Minnis: We must not look like banana republic


Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis. Photo: Terrel W. Carey Sr/Tribune Staff


Tribune Chief Reporter


PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis has insisted he would not present the country as a "banana republic" on the international stage as he defended the size of his delegation at the recent United Nations summit.

He used the phrase during remarks at a town hall meeting in the Berry Islands on Saturday.

"I just returned from a UN meeting," he said, "and then I hear many talking about 'oh Minnis and others wasting the taxpayer's money, carrying all these people here, and carrying all these people there.' Let me just give you a brief synopsis about how this thing works. The UN meeting is an annual meeting, a time all of the world leaders, every leader throughout the world meet, and they would present on the issues."

He continued: "There were those who said Minnis carried too many people, but this is what they want me to do. As I attend those meetings I must speak on their behalf, so they want just myself and my aid to travel to represent you.

"I must write the speech, I must edit the speech, I must type the speech, I must present the speech and I must listen to everyone so that I can make changes if necessary. If I can't do it then he (Minnis' aid) must do it," he said hypothetically.

"Then when I'm finish there, I must run to the meeting with all of the foreign affairs ministers and secretaries of states of the world. I must then write the speech there, edit the speech, type the speech, deliver it, then after finishing that I must run to the health sector and I must write the speech there again.

"Now I may be energetic," he said, "but I'm no superhuman. It is essential for you to take individuals who are going to do research. It is essential for you to take individuals who must help in the preparation.

"It's essential for you to have individuals who would represent you at the foreign affairs meeting, at the health meeting, at the investment meeting, one man cannot do it."

"But they say we are wasting their money, but they want me to go off and represent you as if we are some banana republic.

"But we are no banana republic," he added, "and we will do it right."

The government has not released any details on the cost of his recent trip to the United Nations' 73rd General Assembly; however, last week Dr Minnis tabled a list of 17 officials, including his wife, Patricia, who made the trip to New York.

Asked to reveal the cost of this trip, Dr Minnis told reporters his international travel budget is published within the annual budget released every June.

While in opposition, the Minnis-led Free National Movement criticised the Christie administration for what it termed, "wasteful expenditure" for travel allocations. Throughout that term, the FNM slammed the PLP for both the frequency of trips and the size of the delegations.

When elected last spring, the Minnis administration promised to curtail government spending on travel and give the public a full accounting of every trip made.

Those accounts, as proposed, would include details of the trip's location, duration and purpose.

Those "travel spreadsheets" are not expected to be released before year's end, according to Press Secretary Anthony Newbold in May.

The UN group also included Foreign Affairs Minister Darren Henfield, Transport Minister Renward Wells, State Grand Bahama Minister Kwasi Thompson and his wife, Tamicka, and Parks and Public Beaches Authority Chairman Shanendon Cartwright.

Bahamas Maritime Authority Chairwoman Denise Lewis Johnson, Viana Gardiner, chief operating officer of the Prime Minister's Delivery Unit, senior policy advisor Joshua Sears and deputy permanent secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Eugene Newry also attended. Both Dr Minnis' personal assistants travelled along with two of his police aides, an aide to Mrs Minnis and a reporter and cameraman from the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas.

The delegation left Nassau on September 23 and returned on September 29.


Greentea 5 years, 1 month ago

The horse has left the stable on this one.


Dawes 5 years, 1 month ago

Then why the Oban debacle and now what appears to be another debacle with Disney. Those are all the hall marks of a banana republic.


BahamasForBahamians 5 years, 1 month ago


can someone do minnis a favor and not put a mic in front of his face?


Gotoutintime 5 years, 1 month ago

Sorry---We are more like a Coconut Kingdom!


