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News Article
Ambassador designate of Sweden calls on Bahamas Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs

Nassau, Bahamas - The
Ambassador designate of Sweden to The Bahamas Claes Hammar makes courtesy call
on Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Brent
Symonette on May 10, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Mr. Hammar will
present his Letters of Credence to Governor General Sir Arthur Foulkes on
Thursday, May 12 at Government House. Pictured from left: Patricia Rodgers, permanent secretary; Claes
Hammar; Minister Symonette; and Anders
Wiberg, consul general for Sweden...

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News Article
AG to break silence

After a series of recent Nassau Guardian articles highlighting several unsuccessful prosecutions and shedding light on the country’s dismal conviction rate, Attorney General John Delaney has agreed to speak to the media briefly today.
For days, The Guardian had been trying to get Delaney and Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Vinette Graham-Allen to address these issues, but have had no success.
On Monday, Delaney said he might be available the week of May 23 to speak to the press.
Yesterday, his permanent secretary, Archie Nairn, announced that the attorney general will speak at a press conference this morning but only has half an hour for reporters “due to other obligations....

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News Article
New rules slow Gulf drilling pace in shallow water

The drilling moratorium enacted after the BP oil spill applies only to the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. Yet energy exploration in the Gulf's shallow waters has come to a virtual standstill as drillers grapple with tougher U.S. federal rules since the spill.

The pace at which regulators grant drilling permits in water less than 500 feet (150 meters) deep slowed sharply this summer, an Associated Press analysis of government data shows. Just four of 10 shallow-water drilling applications were approved from June through August; 15 applications were sought and approved in the same period last year.

Environmental groups are encouraged. But drilling executives say the new rules, which require them to ...

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News Article
Supermodels of the Bahamas participate in New York Fashion Week and take in the Wendy Williams Show

New York, NY - Supermodels of the
Bahamas Peandra Knowles and Sinardo Deleveaux have had little sleep in a
fast paced schedule in the Big Apple since arriving there on Saturday.

On Sunday they were audience guests of the Wendy Williams Show, and
Peandra Knowles was selected to ask an audience question to Williams and
special guest,

Raven Symone,  of

That's So Raven.

Peandra went to Essence Magazine on Monday, while Sinardo went for a
photo shoot for the designer Paul Laurence, and later saw designer, Tai
Chunn. Both winners

went to Times Square for an TV interview...

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News Article
(VIDEO) International Day of Peace, September 21st

We invite you to observe

Peace Day on September 21, 2010. There will be events during the entire week of Peace Day!

Watch a VIDEO on Peace Day within...

The International Day of Peace ("Peace Day") provides an opportunity for

individuals, organizations and nations
to create practical acts of peace on a shared date. It was established
by a United Nations resolution in 1981 to coincide with the opening of
the General Assembly.

In 2002 the General Assembly officially declared September 21 as the permanent date for the International Day of Peace.

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News Article
City Markets owed staff pension fund 500k at end-2009

By NEIL HARTNELL

Tribune Business Editor

Bahamas Supermarkets, parent company of the 11-store City Markets grocery chain, owed the staff pension fund almost $519,000 at its 2009 year-end in unpaid rent for the company's head office, with its financial troubles preventing any contributions by the firm to the plan during the 2007-2009 period.

The audited financial statements for Bahamas Supermarkets 2009 fiscal year are more than a year late, given that the period closed some 14 and-a-half months ago, but they provide a further insight into the problems afflicting the supermarket chain and management's plans to remedy them, the accounts being heavily qualified by Deloitte & Touche ...

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News Article
Government 'dumps' 20m investment

The Government yesterday confirmed it was "not proceeding" with the $20 million proposal to upgrade and outsource management of the Tonique Williams-Darling Highway landfill to the private sector, even though it acknowledge the site - an "urgent priority" - was presently being "badly supervised".

Ronald Thompson, permanent secretary in the Ministry of the Environment, told

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News Article
Call for ban on fishing of most marine species

By MEGAN REYNOLDS

Tribune Staff Reporter

mreynolds@tribunemedia.net

A CAMPAIGN to protect sharks from being fished in Bahamian waters has sparked the suggestion for a blanket ban on the fishing of most marine species.

