How dare you: Haitians given warning over shanty town interference

A shanty town off Carmichael Road. Photo: Terrel W Carey/Tribune staff

A shanty town off Carmichael Road. Photo: Terrel W Carey/Tribune staff


Tribune Staff Reporter


THE Ministry of Foreign Affairs has told the Haitian Embassy in the Bahamas it will “not tolerate” the type of pronouncements a Haitian diplomat made earlier this week in reference to shanty town evictions, saying the comments “warranted the gravest concern” of the Bahamian government.

The strongly worded statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs came after Haitian government representative Karl Henri Chatelier told the media earlier this week of certain proposals that could be adopted instead of evicting shanty town residents on August 10. The ministry said based on Mr Chatelier’s comments, it appeared there was external interference in Bahamian domestic affairs.

In response, the Haitian Embassy has said “every effort would be made to ensure that the incident” does not happen again.

The press release was issued hours after Foreign Affairs Minister Darren Henfield told The Tribune it is “unusual” for diplomats to “inject” themselves into domestic policy, adding the government had not been contacted about the proposals prior to Mr Chatelier’s televised interview.

Earlier this week Mr Chatelier, Haitian Embassy first assistant secretary, told ZNS of the alternatives to eviction shanty town residents would like, while bettering the conditions of those areas. 

However, Mr Henfield said he was unaware of the Mr Chatelier’s alternatives until he read the story in Tuesday’s Tribune. 

Mr Chatelier’s suggestions included renovations that will bring shanty town residences up to building codes, leasing the land, and extending the eviction deadline.  

The ministry said it called chargé d’affaires of the Embassy of the Republic of Haiti to its headquarters yesterday to address “matters of concern” relating to these comments.

“Rhoda M Jackson, acting permanent secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, spoke frankly and deliberately to Mr François Michel, the chargé d’affaires, indicating that the public statements accredited to Mr Karl Henri Chatelier, first secretary in the Haitian Embassy, warranted the gravest concern of the Bahamian government, particularly as the position of the Haitian government, as reported in his name, gave the Bahamian government a sense of external interference in its domestic affairs,” the statement noted.

“Ms Jackson emphasised the sensitivity of the shanty town programme, especially in the government’s attempt to have all communities in the Bahamas integrated. She further stressed that, although the Bahamian government had always worked extremely closely with the Haitian government, it would not tolerate the type of pronouncements reported in the aforementioned daily.

“Mr Michel stated that the embassy was fully cognizant and respectful of the sovereignty of the Bahamas and sincerely regretted the impression given in the article that there was any level of interference on the part of the Haitian government in the internal affairs of the Bahamian government. Mr Michel stressed that every effort would be made to ensure that the incident would not reoccur.

“The Haitian representative referred to the longstanding cordial relations that existed between our two nations and assured the acting permanent secretary that the embassy would continue to make every effort to enhance the excellent mutual relationship between the Commonwealth of the Bahamas and the Republic of Haiti, and would address immediately the concerns deriving from the article to a satisfactory end,” the ministry’s statement concluded.

Earlier yesterday, when asked if Mr Chatelier’s proposals have been officially brought to the government, Mr Henfield said no. The foreign affairs minister also said that the government was not made aware of them at all. 

When asked if the government will consider the proposals, Mr Henfield said “no” it would not. 

“Let me just clarify that, right,” he added. “I instructed my ministry to summon the Haitian emissary to come to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and explain the assertions that he made in the paper, explain the statements that he made. 

“And I’m awaiting the report from my ministry to see what steps we will take. 

“I did this yesterday (Tuesday) upon learning of the story that was published in your paper, The Tribune,” Mr Henfield continued. 

“And so, it’s not usual for diplomats to inject themselves into domestic policy of other governments. That’s unusual. Without speaking to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – I was not aware of it. 

“Because I’m the conduit for all diplomats in the Bahamas to come to the government of the Bahamas. And we’re not aware of anything that they have done on this at all,” Mr Henfield said.  

In an interview broadcast Monday, the Haitian diplomat told ZNS shanty town residents are “willing to rebuild the shanty towns with their own possibilities.”  

