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Haitians Hurt By Move To Suspend Visas

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

HAITIAN Foreign Minister Bocchit Edmond said yesterday that the suspension of visa issuance to Haitian nationals is damaging to the people of his country. 

He said he relayed this to his Bahamian counterpart Darren Henfield during a meeting yesterday, urging him to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.

Mr Henfield has said visa issuance to Haitians has been suspended because of technical issues recently uncovered. Officials have not elaborated on the nature of the issue, and Mr Edmond suggested he is not aware of the problems discovered. 

“I understand and respect the sovereign decision of the Bahamas but on the other hand we believe such a decision can be very damaging for our community here because we have a large community and possibly people may want to invite their family members, brothers and sisters to visit for weddings, or funeral or so,” he said at a press conference at the Hilton. “We understand that measures had to be taken but as I requested to the minister, we will be very happy for the decision on the technical issues to be resolved quickly because we believe such a decision will certainly affect our community here.”

Mr Edmond also emphasised his desire to restore the image of Haiti’s local embassy here. Officials arrived from Haiti in Nassau in July to conduct an 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 investigation was prompted by local reports, Mr Edmond said.

One step the embassy recently took to improve its standing was to recall the now former Haitian Chargé d’Affaires François Michel, he said.  

“The fact that our embassy was named in relation to suspicious activity, that was not right and we were offended by that and we had to take this decision to restore that dignity and that trust,” he said.

Comments

joeblow 1 year, 1 month ago

... he's complaining about visas when the Bahamas has been hurt by Haitian drain on health, education and social services to the tune of multiplied millions possibly billions of dollars over the past 20 years, not including the importation of TB into this country? Is this guy serious?

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year, 1 month ago

Darren Henfield should have long ago told Bocchit Edmond that the suspension of visa issuance to Haitian nationals will continue until such time that the Bahamas government is satisfied that the Haitian government has (i) implemented measures to intercept fleeing Haitians before they reach Bahamian waters and (ii) agreed to repatriate and fully reimburse our public treasury for all illegal Haitian nationals deported by the Bahamas.

If Minnis had 'a pair' and was the least bit sincere about fighting the Haitian invasion of our country, his cabinet would direct Henfield (who is of Haitian heritage) not to resume issuing visas to Haitian nationals until the Haitian government has demonstrated over a sustained period of time a good faith effort to significantly reduce the number of Haitian nationals who illegally enter the Bahamas by both sea and air.

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birdiestrachan 1 year, 1 month ago

No one can blame the man he is looking out for his home people. the Haitians.

Who is looking out for Bahamians?? NOBODY.

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