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By TANEKA THOMPSON
Deputy Chief Reporter
THE neighbourhood association of Bel Air Estates has complained over a foul odour emanating from a neighbour's overflowing cesspit - which they feel could be a breeding ground for mosquitoes carrying dengue fever.
Several residents of the Carmichael Road community contacted The Tribune claiming that even after repeated calls to the relevant environmental authorities, the problem persists.
An employee in complaints section of the Department of Environmental Health said the section is looking into three complaints of overflowed septic tanks in the Carmichael Road area but none in the specific area in question.
Every year it's the same thing -- the final two weeks of June leading up to July 4, the red, white and blue of the American flag is everywhere. Homes are draped in the color and as the people come together to celebrate, the food and cocktails offered up at parties and barbecues are all made up in shades of the colors.
A big Christmas tree lighting bash happened this past Saturday at the Flamingo Gardens Community Center on Bahamas Boulevard, off Carmichael Road.
The Christmas spirit was in high gear as a large number of the area's young boys and girls flocked the center for an enjoyable time. In attendance were many of the older residents of the community and a good bit of others from outside the constituency. A refreshing day unfolded, and as for Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Dr. Daniel Johnson, he was able to experience one of those special moments devoid of politics. On Saturday, I observed a scenario that should be emulated throughout the island of New Providence.
The center is a multi-purpose sports compound, actually. There is the park at the front that accommodates softball and baseball. Adjacent is a court where basketball and volleyball can be played. The building situated in the middle of the complex, houses the new office of the Bahamas Boxing Commission (BBC) and will be utilized also by the amateur boxing and judo programs.
Plans are ongoing to install conditioning equipment for athletes and others who are just primarily interested in health and physical care. At the rear of the building are the tennis courts. On Saturday, the Bahamas Judo Federation (BJF) staged an exhibition on the tennis facility. Dr.
Johnson was in his element, delightfully soaking up the atmosphere and the excitement of the hundreds who came out.
"This is amazing, and this sort of situation, it would be good, if we could have in as many communities as possible. Just to see the young boys and girls enjoying themselves is special. I would like to see the center grow to the point whereby it is used daily," said Dr. Johnson.
The center certainly is the exact template that is appropriate to assist with the development process of sports for community youngsters. On the other hand, the older boys and girls of the community now have right in their backyard, facilities that will enable them to train and develop different skill sets. A challenge goes out to the country's leaders of programs in boxing, judo, tennis, softball, volleyball, baseball and basketball.
Presently, the judo federation, the Amateur Boxing
Federation of The Bahamas (ABFB), and the Bahamas Boxing Commission are working closely with the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture to grow the sports scene at the Flamingo Gardens center. The view here is that executives of all organizations related to facilities at the center are indeed obligated to make contact with the ministry with a strong view to coming up with plans for exhibitions and actual competitions in the respective disciplines.
The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture seems to be very serious about making the center a leading location for sporting activities. In place as the administrator of the facility is Clayton Fernander who is ably assisted by Leevan Hinsey. They are at the center daily and can be reached at 676-5995.
(To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at firstname.lastname@example.org)
In the face of overwhelming evidence, a policeman's son pleaded guilty to murder on Monday.
Alexander Pierre Jr., 20, of Carmichael Road, entered a guilty plea in the death of Raymond Thompson on August 8, 2012 before his trial began before Justice Carolita Bethell.
Had the case gone to trial, prosecutors would have led evidence to show that Pierre, whose father is a sergeant, had an argument with Thompson about the repair of his car.
Shortly after the argument, Pierre returned to East Street and Coconut Grove Avenue with a 9mm pistol and pointed it in Thompson's face in the presence of witnesses, according to the evidence.
Thompson threw his hands up and Pierre shot him three times, according to the prosecution's case. Thompson ran but Pierre pursued him, shooting him three more times.
As Thompson struggled to get up, Pierre finished him off with two shots to the head, according to the evidence.