Freeport attorney Fred Smith, QC, an environmentalist with a passion for diving and sharks, encourages Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources Larry Cartwright to adopt a new approach to the protection of natural resources by only permitting certain marine life to be fished during specific seasons according to size regulations and zoning laws.

All other marine resources should be protected from fishing or harvesting by legislation, Mr Smith said.

His suggestion comes ...

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News Article
105m BEC plant 'violated the law'

By NEIL HARTNELL

Tribune Business Editor

Opponents of the Bahamas Electricity Corporation's (BEC) $105 million Wilson City power plant had "genuine complaints" about the way the project's permits were granted, the Supreme Court ruled yesterday, finding that in the race to complete timely construction "many procedures were ignored or bypassed".

Justice Hartman Longley, although dismissing the Judicial Review action by Responsible Development for Abaco (RDA) that sought to block construction of the power plant, agreed with its attorney, Fred Smith QC, that if the project had been private sector-driven it would "have been stopped sooner" by the Government's ...

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News Article
Baha Mar: Scotiabank loan resolution 'utmost priority'

By NEIL HARTNELL

Tribune Business Editor

A senior Baha Mar executive yesterday told Tribune Business that resolving the impasse over their $200 million loan was the "utmost priority" for the developer and Scotiabank, although no breakthrough/solution appears to have been reached yet.

With just three working days before Parliament debates the resolution on some 8,000-plus Chinese work permits, Robert Sands, Baha Mar's senior vice-president of external and governmental affairs, confirmed that meetings between the two sides had taken place - and were continuing - in Toronto.

"Meetings have been taking place between the parties, and meetings are still in progress," Mr Sands ...

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News Article
Students stabbed in latest violence

By ALISON LOWE
Tribune Staff Reporter

alowe@tribunemedia.net

A SENIOR school official, the President of the teacher's union, police, parents and counselors offered a variety of views yesterday on whether police should be re-introduced as a permanent presence on school campuses as two students were stabbed and five more taken into custody in the fourth serious outbreak of violence involving school children to take place in as many days.

Fearful parents who gathered outside C I Gibson Junior High School, where two male students were stabbed in a break-time brawl during the morning, were unanimous in their view that a permanent police presence was needed to quell rowdy students in the face ...

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News Article
Newspaper salesman in plea to Tribune after claiming police told him to move

By ALISON LOWE

Tribune Staff Reporter

alowe@tribunemedia.net

A VETERAN newspaper salesman has pleaded to be able to keep selling papers in his traditional location after claiming to have been told by police that he has to move.

However, a senior police officer said he is not aware of any such directive being given to the newspaper man - and told the paperman to get in touch with him.

In his appeal to The Tribune, the salesman, who traditionally touted his wares to passing motorists at the junction of Eastern Road and Johnson Road, and goes only by the name "Mr Major", said: "This is the first time that an officer has told me I have to move from this spot. What do they want ...

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News Article
Nominations for Cacique Awards 2010 Now Open

The Bahamas Ministry
of Tourism is now receiving nominations for their

Cacique Awards 2010
which will take place

January 28th, 2011.

Any
member of the public may cast a nomination for the general awards, the
Minster of Tourism's Hospitality Award or the Clement T. Maynard
Lifetime Achievement Award. They may nominate as many persons as they
wish. The same person may also be nominated for more than one award if
he/she is making a contribution in more than one area.

To be eligible for the awards, the nominees must be permanent residents
of The Bahamas, whose product or performance has a positive impact on
the quality development of Bahamian tourism...

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News Article
Bahamas elected to OAS Budget Committee

WASHINGTON,
DC -- Dr Nicola Virgill-Rolle of The Bahamas has been elected Vice Chair of the
Organization of American States (OAS) Committee on Administrative and Budgetary
Affairs (CAAP) of the Permanent Council, a key role in the OAS, particularly
during a time of severe economic stress on the multilateral body.

