#TheCaribbean, July 7, 2021 – This morning, we awoke to the very sad and disturbing news of the death of Jovenel Moise, the President of the Republic of Haiti, who was killed at his residence at about 1:00 am today, Wednesday 7 July 2021. A statement by Prime Minister Dr. Claude Joseph released this morning confirmed the assassination of President Moise and that the President’s wife, First Lady Moise, was also seriously injured. The Government of The Bahamas is deeply saddened by these developments and strongly condemns the actions of the perpetrators. We offer our deepest condolences to the Government and the people of Haiti. The Heads of Government of CARICOM at its 42nd meeting, which concluded on 6 July 2021, discussed the ongoing situation in Haiti and offered its assistance in finding a peaceful resolution to the political crises. I have been in contact with the Honourable Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Chairman of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs remains in contact with our Embassy in Haiti. All staff are safe. The Embassy is monitoring the situation. We pray for the people of Haiti and for a peaceful resolution to the political crises.
Dr. Hubert Minnis, Prime Minister of The Bahamas
“I have met and spoken with President Moise many times and in all my interactions with him, particularly within the context of CARICOM, I found him to be a man committed to seeing Haiti take her place in the world. This heinous act is a stain on Haiti and a sorrowful time for the region.”
Andrew Holness, Prime Minister of Jamaica
“The assassination of President Moise of Haiti is an atrocious act which Barbados vehemently condemns. Violence can never be a solution, and must be rejected in all circumstances.”
Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados
“The late President was mired in a debate as to whether his term ended months ago, or continues until early next year. This uncertainty, as well as, the presence of armed gangs determined to claim control over parts of Port au Prince, the capital, made governance extremely complex and dangerous.
All of CARICOM feel the pain which has been inflicted on Haiti by this killing.”
Gaston Browne, Chairman of CARICOM, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda
“I am shocked and saddened at the death of President Moise,” Johnson said after Haiti’s interim prime minister announced the president had been shot dead by in his home by unidentified attackers.
“Our condolences are with his family and the people of Haiti. This is an abhorrent act and I call for calm at this time.”
Boris Johnson, UK Prime Minister
“We’re deeply shocked & grieved by the assassination of President Moise & the wounding of the first lady. The government & people of Taiwan condemn such senseless violence & stand in solidarity with Haiti at this difficult time.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Taiwan
UN Secretary-General António Guterres has condemned the incident in the strongest terms, according to a statement issued. The Secretary-General calls on all Haitians to preserve the constitutional order, remain united in the face of this abhorrent act and reject all violence.”
The United Nations
French Foreign Minister Jean Yves Le Drian has condemned the “cowardly assassination” of Haitian President Jovenel Moise at his private residence and appealed for calm. “All light must be cast on this crime that took place in a deteriorating political and security climate. I call on all actors in Haitian political life for calm and restraint.”
Jean Yves LeDrian, France Foreign Minister
“It is absolutely unacceptable and not something anyone wants to see anywhere in the world. Canada has been and will continue to be a close friend to the Haitian people.”
Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister, Canada
“We condemn this heinous attack and I am sending my sincere wishes for First Lady Moise’s recovery,” Biden said in a statement. “The United States offers condolences to the people of Haiti and we stand ready to assist as we continue to work for a safe and secure Haiti.”
“We need a lot more information but it’s just, it’s very worrisome about the state of Haiti.”
Joe Biden, President of the United States of America
“On behalf of the Government and People of Saint Lucia, I convey our deepest sympathies to Haiti. We condemn the heinous assassination of President Jovenel Möise and all acts of violence. We pray for stability and peace as the Region mourns his passing.”
Allen Chastanet, Prime Minister of St Lucia
“It is with profound sadness that the government and people of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines learnt of the assassination of Jovenel Moïse of the Republic of Haiti, a member-state of our Caribbean Community (CARICOM). This senseless and cowardly act of unbridled violence has shocked and outraged many throughout the Caribbean Community and the world. In our Caribbean Community we settle political differences peacefully through democratic institutions; we do not use violence and thuggery which undermine democracy and the rule of law.”
