PM challenges Bahamians to prove negative reports wrong


Tribune Staff Reporter

PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis on Friday said the US State Department was within its rights to warn American citizens in the Bahamas and insisted the advisory offers the country a chance to "elevate" its tourism product.

In an interview with members of the press following a courtesy call from Transport Minister Frankie Campbell and representatives from the Bahamas Maritime Authority, Dr Minnis challenged Bahamians to remain focused on proving negative reports about the Bahamas wrong.

The Prime Minister also called on the country to acknowledge its faults, and with the same energy and passion being used to respond to the recent report, to address any shortcomings.

"I think every country has a responsibility to its people to do what they think is right, and we also have a responsibility to our people and we must ensure them that regardless of what negative they may hear out there, we must continue to remain focused and prove those individuals wrong," said Dr Minnis.

"I think that, yes, we may have challenges, but every nation has challenges, and the most important thing is to recognise and admit that you have challenges. Once you recognise them, then you are able to overcome them, and the mere fact that Bahamians are speaking out against helps elevate and take your country to another level in terms of responsibility and ensuring that there is no avenue for such a statement moving forward."

The US State Department's advisory, issued on Wednesday, ranks the Bahamas at ‘Level 2: Exercise increase caution', stating that violent crimes, such as burglaries, armed robberies and sexual assault, are common, even during daylight hours and in tourist areas.

The State Department also maintained its stance banning Embassy personnel from visiting the Sand Trap in Nassau or using jet ski rentals on New Providence and Paradise Island. However, its latest warning struck a major blow to one of the city’s most popular cultural spots, the Fish Fry.

On the same day the warning was issued, Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar said the advisory was “odd and troubling," adding he was “at a loss” over why the State Department would opt to target this area given there is an on-site police station.

Vendors on the Fish Fry strip underscored the critical importance of both local and tourist traffic, expressing major concerns over the advisory’s impact on eateries struggling to survive in the current economic climate.

Moreover, National Security Minister Marvin Dames in an interview with The Tribune on Thursday said police were unaware of any serious issues of concern at the popular tourist attraction.

Mr Dames, the representative for Mount Moriah, insisted no recent occurrences would have caused any serious level of concern, especially at Arawak Cay, where there is a police station on-site headed by a superintendent and supported by the RBPF’s Central Division – one of the largest divisions in New Providence and which has the backing of mobile patrols.

Nonetheless, the State Department report specified: "If you decide to travel to the Bahamas: avoid the area known as ‘Over-the-Hill’ (south of south of Shirley Street) and Fish Fry at Arawak Cay in Nassau at night. Do not answer your door at your hotel/residence unless you know who it is. Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.”


sam65 says...

Maybe just maybe the state department is taking the same stance that the American President is taking regarding Nations of African descent.The Bahamas is just another Shit Hole of a country ran by a Bunch of Monkeys and therefore should be avoided at all cost.If you want to save your white lives,stay clear of these countries all together!!!!! This is the mentality of the Trump Regime!!!!

Posted 12 January 2018, 11:13 p.m. Suggest removal

TalRussell says...

Ma Comrade Bradda Prime Minister. finally we agree. I likes when you sound in-charge prime ministerial. You can start lecturing your minister Dionisio James on why he ain't got nothing show to the american state department, notin but to sit small.

Posted 12 January 2018, 11:59 p.m. Suggest removal

John says...

If a friend invites you to their home and you have a bad experience, be it with the food, the cleanliness of the place or the rude children, would you prefer the friend to tell you about it or would you rather to have to hear about it in some public medium. Yes it is good to keep a cordial relationship with the United States but also ask them to give more assistance in helping keep their guns, illegal ones, that help contribute to the crime and violence in this country. The guns are the major problem. There were 31 shootings on a single beach in South Florida last year, on frequented by young people and visitors from other parts of the US, so the problem is not exclusive to the Bahamas. And Miami Beach got to the point of contemplating completely banning the sale of alcohol on the strip completely or, at least discontinuing the sale after certain hours. And it is not always about crime and violence but loud, disruptive and unruly behavior. Especially among young people. And since the problem is common to both countries then the common sense thing to do would be to work together and seek resolutions. Make gun smuggling a major priority among the police crime fighting efforst and the penalty for it, especially gun smuggling by foreigners, a very heavy one.

Posted 13 January 2018, 9:22 a.m. Suggest removal

sheeprunner12 says...

Who benefits from the gun/drugs trade????????......... Both here and in the USA????? .......... This is far bigger than "a good tourist experience".

