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Updated: Davis Hits Out At 'Show Of Hypocrisy' After Two Americans Allowed Entry

PLP Leader Philip "Brave" Davis.

PLP Leader Philip "Brave" Davis.

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Tribune Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

PROGRESSIVE Liberal Party leader Philip “Brave” Davis said yesterday it is “disgraceful” that two Americans were allowed entry to the country while Bahamians in some cases have been made to suffer in foreign countries amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Describing the decision as a “show of hypocrisy”, Mr Davis said the country deserves an explanation as to why this was allowed.

The two Americans, who are said to be residents of The Bahamas, were allowed to land in New Providence on Wednesday despite the closure of the country’s borders to commercial flights with incoming passengers, Minister of Health Dr Duane Sands confirmed yesterday.

His comment came after a local daily reported the news. Dr Sands said the Americans came on a cargo flight bringing donated COVID-19 tests and that he authorised their entry into the country.

The decision has angered Bahamians at home and abroad as being unfair.

Mr Davis said: “I had been admonishing the government not to abandon one of its primary and cardinal obligations to Bahamians. You can’t just leave your citizens in a strange land.

“What we’ve seen today is a selective admission of persons who are able to come. This is what has characterised their conduct since our engagement began with this virus. It has always been selective. It appears to be rules for some and not for others and when you balance it all appears to be more beneficiary to a select few and not an ordinary Bahamian.

“It just continues to expose the hypocrisy. “They are not governing for the Bahamian people.”

He said as far as people knew, provisions were being made for the return of citizens and residents, not that people were already being allowed in the country.

“As far as we knew provisions were being made. What has espoused is they continue to use welcoming words, things that people want to hear but then it’s not truly actions, they say one thing but do something else.

“A lot of students were calling and wanted to come home. The problem too is that their parents couldn’t go to a money transfer agency and send them money so they were left at the mercy of the benevolence of family or relatives.

“It is truly disgraceful the way that the government has mistreated our people. I think this cries out for an explanation whether they want to give it or not. But again they say one thing, do another and so now they have to let the Bahamian people know what they are doing.”

The two Americans were allowed to quarantine at home, Dr Sands has confirmed yesterday and officials are awaiting their COVID-19 test results.

However, on Monday Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said officials were finalising details to ensure Bahamians stuck abroad are brought home. He said upon their return, Bahamian citizens would be kept in a designated quarantine facility guarded by the Royal Bahamas Defence Force.

At the time, Dr Minnis said some 200 Bahamians were seeking to return home. Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials have said that number has increased exponentially.

A Bahamian woman, who was teaching English in Japan and has been stuck outside the country for one month, said she was not surprised that she, along with hundreds of others, is prohibited from returning home.

Shakara Rolle said she left Japan in late March hoping to return home but has been unable to. However, she told The Tribune she was happy to not be between a rock and a hard place, and doing okay in Texas where she’s been held up for the past few weeks.

Ms Rolle said the entire process has been frustrating since March 28.

“I went from Japan to Hawaii, Hawaii to San Francisco then to Florida and as soon as I got off that plane I was told by numerous family and friends that the borders would be closing that very day and then they followed up by saying to foreigners but not to citizens,” Ms Rolle said.

She tried, without luck, to get information from the Office of the Prime Minister and the COVID-19 hotline. Calls made to the airport authority, she said, were also unsuccessful.

Ms Rolle said she later booked a flight on Silver Airways at a cost of $388 from Florida to Grand Bahama but before she could catch that flight the decision was made that the country would be closed to all.

“March 28 was the date of my flight and this whole process was annoying because I was trying to get a refund from Silver Airways and they are giving me the run around saying the flight did leave for Freeport and I am like how if you weren’t supposed to land in the Bahamas.”

Asked her thoughts about the two Americans being allowed in on Wednesday, Ms Rolle said: “What would I expect from our government? I am not really surprised.”

Comments

CatIslandBoy 5 months ago

This fella tries hard to remain relevant while capturing valuable space in the daily news. The tribune should not become an accomplice in his scheme.

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moncurcool 5 months ago

Time and time again I keep wondering why the Tribune puts a mic in front of this man.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 5 months ago

As much as many of us despise Davis, most of us will admit he's right on this particular matter. There does indeed seem to be one set of flexible and loose orders and rules for the privileged few who have plenty of money, and an entirely different set of rigid and harshly restrictive orders and rules for the rest of us who are not so lucky to be rich. And that simply cannot be right or fair in any way at all !!

I don't recollect reading anywhere in our Constitution that our guaranteed civil rights and liberties only apply to those of us who are fortunate enough to have foreign nationality and be very wealthy. And of course Minnis chooses to remain hidden under the dress that he has Sands wearing in this matter.

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tetelestai 5 months ago

Finally you make some sense, Mudda - a broken clock is correct twice, I suppose. Regardless of what we think of Brave, the fact is, he is correct on this matter. CatIsland and Moncourcool - and others - appear to not be able to see the forest from the trees. "We do not like Brave, so whatever he says is wrong". One day, we will actually show some maturity when discussing issues...

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Well_mudda_take_sic 4 months, 4 weeks ago

My clock has always worked fine for those who can read and tell time.

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ThisIsOurs 5 months ago

"Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials have said that number has increased exponentially."

How is this even possible?? Directly because of your orders these people have been stranded and low on funds for a month. You cut iff their access to funds by banning international transfers. And you don't even know how many of them there are a month later?

Please do not tell us that you abandoned 400 Bahamians for some swabs.

