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The Ministry of Home Affairs of the Government of Guyana has now to face a High Court hearing in a challenge to the Government’s decision to deport a number of recently arrived citizens of Haiti. It appears that on arrival recently the Haitians were granted a stay in Guyana of 6 months. However, within a matter of days of their landing the Ministry of Home Affairs made public its suspicion that the Haitian citizens concerned were victims of human trafficking. Through their spokesperson, the Haitians denied any involvement with illegal activity and affirmed their right as Caricom citizens to the facilities they had been granted on landing. The government persisted in its suspicion and apparently concluded that the Haitians were in fact victims of human trafficking. It then proceeded to use its allegations as a ground for deporting.
These Haitian citizens are clearly fleeing from an unsupportable situation in their homeland now under the rule of a client of the United States of America. At the human level, the Ministry of Home Affairs or the government as a whole is accusing the Haitian citizens of complicity in their own exploitation and so far has refused to allow them to define their own situation.
The Government of Guyana has been recently been very loud in its praise of the Caricom institution which played a critical part in resolving the post elections impasse which lasted from March to August 2020. Our information is that under the Caricom treaty members of the union are in general permitted to enter member states of Caricom without a visa. It seems timely therefore for Caricom officials to clarify the significance and intent of this treaty.
In its first hundred days the PPP C govt while playing lip service to Caricom has more than once taken a position which they read from that of those member states that strive to hold Caricom to a course of self-determination and independence of the tutelage of dominant world powers.
At another level, in the investigation of three murders of young men in September 2020 the Guyana govt while announcing through its attorney general on global television one of the alleged findings of the Caribbean RSS investigators, has kept this report secret even from the Guyana parliament while using some of its findings, even if accurately, to the disadvantage of members of the opposition in Guyana.
In the parliamentary procedure adopted by Guyana a Minister may not refer even in a debate in the House to a report or document without making it available officially to other members.
In the case of the RSS and its alleged findings the Guyana attorney general used the material well outside the parliamentary deliberations for purposes that remain unclear.
In fairness to all the parties concerned and regardless of where the chips may fall the RSS report should be made available at least to members of the National Assembly with no delay now that a Minister leaked some of its findings as long ago as November 2, 2020.
In essence, my argument is that membership of Caricom should not be seen as a tool of any one political tendency, but as a facility that brings all Guyanese into fellowship with our Caricom counterparts for development, social justice, and human dignity.