Rickey Singh upset about diplomatic breach – Doesn’t mention that Barbados could take in some Haitians
In his current Nation News article US envoy’s ‘pressure’ on Barbados Rickey Singh is all upset that Brent Hardt, the chargé d’affaires of the United States of America for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, went public with Barbados’ refusal to take in Haitian injured.
Here’s some of what Rickey says:
My understanding is that both Minister of Health Donville Inniss and Foreign Affairs Minister Maxine McClean had communicated to Hardt why his request could not realistically be entertained. Then followed the diplomat’s surprising letter which, to say the least, did not accurately reflect the ministerial positions that had been conveyed to him before his written request, as he made known to the media.
The question is, why? When he claimed, as reported, that the “significant medical capacity in the Caribbean” made these countries “well placed” to treat the injured Haitians, was Hardt speaking out of first-hand knowledge or assumption? And which of the other governments in the region had he communicated his request to before, or after, engaging the attention of the Foreign Affairs and Health Ministers of Barbados?
Perhaps when, as I understand, he receives an official written response to his request on behalf of the injured Haitians, we may learn why, in the first place, the Barbados Government had to suffer such an unnecessary inconvenience to explain to a United States diplomat its inability, at this stage, to offer the medical care needed by the injured Haitian earthquake victims. Why push Barbados on the defensive when, like other CARICOM states, it is also currently actively involved in various efforts to help the people of Haiti?
Aside from the diplomatic faux pas by Mr. Hardt (which I don’t mind at all considering he was trying to save some lives and Barbados said “Let ’em die”), I pose this question…
Could it be that Barbados has spread the “first world, little Britain” propaganda so effectively that Mr. Hardt truly is unable to comprehend our refusal?
Alternatively, might it be that Mr. Hardt is disgusted with Barbados because he, like everyone else on this island, knows that Bajans could easily take in a dozen or so amputees and their close families?
Could Mr. Hardt believe that the government’s refusal is based primarily upon current anti-immigration feelings in the population and other political considerations?
Whatever the reasons for refusal given by the Government of Barbados, the message comes through loud and clear: “No stinkin’ Haitians aboard the good ship Barbados. Not a one. Let ’em die.”
If you think that’s unfair, perhaps we can talk about it over cocktails at the Hilton or during a round at Ape’s Hill. Or, we could meet at the oval and chat while we admire the $300 million dollars we spent on our cricket palace.
Just don’t try to say that the sovereign nation of Barbados doesn’t have what it takes to accept 10 or 12 Haitian amputees and their close families for a year. There’s probably going to be that many rooms empty all year at Time Out at the Gap hotel alone.
Rickey Singh had better know that the Barbados government’s refusal to take in even a single Haitian victim and family has nothing to do with our capabilities.
The US chargé d’affaires knows that too.