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Smith Lashes Out At ‘Visionless’ Fnm

Fred Smith

Fred Smith

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis is a “menace to the rule of law” in the Bahamas, Grand Bahama Human Rights Association  President Fred Smith has

declared.

In his harshest rebuke yet of the leader he supported in the general election, Mr Smith called Dr Minnis the “New Mitchell,” likening him to the former Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell with whom he has frequently sparred. 

“I wish that I could be expending my energies in constructive, positive, uplifting ways instead of having to fight the evil of a government yet again for another five years,” Mr Smith said.

His statements came in response to Dr Minnis’ ultimatum that people living in the country illegally must get out by December 31 or suffer from ramped up efforts to enforce immigration laws. They also come as his frustration with the administration appears to have reached a boiling point amid what some activists see as self-inflicted wounds.Though their criticism has mostly been kept out of the public eye, some leading activists have been upset that the Minnis Administration recently tabled the Interception of Communication Bill, which Mr Smith said yesterday “is worse than the PLP spy bill.”

As for the newly announcement immigration ultimatum, Mr Smith said: “I am sickened by this approach. It is a human rights disgrace.”

Critics of the Minnis Administration, especially those in the Progressive Liberal Party, awaited Mr Smith’s response to Dr Minnis’ immigration announcement to see if he would be equally tough on the current administration as he was on the previous.

His increasingly outspoken criticism could prove thorny for the new administration after Mr Smith proved to be a relentless critic of the Christie Administration.

He has been a financial donor to the Free National Movement and he has had a seat at the table discussing policy with the party’s power players.

The PLP’s immigration polices of 2014 were widely supported by Bahamians according to polls at the time. However, they drew fierce pushback from activists as well as negative attention from the international community.

The PLP’s policy mandated that every non-Bahamian have a passport of their nationality and sought to end the practice giving work permits to people here illegally.

The roll-out of the policy was accompanied by high-profile round-ups in which people, including children, were picked up by immigration officers.

Despite the publicity surrounding the policy at the time, its success as a policy of deterrence was unclear.

For Mr Smith’s full response to the Prime Minister’s announcement click HERE

Comments

banker 2 months ago

Minnis is HUGE disappointment. We needed someone to turn the ship of state around. Instead they are twiddling their thumbs and don't have a plan.

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BahamasForBahamians 2 months ago

Lets see how the FNM apologists and spin doctors butter this one up.

They fully supported this guy and shared his videos during the campaign..

Equally important is the fact that he is the bag man behind Omar Archer.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 months ago

It would not surprise me if QC Smith is well aware of the de facto amnesty just announced by Minnis and is simply now just doing his part to play along with Minnis's deceitful ploy to portray the amnesty as a get tough stance on illegal migrants.

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TalRussell 2 months ago

I thinks Comrade "King's Counsel" Freddy, is calling for a front-office (PMO & Red cabinet) shakeup?

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TheMadHatter 2 months ago

So many seem they will not be satisfied until the Bahamas is completely indistinguishable from Haiti.

What is the point of Haitians coming here to simply live in another Haiti? Why "leave" Haiti to live in Haiti? This nullifies their stated reason "to live a better life."

They can have 17 children just as easily there as they can here. The hospital probably even has more beds in the maternity ward than we do anyway. They won't have to wait in the hallway.

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John 2 months ago

Don't you expect this man to stand up for his fellow Haitians? It should be expected that he will try defend them, even in their illegality. Illegal immigrants. And since he is one who hops on whichever bandwagon is favorable at the time you cannot say he is a true FNM supporter turned rebel rouser. Then too, Minnis put himself in the direct line of fire by not allowing his minister of immigration to make the public statements rather than doing it himself. Illegal Immigration is an ongoing challenge for the Bahamas Government, and while it may be necessary to rattle the cage from time to time, as Minnis is doing, the Immigration Department is one of the few departments that seem to transition from government to government effectively and they have been very active and visible over the past years making checks and deporting illegal individuals. And as you know illegal immigration and human smuggling are evolving criminal activities.

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justthefactsplease 2 months ago

Why is anyone surprised that Minnis is ineffective? We saw his lackluster performance as Opposition Leader...did you expect a miraculous turn around? You get EXACTLY what you vote for...now deal with it!!!

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jackbnimble 2 months ago

This is actually funny. He was so gung-ho to roc wit doc before the election and bragged in a video that went viral about helping to finance the FNM's campaign. Now they threatening to mess with his fellow Haitians and suddenly "the FNM is visionless"? You just can't make this stuff up!

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TalRussell 2 months ago

Comrades! Why a law suit by Freddy, would be a hopeless case?
For being a skilled "King's Counsel," surprisingly Freddy knew little about why you can neither sue nor litigate for the return his financial contributions to the Red party's 2017 General Election's campaign War Chest. Sorry, disappointment in Minnis - favours not the case for da Plaintiff.

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birdiestrachan 2 months ago

I have always said the FNM Government has no vision, But the man said he gave the party a undisclosed amount so he expects them to give him what ever he wants. and they will.

The FNM party has never ever had any visionary ideas . They can not claim one single progressive idea that they can claim. brought the Bahamas forward.. University of the Bahamas PLP. Urbane renewal PLP. NI PLP Free high school education PLP BAMSI PLP.

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