PRIME Minister Philip “Brave” Davis is off globetrotting again.
Already, his time as leader of the nation has seen him set off for trips to Glasgow, Barbados, Miami, Washington – and now he’s part of the entourage headed to Dubai for the world expo.
Along with more than 100 people in the delegation, he’s off to tell the world about how wonderful The Bahamas is.
There’s some familiar faces alongside him, such as press secretary Clint Watson, this time in a role of choir leader, with the Shaback choir. We’re sure the decision process was thorough and will soon be transparent.
We hope Mr Davis will count the trip as a success, and his speech will resonate to the extent of his Glasgow one. He might even get a second Bloomberg quote of the day, perhaps.
But as our Junkanooers dance and our choirs sing, Deputy Prime Minister Chester Cooper will be the man left in charge at home to tackle the ongoing surge in COVID cases. We hope our travelling representatives make it there and back safely and don’t get caught up in any travel restrictions.
Mr Cooper will also have to keep minding the pennies at home as we continue to wrestle with an economy that is short on funds.
Speaking of funds, we do not know yet how much the Dubai trip will cost as the government representative speaking yesterday did not have “the exact figure”. Apparently by the time the Prime Minister returns we may have an answer to that question, though we would love to know how much was budgeted before we learn how much was spent.
Still, we look forward to hearing the Prime Minister report when he returns on the value of the trip. Hopefully before he heads off on his next one.
COMMODORE Raymond King has highlighted a huge increase in migrant apprehensions – up by 456 percent in 2021 compared to the previous year.
The commodore hails the effect of increased intelligence, although a 55 percent drop in catching illegal poachers raises the question of why there isn’t an increase there too.
He pinpointed particularly a rise of Haitian migrants in Inagua from September onwards.
There really shouldn’t be too much of a mystery to this – Haiti’s in a mess.
Last year, the nation suffered an earthquake in August, and a presidential assassination in July. In the pages of The Tribune, we have carried numerous international articles about how gangs are in large part running vast portions of the country, limiting movement of people and making it hard for aid groups to do their work. A number of missionaries were recently kidnapped and managed to make their escape.
With all of that going on, is it really any surprise that more people are risking their lives by climbing onto what can generously be described in some cases as boats and trying to find somewhere safer to live elsewhere?
Credit to the Royal Bahamas Defence Force for their work, but what they are dealing with are the symptoms of the bigger problem – and that’s Haiti itself.
What are we doing, not just ourselves but as a region, to help Haiti in the dire situation it finds itself? Certainly, while we hear Commodore King talking about the RBDF’s success in dealing with migrants, we don’t hear anything from our political leadership about what we are doing to remedy the situation that pushes those migrants to leave home.
How much money is coming out of our pockets to help the nation? What are we doing to help Haiti to gain access to vaccines? How are we encouraging our regional partners to help Haiti find some measure of stability?
We don’t pretend there is any easy solution to Haiti’s problems – but there is a need for an attempt to find one.
Until then, Commodore King and his officers are just going to keep seeing those boats coming. These are people who have run out of choices and have to take the biggest gamble of all.