In her
capacity as vice chair of the CAAP, Dr Rolle is also serving as Chair of the
Working Group to Prepare the Draft Resolution on the

Program-Budget for 2011.

This year a
Special Session of the General Assembly will be held by September 30 to approve
the program budget of the OAS.

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News Article
Speculation that Chinese criminals may work on Baha Mar 'baseless'

By MEGAN REYNOLDS

Tribune Staff Reporter

mreynolds@tribunemedia.net

SPECULATION that thousands of Chinese criminals will be brought in to build Baha Mar have been called baseless allegations by the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Nassau.

Concerns raised in the local press suggested the Chinese government has chosen convicts from its overcrowded prisons to work on foreign projects and may do the same when they bring in 8,150 workers to construct Baha Mar.

Editorial writers called on government to exercise due diligence in vetting their work permits if the foreign labour is approved as concerns stemmed from an article published in a Canadian newspaper, The Globe and Mai ...

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News Article
Attorney General addresses second year Law Students

Nassau, The Bahamas - The role of an attorney is not
a "right" but a "privilege," said Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs
Senator the Hon. John Delaney as he addressed students of the Eugene Dupuch Law
School.

Senator Delaney spoke on the topic, "What does the
leader of the Bar expect from Attorneys?" The students who are entering their
second year made a call on the Attorney General as part of orientation for the
new school year.

In attendance was Archie Nairn, permanent secretary;
Debra Fraser, director of legal affairs; Vinette Graham-Allen, director of
public prosecutions; and Ian Winder, tutor...

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News Article
(VIDEO) International Day of Peace, September 21st

We invite you to observe

Peace Day on September 21, 2010. There will be events during the entire week of Peace Day!

Watch a VIDEO on Peace Day within...

The International Day of Peace ("Peace Day") provides an opportunity for

individuals, organizations and nations
to create practical acts of peace on a shared date. It was established
by a United Nations resolution in 1981 to coincide with the opening of
the General Assembly.

In 2002 the General Assembly officially declared September 21 as the permanent date for the International Day of Peace.

read more »


News Article
BTC Eager to see Competitive Telecoms Landscape in The Bahamas

The Bahamas Telecommunications Company
Ltd. (BTC) notes the Interim Order issued by URCA on Friday 13th
May 2011 which sets out the timetable and conditions for the negotiations
between BTC and System Resource Group (SRG) of a new Interconnection
Agreement (IA) based on BTC's soon to be approved Reference Access
and Interconnection Offer (RAIO).

 

The RAIO is the public document issued
by BTC and approved by URCA that sets out the parameters and guidelines
by which other licensed operators (OLOs)  in the Bahamian marketplace
interconnect with BTC to provide their services to BTC's customers
and permits BTC to provide its services to the OLO's customers. 
The RAIO facilitates the processes that ensure fluid operations for
all related parties...

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News Article
Marinas see fuel profits 'vaporise'

File Pic of Phenton Neymour

By ALISON LOWE
Business Reporter

alowe@tribunemedia.net

Marina operators say their reliance on credit business from cruising/fishing tourists, in combination with the lower margins presently permitted for diesel sales than gas, make them even more vulnerable to seeing their profits "vaporise", locking them into an unsustainable "loss-making" situation.

As the Government contines to weigh the request for an increase in petroleum retailers' price-controlled margins, the Minister of State for the Environment, Phenton Neymour, suggested yesterday he has recognised the marina operators' plight.

"One of the specific challenges of the ...

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News Article
OAS to Decide on Honduras's Return during Special General Assembly on June 1st

The Member States of the Organization of American States (OAS) will make a decision on the return of Honduras to the Organization during a Special
General Assembly on June 1st at Organization headquarters in Washington,
DC, according to a decision today by the Permanent Council.

The decision was made with 31 votes in favor, one against (Ecuador), and one absence (Saint Lucia).

The resolution approved by the special session of the Permanent Council
resolves to "convene a special session of the OAS General Assembly, to be held at headquarters of the Organization on Wednesday, June 1st, 2011, at 11 a.m. to take such decisions as it deems appropriate regarding the lifting of the suspension of the right of Honduras...