ThisIsOurs 5 years, 1 month ago

He doesn't even know what it means...we are a banana republic, in every sense of the phrase. Here's wikipedia's definition:

"In political science, the term banana republic describes a politically unstable country with an economy dependent upon the exportation of a limited-resource product, such as bananas or minerals.... Typically, a banana republic has a society of extremely stratified social classes, usually a large impoverished working class and a ruling-class plutocracy, composed of the business, political and military elites of that society.[1] Such a ruling-class oligarchy control the primary sector of the economy by way of the exploitation of labour;[2] thus, the term banana republic is a pejorative descriptor for a servile dictatorship that abets and supports, for kickbacks, the exploitation of large-scale plantation agriculture, especially banana cultivation.[2]"

"In economics, a banana republic is a country with an economy of state capitalism, by which economic model the country is operated as a private commercial enterprise for the exclusive profit of the ruling class. Such exploitation is enabled by collusion between the state and favored economic monopolies, in which the profit, derived from the private exploitation of public lands, is private property, while the debts incurred thereby are the financial responsibility of the public treasury. Such an imbalanced economy remains limited by the uneven economic development of town and country, and usually reduces the national currency into devalued banknotes (paper money), rendering the country ineligible for international development credit."


ThisIsOurs 5 years, 1 month ago

A must repeat:

"Exploitation of public lands for PRIVATE profit while debts are the responsibility of the public treasury".

That about sums it up. I wonder who's getting the finders fee on the Disney deal? Is it the same person who was trying to push Oban?


BONEFISH 5 years, 1 month ago

The same thing he criticized the former government while in opposition,he is now doing.The shoe is on the other foot.


HumanIntelligence 5 years, 1 month ago

Until us the masses, come to our senses. Soberly acknowledge that we the people know our own individual needs and the needs of the country as a whole. These men and women who make up the 'Government' never have represented the people when they go to these international meetings. They only represent their flowery words. For when they return things carry on the same. Nothing has improved country wide over the past 39yrs of Bahamian rule. The majority of our family island roads are in despicable conditions. This is not a laughing matter to a country with less than half a million people residing. There is a lot any administration needs to consider when they go out to convince the population that they are fit minded persons, sincerely considerate of our needing to fulfill our families expectations of us as household providers regardless of gender. Instead the people were rewarded with mass unemployment. Insufficient food, poor health services and an increase in Fabricated Value Added Tax. None of those words direct any country or it's citizens to prosperity. Thus, NATIONAL DEBT OF THE BAHAMAS. To much wasted deliberation on how to improve the poor in our country from having to live in inhumane conditions. Why are all world leaders hesitating on actually doing what is good United as you claim to be? Wait...you do realize that as advanced as we claim to be. We are not advance in global human coexistence? We have an ENTIRE PLANET to ourselves! And the best that humanity have done is given everyone more stress. Really United Nations? 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 not too hard to calculate.


hnhanna 5 years, 1 month ago

This world is full of haters Jesus comming soon


TalRussell 5 years, 1 month ago

Ma Comrade GreenTea, more likes by the time the got his reputation as the 'always late everything' PM reached the Brain Store buys some marbles - the store's staff had done gone home for day. { Can't make this "slippery as banana peel" PM up }.


juju 5 years, 1 month ago

The true is....we ARE a banana republic....


juju 5 years, 1 month ago

The truth is....we ARE a banana republic....


Jonahbay 5 years, 1 month ago

Minnis took 16 people to the UN? Sure its a perk so you want your wife to come... But more than one aide and more than one Police? It's ludicrous, but we must tighten our belts and pay more VAT? Minnis is out of his mind. The Bahamas is a tiny country, if we have talented people in Government, 6 of them should've been enough including Mrs Minnis. I hope Tamika's husband paid for her... hahahahaha Just another albatross around our necks. Did Minnis even give the speech?? Oh right...no.


Porcupine 5 years, 1 month ago

Some great comments here, especially humanintelligence. Thanks.


sealice 5 years, 1 month ago

You ain't no superman??? tell us something we don't already know please fool....


sealice 5 years, 1 month ago

And we are a 3rd world Banana republic as long as we keep sending idiot leaders to these global meetings like you and Chrispy.....The whole world plainly see's what we are as soon as you open your mouth and your content in turn supports their assumptions...


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