Thursday, March 23, 2023


Trudeau Still Doesn’t Offer Military Operation on the Ground in Haiti, but Promises Other Help

Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau may have disappointed Haiti’s Prime Minister Ariel Henry at CARICOM on Thursday when he fell short of offering military presence on the ground in Haiti to quash the surge of unimaginable gang violence in the troubled island nation.

Trudeau instead, promised to deploy two Royal Canadian Navy ships to conduct surveillance and gather intelligence for Haitian police, to assist with quelling the violence –HMCS Glace Bay and Moncton from West Africa, along with 90 sailors.

“Today, I am announcing that Canada will also deploy Royal Canadian Navy vessels to conduct surveillance, gather intelligence and maintain a maritime presence off the Haitian coast in the coming weeks. Canada continues to reinforce the capacities of the Haitian police to overpower armed gangs and hold those who support them accountable.”

Henry, who also participated in the meetings, asked for a foreign military intervention, which the United Nations supports. Instead, the United States suggested that Canada lead the discussions of military operations.

20 dead, thousands flee homes as gangs battle in Haiti - Los Angeles Times

“Canada is elbows deep in terms of trying to help. The best thing we can do to help is enable the Haitian leadership and the patient people themselves to be driving their pathway out of this crisis,” he said in the Bahamas when pressed by reporters.

Trudeau has since stated that Haiti’s restoration must be led by the Haitian people and has left the idea of military intervention as a last resort indicating that Caribbean countries must play a role in “legitimizing” international help, otherwise military operations by the US or Canada can be viewed as “colonialist” interventions.

He also added two other influential Haitians to a list of 15–accused of corruption and gang ties. This group of sanctioned individuals is banned from making economic dealings in Canada—former interim president Jocelerme Privert and ex-political aide Salim Succar.

Gangs Advance on the Seat of Haitian Government Power: 'Haitians Are Hostages' - The New York Times

An additional 12.3 million dollars will be given for humanitarian help and 10 million dollars to assist the International Office on Migration to protect Haitian women and children along the borders.

“The toll of human suffering in Haiti weighs heavily on me.”

Haiti is an embattled country fighting humanitarian, political, and social ills, and since the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in 2021, it has descended into further chaos with the raping of Haitian women and children, kidnappings for ransom, and the killing of law enforcement officers.


Photo credits: New York Times, The Guardian

Canadians Blast Justin Trudeau’s Trip to The Bahamas

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was chastised over his visit to the Bahamas to attend the 44th CARICOM meeting where he was a guest speaker on the deepening crisis in Haiti.

Many Canadians, critical of his leadership, took to social media to express their fury.

“The worst prime minister in the history of Canada,” a user posted on Trudeau’s social media page.

Steve Lavell said, “How about clean up the mess you created here in Canada? Canadians are fed up with you.”

Trudeau won a third term in Canada’s snap election, in 2021, but fell short of regaining the majority in the House of Assembly. Most of his support came from smaller parties.

He and his minority Liberal government then brokered a deal with the left-leaning New Democrats to keep his government in power until 2025.

Canada, not a member of the Caribbean, like the United States, is a regional leader and was prompted by the United Nations, to help ease tensions in Haiti. His attendance at CARICOM suggests his country’s partnership to solve the political, security and humanitarian crisis in the beleaguered country, where extreme violence has further destabilized its society since the assassination of Jovenel Moise in 2021.

A sarcastic Carm Baglieri said, “Enjoy your vacation (in the Bahamas) on our dime. So glad you deserve it, working so hard for us.”

“How much is this one going to cost us?” another asked.

Rob Schultz added, “Resign. Do Canada proud, stay there.”


During his visit at the Caribbean community summit, Trudeau made an additional $12.3 million donation for humanitarian help in Haiti and $10 million dollars to assist the International Office on Migration to protect Haitian women and children along the Dominican borders.

Many Canadians are critical of the move.

“The only reason you were invited is that they know you are going to give them hard-earned Canadian taxpayers’ money.”

