Please, Minister Johnson Smith, help stranded Jamaicans!

Letters to the Editor

Please, Minister Johnson Smith, help stranded Jamaicans!

Thursday, July 16, 2020

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Dear Editor,

The following is an open letter to Kamina Johnson Smith, minister of foreign affairs and foreign trade:

I wish, like so many others both locally and internationally, to offer my words of praise and high commendation to you and the Andrew Holness-led Administration for its handling of the novel coronavirus pandemic in Jamaica.

COVID-19 has ravaged many superior economies, shut borders, and caused the death of thousands worldwide. And, whilst I acknowledge the Government's vigilance, I wish, via this medium, to bring to light the plight of over 60 Jamaicans stranded in the country of Antigua since the outbreak, and possibly other small territories within the region that are desperately in need of repatriation home.

As I gather, many have been stranded and made repeated attempts to return with several postponements from Caribbean Airlines; this after being given confirmed dates and paying for tickets. The situation continues to worsen as we speak. Many have now found themselves in financial difficulty due to the lack of employment, and they have been unable to earn for months and now face grave uncertainty, even as it concerns the basic amenities of food and shelter.

The most recent incident saw a confirmed date for flights in June, with monies being paid and upon approaching the date of the flight they were told no scheduled flights are seen for those dates. I use this medium to plead on their behalf, asking for your urgent intervention through lobbying or contacting the airline.

Many are desperate to come home and want to be reunited with their families who have been deprived of them even since the onset of the pandemic. Please, Minister Johnson Smith, help these stranded Jamaicans.

John Constantine Henry

Cedar Grove

Portmore, St Catherine

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