Be warned: Don’t interfere

An aerial view of part of one of the shanty towns on New Providence.

Foreign Affairs official warns Haitian Embassy about its pronouncements

Days ahead of the shantytown eviction deadline, Foreign Affairs officials issued a stern warning to the Haitian Embassy regarding public announcements made in the media this week.

In a late night release to the media, it was revealed that Acting Permanent Secretary Rhoda Jackson met with Francois Michel, the Chargé d’Affaires for the Haitian Embassy to discuss comments made on its behalf.

Jackson noted that the announcements “accredited to 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”.

Jackson emphasised the sensitivity of the Shanty Town programme, particularly the government’s attempt to have all communities in The Bahamas integrated and 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”.

According to the statement, Michel said the embassy was fully “cognisant 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”.

He also stressed that the embassy would take steps to ensure the incident would not happen again. Emphasising the long-standing relationship between both countries, Michel noted that the embassy would immediately address the “concerns deriving from the article to a satisfactory end”.