He also said: “They will respect all the requirements, like the electricity, waters – everything and give another face to the shanty town. And allow the government Bahamian to have the happy ending and them too to live in a better place.” 

Purchasing or leasing the land is another option he wants the government to consider offering residents.

“They want to purchase or, if the government to allow them to, lease them, if they can have, if I can say, the accord, something that can allow them to stay on the land, and something legally. And they can pay every month, and they will rebuild the shanty town.” 

Ultimately, the Haitian government official said the August 10 eviction deadline is too soon, and that relocations will take more time.

“August 10, I don’t think the shanty (towns) will be ready. Because there’s a lot of families, they were quiet since June and the beginning of July, because they know the house was safe. But since last week, the storm was begging for them.”

However, Mr Chatelier admitted that the residents want to improve their standard of living. 

“They know their situation isn’t good,” he said. “And they know their condition is unsanitary. They don’t want to stay in that condition.”


BahamaPundit 5 years, 11 months ago

What an amazing time to be alive: Haitians dictating to the Bahamian Government what to do. Is Haiti the real Government? Has Haiti infiltrated the highest offices with spies and are now calling the shots? They certainly act like it. This Haitian diplomat should immediately be kicked out of the country!!!

SP 5 years, 11 months ago

Get rid of ALL the dam useless Haitian parasites!

joeblow 5 years, 11 months ago

No need for the government to talk, revoke work permits and deport every single one!

People bash Trump, but he's not afraid to act in what he believes is the best interest of his country!

spoitier 5 years, 11 months ago

Do you think the Government have enough funding to deport all of them? When you let a problem persist for so long, soon it will become to costly to fix. The Haitian ambassador shouldn't make a public comment in what to do in the Bahamas but the suggestion is the best alternative with upward of some 40,000 or so illegals in the country. You could imagine the amount of crime that will happened with 10,000-15,000 people running around because the government doesn't have the resources to gather up, contain, and feed them until the deportation process is finalize? It is easy to say blow the house up and start over but the truth is resources is needed to do it.

OMG 5 years, 11 months ago

I too have noticed that once a Hatien gets papers his or her attitude sometimes changes. On the other hand there are many Hatiens that obey the rules, work hard and contribute to the economy.

Well_mudda_take_sic 5 years, 11 months ago

The Bahamas should have long ago shut down both its embassy in Haiti and the embassy that Haiti has here in the Bahamas. As history has shown, the Bahamas stands to gain absolutely nothing from maintaining diplomatic ties with Haiti. In fact the opposite has been and will remain true. We have lost much and stand to lose so much more by maintaining diplomatic relations with Haiti. For decades now Bahamians have been losing their Bahamaland and way of life as a result of corrupt FNM and PLP governments alike pandering to an ever growing number of voters of Haitian descent. Their increasing strength in numbers will naturally bring increased aggressiveness and it is well known from the history of Haiti that the Haitian people are prone to violent behaviour to get what they want. In another decade or so they will constitute the majority in the Bahamas at which time they will insist on having majority rule of themselves and, if they deem it necessary, achieve control over Bahamians by violence. It's truly amazing how hard Bahamians fought for majority rule and how easily they are letting it be taken away from them.

DDK 5 years, 11 months ago

Dangerous stuff! This SHOULD have been nipped in the bud decades ago was it was easily doable. Just another example of grossly incompetent independent Bahamian governance.Not sure about ceasing diplomatic relations, though.

hrysippus 5 years, 11 months ago

I keep hearing this ignorant statement that Bahamians fought for majority rule. The Bahamians could have had majority rule decades before 1968 if they had just voted for a black candidate but instead they took the five pound note and voted for a white candidate. There were no battles, no one fought, no one won a battle and no one lost a battle. The whole world got caught up in a civil rights movement giving majority rule in dozens upon dozens of countries, the Bahamas was just swept along with an inevitable rearrangement of the political power structure. It is still continuing which is why Scotland wants to split from the united Kingdom and Abaco wants to secede from the Bahamas. I wish them both every success and applaud their desire for independent government.