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News Article
Bahamas elected to OAS Budget Committee
Bahamas elected to OAS Budget Committee

Dr Nicola Virgill-Rolle of The Bahamas has been elected Vice Chair of the Organization of American States (OAS) Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Affairs (CAAP) of the Permanent Council, a key role in the OAS, particularly during a time of severe economic stress on the multilateral body.

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News Article
Not healthy? Insurance may not be an option

Medical Insurers could soon begin issuing increasing permanent exclusions to individuals with pre-existing and contracted ailments, even as medical costs continue to "skyrocket", the president of the Bahamas Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA) has warned.

This was because the new Insurance Act has made underwriting requirements for health and life insurance companies much more stringent.

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News Article
OAS Secretary General Meets with Bahamas' Minister of Education

Washington, DC - The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Josť Miguel Insulza, met today with the Minister of Education of Bahamas, Desmond Bannister, with whom he shared perspectives on the
challenges in the area of education and the support the hemispheric Organization offers students in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Also present at the meeting, held in the office of Secretary General Insulza in Washington, DC, were the Permanent Representative of Bahamas to the OAS, Ambassador Cornelius Smith, and the Director of the OAS Department of Human Development, Education and Culture, Marie Levens.

In particular, those present talked about the OAS scholarship program...

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News Article
THINGS 2 DO

JUNE 1 - JUNE 5 (ELEUTHERA)

PINEAPPLE FESTIVAL

* Gregory Town, Eleuthera hosts its annual Pineapple Festival, a festival that pays homage to the many pineapple farmers for their outstanding contributions and that brings together Bahamians and visitors to enjoy and participate in activities such as the pineapple eating contest, pineapple cooking contest, old time pineapple crazy sports, 40-mile pineapple cycling contest, plaiting of the pineapple pole and the Little Miss Pineapple Princess pageant. Telephone: 332-2142, 332-2148, or 332-2868.

JUNE 2 - THURSDAY

BIFF'S MONTHLY FILM SERIES: "WAITING FOR SUPERMAN"

* The Bahamas International Film Festival, along with the FirstCarib ...

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News Article
Minister Grant carries out site inspection of the Straw Market

Nassau The Bahamas - Public
Works and Transport Minister the Hon. Neko C. Grant is "extremely" pleased with
the progress of the construction of the new Bay Street Straw Market.

On December 15, 2009 a
contract was awarded to Cavalier Construction in the amount of $11,294,468.86
for the construction of the new Straw Market on the old market site.

Mr. Grant along with senior
officials including Colin Higgs, permanent secretary, John Canton, director and
Livingston Forbes, chief architect made a site-inspection of the work on
September 17...

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News Article
Statement By The Minister of Housing - Response To Tribune Story on Mackey Yard Squatters

Nassau, Bahamas - Enclosed is a Statement by  Enclosed is a statement by Housing Minister the Hon. Kenneth Russell.

In response to comments attributed to Mr. Franklyn Wilson in a Tribune article of 2nd June, 2011, regarding the Ministry of Housing's plans for the Mackey Yard squatter community, I wish to assure the Bahamian public that the Ministry of Housing is in no way jeopardizing the interests of the Bahamian public, by seeking to regularize Bahamians and Permanent Residents who lived in Mackey Yard, or who live in any other squatter community. In fact, the Ministry is doing the very opposite, as it is seeking to do away with the unhygienic and lawless conditions which exist on these sites, which impact neighboring communities...

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News Article
200 Chinesefor road work

By KRYSTEL ROLLE
Guardian Staff Reporter
krystel@nasguard.com

The House of Assembly last night approved a resolution for the government to borrow nearly$58 million from the China Export-Import Bank to construct a four-lane airport highway.
The project will mean the grant of 200 work permits for Chinese laborers, but also a very low interest rate for the loan.
Expressing concerns about growing government debt as well as the foreign labor component of the airport road plan, opposition MPs voted against the resolution, but Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said the Progressive Liberal Party does not speak for the majority of the Bahamian people.
"By our deeds they know us,"Ingraham said....

