By Theo Chambers
JAMAICA – Born in Colon, Panama, whose maternal and paternal grandparents were Jamaican, I remember in Colon at the tender age of 12, being introduced to the teachings and ideology of the Rt. Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey by my mentor and good friend, Professor Alfred Rowe.
While stationed at RAF Alconbury (US Air Force) in England, my second child was born, whom I named, Malcolm X Chambers, which is on his birth certificate. I admired the philosophy and ideology of Malcolm X after Mecca, which was more tolerant and universal.
Having exposed myself to the Rastafarian movement, and the struggle they have gone through, especially in their quest for reparations from our former slave masters and Colonial Imperialists, I am impressed to witness that Caribbean leaders have finally joined together in admitting that the damage created by slavery, and the depletion of local resources that were used to build what is now known as first world countries, were wrong then, and the long-term negative effects should be reversed through financial and social compensation.
I endorse all the avenues that can be taken to restore the dignity and pride of strong-melanin (dark-skinned) African descendants.
Today, I am saddened to see all the efforts our Caribbean leaders, and private enterprises are making to improve their standards of living and image locally, regionally, and internationally, while Haiti, the country that fought for Caribbean slave emancipation, and initiated the cycle of regional independence, continues to suffer, because our free Caribbean countries have not collectively come to the rescue of our true emancipator.
We learned in our schools about Columbus’ “discovery” of the Caribbean. We have holidays honoring pirates, and we have named many of our institutions after our European conquerors and past slave masters, yet Haiti, our TRUE Emancipator is forgotten from our history books, and continues to struggle for equality. We love to call Haiti “the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere”, but fail to realize that Haiti’s poverty is the price that she continues to pay for the freedom of us all.
This must be reversed immediately. I am therefore proposing the following actions by all of our Caribbean countries to show respect, and to tell our Elder Leader Haiti, thank you for our FREEDOM…
A team of the greatest Caribbean agricultural minds should go to Haiti, and help them restore their vibrant agricultural production, and the Caribbean countries should agree to purchase from Haiti all of the agricultural products they can.
Another group of Caribbean ITC gurus and corporate executives should venture, not to China, India, Europe, or the United States, but to Haiti, to identify all the tech-gurus and potential techies in that country, and hire them to do data entries, graphic work, web designs, and telemarketing, in order to help boost Haiti’s morale, infrastructure, and self-sufficiency. We cannot surely say that we are helping Haiti business environment if we do not help to achieve a stable 4G Broadband and WI-FI service.
Travel and Tourism
Caribbean Hoteliers and Tour Operators should make sure that their next hotel venture or tour development will be done in Haiti. This is not about profit and loss. This is about Caribbean reparations to the country that paid the price for our liberty and Caribbean pride.
Arts & Craft
Haiti has some of the world’s most creative artists and craft designers. It is time that we agree collectively that we will purchase and distribute Haiti’s Arts and Crafts. We must further agree to welcome the brand “Made in the Caribbean”, so that any Caribbean Island can have their Arts and Crafts promoted in any Caribbean country, once we can identify that the brand “Made in the Caribbean” is an authentic brand.
Clean and drinkable water is an important resource for the sustainability of a healthy and successful country. We must do our best to identify experts who can assist Haiti to build a national clean water infrastructure.
In our pursuit to uplift the living standards and hopes of Haitians, we should have a Caribbean monitoring team whose responsibility it is to prevent the exploitation of Haitians.
I want to take my hat off to those Caribbean countries which are presently doing business in, and supporting, Haiti. My vision is for an open and active Caribbean initiative to pursue a Haitian agenda through diplomatic efforts, government to government dialogue, Cyber B2B and B2C entrepreneurship projects, and the improvement of the Haitian educational system.
This communique is a family call to all Emancipated Caribbean Countries who are the Children of the Father of Caribbean Slave Emancipation, Haiti.
Let Us Talk Because…
“It is better to debate a question without settling it
Than to settle a question without debating it”
Joseph Joubert – 1754-1824