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Haitian Relations Still 'Strong' Despite Corruption Allegations

Foreign Affairs Minister Darren Henfield.

Foreign Affairs Minister Darren Henfield.

By RIEL MAJOR

Tribune Staff Reporter

rmajor@tribunemedia.net

AFTER an investigation into alleged corruption at the Haitian Embassy in Nassau led to the removal of some diplomats, Foreign Affairs Minister Darren Henfield said the relationship between the Bahamas and Haiti still remains “strong”.

Speaking to reporters at Cabinet yesterday, Mr Henfield said he talks regularly with his Haitian counterpart.

He said: “Bocchit (Haiti’s foreign minister) and I talk regularly, in this instance we weren’t able to as we would have hoped...(we) kept missing each other. I think we have a strong relationship, I think the relationship must remain strong in the interest of both of our countries.

“There are strong traditional and strong historical ties between us. Of course, you know we have a large Haitian diaspora in the Bahamas. There’s an embassy here and we have an embassy there, so our relationship is very strong.”

On Monday, The Tribune reported that Haiti’s Foreign Affairs Minister Bocchit Edmond told Le Nouvelliste, a Haitian newspaper, the inquiry into corruption at the Haitian embassy here has revealed “unacceptable situations” and “wrongdoing”.

Officials from Haiti arrived in Nassau in July to conduct its investigation. They focused on claims the embassy was involved in getting visas for Haitians and finding fake partners for them to marry to gain status in The Bahamas.

The Tribune recently reported that since the commission completed its work, five Haitian embassy officials have been transferred out of the country, including former Chargé d’Affaires François Michel.

Another former embassy official, former First Secretary Adras Andirs, has resigned.

Yesterday Mr Henfield said at the earliest opportunity he and Mr Edmond will discuss “ongoing” issues relating to strategic plans left in place by the prime minister following his last visit.

He said: “These are ongoing discussions, how do we settle limiting our boundaries or how do we come up with a Shiprider Agreement that will allow the Royal Bahamas Defence Force to assist Haitian national police in policing their maritime space?

“‘How do we mitigate illegal migration from Haiti to The Bahamas? How do we come up with a regulated migration programme that will stop Haitians from risking their lives on unseaworthy barks trying to come to The Bahamas to find a better way of life?’”

When asked about the five Haitian embassy officials that were transferred out of the country, Mr Henfield said: “I read the same reports that you did, and I have no other information other than what’s already in the public domain.

“What’s been published in newspapers in Haiti and what’s been published in our papers locally. I was supposed to speak with (Mr) Bocchit who is still the foreign minister for Haiti, and we haven’t been able to connect so I don’t know any more than you do at the moment.”

Comments

Schemer18 1 month ago

All I could do is LOL!

".He said: “Bocchit (Haiti’s foreign minister) and I talk regularly, in this instance we weren’t able to as we would have hoped...(we) kept missing each other. I think we have a strong relationship, I think the relationship must remain strong in the interest of both of our countries.

“There are strong traditional and strong historical ties between us. Of course, you know we have a large Haitian diaspora in the Bahamas. There’s an embassy here and we have an embassy there, so our relationship is very strong.”

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 month ago

Thanks to the FNM party we now have two of 'them' in parliament and our very dimwitted PM gave both of them cabinet posts. And of course we all know to which country and to which people both of them owe most of their loyalty. It will not be long now before Bahamians find themselves to be second class citizens in their own country. I am bi-lingual - English and French - which means if I listen carefully enough I can understand a great deal of what is said in Creole. And most Bahamians would not believe what the Haitian community in the Bahamas talks about almost every evening on the radio waves....the invasion has moved to whole new level.

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TheMadHatter 1 month ago

Absolutely 100% correct. They are taking FULL advantage of Bahamian D-average ignorance.

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joeblow 1 month ago

A strong relationship with Haiti has only yielded benefits for Haiti. When will the Bahamas derive some benefits from this one sided relationship?

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Giordano 4 weeks ago

There was and THERE IS CORRUPTION, those are NO MORE ALLEGATIONS because an investigation was carried on and the results are probed...,and for so many decades a lot of MILLIONS OF DOLLARS have been stolen by members of cabinet for there own personal gain under big time impunity. They must be removed from their post and arrested immediately plus returning the MONEY BACK. An embassy here and an embassy there do not give "The Green Light" to sell the sovereignty of the nation and pimp an ex-patriot with a native female for a large-additional amount of MONEY NOT REPORTED to the national treasury. This form of "KICK BACK CORRUPTION" must have an immediate end in all government and private instances .

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