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Embassy Warning On Crime Does Not Seek To Kill 'The Golden Goose Of Tourism'

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US acting Deputy Chief of Mission John Armstrong

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Staff Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

US EMBASSY Acting Deputy Chief of Mission John Armstrong said yesterday the embassy did not want to “kill the golden goose of tourism” with the release of a new travel advisory warning Americans to be on alert for crime.

However, Mr Armstrong said that officials could not ignore several incidents this month where Americans have been victims of crime, or were at risk.

The US Embassy sent out a travel advisory on Tuesday to Americans living in and travelling to New Providence and Grand Bahama warning citizens to be on “heightened alert to avoid being a victim of crime”.

It outlined the ‘brutal” murder of an American man living in Grand Bahama; the armed robbery of a US citizen at a beach in New Providence and armed robberies at two popular shopping centres. 

The advisory said: “On the night of January 24, several assailants entered the home of a resident US citizen living in Freeport, Grand Bahama and brutally murdered him.”

Mr Armstrong yesterday revealed that the man may have been tortured.

The advisory continued: “Armed robbery and violent crime remain major threats facing US citizens in The Bahamas, including in areas frequented by tourists on New Providence and Grand Bahamas Islands.  In the past eight months, a number of US citizens have fallen victim to armed robbery and two have been murdered.  The Royal Bahamas Police Force issued a message last year citing concerns about the increased number of armed robberies in Nassau.”

It added: “In light of this situation, US citizens residing in or travelling to The Bahamas should review their personal security plans.  Remain aware of your surroundings, including local events and monitor local news stations for updates.” 

Responding to questions about the advisory on a local talk show, Mr Armstrong said: “I’m going to lift the curtain a little bit and let you and the listeners and viewers out there know how the sausage is made. There was a lot of discussion about this, because crime is a concern. 

“Unfortunately this month there have been several incidents in areas either involving Americans, or where Americans were the victims.”

Mr Armstrong said: “We had a long discussion about this in the embassy and to do our duty to American citizens, which is the duty of any country to look after the welfare of their citizens, we would be derelict of that duty if in light of these events we did not say something.”

He added: “We don’t want to kill the golden goose of tourism, far from it. The Bahamas is a beautiful country I am honoured that so many Americans come here, you’ve got over 10 times the size of the Bahamian population in Americans coming here every year.”

Comments

B_I_D___ 5 years, 2 months ago

...you didn't see anything...please...go about your regular business...there is no crime issue to worry about...Dey just holograms of people doing silly sheet man!!

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JohnDoes 5 years, 2 months ago

The thing is, if they keep focusing on this 'golden goose', they are also going to get strangled by it. We need to focus more on developing other industries that when added to tourism can bring in a lot more money for the country. For example, there aint no need for a foreigner to come here and make millions of dollars of our salt that is naturally occurring here. Why couldnt we the Bahamians take advantage of this? Oh yea, because we are too lazy and we are taught to look up to others rather than start businesses and trends for ourselves.

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banker 5 years, 2 months ago

Hubert Ingraham tried to diversify the economy and create a Third Pillar in 2002. He was roundly voted out of office. When he got back into power, he gave Bahamians exactly what they wanted -- nothing. The status quo. It doesn't pay to have vision here. It can easily be defeated at the ballot box with free booze, ham, turkey, tee shirts, or $200. Or in the case of Valentine Grimes, getting caught with a suitcase full of 'practice' ballots. Suk teet.

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BDN 5 years, 2 months ago

I keep saying this... Don't forget the refrigerators...

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TalRussell 5 years, 2 months ago

Will Baha Mar use excuses to become a fortress? If American tourists visiting our Bahamaland follows the advice offered by US Embassy Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Comrade John to be tuning in we radio shows and reading our two daily newspapers overboard sensitization of crime, they's be too damn afraid even poke they heads out hotel windows, much less support our economy by renting a car, scooter, bicycle or hiring a taxi to visit and see all Nassau Town things to see and do and businesses. What the US Comrade and the Tribune has left out left out was the fact that according to media reports one of the US citizens mentioned in the alert my have run afoul of US law while living in Bahamas.

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concernedcitizen 5 years, 2 months ago

They need to be afraid ,on a per capita bases you are 8 times more likely to be murdered here and 11 times more likely to be robbed at gun point then in the US ..Now there are some very high crime areas in the US ,inner city Detriot etc ,but not many people plan to vacation there ..ON pure country to country per capita basis the chance of being ,killed ,robbed ,assualt is much higher here ,,

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TalRussell 5 years, 2 months ago

Comrade Dinkelman moved up as Acting Deputy Chief of Mission only cause we are now heading towards the third year of Bahamaland having no official US Ambassador. Strange when the US is concerned over the growing Chinese involvement and crime which happens to be down slightly by the way. The print media is much aware of a slight reduction in crime but it's not the sort of headlines to sell more newspapers. The more newspapers you sell the high the per inch column price you can charge advertisers.

