Thursday, April 13, 2017

Omar Archer files challenge to legality of criminal libel laws


Mr. Omar Archer



Lawyers for outspoken social media commentator Omar Archer have filed a constitutional challenge against the Bahamas’ criminal libel laws, arguing that they violate citizens’ fundamental right to freedom of expression.

This is the second challenge of its kind in recent months. Maria Daxon, a former police constable and vocal defender for the rights of police officers, filed a similar motion in March after being charged with intentional libel concerning alleged statements written about Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade and Assistant Commissioner of Police Leon Bethell.

Archer has also been charged in connection with comments made about the Commissioner.

His motion, filed on April 11, seeks a declaration from the court that the charge, prosecution, trial, liability to conviction and sentence to a fine and or imprisonment of up to two years for the offense of Intentional Libel, are “void, illegal and of no effect” as they breach Archer constitutional right to freedom of Expression guaranteed by Article 23(1) of the Constitution, the country’s supreme law.

It further asks Magistrate Derence Rolle-Davis to dismiss or quash the proceedings against Archer and declare that the Section 315 (2) of the Penal Code which provides for the offense of Criminal Intentional Libel is unconstitutional. This would effectively remove the offense from the country’s law books.

The motion also requests an order that the Commissioner pay damages to Archer for having unconstitutionally subjected him to criminal proceedings in the first place.

In recent years, criminal libel laws have come under serious challenge around the world, with a number of countries declaring them unconstitutional. Over the past two decades alone, several fellow Commonwealth countries have abolished these laws, including: Britain, Jamaica, Grenada, New Zealand, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana and Sri Lanka.

In 2009, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights ruled that such laws violate international treaties on freedom of expression.

Criminal libel has been criticized by virtually every international authority on freedom of expression, including the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, and the OAS Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, the European Court of Human Rights and the International Press Institute.

Human Rights Bahamas - Facebook

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Who is Oswald Brown?

RESPONSE TO A PROLIFIC FACEBOOK TROUBLEMAKER


COMMENTARY BY OSWALD T. BROWN:



Oswald T. Brown
This initially started out as a response to a post by C. a. Newry, a mischievous gadfly, who is a prolific troublemaker on Facebook. He apparently dredged up a comment dating back to 1992 from bahamasuncensored.com -- for whatever reason, I don’t know, other than his penchant to play the kid’s game “fire bun” on Facebook – but I felt compelled to respond because I am certain that there are many enemies of mine on Facebook who were laughing a jumping for glee when they read his post.

Firstly, for the record, as a journalist of more than 55 years I have never been afraid to speak my mind (in writing) when I considered something to be wrong, especially if it affected the well-being of the Bahamian people. That’s the kind of journalistic training I received in my early years at The Tribune from Sir Arthur Foulkes and, believe it or not, the late Sir Etienne Dupuch, the then Publisher and Editor of The Tribune. For example, Sir Etienne took such a personal interest in my development as a journalist that he made arrangements for me to take private English lessons two mornings a week for about six months from Father Frederick Fry, the then Prior of St. Augustine’s College, and he allowed me to use a Tribune van to be sure that I was on time for the early morning sessions.

Although I started at The Tribune in May of 1960 as a Sports Reporter, my development was considered advanced enough to assist Nicki Kelly in covering the House of Assembly by 1962, which actually was my introduction to politics, and in August of 1962 I was sent by The Tribune along with Pierre Dupuch to cover Jamaica’s independence. Because I was a sports reporter I stayed in Jamaica for an additional two weeks to cover the Commonwealth Games, which was held in Jamaica that year as part of its independence celebrations.

For the record, one of the mistakes that I made in my life that I shall always regret was my constant attack on Sir Etienne in my OSWALD BROWN WRITES column that I wrote when I worked for Bahamian Times, after leaving The Tribune in 1965. Those were the years when I was an avowed BLACK POWER advocate as a result of the vicious, dehumanizing and degrading racist policies of the United Bahamian Party government and I considered Sir Etienne, the man who was very instrumental in my early training as a journalist, to be a UBP. I can tell you some stories about personal racist actions against me as a young black journalist in The Bahamas that would make your blood curdle.

As far as the reference to me leaving The Bahamas for 20 years being predicated on a dispute I had with Sir Lynden, the then Prime Minister, that’s only a minor part of the reason why I made the decision to relocate to the United States in December of 1974. It is well known among those involved in the struggle for Majority Rule that Sir Lynden, although he was and still is one of my personal heroes, had to ask Arthur Foulkes, whom I still love and respect with a passion, to speak to me about my outspoken BLACK POWER pronouncements and behavior.

