Our communal shame

| 08/07/2014

It is settled law that the Cayman Islands is subject to the European Convention on Human Rights and in particular the protection of refugees. The ancient 1999 treaty between the Cayman Islands and Cuba clearly violates that treaty but Cayman Islands Government has been bound by Cuban rope in continuing to implement what is clearly an inhumane policy. Semantic debates on refugees and migrants should be ignored.

The repeated delays by the Cuban Government to meet and settle a new treaty is unconscionable at best and lethal at worst.

Talk like this in Cuba would rush me to a long term cell reservation at Kilo 7 in Camaguey but Cayman is no Cuba and these Islands have the strong beating heart of humane democracy.

The Cayman Islands is not a cold war satellite of Cuba and should not be a pawn in the implementation of their domestic policy.

History is replete with the conflict of officials ordered to effect immoral or illegal acts. During the holocaust the Nazis propped up their execution squads with a steady flow of alcohol. When the ghosts of Cubans casualties rise from their watery grave to torment those responsible, some will no doubt seek the solace of liquor.

Immigration officers slapping biscuits from the hands of refugees do not bode well for our Cayman Kind promotion.

Our competitor in tourism can sit back and laugh as we approach the brink of boycott by foreign entities who do not take kindly to human rights abuses.

The past treatment of the LGBT community saw much back paddling when there was a threat of international fallout.

Forewarned is forearmed.

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Category: Viewpoint

Comments (29)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    you have to hand it to the CMA, they are always up in arms about movies being shown in cayman that doesn't go along with their beliefs, but not a word about the treatman of their fellow man. I do wonder where they stand on "Love thy neighbour" or the good Samaritan.

  2. Anonymous says:

    It is shocking to think that our Government officials would support an agreement with a communist country to the point of refusing food, fuel, water, and medicine to those people fleeing.

    We are more concerned about our legal agreement with our atheistic, communist neighbor than with the fact that these are people–humans just like us– who risk their lives and often lose their lives just for a little taste of freedom which we enjoy.

    I know we can't absorb them all–that is a given.  But it is a  huge violation of human rights when we refuse to give a thirsty man or woman water and threats are made against Caymanians who show them understanding and concern and help them on their way to a country where they will be accepted.  As Peter puts it, it is a communal disgrace and shame to the people of this island.

    I challenge Mr. Manderson to do something about this. No one should illtreat another human being with impunity.  Marjorie

     

  3. Anonymous says:

    How is sending them back to Cuba inhumane? Cuba is supposed to be a great place, all the UN committees say so.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Our government signs an agreement with an officially atheist communist country, we bind ourselves to an agreement in which we pledge to abuse and oppress human beings, and yet we have the callous audacity to display a crest with "He hath founded it upon the seas". The "he" they are talking about  must be Satan because my mama taught me that "God don't love ugly".  Only people in collusion with the devil would be so heartless. The fact that we yoked ourselves to this agreement says all there is to say about the moral fibre of this land.  What happened to "love they neighbour"? And what of "Be ye not unequally yoked with unbelievers"?

    We enshrine our self-proclaimed "Christian" values in the introduction page of the Constitution but collude with a godless political system to cast people back tout into those seas without food or water. How utterly shameful!

    I place a good part of the blame on the churches of these islands. Over the years the churches have taught countless people in these islands that as long as you dress up all pretty on Sunday and throw some dollars into the plate and pay nice-sounding lip service to God, you are a good and fine Christian – no matter that you tolerate and encourage oppressing and rejecting the needy.

    Until I hear and see an uprising of these supposed "Christians" and their churches against government's horrid policy, I will continue to be of the opinion that the churches here are basically worthless institutions filled with pompous hypocrites.

  5. Stand up and fight! says:

    Why this policy? Two things. 1. Cuba likes it in hopes to discourage its people from fleeing. 2. Cayman Islands loves it. The powers that be hopes to discourage Cubans from fleeing to either of the 3 Islands. In addition, this is a cost savings measure, again with the hope that fleeing Cubans will avoid the Cayman Islands for they know they are not welcome here. A sad shame that should make everyone who lives here hang their head. The next time there’s a boat at the dock or out on the water, I’m going to provide food, water, clothes and whatever else maybe needed. Arrest me. You won’t break my commitment to help those that are in need and essentially helpless. This policy is inhumane and any support from past, present and future governments and its employees, elected or otherwise, is to be called out and never be made to forget.

