In April 2012, a month before the general election, large billboards announcing alarming crime statistics were placed by the PLP in high traffic areas frequented by tourists. The billboards painted the Bahamas – truthfully – as the crime-ridden nation it is rather than the paradise it is projected to be. But they were in poor taste and erected merely as a political campaign tactic.
When the FNM attempted to remove the billboards they were verbally attacked by the PLP who adamantly objected, saying that to remove the billboards would be covering up the truth on crime, suppressing the facts. It was a convenient argument for them at the time. Now, however, the PLP seems to have had a change of heart as they seem quite eager to cover up the truth and suppress facts on the Cuban issue.
A Tribune Editorial dated September 3, 2013 stated:
“Bahamians were alarmed that their tourist industry — their main livelihood — was being torpedoed by a desperate opposition hungry for power. Today that opposition is the Christie government.
On the billboards, crime figures were posted in startlingly large figures — real figures, not those being released today, which are configured by a different yardstick to try to make a trusting public believe that crime is decreasing.
This type of propaganda with the potential of damaging our economy was self-inflicted. We heard no clarion call at that time from such persons as Fred Mitchell encouraging all Bahamians to stand together to defend our good name and our bread-and-butter industry.
When Bahamians – referred to at the time as “FNM goon” squads by no less a person than our present Deputy Prime Minister “Brave” Davis – started tearing down the signs, Mr Davis accused then Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham of being a dictator, desperate for power and intent on concealing the truth.
During that time Mr Davis stated: “We cannot hide the truth and we cannot suppress the facts. We have to address the issues of crime.”
The editorial in The Tribune continued:
So one year later we are now addressing the issue of brutality — inhumane brutality — and, believe it or not, Bahamians who will not tolerate such behaviour at the Detention Centre are being accused of treason, by no less a person than Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell. In an off-the-cuff remark at his most recent press conference, Mr Mitchell remarked: “I think we have won the middle ground in this matter.”
Why isn’t Deputy Prime Minister “Brave” Davis now proclaiming that “we cannot suppress the facts. We have to address the issue…”
Mr. Mitchell has adopted the wrong attitude on the new Cuban crisis as The Tribune’s editorial points out:
“Bahamians are quite fed up with this attack on our country, which in our view is unfair,” Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell complained. “We spend $1 billion in the Florida economy every year. What’s the point in trying to damage our economy?”
What has this got to do with the dignity and rights of a human being? To balance in justification the abuse one of God’s greatest creations against the almighty dollar is the height of vulgarity.
It was only when they had a noisy boycott outside the Bahamas’ consulate in Miami that the Bahamas government took note. What they got was a belligerent Fred Mitchell who declared that he was tired of their protest.
And to make matters worse, the ministry then decided to act dishonourably, conducting themselves in “a manner not conducive to a free society,” according to Republican Congress woman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.
Despite all of this, Mr Mitchell is berating Bahamians for not standing together to “defend the good name of the country.”
How could any honest man defend such a mockery? No, Mr Mitchell, as your Deputy Prime Minister can tell you, “we cannot hide the truth and we cannot suppress the facts. We have to address the issues”.
Source: The Tribune, editorial