Nonetheless, it was Sir Lynden who arranged for me to go to London after the PLP won the historic January 10, 1967 general election for one year’s advanced training in journalism on the staff of the London Evening Standard, one of Britain’s leading newspapers. When I returned from London in November of 1969, Sir Lynden only a month or so earlier had fired Sir Arthur as Minister of Tourism and when I asked him why Sir Arthur was fired, I did not believe the reason he gave me and I flat-out called him a liar, preceded by one of my favourite profanity at the time.

Of course, I nonetheless became Editor of Bahamian Times, but I subsequently was fired after I supported the Dissident Eight in their dispute with Sir Linden. When the Dissident Eight left the PLP and became the nucleus for the founding of the FNM along with still politically active members of the disbanded UBP, I also became a founding member of the FNM and the founding Editor of its newspaper The Torch.

In the meantime, I met a wonderful American lady, Camille Brannum, who at the time was a teacher in Brooklyn, New York, and we were married in June of 1973. Camille moved to Nassau and within a week, my good friend the late Livingstone Coakley, who was the then PLP Minister of Education, arranged for her to get a teaching position at C. C. Sweeting High School. Camille, who actually was from Washington, D.C., did not like living in The Bahamas and sometime nearing the end of 1974, she suggested that we move to D.C. I vividly remember what she said when she made the suggestion, “Our marriage is not working in your country, so let’s try it in mine.”

I loved my first wife very much, so it was not hard for me to make the decision to move to D.C. Unfortunately, the marriage fell apart and we were divorced in 1978. I would have returned home at that time but I had a very good job as Publications Editor with the Institute for Services to Education (ISE), which was established by the late President Lynden Johnson ostensibly to upgrade the standard of education in Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs.) So it is wrong to say that Sir Lynden was the reason why I left The Bahamas in 1974.

In fact, after the late President Ronald Reagan stopped funding for ISE in 1981, I became News Editor of The Washington Informer in 1982, a position I held until the FNM became the Government in 1992 and the new Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham and my first cousin Alphonso “Bugalloo” Elliott, who accompanied him on a trip to Washington, encouraged me to return home with the promise that I would return to Washington in some capacity at the Embassy to allow me time to straighten out my personal affairs that I had accumulated from living in D.C. at the time for 18 years.

Once back in Nassau, however, Mr. Ingraham and I had a strong disagreement over what I referred to at the time as his “witch hunt” against Sir Lynden with the Commission of Inquiry he launched. As a former BLACK POWER advocate I was bitterly opposed to the FNM, no doubt at the urging of the UBP faction of that party, tearing down and destroying the reputation of arguably the most notable black politician in this country’s history.

PERSONAL NOTE TO C. a. NEWRY: I hope that this brief account of my early life and involvement in politics assist you and my other detractors in formulating a better understanding of who is Oswald Brown and his values in life. No doubt, you will glean from it that I had a penchant for burning bridges behind me, but I have always been prepared to suffer the consequences of whatever decisions I made in my life. With regard to the “old story” you reposted from bahamasuncensored.com, the opinions expressed by the author of that website was in response to ongoing criticism of my Editorials and Columns when I was Editor of the Nassau Guardian, which leaders of the PLP felt were biased towards the FNM. I am so, so happy that I did not totally burn all the bridges to my past as a did-hard PLP; otherwise I would not as proud as a peacock to be back home once again as a die-hard PLP.

Oswald Brown - Facebook

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Brazil beef ban in The Bahamas

The Bahamas bans Brazil beef


By XIAN SMITH
Guardian Business Reporter
xian@nasguard.com

Consumers in The Bahamas are being warned not to eat any meat products imported from Brazil.

A precautionary ban has been placed on meat products, which include corned beef, being imported into the country from Brazil, effective immediately, according to Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources V. Alfred Gray.

Speaking with Guardian Business yesterday Gray said, “We are asking those people who are purchasing corned beef and other beef products that have already gotten into our food system, to discard those products immediately until further notice.”

Shortly after Gray was contacted by Guardian Business, the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources sent out a statement on the matter.

