAS to make some very serious decisions in the very short term (less than two years) if it is to be an integral part of CARICOM. The CCJ, for example, is due to take effect in the 3rd quarter of this year!!! [/quote]

How do you propose that we meet this very agressive timetable?

Isabelle_

Position du Représentant d'Haiti a l'OAS

Post by Isabelle_ » Sat Apr 17, 2004 9:21 am

To all:

I found the following post and decided to add it to this thread in the context of this topic.

---------------------------------
Haiti et la Caricom.
---------------------------------
Publié Thursday, April 15, 2004 - 12:24 par p-flash:
Port-au-Prince ne saurait pas rompre avec la Communauté des
pays de la Caraibe, a souligné le Représentant d'Haiti
auprès de l'Organisation des Etats Américains au cours d'une
intervention devant le conseil permanent. Le Représentant du
pays auprès de l'OEA estime exorbitant le prix politique à
payer pour couper le cordon ombilical liant Haiti à la
Communauté. Selon Duly Brutus, si les Etats-Unis et la France
ont d'emblée reconnu le nouveau gouvernement haitien, il
n'a jamais été ainsi avec la Caricom. M. Brutus ajoute que la
Communauté de la Caraibe prévoyait plutôt un par
tage du
pouvoir entre le Président déchu et l'Opposition depuis le
début même de la crise comme plan de règlement, ce qui aurait
poussé la Communauté à ne pas reconnaître la légitimité du
nouveau gouvernement après le départ de l'ancien régime.

Jonas
Posts: 238
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2003 11:53 am

Post by Jonas » Sat Apr 17, 2004 4:02 pm

Isabelle,

Let me take a stab at the questions pertaining to the difficulties of an eventual integration of Haiti to the Caribean Community (CARICOM).

1)Q-How do you pratically propose to integrate our two different systems of Justice.

A-Let's not try to reinvent the wheel here.The European Community (EU) has at least 5 different systems of Justice (if not many more) ,there is English Law,Napoleonic Law,the Russian System (of the countries of Eastern Europe) etc,etc.
There is also an EUROPEAN COURT OF JUSTICE.

2)Q-Does that mean that Haiti will have to amend its Constitution to make English a third official language?

A-Certaily not.The EU functions in more than 20 officials languages.Some of them very obscure like Welsh ,a language spoken by a tiny minority of Englishmen.
All documents produced by the EU are printed in these differents languages.

3)Q-What of the rulings of the Carribean Court of Ju
stice etc.

A-Isabelle,the Carribean Court of Justice is still evolving.I don't think this Court is more than 10 years old.
The Carribean Court of last resort used to be the PRIVY COUNCIL of England.
Haiti can put its imprints on a CCJ which is still evolving,like I said before.

4)Q-Will they be in French and Creole.

A-Absolutely.
See answers to previous questions

5)Will haitian lawyers be pleading in front of the Court have to do it in English?

A-Certaily not.What are interpreters for?
At the Raboteau Trial for example,there were lawyers who addressed the Court in their native language-English.
There was also a forensic specialist from Argentina who gave her opinion to the Court in her native language :Spanish.

JUST SOME HUMBLE THOUGHTS!

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