As of Wednesday, August 3, 2022
IN the aftermath of the boat capsize that killed at least 17 Haitians, there is no shortage of problems to consider.
The victims were among a party of at least 50 people on board a 33ft twin engine vessel headed to Florida as part of what would seem to be a human smuggling operation. A number of people are still believed to be missing after the boat overturned in rough waters near Blackbeard’s Cay.
Yesterday, consultant Louby Georges, pointed the finger at the poorly manned borders of Haiti.
Others have pointed the fingers at the migrants.
The Haitian Chargé d’Affaires has urged people to apply for visas and called for a visa system to be opened up to the public from Haiti.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said anyone can apply for visas and dismissed any thought of prejudice against Haitian applicants.
In this column, we have spoken of the need to tackle the organised crime that brings these migrants through our country before carrying them on towards the United States.
Haiti needs to step up. The Bahamas needs to step up. The United States needs to step up. All around there is fault, and yet how do we begin to tackle the problem.
Again, in this column we have spoken in the past of the biggest issue being that people feel such a need to pack themselves into small boats and cross dangerous waters.
Read through all of that and you’ll see half a dozen problems and more. There’s no easy place to start.
What is clear is that allowing our waters and our land to be used by human smugglers is intolerable. Stopping it isn’t so easy.
At present, we are seeing a significant number of migrants headed to the US. Previously, we have seen many migrants headed to our shores. The destinations vary over the years, but the volume of people looking to make that journey continues.
The instability in Haiti itself is clear to see. Only last year, president Jovenel Moise was assassinated at his residence. There have been arrests, but who orchestrated the assassination remains unknown.
Large chunks of the nation are controlled by gangs, who dictate who does and who does not gain entry to neighbourhoods – and there have been abductions of foreign missionaries.
It’s a mess, whichever way you look at it.
What it needs is a co-ordinated effort – and someone willing to lead it. Step right up, Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis, whose globetrotting could put him in exactly the right places to lead a joint effort around the region.
He has already spoken up at the Summit of the Americas in June, expressing concern at the absence of Cuba from the summit when refugees from that country are a concern that needs to be addressed.
So can he now address the long-standing problem of migration? It needs an effort from CARICOM, from regional partners – and we have to face the facts that even that might not be enough.
But time and again we see boats being stopped. Too often, we hear of deaths amid capsizes or even people just being abandoned by the smugglers, as happened in Puerto Rico last week.
There is no easy solution, no perfect solution – but Mr Davis, it’s time to make your mark.
The story of the boy found dead in a pond yesterday is a tragedy – and one of several drownings reported on by The Tribune recently.
In today’s edition alone, there is also a body of a juvenile being pulled form waters near Paradise Cove, Deadman’s Reef, on Monday. Then there is a drowning of a woman in North Andros yesterday as she came to the rescue of a struggling child.
The waters of The Bahamas are beautiful, but they can also be deadly. Summer is a time for the sea – but be sensible when you do. Don’t go alone, don’t leave children unattended, don’t drink and swim – and be safe.
We do not know the causes of these drownings as yet – but we don’t want to hear of any more such tragedies.
The country of Haiti has a population of nearly 12 million (12,000,000) Haitian people and, if roly-poly Davis has his way, most of them will be coming to The Bahamas in the not too distant future.
When will Gravy Davis tackle the myriad of other 242 problems?
Clint having press conferences won’t solve them on the ground.
The story of the Haitians going to the USA is untrue. if it were true there would not be so many of them here No doubt some are headed there. Mr: Davis will have many others working along with him to address this vexing problem
how about stiff fees for those who hire? illegals. Mr: Davis never said he was the competent Authority
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