Haitians are vulnerable, susceptible to political manipulation and exploitation

first_imgDear Editor,I wrote the press earlier this month, asking the Minister of Citizenship and/or our President to explain the sudden arrival in Guyana of a very large number of Haitians, reported on extensively in our media.According to the media reports, the Haitian arrivals are carefully organised with obvious official Government support. Their arrival has coincided with a highly suspect House-to-House Registration exercise with questionable legal authority and disputed justification.In response to these public concerns, Minister Felix disclosed that in the last six months, 8436 Haitians arrived and 1170 are supposed to have departed. Those who have left are acknowledged by the Minister to be mostly doing so illegally, The Minister seemed unable, however, to provide convincing documentation in support of his statement.In the current highly-charged political environment, with the Opposition and, for instance, the Private Sector Commission, opposed to the “registration” which is being carried out without the legally required scrutineering, it is perfectly reasonable to ask the question: where are the seven thousand odd unaccounted-for Haitians?In these circumstances, it is perfectly reasonable to also ask, not only where, but how are the Haitians occupied? They have not come as tourists and they are not authorised to work!In reactions, these questions have been vigorously and vociferously labelled as a “xenophobic attack” meaning racism, against the Haitians.I cannot speak for others, but as far as I am concerned, the application of this label, in this context is utter rubbish, and, if anything, is in itself racist in character and concept.The Haitians are our Caricom brothers and sisters and are understandably and undoubtedly fleeing their own impoverished circumstances in search of a better life and deserve our empathy and assistance.I wonder, however, if it has occurred, at all, to those, some otherwise very intelligent people amongst them, who so readily and conveniently employ this emotive use of race in pursuit of their own unspoken agenda, that the Haitians are both vulnerable and susceptible to political manipulation and exploitation of the worst kind.Yours sincerely,Kit Nascimentolast_img read more