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CARICOM chairman attacks western countries

Grenada’s Prime Minister Tillman Thomas, the new chairman of the Caribbean Community, Sunday wasted no time in criticizing the international community for failing to meet financial pledges to earthquake-ravaged Haiti saying the region will continue pressing developed nations to honor obligations on behalf of the region’s most populous member state.

“The tragedy has continued with the dilatory response of the international community in meeting its financial pledges to assist in the reconstruction of Haiti. Not even a quarter of the amounts pledged had been delivered with the consequent deleterious, ruinous and slothful effect on the rebuilding process,” he said in a statement.

Thomas will run the community as chairman until the main annual summit in July when Suriname’s Desi Bouterse takes over.

He said that Haiti’s plight was not at all helped by an outbreak of the deadly cholera disease that handed already overburdened Haitian authorities additional challenges as he pledged the region’s continued assistance to the island.

He also said that the structure of the Guyana-based CARICOM headquarters will undergo changes following the yearend retirement of Tobago-born Secretary General Edwin Carrington after 18 years.

He praised Carrington for “tireless and inspiring” leadership as he announced plans to honor Carrington with the region’s highest honor, the Order of the Caribbean Community most likely at the Grenada half-year summit next month or at the conference in July in Suriname.

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