Thompson, 29, was one of four men tried for the 2007 murder of PC Ramos Williams and the attempted murder of his partner, Antoine Curry. He was acquitted of the charges.
Pierre, who is on remand at Her Majesty's Prisons, returns to court for sentencing on April 5.
Ian Cargill represents him and Eucal Bonaby appears for the Crown.
THE staff and students of Carmichael Primary School were elated to see Minister of Education Desmond Bannister, who decided to visit them for their first assembly of the new school year.
Through song, prayer and poetry, the assembly focused on the theme "Respect", and the students who performed asked their peers to make excellence, service, participation, attention, preparation and encouragement their watch words.
Mr Bannister told the students how proud he was of the talents they displayed, and indicated that he expected them ...
The hearings into the alleged abuse of a group of Cuban detainees by Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) marines at the Carmichael Road Detention Centre resumed yesterday, their attorney Wayne Munroe said.
He said one of the detainees, Carlos Pupo, took the stand and was among five people who were cross-examined.
Three immigration officers and a doctor from the Flamingo Gardens Clinic also took the stand, he said.
Munroe said Pupo is being detained at Her Majesty's Prisons.
Munroe said the case started shortly before 12 p.m. and ended around 5 p.m.
Retired Justice Cheryl Albury, and Bahamas Christian Council President Rev. Dr. Ranford Patterson were present, he said. Former RBDF Commander Leon L. Smith was absent.
The government appointed the trio to observe the hearings.
Munroe, who previously said he would challenge the observers sitting in, said his clients asked him not to contest their presence.
Munroe represents five marines who were charged in September with causing harm and causing a wound under care.
The men are accused of abusing the detainees after some of them attempted to escape from the facility.
The allegations touched off a firestorm of controversy and protests from a group of Miami-based Cuban advocates who labeled the incident as an "abuse of power".
Munroe said his clients deny the allegation.
He said the marines could face stoppages of pay, a reduction in rank or other disciplinary actions that would be placed on their record.
An RBDF officer, who is also a lawyer, is prosecuting the matter.
The hearings resume today at 10 a.m. at the RBDF's Coral Harbour base.
Democratic National Alliance (DNA) candidate for North Andros and the Berry Islands Randy Butler said he will be in North Andros today attending the hearing into allegations of voter fraud in the constituency, and fully supports there being a clean register.
"If there are mistakes I think [this] would be a good opportunity to fix them," said Butler.
"If there are people that are intentionally doing something, I think they should feel the brunt of the law."
Butler, the CEO of SkyBahamas, spoke to The Nassau Guardian yesterday via telephone while he was campaigning in the Berry Islands.
Claims of voter fraud emerged two weeks ago when Free National Movement (FNM) MP for Carmichael and candidate for North Andros and the Berry Islands, Desmond Bannister, said he had a list of 36 names of registered voters in the constituency who were flown in by Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) operatives.
"These persons have taken an oath and have been registered to vote in the North Andros and the Berry Islands constituency," said Bannister at a press conference recently.
"This is an act of deception that can lead to prosecution, and it is an act that we will expose in the interest of protecting our vibrant Bahamian democracy."
Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Leader Perry Christie has strongly rejected the assertion that PLP operatives are facilitating illegal registration of voters.
Butler said as a newcomer to politics he can only advocate for a clean register.
"I believe it's the parliamentary commissioner's job to make sure of that," said Butler.
"If there is any concern that the candidate or the people have, I think they have the right to report it.
"We'll see how it goes and that's what I like about this democratic society."
Parliamentary Commissioner Errol Bethel revealed on Wednesday that 30 people will have their eligibility to vote in the constituency challenged today at a public hearing.
PLP Deputy Leader Philip Brave Davis said his party will be representing three of the registered voters in question.
