Have you ever heard of international organizations setting conditions to recognize a country after the UN Security Council has already recognized that country? You know that once a world organization has set its rules, regional organizations cannot say anything. The OAS has recognized the legitimacy of the government.
Caricom did not say anything the whole time that these men, the Lavalas rulers, were torturing Haiti. Now, it is asking for the release of the former prime minister Yvon Neptune. This is not my role as prime minister and this is not the role of the government. This is something that is being taken care of by the Ministry of Justice. Since the Ministry of Justice is working, wait for it to release him.
Caricom asks the government to set a date for the elections. This is not the responsibility of the government. This is a matter for the consideration of the Provisional Electoral Council. I do not know if you were listening to Professor Gerard Pierre-Charles this morning. I would refer you to what he said, to what Professor Hubert de Ronceray, leader of the Mobilization for National Development (MDN) and the Greater Center-Right Front (GFCD), said.
All those who know what diplomacy is, all those who know what international conventions are, are wondering. They do not know what the Caricom leaders want. But if they want to pay a visit here, we shall receive them very well; we shall celebrate with them all the more, because all foreign ministers will come because they represent countries that support Haiti.
I should also tell you that this problem is not really Haiti’s. This is a Caricom problem, because within Caricom they have the rule of consensus and unanimity. But, basically, twelve out of the fourteen Caricom countries have decided to have relations with Haiti. There are a couple that are a bit reluctant. So that is their problem. It is not Haiti’s problem.
Q. Some observers say this is a setback given that you were very optimistic not long ago.
A. How can you talk about a setback? Where is this setback? Tell me.
Q. You always said –
A. I always said that was not normal. But they have now said nothing. Let them come while we expect the process to conclude. Everybody sees that what they are asking for does not make sense. We shall allow them to come and then we shall talk to them.
Q. They say they will set conditions.
A. We must give them a chance to get out of this situation.
Q. They say they are going to send a mission whose purpose is to define the method for normal resumption of relations.
A. Well, when they come, I shall listen to what they have to tell me. It is better for me not to make any comments at this moment. Let us await their arrival. But what they have been asking for, what is published in the newspaper , I think some of the things that are published in the newspapers are not true.
For example, the newspapers said that I severed relations with them but I never did. Do you see? So, let us await their arrival, because I have heard that they will be coming soon.
I have already received letters from many of the prime ministers who want to come to Haiti. You will see that we shall receive them all individually. We shall have bilateral relations with them. Anyhow, ever since Caricom has been in existence, what has ever happened between Caricom and Haiti?
Q. Mr Prime Minister, what problems might Haiti encounter in the event that relations remain as they are with Caricom?
A. Absolutely nothing, my friend. Haiti has had two hundred years of history. We have been a member of Caricom for only a few years. Relations were actually between Caricom and Aristide, not really between Caricom and Haiti.
So, we must move on. We are very calm. As I said, it is not Haiti’s problem. The information I got allows me to know that they are actually going to Cuba, because they will hold a meeting there on July 15. They will want to stop here on their way to Cuba. As for me, I shall leave on July 15. If they do not come before that, they may not see me when they arrive. They shall then have to meet the person who stands in for me.