Caribbean Report 27-11-1991



Special Report on the Haitian refugee crisis. Report ends abruptly.

Table of Contents

1. The situation in Haiti is one of deep polarization, fear, uncertainty, anger, confusion with challenge and hope … this summarizes the major findings of a three-member pastoral fact-finding mission which visited Haiti from November 3-10 mounted by the Caribbean Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches. Rev. Allan Kirton, who lead the mission to Haiti and the General Secretary of the CCC, states that Haiti is deeply divided; the fleeing Haitians are political refugees; Caricom should play a more pro-active role; and the CCC does not consider military action as an option. On the other hand, in an earlier interview with Margaret Tutwiler of the US State Department, she asserted that the Haitians are not political refugees but economic refugees. Fitz Longshaw, Haiti’s UN Ambassador, concurs with Rev. Kirton that the refugees are in fact political refugees; Caricom’s unwillingness to help is tied to lack of human and financial resources and fears of future influx of refugees; and the crisis can be solved in a peaceful manner and not by military intervention. Charles Rangel, a US Democratic Congressman and Kennedy Simmonds, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Chairman of Caricom agrees that there is a failure on the part of the Caribbean to take leadership on this matter. Mr. Simmonds also states that ultimately it is a problem to be solved by the US. Lastly, Rev. Jessie Jackson advocates that the option of a military solution to Haiti’s problem must not be ruled out (00:00-12:44)