Davis speculated to The Nassau Guardian on Wednesday that if some people who registered in the area are not eligible, they may have been confused by recent amendments to the Parliamentary Elections Act -- specifically the changes to the definition of what it means to be ordinarily resident -- and did not deliberately try to defraud the election process.
Bannister claimed, however, that once the initial hearings have taken place, he will present another list of names to the parliamentary commissioner.
The level of deficit spending in The Bahamas is unprecedented, irresponsible and unsustainable, according to the Democratic National Alliance's (DNA) candidate for Carmichael.
Theofanis Cochinamogulas said The Bahamas received two major economic downgrades last year due to successive governments "developing and nurturing a chronic addiction to borrowing money."
"This borrowing started with the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP), which borrowed nearly $1 billion from 2002-2007 and continued with the Free National Movement (FNM), which borrowed about $2 billion from 2007-2012. Christie and Ingraham are oblivious as to how we should end this trend, but the DNA will aggressively tackle this problem," said Cochinamogulas in a press statement released yesterday.
His comments come after State Minister of Finance Zhivargo Laing defended the government's borrowing of more than$1 billion since the FNM took office in 2007, calling it necessary in order for The Bahamas to sustain itself during the global financial crisis.
He noted recently that the government borrowed $1.3 billion, in comparison to $800 million borrowed under the previous PLP-led government.
Laing also shared that while the credit ratings that international credit agencies give to The Bahamas are important to note, he emphasized these ratings only reflect the present economic climate in a country.
While Cochinamagulos admits that deficit spending doesn't have to be a bad thing, continuous deficit spending, year-over-year, is not sustainable and should be a concern of all governments.
"Despite unprecedented borrowing to stimulate the economy through capitol works, the average Bahamian has yet to feel the intended positive effect of the government's policy decision," he added.
"We are placing a serious risk to our way of life... We are mortgaging our future for some cosmetic purposes now, but we should be investing in the positive growth of our economic base."
Nassau, Bahamas -
Police Make Drug Arrest -
A 22 year old male of Golden Gates #2 is in police custody after being
found in possession of twenty-one (21) pounds of suspected Marijuana.
Officers of the Selective Enforcement Team (SET)...
Man Caught Breaking Into Vehicles on Carmichael Rd
- A 25 year old male of Gladstone Road is in police custody after being
caught breaking into a vehicle on Carmichael Road. Officers of the
Mobile Division arrested the man shortly ...
Police Investigate Teen Shooting - A
14 year old teen boy was treated and discharged from hospital after
being shot to the leg on Saturday 23rd March, 2013. Preliminary reports
indicate that around 9:30 am the teen was in the Kemp Road ...
By AVA TURNQUEST
Tribune Staff Reporter
A NUMBER of persons set to vote in North Andros have changed their registration since the start of the voter fraud probe, according to FNM candidate for the area Desmond Bannister.
The tribunal has set the course for a fairer process of elections in the country, said Mr Bannister, sitting MP for Carmichael and Minister of Education.
"I can tell you that any number of people have called and told me that they will get legitimate," Mr Bannister said.
"I know a number of people have changed their registration.
He added: "The law of the country provides for how and where people are to vote. You cannot ...
Nassau, Bahama - DW Davis Junior
High School wins the Highest Enrollment Award Floating Trophy in the Junior
Achievement Bahamas (JA) First Cycle of the Elementary and Juniors Programme.
The Certificate Presentation Exercise was held March 23, 2012 at Golden Gates Outreach Ministries,
Carmichael Road. Other winners include: the Grates Initiative Award
Primary School, Xavier's and Our
Lady's Catholic Primary Schools; the Grates Initiative Award Junior School, C.
H. Reeves Junior High School...
The Bahamas government's re-negotiation and cancellation of the 50/50 Mayaguana Joint Venture Agreement with the I-Group made little business and economic sense. It was short-sighted and damaging to the developers, the residents of Mayaguana and the people of The Bahamas, in broad macro-economic terms.