TalRussell 5 years, 11 months ago

Ma Comrades, just Imperial red shirts cabinet outreach efforts for drop in unannounced check on residents community.... seems even the Haitian Embassy is confused over what is the real intention on Shantytowns by red shirts..... Immigration minister Brent gone silent? Trump is being asked what about the children of the parents/grandparents/guardians taken into custody by redcoats.... Oh yeah, so out place compare our PM to Trump?

BahamaPundit 5 years, 11 months ago

It doesn't look good for our immigration efforts, because, aside from being the poorest, Haiti is also the most populated. Haitians need to use birth control and stop popping out babies and sending them out to foreign lands to send money back home. The problem is only going to get worse if something is not done to rectify the Haitian sinking ship. Haitians must STOP REPRODUCING AT NUMBERS THEY CANNOT AFFORD!!!!! See excerpt below:

The one basic obstacle to democratic rule that has caused all the others: Haiti is one of the most overpopulated countries on earth. The United States has a population density of 70 persons per square mile. World population density is 100, Cuba's is 235 and China's is 325. Haiti's population density is almost 600 people per square mile. Even if the population of the world reaches the pessimistic projection of 15 billion people, it will have a population density of 260 people per square mile, less than half that of Haiti.

One 5 years, 11 months ago

This Bahamian against Haitian talk is distracting us from the issue; there are Bahamian's struggling in shanty towns too aka the ghettos of the Bahamas. The issue is affordable housing and livable wages. Improving our economy, improving our work force training, improving the opportunities in our country should be the focus. Haitians come here in search of a better life; their goal is not to destroy but to build a better future. Most of our Caribbean black ancestors arrived here through the inhuman practice of slavery we are a small nation of ~350k while most modern city's alone have populations in the millions. We need to stop hating one another and realize we're all brothers an sisters who need to work together for a brighter future. Government is a reflection of the people not the savior; it's up to us to improve.

bogart 5 years, 11 months ago


TalRussell 5 years, 11 months ago

Back in-day when we went an unnoticed colony of out islands by those seeking sunshine travelers saw our own Comrade black Bahamalanders by the many hundreds into the thousands set sail sought out and moved to Haiti for paycheques. Those black labourers not seeking economic refuge in Haiti were forced set sail to the USA to work in in what become known as “The Project” or as “The Contract.” Oh yes, indeed ourselves once set sail to strange land with different spoken language and did so by setting sail in cheaply made sail boats for dangerous voyage to Haiti and Southern USA. { Not making this up }.

The_Oracle 5 years, 11 months ago

White Bahamians worked in the U.S. in the "contracts" also Tal, just an FYI.

TalRussell 5 years, 11 months ago

Ma Comrade The_Oracle, out the 30,000 Bahamalanders who were shipped off by the Bahamaland government, whites were but handful - reason it was known locally as "The Contract" the government had the contract with US ship off labourers as need pick fruits..... Likes the Chinese government shipped Papa Hubert 8,000 labourers build Baha Mar. Tis estimated some 3,000 Bahamalanders never did return back home and stayed living in US.

Economist 5 years, 11 months ago

Wow Tal, 30,000 was half the population of the whole country. Are you sure that number is correct?

TheMadHatter 5 years, 11 months ago

“They know their situation isn’t good,” he said. “And they know their condition is unsanitary. They don’t want to stay in that condition.”


Not only do they WANT TO STAY in that condition - but they want thousands of innocent children (their own damn children) to live there with them. They keep making more like Doritos potato chips.

WHY is the cost high to deport? Get one huge cargo ship, load them on, go to Haiti flanked by 5 of our defense force ships loaded with weapons and have bullets in the big deck guns (we have none now) and offload them. Let the Haitian army come down to the beach and ask for us to shoot them.

Or inform the Haitian govt that we bringing them back. Tell them to come and rescue them from the sea border. Put life vests on them and toss them overboard 7 miles north of Haiti (the sea border). Their govt can pick them up.

They are here to murder us and take our country. The longer we don't believe that, the happier they are. They are biding for time to become the majority. Pindling's speech about majority rule must have been broadcast on every radio in Haiti back in the day - cause those people know more about majority rule than Brave Davis.

tetelestai 5 years, 11 months ago

"Put life vests on them and toss them overboard 7 miles north of Haiti." The is just vile utter nonsense...

