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Count on Cuba for Ebola help

Published:Monday | October 20, 2014 | 10:00 AM

Tan abraad! No

kom bak a yaad!

EDITOR, Sir:

Something is not right with the current 'returning resident policy'. To qualify for this exalted status, at the time of intended return home, a Jamaican must have been living abroad for the past three consecutive years, however, many years before that, (s)he might have been domiciled abroad.

I just learned this to my chagrin and utter surprise. My problem as a Jamaican coming back home very soon to 'live, work and do business' in my homeland after being abroad for 10 years is that for two of those 10 years (2011-2013), I returned to work a two-year contract in Jamaica. So, in effect, those two years spent in my homeland have blighted my chances of the meagre benefits offered to a bona fide returning resident.

It gets worse for me [personally?], because even if I qualified, I could not expect any duty concessions on my 10-year-old Toyota Corolla motor car which is crucial in the rural pastorate that I am returning to serve in my homeland. Was it too much of a stretch of the creative imagination of the visionaries who crafted the returning resident document to have seen a motor car as a 'tool of trade' for a [rural] pastor?

In this regard, we can learn very progressive lessons from our Caribbean neighbour Barbados.

I may be misreading between the lines of the returning resident document (perhaps seeing through my thick glasses darkly), but it seems that some of us in the diaspora are being told in effect, 'Tan abraad! No kom bak a yaad!'

CLINTON CHISHOLM

clintchis@yahoo.com

CARICOM a

glorified talk shop

Having read K. George Powell and Jeffrey Foreman's guest column titled 'Maybe we should scrap CARICOM after all' (Sunday Gleaner, October 19, 2014), I could not agree with them more that it is time for CARICOM to get serious. Their quote below sums up my sentiments:

"If CARICOM is meant to be more than these things, member states should get on with the business of seriously attempting to make the arrangements work. They could start with respecting the rule of law within the Community.

"If the intent is merely to make a treaty with ambitious provisions and goals which are not meant to be adhered to or seriously pursued, we should stop wasting time now and simply abandon the CARICOM experiment."

If CARICOM and its leadership are not serious about making the organisation useful to the region, they should stop wasting taxpayers' limited resources and dismantle the organisation. CARICOM, as it exists today, is a talk shop.

DEBBIE DOUGLAS

douglas2001@hotmail.com

Farrakhan meddling,

out of order

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I'm not even sure why Jamaica was chosen for this Nation of Islam Million Man March meeting, but if freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of religion are what it's all about, I suppose there's no harm done. Not until Nation of Islam controversial leader Louis Farrakhan took to the podium and started speaking.

There is a reason why this leader is considered controversial and divisive. I saw brief footage online where he spoke at the meeting about our governor general being "a nice man", who is also the Queen's representative, which we all know. But when he went on to say that we should be able to handle "our" own business, which is what Independence means, he crossed the line.

This is not your business, Mr Farrakhan! This is the problem with some of these fanatics. They like to preach and incite division and fear, and disguise their message with all type of meddling.

Farrakhan was out of order, and someone should call him out for this. I am sure by the end of his visit, there will be much more!

P. CHIN

chin_p@yahoo.com

Count on Cuba

for Ebola help

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller coyly tried to avoid mentioning the source of help that Jamaica will be getting from Cuba. The Cubans have always been at the forefront of assistance for poor black people, and especially Africans. They have made the ultimate sacrifice for Africans. Nelson Mandela, after serving 27 years in prison, remembered Cuban help and went there first on his visit to the Caribbean.

Now, Cuba, in spite of a pernicious United States embargo and paltry resources, managed to put together a First-World health-care system. The Cubans are on the ground in West Africa assisting in the fight against the deadly Ebola virus. We are fortunate that we can count on Cuban expertise and preparedness if the virus hits our shores.

The United States health-care system panicked when Thomas Duncan was discovered with the disease. That shouldn't influence our response. We cannot roll over and die because the mighty Americans' health-care system experienced failure.

With Cuban help, we can ensure that we have proper personal-protective equipment, are trained in how to approach possible infections and that our reactive capabilities are well coordinated.

This is a common foe that doesn't fear nationalities, politics, skin colour, religion or any of the vagaries that usually divide mankind. Let us face it together, regardless of political affiliation or prejudices. Ebola has no friends, only enemies.

MARK CLARKE

mark_clarke9@yahoo.com

Siloah PO, St Elizabeth