Former MP Pierre Dupuch Speaks

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Pierre Dupuch

By Pierre V.L. Dupuch
September 17, 2010

When I was first sworn in as a Member of the House of Assembly I was naive. When I retired 25 years later, after winning five terms in office, I was stunned and shocked at the way our Government was run and how the people reacted.

I was reminded of hundreds of years ago, when the Indians owned Manhattan, the Settlers arrived, offered the Indians some rum, shining beads and a pittance in cash and became the owners of Manhattan, now the financial centre of the world.

During my first term in Office, I mentioned that the building of one of the Crystal Palace Towers on the beach at Cable Beach would cause erosion. The then Government laughed at me and assured me not to worry, that the investors had guaranteed them that studies had been done (which the investor paid for) and in addition to that had put one million dollars in escrow in case they were wrong. Well, they were wrong. The beach is no more. Just before I retired, I inquired as to why the million dollars hadn’t been spent on restoring the beach. The answer was a question: “What million?”

The beach, as we knew it, is gone, the money has either gone or never existed, the man behind the Crystal Palace is dead, and the Members of the House of Assembly who made the decision are, for the most part, dead.

The only ones left are the grandchildren, left to wallow in their grandfather’s folly and mess. Jobless. A flash in the pan that, for all intents and purposes has gone belly up!

Now let’s fast forward to another “flash in the pan.” Ginn, in Western Grand Bahama. We sat in the House for hours, completely mesmerized at the presentation. Beautiful drawings were shown. A new City that would make most in the United States look anemic. The development was mind-boggling!! This was it. It was going to be big enough to employ all of Grand Bahama.

The bulldozers moved in, clearing acres of land, pushing down all that was in front of them. Most of the land became balder than me. And then they ran out of money and the development crumbled, and people left. I drove there to see the place I once knew as West End. The experience was eerie. The people had gone; the land was bald, the cars and equipment were just parked there. Not a dog barked. Not a chicken crowed.

But, they say, we should forgive that. After all, we needed the foreign currency, and a fast talking investor came and obviously drank cocktails with the right people, presented us with some beautiful sketches and repeated what the settlers did to the Indians many moons ago. We haven’t changed. We only dress differently.

And then came Albany. Another multi-multi million dollar development, where the land was gotten cheap, one person got access to put a marina on private land after the beach had been breached, and most of the multi-multi million dollars to be spent on the project never reached this land. But that’s development, they say. Some contractors made some money. That’s fine. Some real estate sellers got some money for the original sale of cheap land. That too is good. But how much of that multi-multi million dollars really came to the Bahamas? Not much. Have we lost more than we received? Yes, but that’s all right, they say. We got a little foreign currency out of the deal. Although most maids are either Haitian or Filipinos we are told that a lot of jobs will be created for Bahamian maids who don’t exist.

What has happened to the beach, the historic sites which properly developed and marketed could help our income forever? They’re destroyed. But that’s all right, they say. Our leaders seem to be knee jerker’s who fail to see beyond their noses. Some say they are carpetbaggers, others call them crooks. Some, however, say they are angels sent from Heaven to save us fools!!!

The latest flash in the pan is Baha Mar. It offers everything, even 10,000 Bahamian jobs. They don’t say what the jobs will be but the number 10,000 sounds good so why not spit it out. Although you can shoot a canon off in the hallways of most hotels on the Cable Beach strip and not hit a fly, the Baha Mar organization is going to build six more hotels. Sounds good but nobody’s told us yet what strategy will be used to fill them.

But the story sounds good and the pictures are pretty. They figure, that’s enough to keep us Bahamian fools happy. Now the money sharks smell the blood and they are in a frenzy and anything goes. Question time is over. Money time is here.

Now just let’s wait one minute. Let’s be bold for once and dare ask some questions. Is this new group an arm of the Chinese Government? Yes, they are. Who holds the mortgage for all this land? The Chinese government. What happens if the project is designed to or does in fact go belly up? Whoever holds the mortgage forecloses and then owns the land. Does that mean the Chinese Government? Yes, they hold the mortgage and will, therefore, own the land.