I have been involved in a professional capacity in joint venture business structures encompassing various legal and economic jurisdictions - the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and the Americas. Multimillion-dollar projects ranged from hotel development, consortium banks, barite distribution (drilling mud), to name a few. The JV structure allows both parties to share the burden of the project as well as the resulting profits. No one party can make all of the decisions for the development of the business alone. The former chairman of the Hotel Corporation, George Smith, recently outlined in The Nassau Guardian the highlights of the Bahamas government's 50/50 JV structure with the I -Group. To describe that transaction as anything different from a pure joint venture agreement is nonsense.
I applauded the PLP government at the time they inked the original transaction with the I-Group. To my knowledge, it represented the first time that a government of The Bahamas altered the traditional structures and approach of cementing foreign direct investment (FDI) for touristic development in the country. Traditionally, we extended concessions and land at favorable terms and hoped for the best. The Mayaguana JV was an innovative approach to broaden Bahamian participation in touristic development, shift the focus of economic activity and thus jobs to remote areas of the country and at last, to have an opportunity to share in the future profitability of project development.
Bahamians of all political stripes share my view that "big ideas" have to be adopted by our political leaders in the granting of concessions and land for touristic development.
In his provocative and timely book, 'Is It Really Better In The Bahamas... For Bahamians', Dr. Johnny Rodgers stated, "The time is now long overdue for our leaders to undergo a paradigm shift in their archaic, colonial mindset. Our government must insist on joint ventures when foreigners want to invest here. Just imagine if Atlantis was part of a joint venture."
Andrew Allen, in a December 2005 Tribune article opined, "It seems reasonable since Sands (Sir Stafford), to have expected his trade-off of land and licenses for jobs and investment to have matured and evolved where local authorities can have a more proactive and leadership role in touristic development".
FNM Carmichael candidate, Senator Darron Cash's "My Ten Cents" contribution in the March 30, 2012 Nassau Guardian issue, was "stronger emphasis on Bahamian ownership in tourism needed". Any perusal of Senator Cash's loan portfolio at BDB will tell him that to accomplish this involves more than simply advancing a businessperson in Betsy Bay, Mayaguana funds for a bed and breakfast boutique hotel. It would be doomed to failure unless complemented by a major investment in infrastructure and additional amenities to generate market demand; as envisioned in the Mayaguana 50/50 JV Bahamas government/I-Group structure.
The government's seeming ambivalence has hurt this project's success. The Prime Minister himself is on record as saying he had no confidence in the transaction, irrespective of the I-Group having sunk over $40 million at the time in a remote area of our Bahamas.
The current chairman of the Hotel Corporation, Michael Scott, was even more negatively subjective in his commentary on the JV, in which his language was silly, emotive and unprofessional. The country expects that the appointment of important public corporation directors is made as much for their business acumen and etiquette as their political loyalties. Its indicative of a degree of commercial naivete when leaders in government have little concern how their actions and commentary affect markets.
There have been no sensible business or economic arguments from the government for canceling the 50/50 JV structure in Mayaguana. Minister Vanderpool-Wallace whom I have great respect for raised the philosophical argument that the government should not be both partner and regulator.
That makes no sense in the light of the government's equity interest in the Arawak Cay Port and Heineken Brewery - two entities that both require strong government oversight.
Many of our rural island communities face extraordinary challenges in their efforts to significantly improve their economies in terms of personal incomes, job creation, average wages and strong tax bases.
The Mayaguana JV structure was the ideal vehicle to facilitate the expansion of a major economic development project of significant scale in the remote southern Bahamas. Anyone now trying to attract investors to Mayaguana from usually fickle capital sources will always be faced with the hurdle, "Why should I put my money, when the Government of The Bahamas walked away from an economically impactful project in their own back yard?"
Local investment advisor Ken Kerr exuded optimism in stating how it was a major confidence booster for investors to have the Government of The Bahamas as an equity player in the Arawak Cay Port. He was describing a project in the center of the city of Nassau.
