COMMENTARY: Haitian Crisis – CARICOM – The Epitome of Paralysis


By Rawlston Pompey 

Today, the leadership of the ‘Caribbean Community (CARICOM),’ appears to have become paralyzed both in their thinking and actions. Most appear to have been experiencing great difficulty, divorcing from the mind, that ‘Despot Leaders’ would readily change their ideologies and philosophical approach to ‘Governance and Rule.’ Seemingly, with calculated reluctance, the ‘United Nations (UN)’ has declined in reading the ‘Riot Act’ to the ‘President and renegade nation of ‘Haiti.’ Such reluctance appeared to have prompted several nations to act unilaterally in declaring their intention to dispatch troops, either to subjugate or eliminate the suffering people of the troubled nation. 


Likened to these advocates and ‘CARICOM,’ those that have turned ‘Overnight Peace-Makers,’ knew of the ‘Haitian Cause.’ These advocates, scholars and intellectuals knew not only of its population of some 11.9 million people, but also of their perennial sufferings under the dictatorial system of governance. The overwhelming majority of the people- some 95% was said to be of African descent. They have endured their fair share of; Tyranny and Oppression.’ For whatever, it was worth, they knew, and still know that the ‘UDHR Preamble’ has always been part of such advocacy.


The umbrella organizational body in its ‘Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR),’provides two concepts; (i) ‘Tyranny; and (ii) Oppression.’ These, undoubtedly, speak to the predicament and plight of the ‘Haitian’ people. This commentary looks at the ‘Haitian Crisis -Through the ‘Lenses of CARICOM’ and the regional leadership. More specifically, it looks at the ‘Antigua and Barbuda Defence Act’ and the complex nature of the arrangements before the dispatch of ‘Troops’ to the ‘French-speaking nation. Now described as the most dangerous place within the Caribbean region, those so dispatched or visit otherwise may experience the ‘Non-Cuisine Smoke’ rising from the capital- ‘Port-au-Prince.’ 


While its ‘English-speaking neighbors preached and practiced democracy, the leadership of ‘CARICOM’ has been widely seen as spreading hypocrisy, yet ‘Embracing Illegitimacy.’ While a few may deny, it shall not be considered absurd in asserting that the blood of the innocent and indigent ‘Haitians,’ could be visualized on the hands of the membership of ‘CARICOM.’ Today, the illegitimate government under the leadership of ‘Ariel Henry,’ seems virtually powerless, impotent and woefully ineffective. 


In their aspirations, humans of some intellect and sometimes questionable character have aspired and attained high public office. Back then, the emphasis was placed more on ‘Service to Humanity,’ than self-servingly and for reasons of wealth acquisition That may have been the era of populism and leaders with charisma and influence. Today, the modern belief has been the attainment of a ‘Degreed Discipline.’ Today, more than ever, the human ego, influenced by ‘Self-gratification and Self- Actualization,’ invariably driven by greed, have seen intellectuals and professionals abandoned lucrative practices and moved to areas beyond their capacity and skillsets. 


While ‘Public office,’ has not been willed to particular individuals and family dynasties, the trained; ‘Legal practitioner; Teacher; Economist; Medical Doctor; and Neurosurgeon,’ all desire to play some role in government. Some with hopes and dreams, wish to become ‘President or Prime Minister; while some beg to be appointed ‘Minister of; ‘This; That’ and the Other.’ Likened to tigers in the wilds, these leaders are as much dangerous to humanity and human existence. After being so positioned, that which had often been seen as confrontational to the people, were either grave disappointment; frustration and misery. The ‘Haitian Crisis’ vividly makes the point.


The regional leadership has been very much aware of the volatile situation currently exists on that nation. The French-speaking nation has been daily making headlines on every social media news portal and mainstream media. The ‘Impoverished People,’ fighting and struggling to survive. They have experienced the ‘Wrath of Nature,’ in various forms. There was wrath of hurricanes, floods and earthquakes. They continue to experience the ‘Wrath of Man.’ They have been pauperized; (a) Seen violence in all forms, and vicious crimes of all classifications. 


They have seen; (b) A reign of street terror; (c) They have seen as many murders’ as there have been kidnappings; Traceless disappearances of persons; and (d) Had been afflicted with ‘Dangerous Infectious Diseases,’ including ‘Cholera.’ Yet, they have shown resilience and a will to survive and endure the ‘Harsh Realities of Life’. These ‘Crises’ came, not only upon the ‘Haitian’ population, but also upon the ‘Caribbean Community (CARICOM,’ and by extension, the ‘Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).’ 


None, among ‘Haiti’s regional neighbors shall feign ignorance of the ‘Atrocities,’ then being perpetrated by the ‘State and Presidents’ against the ‘Haitian’ people. They knew, and still know that universally, man loathes; (a) ‘Tyranny; and (b) Oppression.’  These were long anticipated by the ‘United Nations.’ These, they know have caused unceasing human suffering. These nations knew of the inevitability of consequences for ‘Autocratic Rule’ and ‘Ruthless Governance.’ Thus, allowing for appropriate and/or measured response in bringing respite to the populace, the ‘UN’ issued its own ‘Preamble.’ 


