Too little, too late for Dr. Minnis on Baha Mar

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PLP Chairman Bradley Roberts
PLP Chairman Bradley Roberts

Bradley B. Roberts
National Chairman
Progressive Liberal Party

In the wake of the successful Baha Mar deal, I note the feeble attempt by Dr. Minnis to become relevant on the Baha Mar matter. For more than fourteen months Prime Minister Christie worked hard on behalf of the Bahamian people to get this deal done while Dr. Minnis was busy creating confusion in the public domain and seeking to turn Bahamians against the project.

TO DATE DR. MINNIS HAS DONE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO ADVANCE THE BAHA MAR DEAL. HE WAS BUSY SELFISHLY SEEKING TO GAIN POLITICAL MILEAGE FROM THE ECONOMIC MISFORTUNE OF THOUSANDS OF DISPLACED BAHA MAR WORKERS AND UNSECURED CREDITORS. DR. MINNIS INCORRECTLY AND FOOLISHLY BETTED AGAINST THE BAHAMIAN PEOPLE AND LOST BADLY.

His record on Baha Mar is clear: Dr. Minnis supported the failed Delaware bankruptcy filing. When the developer was only able to guarantee $15 million of the $600 million needed to complete the project, Minnis stubbornly and blindly continued his misguided support for the bankruptcy filing. When the developer clearly indicated that he would reduce the manpower at the resort by 98% to a skeletal crew of 52 workers, Minnis was in full agreement. He opposed the decision of The Bahamas Supreme Court to assert its judicial independence and protect the sovereignty of The Bahamas in adjudicating this asset. Dr. Minnis apparently wanted The Bahamas Supreme Court to subjugate itself to a foreign jurisdiction. Further, when the PLP government offered bridge payment to Baha Mar workers, the FNM vehemently objected to this, calling the decision a bad precedent.

If Dr. Minnis wishes to be relevant, he could begin by doing something useful like condemning the campaign of outrageous lies being circulated on talk radio and social media. Lies such as the sale of Bahamian citizenships, the posting of erroneous images of Bahamas motor vehicle license plates and lies about an increase in the motor vehicle licensing fees should be roundly condemned and discouraged. While he is at it, Minnis should discourage xenophobia and racism.

With a clear path to victory on this project and a silver lining on the horizon, there are only two acceptable options for Dr. Minnis: He should publicly apologize to the Baha Mar workers and creditors and barring that, he should just go sit in a corner and keep quiet because he has nothing worthwhile to offer on this issue.

Again, the PLP thanks the Prime Minister for his strength of leadership, his superb negotiation skills, his faith, this confidence, his tenacity and his eternal optimism. The Prime Minister was the picture of grace under fire in the face of irrational clutter, claptrap and outright hostility to his policy and message in an attempt to mislead the public, create confusion and dumb down the national debate on Baha Mar.

The PLP wishes the Bahamian people well as they work with their government to bring about a successful completion and opening of the Baha Mar project.