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PM to explore escalation of violence in Haiti

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis will be a part of a CARICOM delegation to Haiti that would assess the situation with regard to the escalation of violence in that country and report back to the region, the Office of the Prime Minister said yesterday.

Minnis recently returned from a trip to Gros Islet, St. Lucia, where he attended the three-day meetings of the 40th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

“Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis will be a part of a CARICOM prime ministerial fact-finding mission to Haiti to inform regional leaders on the situation in that country,” OPM said in a statement.

“CARICOM leaders are concerned about the escalation of violence in Haiti.

“The fact-finding mission will also include the prime ministers of St. Lucia and Jamaica.”

When Minnis last visited Haiti in February 2018, it was announced that the countries had agreed to undertake joint initiatives that could contribute to reducing the flow of migration to The Bahamas and resolve the identification problem of Haitian nationals living in The Bahamas.

The two leaders also spoke about strengthening trade links for the purchase and sale of agricultural products and seafood and exportable fisheries, through accepted international quality control standards.

However, those talks were halted amid civil unrest in Haiti.

Violent protests raged in the country’s capital over several days in February, with protesters calling for the resignation of President Jovenel Moise over corruption allegations and skyrocketing inflation.

Protesters surrounded and stoned the Haitian president’s home, clashed with police in the streets, blocked roads and set cars and tires ablaze, among other things.

Several people were killed and many others injured.

A similar spate of violence struck Port-au-Prince and Cap-Haitien in Haiti last July after the announcement of a plan to end fuel subsidies, which could have driven the price up by 50 percent.

In March, Foreign Affairs Minister Darren Henfield said that the government hoped to resume those trade talks with Haiti as soon as possible.

During those July 3-5 meetings, CARICOM leaders also discussed several other integral issues facing the region including tourism, finance, blacklisting, the Caribbean economy and the Small Island Development States Resilience Foundation.

“On the issue of blacklisting, CARICOM leaders agreed to refine their strategy and approach by making greater efforts to secure a more collaborative relationship with the European Union and the United States on tax governance and related matters,” OPM stated.

Sloan Smith

Staff Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Sloan covers national news for The Nassau Guardian. Sloan officially joined the news team in September 2016 but interned at The Nassau Guardian while studying journalism at the University of The Bahamas.
Education: Vrije Universiteit Brussel (University of Brussels), MA in Mass Communications

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