For these discussions, that ‘Preamble’ pellucidly states; ‘Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort to rebellion against; (a) ‘Tyranny; and (b) Oppression,’ that human rights shall be protected by the ‘Rule of Law’ [UDHR: December 10, 1948]. Universally, history has recorded human responses to these cruel behaviors. Except the ‘Anguillans and Grenadians,’ that which the regional leadership seemed not to have known, was how to tackle the ‘Tyrants and Oppressors.’ 


The only ‘Continent’ on which these categorized rulers have been removed with increasing frequency, has been ‘Continental Africa.’ That which the regional leadership also knew, and still knows, is that from ‘Africa to the Caribbean, the ‘Rebellious Nature of Man’ was historically known. The regional leadership knows that when the Kittitian oppressor, former ‘Federation Minister Llewlyn Bradshaw,’ wielded ‘Power with Terror,’ the ‘Anguillan Rebellion’ was born’ [Wikipedia: July 11, 1967- March 19, 1969]. The leadership also know that when the ‘Grenadian Tyrant’ and Prime Minister, ‘Sir Eric Matthew Gairy,’ tyrannized, and with impunity, trampled upon the rights, freedoms and liberties of the ‘Grenadian’ people, their salvation was derived from a ‘Gary and Mongoose Gang’ induced rebellion’ [Wikipedia: March 13, 1979]. 


By its recent ‘Declaration of Intent,’ on dispatching ‘Troops to Haiti,’ this nation, has sought to ‘Make Amends.’ Such declaration was intended to provide ‘Security Coverage,’ that the ‘Haitian President’s Humanitarian Programme’ may not be imperiled. Even so, the nation may still feel embarrass by the appointment of a former ‘United Nations Human Rights Commissioner’ to certain ‘Privilege Position.’ Pundits have viewed the appointee’s expertise on the sensitive issue of ‘Human Rights Abuses,’ could better serve the national interest in a role recently played by ‘Prime Minister Gaston Browne’ [UNGA: 78th Session: September 18, 2023].


It may be no idle talk, when pundits say; ‘When ‘Doctors differ, Patients die.’ It was made clear that the ‘Vincentian Prime Minister, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves’ has made clear distinction of the ‘Train’ that carries ‘Tyranny and Oppression,’ and the one that carries ‘Gravy.’ He appeared only interested to go aboard the ‘Gravy Train’ [US Ambassador: Wikileaks]. The one to ‘Haiti’ did not have any such thing as ‘Gravy.’ He had assessed the situation. Even with the ‘President’s para- military might, with gun violence and a reign of terror, the populace has been placed under double-subjection to ‘Tyranny; Oppression and Terror and Horror.’ On the one hand, are the ‘Security Forces,’ while on the other, are the dangerous and merciless ‘Haitian’ gunmen.’ 


Undoubtedly, it may have been more out of ‘Love of Humanity,’ the nation’s leadership, having boldly and bravely taken the interventionist position. Yet, it runs the risk of being seen as taking critical national ‘Foreign Affairs’ decisions with apparent reckless abandon. Though not necessarily so described, the citizenry, appearing displeased, has taken umbrage that the nation shall act unilaterally outside of the collective wisdom of the region’s umbrella body, the ‘Caribbean Community (CARICOM).’ The citizens, with mixed reaction have expressed themselves on both social and mainstream media. Many have harbored fear that there will be grave-digging, singing and wreath-laying at the nation’s cemeteries.


The ‘Haitian nation has been among the few foreign language members of the ‘Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Through the years, and ‘President’ after ‘President,’ with the rigidity of dictatorial rule, ‘members of this body appeared not to have known or remembered anything of the concept called ‘Democracy.’ Even as the regional leadership was cognizance of the repressive laws, oppression, brutal and deadly rule, the leaders, individually and collectively, have given support that have galvanized these ‘Despot Presidents.’ Though a member of ‘CARICOM,’ its membership represents only ‘Numerical Value.’ 


There was little or no trade with its regional neighbors. Chronic poverty and oppression, have seen its population reduced by marine tragedies, as they fled from ‘Haitian Miseries.’ Though regional leadership may not necessarily have assisted in the creation of a ‘Haitian Monster,’ with membership in, and under the umbrella body ‘CARICOM,’ they have given these ‘Despot Leaders’ oxygen with which to breathe. Thus, giving them a lease on governmental life, allowed them to hold tightly to the reign of, and autocratically wield illegitimate power. They were reported to have used the ‘Haitian Military and Police’ in suppressing reasonably held protestations for the betterment of that which the leaders within ‘CARICOM and OECS’ had either protested for, or against in their respective nations. 


