Some of the Causes of Haitian refuge tragedies in Bahamas

Agent-x - June 22 2012, 5:20 AM

As the Haitian bourgeoisie psychopath, the transnational corporations, and foreigners are using the bandit legal auspices to steal the Haitian peasants lands at an alarming rate, such action create the biggest exodus of Haitian peasants.

The best way to verify whether a Haitian president is working for the majority of Haitian people is to monitor how many Haitians are dying a year at high sea while trying to escape hunger and injustice.

It is well documented that during the Aristide administration, few Haitians perished at sea.


According to canadahaitiaction-ca on 11 June 2012, Haiti and The Bahamas: Trade prospects, and another ocean tragedy for Haitian refugees
Two items enclosed:

Migrant boat sinks in Bahamas; at least 11 dead, June 11, 2012
A boat packed with Haitian migrants headed for the United States sunk and 11 bodies have been recovered from the ocean, a Bahamas police spokeswoman said Monday.

Royal Bahamas Police Inspector Chrislyn Skippings said the death toll was expected to rise because investigators believe at least 28 Haitians were on board the 25-foot smuggler's vessel when it set off Sunday from Abaco.

Skippings said seven people had been rescued and a search was under way for other survivors among the at least 10 people thought missing, including five children.

"The vessel was en route to Florida.

They developed engine problems which resulted in the vessel taking on water," Skippings said during a phone interview.

The U.S. Coast Guard dispatched a plane based in Miami and a helicopter based on Andros Island, Bahamas, to help search for survivors, Guard spokesman Petty Officer John-Paul Rios said. The U.S. Coast Guard patrols the region for drug traffickers and illegal migrants and often helps in search and rescue efforts.

Haitian migrants have been coming to the Bahamas for years, fleeing severe poverty in the Western Hemisphere's poorest country.

The migrants mostly try to reach the U.S., though some stay in the Bahamas to form a low-income workforce.

Abaco has a population of about 13,000 people.

The Abaco islands are about 180 miles (290 kilometers) east of Florida.

Hundreds of Haitians have been living in a couple of overcrowded shantytowns--called Pigeon Pea and 'The Mud'--on Abaco, near Marsh Harbor, for years despite repeated government threats to evict them. The community is a mix of permanent residents, naturalized citizens and migrants.

The Bahamas lies more than 600 kilometers (375 miles) northeast of Haiti.

Haitian migrants sneak into the Bahamas illegally by boat, paying roughly $500 for the perilous journey.

The Abaco Islands lie in the northern Bahamas.

Administratively, they constitute five of the 31 districts of The Bahamas.

According to the CIA Factbook and Index Mundi, the population of The Bahamas is 312,00, of which 85% are of African descent.

The vast island group (an estimated 3,000 islands, cays and islets) became independent from Britain in 1973. The Bahamas lie north of Cuba.

Haiti Agriculture Embargo Raises Costs Five' Times

By NEIL HARTNELL, Tribune Business Editor

Tribune (The Bahamas daily), Monday, June 11, 2012
THE Bahamas has been urged to end its embargo on direct agriculture imports from Haiti, with the current system thought to quintuple produce costs via Florida-based middlemen as it transits through the US. Speaking to Tribune Business ahead of the proposed Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation's (BCCEC) likely trade mission to Haiti in September this year, Chester Cooper, the organisation's chairman, said the current health-related barrier to direct imports from the Bahamas' southern neighbour "stifles trade" and drives up costs for consumers in this nation.

He suggested that by creating a Bahamian inspection station in Haiti, so that this nation's officials could examine inspect agricultural produce for health and safety issues before they were imported here, direct trade between the two nations would increase to such an extent that it would open up new shipping routes.

And, ultimately, Mr Cooper said increased trade could have the effect of bolstering Haiti's economic stability and reducing the flow of illegal migrants northwards to the Bahamas, creating a win-win for both nations.

Recalling that the embargo on direct Haitian agricultural imports had been raised as a key issue on the last BCCEC trade mission to that country in 2007-2008, Mr Cooper told Tribune Business: "Regrettably, there hasn't been any advancement on the issue.

"I've spoken with Phillip Miller at the Ministry of Agriculture, and understand they have tried to make some moves on the issue, and then there was the earthquake, the cholera.

There's always something that throws the mission off."

While a Bahamian team had previously visited Haiti to see if this nation could establish an agricultural inspection facility there, Mr Cooper said this had occurred several years ago before the earthquake that devastated the Bahamas' southern neighbour.

Of the existing embargo, Mr Cooper told Tribune Business: "It stifles direct trade itself.

If we can generate the volumes, we can get more efficient shipping routes between the Bahamas and Haiti.

But, so long as the volumes are so low, it creates inefficiencies in pricing."

If just two boxes of mangos were being shipped from Haiti to the Bahamas, Mr Cooper said it was more cost effective to send them through the U.S. anyway, rather than direct to this nation.

If volumes rose, the demand for direct shipping would, too, ultimately leading to the creation of new shipping companies and routes between the two countries.

Tribune Business understands that if mangos are sold in Haiti for $0.20 per product, Florida-based wholesalers may charge as much as $1 for them once they have reached the US - mark up of five times' or 400 per cent. "In effect, produce coming into the Bahamas from Haiti passes the Bahamas, transits the US as they have US Department of Agriculture inspection on the ground that facilitates trade to the US," Mr Cooper said.

"A box of Haitian mangos, for example, might eventually find its way to the Bahamas after transiting the middleman in Florida, who would've tacked on their mark-up. This is most inefficient and drives up the costs to Bahamians unnecessarily.

There were no doubt good reasons for this position, but it has now been several decades and this should be promptly reviewed."

He added: "The Bahamas government should put in place its own inspection protocols and expedite the removal of these restrictions.

Ending the embargo will not only reduce the cost of Haitian products imported to the Bahamas, and improve trade but, taking it to the logical conclusion, it might help the Haitian economy and our relations with Haiti by improving commerce."

Mr Cooper added that if the Government was to "commit" to removing obstacles such as the direct agriculture embargo, it would open up more trade and investment opportunities between the Bahamas and Haiti, and encourage more businesses to go on the September trade mission.

"It's important on many levels," he added.

"If we can achieve it, obviously there's the commercial aspect and it would make some contribution to the Haitian economy.

If we take it to its logical conclusion, the more liberalised the Haitian economy is, the fewer Haitians will migrate illegally to the Bahamas.

"From a macroeconomic point of view, down the road the more trade Haiti gets, the better for everybody.

We'll be working hand-in-hand with the Government on these issues.

"We live in a very open economy and import the bulk of the goods we use here. Typically, we import goods from south Florida.

The south Floridians bring them in from elsewhere, and it's important for us to create diverse linkages where possible to reduce the overall cost of food."

(Note: The United States has recently closed off the import of dried mango from Haiti to the U.S. Source: Le Nouvelliste.)

REPLY to this message

Return to Message List


Jean Pierre Alexandre says...

We all know the root cause of the problem. How to stop it? That is my question? Soon,very soon Haitians will be just like the Palestinians... more »