Let’s think about that and ask a few more questions. Is this land now or potentially could be a large part of that which runs the Bahamian economic engine? Yes, this land is one of the most, if not the most, valuable pieces of land that runs the economic engine of the Bahamas. Does that mean, therefore, that a foreign country potentially owns and controls the major part of our economy? Yes, this is what Im telling you.

Let’s let that sink in, and then ask a few more questions. Is it correct that China is a Communist country? Yes they are. So would you be correct in understanding that we will be turning over a large portion of our economic engine to a foreign country, a communist foreign country? You are correct. Man, you got to be joking. I know the government is fool, but they can’t be that fool!!

Yes folks, that’s it. We have now gone full circle. In the late sixties our leaders were shouting for independence. We had to get rid of the foreign, English shackles. We must be masters of our own fate! Yes sir, we were big, bad and ugly!

Now it is 2010 and we’re giving a large part of our economic engine … our decision making … away to a foreign country, a Communist one at that.

We cry at funerals. I shed a tear for my country. We have lost our senses. General Dwight D. Eisenhower once said: “A people who put their privileges ahead of their principles, soon lose both.”

By the way, while going to work I drive through Village Road. Recently, somewhere in the vicinity of the Bahamas National Trust, I have smelled the high scent of a dead rat. I advise that the Prime Minister have this investigated and have the relevant Ministry clear it up.

15 COMMENTS

  1. Evidence that Dupuch is a Bigot you ask? Well, when the Brits ruled, did Dupuch think that they were too powerful? America has had unrivalled power for decades, and still do. Do not kid yourself. The US economy is at least 4 times the size of its nearest rival, and it owns both of them as a result of WW2. The only reason the Dupuchs, and I include the Publisher of the Tribune in this, fear the Chinese is because they have slanted eyes and yellow skin.

    It took a challenge by Steve Mckinney on National Radio for Dupuch and Brent both to admit that they actually had black blood. Do not be fooled.

    The Chines system is free market/state controlled. No system is entirely free of state control. Mr Dupuch accused the Americans on this point on National radio as well.

  2. Thanks mr Dupuch couldnt have said it better myself the old stafford sands model is obselete never being good for the country if they want to invest then do so with capital not borrowed money. and 67 mill for 236 acres prime land whoaaaaaaaaaaaaa please stop this madness.
    @ finely you must live elsewhere dupuch is a patriot of the highest order. present your bigot evidence for us to decide. You dont expect us to take your word ech hahaha do vat Bp dus ya bad else shet ya mouth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Obviously you Mr. Finley and Charles need to wake up from the dream that you’re having and step into the real world, you guys are only looking out to “eat food” for today and not thinking about tomorrow,the next day or the day after or let me say long time survival. Please put politics aside and look at the bigger picture and stop the bashing, lets be realistic if Mr.Dupuch was not the writer would it be the same thing? No,I do not think so, so lets grow up and have a little bit more respect for men with testicular fortitude and their views and maybe if both of you had testicular fortitude you would not be bashing Mr. Dupuch.

  4. @Thomas Finley- The Chinese holds 3 trillion of US reserves. This is scary. That means that the Chinese literally has the power to down the global economy as the US dollar is still the worlds strongest. Please do not be disillusioned by the interest of the Chinese government through the investment of our economy, i.e. the stadium, scholarships. The Chinese has a game plan. They are doing everything strategically. What Depuch alluded to with the Bahamian economy and the Chinese is very relevant. Simply stated, the Chinese hold too much power. The human nature is geared toward money and success. We, the human race in general, often tend to give up our values in the short term for immediate gratification, disregarding the long term effects. That is the reason the Chinese hold so many US reserves, they exploit weaknesses to get what they want.
    Like Depuch stated 10,000 jobs are promised but what are they and at what level? If the count for foreign visas is in the thousands to BUILD the project, what is going to be the visa requirement when and if the project is finished to operate the facility? Gentrification is another topic not even addressed within the article but is a serious threat to our country by allowing the foreign investors to buy up our valuable land. We are already feeling its effects but are turning a blind eye due to a mix of ignorance and because we are trained to think that foreign investment is a panacea.
    Another point you mentioned is communism. It does not work. Cuba is a good example. Castro in fact admitted that his model failed. The Cuban government is pushing small business development (granted on a small scale) to release the pressure of the government. The Bahamian connection is that the Chinese will have the power to pull out if they chose to while Cable Beach remains a ghost town. The same thing can be said about Sun International and Paradise Island.
    In closing, you mentioned the “benefits” of the Chinese to us through the building of the stadium and scholarships. Who is going to fill the stadiums (as we do not have major leagues that compete internationally at this time), what is the cost of maintenance on this facility- where is the maintenance money going to come from? Our depleted budget, or are we going to allow the Chinese to maintain it for us in exchange for more valuable Bahamian assets? The scholarships are a ploy to make us think favorably to China to allow such details as BahaMar to be approved. We, as Bahamians need to adopt a tunnel vision being masked by the short term.

