|JAMAICA’S PRIME MINISTER HAS BEEN THE BEST FRIEND TO THE HAITIAN PEOPLE
PNP response to mass emails
|PNP Headquarters, Kingston, Jamaica
Tuesday, 2004 March 16 5:19 p.m.
With regard to an email entitled “JAMAICA'S PRIME MINISTER SHOWS HE IS NO FRIEND OF HAITI” being circulated by a group attempting to libel the reputation of the Most Honourable Prime Minister of Jamaica PJ Patterson, the People's National Party categorically denies all the allegations being made in the email. The contents of the email are false and constitute an attempt to defame the character of our Prime Minister in his capacity as Chairman of Caricom as well as that of the Party.
Prime Minister Patterson as Chairman of Caricom isn’t taking the side of Mr. Aristide, in fact he more than anyone is taking the side of the welfare of the Haitian people. That has been shown in his tireless attempts to bring the various groupings in Haiti together to solve their political crisis. Let it be made clear that the United States, France and Canada supported the Caricom Plan of action for peace and reconciliation in Haiti, before Mr. Aristide’s departure from office.
<![if !supportEmptyParas]>The Jamaican people and Government led by Prime Minister Patterson have shown their compassion for the Haitian people by providing food, clothing and shelter to over one hundred Haitian refugees in Jamaica.
There are no links, financial or otherwise between Mr. Aristide and the People's National Party and statements to that effect are false and libelous. Furthermore the statement about Prime Minister Patterson going to Bangui to pick up Mr. Aristide is again false. Prime Minister Patterson has done no such thing.
The position that Caricom has taken has nothing to do with any personal relationship between the leaders of Caricom and Mr. Aristide, it has to do with the fundamental principle of democracy. We continue to maintain that the removal of any constitutionally elected leader by undemocratic means constitutes a dangerous precedent for all democratically elected governments. Furthermore, we hope that our humanitarian efforts at seeking to reunite Mr. Aristide with his family, not be construed as an unfriendly act to the Haitian people or used as a political football in that country.
Jamaica has a long and established tradition of hosting leaders from Haiti. This includes the current interim Haitian Prime Minister Gerard Latorture, who is very familiar with Jamaican hospitality.
We look forward to the time when Haiti is able to resolve its current crisis and return to democratic rule, thereby resuming a process by which it can fulfill its social, economic, political and cultural potential as a nation.
Julian J. Robinson Deputy General Secretary People's National Party 89 Old Hope Road Kingston 6, Jamaica W.I. Email: pnpjamaica.com