Seen as second to none, the ‘Haitian’ citizenry, gripped by criminal terror and the horror of unceasing ‘State’ violence, has seen their nation being described as one of the most dangerous countries within the ‘Caribbean Community (CARICOM),’ and by extension, across the ‘Eastern Caribbean.’ The unfolding turn of events, saw the hatched and orchestrated ‘Foreign Mercenaries’ assassination of ‘President Jovenel Moise 53’ [July 7, 2021]. The tragic occurrence, appeared to have caused its ‘CARICOM’ neighbors to be looking more at the perpetrated act and its ‘Effects,’ than of the ‘Causes’ of Haitian people’s prolonged ‘Miseries’ and resultant ‘Lawlessness.’ 


The nation, through its leadership has revealed its commitment in sending ‘Troops in Government Boots’ to its domestically-troubled regional and ‘CARICOM’ neighbor, ‘Haiti’ [PM Browne: UNGA: 78th Session].  Citizen displeasure and expressed umbrage may have been observed on social media. These may have been particularly observed through a commentary, partially captioned; ‘Do not put our men in uniform at risk’ [Audley Phillip: ANR: September 27, 2023]. Though lives might be lost or tragically ended, they shall not go in vain. They will not only be accorded ‘Full Military Funerals,’ but also their deeds, good or evil, shall be interred with their bones. 


Situationally, respecting the proposed deployment, viewed outside ‘Patriotism and Nationalism,’ such could be likened to ‘Fools rushing in where, even for ‘Love,’ wise men fear to go’ [Fools Rush In: Ricky Nelson: YouTube]. Clearly not necessarily what the ‘Antigua and Barbuda National Anthem’ Sir Novelle Richards KCN: November 1, 1981], intends, deployment of ‘Troops’ to the volatile ‘Haitian’ capital, means lending support to a ‘Government’ surviving on illegitimacy, with assistance from collaborators and perpetrators of evil. The ‘Neurosurgeon, ‘Ariel Henry 73,’ turned politician, by reason of tragedy assumed the position, void of the ‘Will and Mandate of the electorate and popular support of the ‘Haitian’ people.


Though such deployment would never be seen as the ‘sons and daughters’ defending national ‘Liberty,’ those to be dispatched shall be psychologically prepared to ‘Gird the Loin’ and ‘Join the ‘Battle.’ In reality, in that jurisdiction, it appears more of a ‘Haitian Security Struggle’ with ‘Lawless Gunmen,’ than an insurrection against those that govern. All a sundry shall appreciate the enormity of the currency of the situation on ‘Haiti.’ Moreover, all shall understand the seriousness and gravity of the ‘Powder-keg like’ situation the ‘Troops’ are expected to be sent into. Though not knowing exactly what lies ahead, ‘Troopers’ may not only feel a ‘Sense of Duty and Service’ to humanity, but also a ‘Sense of Hope.’


In military term, in combat, as in combatting crime and confronting criminals, some occurrences are as ‘Predictable’ as they are ‘Inevitable.’ That which was universally known, was that there can be no armed conflict or intervention, without casualties. These are to be expected on any soil, foreign or otherwise.  As it affects military duties and discipline, neither in service men, nor women, shall there be any sign suggestive of ‘Cowardice.’ That which families, friends and loved ones, were somewhat, or may not have been aware, will have been certain statutory provisions to govern such operational tendency. This has been made clear in the ‘Defence Act.’ 


Whether on the home front, or foreign soil, no military personnel shall harbor ‘Fear of Death.’ They know what obtains career in militarism. Thus, no personnel need any reminder that in; (i) ‘When combatively engaged, they shall either; (a) ‘Kill; or (b) Capture the enemy.’ Be it the choice weapons, such as; (a) ‘The Russian-made AK47; or The United States-made M-16 rifle,’ to; Soldiers; Police; and Gunmen.’ These are among the finest weapons. As much as they have brought about tragic consequences, they have also saved lives. 


In active combat or in fighting crime and criminals, these weapons are their only friends and guardians. A wink could make the difference between continued wearing of ‘Government Boots,’ or a flight back to their country of domicile in ‘Body Bags.’ They shall not only know that they will not only be seen as ‘Interventionists,’ but also ‘Enemies’ of the overwhelming majority of the ‘Haitian’ people. If in their youth ‘Antigua and Barbuda Military and Police’ personnel, never attended ‘Sunday School,’ no ‘Gospel’ will be preached. In the ‘Zone of Combat,’ there is neither peace, nor comfort. Even with service weapons in hand, the enemy shall know that the ‘Scripture’ has never been taught in such zone.


Looking at the ‘Haitian Crisis,’ former Assistant Commissioner of Police, Nuffield Burnette, neither utter optimism, nor pessimism.’ Given their expected role, the existing situation could prove more unnerving, than comforting. Conscious of, and concerned for safety and survivability, of the ‘Troops,’ be they composed of military and/or police, spontaneously chuckled and said; ‘I do hope they know they are not going to ‘Sunday School’ [September 29, 2023]. And should any ‘Trooper’ so believed, before dispatch to ‘Haiti,’, there may be no reason not to be also armed with the ‘Holy Bible.’ However, in combat, they shall not call the name of the ‘Lord’ in vain.


