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Haiti ‘In No Position To Help’ Displaced Residents

Homes in ruins one week after Hurricane Dorian hit The Mudd community in Abaco. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

Homes in ruins one week after Hurricane Dorian hit The Mudd community in Abaco. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Deputy Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

MANY displaced residents of The Mudd and Pigeon Peas shanty towns are wedged between a rock and a hard place because Haiti is in no position to accept them and their homes in Abaco have been completely wiped out.

Haiti has no functioning government; its parliament is not in session and it doesn’t have a national budget.

This was the opinion of Haitian Chargé d'Affaires Dorval Darlier yesterday, who said while he agrees with the government’s six-month construction ban in unregulated communities in Abaco, it highlights the uncertainty and fears of people who once called these places home. On Sunday, the government issued a ban ordering no new construction in those communities. The ban will be enforced for six months or longer if government sees the need.

But with Haiti’s government remaining in turmoil, Mr Darlier was noncommittal on advising people to return there. “You know we are in a situation of crisis right now,” Mr Darlier told The Tribune yesterday.

“We don’t have no legitimate government in place as you know. On both sides, there’s a lot of pressure. There are a lot of problems so to speak. We try to see what the best way to assist them (is), but in fact we are waiting.

“I’m not in the position to tell them go back or to stay. It’s up to them to know and see and wait (according) to the position they are …if they want to go back, if they want to stay. If they can stay, they stay. If they have to go, they have go,” he said.

Asked if his government planned to assist with accommodations for undocumented migrants and those of Haitian decent, Mr Darlier told The Tribune: “It’s early, but both governments are going to sit together very soon because we can come to an agreement to see what we’re going to do.”

But according to him, the Bahamas government has yet to agree to discussions.

He also said: “I am still waiting on my government to indicate how it can assist with the housing situation. I think you know we don’t have the government in place. There is no budget, absolutely nothing.

“We are waiting for the parliament. It is still not functioning that’s where we are stuck for now.”

Given the situation, Mr Darlier said he, along with the scores of displaced people, are depending on the compassion of the Bahamas government.

“I know the Bahamian government is very compassionate over the Haitian people and we are still waiting to see the best (way) they can help.

“We still expecting the best from them to continue to support Haitians because the Bahamians support Haitians for years and I’m still hoping they still have the good heart to continue,” he said.

Regarding the construction ban, Mr Darlier said: “Whatever decision the government has made I had to respect it. The land is not the Haitian community’s land, it’s for the government and they have to do what they feel is best for the country.”

On Sunday, the Ministry of Housing and Environment issued an order prohibiting the construction of residential or commercial buildings in The Mudd, Pigeon Peas, Sand Bank and Farm Road communities of Abaco.

The areas were flattened by Hurricane Dorian.

Before the hurricane decimated them, they had more than 1,000 homes and an estimated population size of 3,500, according to government reports.

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis has said buildings in these communities were of inferior construction and were not up to safety codes.

Until a plan for the areas has been finalised, the government plans to erect tent cities to get people back to Grand Bahama and Abaco.

Earlier this month, Mr Darlier appealed to the government to grant temporary asylum to undocumented migrants affected by Hurricane Dorian.

Last December, head of the Shanty Town Action Task Force, Senator Dion Foulkes said most shanty town dwellers across Abaco have legal status permitting them to reside in the country.

Comments

joeblow 1 month ago

Haiti has a constitutional mandate to take back its citizens. The country's current state has nothing to do with us!

IF this is not handled right and quickly there will be troubling days ahead!

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SP 1 month ago

Welcome to the club! The Bahamas has a "functioning government" and also cannot care for our own people right now, so we certainly better not be dupped into trying to care for illegal Haitians!

Regardless of Haiti's political and social problems, The Bahamas and tax-paying Bahamians ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE for their illegal migrants.

These people were an unsustainable burden on the country long before Dorian, and the situation is now quadruply magnified. Minnis and crew better get this right and immediately begin repatriating illegals at all cost before they cause more irreparable damage to the country!

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 month ago

Haiti has no functioning government; its parliament is not in session and it doesn’t have a national budget.

But with Haiti’s government remaining in turmoil, Mr Darlier was noncommittal on advising people to return there. “You know we are in a situation of crisis right now,” Mr Darlier told The Tribune yesterday.

“We don’t have no legitimate government in place as you know. On both sides, there’s a lot of pressure. There are a lot of problems so to speak. We try to see what the best way to assist them (is), but in fact we are waiting.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 month ago

The quotes from this article that I posted immediately above are horribly self-serving of Mr. Darlier because he refuses to acknowledge that they are prescient of what lies ahead in the not too distant future for the Bahamas and all Bahamians. Previous PMs of The Bahamas (Pindling, Ingraham and Christie) did nothing to protect the Bahamian people from the illegal Haitian invasion and, in fact, all three of them actually exacerbated the problem by introducing more and more irresponsible social handout policies that only served as a magnet for more Haitians to illegally enter our country. Many of their asinine social policies have caused very burdensome tax increases on 'true' Bahamian citizens in order to give benefits of one kind or another to the enormous and ever-growing illegal Haitian community with absolutely no strings attached.