  6. MEM says:

    Caymanians don't even treat eachother humanely, are we really expecting more??

  7. Nicholas Robson says:

    Well said Peter, I have been arguing this for a number of years. I may not be an attorney, but having studied the subject at post-graduate level and as a graduate of the Internatinal Human Rights Academy, whose lecturers were senior Eurpoean jurists, who in fact had drafted UN human rights treaties, I agree with you wholehartedly.

     

    Nicholas Robson

    Director-General – Cayman Institute 

  8. Islanddancer says:

    Mr. Polack I am trying to get in touch with you. patricia.bryan@ymail.com or send your contact information. You are making some great points and setting some

  9. Anonymous says:

    Tell me Peter, how does Jamaica, sweet Jamaica, deal with the issue?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Castro doesn't listen to nobody he set his own rules.The government will continue footing the bill for years to come.

  11. Anonymous says:

    and we supposed to be a christian failing society lmao

  12. marius voiculescu says:

    This is easily explainable.  Human rights conventions appear to be an afterthought to the ones in charge of upholding the laws of this country.   Not when there are innocent people to convict, and far more important cases to pursue – I can think of that doggie case that involved Ms. Catron as an example.  I mean, alleged "doggie kidnappings" should always take precendence over the rights of human refugees.  There is no incentive to do better – not when you're getting paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for the same old poor/nonexistent results…

  13. Anonymous says:

    The Cayman Island's treatment of refugees matches their treatment of domestic animals…..generally inhumane.  For a supposedly 'Christian' island there is an un-Christian and uncharitable culture not that far below the surface.  It's a crying shame as there are a lot of lovely individuals on the island which somehow doesn't translate to a lovely society.  Is it government?  Education?  Immigration?  

  14. Diogenes says:

    Is it settled law?  Can you cite a case?

    • Anonymous says:

      Ebanks v. UK at the European level and Gong v. CDH China Management domestically. 

      • Anonymous says:

        You are quoting real law, rather than made up law.  Made up law is more important on CNS, especially if derived from watching American movies.  You can get a degree in made up law by watching three box sets of CSI.

        • Denning says:

          Gillow?

          • Anonymous says:

            Pretty much made up law really, certainly as far as the expansive impact argued for with predicatble monotony on CNS.  Gillow never took hold, has not been followed in modern law and is an anachronous outlier which, at best, will be very narrowly interpreted.

    • Gopher says:

      That's right, he's just making it up as he goes along…  Umm, let's use a bit of logic here:  Cayman Islands bound to ECHR bound to protection of refugees.  Pretty simple.  Following yet?  Unless you somehow disagree that the Cayman Islands should not be following the laws that they are bound to…

      • Diogenes says:

        All I asked was for a citation demonstrating that it was settled law binding Cayman as asserted. You are of course aware that even the UK has not ratified all aspects of the Convention, and the BOTs have differing positions on various Protocols in the Convention – or are you just "making it up as you go along"?   Its a simple question, but I guess its easier to dismiss it as somehow illogical, than answer it, particularly if you have no detailed understanding of the subject.  Why don't you get back in your burrow if you cannot answer the question, and stop patronising others asking perfectly reasonable questions. 

        • Anonymous says:

          The Convention was extended to the Cayman Islands without any difference in scope as the obligations accepted by the UK.

          • Anonymous says:

            Gillow. Read it.

            • Anonymous says:

              You are clutching at straws with that one. 

            • Anonymous says:

              Gillow never took hold, has not been followed in modern law and is an anachronous outlier which, at best, will be very narrowly interpreted.  There is certainly no "Gillow exception" as argued with monontony on this site.

              • Anonymous says:

                Which is why it is referred to academically as the small island exception to account for those circumstances where it would be simply wong to demand compliance. Italy, for example, can be expeted to accommodate 100,000 refuees. We cannot. Gillow recogises that.

        • Gopher says:

          Whether it is settled law or not is not really the point.  The actions of the Cayman Government vis-a-vis the Cuban refugees are inhumane.  Stop trying to redirect.  Get it?

  15. Anonymous says:

    Well said!

    Cayman top level officials are inept, and the society (with few exceptions) is uptight and replete with Inhumane actions….or inactions!