The ‘Holy Scripture’ edifies that; ‘Every man in his own order’ [I Corinthians: 15: 22]. In other words,’ Haitian Gunmen’ shall be in their own order, and the ‘Foreign Troopers,’ in their own order. Consequent upon ‘Survivability,’ while on the ‘Haitian Mission,’ whether or not they; (a) ‘Provide humanitarian service; (b)_Security assistance; or (c) Assist in the restoration and maintenance of order; or (d) Bolster the image of the embattled ‘Haitian President, Ariel Henry,’ prior to their ‘Mission,’ the ‘Troopers’ shall all sing; ‘Que- Sera-Sera’ [1955: Doris Day: YouTube]. All ‘Interventionist Forces’ know that it was not always where ‘Smoke was seen rising, food was cooking.’


As in other jurisdictions, the ‘Silence’ on certain atrocities known to have been perpetrated against the unarmed, presumptive sane and suspected insane, remains ‘Deafening.’ Those with international voices shall know that they have been among the cause of much of the ‘Haitians’ troubles and discomfiture. As some leaders sought refuge by smarting under the ‘Cop-Out Excuse of ‘non-interference in domestic or internal affairs,’ the people rapidly descend into the depth of despair. These have not only been the reasons given by most of the regional leadership, but often in avoidance of useless squabbles, public spats, entanglement and strained relations. 


Though many people were not ‘Haitian’ nationals or residents, as ‘Regionalists and Advocates’ of ‘Human Rights,’ their advocacy shall have prompted citations of the horrifying ‘Atrocities’ being perpetrated or caused to be inflicted against the ‘Haitian’ people. Many have taken flight to escape the repressive administrations. For instance, in forums where ‘former Human Rights Commissioner, Sir Clare Roberts KCN;’ and ‘Our own passionate Safiya Roberts’ [Website: Roberts and Co], may have made representations or presentations, they too, may have voiced concerns over the abuses meted out to the ‘Haitian’ population. Research has failed to show any such concern were ever expressed and/or documented. The annals of history, appear not to have been updated. 


Undoubtedly, the most troubled-spot across the ‘Eastern Caribbean,’ has been universally known as ‘Haiti.’ The nation, being ineffectively governed by a non-elected body of persons. This has resulted from the tragic assassination of its ‘President Jovenel Moise’ [July 2021]. Among the international community, it has not only been starved for ‘Democracy,’ but also void of governance that has legitimacy. As it descends deep into ‘an Abyss of Anarchy,’ some regional leaders appeared compulsorily empathetic in offering ‘Troop Assistance.’ In fact, this may bring neither solace, nor comfort’ to the estimated ‘4.7 million poverty and acute-hungry-stricken’ citizens [The Guardian: 2023]. 


Fortuitously, such governance was being undertaken by an interim leader in the persona of ‘Ariel Henry.’ The ‘Neurosurgeon, turned politician, by reason of tragedy assumed the position, void of the ‘Will and Mandate of the electorate and popular support of the ‘Haitian’ people. This development and state of affairs has rendered his rule and administration illegitimate. These are development within the knowledge of the leadership of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM.’ Then over time, the nation has rapidly descended into chaos and confusion, then anarchial rule.’ These allow for; (a) ‘Complete breakdown of law and order; (b) Unchecked lawlessness; (c) Gangsterism; and (d) Mobsterism’ throughout the nation.


Though not necessarily for successful missions, there are complexities in arrangements for ‘Overseas Missions.’ Thus, administratively, such necessitates a workable approach. This allows for mutual understanding and functional cooperation. The ‘Defence Act (DA)’ has made it sufficiently clear of the authoritative person and body that shall exercise ‘Command and Control’ of the ‘Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force (ABDF).’ There obviously will be risks, whether or not ‘Combative or Peace-keeping.’ Many citizens share the view that there shall be moral justification, and legitimacy for any ‘Troop Mission’ on ‘Haiti.’ 


The concepts; (a) ‘Duty; and (b) Employment,’ appear not to have connotative meanings. Consequently, it shall be made sufficiently clear of their roles and/or functions ‘Outside Antigua and Barbuda.’ Thus, deployment shall necessarily include, though not limited to: (i) ‘Size of contingent; (ii) Duration of intervention; (iii) Service duties: (iv) Immunities; and (v) Compensatory liabilities and benefits to survivors and family in the event of; (a) Misadventure; (b) Injured casualties; or (c) Tragedies of the kind that often bring sorrow; as well as (c) Security arrangements for, and health and emergency medical care for the dying and living.’ 


Though not necessarily popular among the ‘Antigua and Barbuda’ citizenry, it has been a universal phenomenon for nations to render security assistance to those afflicted, by armed conflict, natural disaster or overwhelming acts of criminality. The latter, is not necessarily fought or solved by ‘Armed Troops. That which shall be said, is that until the ‘Logistical Formalities’ are completed and reflected in a ‘Memorandum of Understanding (MOU),’ dispatching ‘Troops’ may neither be in indecent haste, nor with immediacy. In those formalities, there have not only to be ‘Commonality of Understanding,’ but also an unhesitating readiness and willingness in undertaking and with promptitude, discharge that nation’s obligations to the membership of ‘CARICOM.’ 