Ralph Gonsalves Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines
“The Turks and Caicos Islands Government was saddened to learn of the news of the death of President of Haiti, Jovenel Moïse this morning. There are no words to describe or justify such an abhorrent act.
On behalf of the Turks and Caicos Islands Government and the people of the TCI, I extend sincere condolences to the Moïse family, to the Haitian Government, the people of Haiti and the Haitian diaspora in the TCI. Our hearts go out to you in your time of mourning.
To President Moïse’s wife, First Lady Mrs. Martine Moïse, our thoughts and prayers are with you as mourn and as you recover from this horrific incident.
My Government have been briefed on the situation in Haiti and will continue to monitor the latest developments. Our National Security Council will be engaging with internal stakeholders to discuss possible implications for the Turks and Caicos Islands and other territories in the region.
My prayer is that the perpetrators are found and held accountable for their malicious actions and that peaceful resolve and good order can arise from such a horrible tragedy.”
Washington Misick – Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands
Photo Credit (Pres. Joe Biden): Matt Rourke/AP/Shutterstock
GBPA welcomes EY’s New Office to Freeport
#TheBahamas, June 22, 2022 – The Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) has approved a business license for EY Bahamas Ltd., who is set to open a new office in Freeport.
With more than 300,000 employees globally, EY provides assurance, consulting, law, strategy, tax and transactions services to businesses, countries and entrepreneurs. Significant economic impact from this investment will stem from the need for local housing, food and beverage, entertainment, transportation and more.
“We are pleased to welcome EY to Freeport,” said Ian Rolle, GBPA’s President. “GBPA has been working with EY to take advantage of the BH-1B Visa program, which provides a significant opportunity for us to welcome more people to our city. We are looking forward to the economic boost to local businesses including grocery stores, taxis, car rentals, the housing market, restaurants and more. The ripple effects as a result of EY’s new footprint in Freeport will be a positive addition to our business community.”
GBPA and EY began serious discussions in 2019 prior to Hurricane Dorian regarding the benefits of operating in Freeport’s Special Economic Zone. Since then, GBPA continued building its relationship with the firm and further helped them to understand the benefits of the BH-1B visa, which allows them to use Freeport to support their client’s needs across the region and globe. Besides attracting local Bahamian and international talent, EY was drawn to Freeport’s proximity to North America, its safe environment, technology infrastructure and more.
EY has operated in The Bahamas for decades, providing rewarding careers for Bahamians. In its new Freeport location, EY will offer its clients solutions utilizing global talent, while creating new opportunities for employment and training for Grand Bahamians.
“Our Invest Grand Bahama promotional arm is dedicated to attracting these types of businesses that can benefit from our unique Free Trade Zone. We will continue to do our part as we promote the best Freeport has to offer,” Mr. Rolle concluded.
RM Bailey’s Class of 2022 told, go where your heart leads you; be courageous, innovative, be your best
By: Kathryn Campbell
Bahamas Information Services
#TheBahamas, June 22, 2022 – Vice-President of the Senate, Senator the Hon. Barry Griffin appealed to R.M. Bailey Senior High School’s Class of 2022 to be advocates of change and to use their voices to encourage good governance and constant innovation.
Senator Griffin was the guest speaker at the school’s commencement exercise Monday, June 20, at Charles Saunders Auditorium. “Empowered to Make What Seems Impossible – Possible” was the theme for the event.
“What we need now from our leaders is a sense of urgency. There has long been this feeling in The Bahamas, and in particular the upper echelons of our country, that we have comfort and we can manage to navigate the twists and turns that come our way,” said Senator Griffin.
