Fri | Aug 18, 2017

Anti-Trinidad sabre-rattling is immature

Published:Saturday | April 9, 2016 | 4:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I hope that good sense will prevail as we seek a diplomatic solution to a growing problem of some Jamaicans being unfairly treated as they try to enter Trinidad. I do not support the boycott, because while it is a dramatic action, it will not solve the problems and there will unanticipated consequences.

How many Jamaicans enter Trinidad and Tobago each year and how many are denied entry? What are the other relevant issues that must be discussed before jumping to the boycott solution.

As a black woman travelling on a Jamaican passport, I see and know the challenges faced in many parts of the world, including the Caribbean, in recent years. Not only do people have to get expensive visas, but there are always moments upon entry to the UK to the USA and to other places when the immigration officer thinks about Jamaicans who are supposed to be violent criminals, planning to stay illegally, and being the purveyor of drugs.

We have fallen in the estimation of many countries and our citizens are suspect in Cayman, Bahamas, Barbados, Trinidad, etc. So our Government and other stake-holders must address the larger problems of the disrespect being meted out to us. We have to take some responsibility for the state of affairs.

CAN'T GO IT ALONE

The big picture affects the little picture, which is how individuals are treated. We see that Britain is about to have a referendum about whether to remain in the European Union. I think there are some with mindsets of the old British Empire who are living in the glorious past and refusing to admit that they cannot go it alone.

Believe it or not, there are some Jamaicans who believe that the continent of Jamaica can survive without allies or alliances. Some secretly believe that Jamaica is entitled to the American statehood, but Mr Trump is making things perfectly clear.

We have recourse to legal means and other avenues that must be used. I am so tired of our sabre-rattling approach to problems. We have to be mature, and our leaders must use diplomacy and soft power, as their pretence at having hard power is a sham. It is time for us transform our anger into wisdom. Too much is at stake for us to use the wrong strategies.

HILARY ROBERTSON-HICKLING

hilary.hickling@gmail.com

UWI, Mona