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Tourism Minister Says Cuba Protests Will Harm Nation

photo

Obie Wilchcombe

By LAMECH JOHNSON

Tribune Staff Reporter

ljohnson@tribunemedia.net

TOURISM Minister Obie Wilchcombe suggested yesterday that Bahamians will end up suffering for the latest actions of the Miami-based Cuban exile group Democracy Movement who seem intent on harming the Bahamas’ reputation and economy.

Responding to the group’s intent to submit a report to the Inter-American Commission of the Organisation of American States (OAS) regarding the Cuban detainees issues, which is still being investigated, Mr Wilchcombe called their promised intentions “unnecessary.”

“The Bahamian government is doing what has to be done, as there is a process,” he said.

“The minister has assured that investigations are underway, but what they are doing is attacking our country unnecessarily and making the Bahamian people suffer for it.”

“The impact this will have on our economy will not be good and I think it’s so totally wrong.”

Previously, the movement said there were plans to stage demonstrations at airports in Florida with flights to the Bahamas.

The Movement also revealed it met with Carnival Cruise Lines and wanted to speak with the Genting Group Royal Caribbean International.

Mr Wilchcombe yesterday defended the Bahamas’ reputation built up over the years concerning the respect and defence of human rights and claimed that, by the

Movement’s actions, they were trying to recharacterise the Bahamas’ reputation.

The minister also noted that it was clear the group wanted to cause a rift between the Bahamas and Florida, a state where Bahamians spend up to $1 billion annually.

“I think and hope that Bahamians protest this,” he said.

On Sunday, Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell insisted there has been no fallout for the Bahamas’ reputation due to the controversy.

“My judgment is that there has been no impact and there is no fall-out. This is a matter that is largely confined to Dade County and Broward County in Miami,” Mr Mitchell said.

“It is driven in part by the continued fascination which the local press appears to have for this matter and are really giving these people more light than they deserved.

“They have engaged in what appears to be economic blackmail of this country and we simply can’t support it on that basis and those are just the facts.”

Comments

concernedcitizen 6 years, 9 months ago

They are caught between a rock and a hard place .If they release a "white washed " report and someone is holding a trump card ,ie hospital records etc there reputation is shot in international affairs .If they release the truth and its very bad after all this stalling they also look bad .There will be no report ,they are praying Ramon and his Democracy movement get tired ..

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ThisIsOurs 6 years, 9 months ago

"Beating detainees and trying to cover it up will harm nation"

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Guy 6 years, 9 months ago

Well this is rather confusing. On the one hand, the Minister of Foreign Affairs has dismissed these protests, and is reported to have said, “My judgment is that [there] has been no impact and there is no fall-out. This is a matter that is largely confined to Dade County and Broward County in Miami.”

Now we have the Minister of Tourism expressing alarm at the potential harm these protests can cause the nation! Can the government take a unified position on this? These contrasting pronouncements by different members of the government are an obvious and glaring sign that a rift exists and all is not well in the Christie cabinet.

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ThisIsOurs 6 years, 9 months ago

Maybe he wants to get Fred Mitchell and Bernard Nottage out of the PM runnings....Brave Davis is remarkably quiet in all of this...and I mean remarkably. The hyenas are already fighting and the lion hasn't even dropped down yet.

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TalRussell 6 years, 9 months ago

Someone must have let the performers from the red shirts circus off work early today. Who else would attempt to imply that ministers Obie and Freddy are talk'in from a different script?

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Guy 6 years, 9 months ago

Where was the implication Tal? Haven't you read this news report(s) before you posted your comment? For the record, I am not a red shirt. Don't make this political. Argue on the facts and the merits alone.

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TalRussell 6 years, 9 months ago

Comrade guy the pages of the Tribune had long become political, long before i got here. Constantly attacking minister Freddy, is not actual new. Now, is it?

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concernedcitizen 6 years, 9 months ago

Tals a luggage door is not properly closed on a plane and you want a speedy investigation and forceful action .You also call for the Minister in charge of aviation to assure the public air travel is safe in" Bahamaland " However nearly five months after an incident and the Democracy movement protesting in front of our consulate and all you do is attack the tribune ,the FNM and call a reenactment a fake video ..whats up w/ that..??

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nationbuilder 6 years, 9 months ago

Fred says there is no impact, Obie says the exact opposite. Yup, pretty typical.

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banker 6 years, 9 months ago

Beating Cubanshttp://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b31..." title="Beating Cubans" />

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