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Ambassador Pick Says Future Is Bright For The Bahamas

photo

Doug Manchester

By KHRISNA VIRGIL

Deputy Chief Reporter

kvirgil@tribunemedia.net

THE Trump administration’s pick for United States ambassador to The Bahamas, Doug Manchester, seemed to speak favourably of the newly elected Minnis administration yesterday, telling the panel at his Senate hearing “it really looks bright” in The Bahamas.

He said officials stationed at the US Embassy in Nassau, including Chargé d’Affaires Lisa Johnson, have said this much in his discussions with them.

This was part of his response to a question from Republican Florida Senator Marco Rubio who asked Mr Manchester for his position should The Bahamas’ support “waiver” regarding its vote at the Organisation of American States (OAS) for democracy in Venezuela.

He said The Bahamas has consistently voted with the US for this cause.

“It’s a new government down there with a new beginning,” Mr Manchester said. “I salute their democracy. They have recently had a great election. New people are coming into power according to all of the people that I have talked to, including our chargé (d’affaires) and our existing embassy staff down there, that it really looks bright and as I said, the greater America becomes the greater benefit it’ll be for The Bahamas.”

During the hearing before the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Mr Manchester also insisted he was not anti-gay, as he expressed support for the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender community. Senator Bob Menendez had pointed to Mr Manchester’s previous position regarding this issue, prompting him to state for the record that he was “certainly” in “support (of) gay and lesbian marriage”.

In 2008, Mr Manchester donated $125,000 to support a ballot initiative, known as Proposition 8, blocking same-sex marriage in California, according to The New York Times.

The newspaper reported the hotelier “donated the money to support the collection of signatures to qualify the initiative, which would amend the state’s constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage” for a vote later in 2008.

Earlier this year, ahead of the May 10 general election, several local pastors petitioned US President Donald Trump to revoke any US executive orders and policies that enable the promotion of same-sex marriages in the Caribbean region as part of its foreign policy.

The clergymen, including Grace Community Church Pastor Lyall Bethell and Pastor Allen R Lee, president of Teleios Theological Training Institute, in a letter to President Trump claimed that in recent years the policies of the US State Department and other government agencies involved in foreign policy have attempted to “coerce” countries in the Caribbean region into accepting a “mistaken version of marriage.”

Pointing to former US President Barack Obama’s threat last year to pull federal funding from American states over entry to bathroom and locker room access based on gender identity, the pastors claimed this same kind of “coercion” was being used against Caribbean countries to fall in line with the same-sex marriage agenda.

Pastors Bethel, Lee and other Bahamian clergymen were signatories to a petition dated January 31, 2017, which also bore the names of 289 clergymen from around the region, including those from Trinidad and Tobago.

In response, local, lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) activist Alexus D’Marco said it was with “horror” and “disgust” that the LGBTI community learned of the actions of these Christian ministers.

The basis of pastors’ arguments for the criminalisation of homosexuality and opposition to gay marriage has been dispelled and put to rest by the courts in the United States, she said.

Same-sex marriage is now legal in the United States.

The post of US ambassador to The Bahamas has been vacant since 2011, with the previous nominee Cassandra Q Butts having died as she waited more than two years to be confirmed to the post under the former Obama administration.

Ms Butts, 50, died in May last year, but was nominated for the ambassador post in 2014 by former US President Barack Obama. The confirmation was held up by Republicans in the US Senate.

Comments

tell_it_like_it_is 2 years, 3 months ago

I don't know why my "spidey" senses are tingling with this guy. So far I support Minnis' administration for the most part.
However, I just hope this Ambassador doesn't overstep his bounds like Ambassador Blankenship. That was a disaster!

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sheeprunner12 2 years, 3 months ago

The Minnis government will work with him .......... Fweddy needs to go sit in the corner and shut up

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SP 2 years, 3 months ago

Mr. Manchesters' comments are definitely a strong signal that the U.S. favors PM Minnis's anti corruption policies and their willingness to get involved with the advancement of the Bahamas.

Pillage Loot Plunder and Foriegn National Movement former administrations are a pale comparison to this new Minnis administration.

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SP 2 years, 3 months ago

Republican administrations historically have been good for the Bahamas.

THE Trump administration’s pick for United States ambassador to The Bahamas, Doug Manchester is a very well thought out strategic move by President Donald Trumps' team to counter the to date aggressive moves by China to gain a controlling geopolitical economic foothold 40 miles off the U.S. mainland in the Bahamas.

The appointment of Mr. Manchester, who prefers to be called "Papa Doug" has built some of the tallest hotels and office buildings in San Diego and he is also well versed in banking having developed banks as part of an impressive investment portfolio.

Mr. Manchester and his company, Manchester Financial Group, is also credited for playing a major role in transforming Navy Field and San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter into tourist destinations, confirming his ability to play an integral part of directing FDI to the Bahamas tourism and banking sectors.

That being said, obviously "Papa Doug" is a perfect match as United States ambassador to the Bahamas with his extensive background in resort development and financial services.

