British Embassy Now Open for Business in Haiti

Britain has not been a diplomatic presence in Haiti since 1966. That year the British shuttered their embassy due to intensified conflicts with Dictator François Duvalier. Over four decades later, Britain has resumed a diplomatic relationship with the government of Haiti, under President Michel Martelly.


The British Embassy, now open for business, is seeking to expand its business and diplomatic interests in the South Region. Brit Steven Fisher will work at the Canadian Embassy in Port-au-Prince. Ambassador Fisher already resides in the Dominican Republic in Santo Domingo as the British Envoy.

On June 12th, a ceremony to celebrate the British Embassy opening again in Port-au-Prince brought together Hugo Swire of the British Foreign Office and President Martelly. After the ceremony they met privately to discuss the creation of more opportunities for trade between the two countries and increased private investment. For its part, Haiti is preparing to launch an embassy later this year in Britain.

The last time Britain appointed an Ambassador to Haiti, Gerard Corley Smith, he was denounced by Duvalier, and left the country in the early 60s. The British Embassy finally closed its doors a few years later when the British novel "The Comedians", which criticized Duvalier's corrupt and violent administration, came out.

It remains to be seen whether it is wise for Ambassador and Envoy Fisher to assume two roles that could raise a conflict of interest should the precarious balance of Haiti-DR relations falter, which they have in the past.

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Read more: Pierre Richard Casimir, England, Embassy, British, Steven Fisher, International

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