Categorized | Featured, National News

PM: US Proximity Harmful

Blame the United States for the many social ills facing The Bahamas right now, according to Prime Minister Perry Christie who on Monday said the societal, economical and developmental problems which Caribbean countries suffer are the direct result of the proximity to the US.

The prime minister was delivering a speech on the role of The Bahamas in Caricom at a Distinguished Open Lecture Series at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago yesterday where he also urged Caribbean leaders to band together to put the pressure on the United States Government to provide more assistance to the growing regional problem.

“The ills which we suffer in our economies are the direct result of the proximity to the United States,” Prime Minister Christie said. “The policies of that country affect the wellbeing of our citizens whether it is immigration, the export of deportees, the raid on our talent or brain drain, gun ownership, the inability to control the appetite for dangerous drugs and the peculiar vulnerability of the United States to terrorism.

“This proximity factor works for both good and ill. Our societies in the region profit from the sale of our tourism services to millions of United States passengers every year. Yet it is this same proximity that attracts the security vulnerabilities which we face. The issues of drugs, illegal migration, guns and gun violence which plague our societies are, at least in substantial part, a direct result of that proximity.”

For the year so far the country has recorded an increase in murders for the same period this time last year, while armed robberies and other criminal acts, immigration and drug trafficking continue to be a major problem for the country.

In recent weeks police officials seized millions of dollars worth of drugs in a number of sting operations including a $17 million and a $1.2 million dollar raid.

Additionally, government officials revealed that 86 illegal guns were removed from the streets so far for the year.

“I have asked US leaders, and the two in particular that I have mentioned as well as the now US Attorney General Eric Holder, whether or not they fully appreciate the stake which they have in the security of the region, to end the tide of violence and to ensure that our societies are safe,” Mr. Christie added.

But the prime minister reminded the regional leaders that these problems do not only persist in The Bahamas and challenged Caribbean heads to collectively demand more assistance from the country he blames for fueling these societal dilemmas.

He said when the time comes for those bigger countries to seek the Caribbean’s assistance they do so freely but oftentimes turn their backs on the needs of those very same countries.
“Given the very serious challenges which continue to beset the region, however, we must continue to urge the Americans to expand their range of assistance,” Mr. Christie said. “In that vein, I continue to insist that the greatest form of security for any state is the education and development of its people.

“Poverty and underdevelopment is the source for instability, unrest and insecurity. Yet too many developed countries take this region for granted until it is time for us to vote for some cause or other. Then when we do not perform according to the preordained script, we are castigated for being uncooperative. That is why I think the region must engage. The region must leverage what it has in numbers and use its collective voice to make sure that the world understands the stake it has in the region, and what the expectations of the region are.”

The prime minister added that almost as a matter of course, every major country in the world calls on the Caribbean region, seeking voting support for projects they have special interests in and told his Caribbean colleagues that in deciding whether or not to support these bigger countries, they must never forget to question how the move will benefit Caricom.

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