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Trump’S Promise On Crime Alerts: President Told Warnings Old And Overblown

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis (back left) at the multilateral meeting. Photo: Yontalay Bowe

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis (back left) at the multilateral meeting. Photo: Yontalay Bowe

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Deputy Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said he told US President Donald Trump that crime advisories should be used to raise awareness and not initiate fear, adding criminal attacks on American tourists in this country were “negligible”.

Dr Minnis said he also stressed there was a greater concern that information contained in some US crime advisories were recycled and out of date.

As a result, Dr Minnis said not only was President Trump concerned with how the issue was impacting The Bahamas, but he directed officials to look at how the advisories were handled moving forward.

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Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis meets with US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump. Photo: Yontalay Bowe

Matters concerning Venezuela were also raised during the meeting at Mr Trump’s resort Mar-a-Lago in Florida.

According to Dr Minnis, The Bahamas’ position on Venezuela - where there is ongoing political unrest - has remained firm and in line with the Organisation of American States (OAS): that if the recent election in Venezuela was illegitimate then the government is illegitimate.

However, Dr Minnis’ participation in the meeting triggered criticism from Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Dr Ralph Gonsalves on Saturday.

Given the narrow grouping of regional leaders invited to discussions with Mr Trump, Mr Gonsalves said those in CARICOM must be aware of mischief from those who seek to divide countries in the region.

He said no one on CARICOM’s three-man committee on Venezuela - its chairman, Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis Dr Timothy Harris, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Dr Keith Rowley or Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley - were invited, so any discussion of Venezuela at Mar-a-Lago cut across the agreed mechanism put in place by CARICOM.

Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, also seemed to take a swipe at those who were invited to the meeting, posting a photo to his Facebook page showing Dr Minnis and Bahamian officials alongside Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness with the caption, “Oh no… were they treated to the servant’s entrance?”

Dr Minnis was one of five Caribbean leaders invited by President Trump to discuss matters of mutual interest between the region and the United States. Haitian President Jovenel Moise, Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina, Mr Holness and St Lucia’s Prime Minister Allen Chastanet also attended the meeting.

‘Very interesting’

“It was a very interesting meeting and some of the things that I would have spoken about which I thought was very important within the Bahamas are security issues, border control especially our southern borders,” Dr Minnis told reporters on Saturday at Lynden Pindling International airport.

“I would have informed the President that our southern borders are essentially somewhat open and therefore we can be exposed to individuals engaged in human trafficking, criminal activities, drugs etc, but most importantly I pointed out that drugs passing through our territorial waters, those traffickers do not want to stop here in the Bahamas, they’re en route to the United States. That’s their final destination.

“However, it’s not unusual that some may stop and drugs may enter our shores and that causes criminal activities and disturbances within the society and we know that the US has a base here and the Bahamas also has members of the (Royal Bahamas) Defence Force there and therefore we will need some strengthening of our southern borders if it would be beneficial to both of us.

“It’ll be beneficial to us and it’ll be beneficial to them because what happens to us would have great impact on them and as the criminal element or drugs enters the society obviously one’s society changes and that has caused some degree of problems within our society and just recently we were issued a travel advisory. That is significant to us because we are a tourist destination.”

Dr Minnis continued: “Eighty percent of our GDP comes from tourism so we are doing very well with tourism at this particular time and the travel advisory - which we interpret as being one to inform one’s citizens to be aware of problems as opposed to initiate fear - we brought that point across. The President was very concerned as to how that’s impacting us and whatever.

“I would have also pointed out that when one looks at the amount of criminal attacks or involvement of the American tourists versus our population, it’s very negligible. We’re talking about .004 percent of Americans that may have been affected, which is negligible and of greater concern is that it appears as if the travel advisories are being recycled in that some of the information that was on the travel advisory is not pertinent today. Buildings or restaurants that they may have referred to no longer exist. Those buildings may have been destroyed two, three years ago and therefore we appreciate if these are looked at to have a greater more up to date analysis.

“The President directed the individuals who are responsible for that aspect to have a look at it and deal with it as appropriately as possible. That was an issue of concern to all of the Caribbean leaders. We all spoke to that and we were quite happy that issue was brought up.

“Then we pointed out to him that it’s essential that we have a great relationship because not only are we their neighbours but we spend the bulk of our money within the US jurisdiction. In other words, the better we do, the better they do.

“If we are negatively impacted, they are negatively impacted. Eighty percent of our tourist are Americans and for every tourist that enter our shores, 80 cents of every dollar goes back to the United States and therefore as our tourist product grows the Florida market will likewise grow. If we deteriorate the Florida market likewise deteriorates.”

Hurricanes

Dr Minnis said the handling of hurricane devastation in the Caribbean region was also raised with Mr Trump.

