Press Secretary: Gov’t. will assist Haiti following earthquake

Press Secretary Anthony Newbold on Tuesday refuted claims that the government was not interested in helping Haiti in the wake of its recent earthquake.

According to Newbold, a local daily had published a “misleading story” about Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis not being interested in sending aid to Haiti. He said following this publication, the entire country “jumped on the bandwagon” – from the opposition, to talk show hosts and even the Bahamas Christian Council.

Newbold stressed, however, that while Dr. Minnis has intentions to assist Haiti, he was first carrying out his primary duty of ensuring the safety of Bahamian citizens.

“In light of Bahamians having their own take on Prime Minister Minnis’ statement, the PM was forced to do damage control to ensure that Haiti and The Bahamas keeps a friendly relationship,” Newbold explained.

“Prime Minister Minnis phoned President Maurice and reassured him that The Bahamas will now and will always be of assistance to his country.”

Newbold advised that for future reference, there is a protocol that must be followed when assistance is provided to Caricom countries and it is one that the prime minister intends to follow.

“We’ve done it for other countries like Dominica and intend to do it for Haiti,” he said.

A powerful earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale hit Haiti earlier this month with shock waves felt as far away as Inagua in the Southeastern Bahamas.

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Tia can be contacted at tthompson@ewnews.com.