I suspect the epiphany about bringing 400 Bahamians home is a ruse, all meant to cover the private flight for these rich individuals. I suspect the repatriation of the Bahamians will drag on with more rules introduced to ensure that literally none of them qualify for free transit.

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John 5 months ago

Can you really trust The Americans? First they refused PPE now they find it necessary to bring this supplies? Supplies of what??? Why couldn’t they send a Bahamasair craft for it?

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TigerB 5 months ago

"Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands confirmed that two Americans, who are Bahamas residents, were allowed to land on New Providence yesterday despite the closure of The Bahamas’ border."

"On Monday, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said the government will allow Bahamians to return home. He said all Bahamians returning from the United States will be quarantined at a secure facility upon entry to The Bahamas."

This is a part of the Nassau Guardian, same story. I pulled out pieces of it. Seems these people made it to the Bahamas on their own, no Bahamasair, no type of bahamian flag carried. They are Bahamians according to the read.So its is an educated guess that if more Bahamians get here they would be able to land. I think they are waiting for a free plane ride perhaps. Maybe I am missing something...

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Well_mudda_take_sic 5 months ago

They were not Bahamians. They are apparently two wealthy Americans who hold permanent resident status in The Bahamas, and they arrived with the diagnostic test kits they were donating on a private plane that they paid for. They were allowed to disembark the plane notwithstanding the travel restrictions in place in what certainly appears to have been a quid-pro-quo arrangement with The Minnis-led FNM government. Our government got the test kits and the two wealthy Americans were allowed to re-enter The Bahamas notwithstanding the Minnis ordered travel restrictions in place.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 4 months, 4 weeks ago

You didn't finish your sentence. "Maybe Trump called Minnis ...... {called him a what?}"

Do you think perhaps he may have called him "a clown"?

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Clamshell 5 months ago

If there’s one thing Philip “Gravy” Davis would recognize immediately, it would be a show of hypocrisy.

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tetelestai 5 months ago

Who cares about that. Brave is right and - in this instance, at least - is trying to defend Bahamians. Take your blinders off, get your head out of your butt, or continue on your little non-objective tangent, I suppose.

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realfreethinker 5 months ago

Can the Tribune please stop giving this idiot a forum for his bullshit

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tetelestai 5 months ago

Care to deal with the substantive issues he is making? Or is your free thinking only bent with an FNM slant?

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Bahamaland231 5 months ago

PLP will never see office with Brave leading the charge.

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DDK 5 months ago

He may be the leader of the Opposition which many of us have long counted as 'The Enemy' but in this capacity I find he makes many valid points which we would be churlish to discount...

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Well_mudda_take_sic 5 months ago

Agree. Those who don't want an opposition voice are the same ones who would happily see the right to free speech thrown out the window for all but their supporters.

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moncurcool 5 months ago

Agree we need an opposition voice. The problem is that Davis just seems to opposes to oppose. So anything happens he opposes. And what that does is that when real issues comes up that he should opposes, no one is listening. He is like the boy how cries wolf. When it really matters people are like who cares. He needs to learn that not every mountain can be defended. Pick the 20% that will give 80% of results. Stop dealing with the 80% stuff only giving 20% results.

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tetelestai 5 months ago

Wholeheartedly agree. Anyone who has an issue with this particular matter that Brave is speaking about either lacks objectivity or is hopelessly obtuse. Moncour, we are suppose to be freethinkers and critical thinkers, we need to put our big boy pants on and learn to sift through the 80% vs the 20%, if we think we are as intelligent as we try to claim we are, that is.

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The_Oracle 5 months ago

Any Man can criticize his neighbors yard and or affairs, while standing in his own disaster. Can you imagine the preferential treatment and availability of "Privileges for sale" under the PLP?

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tetelestai 5 months ago

So, in your petulant thinking, what you are really saying is "what is good for the goose is good for the gander"? Or, even more 5-year oldish, "but he did it".

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birdiestrachan 5 months ago

It is wrong to allow the Americans to come to the Bahamas and just go home. While the Bahamians will be put in a place with defense Force Guards. and it is taking so long. The British have gone home the Americans have gone home.

The Bahamian people deserve the Government they have.

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birdiestrachan 5 months ago

catislandboy has a problem with Mr: Davis the same Island people. They usually wish each other well. My home boy. My home girl. there is a whole lot of love between them.

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Sickened 4 months, 4 weeks ago

And this is a big deal why? Topic is not worthy of much discussion.

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proudloudandfnm 4 months, 4 weeks ago

They brought test kits. No hypocrisy, it's called making a deal. And I would have made the deal too.

Thanks Dr. Sands...

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Well_mudda_take_sic 4 months, 4 weeks ago

You're a fine living and breathing (albeit non-thinking) example of why our country is in such a dismal state. Do us all a favour and tear up your voter's card, assuming you even have one.

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BONEFISH 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Cayman Islands purchased 200,000 testing kits from South Korea.They sold 35,000 kits at cost to Bermuda.They also sold 20,000 testing kits to Barbados.

They are willing to sell testing kits to other caribbean countries at cost.

No body has said why the government did not reach out to the Cayman Islands.

My comment on this matter is the Caymanian government is way ahead of our government in this matter.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 4 months, 4 weeks ago

The Caymanian government could run circles around the Bahamian government on most matters.

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Socrates 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Poster above is correct.. no comparison between us and Cayman.. one of the biggest holders of US govt debt, currency worth more than the US dollar, national debt less than $1billion.. as to Dr. Sands , all democracies operate this way.. its absolutely quid pro quo. How can you only expect to take but not give? Its the way the world goes around. Observe uncle Sam, if you dont do what they want, they sanction you.

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