“We’re in a hurricane belt area and therefore I would have spoken about how important it is for us to build resistance. But we are a small nation and we might not have the necessary funds. I think a formula needs to be developed where individual Caribbean nations can borrow money, but that money is not placed on their balance sheet.

“You pay the money back at the appropriate interest rate but it’s not placed on the balance sheet so as not to disturb the debt to GDP (ratio) because if you disturb the debt to GDP then it has a direct impact on our social service, direct impact on monies that we would relegate for national security, education, health etc and those were important issues that we would look at and see whether they can offer any assistance there.

“It’s not money that we are asking for. We want to pay but just not attached to our balance sheet.”

Regarding Venezuela, Dr Minnis said: “The issue with Venezuela came up. The Bahamas’ position is firm with Venezuela. The Bahamas’ position has not changed and the position is similar to that of the OAS. The OAS had categorically stated that the election in Venezuela was an illegitimate election. Our argument was if the election was illegitimate, then the government is illegitimate. If the government is illegitimate, then the democratic society who believes in democracy—both us and America—which means that you must have new elections and that must be done as quickly as possible.”

“That has been our position and America issued a statement that they were recognising that position. We likewise agreed because the election and the government was illegitimate and the assembly has appointed (Juan) Guaidó as the president of Venezuela. That position has not changed,” Dr Minnis said on Saturday.

The meeting further raises concerns for the Progressive Liberal Party.

In a statement yesterday from PLP Chairman Fred Mitchell, he said the PLP was satisfied that the party took the correct and principled stand by opposing the FNM’s decision for the Bahamas to side with those who chose the route of seeking the ouster of the government of Venezuela.

“The PLP stands with the CARICOM consensus on this matter that is the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of another country,” Mr Mitchell said.

“Having examined the outturn reports of the recent meeting in West Palm Beach, we are concerned that there was no new ground which was of any immediate benefit to the Bahamas. The prime minister’s combative and evasive answers to the press upon his return did not inspire confidence that there was any substantive benefit to the Bahamas.

“Our country should always stand on the foundations upon which our state was created and chief amongst these is the non-interference in the affairs of another state,” Mr Mitchell said.

Comments

tell_it_like_it_is 3 months, 3 weeks ago

If you actually think that Donald Trump cares about the crime advisories released here, you are more naive than you look HAM. You can't believe a word that comes out of his mouth.
The only thing Trump cares about is how he can take advantage of The Bahamas for his benefit. Trump only cares about Trump.
Wow, one visit and you're already picking up a Trump "accent"? We have to take care of our southern borders... I guess next we'll build a wall. We will build a 'big beautiful wall' and Haiti will pay for it. ROFL

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pingmydling 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Exactly right " tell it like it is" . Good observation. Trump don't care, he doesn't visit Sh**hole countries unless its to buy them.

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CaptainCoon 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Trump is one of the greatest leaders America has had in recent years. This meeting was a great idea and it's about time the baboons who run this country meet with the President! We DO need to protect our southern borders! Sad that so Bahamians can't see that.

MAGA

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TheMadHatter 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Captain, Bahamians just don't care. They live in a s***hole country and are PROUD of it. They would be lucky if Donald Trump would even spit in their food and cause their brain cell count to increase.

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milesair 3 months, 3 weeks ago

If you think Trump is one of the U.S.A.'s greatest leaders, you are NOT paying attention! Trump stands for everything that is unAmerican. From his racist rants, and Islamaphobia, to calling certain countries "$hithole" countries, to his always standing for the rich and corporate America and the interests of himself and his family Trump is the worst 'leader the U.S. has had in the last fifty years! The Bahamas needs to take a stand for its own best interests and quit worrying what the U.S. wants it to do! You sound just like one of Trump's racist buddies from the KKK or Nazi party, you know, what Trump calls the "good people"!

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TheMadHatter 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Islamaphobia? A phobia is an unwarranted fear of something. When it comes to Islam, there is plenty of reason for fear. You must not be paying attention to the events in France and the rapes in England etc.
As far as shole countries, YES there are shole countries. And instead of everyone getting their feathers rustled and being upset, saying those are insulting words and such - there ought to be ACTION to improve the lives of people in those countries.
Why do you think the people from Honduras and Guatemala etc. are taking the risks involved in the long journey through Mexico to get to the USA? The news makes a fuss about the women taking the risk of being raped along the journey - like they have magically uncovered a secret. The women know that. But they know they are going to be raped if they stay in their own country anyway - so it doesn't matter. At least they be raped a few times on the journey and then when they reach the USA it is all over. Where is the outcry of the liberals for those left behind in those countries? Where is the outcry asking Donald Trump to please invade the countries and take them over and make them new states of the USA so that those people can have the same laws and protections granted by the Constitution and be able to live free and productive lives contributing to the growth and development of all humanity? Instead the USA sends billions of dollars to these countries every year just so the people can continue to EXIST - but they are not living - they are existing. Being killed, using drugs, being raped, starving, having various diseases, etc. If the USA govt wants to deport a few of the many thousands caught illegally in the USA the libs want to go crazy - saying those people shouldn't be sent back. What about the people who are still in Honduras? They should continue to live there? Nobody cares about them? What would you say if Trump invaded all s***hole countries and brought them under USA law and brought them up into the modern world standards?

