EDITORIAL: Too early to declare trip a success

THE CARICOM trip to Haiti has been declared a success.

Well, that’s fine then, we can stop worrying about Haiti now, can we? Everything’s resolved in that one trip?

The trouble with that declaration, given by Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis yesterday, is that it essentially means nothing.

No definition of what that success means was given, we are simply told it was a success. Everybody pat yourselves on the back, and job well done.

From Mr Davis’ words, it seemed the delegation met and talked to a number of people – over 70 – to get their perspectives on the situation.

He said those involved “don’t think it’s an overnight fix” – which is fortunate, because the party didn’t even stay overnight.

There was also something of a contrast between the comments and the reality of the situation.

Mr Davis talked of an observation by Immigration Minister Keith Bell of how in Haiti “they’re a lot more respectful of the police passing and pulling on the side than we are here in New Providence” – an observation about respect that does not sit well with the fact that scores of police officers have been killed since Prime Minister Ariel Henry came to power in 2021.

A total of 15 police officers were killed in 15 days alone in January.

So yes, perhaps people pulled aside to get out of the way of the high-powered delegation guarded by high security, but that is no more reflective of the reality of the day-to-day situation than the world around Royal visitors always smelling of fresh paint.

No actual details of what has been learned from the visit have been shared – nor have the consequences for nations across the region from decisions based on those details.

Do we now have the confidence to support the national police, despite as many as a third of the officers in the force there having quit?

When the CARICOM meeting was held here in New Providence, one of our columnists, Malcolm Strachan, noted after the fact that to understand whether the meeting was a success or not, we had to give it time.

We had to wait and see what emerged as the outcome of talks, and see what deals were signed between nations in its wake, rather than jump the gun and declare success or failure.

The same should be true of the trip to Haiti. Was it a success? Well, the delegation got there, and it got back. If that’s the basis of declaring success, then well done, everyone is accounted for.

But true success will be measured in what springs from this meeting. Anything else is premature at best, with more than a dose of self-congratulation.

Where Mr Davis is correct is in declaring this a start of a journey towards a free and fair transparent election in Haiti.

That will be no small task. We hope for the success of that journey, not least of all so that people there can get the elected representation they desire, and ensure that the country has a leadership with the backing of its people.

That leadership is what Haiti will need if it is to throw off these troubled times, with gangs controlling large swathes of the nation’s land and leaving both police and civilians in fear of their lives.

The greatest success will be in giving Haiti a helping hand as it rises to stand on its own once more.


mandela 3 months ago

I agree, what made the trip a success? Mr. PM should elaborate on what made the short trip successful so we as citizens can also know. If Minister Bell was heard making such statements it would mean and prove he is an idiot, he should move there and be comfortable, right at home.


birdiestrachan 3 months ago

How does one measure success ? .? What has to happen for the Editorial page and Mr Malcom to label the matter a success Haiti will not change over night if ever


Flyingfish 3 months ago

What was successful? Huh, that's what we want to know. If getting to and from the meeting is success then this is a mission doomed to fail.


JokeyJack 3 months ago

Of course it was a success. A contact of mine down there sent me a photo showing the streets are now paved with gold. More interesting none of the residents are breaking up parts of the streets with an axe to sell the gold because they are already as wealthy as they wish to be.

I commend all the participants on achieving fabulous success. Someday (in our dreams) we will be given the same treatment here in The Hahamas.


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