Sarah Philips said, “Trudeau wants to waste our money on Haiti. Perhaps he should go there in person and roll up his sleeves and do some actual work on the ground.”

“He runs away from responsibilities in Canada, for praise, while our country falls apart. He is shallow and is afraid to work, and is not smart enough to run a country. He throws our money at other countries so he can have his ego stroked,” Marie Anne said.

Some Canadians determined that Trudeau could have conducted his meeting with CARICOM over a video conferencing application.

“Whatever happened to Zoom meetings?” a social media user asked on Twitter.

Another demanded, “Quit traveling and stay home. Use Zoom.”

Murray Jones said, “There’s a thing called Zoom and it’s less expensive.”


Trudeau returned to Canada late Thursday.

Photo credit: CTV News

Canada Prime Minister Trudeau Leads on Talks to Quell Haiti’s Crisis

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s arrival in the Bahamas on Wednesday means the beginning of talks on Haiti’s deepening crisis after the US suggested it lead the intervention in the failed island nation.

When Haiti’s Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who will also participate in the CARICOM meetings, asked for a foreign military intervention due to the strangled hold gangs have on his country’s resources, the United States immediately suggested that Canada lead the discussions and send military troops on the ground.

Trudeau has since stated that any effort to restore Haiti must be led by the Haitian people and has left the idea of military intervention as a last resort, though the US said it should lead one.

Before his arrival to the Bahamas, Trudeau’s office said his discussions at the Caribbean summit, will allow leaders to consider political, security, and humanitarian assistance to Haiti and seek “Haitian-led solutions to the ongoing situation.”

According to Canadian media, Trudeau, when speaking in French, stated before his arrival, that Caribbean countries must play a role in “legitimizing” international help for Haitian people after decades of failed “colonialist” interventions.

In a prèss conference on Tuesday, Bahamas Prime Minister Philip Davis said Canada and the United States must step up to assist Haiti since the Bahamas has felt the brunt of Haiti’s economic and social instability, through the influx of thousands of Haitians fleeing the troubled state.

“We (The Bahamas) do not have the resources to be able to deal with the Haiti problem ourselves and we do need outside help.”

Davis hinted that the Bahamas would be willing to send personnel to a security mission if it’s needed.

Waves of violence have swept Haiti marked by poverty, the assassination of Haiti President Jovenel Moise in 2021, rising energy prices, corruption, and civil unrest.

Trudeau will speak to the Caribbean panel on Thursday and leave for Ottawa later in the evening.

Photo: Prime Ministers Justin Trudeau and Ariel Henry arrive in the Bahamas on Wednesday to attend the Caribbean Summit

Haiti Police Riot After Gangs Kill 14 Officers; Davis Orders Diplomats Leave the Troubled Nation

Haitian police officers rioted in the streets of Port-au-Prince on Thursday, demanding its government act after armed gangs killed 14 of their colleagues.

Dressed as civilians, officers blocked the streets and entrance to the country’s main airport as Prime Minister Ariel Henry arrived from Argentina where he attended the Community of Latin American and Caribbean Summit(CELAC).

Before flooding the airport, the rioters invaded Henry’s home where gunshots rang off.

Protesters attempting to break into the Haitian prime minister's residence
Protesters attempting to break into the Haitian prime minister’s residence.
Demonstrators break into the Toussaint Louverture International Airport to protest the recent killings of police officers by armed gangs, in Port-au-Prince
Demonstrators break into the Toussaint Louverture International Airport to protest the recent killings of police officers by armed gangs, in Port-au-Prince

Earlier in the day, reports were that police had stopped the local charge d’affairs and taken their vehicles and weapons.

Since then, Prime Minister Philip Davis who returned From Argentina on Wednesday ordered an immediate involuntary departure for Bahamian diplomatic personnel.

All diplomats are reportedly safe.

The National Union of Haitian Police Officers says 14 officers have been killed since the beginning of the year in gang attacks on police stations.

Seven officers were killed in a shootout on Wednesday alone, according to Haiti’s National Police. And in other instances, two officers were killed inside a police station in the country’s northern state, while four were killed execution-style in the streets of Port-au-Prince.