“But what Hurricane Dorian has taught us, what the pandemic has taught us, what the inflation and rising costs of gas, electricity and food has taught us is — something that those at the fringes of our society have known for far too long — that comfort we feel will not last for long.”
To make the change, he remarked that the love of an old “anachronistic” system that no longer serves the nation and its students must be removed.
“We must begin to call a spade a spade — we have a problem of inequality, a problem of equal access to opportunity and a problem of failed politics. And graduates the only way that changes, is by you making your voices heard.”
He offered the following advice to the graduates:
- The old rules are crumbling and nobody knows what the new rules are. So make up your own rules.
- Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.
- When you take risks, you learn that there will be times when you succeed and there will be times when you fail, both are equally important.
- Be bold, be courageous, be your best.
- There is no script. Live your life the way you want.
- Wherever you go, go with all your heart.
- If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.
- Failure is the condiment that gives success flavour.
- Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.
- Go where your heart leads you — and do everything you desire — act as if it were impossible for you to fail.
“My advice is to be bold, to be you, to embrace failure, and to live as if everything is possible.
“It is my hope that you run out of here excited, leaning forward into the wind and ready to take the world by storm,” he said.
Summit of the Americas elevates hemispheric challenges, Bahamas PM vocal
By Shanieka Smith
#TheBahamas, June 17, 2022 – “The Americas are challenged by crisis.” This was the statement made by the Bahamas Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Hon. Philip Davis during his contribution to the Plenary Session of the 9th Summit of the Americas on June 10, 2022.
“Climate, COVID and conflict have undermined our safety and our security,” he said. He went further to ask some thought-provoking questions: “Have we done enough here, at this gathering, to relieve suffering? To promote peace? To fight for the economic dignity of our People? “Will the work we carried out here continue once the spotlight and the world’s attention has moved on?”
He said the work and fine words do not count unless the people are told that the leaders have laid a true foundation for their progress.
Hinting back to the Summit in 2019, he said it is evident that the good intentions and optimism of that gathering did not translate into enduring advancement.
“Indeed, some countries in our hemisphere have become more unequal and more violent… across the Americas, the scourges of racism and discrimination appear to be on the rise. Emerging moral and technological challenges to our democratic norms threaten our capacity to deliver free and fair elections, and effective governance.” He added that all the mentioned challenges are “eclipsed by the existential threat of climate change.”
He expressed thanks to President Biden and Vice-President Harris and the people of the United States, to host and facilitate the dialogue and cooperation because none of the mentioned issues can be resolved by one nation.
Davis added, however, that “multilateral engagement at the highest levels happens too infrequently – certainly when it comes to issues which are important to the Caribbean,” he added. “But if the work of this Summit continues, if the will to cooperate endures, if words turn into action –change can lead to progress, and we can move forward.”
He highlighted several key factors affecting the region’s development, like hurricanes and other natural disasters that result in injury and debt, Covid-19 and the lack of sufficient healthcare workers, disinformation, and the illegal shipment of guns and movement of people. He also hinted at a topical issue, which suited the occasion as some countries were not invited to the Summit.
“It is easy to talk with those with whom we agree, but we must also be able to talk with those with whom we disagree. In fact, sometimes those are the conversations that are most urgently needed,” he said. Prime Minister Davis noted that all the countries in the hemisphere faced overlapping developmental, security and democratic challenges. Collaboration and collective action can only be of mutual benefit. The absence of the Republic of Cuba has made these deliberations less complete,” added the Prime Minister.
“We must also be mindful of the unintended consequences of isolation and separation,” he said as he shared that more could be done to provide support for Haitians.
He noted that for the institutions within the Inter-American system to fulfil their potential, there should be some rethinking or re-calibrating. He added that the Organisation of American States (OAS), in particular, required both a structural and cultural adjustment.
As the Prime Minister ended his presentation, he called for not just more talking but also that participants “keep ‘doing — upholding our commitments and taking the action necessary for our collective survival.”
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