Posted 13 January 2018, 11:18 a.m. Suggest removal

Porcupine says...

Great argument.
It's the guns that kill people.
Keep that way of thinking on the kindergarten playground.
Banning anything has NEVER worked. EVER. Be it alcohol, drugs or guns.
Try raising your kids to have respect for live and then it doesn't matter what they have at their disposal, the thought of harming another person wouldn't enter their mind.
Yeah John, it's the guns.
It is not the abject failure of our society to provide good parenting.
The stats are there in front of you John, but you choose to argue like an idiot.
But, we do seem to be abiding by your first request by hearing about all the murders of Bahamians by Bahamians.
The Bahamas has a homicide rate of 29.81 per 100,000 people.
The US has a homicide rate of 4.88 per 100,000 people.
There are more guns in the US than almost anywhere on earth.
Now explain this math genius John.
Again, we have failed to raise decent moral human beings and want to blame others, as usual.

Posted 14 January 2018, 6:47 a.m. Suggest removal

sheeprunner12 says...

Bahamians are not good ambassadors of their country ....... Most just look out for their own friends, families and lovers.

Posted 13 January 2018, 9:59 a.m. Suggest removal

TalRussell says...

Ma Comrade Potential Goodwill Ambassadors Braddas is goin require some kinds government issue manual for the proper education how you can turn ya self into one Bahamaland's Goodwill Ambassadors over ya lifetime.

Posted 13 January 2018, 10:51 a.m. Suggest removal

sheeprunner12 says...

We have it .......... It is called Bahamahost (should be mandatory in High School)

Posted 13 January 2018, 10:54 a.m. Suggest removal

bogart says...

Well the FishFry businesses have now come out in todays guatdian blaming the scanty police presence. True to form dey businesses aint going down by deyselfves truth be told

Posted 13 January 2018, 12:46 p.m. Suggest removal

John says...

Bahamians are good ambassadors. There are thousands of them away in US colleges and elsewhere and few get into problems beyond the ‘things that college kids do.’ In fact many continue to live abroad with successful careers and new families. And it is when you talk to the children and grandchildren of these Bahamians you learn that their passion for the Bahamas is beyond being just an ambassador. Many want to return home and fix those things that caused their parents to leave. And if the state department has reports about incidents that occurred at the Fish Fry the the police claim they know nothing about then it is only common decency for them to pass that information on to the police. And remember too there’s more than one Fish Fry in the country. There’s maybe two in Grand Bahama, Eleuthera has one that is very popular with tourists and Cat Islands Exuma and Abaco has Fish Fries that all at some point are the center of the islands’ activities at some point at the other. So are the problems just exclusive to the Fry in Nassau or is there a general problem.

Posted 13 January 2018, 1:11 p.m. Suggest removal

sheeprunner12 says...

John .......... you are so naive ......... Bless your heart!!!!!!!!

Posted 13 January 2018, 2:05 p.m. Suggest removal

John says...


Posted 13 January 2018, 3:21 p.m. Suggest removal

Porcupine says...

Oh John,
If you only spent more time reading, rather than writing your childish drivel.
When most Bahamian kids go off to school, they don't come back.
Not just because the job opportunities don't exist.
We have a culture here that does not celebrate others achievements, unless we can attach ourselves to it, like a sports team.
There are far more Bahamians living abroad than in The Bahamas.
If you have to ask the question, you already missed the realities.

Posted 14 January 2018, 6:54 a.m. Suggest removal

birdiestrachan says...

This is the same PM who called the Bahamas corrupt. Why when others Speak ill
of the Bahamas he has a problem? The Bahamas own Donald Trump.

In fact he called his own country corrupt in a foreign land.

Posted 13 January 2018, 1:50 p.m. Suggest removal

TheMadHatter says...

Thar's why at home i always grill my fish. I don't need none of them fry problems :-)

Posted 13 January 2018, 2:37 p.m. Suggest removal

TalRussell says...

Ma Comrade Braddas, except for Pindling and our one premier and the three other men's who held that office - only these four men's know how difficult of a job it is to capture the nation's mood.We all need and hope for PM Minnis to succeed. Lets pray he is sincere in beginning to capture the peoples moods and will alter for the good some confusing ways of his administration.

Posted 13 January 2018, 3:31 p.m. Suggest removal

ohdrap4 says...

suppose a friend of yours comes to visit?

Are you going to tell their daughter to rent a jet ski?

Are you going to tell them to go to the fish fry?

I would not, i would tell them to stay away.

Posted 13 January 2018, 5:15 p.m. Suggest removal

Aegeaon says...

