The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) yesterday said it is deeply disturbed by reports about the use of derogatory and repulsive language by the President of the United States, Donald Trump, in respect of a member state, Haiti, and other developing countries.
“CARICOM condemns in the strongest terms, the unenlightened views reportedly expressed.
Of additional concern, is this pattern of denigrating Haiti and its citizens in what seems to be a concerted attempt to perpetuate a negative narrative of the country.
“We are especially saddened that such narrative emerged around the time of the anniversary of the devastating 2010 earthquake which took so many lives of citizens in that country,” a CARICOM statement explained.
The regional body also said it is expressing its full support for the dignified statement of the Government of the Republic of Haiti in reaction to this highly offensive reference.
“It should be recalled that Haiti is the second democracy in the Western Hemisphere after the United States and that Haitians continue to contribute significantly in many spheres to the global community and particularly to the United States of America. CARICOM therefore views this insult to the character of the countries named and their citizens as totally unacceptable.”
During a meeting with members of Congress on Thursday to discuss immigration, Trump reportedly became irate and questioned why the US was allowing people from El Salvador, Haiti and Africa to enter the country.
“What do we want Haitians here for?” Trump asked. “Why do we want all these people from Africa here? Why do we want all these people from shithole countries?”
He then added: “We should have people from places like Norway.”
Trump appeared to deny using the phrase in a tweet early Friday: “The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used. What was really tough was the outlandish proposal made – a big setback for DACA!”
Botswana summoned the American ambassador to express its displeasure over the remarks and called on the African Union and regional leadership bodies in Africa to condemn Trump over his comments.
“The government of Botswana is wondering why President Trump must use this descriptor and derogatory word when talking about countries with whom the U.S. has had cordial and mutually beneficial relations for so many years.”
The world reacted with shock, anger and a tinge of humour over US President Donald Trump’s “shithole countries” remarks, with governments, civic and political organisations, and individuals labelling the President’s comments irresponsible and racist.
Africans across the continent felt especially aggrieved by Trump’s crude remarks, but some using the hashtag #shithole with beautiful photos of sunsets, elephants grazing on plains and other pretty images. Others were not so lighthearted.
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