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News Article
Government still undecided on BP compensation

By JAMMAL SMITH
Guardian Business Reporter
jammal@nasguard.com

The government is still assessing whether or not The Bahamas will seek compensation from British Petroleum(BP)as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, with an official from the Ministry of Environment saying a final decision has not been made yet.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of

Environment Ronald Thompson told Guardian Business that the government hasn't determined whether it will seek reimbursement. The oil spill, which was caused in April when the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil drilling rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, initially posed a threat to the country.
"The government has not really determined whethe ...

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News Article
Christie hit out at Miller

Cables obtained by The Nassau Guardian through the whistleblower WikiLeaks reveal deep concerns Perry Christie had about the Petrocaribe agreement with Venezuela while he was prime minister, and his worries about certain moves then Minister of Trade and Industry Leslie Miller was making, allegedly without Cabinet approval.
In fact, the cables reveal that the Christie Cabinet was "sharply divided" on Petrocaribe, a program under which countries purchase oil from Venezuela on conditions of preferential treatment.
One cable claims Christie made a direct negative comment relative to Miller as a minister.
"Some ministers, the PM continued, were brought into the Cabinet because of their qualifications; others, like Minister Miller, were included in an effort, at times unsuccessful, to keep an eye on what they're doing," said the cable, which was classified by then U.S. Ambassador to The Bahamas John Rood.
The cable said that at a private meeting Rood had with Christie in July 2005, the then prime minister discussed several energy matters as well as his political future.
"The PM indicated that he has concerns about the Petrocaribe agreement signed on behalf of The Bahamas on June 29 by Trade and Industry Minister Leslie Miller," the cable said.
"He stated that Minister Miller 'got way out in front of the Cabinet' on the issue and suggested that Cabinet's eventual consideration of the Petrocaribe agreement would not be favorable.
"...The PM recalled that there were no disruptions to local fuel supplies during [the 2004] busy hurricane season.
"He doubted that government, given its poor record running hotels, airlines, and utilities, would be able to do as well as the international oil companies had done.  The PM confided that the Trinidadian government had expressed to him its displeasure that Minister Miller signed the Petrocaribe agreement."
In another cable penned about a month earlier, a U.S. Embassy official wrote that Christie had up to that point remained silent on the issue but "has shown no inclination to embark on the type of sweeping project that Minister Miller envisions".
"On the other hand, Christie has also shown no inclination to silence a minister whose more outrageous comments regularly make for embarrassing headlines," the June 2005 cable said.
"Minister Miller is an erratic figure within the Christie Cabinet and his frequent dramatic pronouncements on issues ranging from Petrocaribe, to hurricane relief funding, to liquefied natural gas projects are taken with a large grain of salt.
"His recent comments on high gasoline prices have focused less on Venezuela and more on decreasing the fixed markups that local gasoline importers and retailers are permitted to charge," the cable said.
The American diplomat observed: "The Bahamas is sufficiently interested in possibly lowering its energy bill to keep sending Minister Miller to Petrocaribe meetings, but it has little in common politically with President [Hugo] Chavez.
"The one possible exception is Cuba, with which The Bahamas shares a pragmatic working relationship based on migrant issues and other people-to-people matters such as tourism and medical training and treatment."
That same cable reveals that a high level government official had privately expressed concern that a "loose cannon" like Miller would be representing The Bahamas at an upcoming meeting between CARICOM and Chavez.
The Bahamian official suggested to the Americans that rather than request Miller to speak out, "it might be better for both countries (The Bahamas and the United States) if he stayed in the background and made no other substantive comment."
MILLER'S RESPONSE
According to that cable, Miller called a U.S. Embassy official to discuss his trip.
Responding to the official's urging that the best long-term solution to the energy situation would be a market-based solution within the context of a stable, democratic political system, Miller said that in petroleum, economics and politics are always mixed, the diplomat recorded.
"He called on the United States to itself construct new oil refineries in the U.S. to relieve supply shortages," the cable said.