Parts of the statement read:

“The Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources is aware of the meat scandal unfolding in Brazil relative to food inspectors taking bribes to allow sales of rotten and salmonella-tainted meats. Blairo Maggi, Brazil's agriculture minister, advised that the government of Brazil has suspended exports from 21 meat-processing units.

“Until further notice, no permits for the importation of processed meat products from Brazil will be issued. This includes corned beef as well as other beef products and beef by-products.

“The Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources will continue to monitor this issue over the next 60 days and, should we be satisfied that imports from Brazil be resumed, it would be with the following proviso:

“Beef must be slaughtered and processed at an approved government abattoir and processing facility; a sanitary certificate should accompany all imports from Brazil; inspection of all batch containers must be done at the port of entry; an import permit must be sought by all importers from the relevant government agency; and a registry must be compiled of all importers of beef and beef products from Brazil.”

Regional neighbor Jamaica also announced yesterday an immediate import ban on corned beef from Brazil.

According to recent news reports, police investigations into Brazil’s meat industry led to the conclusion that companies BRF SA and JBS SA, along with dozens of smaller companies, were involved in a scandal that permitted the overlooking of condemned practices.

JBS is the world’s largest meat producer and BRF is the biggest poultry exporter. The companies have denied the allegations.

China reportedly suspended imports of all meat products from Brazil as a precautionary measure and the European Union suspended imports from four Brazilian meat-processing facilities.

The Nassau Guardian

March 22, 2017

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Dame Joan Sawyer concerns about the government statements on the general election and Baha Mar

Dear Editor,

Please forgive me if I have misunderstood two recent stories which appeared in your respective newspapers.

The first is that the prime minister is reported to have said that he was not going to call the general election “any time soon”. I am not sure on what that statement was based, because article 66(3) of the constitution is quite specific about the duration of any Parliament following a general election. That paragraph reads: “(3) Subject to the provisions of paragraph (4) of this article, Parliament, unless sooner dissolved, shall continue for five years from the date of its first sitting after any dissolution and shall then stand dissolved.”

If my memory is correct, I think the present Parliament first sat on May 23, 2012. That would mean that unless the prime minister advises the governor general to dissolve Parliament before that date, the present Parliament will “stand dissolved” on May 23, 2017, with the result that there would be no legitimate government to advise the governor general and there would not be a Senate because, according to article 43(1)(a), each Senate seat “becomes vacant upon the next dissolution of Parliament after he has been appointed”.

In such an event, it is doubtful that even the powers which the constitution gives to the Cabinet under articles 29, 66(4) and (5), in a situation where war or a state of emergency has been declared, can be exercised at all or by whom, since in these circumstances there would not be a declared state of emergency or war.

I am aware that in 1987 the Parliament did not actually hold its first sitting following the general election that year until some three months later, and that it was for that reason that the date of the general election for 1992 was some three months after five years would have expired from the holding of the 1987 general election. Clearly that is not the situation now.

Article 66(4), which is referred to in article 66(3), would only apply if The Bahamas is at war or under a declared state of emergency under article 29; as far as I am aware there has been no declaration that The Bahamas is at war or that a state of emergency exists, so that could not be the basis for extending the life of the present Parliament.

I am also aware that article 67(1) provides that: “(67) – (1) After every dissolution of Parliament the governor­ general shall issue writs for a general election of members of the House of Assembly returnable within ninety days from that dissolution.”

That provision seems to contemplate a situation where the Parliament is dissolved well before its session is due to end and the 90 days is the outside limit for the writs of election to be issued and returned. After all, in the very words of that paragraph, the governor general could only issue writs after Parliament is dissolved. In addition, regard will have to be taken of section 32 of the Parliamentary Elections Act (Ch. 7), as well as the fact that the present budget will expire on June 30, 2017; and one cannot help but wonder how they will then deal with the preparation, presentation and passage of the necessary bills for the budget for the upcoming fiscal year which starts on July 1.

Section 32 of the Parliamentary Elections Act provides for writs of election to issue and to be returnable within not less than 21 days nor more than 30 days – both of those time frames are within the 90 days contemplated by article 67 (1) of the constitution. The time line is now quite short unless it is intended to ignore the above mentioned constitutional and statutory provisions.

The second issue that arises from the stories in the newspapers is that there is a great deal of confusion in the minds of some members of the general public about whether in truth, and in fact, Baha Mar has been sold and to whom. Is it in fact true that the assets of Baha Mar have in fact become the property of the Export-Import Bank of China by virtue of a foreclosure under a debenture to that entity? If so, clearly the debenture should have been registered in the Registry of Records, which would then make it open to inspection by members of the public.

