Bradley Roberts

22nd September 2010

The Deputy Prime Minister Brent Symonette’s remarks about the arrest of the vendors in New York is unhelpful. A Minister of Foreign Affairs cannot come off as politically impotent in their situation. When its citizens are in trouble, they expect that the government will come to their assistance. Thankfully, the technocrats in Foreign Affairs know what their job is: to intervene to ensure that there is due process, that they are being properly treated and have the benefit of all the rights to which they are entitled. Now is not the time to lecture people about what they ought to be doing but rather to seek to help in a bad situation.

From what is in the public domain, firstly it is being said that the Americans conducted a surveillance operation in the Bahamas which led to the arrest of the individuals. A further question is: Was the The Bahamas government aware of the surveillance operation and did it give its blessing to this operation against its citizens? it is being said that the Americans conducted surveillance operations in New York which led to the arrest of the individuals. The PLP notes with great interest and alarm that the Federal Agents and other US Agencies apparently did not arrest the Merchants who sold the knock off luxury goods to the Bahamian Straw Vendors. It stands to reason that if there are no Merchants selling illegal goods then there would be no buyers. Will Minister Brent Symonette raise this matter with the USA Authorities? In light of the Government’s handling of the recent case involving the Bare Foot Bandit, will the government peruse a measure of reciprocity with the U.S. government?

The PLP is deeply concerned about the fate of the Bahamian Straw Vendors, their rights to due process, and the inability of Bahamian consular officials to contact those persons who were arrested.

Instead of lecturing the vendors, the Deputy Prime Minister ought to take time out from his schedule while in New York to ensure that the vendors are secure and that their rights are protected. The PLP intends to send an investigative team to find out for ourselves what the situation is in New York.


  1. brad, every time that you open your mouth i promise myself that i will never vote for anything that you are involved in. get a life!!!

  2. Well the truth is we respect the laws of other countries and not the laws of our own. The BAHAMAS CONSULATE is the best place for them to go. This should not be political even though this is a political season because the Bahamas elections are right around the corner. PLEASE STOP MAKING THINGS SO POLITICAL WHEN THEY DO NOT HAVE TO BE. LAWS ARE THERE FOR A REASON. LAWS OF ALL COUNTRIES ARE THERE FOR A REASON…OBEY THEM!

  3. By all means the Bahamian Government has a right to protect the interest of any and all of its citizens , that is anyone whose Passport has the words… Citizen of The Bahamas”. That is the essence of any foreign affairs funstion; in fact it is a first priority.There is nothing wron with the PLP standing up for this principle. Note the recent detention of the young American girl in Iran and the effort that the USA and others went to to secure her release. So no one is “sticking his nose” in anyone’s affairs.It is our duty to do so. And is the USA so big and powerful that we should allow them to trample on our citizens with impunity? I am not a betting person but I thing the odds are 70/30 that the women will get off. There are so many grounds for defence and the first is that the items purchased were not for resale in the USA… and so on. Come on! I detect a sense of glee that our people are arrested for not following the rules of our giant neighbors to the North when our neighbors themselves cannot stop the trafficking and sale of counterfeit goods into their own country. We must have some backbone on something!!

  4. Come Bradley, grow up!
    How can you, as the spokesman of the opposition, make such silly statements? Whether the selling party is punished or not has nothing to do with what our citizens were doing. You may as well say (and I remember such silly remarks from your first ultimate leader) that if there were no druggies in the US there would not be any need for drugs being smuggled through The Bahamas. You are to old to talk rubbish like that.

  5. Forgot to mention: Case in point of slackness, stupidity, love for foreign/white, and in
    my opinion low self esteem: The barefoot bandit fiasco. I’ll never forget we let him off so easily. No other country would’ve done what our ignorant government did!!

  6. My take on this is, while you feel for them getting arrested, they know the law and the risk. This country is so slack that we think other countries are slack. We are prbbly the only slack country in the world!! No one can compete with us in that category! Anything goes here. The ppl are stupid and slack and the government is stupid, slack, greedy, and very lazy. Do some of you know that the hatians laugh at us? They say, y’all want to hire us and not protect your borders then complain about us. They think this place is a joke and I concur. Other countries ENFORCE their law and when we see they do we complain and cry like big babies. Bahamians are not in general kind hearted ppl so I have no idea why they act so sympathetic. I guess to only national, sensationalized problems. If a neighbour of ours was having a problem, bahamians secretly laugh or condemn privately.
    We need to wake up, stop being lawless, and turn this country around. We’re like the Titanic heading to hit an iceberg.

  7. The arrest of Bahamians in a country with all the legal protection as afforded in the United States, is not something any FNM or PLP should be sticking their political noses into. If they can prove their innocence they will be set free, if not they will, and must, abide by the court’s sentencing. These Bahamians are not in some simple bad situation Mr. Roberts, they are facing jail time. Both Roberts and Symonette are wrong in this matter.

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