From what I've seen over social media about Bahamians defending their own country is completely clueless on how the government has ignored 52 gangs for far too long, and they've became bold enough to do these acts that we see today.
I fully agree on the State Department's warning, and fully blame the Ministry of National Security for failing to take solid action to secure the safety of locals and tourists. What the RBPF is even doing isn't on the right path to protect Bahamians. Don't get me wrong, I'm not hitting the government harshly.

What I've noticed instead is about "public walkabouts", which is supposed to ensure law and order, but fails instead because of how the police is portrayed around Nassau. They barely look intimidating at all, and their weapons are poorly updated. How in blue hell can you have an Uzi from the 1980's? While someone had an MP5 in their back trunk instead?

This is the greatest example of a flaw right there, because the Bahamas is a important area for both drug lords and the FBI and the DEA Task Force alike. After the PLP sold an entire island to the Medellin Cartel in the late 1970's and 1980's. The US realized that the Bahamas is a key role in preventing drug cartels from creating a pure narco-state that is easy to control, to create and deliver drugs to East Coast and to the UK where it can be sent to Eastern Europe.

Sadly, for how embassy officials are forbidden to go to Sandtrap, or visit Jetski operators is an issue caused by us. I noticed that a life of bad deeds reward Bahamians more than being an honest citizen. Like how the Jetski operators can scam or rape women during the last few years and they got away with it because we didn't believe that these incidents happened, or we blamed the tourists. This is what is happening with this new warning, and we can't realize the bigger picture.

Bahamians are blaming the US for a simple warning, and that is what the other Mexican cartels want. So that the US will eventually stop support for the Bahamas, and the cartels will take over the country, mold the country like Mexico, but as a full narco-state. Leaving the Bahamas's only means of money is by drug-running, sex trafficking, money laundering, sale of illegal weaponry, kidnappings, harvesting organs from kids and terrorism will be our new norm and our new industries. All of that money is kept in the hands of sicarios, and Bahamians are the ultimate victims. We will never travel as the world will now scorn us for letting criminals control us, and we will always serve one cartel as slaves

That will be our outcome, unless we start to blame ourselves, and to start the initiatives to repair our country from the damages that we caused. The US has all the right to be concerned, and to help us to pinpoint our flaws. We should all face it, Bahamians in every social and governmental position should take responsibility for every action we do.

Posted 13 January 2018, 5:16 p.m. Suggest removal

Porcupine says...

Thanks for those thoughts.
Sad, but almost unbelievably true.

Posted 14 January 2018, 6:58 a.m. Suggest removal

Bonefishpete says...

Well maybe if they used a Better Fry Oil.

Posted 13 January 2018, 5:52 p.m. Suggest removal

TheMadHatter says...

The article says..."...members of the press following a courtesy call from Transport Minister Frankie Campbell..."

So if you are PM and one of your Cabinet members comes to visit you, it is a "courtesy call"???? Or does that only rise to that level depending on their heritage?

Posted 13 January 2018, 6:10 p.m. Suggest removal

TalRussell says...

Ma Comrade Braddas, Lawyers Profession is the Bahamaland has been around as long as Prostitution. Taking legal clients monies is not only immoral but hardly ever prosecuted in Bahamaland.... while I don't think some law being broken if you does do sex in exchanged for money and some thinks its immoral but no crime is committed when sex is paid for - unless they can prove ya is living off prostitution. We all does knows them of them crooked Lawyers lives well and how they publicly flashy off their crookedness. We knows some them lifestyles - all too well, right? How is it few. if any. are ever jailed who thief monies and properties from the poor and the near poor?

Posted 14 January 2018, 1:05 p.m. Suggest removal

sealice says...



Posted 15 January 2018, 9:20 a.m. Suggest removal

SP says...

PM Minnis needs to stop pussyfooting around and get serious about the peoples business!

Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Salman came to power late last summer, put new laws in place, began an “anti-corruption sweep”, arrested members of the royal family as well as influential officials and demanded restitution payments from them for decades of graft against the state!

Bahamians need to demand similar action against natural resource pirates and their corrupt political lackeys.

What is taking our politicians so long?

Posted 15 January 2018, 10:15 a.m. Suggest removal

bogart says...

..because over the years there is a nomenklatura or as one politician said both sides of the same coin.
Politicians may change every 5 years but the ministry remains the same.

Nrcessary changes needed is in financial agencies where ot seems obvious lending pllicies were not followed but somehow the show goes on and more money is poured into agencies.

Posted 15 January 2018, 12:50 p.m. Suggest removal

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