It's even more crucial to have visible, strong government involvement, for investment markets to buy into putting money into the remote islands of The Bahamas.
There is no question that the Government of The Bahamas has missed a splendid opportunity to enhance economic development in rural Bahamas with the cancelation of the JV agreement with the I-Group. In spending an entire term in office to achieve relatively little with an amended agreement, they have sent the very chilling message to capital markets that if PM Ingraham is not the "daddy of the deal", the baby could end up on life support.
- Gary Christie
Two accused murderers received trial dates at their arraignments yesterday.
Senior Justice Jon Isaacs set a May 11, 2013 for Domineko Babbs, who is accused of the shooting death of Ashton Scott Rolle on June 26, 2011.
According to police, a gunman shot Rolle in the upper body at the back of Gibson's Liquor Store on Carmichael Road.
Babbs will appear before his trial judge Roy Jones on April 27, 2012 for a status hearing.
Babbs, who was represented by Devard Francis, is still in custody.
And Elandro Missick will be tried for the September 17, 2011 shooting death of Damian Bowe at Kemp Road on March 26, 2013.
Missick, who is on remand at Her Majesty's Prison, will appear before Justice Indra Charles for a fixture hearing.
Roberto Reckley appeared for Missick.
Police are requesting the
public's assistance in locating the following people. The first person
is 29 year old FREDERICK GREENE of GOLDEN ISLES ROAD.
Green is described as having dark brown complexion and medium build.
Police want to question this male reference to house-breaking and rape.
The second suspect police are also requesting your assistance in
locating is 23 year old FRED RAMSEY of WOODES ALLEY & CARMICHAEL
Ramsey is described as having medium brown complexion; medium built and stands at 5'7" tall.
The Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) and the Free National Movement (FNM) will both conduct exit polls of voters from today's advanced poll to get an indication of the outcome of the May 7 election, their respective chairmen said yesterday.
Nearly 8,000 people are eligible to vote in today's poll, including police officers and defence force officers, election day workers, politicians, overseas voters and people with travel plans or medical appointments.
This is the first time that people other than uniformed officers and poll workers will be able to vote in the advanced poll.
FNM Chairman Carl Bethel said his party expects to garner the most votes from the 7,865 people registered.
"The party will be of course considering all the evidence that we are able to glean from the advanced poll voting process, as to how we think it went," said Bethel, who was a guest on the Guardian Radio talk show 'Darold Miller Live'.
"There are many ways in which exit polls are done.
"We have our ways of knowing... We expect that we will get the majority of votes of the majority of persons who vote [Tuesday], whether they are police (officers), defence force officers, the general public, special voters, we anticipate the majority."
PLP Chairman Bradley Roberts said based on early talks with a number of voters registered for the advanced poll, the PLP is confident that it will secure most of their support.
"The voters who will vote [Tuesday] will come from different constituencies and the numbers are not evenly spread across but it gives an indication [of Election Day]," Roberts told The Nassau Guardian.
"We will get some preliminary numbers and we have already spoken to many of those persons who will vote [Tuesday]."
Voters will be able to vote between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m at two polling stations in New Providence, the Bahamas Tourism Training Centre at The College of The Bahamas and the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium.
Early voters in Bains Town and Grants Town, Englerston, Fox Hill, Marathon, Nassau Village, South Beach, MICAL, Centreville, Fort Charlotte, Golden Gates, Montagu, Pinewood and St. Anne's will vote at the gymnasium.
Early voters in Bamboo Town, Elizabeth, Golden Isles, Mount Moriah, Southern Shores, Yamacraw, Carmichael, Garden Hills, Killarney, Sea Breeze and Tall Pines will vote at the college.
Eligible voters overseas will vote at Bahamas embassies or consulates.
And Family Island voters eligible to vote in the advanced poll will vote at various locations, churches and court houses.