Video circulating social media shows the naked and bloodied bodies of six men stretched out in the street as their guns lay on their chests. Another video shows two masked men smoking cigarettes from the dismembered hands and feet of the dead men.

The gang who killed them, known as Gan Grif, still has the bodies, police said.

As the political and social conditions in Haiti continue to deteriorate, its citizens leave the embattled country in droves for greener pastures like the Bahamas and Florida.


Featured photos: Reuters/Ralph Tedy Erol

Another Man in Custody After Death of 17 Migrants Found in Capsized Boat

Another man is in police custody over his suspected involvement in the deaths of the Haitian migrants whose vessel overturned on the choppy seas in the early morning hours.

Police say the man is 54 years old and joins the two other smugglers caught on Sunday. Police said they know the two Bahamian traffickers from previous criminal acts in the country.

17 Haitians including a child died when the speed boat used for human smuggling, capsized in Bahamian waters on their way to Florida.

The dead included 15 women, one man, and a child. The other 25 passengers were rescued from the 30-foot speedboat.

It was reported that 60 people may have boarded the boat and authorities were searching for approximately eighteen people who are unaccounted for.

The survivors said they paid the three smugglers $3000 to $8000 to catch the boat ride to Miami, Florida. 

Haiti has been plagued with gang violence and economic and political instability for many years. But things have worsened following the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse last July.

The chaos has led many Haitians to flee the island-nation in search of a better life.

The Survival of the Fittest: Most Men Were Rescued From the Capsized Boat. Women and Child Died

Only the strong survived the boat tragedy on Sunday when 17 Haitians including a child died when a human smuggling vessel capsized in Bahamian waters on their way to Florida.

The dead included 15 women, one man, and a child. The other 25 passengers were rescued from the 30-foot speedboat which overturned in choppy waters in Nassau.

It was reported that 60 people may have been on board the boat and authorities may be searching for up to eighteen missing people, unaccounted for.

In a picture issued by the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, only men were seen sitting atop the capsized vessel, awaiting rescue by divers.

A woman was pulled from the hull of the boat and was reported to have survived due to an air pocket.

Commissioner of Police Clayton Fernander said divers heard a knocking from the hull of the boat and found one woman.

“I think that’s what kept her alive.”

A graphic image showing the deceased recovered from the boating tragedy. The migrants were Haitians being smuggled to Miami, Florida.

Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry said he sympathized with the parents of the victims.

“This new drama saddens the whole nation,” he said. “While sympathizing with the parents of the victims, I launch, once again, an appeal for national reconciliation in order to solve the problems that are driving away, far from our soil, our brothers, our sisters, our children.”

The passengers who survived the ordeal said they paid smugglers $3000 to $8000 to catch the boat ride to Florida. Authorities have since arrested two Bahamian traffickers who are known for other criminal acts.

Haitian Migrant Inflow Grows Concerning


The southern islands of the Bahamas have been inundated with the influx of Haitian migrants over the weekend.

Authorities captured nearly 400 Haitian migrants on Sunday on an uninhabited island in the Ragged Island chain, after fishermen noticed a partially submerged vessel in the area.

This comes after 500 more migrants were captured in Matthew Town, Inagua on Saturday.

Officials said the groups will be deported as soon as they are processed.

In a video, Deputy Prime Minister Chester Cooper is seen speaking to the lively group in Inagua as they sit under a tent.

He tells them through an interpreter, “…You’ve had enough food and enough water. We are asking you to be patient. It is important that you follow the instructions of the officers. We want you to know that you have landed in the Bahamas illegally. Therefore we will help you, we will process you to return to your home,” as the migrants clapped.

ZNS reporter Lloyd Allen said in a social media post that the government was seeking to provide temporary housing for the migrants.

This influx comes as the authorities in the United States cleared a border camp in Texas, USA that sprung up with well over 30,000 Haitian migrants under a bridge.

According to Reuters, 12,000 migrants will appear before US immigration judges for stay, 8,000 were returned to Mexico and 2,000 were sent back to Haiti. The others were detained as the state decides its next move.

