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Updated: 'Gov't Not Paying Taranique's Bills'

Taranique Thurston

Taranique Thurston

10am UPDATE: THE Cabinet Office has announced that contrary to claims made by the mother of a stateless teen seeking medical treatment in the United States and published in The Tribune on Friday, the government has made no offer or promise to foot the teen’s bills.

A statement released on Friday read, “The Cabinet Office announces that contrary to the information in the Tribune of 10th August, 2018 under the caption “WE’LL PAY TARANIQUE’S BILLS”, the government of the Bahamas has made no such offer or promise. The Cabinet Office refutes these claims categorically.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is looking into the provision of a certificate of identity for Taranique Thurston in accordance with established policy.”

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Chief Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

THE government has arranged to pay for stateless teen Taranique Thurston’s medical treatment and travel costs, her mother Ginette Caty confirmed yesterday.

Officials were said to be working on obtaining a US visa for Taranique’s certificate of identity under emergency circumstances, Ms Caty was told.

She is scheduled for brain surgery at Jacksonville Memorial Hospital on August 28.

“They confirmed to pay for the ticket, the hotel, a small stipend and then the medical treatment,” she said.

“They called us in for an interview this morning, and while we were in there they called the hospital and confirmed the surgery. I’m so relieved, I mean I had a few days of just not eating but this is just so...God is good.

“Taranique really wasn’t doing too good (Wednesday) just with the massive headaches and stressed about the document saying she’s Haitian.This is just great news and it’s giving her hope.

“She’s still really upset and saying she just wants to go far away or not be anywhere at all but the most important part is that she is getting the surgery.”

The government issued a certificate of identity for Taranique last week Friday, which stated her nationality as Haitian.

Ms Caty said her daughter was deeply hurt by the move as she identifies as Bahamian, and felt as though her country of birth did not want her.

Due to her mother’s naturalisation process, Taranique is currently registered in the Bahamas as a non-Bahamian born to a foreign mother and Bahamian father, who are unmarried.

Ms Caty, 34, was naturalised as a Bahamian citizen in 2013 – more than a decade after she had applied at the required age of 18.

Ms Caty was born in the Bahamas to a Mexican mother and a Haitian father.

Up until last week, she had been repeatedly told that her daughter will have to wait until her 18th birthday before she can apply for Bahamian citizenship.

She said she was also repeatedly told by immigration officials to go to the Haitian embassy - but was told her daughter did not have an automatic claim to citizenship as had been intimated by the Bahamas government.

According to the Haitian constitution, Article 11, “any person born of a Haitian father or Haitian mother who are themselves native-born Haitians and have never renounced their nationality possesses Haitian nationality at the time of birth.”

However, this entitlement is reportedly not extended to second or third generation descendants whose parents were not themselves native-born Haitians.

Yesterday, Ms Caty said: “I’m still a little distressed about what this Haitian situation mean, (Taranique) she’s really upset about it. She tell me I just don’t know how it feel. She read about one of her former classmates in the paper, and it really send her over the edge.

“She kept talking about how smart he was,” Ms Caty continued, “they were in the same math class. So she’s shocked about that too and disheartened.”

The Tribune published a profile on 17-year-old Johnson Davilma this week.

Johnson has been accepted into multiple American tertiary institutions, including Florida Memorial University, Fisk University, and Philander Smith College, and been offered partial scholarships to two of these schools.

However, in order to make his dream a reality, Johnson requires additional funding.

Unfortunately, his status as the child of Haitian immigrants means that he does not meet the criteria for receiving Bahamian government scholarships. And as a 17-year-old, he is a full year too young to apply for Bahamian citizenship.

“Things have to change, it have to be a little more love, when it comes to the children who born here with this Bahamian title,” Ms Caty said. “They should not be compared to the ones with the Haitian title because they originated from there. Today, one of the ladies who walk in while I was being interviewed, she was a Thurston. And she saw Taranique name and say all Thurston is my family from Cat Island, and I’m just like wow. Do you even know what we’ve been through, and you can say that so easily.”

She added: “But I’m trying to cheer her up, to get her in the spirit so she could be a good place for this surgery. She’s really sad by all the negativity that’s come up.”

Comments

joeblow 4 months, 1 week ago

When you set a precedent like this how do you deny Bahamian children (father and mother are Bahamian) who are in dire medical need, do not have the money and require surgery or other life saving interventions as well? The government always has a knee jerk reaction to everything. They simply do not think!

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joeblow 4 months, 1 week ago

If the mother would publicly tell a bold faced lie like that, I wonder what else she might be capable of!

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EasternGate 4 months, 1 week ago

Not a wise move. The FNM Government just opened a "Pandora's box" with this well intentioned debacle

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Sickened 4 months, 1 week ago

Oh Jesus! We thought we were broke... now we just ga see what broke is. Why pay for medical insurance now if Government gonna pay for everything.