Now Minnis has the hot potato in his hands. Is he too going to turn a blind eye to this most critical problem that is literally strangling our country to death? Is Minnis going to allow the Bahamas to be transformed overnight into another Haiti? It seems we may have already become a satellite state of Haiti. Will our 'true' Bahamian grandchildren and great grandchildren be sold-out and doomed by a political leader who may be under the very misguided notion that he's God's gift to mankind?

The nonchalance of Minnis to date towards the illegal Haitian community would seem to indicate he is suffering from a twisted form of the 'Saviour Complex', a psychological disorder that often afflicts medical doctors who have weaker minds. As applied to the Bahamas and the Bahamian people, Minnis may actually believe in a very warped way that he must somehow offer up the Bahamas as a sanctuary state for the Haitian people even if doing so means sacrificing the way of life, the heritage, culture and needs of the 'true' Bahamian people.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 month ago

Haitian Chargé d'Affaires Dorval Darlier readily states: "Haiti has no functioning government; its parliament is not in session and it doesn’t have a national budget." And he then goes on to admit that: “We {the Haitian people} don’t (sic) have no legitimate government in place as you know."

All Bahamians should take a moment and carefully reflect on the great significance of these very shocking revelations by the Haitian Chargé d'Affaires in The Bahamas. Much more importantly though, our Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Darren Henfield (a creole speaking man of Haitian ancestry), should be asked by the Bahamian people to explain how is it that Haiti can possibly have an official diplomatically recognized embassy in The Bahamas purportedly staffed by Haitian diplomatic personnel against the backdrop of Mr. Darlier's very telling revelations. By his very own admission, even Mr. Darlier himself has no official legal or diplomatic standing in The Bahamas. Our own government has a duty to explain this unacceptable situation to the Bahamian people, and the sooner the better.

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sealice 1 month ago

Wait Haiti says they "can't" accept them..... Dese ya tings bey we bringin dem back to you at NO CHARGE!!! you should be grateful we so nice.....

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 month ago

President Trump apparently was not happy to learn that The Bahamas was absent for a key vote at a meeting of the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) on September 11, 2019. The vote resulted in the adoption of a U.S. backed resolution opening the possibility of invading the sovereign territory of Venezuela with the obvious intention of toppling the unofficial government of Nicolás Maduro, a brutal undemocratic military-backed regime.

I can just hear President Trump's snarly remark on learning of the absence of The Bahamas for this key vote given the many millions of dollars of rescue, recovery and relief support recently (and still being) provided by the U.S. government to The Bahamas in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian. Also, it does not help that the Xi-led communist regime opposed the adoption of the resolution for its own strategic reasons that are not at all aligned with the national security interests of the U.S. Our absence for the key vote likely signals to President Trump and his advisors that we are at least sympathetic to Red China's interests in the outcome of the political turmoil in Venezuela if not beholden to Chairman Xi's expansionary interests in the western hemisphere.

Perhaps our Minister of Foreign Affairs, Darren Henfield, may be kind enough to explain why the Bahamas was not present at the OAS meeting to vote in favour of the adoption of the resolution which, fortunately, ended up being adopted in any event.

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TalRussell 1 month ago

Regardless immigration status the employer cannot deny comrade undocumented workers from receiving the same wage and worker rights as other any other worker, yes, no ....

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Edwardestime 1 month ago

I’m always amazed reading or hearing how Bahamians talk about Haitians and the inhuman treatments we endured from our so called brother. If any one of you would take the time to read about your own history or the history of slavery, you would quickly realize that the Haitians, the Jamaicans, all of us of Africans descents are your brothers/sisters. The notion of self hate among us black people is appalling. I pray the day we free ourselves from slavery.

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joeblow 1 month ago

... you are obviously clueless of what you speak. The average Bahamian has no problem with Haitians or any other person who have come LEGALLY, married Bahamians or obtained work permits LEGALLY. They are rightly concerned about the vast numbers that have come in ILLEGALLY, obtained "papers" illegally and are upsetting the social order. Bahamians are concerned about competing for jobs with ILLEGALS in this country who believe they are entitled simply because of their numbers. Bahamians are concerned about Haitians creating ghettos with subpar construction when we have to go through the rigors of obtaining building permits etc. Any right thinking person can see the inequities. This is not a race thing this is a social justice thing that cannot be understood by outsiders OR those who benefit from Haitian illegality!

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