Funeral Service for Wilfred R Rolle age 76 years a resident of Nicholls Court, Yellow Elder Gardens and formerly of Rolleville Exuma, will be held Thursday May 10th 2012, 11:00 a.m. at Carmichael Baptist Holiness Church, Carmichael Road. Officiating will be Rev Paul J McPhee, Pastor Gertrude Miller, Minister Wilfred Rose, assisted by other Ministers. Interment will be made in Old Trail Cemetery, Abundant Life Road.
LEFT TO CHERISH HIS MEMORIES ARE: (Predeceased by his mate of over 40 years Mary Johnson) One step granddaughter Andrea Rahmning, NINETEEN NIECES: Shirleymae Lightbourne, Eloise Johnson , Phyllis Knowles, Lovely Johnson, Doramae Cartwright, Nola Rolle, Paula Rolle, Betty Gibson, Judy Munroe, Lisa Storr, Shantell, Tanya, Bridgette, Michelle, Norma, Kishna, Katrina, Shakera and Theodosia Rolle. TWENTY-ONE NEPHEWS: Leroy Rolle Sr. & Edney Rolle, Elijah Wright, Johnny & Anthony Moxey, Ramont Gibson, Philip Lightbourne , Glenn Rahming, Roscoe Knowles Sir, Herbert Johnson, Henry, Jason, Gerard, Bruno & Leroy Rolle Jr., Perry, Marvin, Lamont, Kareem & Roscoe Knowles Jr, Edsil Cartwright. GRANDNIECES: Amanda Rahming, Tiffany Ferguson-Davis, Nysheena Cartwright, Shavonna Culmer. GRANDNEPHEWS: Gabriel Rahming, Nycoda, Cord & Cordaro Cartwright, , Lenny Johnson and Steven Ferguson. NUMEROUS OTHER RELATIVES & FRIENDS INCLUDING: Ivan Deveaux and family, Elder Ruth Flowers & family, Ethlyn Rolle & family, Mrs. Lela Clarke & family, Sonia Thompson & family, Patrica Rolle & Family, Myra Sturrup, Rayangelo Seymour, Ms. Betty, Ms. Marionette Strachan and family, Ms. Eugie Hepburn,Jestina Neely, Sister Gibson, Geofrey Curry, Rosita McKenzie, Cedric Williams, Ezekiel and Rocker Williams, Cleveland & Clarence Rolle, Freeman, Zinc, Rev. Charlie Rolle & family, Rev. Salate Rolle & family, Rev. Stafford Munnings & family, Tanel Clarke, Mae, Alice & Viola Rolle, Adam Rolle & family, Irene Boston, Idell Gibson & Family, The Yellow Elder family, The Rolleville Community, Emeretta & Christina Munnings, The Good Samaritan Home for the Aged (Including Olive) and all of the helpful staff there, Doctors and Nurses at Princess Margaret Hospital Male Medical two and one, Pastor Paul Mcphee & family and many more too numerous to mention.
Relatives and friends may pay their respects at Cedar Crest Funeral Home, Robinson Road & First Street on Wednesday from 12:00 noon to 6:00p.m. and at the church on Thursday from 9:00a.m.. until to service time.
New Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Dr. Daniel Johnson is hitting the ground running.
Johnson used his first week in office to familiarize himself with several policies and projects that were set in place by the former minister Charles Maynard. He officially met with all the members of his staff yesterday to map out a way forward for the three departments under his watch.
Johnson said: "In the sports arena this is going to be a great year. We are going to the Olympics in eight weeks. We think we will medal at that. Our expectations are quite high. This year we are leaning on the men's team for a change. So the young men are going to come to the forefront and produce what I think [will be] one of the greatest results ever in Bahamian sports history.
"Next year we are looking at the CARIFTA Games and the year after, we have the World Track and Field Championships coming to The Bahamas. So we have three years of premier events in the sporting arena. Of course we still have sailing, boxing, cycling and tennis. We have some great tennis events coming. We have another Bahamian who has entered the world tennis scene. We have the swimmers who are doing very well."
