PM’s Garcia visit was only right
By David Comissiong | Fri, June 22, 2012 - 12:00 AM()
Mr Colin Jordan’s reported statement about Prime Minister Freundel Stuart’s visiting Mr Raul Garcia at Dodds Prisons does not reflect well on this erstwhile president of the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association.
The simple fact is that Mr Stuart has an immediate and direct responsibility for Mr Garcia, a stateless non-national who is currently awaiting deportation.
Mr Stuart, after all, is the Minister With Responsibility For Immigration, and Mr Garcia is nothing more or less than an “Immigration detainee”.
The only reason Mr Garcia is incarcerated is because the Minister Responsible For Immigration (Mr Stuart) has exercised the power granted to him under the Immigration Act and has ordered that Mr Garcia be detained in custody at Dodds Prisons.
Thus, Mr Garcia is Prime Minister Stuart’s direct responsibility, and so, when Mr Garcia went on a hunger strike (because of his incarceration) and found himself in considerable distress and danger, it was only reasonable to expect Mr Stuart to visit him.
I would hope that Mr Jordan is capable of perceiving the link between Barbados’ international reputation and the fortunes of our tourism industry. And once that link is appreciated, then surely Mr Jordan must recognize that Barbados is being harmed by this continued incarceration of an unfortunate stateless person
in a punitive prison facility that is designed to punish convicted felons.
Instead of seeking to trivialize Mr Garcia’s plight, Mr Jordan should be urging Prime Minister Stuart to act with expedition to bring an end to the tragic scenario of a stateless person being indefinitely detained in a maximum security prison more than two years after completing his sentence.
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