Categorized | National News

“It Is Driven By Crass Manipulation”

By P.J. Malone

 It is not often that political actions induce Bahamians to shout “sedition!” But that is exactly the sentiment that is being expressed about the Save The Bays operatives’ latest escapade.

 On a recent Love 97 Issues Of The Day radio show, the question of sedition was raised concerning the actions of the Save The Bays 5, who filed a petition to the Inter American Commission on Human Rights claiming that they were in “fear for their lives” due to their advocacy in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

 The five individuals named in the petition as being in fear for their lives are Fred Smith QC, Joseph Darville, Romauld Ferreira, Kirkland Bodie and Francisco Nunez; they are all connected to Save The Bays.

 Save The Bays is an organization operating in The Bahamas that has established itself as an environmental group. However, it has a United States 501(c)(3) status and its chief funder, as they have indicated, is hedge-fund billionaire Louis Bacon. Contradictorily, they have also called themselves a political organization, which is actually in violation of U.S. Treasury rules for any 501(c)(3) to do.

 So having engaged in political activities, launched political attacks against the Progressive Liberal Party Government, and created a near constitutional crisis in the country, they have attempted to—inappropriately, as it seems—involve outside agencies to aid in their fight.

 Some Bahamians are up in arms about the lengths that these Save The Bays operatives have gone to because hardly anyone in The Bahamas believes that these individuals have to “fear for their lives”.

 As one caller to the radio show said, “The Bahamas is one of the most tolerant societies in the world. No one has led more vicious and incessant attacks on the PLP Prime Ministers, namely the Rt. Hon. Lynden O. Pindling and the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie, as I have laid on them. I have been one of their most vicious attackers. And they have attacked me viciously in kind.

 “At the end of the day, they have both been to me, most gracious, most understanding, even to the point where we have on occasions to laugh at the level of our vitriol, and sometimes slap each other on the back in acknowledgement of the acceptance of it, the appreciation of it as being part and parcel of the politics of the day and the waving away of all of that anger and all of that as just one of those things that happens on the political calendar of our country.

 “I say that as an example of the tolerance. I have never been in any way threatened by any of them or their hirelings or supporters; and they have never been in any way threatened by anyone who I would know under my influence or within my association.”

 There was even a popular story around town about how, after a very bitter election battle between Prime Minister Perry Christie and former Prime Minister Hubert A. Ingraham one election season, that Mr. Ingraham was found at Mr. Christie’s house one morning preparing boil fish for them to enjoy. Bahamians often talk of how these two remained friends and were in constant contact with each other even after their political battles.

 So if the country has a history of vitriolic speech and harsh rhetoric, where politicians incessantly attack one another and can remain friends at the end of the day with never any consequences, why would that change over Save The Bays criticism of the Government?

 Does anyone really believe that members of the Government would seek to harm these individuals for criticizing the Government?

 Why would these Save The Bays individuals go to such extremes to report such claims to an international human rights organization?

 It is no wonder that some people are wondering about their state of mind and one Bahamian even called them unhinged.

 What is the point of their action?

 When asked his perspective on this, one caller asserted, “It is driven by crass manipulation of international and other opinions to sully the good name of The Bahamas. It is diabolical in its intent and it is, I think, as I see it being shaped now, something which will bring shame and scandal on those who drive the nefarious initiative.

 “It is an ugly nasty initiative, which will bring shame on those who are driving it.”

 How embarrassing for Bahamians and the Commonwealth of The Bahamas to be unfairly classified and likened to countries with dictatorships and human rights abuses.

 No Bahamian has been found to believe that these 5 individuals are in fear of or have need to fear for their lives.

 Unfortunately, all of this appear to be a part of a pattern of behavior by Save The Bays that is escalating to very dangerous levels.

 Yet, this behavior in particular may have dire consequences, if it is indeed deemed a seditious act, which will be expounded upon.



Written by Jones Bahamas

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