Still, it shall be said that; ‘Where there is no vision, the people perish.’ The ‘French-speaking nation, ‘Haiti,’ has seen the positions taken by; (i) ‘Antigua and Barbuda; and (ii) Jamaica.’ The ‘President of Haiti, Ariel Henry’ would have long been apprised of the position of; (iii) St. Vincent and the Grenadines.’ Through their individual ‘Lenses,’ the leadership of ‘Antigua and Barbuda and Jamaica’ appear to have narrowed its vision to a ‘Humanitarian Crisis.’ Thus, these nations have declared their intention to dispatch ‘Troops’ in providing some assistance. 


The ‘Vincentian Leadership’ appeared to have widened its lenses and zoomed in on two critical issues; (i) ‘Humanitarian; and (ii) Political.’ Taking a contrary and contrasting position, he assessed and offered rationalized explanations. Though not necessarily hypocritical, this leader, cognizant that at some point in life, humans shall inevitably and inescapably experience and endure some form of hardship. Given the crises facing the un-elected ‘Haitian President Ariel Henry,’ the ‘Vincentian Prime Minister,’ on principle, lends no support to ‘Governance,’ starved for legitimacy, thereby begging for a mandate and the will of the ‘Haitian’ people [IWN: November 18, 2022]. 


As pragmatic, as he has often been seen, ‘Prime Minister, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves’ was adamant that no ‘Vincentian Troops’ were to be dispatched to the gang warfare-stricken and turmoil-troubled nation of ‘Haiti.’ The regional leader may have done the ‘SWOT Analysis.’ Few leaders understand this ‘Theoretical Approach’ to sensitive and tactical operations. This allows for certain operational initiatives, both on home and foreign soil to be undertaken with the least of sorrow and grief.


Envisaging operational danger, he may have seen that which the regional leadership, ‘Caribbean Community (CARICOM)’ members and the ‘Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS),’ may not have seen.’ With the ‘Spirit of Perception,’ he may have seen, inter alia, possible fractured relations with the ‘Haitian’ population. It could be perceived that foreign troops were intended to keep a non-mandated administration in government. Making it clear to his counterparts, he had indirectly said to them ‘No ‘Vincentian Trooper’ shall be made the sacrificial lamb for any hopeless cause. That was never a call for ‘Vincentians,’ but a call for the ‘United Nations.’ 


Seemingly, where some leaders may have seen ‘Strength,’ he saw ‘Weaknesses;’ where some may have seen ‘Opportunities,’ he appeared not only to have seen serious risks, but also grievous ‘Threats.’ In hotspots and hostile environments, these were to be expected. Undoubtedly, he was mindful that the crises facing ‘Haitian’ authorities, were purely domestic and purely internal. Given this perspective, he may have become even more resolute. He made his nation’s position clear that no ‘Vincentian Troops in Government Boots’ will set foot on ‘Haitian’ soil. 


The ‘Haitian’ people had become mortally afraid, not only of the vicious gunmen, but also of the brutal ‘Security Forces.’ As gunmen rule, today, these ‘Forces’ appear ineffective in bringing respite to the millions of poverty-stricken citizens. As apparent dominant rulers, ‘Prime Minister, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves’ will have looked at the troubling situation and predicament facing ‘Interventionist Forces.’ He reportedly remarked; ‘A country that size, it is about 2 police officers for 1, 000 persons, while in ‘St. Vincent and Grenadines’ there are 10 police officers for every 1, 000 people.’ 


Most telling, he said; ‘So you have a Police Force, which is numerically ‘Weak,’ but more than that, it is riddled with ‘Corruption’ [Iwitness News: November 18, 2022]. Additionally, he said; ‘People associated with the gangs are inside the Police Force; So, you have to address the security situation, and people from outside will have to go in to help.’ Looked at from these perspectives, the leadership of; (i) ‘Antigua and Barbuda: (ii) Bahamas; and (ii) Jamaica,’ may have wittingly or unwittingly; obligingly or obligatory, revealed intention to embarking upon ‘Military Interventionism’ in ‘Haiti.’


Intended that no family shall be sorrowfully bereaved, as to be left to mourn and grieve over tragic circumstances, he took the position that no ‘Blood of Vincentian Troopers’ shall be spilled in futility, or flow or stain the streets of ‘Haiti’, nor soak or saturate its soil. The news portal continues; ‘Gonsalves who is also the Minister of National Security said such a move by any country, could be seen by the ‘Haitian’ people as propping up a government, that the majority of Haitians see as illegitimate.’ Advancing further rationale, he said; ‘Haiti has a ‘Humanitarian Crisis’ at the moment, exacerbated by the recent ‘Outbreak of Cholera.’ [CMC: November 18, 2022].