"Miller then went on to describe himself as a 'nationalist' saying that he understood why 'dirt poor people in Ecuador, Bolivia, and Argentina' were upset with oil companies.
"When [the embassy official] cautioned against concluding an agreement with an unstable government whose president had a penchant for tearing up and re-writing contracts, Miller responded by declaring that paying royalties from extracted natural resources of 'one percent' was 'ridiculous and unfair'."
The embassy official, according to the cable, told Miller that investment required stability, transparency, and predictability and that all of these were in short supply in Chavez's Venezuela.
In another cable, the Americans wrote that Miller had returned from Venezuela "waving the Petrocaribe agreement and declaring cheap gas prices in our time."
Miller was quoted as saying, "What we got from the Venezuelans is a dream come true.  This is an extraordinary agreement, one that I have been behind for the past two and a half years."
But the Americans wrote: "Reducing the price of gas in The Bahamas without reducing either wholesaler or dealer profit margins or the government tax has long been one of Leslie Miller's signature theme projects.
"His past predictions of cheap gas in our time have gone unfulfilled while he has lurched from political gaffe to political gaffe.  The local oil companies have long been suspicious of his maneuverings and have challenged his proposals both publicly and privately.
"His permanent secretary, the senior civil servant in his ministry, has long given up trying to explain to him the economics of the oil business in general and in The Bahamas in particular."
The diplomat said the lack of consultation with the local oil companies suggested that any real changes to The Bahamas' energy market "remains a distant dream".
In the comment section of the cable, the American diplomat wrote: "Local reaction to Petrocaribe has been skeptical ever since its signing.
"Minister Miller's actions have been criticized in terms of process (not having Cabinet's authorization) and on substance (creating another inefficient government entity, relying on a single source of supply, and endorsing Venezuela's political agenda)."
The cable said that while Miller was pushing Petrocaribe, Christie indicated to the ambassador that he intended to walk away from the agreement.
Miller has said he will not ever accept a cabinet appointment again.  He has already been ratified by the PLP to run again in Blue Hills, a seat he lost to attorney Sidney Collie in 2007.
The July 2005 cable also revealed that Christie, at the time, was unsure as to whether he would be able to lead the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) into the 2007 general election, as he was still recovering from a mild stroke.
"The PM stated that he has already begun internal discussions on the timing of the next elections, which he must call no later than May 2007," the cable said.
"He believed he would know by his party's annual convention in November whether or not he is strong enough to lead the party into elections for another five-year term.  If he is fit enough to run, the PM is confident that no one will be able to defeat him."
Christie was strong enough to lead his party into the election.  However, his party was defeated.
When the Free National Movement (FNM) came to office in 2007, it made it clear that The Bahamas government was not interested in the oil alliance with Venezuela.
In a May 2007 cable, a U.S. Embassy official wrote, "We do not expect any warming of relations between Caracas and Nassau.
"Indeed we expect the FNM government to be a stronger partner of the Untied States in addressing Venezuela-related issues."
Not long after, Minister of State for Public Utilities Phenton Neymour confirmed that Petrocaribe was not, and would not be, a priority for the new Bahamian government.
An embassy official later wrote that Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham called the Petrocaribe accord a "stupid proposal".
The Americans noted: "The Bahamas has a wholly privatized oil distribution system that is incompatible with Petrocaribe.  Further, both FNM and PLP senior leadership are leery about being beholden to Venezuela."
 
 
 
 

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News Article
Deveaux did not admit guilt by resignation

THE LATEST scuttlebut making the rounds of the political rumour mill is that by offering his resignation to Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham, Environment Minister Earl Deveaux admitted he was wrong to accept the invitation of Prince Karim Aga Khan to fly in his helicopter to the prince's private island in the Exumas. According to rumour mongers it is an admission by the Minister that the helicopter ride compromised his ability to make an objective decision on the Prince's application for permission to develop his island in the Exuma Land and Sea Park.

Those persons spreading the rumour are either completely ignorant of the Westminster system of parliamentary government, or they are malicious ...

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