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World Leaders Speak on Assassination of the President of Haiti

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#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

Bahamas News

Commander Defence Force attends UK-Second Caribbean Chiefs of Defence Conference, Antigua

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#Bahamas, September 13, 2021 – In keeping with the Global Security Collaborative Framework and Commander Defence Force, Commodore Dr. Raymond King’s strategic intent in strengthening joint relationships with its regional and international partnerships, Commodore King attended the UK- Chief of Defence Staff (CHoDs’) in Antigua from 1- 3 September, 2021 to share best practices and to discuss matters of mutual interest.

Accompanied by his Aide, Sub Lieutenant Delroy Dennis, the sessions also included General Sir Nick Carter; Gen Chief of Defence Staff, United Kingdom of Great Britain, and Northern Ireland; Major General C S Collins, General Officer Commanding 1st UK Division; Lieutenant Colonel Simon Westlake Royal Marines United Kingdom’s Defence Attaché to the Caribbean; and Commander Brian Trim MBE RN Commander task Group.

Also in attendance were countries with various Chiefs of Defence Staff, in particular; Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Belize, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and defence and security partners across the region, who took part virtually, and shared their views on global security and joint partnerships. They all agreed on several initiatives with training and education designed to improve collective capacity to deal with the diverse security challenges that confront the region.

The inaugural conference convened virtually in November 2020, with each of the regional Chiefs of Defence. This second conference focused on building on the success of the virtual event in strengthening the UK-Caribbean relationships, and developing concepts for UK engagement with its Caribbean partners on issues of mutual interest.

The three-day conference commenced with an ice-breaker reception and concert at Blizzard Camp, hosted by Antigua and Barbuda (ATG) – Chief of Defence Staff Colonel Telbert Benjamin, and joined by the Governor General, Sir Rodney Williams. The core conference which took place on September 2nd, began with an opening ceremony, supported by the Prime Minister of ATG, Sir Gaston Browne.

In the first core session, UK- Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland General Sir Nick Carter set out the UK perspective on the strategic context, informed by the recently concluded Integrated Review (IR) and Defence Command Plan (DCP). The three individual sessions covered issues of serious organized crime threats; regional initiatives and the implications for UK Defence engagement; and natural threats.

The UK- CDS expressed his ambition to use the conference as a vehicle for institutional capacity building, military capability development, training and education, doctrine, and concepts. These are ways to maximize collective security development with focused UK engagement while better constructing an approach that matches the region’s aspirations and requirements.

The final session of the three-day conference was held aboard HMS MEDWAY, River Class Offshore Patrol Vessel built on the Clyde. This permanent Caribbean patrol ship was deployed to the Caribbean to support disaster relief and conduct counter-trafficking operations as an alternative setting for a maritime security focused discussion. It served as a setting to discuss regional maritime security, which included talks around preparedness for Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Response (HADR), and UK involvement in regional partnerships.

Photo Captions: 

Header: Participants at the UK- second Caribbean Chief of Defence Staff (CHoDs’) in Antigua, 1- 3 September, 2021. 

1st insert: Commodore Raymond King, the Commander Defence Force, presenting his country’s brief on board HMS MEDWAY, during the second Caribbean Chiefs of Defence Staff conference in Antigua. 

2nd insert: Commodore Raymond King, Commander of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force; Brigadier General Steven Andrew Ortega, Commander Belize Defence Force; Lieutenant General Rocky R Meade, Chief of Defence Staff, Jamaica Defence Force; Brigadier Godfrey Bess Chief of Staff, Guyana Defence Force; Air Vice Marshal Darryl Daniel Chief of Defence Staff, Trinidad and Tobago Defence Forces: In the front row; Colonel Telbert Benjamin, Commander of Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force and General Sir Nick Carter, General Chief of Defence Staff, United Kingdom of Great Britain, and Northern Ireland.

3rd insert: Commodore Raymond King, the Commander Royal Bahamas Defence Force; Brigadier General Steven Andrew Ortega, Commander Belize Defence Force; General de Brigada Angel A Camacho Ubiera Inspector General of the Dominican Republic Army; Antigua and Barbuda – Colonel Telbert Benjamin, Commander of Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force; Major General C S Collins, General Officer Commanding 1st UK Division; Lieutenant General Rocky R Meade, Chief of Defence Staff, Jamaica Defence Force; Brigadier Godfrey Bess Chief of Staff, Guyana Defence Force; Air Vice Marshal Darryl Daniel Chief of Defence Staff, Trinidad and Tobago Defence Forces Trinidad and Tobago; and Air Vice Marshal Darryl Daniel Chief of Defence Staff, Trinidad and Tobago Defence Forces.

(Photos courtesy Mr. Wayne Mariette)

 

 (For further information please contact the RBDF Public Relations Department or visit our website: www.rbdf.gov.bs, follow us on FacebookTwitter and view our Youtube channel) 

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Caribbean Wellness Day 2021

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#Caribbean, September 13, 2021 – Health, in every facet, is sought-after, at great expense, by all members of the global community. Though the success of our endeavours in health varies from region to region, it must be emphasised that in our Region, a healthy Caribbean is always the goal for which we strive.

