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PLP Chair Bradley Roberts took issue with the DNA and FNM Leadership participating in demonstrations on the dump smoke while the Inter American Development Bank Meeting was being held in Nassau
12 April 2016
I wish to formally invite the leaders of the Free National Movement (FNM) and the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) to agree to immediately discontinue, eschew, and condemn all forms of political activism, demonstrations and acts of interloping that will have the consequence of negatively portraying The Bahamas internationally – harming the reputation of the country and its people.
I note the totally unhelpful approach of both Dr. Minnis and Mr. McCartney in the wake of the “Panama Papers”by Mossack Fonseca and inferences on not only the Financial Services Industry of our country but a notable Bahamian personality. Both men are very well aware that the sector’s regulatory regime meets the gold standard as both men have served as cabinet ministers, but not one of them saw their way to defend this country reputation or the memory and honour of our late Bishop brother who was singled out in the leaked documents. This is unpatriotic.
I have also taken note of an event called an ‘environmental demonstration’ by its organizers held this past Sunday. While all Bahamians are fully aware of the frequent fires and are in unanimous agreement on the urgent need for remediation at the public landfill, I question the intent and utility of staging the demonstration at or near the precincts of the Baha Mar resort, Cable Beach, the venue for the IDB board of governors meeting. The public landfill is not located on Baha Mar’s property on Cable Beach.
Were the organizers and the leadership of the FNM and DNA seeking to use this international event of the IDB meetings, a positive event for The Bahamas, to cast a negative international spot light on The Bahamas, its government and its people? Assuming that the organizers and participants all love The Bahamas – how was that demonstration in the manner it was executed helpful to the reputation of The Bahamas? I submit to the political leaders involved that their actions were unpatriotic and a demonstration of poor judgment.
The entire country is still in shock over the threat of a major negative international press blitz reportedly being instigated by Bahamians connected to Save the Bays and leading personalities in the Official Opposition under the theme, “A nation for Sale.” That fabricated controversy is harmful to the reputation of The Bahamas and was not instigated by the Bahamas government or the governing party.
Dr. Minnis and Mr. McCartney would be aware that such international political pandering and posturing harm all of our people and provide undue and unnecessary setbacks nationally.
While I salute Mr. McCartney’s noble gesture in rebuking the misguided conduct of Dr. Minnis in the Save the Bays controversy, I remain totally convinced that the country’s entire political leadership can find common ground in the agreement that we put The Bahamas first – above self-interests, personal political ambitions and the agenda of outside big-money interests.
As we brace ourselves for and strategize to mitigate the inherent existential threat of an emerging Cuba; as we prepare our National Development Plan to chart the national course going forward; as we train and re-train our young people for the competitive and new world order; and as we re-calibrate our national agenda in light of the painful lessons learned from the latest global recession, I emphasize to Dr. Minnis and Mr. McCartney that the quest for the governance of this country must never be at the expense its reputational destruction.
Some unsolicited advice for FNM & DNA leadership: patriotism and nationalism are pre-requisites for effective leadership.
As the most heavily criticized and scrutinized government or party in the history of this country, the PLP remains ready, willing and able to subject itself to the rigors of any spot light or scrutiny, local or international.
In the end, this is still our country. Others may come and enjoy it, but for us this is HOME. We must protect it at all costs for we have no other country to run to.