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banker 5 years, 2 months ago

I remember what Comrade Commish Greenside said. He said that violent crime was down, but murders were up. Apparently murders don't count as violent crimes in the Bahamas any longer. I would have been able to more accurately quote what he said, but I can't because I was invited to watch his statements on TV in the PM's pool house. When I got there, the TV was gone.

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TalRussell 5 years, 2 months ago

Comrade, Bahamalander's need to be as deeply concerned over the nature of murders. Who is killing and the why and methods used have significantly changed.

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banker 5 years, 2 months ago

Absolutely right. There seems to be a supply of guns flooding these shores. I was in the Super Value on Prince Charles Drive and I overheard the boys stocking the shelves discussing the benefits of a nine millimeter versus a .38 special. (From what I overheard, a nine millimeter has greater knockdown power than a .38). I'm thinking WTF? These boys are clean-cut, yes-sir type of guys and they are discussing the correct heat to pack? Why would a youngster want a gun?

It seems that the gun culture is new and pervasive. Human life is cheap. The real Balls Alley punks don't expect to live past 30 years of age, so they een afraid of dying, and it is a badge of courage to shoot at a po-po.

Yes there are the drug gangs. And yes there are the Haitian gangs like the Zo Boys or Zoe Pound. But take a look at who is getting shot and killed. There is no Michel, or Joseph but rather names like Colebrooke and such.

The social fabric is getting torn apart, and I still firmly believe, no make that I know that it can be fixed with a good economy. These beuys don't have any way to make a living at all, except by selling drugs, stealing gold and copper and stealing cars. How come a stolen car can't be found on this small island?

But I digress. Even with poorly socialised young men, they know the difference of right from wrong, but they are just past caring. They are semi-literate. There are no jobs. A young man can't take care of his business even if he wanted to. And every July that rolls around, the problem gets worse by about 3,000 school leavers.

I fear for our country. I fear that the problem is so big now, that it cannot be solved by conventional means. It would take a saint for a prime minister with vision, knowledge and courage -- none of which Perry Gladstone Christie has.

The party needs to be purged. The government needs to be purged. The police need to be purged. The churches need to feel the fires of Hell on earth with their Bentley-driving, girl-raping, sweethearting ministers.

The people are crying for dignity and enough money to live. And the union bosses get rich. When the strike comes, there een no strike money for the workers, but the union bosses collect their inflated salaries.

Folks can't afford to buy the proper organic foods, fruits, vegetables and healthy tings for living a long life. They have to put up without going to the dentist. Each day when they start their coughing, smoking car, they pray it will last another day. They scrape their change together for another $5 phone card.

This een good, and its going downhill faster and faster with no end in sight. God help us all.

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TalRussell 5 years, 2 months ago

Comrade honest to God except knowing the hanging our citizens or the costs associated with and the questionable effectiveness of placing a policeman's on every street corner, it would be a joy in my heart if i could even pretend to know the answers. I also do know this much and with great certainty, it's a homemade Bahamaland problem and it be up all us to chip in to work, make sacrifices toward sensible solutions, as long as it does not require what some have called for to turn our tiny NassauTown into some kind armed, curfew fortress. Walk'in with a big stick by turning a blind eye to our Constitution like some have suggested to score political points, scares the hell out me maybe more than the thugs.

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banker 5 years, 2 months ago

Tal, you and I can make all of the sacrifices toward sensible solutions that we want to, and it won't make a whit's worth of difference. When we see the corruption at the top, no amount of goodness at the bottom is going to cure that. The goodness at the bottom just makes it barely livable.

Our moral compass is so shot, that it can't be repaired. In the family islands where some of my folks come from, every time a new policeman comes, the girls line up to have his baby so that they get taken care of in one way or another. Everywhere you look, tings are broke. Half the lying, cheating and stealing that's done, is just to get by. There is no other way. Pretty soon it becomes a way of life.

I know that fixing the economy would fix the Bahamas, but it is impossible. The job is too big, and there is no political will to do so. We would have to ditch the beloved Bahamian dollar and dollarise the Economy (American dollar would be the currency), That way there would be no reserves, or Central Bank permission for Bahamians to get capital to build projects and start their businesses. We would have to let go of old ideas, and that is hard to do. We would have to spend millions to modernise the civil service so that productivity improves and costs go down.

Everywhere you turn, there are big jobs to be done, and no willing hands to do them.

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crabman 5 years, 2 months ago

Fools Fools Fools

what we need to do is capitalize on this crime and create a niche market for tourism (Come on Obie I know you have thought about it) we could do tours of crime sites (minimum of three day tour in Nassau) our court systems (reminds meet of the TV show Night Court, hilarious), the prison, the morgue (picture taking will be allowed), viewing of the crowds oustide the courthouse with lunch included, photos with our barristers in front of their 3 million dollar mansions. I can hear the money rolling in as I sit here over the hill wondering if I too will become a part of a tour when I walk to my corner to buy some milk (new idea, a prize of cash on the tour if you can name the person who was outlined in chalk last night, you will probably have at least six chances at several different locations)

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