PM Dr. Hubert Minnis is now in the most enviable position imaginable. Now being able to immediately "pivot" from an unquestionably disastrous course of asinine political stupidity set by former PM Perry Gladstone Christies' Pillage Loot Plunder administration with the Chinese, re-establishing a much more preferable "superpower" relationship with our closest neighbor and long time ally, The United States Of America.

Notwithstanding the undeniable fact that President Donald Trumps new Immigration policies, immigrant crackdowns and a resurgence of Confederacy and segregation in the South will have a huge negative effect on the Caribbean and Latin American trade, as these people will no longer feel "safe" in Trumps America.

PM Minnis needs to turn the table and "strike while the iron is hot" using Freeports transhipment terminal to reposition the Bahamas as the new duty-free shopping destination mecca in the hemisphere, with the sole goal of this initiative being to entice the 500 million North Americans to come to the Bahamas to vacation and shop, and consider Caribbean nationals as iceing on the cake instead of the main course.

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sheeprunner12 2 years, 3 months ago

Yep ......... There are a lot of struggling hotels in Freeport ....... and unopened hotels at Bahamar for Papa Doug to help the government open and operate with credible US brand names ....... Get the Fook outta here

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djgross 2 years, 3 months ago

ATTN: The Rt. Hon. Dr. Hubert Alexander Minnis The Hon. Kevin Peter Turnquist Senator The Hon. Carl Wilshire Bethel, Q.C. Senator The Hon. Dion Alexander Foulkes The Hon. Dionisio James D'Aguilar

Dear Distinguished Officials,

As we, the former Baha Mar expatriate employees, are coming up on two years of dealing with a lack of clarity or resolution, we are pleased a new, fresh government with open eyes has taken the helm and are hopeful that you may help bring justice to our situation.

Your administration’s goals to revitalize The Bahamas as an ethical country, which foreign investors and employees should seek to do business with, is both encouraging and inspiring. We came to work in The Bahamas, as we believed in the people, the country and the mission of hope- in the form of opportunities- that the resort could bring for future generations.

We remained hopeful that honesty and justice would prevail and that any future communication or action could be avoided. After all, China EXIM bank provided plentiful funds, and the Claims Committee anointed that those funds were to be distributed to employees. The Bahamians were paid 100% of what they were owed. Where has the money gone that is rightfully owed to the expatriates?

The disrespectful communication, deceitful and fraudulent dealings and blatant discrimination against paying the expatriates- though employed equally under the same entity as the Bahamians- appears deliberate and criminal.

We may have moved off the island, but we are not going away.

The layers of deception assumedly by CEXIM bank and the Christie administration have given us no choice but to take these matters to a legal level. We are writing to let you know that we have retained legal representation and henceforth they will be corresponding with you on our behalf.

Where your administration may not been part of the problem, we are asking for your support to be part of the solution. As stated before, we want to be behind you, and put all of this behind us.

The Former Baha Mar Expatriates

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licks2 2 years, 3 months ago

And what are you going to sue the government for. . .NOT GETTING INTO PRIVATE PERSONS. . .BOTH NON-BAHAMIANS BUSINESS DEALING? IT IS A DIRTY REALITY. . .FISH OR FOWL. . .THE BAHAMIAN GOVERNMENT TOOK CARE OF THEIR CITIZENS!! THE GOVERNMENT DID NOT CALL YOU, INTERVIEWED YOU, NOR DID YOU AGREED TO WORK FOR US OR HIRED YOU!

AS PUTRID AS THIS SOUNDS . . .NOR DID YOU WORK FOR CHINA CEXIM BANK. . .SHE HAS NO QUARREL WITH YOU NOR OWN YOU ANY MONEY! YOUR QUARREL IS WITH BAHA MAR AS A SEPARATE AND PRIVATE ENTITY!

I SUGGEST THAT YOU RETRIEVE YOUR MONIES FROM WHOMEVER YOU WENT TO TO SUE THE BAHAMAS GOVERNMENT GOVERNMENT OR CEXIM BANK. . . UNLESS YOU ARE PAYING TO GO AFTER YOUR EMPLOYER!!

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TalRussell 2 years, 3 months ago

Comrades! Exactly what the Bahamland doesn't need.
This Trump appointment isn't news. It is just good reason why there can be no trust in any individual presented to the Bahamaland by Trump. The Bahamaland government, must reject this man from ever landing in the Bahamaland - as Trump's incompetent detached from anything about the Bahamaland of an "FAKE" Ambassador.

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sheeprunner12 2 years, 3 months ago

Papa Doug is a multi-billionnaire ......... Well he can invest $100 million on each island south of Nassau and have billions to spare .......... Come on down Papa Doug and bring your friends ...... We have Bahamar and Freeport available for your buddies to invest in now ....... plus Bahamasair, BPL, and BAMSI .......... For starters

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milesair 2 years, 3 months ago

Any one who thinks that this ambassador appointment by Trumplethinskin will be good for the Bahamas is living in never, never land! The Trumpster never does ANYTHING for anyone but himself! Grow a brain!

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