In Pictures: Many Dead and Buildings Crumble in Haiti’s Powerful Earthquake

A 7.2 magnified earthquake rocked Haiti on Saturday morning reducing buildings to rubble amidst reports of several fatalities.

People fled their homes and ran to the mountains after the quake hit the town of Pete Trou de Nippes around 8:30 am.

A series of aftershocks struck 8 km (5 miles) from the town, about 150 km west of the capital Port-au-Prince, at a depth of 10 km, the United States Geological Survey said.

The quake, though farther away from the capital, was felt strongly.

In the nearest big town, Les Cayes, two residents told Reuters a major hotel and other buildings collapsed. Locals said water had briefly flooded the coastal town, causing panic amid fear of a tsunami.

It is not known how many people died as a result of the quake, but videos circulating social media show residents pulling survivors from the crumbled buildings.

Prime Minister Ariel Henry said on Twitter, “I present my sympathies to the parents of the victims of this violent earthquake that has caused the loss of several lives and material damage in various provinces.”

The hospital in Les Cayes is said to be overwhelmed with injured patients.

It was reported that a former senator Gabriel Fortune was among the dead. He was pulled from a hotel building in Les Cayes.

Haiti’s Slain President Laid to Rest Amidst Cries for Justice

Funeral service for slain President Jovenel Moise got underway in Cap-Haitien, Haiti, on Friday morning, as an angry crowd demanded justice for the late president who was shot dead in his home nearly two weeks ago.

As Moise’s widow, also injured during the attack, ascended the stairway to his wooden casket, cries of “Justice! Justice!” from the crowd gathered nearby, echoed throughout the private ceremony.

Martine was adorned in black with her right arm resting in a sling, and surrounded by her three children.

They were joined by mourners from around the world who descended on the small village where Moise grew up.

Heavy security personnel armed with high-powered weapons enveloped the private ceremony.

As Haiti’s National Police Chief León Charles arrived, one woman shouted, “You didn’t take any measures to save Jovenel! You contributed to his killing!”

Another man yelled at Charles, “You need to leave now or we’re going to get you after the funeral!”

The day before the funeral, violence flared in the streets as protesters set tires on fire to block roadways. Protesters say they want to know how and why Moise was assassinated.


Photo credit: AP Press

Haiti Gets New Prime Minister

Ariel Henry was officially sworn in as the new Prime Minister of Haiti, following the assassination of President Jovenel Moise, nearly two weeks.

Henry’s official appointment comes as a power struggle intensified in the Caribbean nation and its government hastened to front strong leadership after Moise was killed.

Ariel Henry at his swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday. Claude Joseph is seen in the top left photo.

Though an interim Prime Minister, Henry replaces Claude Joseph, who became the face of the Haitian government after Moise’s death.

Henry is backed by the Core Group which is comprised of ambassadors from Canada, the United States, Germany, France, Brazil, Spain, France, the European Union and representatives from the United Nations and the Organization of American States.

The 71-year-old neurosurgeon and former cabinet minister stated at his swearing-in ceremony, “One of my priority tasks will be to reassure the people that we will do everything to restore order and security,” according to AFP news agency.

Why it matters

Joseph, the country’s foreign affairs minister, held the post of interim prime minister while Jovenel served as President.

One day before Jovenel died, he appointed Henry to the position to replace Joseph. But Henry was never sworn in.

After the assassination, Joseph asserted himself as leader causing a power vacuum.

However, on Sunday, Joseph said he would step down “for the good of the nation.”

“Everyone who knows me knows that I am not interested in this battle, or in any kind of power grab,” Joseph said.

“The president was a friend to me. I am just interested in seeing justice for him.”

The big picture

Moise was killed by assassins at his home in the early morning hours. His wife was injured during the attack, received medical care in the United States and this week returned to the troubled island nation.

Nearly 28 foreign mercenaries were arrested after the attack, including two US citizens of Haitian descent and 26 Columbians which included ex-military men.

State of play

Moise’s funeral is scheduled for Friday.

Haiti’s election is expected in September.