Showdown At The OAS

antigua-ambassador-haiti-ambasador-clash-at-oas
Haiti's ambassador, r. clashed with Antigua & Barbuda's ambassador at the OAS on Weds. May 12, 2021.

By NAN Staff Writer

News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Thurs. May 13, 2021: A major showdown occurred yesterday at a meeting of the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) set up to discuss establishing a mission to Haiti.

Haiti’s Ambassador to the OAS, Bocchit Edmond, engaged in a verbal clash with the Antigua and Barbuda Ambassador, Sir Ronald Sanders, accusing the latter of having an agenda to destabilize his country.

Edmond even accused Sir Ronald of lying about a meeting on Tuesday night, saying “if you want that respect for your country, stop using the name of your country to accuse other countries.”

Edmond noted that every ambassador has a right to express his or her position or that of his or her government, but he said that the ambassador of Antigua and Barbuda, “…seeks to brutalize my country as a pawn in their political agenda, that is upsetting, naturally because we all have the same rights because if you are seeking to discredit and destabilize my country will say no enough is enough.”

“Your accusations, those things you have been tweeting, those things you have written, published, they are not acceptable. You ought to recognize that,” Edmond said calling on Sir Ronald to say whether he did so at the behest of his country or himself.

Sir Ronald retorted: “This is childishness and we are here doing serious business which is trying to ensure that all member states…adhere to the principles of our charters. That is all I am trying to do and I have been an ambassador for 43 years…and I have never had an accusation of this kind made before.”

Sir Ronald, who has written extensively on the situation in Haiti over the years, also called on the chair of the Permanent Council to intervene and put an end to the attacks.

“I have not involved myself in any personal confrontation with Bocchit Edmond, I don’t know why this is persisting,” he stated. “My country must be judged by what it says and does in this Permanent Council. These personal attacks, which I know is part of the armoury that is utilized from time to time, including calling up governments and intimidating them, including my own government to tell them they must stop me from speaking…but we have not brought this to the attention of the Council.”

Despite the clash, the Permanent Council ended by agreeing to hold further talks with other stakeholders “as to how we will set up that mission to Haiti.”

Haiti has decided that the referendum will be held on June 27th and the legislative and presidential elections on September 19th with November 21st set aside for a second ballot.