THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT IS RELEASED ON BEHALF OF SENATOR ALEXANDER STORR, CHAIRMAN OF THE BAHAMAS MORTGAGE CORPORATION
I find the commentary titled “The Folly of Fred Mitchell” by Branville McCartney to be entirely comical and misplaced.
This cannot be the same fellow who publicly supported the new immigration measures and more recently, just two weeks ago, reportedly in the graveyard of a church in Fox Hill congratulated the Immigration Minister on the new policies and urged him to stick to it.
Now McCartney says that he will not blindly follow any policy and seeks to pin on the minister and by extension the government something which the minister and the government never asserted and then seeks to denigrate what we as a government and country are seeking to do to protect our borders by suggesting that the government may be sanctioning abuse of detainees.
Dame Billie Miller of Barbados used to say: “You cannot approbate and reprobate at the same time”. In other words, Mr. McCartney cannot have his cake and eat it too. Bahamians would say: “You can’t be all over the place. You have to make up your mind whether you are weak or you’re strong.”
The Bahamian people want resolution to this vexing problem. Right now we need all hands on deck, not some wishy washy summer solider and sunshine patriot, who at the first ill wind goes running for the tall grass.
For the record, I say again: The Bahamas government does not sanction the abuse of detainees; nor does it encourage it; nor does it promote it; nor does it support it; it will not go unpunished where it is found to exist. The individual behavior of an officer or officers is quite a different matter from state sanctioned abuse.
The only thing that the government has spoken and can speak to is the actions of the state and in the case of the allegations on Cuban detainees that is as far as the government went. The government never denied any fact of abuse but simply spoke and will continue to speak to the known facts.
All complaints of abuse are investigated and are being investigated. I have followed these developments and Mr. McCartney must not put words in the mouth of the Minister that he did not say.
The only folly that has so far been involved in this process is Mr. McCartney’s own anxiousness to join the Loretta Butler Turner School of “Scorch-The- Earth and Take No Prisoners; Say and ‘Do- Any-Thing-That Will-Get-You-A-Headline”.
Whether this action by Mr. McCartney will get him back in the House of Assembly, well that is quite another matter.
As for this government, the work of the Department continues within lawful bounds. As the Immigration Minister has said, the public is invited to contact Assistant Director Dwight Beneby where they know of any allegations of abuse and the same will be investigated. The results will be made known consistent with the privacy and rights of individuals as we live in a transparent society.
Senator Alex Storr J.P.
Chairman, Bahamas Mortgage Corporation