Speaking to the ‘Humanitarian Crisis,’ he reportedly said that this; ‘Cannot be dealt with efficaciously’ nor ‘satisfactorily unless the security situation is dealt with.’ Speaking to the ‘Haitian National Police or Police Nationale d’ Haiti (PNH),’ he said; ‘The Haitian Police has 14, 000 people or 1.1 police officers for every 1, 000. Research has shown that under ‘Haitian strongman President, Jean-Claude Duvalier’ the Police were made part of the ‘Haitian Military’ [1912]. That regime then, became ‘Mercilessly Brutal.’ Such ‘Presidential Ruthlessness’ and dictatorial rule, had reportedly injected fear in every man, woman and child. 


The currency of the situation, undoubtedly speaks to a ‘Bleak Prospect.’ There was said to be inter alia; (a) ‘Famine; (b) Cholera; (c) Gangsterism and gang violence: (d) Mob killings;’ and (e) Mob rule.’ These lawless gunmen were said to have once garrisoned the main city marine port and fuel depot.’ This course of action may have been avoidably provoked.’ The blockade was said to have been occasioned when the ‘Acting President, Ariel Henry’ unwittingly or ill-advisedly cut back on fuel subsidies, thereby causing fuel price to spike beyond the financial capacity of the ‘Haitian’ motorists’ [The Guardian-Updated: 2023]. 


Enraged as the gunmen and mobsters then became, they continue to rule city streets and towns, urban and rural communities by the nozzle of their guns. Seemingly from the perspective of finding ‘Workable Solutions’ to the ‘Haitian Crisis,’ the reluctant ‘Vincentian Prime Minister,’ believes that whatever ‘Military Objectives’ are to be achieved, success shall not be imperiled without certain ‘Pre-requisites.’ Even as suggestions might be made, such Pre-requisites’ can neither be provided by the collective membership of ‘CARICOM,’ nor the membership of the ‘OECS.’


That which he cited as workable were; (i) ‘A legitimate and inclusive Government; and; (b) A Government of National Unity.’ These, he believed were more in keeping with the wishes of the people, as opposed to the rule associated with autocrats. These, he has not only viewed as of paramount importance, but also necessary to guide the restoration of citizen trust, civil liberties; civil behavior. He posited that the lawless members of society may seek to live by ‘Rule of Law,’ that all may dwell in comparative peace and safety. Such shall not only inspire public confidence, but also conducive to a stable environment. 


The ‘Mixed-Unit Police Force’ was not only plagued by; (a) ‘Militarism: but also (b) Deeply fractionalized; and (c) Corrupt’ [Wikipedia]. Hence, the ‘Haitian’ people were subjected to abuse under successive and ‘Oppressive Presidents.’ They became the most feared, having been transformed into a deadly unit called the ‘Ton-Ton Macoute.’ It was obvious that ‘Presidents’ were so fortified by these units, that all the people knew were ‘tyranny, terror and oppression.’ Research has revealed that the repressive ‘Presidential Regimes’ have seen the advent of ’Vigilante Groups.’ Though infrequent, these groups were said to have exacted ‘Retaliatory 2

Justice’ upon the lawless and mercilessly brutal ‘Mixed-up Units.’ 


The brutal behavior of the ‘Police,’ had forced ‘Structural Reform’ and ‘Defining Operational Objectives’ [1995]. The reformation seeks to; (a) ‘Ensure public safety; (b) Protection of people; (c) Safeguarding property; and (d) State institutions.’ Equally as important, they were to; (e) Safeguard the peace, tranquility and good public order across the country.’ They also had a ‘Special Weapons and Tactics Team.’ Instructively, the authorities maintained several ‘Paramilitary Units.’ These were to provide ‘Defence to the State.’ In spite of the transformation, ‘training and ethic’ were said to have been vexingly inadequate’ [Wikipedia]. 


Given the ‘Declaration of Intent,’ to ‘Field Troops’ on ‘Haitian Soil,’ this necessarily require that; (i) ‘The Governor General; (ii) Prime Minster; and (iii) Chief of Defence Staff (CDS),’ work out how deployment might be made legitimately effective. Such shall neither be viewed from any ‘CARICOM Agreement,’ nor arrangements with the ‘Regional Security System (RSS).’ From the perspective of the governing ‘Defence Act,’ the statutory regulations provide for both administrative and operational guidance. Some decisions may not only require: (a) ‘Cabinet; or (b) National Security’ decisions. 


The ‘Act’ states; ‘The ‘Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force’ is responsible for; (a) ‘The defence of Antigua and Barbuda; and (b) Such other duties as the ‘Defence Board’ determines.’ It provides for ‘Employment Outside Antigua and Barbuda.’ It states; ‘The Governor General may order that the whole, or any part of the ‘ABDF’ to be ‘Employed Outside Antigua and Barbuda.’ [DA: No:10 of 2006: Sections 7: and 8]. Except in combat in ‘Defending’ the nation and its subjects and liberty, the ‘Act’ appears not to have envisaged deployment overseas to be engaged in ‘Combative Duties.’


