Thu | Oct 21, 2021

CARICOM chairman assures Haiti of regional solidarity

Published:Monday | July 26, 2021 | 12:09 AM
Gaston Browne
Gaston Browne


The chairman of the 15-member regional grouping, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), has sought to assure Haitians that the region stands in solidarity with the French-speaking CARICOM member state.

In an address on Friday at the funeral service held for the late Prime Minister Jovenel Moise, who was assasinated earlier this month, Gaston Browne offered condolences and said that the circumstances of his death shocked the entire Caribbean.

“For us, assassination is an abomination that assaults our sense of humanity and undermines our democracy. There are no circumstances that would justify such planned and malicious murder. We deplore and condemn it strongly and unreservedly.”

Browne, who is also the prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda, implored Haiti, the region and the world not to forget the circumstances of Moise’s death.

“All those who are responsible must be brought to justice. For the word must go out from this place, to every nook and cranny in Haiti, to every distant place across our Caribbean neighbourhood, that we will not tolerate such viciousness in any aspect of our lives. As no problem can be solved by wanton violence; no problem confronting Haiti has been solved by the assassination of Jovenel Moise. But, the political and civil society groups, and the people of Haiti in general, should not let his tragic death be in vain.”

The CARICOM chairman also said that Haiti must not become “trapped in a vicious cycle of retribution and recriminations. Instead, the circumstances of Jovenel’s death must shock everyone in Haiti to seek pathways for peace, stability, and prosperity, whether they were his political friend or political foe”.

He urged the people of Haiti to strive for a country in which “freedom reigns for the individual, and your democratic institutions and values are respected by all. You want a Haiti where children can attend school, get a solid education and build a good future; and you want a nation which creates jobs; provides lands to the landless; delivers healthcare; empowers workers; and improves the quality of life for all”.

“Our hand is offered in friendship, support and an enduring admiration for the strength and resilience of the Haitian people, who led a successful revolution in 1791, freeing themselves from the oppression of slavery,” Browne said.