  5. These same communists are the very same ones who persecute and KILL Christians TODAY in China!!!!
    You want these same communists owning the Bahamian economy?
    Get real man!!!!

  6. I am so sorry if I offended anyone or thier family media but I thought this was a democracy where anyone can speak freely without causing libelor slander.

  7. Thank you very much Charles. Those same communists are building our National Stadium, have given Scholarships to Bahamian students and is an unlimited market for Bahamians for exotic seafood, not consumed by Bahamians.

    I must also add that the Chinese are keeping the US economy afloat by buying up US debt. Does Chris even make the obvious connection to our own economy?

  8. what communist country? we need to stop talking fool, as a so called christian nation we are a pot of fools. everything today is made in China, even the Bible. we are talking about survival here, its about food on the table. we need to get rid of the biggots and haters it 2010 and the world has change greatly. what the difference between the chinese and the Mr. Dupuch ? will tell you soon

  9. @ Finley. You are the bigot and a idiot you stupid fool! What you have before you is a wealth of knowledge and you bash Mr.Dupuch making him out to be someone who is senile. I humbly ask you to take your head out your backside and see the clear picture without playinng politics,go and research what Communism is about. If the PLP was in office I am more than certain Mr. Dupuch’s sentiments would have been the same.Stop towing the political line with hopes of seeing the promised land as one writer commented or hoping to get special favors from Mr. Ingraham. Right is right and wrong is wrong Finley no matter whose in office. I thank Mr. Dupuch for these informative letters and I hope he continues to write, informing Bahamians on what is really going on.

  10. Dupuch is a Bigot. What does being Communist have to do with anything in 2010? And where were these concerns when Christie was in charge? It is still the same plan. Hypocrite and charlatan and Ingraham hater!

    • Indeed, indeed! Communism has nothing to do with it in this day in age – it is called Investing! Have a look at the largest global player in the world, the United States; 70% of the long term debt is OWNED by the Chinese!!!! There is definitely nothing wrong with this, at all! What the Bahamians need to understand is the dynamics of investment and investing in leverage backed products such as a mortgage back securities – well, it is a double edge sword! Yes, having said that it creates multiplicity!
      I am happy to know that over the past 25 years, our Bahamaland has grown and transformed to a place where it can reckon or compete with it neighboring counterparts. With risks comes opportunities and indeed like the old financial adage goes, the greater the risk, the greater the ‘expected’ return/rewards!
      It’s great to be risk takers than cowards, sitting back waiting for the rain to fall, and hoping that the corn or the crops grow, as a matter or speaking.
      Had all of the so called ‘belly-up’ investments indeed were a success, would we now be hearing from this retiree, only now 25 years later – i think not! Maybe we should be asking the questions: Why only now is he tabling his views? Why not when he had the ‘powers to be’? Anyways, i will end my ranting and raving now because, it all too makes me eerie, to see that this man, was/is indeed one of the so called ‘Indians’ who sold off all of the other ‘belly-up’ investments, for it was he who was a part of the team representing ‘Team Bahamas’ over the past 25 years!

      We hear you Mr Dupuch, but are we really listening? – maybe the grassroots individuals who are ready to start a protest, but if I can have a say, your words are definitely landing on my deaf ears!

  11. Mr Dupuch,
    It is men like you that these turncoat politicians (FNM &PLP) need to listen and think like you. They will sure as hell back sell us back to slavery like the Chinese.

  12. The day that Politicians wake up and put aside their greed the Bahamas would be a better place and be preserved for the generations to come. Everyone seems to be looking for their big break to reach the (promise land) House of Assembly.

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