Categorized | National News

Minnis Pledges To Erase Haitian Stigma

President of Haiti Michel Martelly Tuesday paid a courtesy call to the Leader of the Opposition, Dr Hubert Minnis where they pledged their support towards improving relations between Haitians and Bahamians.

During his visit Mr. Martelly spoke about improving agriculture between the two countries but also spoke on the illegal immigration problem here in The Bahamas.

“It’s in both our interest that things go well in Haiti,” said Mr. Martelly. “Haitians fleeing their country has nothing to do with Haitians not loving their country. There are Haitians looking for a better place to live and a place to find a job. I think in the past we have failed at looking at finding a right formula to have them live in Haiti.”

Mr. Martelly said that Haiti wishes to bring investors down to the north of Haiti so that investors in The Bahamas can invest in Haiti and mainly in agriculture which would help to improve the economy so Haitians would wish to stay in their homeland.

“I think we are on the right path. I look forward to reasonable integration,” said Dr. Minnis.

“What I would like to see one day, rather than the stigma of Haitian-Bahamian, but instead a Bahamian. We must break down those barriers and I think they will come.”

Opposition Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration Hubert Chipman added that many Haitians in The Bahamas are born illegal and he believes there is no such thing as a stateless Bahamian and we should make the Haitians in The Bahamas naturalised.

“Once Haitians here are naturalized they would become a part of the community and contribute and continue to contribute,” said Mr. Chipman. “Creating opportunities in Haiti will probably curtail the migrants.

Mr. Martelly also stated that he visited to address matters of many Haitians dying while trying to make it to The Bahamas.

“This is exactly the reason why we are here today, to also sign our agreement on agriculture,” he said. “The prime minister told me that there was money set aside to reserve the coast, so I proposed to the prime minister to bring some investors down to the coast to make it better.

“If we can get investors to come down to Haiti, in return we can buy these goods from the people; you help to create wealth in Haiti and will be getting products at a better price.”

The President said he hopes trade will begin in The Bahamas as soon as possible.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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