CARICOM deplores boycott threat to Bahamas

Bahamas National Security Minister Dr.Bernard Nottage.
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The 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) grouping has deplored attempts by Cuban exile groups in Miami in urging an economic boycott of the Bahamas over the illegal migration of Cubans to that CARICOM country.

The Guyana-based CARICOM Secretariat said that it also deplored the attacks on the Bahamas’s economic interests in Florida “by interest groups based in Miami.”

It recalled the statement endorsed by the Fifth Special Meeting of the Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR) that “supports the legitimate efforts of the government of the Bahamas, in conformity with international law, to ensure that its borders are not breached by unlawful immigration.”

Recently, Bahamas National Security Minister, Dr. Bernard Nottage, praised the restraint of the Bahamian people in the face of antagonism by Cubans in Miami.

“I commend the Bahamian community for the restraint they have exercised, particularly in the accusations which have been leveled on us by the Cuban exile community in Miami,” he said, noting that the Bahamas considers itself a friend of the United States.

He said the merchants in the United States many of whom are Cuban Americans, “should be thankful for the resources we provide them through our expenditure with them in Miami. We are subject to all sorts of disadvantages because of the drug trade, gun trade and illegal trafficking of persons, all of which have happened in our waters,” said Nottage.

Nottage explained that for the past few months, the Cuban exile community of South Florida has advanced a biased public opposition to the Bahamian government’s position without considering that the detainees are in fact in a legal breach of Cuban law, Bahamian law, and US law.

He said as a result, it is difficult for the Bahamas to find a third party country to take on the expense of housing and feeding these inmates.

Nottage also advised the public that a local investigation would be exercised and which affords the officers legal protection against the accusations.

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