Bethel: Criticising govt is not an unpatriotic act


Carl Bethel


Tribune Chief Reporter


FREE National Movement Senator Carl Bethel yesterday denied suggestions that his criticism of the Baha Mar winding up process was unpatriotic, calling Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson’s characterisation of him “disingenuous and false”.

Mr Bethel underscored that his criticism on Friday was directed at the government and not the Supreme Court, which recently ruled to appoint provisional liquidators to oversee the stalled mega resort.

He also questioned why the government would bring in foreign liquidators, instead of utilising Bahamian professionals in the winding up process.

“This PLP government has a nasty habit of trying to convert any criticism of their actions into being either an attack upon some other institution or showing a lack of patriotism,” he said.

“They also refuse to take responsibility for their own actions, and resort to name calling.”

“Nothing that I said was an attack upon the courts or the judiciary,” Mr Bethel, a former attorney general, said.

“Judges do not invent orders out of thin air. They rule upon what is placed before them. It is the government which sought the appointment of liquidators of Baha Mar. It is the government which, through the order, has placed the figurative loaded gun to the head of the developer, not the court.”

“Any suggestion by members of the government that criticism of the government’s deliberate actions is a criticism of the courts or Justice Winder is disingenuous and false.”

Justice Ian Winder approved the government’s petition for the appointment of provisional liquidators on Friday, but limited their scope to preventing the depletion of the $3.5 billion resort’s assets.

The judge approved the appointment of a joint provisional liquidator, allowing the government’s application for three professionals from KRyS Global and AlixPartner Services of the United Kingdom to oversee the resort’s affairs.

Shortly after the decision, Mr Bethel said the move “figuratively places a loaded gun to the head of the developer.”

Speaking outside Cabinet on Tuesday, Mrs Maynard-Gibson said she was shocked to hear Mr Bethel make “such serious allegations” given his tenure as former attorney general. She added that she was concerned about what appeared to be a “lack of patriotism” in the FNM.

However, Mr Bethel pointed out that his suspicions that the role of the appointed liquidators would expand without constraint were supported by Mrs Maynard-Gibson’s confirmation that the liquidators will also assume responsibility for staff salaries.

He underscored that the lives of thousands of Bahamians, dependent upon the fate of Baha Mar, were in limbo.

Mr Bethel said: “This government had one job to do in terms of economic development – get Baha Mar open. They have failed miserably and are now compounding their miserable failure. Because the US orders were blocked by the intervention of the government, Baha Mar has no money in the Bahamas to protect its assets, and cannot apparently pay for such protection.

“Hence the government now has to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for foreign provisional liquidators to come to the Bahamas to do a job that the developer could otherwise have done itself. It should be noted that the PLP chose foreigners to lead this process over qualified Bahamians who could as easily have led the process.

He added: “The government needs to accept responsibility for their own actions or inactions, and stop trying to shirk legitimate criticisms of their actions onto other institutions. This government needs to accept responsibility for their own actions, ‘get real’, do their job and get Baha Mar open. Anything less is nothing but wasted air, empty rhetoric and political posturing.”

“All of this twisting of words, rhetoric and misplaced ‘patriotic’ assertions by government members do not in any way advance the cause of those thousands of young Bahamians waiting on the sidelines of national economic development, whose lives are blighted by high unemployment rates, an unrelenting crime wave, and sky-rocketing increases in the cost of living,” Mr Bethel said.


asiseeit 8 years, 7 months ago

Actually speaking out is the most patriotic thing one can do and more need to have the courage to do so. This government thinks it is a dictatorship. This government also thinks it can run roughshod over the people of the Bahamas. We see and hear of corruption, conflict of interest, shadowy deals, and other nefarious dealing daily and these kleptocrates want to say that by speaking up people are unpatriotic. I think the ones taking advantage of their position in government are the true traitors. The ones who use their positions to get inside deals are the scum. The ones who give fat contracts to their friends, family, and lovers should be in jail. The ones who give out government contracts without having them go to bid should be in jail. Talk about unpatriotic, go look in the mirror old bird!


Wideawake 8 years, 7 months ago

Greedy politicians, when they get too comfortable in their positions of power, choke the lifeblood out of the economy. As they settle into their Ministries they become bedazzled by the sense of their own importance, and they become corrupted by the power they so jealously guard.

Even if they start with good intentions, and even if they once believed their own spin about what they plan to do for their country, inevitably their focus changes, they get "drunk with power" and succumb to the "all for me, baby" virus!!

Politicians are like weeds! Better to pull them up every five years before their political roots grow too deep into the economy, and before they get so addicted to the power that they wield, that they succumb to the fantasies of "Prime Minister For Life", and the dream of building a "Political Dynasty".


TalRussell 8 years, 7 months ago

Comrade I thinks you got Carl B, all confused with preacherman's Zhivargo


a2z 8 years, 7 months ago

When dictators rule, when evil people are in charge, they call dissenting opinions any name they can find. Keep it coming Carl Bethel. Dog don't bark at park car and the first one howl when you throw the rock, you know who get hit.


banker 8 years, 7 months ago

The unpatriotic one is Allyson Maynard Gibson. There isn't a shred of decency or altruism in her.


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