Above: Haiti Ambassador to the Bahamas Antonio Rodrigue and Minister for Grand Bahama Dr Michael Darville (BIS Photo)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Haiti’s Ambassador to the Bahamas Antonio Rodrigue arrived in Grand Bahama for a visit Friday, citing the large Haitian population on the island.
Rodrigue paid a courtesy call on Minister for Grand Bahama Dr Michael Darville at the latter’s office in the Harold DeGregory complex in Freeport.
“We are pleased to have him and his trip will be very instrumental for us to work out some of the necessary aspects of bilateral trade between Haiti and the Bahamas,” Darville said. “One of the issues we really want to talk about is our port and how instrumental that port will be in order for us to accomplish those goals and objectives.”
Darville said there was a “very strong Haitian community here on the island of Grand Bahama, and there are many issues concerning the community.”
Darville said several issues would be discussed, including the translation of documents from French into England, and the issue of citizenship for Haitian children born in the Bahamas to Haitian parents.
The visit comes a few days after the CARICOM Heads of Government conference in Haiti, when a number of Caribbean countries, including the Bahamas, expressed a willingness to engage with Haiti.
Darville said Haiti’s “thriving business sector” creates an opportunity for Bahamian businessmen to invest in the country.
“We are very, very interested to develop very good relations between Grand Bahama and Haiti,” Rodrigue said. “We are very close friends, very close neighbours and I think we can find many opportunities together to do something which benefits both of our countries.”