Originally: Hints at Caricom’s growing frustration with Haitian leader
In the toughest language yet from a Caribbean Community leader on Haiti, Prime Minister P J Patterson yesterday raised the possibility of regional sanctions against Haiti President Jean Bertrand Aristide, if he stonewalls on Caricom proposals to end the political crisis in his country at talks planned for Jamaica within days.
Patterson, speaking on the Power I06 FM morning talk show, Independent Talk, also called for the release from prison of a number of people in
But the government and the Haitian opposition have been unable to agree on how to reform the election machinery, and violent protests broke out late last year as time drew near for the expiry of the life of two-thirds of the Senate, for which Aristide has said an election will be held within six months.
However, the Opposition has said that Aristide, too, should go, two years ahead of the end of his term.
Earlier this month leaders of Caricom, a political and economic group of 14
The earlier meeting was the first time that the Haitian Opposition had had direct dialogue with Caricom, which they believe gives uncritical support to Aristide whom his opponents cast as a despot.
But Patterson warned yesterday that Caricom could end up holding Aristide’s government at arms length if the
Additionally, if Haiti failed to implement the resolution of the Organisation of American States’ resolutions – calling for a legitimate election council and democratic elections – then, Patterson said, “we certainly would have to be looking within that body (for) what sanctions should be applied, and President Aristide in those circumstances could not count on the support of Caricom”.
Caricom has in the past strongly criticised the withholding of economic aid from
Yesterday’s remarks by Patterson have been the most forthright yet.
Referring to critics of Caricom’s policy on
Patterson, in what amounted to an unprecedented criticism of a fellow Caricom member, also made a pointed reference to rights abuses in