Each year the Caribbean Region observes, Caribbean Wellness Day since it was established at the 2007 landmark summit, ‘Declaration of Port of Spain: Uniting to Stop the Epidemic of Chronic Non-communicable Diseases.’

This year’s commemoration focuses on equitable access to health; an all of society approach to health and well-being, and building healthy communities under the theme, “Power Through Collective Action: In it Together, Building Healthy Communities.”

As health care systems are being taxed by the devastating effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic, it is even more important now to advocate for equitable access to health. Too many of our Caribbean citizens face harsh realities, because of inequities in access – this should not be. Caribbean Wellness Day is the most opportune time for the members of our Caribbean community to ensure that the health of our people is indeed a priority through legislative change, health in all policies and all of society action.

Equitable access to health care in the Caribbean is one of CARPHA’s points of focus as can be seen through our work to ensure equitable access to PPE, equipment, supplies and vaccines through the COVAX facility, a mechanism whose primary function is to ensure the equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and donations notably the US Government donation of 5.5 million doses of Pfizer BioNTech.

Without the power of voices in chorus, like with the COVAX facility; the Caribbean Cooperation in Health (CCH) and others – many more would be disadvantaged and unserved. Achieving health for all in the Caribbean also means attaining and sustaining healthy environments.

The built environment, which provides for sidewalks, bike lanes, community parks and green spaces, can influence lifestyles, body weight, and improve mental health. As these necessary frameworks are made reality and we avail ourselves of them, we exercise Power through Collective Action showing that we are truly in it together, Building Healthy Communities.

As we speak about the environment, we must mention the effects of climate change. The inaction in the past has set the world on a course of environmental destruction. We need to act now; it is the only way that we can protect the generations to come from even worse realities than those we face today.

As we seek to mitigate the damage done due to inaction on the recommended major climate change interventions, we need to address other pertinent issues. Vector-borne diseases remain a challenge in many Caribbean territories, and unlike the bleak outlook that is presented on climate change, simple adjustments in our behaviour can make the world of difference.

By eradicating breeding grounds of mosquitoes in our immediate environment and communities, we minimize the spread of many vector-borne diseases. Advocacy in health should be the standard operation of every Region, State, and organisation. Sustaining Health and well-being is one of the very few universal desires.

Regardless of creed, culture, or any other divisive line – all organised bodies have a responsibility to promote health. Further to this, we need to take the time to look after ourselves and our families and communities.

Simple actions – increasing our intake of local produce, reading labels of processed foods to make informed decisions, scheduling regular exercise – these actions will drastically improve the health and quality of life of our people.

Working together to this end, will lead to healthier minds, healthier bodies, and a Caribbean that exudes wellness.

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Bahamas News

US new Vaccine mandate not for tourists and students

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#TurksandCaicos, September 9, 2021 – The vast majority of visa applicants such as students and tourists do not have to worry about the new CDC requirement for Immigrant Visa applicants to be fully vaccinated.

Our news organization reached out to the US Embassy in Nassau, where Public Affairs Officer Daniel Durazo informed the notice floating around social media is true but only impacts people who are applying to live and work in the United States.

“The information circulating on social media is a notice stating that starting on October 1 the CDC will require age-appropriate Immigrant Visa applicants worldwide will to show evidence of COVID-19 vaccination.

The key detail here is the difference between Non-Immigrant Visas and Immigrant Visas. Non-Immigrant Visas (for which the requirement does not apply) make up the majority of visa applications, and include student and tourist visas. Immigrant Visas on the other hand typically involve moving permanently to the United States through a Green Card, for example, and which make up a very small fraction of visa applications,” said Durazo.

Similar to TCIs work permit holders rule, which requires guest workers to be fully vaccinated in order to be legally in the Turks and Caicos, this rule takes effect for the US on October 1st.

The notice caused quite a buzz, as the United States is a popular destination for islanders to visit and attend school. The US is also the #1 tourism source market for the Turks and Caicos; and only its vaccinated residents will be allowed into these islands;  that mandate started on September 1st.

“First, I’d like to reassure your readers that the vaccination requirement will not apply to the vast majority of Visa applicants, such as those applying for tourist and student visas.  In summary, the vast majority of visa applicants (such as students and tourists) do not have to worry about this requirement. It’s only Immigrant Visa applicants who need to take this requirement into consideration, and they will receive instructions and clarification from the consular section as appropriate when they apply.”

Residents suspected the US was activating a similar entry requirement but Durazo said the rule does not apply to visitor and student visas.  Permanent residency applicants, like those wanting Green Card will need to have full Covid 19 vaccination and he said, will receive instructions and clarification from the consular section as appropriate when they apply.

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