Daily Archives: May 17, 2012

Concerns for Raul Garcia’s safety

Recent developments have made me increasingly concerned about the safety of Raul Garcia once he enters the special facility.

The facility was allegedly identified in a photo published in the ‘Sun’ newspaper two Sundays ago. It was stated as being close to the Garrison. It is, in fact, a bungalow surrounded only by a mesh fence. The ‘Sun’ stated that though Government had been “tight lipped” about the whereabouts of the facility, it had been able to acquire information about its whereabouts – from whom I wonder?

Now: over the past three weeks or so, both CBC and the ‘Nation’ have been publishing information about Raul which they are on notice is untrue; not least because when the Garcia story first broke, and was much discussed, various commentators made it abundantly clear that Raul was stateless. Indeed, that was the nub of his problem. A priest wrote in the Nation’s Thursday column for religious matters; another priest wrote in a guest column; and, of course, there were BFP’s own valiant efforts on Raul’s behalf and those of Commissiong. What has been happening of late, however,  belies everything which has gone before. First CBC and then the ‘Nation’ have recently reported as follows:

1. That Raul is “Cuban”.

2. That Raul is a “naturalized” US citizen.

3. That Raul is a convicted “drug trafficker”.

I can forgive the last error because one would have had to have read the report in his 1999 appeal to know that his original conviction for drug trafficking was held wrong in law by our Court of Appeal. Indeed, the facts of Raul’s case are not widely known anyway. The fact is that he never actually took possession of the physical contents of pacakages dropped from the air in a field in St Peter – only two of the packages themselves if the police story is accepted and as a jury found.

So, as I say,  both news media are now publishing  misinformation about Raul which initially they did not publish and even though now the facts are widely known. Various people known to me telephoned both CBC and the ‘Nation’ to set the record straight but that, seemingly, had no effect. Both media know very well how sensitive the public is to Raul’s situation and that, basically, it has little sympathy for him – which makes it all the more irresponsible of them now to publish untruths. When the ‘Sun’ published the photo of the facility, a blog on the item (in which, again, Raul was described as “Cuban” and a “naturalised” US citizen)  in the online ‘Nation’ reveals that only two bloggers were at all sympathetic to his plight. No blogs supportive of Raul were later published in the ‘Nation’ itself.

CBC would appear to be anti-Raul. Readers may remember a call-in programme some weeks back with Hal Gollop and Ms De Peiza  ‘moderated’ by Ms Alleyne on the Garcia saga. The programme came over as a broadcast on behalf of the DLP. Indeed, both Gollop and De Peiza are known as DLP supporters. Gollop, in particular, misrepresented the law by referring to the provisions of a treaty whiich did not apply to Raul. A friend who heard the programme was so incensed by it that he subsequently spoke to Ms Alleyne. It transpired that she had no sympathy for Raul either – and this from the so-called ‘moderator’.

And now, of course, we have the publication of Raul’s ‘safe-house’ – at a time when public opinion is being whipped up by the perpetration of lies. I would ask you to consider carefully the implications and possible motivations of and for this. Raul is clearly going to be a thorn in the flesh of any government in power unless passage can be found for him somewhere. The problem seems intractable – though I was hoping that the US, as the country with which for most of his life he has been most closely connected, would grant him entry. It is surely big enough and bold enough to do this.


Filed under Barbados