Johnson believes that there is a broad range of things that will come together under sports, but there is a need to marshall and create a link to youth activities.
Bridging the gap is going to be a challenge, but he is up to the task. The first thing Johnson wants to do is build green spaces and implement programs to encourage persons. He said: "You don't have to be an elite athlete to enjoy games. You don't have to be an elite athlete to go out and have fun."
Bringing the various sporting disciplines to the people is another way Johnson will try to build up community programs and feeder systems. He will start with the Junior Baseball League of Nassau (JBLN), bringing the sport to Carmichael, in the Flamingo Gardens area. That program will be started this summer.
"We know we have about 400 young men and women who want to play baseball and softball," said Johnson. "That is going to happen. We are in the process of now going to build a new baseball stadium. We have to finish off the grounds around this present stadium. We have a master plan for facilities which is going to be very exciting. That is going to, once again, create jobs, reduce crime and foster youth employment and education. My ministry is going to take all of the resources we have to enhance that result. Beyond that, we have to do an inventory of the assets that we have and then we would proceed in finishing off the work."
Johnson would like to explore the sports tourism aspect further, noting that is why the master plan for this sports complex was designed. He said this department can bring hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.
It is not a secret that all the plans the new minister has will require more funding. He does foresee a 'slight' increase in the budget. If there is going be an increase in budget, Johnson knows that it will not come until the next cycle. He said: "This is not our budget cycle, so we are going to make some tweaks to it, but the next budget cycle you will really see our plan blossom."
Johnson is prepared to work with what he calls 'a great staff' who is very substantive. As a result, he expects that all the goals they set out to do will be accomplished with the resources that they have.
Nassau, Bahamas -
General Sir Arthur Foulkes and Lady Foulkes are pictured in attendance
during the 35th Commencement Ceremony of the College of The Bahamas at
the Diplomat Centre, Bahamas Faith Ministries, Carmichael Road on
Thursday, May 24th, 2012.
Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Fred Mitchell said he will meet with Cuban Ambassador Ernesto Guzman Soberón today to discuss the fate of nearly 30 Cubans detained at the detention center.
Immigration officials recently reported that the U.S. Coast Guard picked up a group of Cubans in Bahamian water.
While the statement from the Department of Immigration did not say how many Cubans were picked up, The Nassau Guardian understand that it was a group of 19.
"Once they are detained you have to notify the government (of Cuba) within a certain period of time so they can be confirmed and identified as citizens of Cuba and unless there is some well grounded fear of persecution, they are repatriated to their country of origin," Mitchell said.
Mitchell said he understands that the ambassador may have some concerns about the Cuban detainees.
"When I see the Cuban ambassador, he will raise [the issues] and I will find out if there are issues connected with their length of stay or whether we can resolve those quickly," he said.
Soberón also noted yesterday that when Cuban nationals are detained the government is supposed to inform the embassy so the repatriation process can begin.
However, he said sometimes the nationals spend months in detention before he is informed.
Soberón said 28 Cubans are detained at the detention center on Carmichael Road. He said some of them have been there for a few months.
The Bahamas government has previously faced diplomatic issues over holding Cuban detainees.
In 2006, the government faced pressure over the detention of two Cuban doctors who were detained for 10 months before they were sent to Jamaica and eventually Florida.
Sheldon D. Newton Ministries' 2012 Word Immersion Conference took North Andros by storm last week.
The conference, which occurred from July 16-20 and was held under the theme "Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly", did not fail to deliver as God's Word was sent forth with power, purpose and persuasion.
Androsians from Lowe Sound to Red Bays packed Pastor Abraham Colebrooke's Word of God Prayer Ministry on Queen's Highway nightly to receive a mighty impartation brought forth by Bishop Newton, Pastor Stephen Gilbert and Minister Tina Rahming, as they ministered under a powerful anointing of God's Spirit through teaching, preaching and music.
