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‘Remove Liberty from BTC’ – Mitchell Tells PM


Following what he called “derogatory and derisory” comments made by Liberty Latin America CEO Balan Nair about Bahamians employed at the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) and their work ethic, Progressive Liberal Party Chairman Fred Mitchell wants Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis to stand up and tell Nair to leave The Bahamas.

BTC is a subsidiary of Liberty Latin America and Nair’s comments circulated in a video on social media where he was seen addressing a group of Jamaican employees.

 According to Mitchell, the comments were also disrespectful to Prime Minister Dr. Minnis.

“The executive [Nair] makes fun of the prime minister, saying that the Bahamian prime minister was unable to look him in the eyes even as the prime minister told him that more Bahamians needed to be hired by BTC,” Mitchell said yesterday.

“The Liberty executive’s comments come against the backdrop of bad service by BTC, the unreliability of his platforms both telephonic and data, and the absence of any indication of forward planning and investment in The Bahamas. In fact, this executive has a nerve to make fun of Bahamians and the prime minister when their company, Liberty, seems only interested in extracting profits, dismissing employees, stripping the company of its assets and moving jobs overseas.”

However, Mitchell wants Nair to know that Liberty is responsible for the issues taking place at BTC.

“Mr. Liberty executive, the laugh and joke are on you. You simply run a company poorly and it has nothing to do with Bahamians and their productivity.”

But Mitchell believes the prime minister and the Free National Movement should fire back at Nair for such derogatory comments.

“If they had any national pride, they would have struck back at this Liberty executive, essentially telling him that given his views about Bahamians and the prime minister, he and his company are no longer welcome here and they must find a home elsewhere,” Mitchell said.

“The FNM has fostered an atmosphere in this country which allows rich and wealthy investors, both foreign and domestic, to believe that money entitles them to do and act as they please.

“This is regrettable.

“Clearly no PLP government would allow or countenance this attack on and insult of our national sensibilities.”

The FNM issued a statement following Mitchell’s response to Nair’s comments where the party defended the prime minister and criticized the PLP’s effort to protect Bahamians. 

“First and foremost, we as a country and a party must again thank Prime Minister Minnis for always standing up for us and our jobs. During the campaign and throughout his time in office, he has always made it a top priority to provide good jobs and put Bahamians in leadership positions in all companies. Once again, he’s proved that he always walks the walk and talks the talk,” the FNM statement read.

“Today’s statement from the PLP chairman is not surprising to say the least. He and his old and tired friends have routinely tried to capitalize on pretending to care about our great country, but in reality, they only do so when they think they can score political points or enrich themselves.

“It is apparent that our prime minister is both focused on bringing us more and better jobs, but is also capable and willing to stand up for us no matter what, when or to whom.

“Let us be clear, the PLP is attempting to pull the wool over the country’s eyes once again with a fake show of nationalism. What they should instead be doing is using the coming weeks to personally apologize to us all for their five years of corruption, mismanagement and failure.

“The FNM is proud to be led by a prime minister who leads from the front, keeps his word and is a Bahamian before anything else.”

BTC CEO Garfield Sinclair also responded to the matter in a statement yesterday where he explained that “no fire has been started.”

“The statements were taken out of context and do not convey the full essence of the message that was delivered,” Sinclair said.

“BTC maintains a good working relationship with the government of The Bahamas and will continue to work together to drive economic growth. Furthermore, Liberty Latin America is extremely supportive of BTC, values its employees, and remains committed to building a culture of high performance where colleagues are able to thrive and deliver moments that matter to our customers.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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