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PUBLISHED: 'Just So You Know'

Reading Time: 3 minutes

By: Dennis A. Minott.

Response to: Church Group Urges Resolution for Unnamed Politicians Accused of Illicit Enrichment

Dennis A. Minott

Friends, I appreciate the concerns raised by Dr. Elaine McCarthy, Sister Elaine, of the Jamaica Umbrella Groups of Churches (JUGGCC) regarding the allegations made by the Integrity Commission against six Jamaican politicians and the potential impact on Jamaica’s international reputation.

It is, of course, a significant thing to maintain transparency and integrity within our government. However, in the face of the ongoing humanitarian crisis involving the Haitian refugees who arrived on Jamaica’s Portland beaches since summer 2023, we MUST at all times prioritize the immediate needs of these desperate individuals and families.

OUR TODAY: Still soaked and hungry, a group of Haitian migrants rest along the beach after being assisted to Jamaica’s shores in Portland on July 10, 2023.

It is a matter of great moral urgency to address the plight of these refugees who have fled their homeland in search of safety and a better life.

We cannot afford to turn a blind eye by merely winking “knowingly” among ourselves at the suffering of these vulnerable people while we are concerned with the reputational damage that allegations against a few politicians might cause. Both issues are occurring simultaneously, but the gravity of wrongly oppressing refugees, especially when they are in dire need, should weigh most heavily on our collective conscience.

Foreign Affairs Minister Kamina Johnson Smith** delivering Jamaica’s National Policy Statement at the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City. (Photo: Cia Pak for United Nations)

Haitians are not children of an inferior god.

God’s own pickney dem are not misbehaving children at boisterous play next-door who so often interrupt the conversations of “nice-nice” neighboring Jamaicans who, under lights, feign concern; while out of sight, our ministers have been “pushin’ out di lip” in fake sympathy at bruised knees, busted lips, and sprained thumbs.

How I boiled at Jamaica’s recent UN General Assembly presentation.

I wonder whether the homely minister was secretly enjoying the duplicity of Jamaica’s sad-faced presentation before that august seat of world power.

How noble! Yet transactionally cynical, to pitch for US dollar hazard-pay to our armed forces—tax collectable in Jamaica—, to be part of a historic expeditionary force authorised by the UNSC—no less—to pacify that place now in wretched turmoil: while betraying desperate refugee brethren who are only seeking help from their kith and kin concentrated in Portland, St Thomas, and the rest of Eastern Jamaica.

Oh how we softly croon gentle lullabies of tender care, at dusk, as night is drawing nigh, before UN, OAS, CARICOM, and the world’s press and its cameras, while we hastily cast out their few desperate and weakened but brave women with babies and men seeking refuge….back into harm, to dem yaahd, with ‘Best Wishes and Sanitary Napkins‘, under defense force darkness and the shadows of night ova deh.

OUR TODAY: National flag of the Republic of Haiti.

The JUGGCC, as a body representing the moral values of our community, should not appear to care less about the prettied-up barbarity being inflicted upon the Haitian refugees to Jamaica.

It is essential that we advocate for justice, compassion, and humanity in our response to this crisis. Our actions in helping those in need speak volumes about the character of our nation and its people. Let us not forget the fundamental principles of empathy and solidarity as we navigate these challenging times.

**Foreign Affairs Minister Kamina Johnson Smith : Senator the Honourable Kamina Johnson Smith is an Attorney-at-Law by profession, with approximately 15 years at the Jamaican Bar. She is an acknowledged expert in French, Jamaica's obligations under International Law, and Local Law . She is also an expert trade negotiator....








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