Categorized | Featured, National News

Mitchell “Unapologetic” Over Cuban Controversy

fred mitchell (1)

Despite repeated calls from Cuban-American protesters and the Opposition for him to resign in the wake of allegations that Cuban detainees were abused Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell says he is “unapologetic” and will continue to defend his government against individuals and groups trying to defame The Bahamas.

Last week, an alleged report detailing abuse at the illegal immigrant holding facility was leaked to the media.

Minister Mitchell believes the Opposition leaked the report to the media.

However, he has repeatedly stressed that the government is still investigating abuse claims and the report is not complete.

On Sunday, Minister Mitchell held a news conference at the Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) shortly after returning from a trip to the U.S. where he visited The Bahamas’ consulate officers in New York, Washington, Atlanta and Miami.

During his trip he also met with officials from the U.S. State Department.

Minister Mitchell again stressed that he would not comment on the alleged report until the investigation is complete.

“I think it’s outrageous what these protestors have said about our country,” he said. “My role as the chief diplomat of The Bahamas is to defend the country’s reputation and that’s what I do. I’m unapologetic about it and those who want to apologise for it, like the leader of the Opposition, then that’s fine.”

“One has to be very careful in putting tendentious and prejudicial information in advance out into the public. If I was a defence lawyer and something arose out of this, I would have a field day with it.”

A delegation headed by Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Philip Miller and Defence Force Commodore Roderick Bowe left for Havana, Cuba yesterday to discuss ways to repatriate Cuban migrants home quicker.

According to the minister, he will meet with Cuba’s minister of foreign affairs on Wednesday to discuss several matters, including immigration and oil drilling.

“The specific thing this team is going to Cuba to do now is, in 1998 The Bahamas Government signed a protocol with the Cuban government which would have allowed the direct repatriation in a short space of time for Cuban migrants in this country back to Cuba,” he said.

“There were some modalities that were supposed to be settled as to how that should be done, but it wasn’t from 1998 to the present. We discovered that recently and we let the Cuban government know that that’s what we’d like to do. We’d like to get that set up.”

Last week, Prime Minister Perry Christie explained that the government was looking into ways that these migrants, when caught in Bahamian waters, could be held until law enforcement officers from their country are able take them back, instead of them being brought in to the detention centre.

Minister Mitchell said that aside from the annual United States Human Rights report and Amnesty International, there aren’t really any other foreign bodies or countries too concerned about the investigation as the detention centre and Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP) have been an issue for several years.

He added that the Free National Movement (FNM) and its leader Dr. Hubert Minnis’ comments surrounding the issue has “no impact” on him whatsoever.

“This is a group of very desperate people,” he said.

“They’re down on their political fortunes; their leader is in political trouble and he’s making himself look most unintelligent by seeking to link these events to a call for resignation.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Watch JCN Channel 14 Shows

Jcn Channel 14

Sign in now to see your channels and recommendations!

Join Us on Facebook