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pingmydling 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Captain Baboon you must be one of the last great white suprematists. MLK is turning In his grave.

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pingmydling 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Captain Baboo Bahamians are kind compassionate people, so you must come from somewhere else. I suggest you go back to where you slid out from and take your maga with you.

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TalRussell 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Yes, yes and yes, the PM didn't need fly off Washington at a time when his own comrade elected politicians and the politically appointed have ignored a law mandating an yearly by date to file their Public Disclosure's, yet they the elected and appointed are allowed by the traveling PM to exempt themselves from following a law calling for up 2 years imprisonment thus they are prime ministerial sanctioned criminals left be walking freely amongst the PeopePublic, and worse yet, they are allowed stay on their PublicPurse's jobs whilst setting a horrific poor example for our struggling be law abiding citizens and especially our younger ones, yes, no we criminally minded politicians and politically appointed should likewise be handcuffed face arrest and swift justice punishment before a judge as would any caught breaking the criminal law purse snatcher, yes, no?

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Minnis's version of what transpired at the Mar-a-Lago meeting is quite laughable. We all know why he was sat at the far end of the table opposite US National Security Adviser, John Bolton. And notice how Minnis has little if anything at all to say regarding US concerns about Red China's predatory influence in our region, which was the very purpose he was summonsed (not invited) to the meeting. ROWL

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bahamianson 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Trump is the best thing for the world since slice bread.Let's no run on with supremacy or racism. we are logically beyond that. Let's not forget how racist and hypocritical our country is. We have black Bahamians who consider other black Bahamians inferior to them etc. I can go on and on so please spare us the shallow racist speech.

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Revolutionary 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Bey I can't let you do slice bread like dat. Ignoring the fact that Trump is a white supremacist (Idk why you'd want to ignore that, but aight): He lies frequently, he's sexist, xenophobic, and dumb enough to look at the sun. He doesn't know the contents of The Bible but claims to be Christian, discriminates against non-Christians, and uses Christianity to attack groups who oppose him. He's actively supporting the destruction of his own planet's environment, ignorant of climate change and generally-nonscientific. He's greedy, misinformed and proud of it. He's an orange white supremacist and wears a blonde weave that ain foolin nobody. He's one of the worst leaders for global (or national) well-being, and how dare you insult slice bread like dat.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 months, 3 weeks ago

You sound like one of us darker colour Bahamians who likes to think he has that special mango colour glow about him. LMAO

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pingmydling 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Bahamiansonof a b**h are you aquainted with the lemminng?

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BahamaPundit 3 months, 3 weeks ago

I hope someday we can Make Bahamians Think Again and not call everyone a racist who stands for border security. Honestly, the amount of times I have heard the "Fake News" of Tribune posters call the US president racist is silly. Will Bahamians call every white president after Obama a racist simply for being white? It seems likely. What do they want, America to be run completely by blacks, really?

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pingmydling 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Of course not all white Americans are racist, only the 40% that voted for Trump are. Oh, and you of course .

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Your time would be better spent playing with your ding-a-ling, assuming you can find it and get it to play with you. LMAO

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pingmydling 3 months, 3 weeks ago

mudda I see the tablets and shrink are not effective. With this obsession of yours maybe Fweddy could help you, otherwise the only solution maybe euthanasia. I feel deeply sorry for your malady. RIP my friend.

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jus2cents 3 months, 3 weeks ago

This little jaunt seems to have been a just a big excuse for a photo op / golfing / and an ego stroking mini vacation to Mar-a-largo.

What was the point of the visit? We were lead to believe Caribbean China relations? And what was really discussed? A mish-mash of different subjects and empty rhetoric.

Trump is up to something? Maybe so he can write off his many visits to the southern white house. But still, the Caribbean 'puppets' fell for it. None of them should have gone, it is laughable really, how they all jumped up to go and all at the Same Time!

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Trump is gifted with an uncanny ability to very quickly size-up someone he meets and has to deal with for the first time. It probably took him less than a few moments of conversation with Minnis to know all he needed to know about politics in The Bahamas. I'm sure Minnis's demeanor, mannerisms and way of speaking quickly confirmed for Trump whatever Phil Ruffin may have said about him and The Bahamas prior to the Mar-a-Lago meeting. LMAO

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pingmydling 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Well Mudda sometimes you can talk sense. Must be one of those intermittant lucid Periods. Congratulations brother.

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