Haiti – Sensitive files : The Embassy of Haiti tries to have explanations with the Chancellor of Bahamian
Anthony Brutus, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of the Embassy of Haiti in the Bahamas recently met with Chancellor of Bahamas Darren Henfield regarding several sensitive issues between Haiti and the Bahamas, in order to have official explanations.
Extension of restrictions on travel from Haiti :
Henfield explained the need for the Government of the Bahamas to extend the suspension of travel or transit from Haiti, linking this decision by the Bahamas to the global effort to reduce the spread of Covid-19. He said the Bahamas, like the majority of countries in the region, was actively implementing a vaccination program to ensure the safe travel of Bahamians, residents and tourists, as well as the reopening of the national economy.
Anthony Brutus said he would consult his Government on the means by which Haiti would join the Bahamas in this effort and allow the return to normal of flights between the two countries.
Review of obtaining visas for Haitian nationals :
Regarding Haiti’s concerns about obtaining visas for the Bahamas using the current visa process, Henfield informed that there were a number of technical issues with the online process that needed to be corrected but that the process would resume thereafter.
Anthony Brutus proposed a review of the facilitation for Haitian nationals holding Canadian, Schengen (Europe), British and American visas, which would allow a beneficial increase in the travel of Haitian tourists to the Bahamas. Henfield said he will have this proposal reviewed.
Regarding the demolition of unregulated housing on Abaco :
Chancellor Henfield reiterated the position of the Government of the Bahamas with regard to its laws on ownership and use of land, including the parameters of housing construction and reiterated its adherence to the courts judgment and government policy in construction of unregulated housing. He recalled that the demolition actions undertaken by the government had been made public before their execution, in particular on the need for the joint support of the Department of Social Services, the non-governmental organizations concerned and the well-established Haitian community. He asked Brutus to appeal to the most extensive ties of his Embassy to safeguard the interests of the Haitian diaspora in the Bahamas and to ensure their well-being.
Anthony Brutus is committed to working closely with Henfield and the Government of The Bahamas to bring the necessary and desired attention to these issues.
Derogatory statement on living and social conditions in Haiti :
Regarding recent statements Desmond Bannister Deputy Prime Minister Banaméen and Minister of Public Works who said Haiti had “dirt, garbage [and] shanty houses all over the place” Henfield admitted that the views expressed were unfortunate, but that they undoubtedly reflected the close relations between the Bahamas and Haitians, at the family and social levels. He expressed his regret. For these words and asked Brutus to transmit them to the Haitian authorities.
The meeting ended with the promise of renewed reflection on examples of other areas conducive to the enrichment of bilateral relations