Dr. Munroe suggests Martelly’s comments irresponsible
By KRYSTEL ROLLE-BROWN
Guardian Staff Reporter
Bahamas Faith Ministries International President Dr. Myles Munroe yesterday suggested that Haitian President Michel Martelly’s call for Bahamians to invest in Haiti was inappropriate and pointed to a lack of leadership.
Munroe, who was a guest on the Guardian Radio show
“State of Affairs” with host Kevin Harris, said Martelly seemed to be trying to shed his responsibility on the backs of the Bahamian people.
On Tuesday, Martelly suggested that a portion of the substantial sums of money the Bahamas government spends on fighting illegal immigration should be invested in Haiti to address the problem from that end.
“The other day, I was talking to the prime minister [Perry Christie] and I heard him say he was investing about $200 million to protect the Bahamian coast to stop the boat people,” said Martelly during a meeting with Opposition Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis and Shadow Minister of Foreign Affairs Hubert Chipman in the Minority Room in the House of Assembly.
“...But that idea came to me, and I told him, ‘why don't
we invest some of that money, or at least bring in some Bahamian investors, down to the north of Haiti where these people live who come here?’”
Munroe said Martelly’s comments indicate a level of irresponsibility.
“Maybe it’s a pipe dream,” Munroe said. “Maybe it’s someone saying, ‘look, I’m going to give you my problems. I’m going to transfer the problems from my government to you. I’m [going to] be irresponsible by making you responsible for my responsibility’.
“I think that this is definitely a sign of absence of effective leadership or maybe lack of leadership completely.”
Munroe said Martelly should have communicated that idea to the government in private.
“My leadership in The Bahamas should have said that there are certain things you can’t say publicly,” he said.
“I’m not sure what the context of that was, but I am concerned. But I do think that we have to protect our independence and our sovereignty.
“I do think any relationship should be in our best interest, not in the interest of other people.”
During Tuesday’s meeting, Chipman agreed that there should be increased Bahamian investment in Haiti.
Martelly, who was in town to sign several investment and agriculture agreements with the government, said it is in the interest of Haiti and The Bahamas that things go well in Haiti.
“Sometimes investing to protect just your country is not sufficient, because that doesn’t stop Haitians from fleeing,” Martelly told reporters and government officials later that day.
“That doesn’t stop Haitians from dying, and as leaders we have a common interest in strengthening the region.”
Munroe said Haitians should invest in their own country.
“Haiti is not a poor country 100 percent,” he noted.
“They have wealthy, wealthy Haitians there. And then of course you have areas where you have low-income areas. So I don’t want the Bahamians to think that the Haitians that they may have met here is Haiti.
“I guess my point is this — why don’t those wealthy Haitians invest in Haiti, or why don’t those wealthy Haitians invest in The Bahamas?
“Bahamians themselves are not necessarily interested in investing in their own country. So how can we expect Bahamians to invest in other countries?
Munroe said while The Bahamas should be a good neighbor, it is the Haitian government’s responsibility to build its nation.
August 01, 2014