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Dr. Gonsalves praised on Haiti

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Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has been praised for his stance on Haiti. The commendations came from Jamaican parliamentarian Sharon Haywebster.

She was giving the feature address at the Unity Labour Party Women’s Arm 10th Annual Conference last Sunday. {{more}}

Haywebster, a 42-year-old, held the Peace Memorial audience enthralled in her presentation.

She skirted a range of issues, but she was perhaps most caustic on the Haitian affair.

She was critical of traditional sources of information and challenged listeners to ensure that they were part of the information highway.

The Jamaican politician, a member of the ruling People’s National Movement (PNM), expressed suspicion of news agencies like CNN, ABC and NBC.

She commended “Comrade Gonsalves” for being the “one strong voice” on Haiti.

Haywebster referred to her role in getting Haitian president Jean Bertrand Aristide back into the Caribbean. For Haywebster, Gonsalves’ outspoken stance on Haiti signified “the strengthening of the Caribbean backbone.

“Many of us want to treat Haiti as a second cousin from country with lean-heel boots, a straw hat and a vice grip. We don’t understand what Haiti signifies to all of us here in the Caribbean,” Haywebster said.

The Jamaican parliamentarian alluded to pressure under which Aristide was subjected, and asked: “Do many of us understand what it meant that the US went in and did what they did?”

Haywebster alluded to Haiti’s significance in the struggle “for all of us here in the Caribbean”.

She noted that “If we had not bonded together, Haiti was a signal of what else was to come.”

Haywebster anticipated a resolution on Haiti. She pointed out, “So long as Haiti exists as it does, every one of us carries a load.”

She noted that Haiti was “stripped of its elected government, stripped of its economy. It has lost great assets over time, taken by those who colonise it.” She reflected on the struggle by Haiti’s liberator Toussaint L’Ouverture and found it a strange coincidence that the French returned for the first time in 200 years with Aristide’s departure.

Haywebster took issue at American policy engendered by re-elected President George Bush but noted his propensity for war.