Miami group presses for 'remaining truth'

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September 02, 2013

Miami-based protest group Democracy Movement will continue its protest against The Bahamas in the face of allegations of abuse at the Carmichael Road Detention Centre, group spokesman Ramon Sanchez said yesterday.

"We're going to protest for the truth to come out," he said.

"Tomorrow (Monday) we will meet to see what our next course of action is. We are eager to hear from the Bahamian government that it will release the full investigation."

Democracy Movement staged protests against The Bahamas after a video aired on a Spanish language TV station in Miami purporting to show Cubans being abused by Bahamian officers.

The government has called the video fake.

"We just want to be as unbiased as we can be," Sanchez said. "It's important.

The reason that we haven't put this issue to rest yet is that the prime minister and the minister of foreign affairs have not clearly stated that everything will come to light.

"There are also some issues that haven't come out, namely sexual harassment." Sanchez said his group has not made these allegations up.

He said the group will drive past the Bahamas Consulate in downtown Miami today as a symbolic message.

During a press conference on Friday, Sanchez asked Prime Minister Perry Christie to take action against the guards responsible for allegedly abusing Cuban detainees at the facility. He said he delivered the letter to a security guard at the consulate on Friday.

"That's the closest we've gotten to giving the consul general anything," he said. Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell said yesterday he is "loathed to dignify what they say or do by any form of comment".

"I think it's really outrageous what they've said about our country," he said.

"My role as the chief diplomat is to defend this country's reputation."

According to one of the marines interviewed as part of the initial investigation by the Defence Force, Cuban detainees were severely beaten at the detention center for almost two hours after they attempted to escape in May, and one even appeared to have temporarily lost consciousness as a result of the abuse.

Randy Rodriguez, a Cuban detainee who was granted asylum last week by the United States, said his experience at the facility "cannot be put to words".

Shortly after arriving in Miami on Friday, he claimed that while at the detention center, he was "mercilessly" kicked on the floor by guards, pepper sprayed and doused with water.

Sanchez said Rodriguez and his family will be relocated to Texas tomorrow.

He said the Cuban community in Miami provided food and clothing for the family.

Click here to read more at The Nassau Guardian

News date : 09/02/2013    Category : About Bahamians, Caribbean News, Politics, Nassau Guardian Stories

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