FNM Coffin Almost Nailed Shut as Election Nears

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The Cabinet of the Bahamas now faces a financial crisis!

Nassau, Bahamas — A series of devastating blows of ugly truth have rocked the Free National Movement Government and public perception of the Administration is at an all-time low.  Like Bruce Golding, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham faces the biggest challenge of his political career and he may be wondering why he went back on his word not to serve more than two terms as the nation’s chief.  His Cabinet Ministers have a tarnished public image and his team has failed to give him that squeaky clean image that he had hoped for. Instead, Deputy Prime Minister Brent Symonette tops the list of poor public perception, and there are growing concerns about his monopoly of businesses in the Bahamas.

First Premier of the Bahamas, Roland 'Pop' Symonette

Renown journalist Daniel Okrent’s latest published works, “Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition” reveals that the DPM’s father, Sir Roland “Pop” Symonette gained his wealth through illegal bootlegging, earning what is equivalent today to some $210 million. The book says Sir Roland erased the stain of bootlegging from his name by investing his money in legitimate businesses to become Premier of the Bahamas in 1964.

His son will not face the same luck.  DPM’s Symonette’s stains will not be so easily erased by a not-so-forgiving public, which has matured and learned to expect more from politicians.  The Symonette family fortune, estimated at nearly $1 billion, has assets in so many facets of Bahamian society that what is being revealed abut the financial kickbacks the Symonette family receives from the Bahamas government may only be the tip of the iceberg.

When the FNM Administration came to power in 2007, one of their initial major projects was the Nassau Harbour Port Improvement Project.  Mr. Symonette and Environment Minister Earl Deveaux must have had the twinkle in their eyes as the documents were signed, because to date, Bahamians have yet to benefit from this project.  While it did take the shipping frenzy away from Downtown, it left an eyesore on Bay Street, which has yet to be revitalized.  Latest reports indicate that DPM Symoentte earned $60 million from that project.  Due to the fact that Minister Deveaux was the front man and was pushing the project, it can very well be expected that he, too received kickbacks from his Cabinet colleague for bearing the pressure of the press and the public, as well as the group protests led by Senator Jerome Fitzgerald.

DPM Brent Symonette and stakeholder in Bahamas Hot Mix now engulfed in Conflicts of Interest

Mr. Deveaux was in charge of the project when the father of his daughter’s three children was allegedly granted a $2 million contract to provide fill for Symonette’s company, Bahama Hot Mix. Mr. Deveaux is the biggest let-down to the public because of the amount of dredging that has occurred during his tenure as an environment Minister, in situations that were far from transparent.  These included the port development as well as the dredging of  harbor marinas by the Aga Khan IV and former Lyford Cay resident, hedge fund billionaire Louis Bacon.

While Symonette and Deveaux are in the hot seat for ignoring all conflict of interest signs and raking in loads of cash under the guise of Government Projects, it can be safely assumed that these multi-million dollar kickbacks have benefitted Mr. Ingraham and the rest of the Cabinet as well.  But Mr. Ingraham’s dictatorial style of leadership may mean that only certain ministers in his Cabinet could be involved in what may be an attempt to secure personal financial gain before the PM’s retirement.

The shady Cable and Wireless deal that has yet to benefit the Bahamian public was a case of conflict of interest openly admitted by the Prime Minister, who still allowed the sale even after nepotism and non-disclosure was uncovered.  The Cable and Wireless case is also a classic example of the rich benefiting in this FNM term of administration while the poor suffer.  Thousands of BTC phone card vendors were unceremoniously removed off of the streets within less than a year of being given BTC permits, sings and vests authorizing them as street side vendors.  The government released unemployment statistics which could not account for the thousands of vendors who were removed from the streets around that time.

Earl Deveaux, Minister of The Environment and the most CORRUPT minister in all Ingraham's Cabinet!

Disillusionment and crime are the result of such an action, and the massive rise in crime indicates, through police reports, that many of these are drug related cases.   Those who once peddled drugs turned to roadside vending as legitimate means of income, and now have turned back to drug peddling, robbery, retributions and extortion as means of survival.

Meantime, the PM reportedly told a boat captain while he was out fishing and was asked about crime: Ï can do something about the roads.  I can’t do anything about crime.”  If the PM feels he can do nothing about crime, then maybe this is why he hasnt come up with the answers we Bahamians desperately need about crime fighting and prevention.

He said he could do something about the roads, but even the New Providence Road Improvement project is a mess all over the capital with no end in sight.  Even the engineering of the roads seem off to the average Bahamian who uses commons sense.

Digging up all of the roads at one time also contributed to the rapid spread of the Dengue fever, as water collected and sat untreated and ignored by Minister of the Environment Earl Deveaux, who did not come up with equitable solutions to the scourge.  Deveaux should have had garbage collectors working overtime to clean up the streets, while the Department of Environmental Health Services should have been commissioned to clear mosquito hazards from properties and abandoned buildings while treating any water sitting in ditches along the dug up roads.

