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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05GEORGETOWN1318
2005-12-16 19:49:00
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Georgetown
Cable title:  

CARICOM Likely to Observe Haiti Elections

Tags:   PREL  KDEM  CARICOM  GY  HA  XL 
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VZCZCXRO8485
RR RUEHGR
DE RUEHGE #1318 3501949
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 161949Z DEC 05
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2893
INFO RUEHZH/HAITI COLLECTIVE
RUCNCOM/EC CARICOM COLLECTIVE
						UNCLAS GEORGETOWN 001318 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KDEM CARICOM GY HA XL
SUBJECT: CARICOM Likely to Observe Haiti Elections




1. SUMMARY. CARICOM officials communicated two wildly
inconsistent messages on December 15 regarding the CARICOM's
intention to send observers to the upcoming Haitian
elections. CARICOM official told PolOff that CARICOM has
not made a decision yet whether to send observers but
continues to follow the situation closely. Conversely, Hugh
Cholmondeley, who heads the CARICOM Task Force on Haiti,
said later in the day that CARICOM would send a team of at
least six to observe the Haiti elections. Cholmondeley's
statement that the observer mission will happen is far more
credible. END SUMMARY.



2. PolOff spoke with CARICOM Programme Manager for Foreign
Policy and Community Relations Charmaine Atkinson-Jordan
midday December 15 to gauge CARICOM's intent to observe the
upcoming Haitian elections. She said that CARICOM has not
made a decision yet and expressed doubt that the scheduled
January 8 election date would hold. She said that although
Cholmondeley was closest to the issue, St. Lucian Prime
Minister Kenny Anthony, as CARICOM's current Chairman of
Conference, would have to take the lead in pushing for the
observer mission. Atkinson-Jordan said CARICOM's decision
whether to send observers will depend on two key issues:
-- Availability of funding. She said that two or more years
ago CARICOM had set aside some funding for a Haiti
observation mission never undertaken. CARICOM is now
ascertaining whether these funds are still available to use
for a Haiti observer mission at this time. Regardless, she
indicated that CARICOM would need additional funds quickly
in order to send a mission.
-- Security situation. In light of the hostile reception
that the Dominican President Fernandez received earlier this
week, she said that CARICOM is reluctant to send observers
into such a volatile security situation.



3. Also on December 15, EconOff attended a media outreach
event hosted by CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Edwin
Carrington at CARICOM's headquarters. During the session
Cholmondeley said that CARICOM would send observers to
Haiti. He said his remark was "off-the-record" but made it
in Carrington's presence. He said that funding was in place
for the team of six observers and that the international
community has asked CARICOM to supply an additional twenty
observers. He said that CARICOM is prepared to send the
additional observers and funding exists to logistically
support them, but CARICOM must still secure funding to pay
their salaries.



4. COMMENT. The contradictory message on observers for
Haitian elections reflects an organizational disconnect at
CARICOM. However, Cholmondeley's statement that the
observer mission will happen is far more credible. He is
the senior-most CARICOM official dealing exclusively with
Haiti and he is Carrington's confidante. It is highly
unlikely that he would confirm the plan to send observers in
front of the media and Carrington if the decision were still
pending. END COMMENT.

BULLEN