This shall be clear in the mind of every policy-maker. The ‘Act’ states with specificity; ‘In the event of public emergency, the ‘Governor General’ may, on the advice of the ‘Prime Minister,’ by ‘Proclamation,’ direct that the ‘Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force, or part thereof, be deployed in ‘Aid of the Civil Community.’ Instructively, a provision within the ‘Act’ also states; ‘The ‘Defence Board’ may; (i) ‘Order any officer or soldier of the ‘Regular Force; and (ii) With his consent, any officer or soldier of the ‘Reserve Force’ to proceed to a place outside of Antigua and Barbuda’ to take up; (a) ‘Duty; or (b) Employment’ [Defence Act: No: 10 of 2006: Section 9 (2)].


Given the reference to the ‘Defence Board,’ the benefit of knowledge demands that its members be identified, ex officio. The membership includes: (i) ‘The Prime Minister; (ii) The Minister responsible for ‘Defence and National Security;’ (iii) Such other Minister as appointed by the Prime Minister; (iv) Chief of Defence Staff; and (y) Permanent Secretary- Ministry of Defence.’ This is the ‘Board’ that may determine what; (a) ‘Officer’ or (b) Soldier’ may be ordered and assigned ‘Military Duties Outside Antigua and Barbuda’ [DA: Section 11]. 


Whether thoughtful or thoughtless, the two reginal nations offering to send ‘Troops’ may or may not have taken as critical a look at the situation on the ground in ‘Haiti.’ There was no indication that an advanced ‘Reconnoitering Team’ had been dispatched. Such may have better positioned themselves in assessing possible risks and dangers. Compounding these, in joint operations, may very well be barriers to communication. Not so doing meant counting no cost. Conversely, not so sending ‘Troops,’ necessarily means, counting no human loss.’ That which the ‘Vincentian Prime Minister’ shall know, is that except ‘Police officers,’ most ‘Troopers’ in actual combat, would rather die with the ‘Government Boots’ on their feet.


Since the descriptive word used at the ‘United Nations’ was; ‘Troops,’ Law enforcement personnel and their families may harbor no ‘Fear of Misadventure.’ Such fear may induce into the ‘Trooper’s mind the apprehensive concept ‘Cowardice.’ Anticipating that some ‘Military personnel may ‘catch cold feet’ and abandon post or desert their units, parliamentarians ensured that certain disciplinary measures shall be in place. The mischief aimed by ‘Parliament,’ was to prevent ‘Cowardice’ and even to death, encourage ‘Bravery.’ Some military personnel would rather be free men in their graves, than to engage in hopeless battles.


As it affects members of the ‘Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force (BDF),’ the ‘Defence Act’ definitively states; ‘Any person who, being subjected to ‘Military Law’ under this ‘Act;’ (a) ‘When before the enemy, leaves his post, position or other place where it is his duty to be; (b) When before the enemy, throws away his arms and ammunition or tool, or otherwise behaves in such as to show ‘Cowardice; or (c) When before the enemy, includes any other person, manner being subject to ‘Service Law,’ when the person is before the enemy, to contravene’ the within referred paragraphs of the ‘Defence Act.’


Ensuring that there were ‘Punitive Consequences’ for such course of conduct, that which every military personnel, and every family member, loved ones, friends and well-wishers shall know, is that for any breach of these provisions, there is dangling punishments. For instance, the ‘Act’ makes it clear that any person who commits breaches of these provisions, is guilty of an offence, and liable to conviction by ‘Court Martial’ to imprisonment or any less punishment provided by this ‘Act’ [DA: No: 10 of 2006: Section 39].


In its international outlook, the nation, rich in natural resources of; (a) ‘Bauxite; (b) Copper; (c) Calcium carbonate; (d) Gold; and (e) Marble,’ yet economically it has entered the gates of impoverishment. Incidentally, the natural resources have been extracted and generated into great ‘Wealth,’ thereby providing enrichment to a handful of exploiters. The people, ironically, considered indigent, were reportedly subjected to a quality of life and living standard that has placed them at the ‘Edge of Poverty.’


It has been the understanding that some intellectuals continue to posture and posit and push and peddle the foolish idea that impoverished nations and indigent people are ‘Rich.’ Such word seems inapplicable to the estimated ‘4.7 million ‘Haitian people’ reportedly facing acute hunger.’ Little that those positioned themselves to be described as ‘Intellectual Buffoons,’ understood was that they have been harboring ‘Illusions of Richness.’ The point was recently well-made by non-degreed, but prominent and successful entrepreneur, ‘Sir George Ryan KCN.’ Looking at ‘Africa and Haiti, he simply; ‘With all the natural resources that exist on the ‘African Continent,’ what have the people to show?’ [Observer Media: September, 2023].