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BahamaRed 4 months, 1 week ago

Yep... and now we sit back and watch the floodgates opened. Smh....

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mandela 4 months, 1 week ago

Yes the flood should be opened because if they do for one they should do for all, while I am very happy for this young lady and her family, I strongly believe it's better in the Bahamas just not for indigenous born Bahamians, from hurricane relief to health relief to school uniforms relief to wha tever relief Bahamians need.

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HonestTruth 4 months, 1 week ago

Tribune spreading Fake News now? Trying to sell papers?

I thought only the guardian made retractions for their fake news, it’s spread to the tribune as well?

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Well_mudda_take_sic 4 months, 1 week ago

Meanwhile our nurses cannot afford to feed their families, yet they see our government doling out money like there's no tomorrow. Our nurses see our dimwitted PM and others in his cabinet prancing around the world with their entourages, flying first class, staying in the best hotels, eating in five star restaurants and still talking about spending millions and millions of dollars to buy a failed hotel in Grand Bahama that even its current deep pocketed foreign owner readily admits cannot be resurrected from the dead. And the dimwitted Doc wonders why these under paid nurses are complaining and seeking to be poached by other much better paying countries with superior working conditions! And our nurses know full well from past experience that John Pinder and Dion Foulkes are all talk and full of promises but really do not give two hoots about them, despite their great pretense otherwise. And to think Minnis lays claim to being an MD and he was at one time Minister of Health. He more than anyone should know the serious financial pressures being experienced by the nurses and their families. Minnis's apparent willingness to simply ignore the very genuine and valid complaints of these nurses is utterly disgraceful and, yes, most shameful!

Many of our nurses can only dream of being able to buy fresh fish to make a good fish stew for their families - something the dimwitted Doc and his family enjoy eating on a regular basis. And many of them still roll their eyes when they hear the Office of The First Lady was created and allocated an annual budget of $10,000 for tea parties!

As for the girl pictured above, our government is allowing itself to be played by the Government of Haiti and sympathizers of illegal Haitian immigrants like the owners of The Tribune.

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HonestTruth 4 months, 1 week ago

@mudda, take your uninformed post somewhere else. The government is not paying for it, it’s simply the tribune spreading fake news and poor journalism in The Bahamas

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Well_mudda_take_sic 4 months, 1 week ago

So the girl's mother is just outright lying about all of the promises made to her by government officials. Perhaps we should be wondering about all of the other things she may have lied about, especially regarding how she managed to obtain a Bahamian passport from our notoriously corrupt immigration officials. And Minnis has broken the people's trust so many times since May 2017, that most of us would not put it past him to allow all of the girl's travel and medical costs to be secretly paid by the FNM government he leads.

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licks2 4 months, 1 week ago

It is the reporter. . .I have noticed that this particular reporter seem hell bent of bringing his/her own personal advocacy into the job!! This person seem not to follow any rules that are contrary to their personal view of this matter! For example, in the face of all UNHRC and World Court's explanation of what a stateless person is this individual continues to call this case "the stateless girl". The national review, certain reporters from both dailies and the Juan McCartny show have been over the objective reporting line long time ago. . . they continue to go "rogue" and talk any kind of nonsense they feel like. This the second time one of theses persons have committed major journalistic infractions and walk away . . . unlike other international press offenders! For example, the Smith criticism that turned out to be given by somebody else and now this big dumb crap

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ohdrap4 4 months, 1 week ago

they made sure to put the retraction on page 3, where you have to click to find it.

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Sickened 4 months, 1 week ago

Phew! That could have been a real financial disaster!

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TalRussell 4 months, 1 week ago

Ma Comrades, why shouldn't Imperial red shirts cabinet not step up pay Taranique's medical costs.... when it's same Imperial red shirts cabinet that is responsible for governing over a filthy, decaying Nassau Town ---- It's useful know - raising we children's in filthy environment can be breeding grounds give we children's organs and other things all kinds evil, life threatening viruses and other things. ..

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CaptainCoon 4 months, 1 week ago

Why push #FakeNews? Typical liberal media.

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birdiestrachan 4 months, 1 week ago

Who is to be believed. There is a whole lot of lies going on. What is the TRUTH? Maybe CATISLANDBOY knows. Him and doc seams to be really tight.

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ohdrap4 4 months, 1 week ago

if this newspaper wishes to increase the number of stories concerning citizenship, there countless ones to be had.

all they have to do is go to a school and ask around. they will sell papers every day.

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BahamaRed 4 months, 1 week ago

Anyone noticed mom had her first child at 17, before she was even able to apply for citizenship. Furthermore mom has no Bahamian parentage. She's Mexican-Hatian. Wmf...

What's the real agenda here...cause I'm smelling rat.😏

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DDK 4 months, 1 week ago

Rat's first name is probably Fred!

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