PastorTroy 5 years, 11 months ago

IMHO, the reality of this long-vexing problem is: IT'S TOO LATE! The highest level of the Haitian government had a plan for The Bahamas 40+ years ago! The Haitians in The Bahamas (Legal/Illegal) is so connected that, whether we elect PLP or FNM. We have rich connected foreigners at the top and connected illegal immigrants at the bottom, and the Chinese is aggressively squeezing the middle to the top while the average Bahamian is expected to support all of this when things go south. We need a Bahamian Patriots Army because all of our law enforcement organization have been infiltrated by spies many of them of Haitian descent or related to or sympathize with; either their hands getting greased or they gettin' piece. When another country can elect and change Governments and legally dictate the laws of another country because of its citizens it has encouraged to invade their land and 'breed out the locals' it's not the fault of the invading country but that of the country the allowed it to happen! To survive this it requires our Government to take absolutely massive action! We have Miami to the North and Haiti to the south we are fighting a modern day invasion a Haitian coup d'état of The Commonwealth Of The Bahamas. Stop all the boastful talking, it's past time for action because they're still coming in by the boatload while our Government negotiates with the ones that are already here making way for the one's landing tomorrow. And I'll say it if Minister Henfield can't, but the Haitian embassy in the Bahamas need to be chained until we get our borders under control. I've dealt with Haitians in the U.S and in our Bahamas, we don't know the crap we are in right now. We are and should be acting as if we are in a state of emergency or we will lose this war on our sovereignty. Keep talking, 'Time is longer than rope' ask the Dominican Republic; yall better start learning Creole.

avidreader 5 years, 11 months ago

All that I can say on this matter is that you are stirring up a wasps' nest when you talk about scattering people out of any so-called "shanty town". They could just as easily reappear in some vacant lot in your neighbourhood when least expected.

Well_mudda_take_sic 5 years, 11 months ago

avidreader you're part of the problem with your myopic attitude that so long as they don't squat in your backyard why should you care. Believe me, you're gonna have plenty of good reason to wish you cared now in another decade or so at most.

TheMadHatter 5 years, 11 months ago


NO. You did not read carefully. I said arrange this with the Haitian Government...so that they can have boats there at the same time to assist.

It would be disgusting and inhumane to just toss people into the open ocean - i did not say that.

avidreader 5 years, 11 months ago

I never implied that the displaced people would not or could not set up camp in my "backyard" but there has to be some clear understanding of the overall issues here. If the Government provides land and/or housing for people living in so-called "shanty towns" it is very likely that there will be an outcry from sections of the population who have not been accorded the same "courtesy". When a problem has been allowed to grow with virtually no oversight for so long a period of time the difficulties only increase apace. Most countries have unregulated housing problems in certain areas however much the people of that country, city or region may regret such a reality. Among some of the fundamental problems we can be point out are weak control of borders and a lack of political will. Just contrast the attitudes of the new Italian government with that of Spain's socialist crew.

BahamaPundit 5 years, 11 months ago

Until Haiti is fixed, we are just putting out micro fires. The problem is Haiti is massivy overpopulated relative to its sustainable resources. This current "overpopulation" is somewhat working for Haitians, however; that's the real problem! Haitians, though empoverished, have multiple offspring. Their offspring then emigrate to the Bahamas and the US and send money back to Haiti. So, it is profitable for Haitians to have massive amounts of children. As long as it is profitable to overpopulate and emigrate, Haitians will continue pumping out babies. Follow the money to find the cause of the problem. Stop the money to fix the problem.

ThisIsOurs 5 years, 11 months ago

I'm wondering what his qualifications are. Here in the Bahamas we know only too well that too get a diplomatic posting all you had to do was hand out some flyers during the campaign and still have a pulse. Seems like a pretty massive mistake for a seasoned diplomat, so my bet is on them not being qualified for this post. I won't blame this on "Haiti" as a whole, the embassy seemed to roll it back pretty quickly.

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