Some intellectuals appear too naive to understand this national ‘Constitutional Social Principle.’ It states; ‘Whereas the people of Antigua and Barbuda respect the principles of ‘Social Justice,’ they believe that the ‘Economic System’ should result in the resources of their community being so distributed as to serve the common good’ [CO: 1981: Principle: ‘B’]. None may deny that the overwhelming majority of ‘Haitian’ have been living in squalor and at the edge of poverty. None may also deny that those that administrated public affairs, were also facing profoundly depressing situations and conditions that affect both humanity and security. 


Unfortunately, likened to the rest of the region, while some with a different political system appear to have been doing economic-wise, better than most, existing situations of governance and poor economic condition have become untenable. These have not only impacted ‘Social Justice,’ but also retarded development progress. Consequently, for the indigent population, these have militated against; (a)’Wealth creation; (b) Wealth acquisition; (c) Opportunity to improve the quality life; (d) Earn a reasonable livelihood; and (e) To subsist and exist in any impoverished nation, including the ‘CARICOM’ nation- ‘Haitian.’ 


Likened to the ‘Haitian’ people, the ‘Constitution Order’ anticipates that a sizeable percentage of the ‘Antigua and Barbuda’ population may do well. Conversely, it also anticipates that some will catch hell. This has been the resultant impact, usually from ‘Poor Economics Condition.’ With better comprehension than most, ‘Sir George’ understood that ‘Wealth Creation’ does not necessarily mean ‘Wealth Acquisition.’ He knew that only when ‘Natural Resources’ were extracted and exploited into ‘Wealth’ and that; (i) ‘Revenue derived was properly channeled through a nation’s ‘Economic System; and (ii) Evenly distributed among the populace.’ 


Though not necessarily so obtained in other nations, the same was expected, not only in this nation, but also in the ‘French-speaking nation of ‘Haiti.’ When legendary social commentator, Sir MacLean Emannuel KCN, ‘King Short Shirt’ performed the social commentary; ‘Technical School,’ he had clearly seen that which some intellectuals and leaders may not have seen. ‘He saw: (a) ‘Hewers of wood; and (b) Carriers of water’ […YouTube]. That which can be irrefutably said of other regional neighbors, including ‘Haiti,’ is that there was no opportunity for the indigenous people to create and acquire wealth.


For the ‘Haitian Mission,’ as members of the ‘Police and Joint Task Force (JTF)’ were known to have used with telling effect,; (a) ‘Rubber bullets against unarmed citizens and blew off dwelling house back-doors’ [Booby Alley: ABS TV: Press Briefing: Assistant Commissioner of Police, Clifton Cabral]; (b) Teargassed into dispersal peaceful protestors [Observer Media: August 10, 2021]; and (c) Shot off backdoor of ‘Booby Alley resident ‘Joel O’ Marde with ‘FRG;’ (b) Floored the householder with rubber bullet; then (c) Evicted him from his dwelling house’ [ANR: April 19, 2023]; (d) Snuffed out the life of  ‘Mannie James 43’ [Mannie James: July 31, 2023], the members of such ‘Force’ could be best deployed to ‘Haiti.’ There, they may to use their skills against the ‘Haitian Gunmen.’ 


Given the troubles of the ‘Haitian People,’ the apparent impotence, inaction ‘Paralytic’ condition of ‘CARICOM,’ few persons may disagree that more may have been done to avert the deepened ‘Haitian Crisis.’ The indigent population; ‘Helpless; Hapless; and Hopeless,’ now, more than ever, needs the assistance of its regional and extra-regional partners. However, in seeking to bring respite to the oppressed people, the ‘Spiritual Voices’ may wish to seek ‘Spiritual Guidance,’ and pray for ‘Divine Intervention.’ Then all may sing in ‘French,’ ‘Haiti’ National Anthem- ‘La Dessalinienne.’ French has been the ‘Language’ most ‘Haitians’ understands and only ‘Anthem’ most sings. The lyrical contents selected, read: ‘…Let us toil joyous, let us toil joyous; …Let us be the only masters of the soil; …Free strong and prosperous; …Let there be no traitors in our ranks;’ [Nicholas Geffrard: Justin Lherrisson: 1903/1904]. Incidentally, that which reportedly lies abundantly beneath the soil, appears not to have made them ‘Masters,’ neither of their economy, nor destiny.’ The international community shall endeavor to help ease their pain and long suffering, by tangible influences and the return to civil society and civil order, sustained by ‘Rule of Law.’ Long live the people of ‘Haiti; Their nation and ‘CARICOM.’





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  1. Many come up with these grand ideas for Haiti and it’s people, which is very noble, but I bring one great suggestion for Haiti.

    Stop the practice of Voodoo, period.
    50 to 95% of Haitians practice Voodoo, huummm.

    Who you serve of worship matters.

    And I rest my case.

  2. The Haitian General Toussaint L’Ouverture must be spinning in his grave at what’s going on in his beloved Haiti 🇭🇹 today.

    A true warrior, he made Napoleon and Nelson look like wimps in comparison … the European Caucasians were never taught what a brilliant TACTICAL genius he was in warfare, and many of L’Ouverture’s combat manoeuvres are still copied to this very day.

    No wonder the West ensured that Haiti would never rise up again 😔

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