Bishop Newton said that the conference was a resounding success.
"Most nights the church was completely full, other nights it was relatively full... people were hungry for the Word of God and stayed as long as the Word was taught," said Bishop Newton. "We had awesome praise and worship [led by Minister Rahming and Pastor Gilbert] that brought in such an anointing that it was easy to minister the Word."
The ministry team's purpose for going to Andros was to feed to the people the Word of God and to get people established in the Word. Bishop Newton was confident they did just that. In addition, he was happy to see young people fired up and eager to hear the Word.
"There was a young man whose mother told him that he had to stay home and watch the baby... He told her that he would have to take the baby to church and let the baby sleep on his lap. He didn't want to miss a thing.
"The young people were excited and that touched the heart of the host pastor (Pastor Colebrooke) because he was excited that the young people were excited as the Word went out."
Bishop Newton, who has been preaching for 30 years said that even though many people have had evangelistic ministry and preaching, not a lot of those people have had foundational teaching on how to live for Christ.
"It is our goal, our aim and our mandate from the Lord to get in the Family Islands and make disciples or disciplined students of the Word. To teach them to grow in Christ and teach them how to live this life on a practical everyday basis," he said. "When we do these word immersion conferences it is about getting people so filled up on the Word that they have a practical understanding of how to live the Word in their everyday life."
Bishop Newton, who pastors Jesus Christ Centered Ministries International on Carmichael Road with his wife Jennifer, said that a part of the teaching in Andros centered around showing Christians, who are spirit, soul and body how to bring their flesh under subjection to the Word.
"Most Christians fall prey to their flesh, so we showed them how the battle happens between their spirit and their flesh and what to do with the flesh, and how to bring it under. We aim to make the Word of God as practical as possible," he said.
"God's Word is practical. Word immersion is about immersing a person's spirit and mind in the Word of God. We are going to live out whatever is in us in abundance and these conferences are all about getting the Word in a person in abundance so that the person can live the Word out."
Bishop Newton said that Pastor Gilbert, who is also a pastor at Jesus Christ Centered Ministries International, ministered powerfully over two days and encouraged the people to get the Word inside them and then on knowing the Word in relation to the will of God.
"Pastor Gilbert was very well received and I believe that people's lives were encouraged, motivated and changed through his message."
Minister Rahming, a native of Red Bays, Andros, said that she was very happy with the way the Lord moved over the five days and was confident that God's purpose for the mission trip was fully accomplished.
"I know I was blessed," she said. "It was awesome... The Word came forth with power and we stressed the importance of getting and being immersed in the Word of God. That was really important. I think the conference was a huge success."
Minister Rahming, who led praise and worship in every service said that the Holy Spirit took control as she ministered and interrupted her agenda with one of His own.
"I came to Andros with a list of songs that I planned to sing during the praise and worship, but I didn't use any of those songs," she said. "I knew that it was God's conference and I asked Him to take control. It was not about me putting on a performance. It was about ministering and the job of a worship leader is just that -- to lead the people into worship. That was the mindset I had. I was going to give God my all for the entire time we were there."
Minister Rahming said that she was elated by the fact that several people accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and personal Savior, and that young Christians who attended the conference seemed to be hungry for God's Word and had a genuine desire to live pure, holy lives.
Eleanor Johnson, a pastor at Jesus Christ Centered Ministries International, who also traveled to Andros for the conference said that she too was pleased with the hunger she saw in many of the young people in attendance.
Pastor Johnson said that the conference was a tremendous success and that she was confident that many lives were changed for the better because of it.
"The people were blessed and they were moved," she said. "It stirred my heart to see that level of hunger among the people in Andros. It was wonderful. It is clear to me that God is doing something," she said. "I have never seen this degree of hunger for God's Word. People seem to want to be more exposed to the Word and it's always good when people, who want to, can get the Word at that high level."