With everything being dug up, from the shoreline to the harbor to the streets, there is serious cause to believe the warnings of Pierre Dupuch, son of Sir Etienne Dupuch, and of FNM heritage.  Dupuch believes strongly that the Cabinet is benefiting from millions of dollars selling the fill from the Bahama Islands, which is amongst the most prized in the world, earning top dollar. Veteran journalist Steve McKinney has long called for an investigation into what has happened to all of the fill that has been dug up from major investments all across the Bahamas during the FNM term of Administration.

The FNM has proven what critics have long suspected – that under their leadership, the rich would get richer, while the poor would get poorer and situations would become much worse for the disenfranchised.  This time is reminiscent of when PM Ingraham claimed that whoever won the Referendum he called would win the election.  When he contradicted himself and came back to power, he gave the public a chance to see his nakedness, as he attempted to step up onto the altar of the greatest Bahamian population to date, currently held by the Father of the Nation, Sir Lynden Oscar Pindling.

  • That would make him an American criminal or as stated an international one.

  • If an American citizen was caught transporting illegal immigrants into the Bahamas, would it not be illegal? Pop Symonette was breaking the laws of America, only the gangster never got caught. A number of men who helped run his operations I am sure were caught and served time in the U. S.
    Those unfortunate Souls were not important enough to be written about. Some of them may have died in U.S. jails, especially knowing how Blacks were scapegoated.

    Who else Pop would have used to do the heavy lifting??? As his son is doing today only in a more sophisticated way. While marching straight to the banks with our people’s millions. Thus allowing him to excuse it as his children’s trust funds. Guess who the heavy lifters are today? And where they are located from the Sir Wallace Whitfield building, Cabinet, Parliament????

    Symonette is a Symonette, is a Symonette, is a Symonette. May God Rest Their Souls.

  • What Jason and Eagle is saying is Pop Symonette was not a local criminal but a international criminal.

    • media

      Anti-FNM with a touch of DNA you are absolutely correct. Perhaps his millions should be frozen and carted off to the US! hmmmmm
      NOT A LOCAL CRIMINAL but an International one. Bot I tell ya. I didn’t see that one coming.

      BP

      • Hey you can’t take the man’s money. Pop Symonette is dead and no one has proof of anything so let us just leave that there… Okay BP justs wants to make the Symonettes’ sound like a bad name and it isn’t so leave brent and his brother craig alone… Just because you can’t be like him.

  • broken bahamas you make me lmao

  • BP is the Bahamas’ “Anderson Cooper 360”. I would rebrand Media “Hurricane Cat 5 150”.

    As for this government. They know they can’t solve crime. They know they on their way out. So what’s the solution? Ya can’t fix the crime problem, not enough time. Ya can’t fix the courts, not enough time. Ya can’t hang anyone, that enn happenin’.

    Find small things to do and award more contracts to these companies associated with members of government until election comes around. We all know how this awarding contract thing go. 2 mil gets awarded to some firm ya never hear about and da 2 mil vanish like dem Frenchies hopping off dem sloops ’round Yamacraw at 2am, if you know what i mean 🙂

    Find more work and award more contracts. That way, they get to rape the treasury before they demit office!

    When da people ask dem where da money gone, da MP tell you, “mann yall jokin’ dat money gone ta my 96 year old mother trust fund, das HER money!”

    lmao

  • Let’s get it straight, rumrunning and bootlegging was illegal in the United States, not The Bahamas. Prohibition was NEVER law in The Bahamas. To suggest that Pop Symonette was a criminal is to re-write history.

    • media

      Well that makes it worse! He knew it was illegal to practice in the US and used his vessel to run rum into the foreign country while he sat in Nassau in exile? He should have been extradited!

      BP

  • WOW!

  • What an utter idiot. He can fix the roads but not crime. What the hell did we put you as our leader for?! Any uneducated ninkampoo can figure out: if the roads need fixing, hire a company to fix it. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that out! But it does take some brains and creativity to figure out how to curb crime, but the toad either don’t wanna think that hard or just has no ideas! Either way he is incompetent and useless to us. Not to mention an eyesore to look at. And wait, he still screwed up on fixing the roads! It’s an utter mess! Common sense tells you, you don’t dig up everything at one time. If you do one at a time, then drivers would have an option of going left, right, back, front. But we don’t even have that option becuz everywhere is blocked by more “road works”! Keep exposin’ them BP.

  • Roland Symonette DID NOT make his millions by illegal means. Prohibition was an American event not a Bahamian one. He broke no Bahamian laws. Indeed The Bahamas treasury boomed during American prohibition as tax money was collected on all the liquor brought into the colony from other countries. If the liquor was being run into the USA where it was illegal that was an American law not ours. Pop Symonette and others made money but its lawful money.