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Published:Saturday | January 23, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Broad-based help for Haiti

Your editorial on the need for CARICOM to take a leading role in the reconstruction of Haiti is spot on. It is critical that the political space be filled if Haiti is not to descend into chaos. There is a point at which the Samaritan, namely the United States, can become the villain in the piece as time wears on and the process of recovery fails to keep pace with the overwhelming demands for aid, infrastructural development and the processes of governmental administration and law and order.

The process must be broad-based and there must be a direction that is consistent with the aspirations of the Haitian people. CARICOM must assist the Haitian government not only to regain control of the country, but also to preserve the pride and independence of the Haitian people in this their most vulnerable time in recent history.


Give the Spaniards a break

I could not resist contacting you regarding the garbage that "Fiona Advocate" wrote re the Spanish hotels (January 22). It is this type of mentality that makes Tourism Minister Ed Bartlett's job so difficult.

If you took away the millions that the Spanish have invested, all you would have is the bare land that existed before. I am a Jamaican visitor and I cannot translate the trash that is called "Jamaican" music these days. I may be old, but I cannot associate it with Toots, Bob Marley, Marcia Griffiths etc, and the other entertainers. Jamaicans have had thousands of acres to use for hotels and have left them idle.

Give the Spaniards a break and let them hire some of our people, even if the salaries are not great. We should be setting up attractions to benefit from the traffic of tourists that they are bringing in rather than 'bashing' them.


Localised Spanish culture

It was with amused interest that I read a 'Letter to the editor', where the writer asserted that he/she liked Spanish-influenced culture, but wasn't satisfied with the non-Jamaican culture in the Spanish hotels.

A minister of government made the statement recently that Jamaicans are to learn Spanish, not merely to be multi-lingual, but specifically, become Spanish speakers.

All this is notwithstanding the fact that for the better part of 40 years, Jamaica has been offering 'free education' in Spanish, from the primary to the secondary level, and has only a tiny handful of persons competent in the language to show for this relatively massive expenditure.

At the same time, Jamaicans are becoming among the poorest speakers in a language that is spoken widely in many countries of the world, is the language of air travel, international business, etc.