There is also confusion as to how the judgement in a publicly heard civil case (the Baha Mar compulsory liquidation case) could be so “sealed” that no one, other than perhaps the learned justice who heard it, as well as the learned attorney general (whose daughters and husband have business interests housed in the building) and maybe the lawyers for other parties to the case would be aware of what was in fact decided.

It must be remembered that article 20 paragraphs (8), (9) and (10) of the constitution apply to that case as they do to all other civil cases heard in the Supreme Court or any other court of competent jurisdiction of The Bahamas. Those paragraphs read: “(8) Any court or other adjudicating authority prescribed by law for the determination of the existence or extent of any civil right or obligation shall be established by law and shall be independent and impartial; and where proceedings for such a determination are instituted by any person before such a court or other adjudicating authority, the case shall be given a fair hearing within a reasonable time.

“(9) All proceedings instituted in any court for the determination of the existence or extent of any civil right or obligation, including the announcement of the decision of the court, shall be held in public.

“(10) Nothing in paragraph (9) of this article shall prevent the court from excluding from the proceedings persons other than the parties thereto and their legal representatives to such extent as the court –

“(a) may be empowered by law so to do and may consider necessary or expedient in circumstances where publicity would prejudice the interests of justice, or in interlocutory proceedings or in the interests of public morality, the welfare of persons under the age of eighteen years or the protection of the private lives of persons concerned in the proceedings;

“(b) may be empowered or required by law to do so in the interests of defense, public safety or public order; or

“(c) may be empowered or required to do so by the rules of court and practice existing immediately before 10 July 1973 or by any law made subsequently to the extent that it makes provision substantially to the same effect as provision contained in any such rules.”

Clearly there was no matter of defense or public safety or public order to cause the decision not to be made public. On the other hand, it may be argued that because Crown land and money from the Consolidated Fund was used to pay employees of Baha Mar (money that was said to be owed to China Construction company for the construction of the new road from the airport) that the interests of justice required the decision and the reasons for it to be made public, especially when it appears to reasonable persons that there may have been a conflict of interest on the part of the government’s main adviser, the learned attorney general, who has subsequently reported that there was a sale to a Hong Kong entity and then that the sale is not complete.

These were also not interlocutory proceedings nor were they proceedings concerning the welfare of persons under the age of 18 years, nor for the protection of the private lives of persons concerned in the proceedings.

Furthermore, in The Nassau Guardian of Monday, January 30, 2017, pages A25 and A27, there were notices of voluntary winding up by 15 companies with the words “Baha Mar” in their names. The notices were apparently issued by Edmund L. Rahming. If those 15 companies are subsidiaries of Baha Mar, it raises serious questions about the whole saga of the winding-up proceedings of Baha Mar because voluntary liquidation is normally only appropriate where the company is solvent, and the compulsory winding up of Baha Mar would only be justified if that company was insolvent. Are we to accept that those 15 subsidiaries are solvent while the parent company (if it is the parent company) is insolvent?

It was also reported that the prime minister has said that he has instructed the attorney general to make public the contents of the judgment of the court in the Baha Mar case. There are two issues which arise from that. Firstly, if the attorney general, as attorney general, can say when a judgment by a justice of the Supreme Court is to be made public, that raises the very thorny question as to whether the attorney general is controlling the courts.

Secondly, it raises the question as to whether the prime minister, through the agency of the attorney general, is controlling the courts.

Neither of those possibilities would be consistent with the constitutional requirement for the courts to be “independent and impartial”.

I sincerely hope and pray that the information in the newspapers to which I have referred above is not quite correct, for if it is, then the concept of the rule of law would be otiose in The Bahamas.

 

– Joan A. Sawyer

Source - The Nassau Guardian

Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Hawksbill Creek Agreement (HCA) is the finest Development Agreement in the world

STATEMENT ON FREEPORT
by: PROFESSOR GILBERT NMO MORRIS



Gilbert Morris
The Hawksbill Creek Agreement (HCA) is the finest Development Agreement in the world. I know the force of this statement, since I grew up under this agreement; wrote nearly all my undergraduate law papers on this agreement and wrote my first economics paper - again - on the HCA.

I understand that the government wants to facilitate economic growth in Freeport, and I believe this is their true noble desire.

However, the GB (Port Area) Incentive Act is absolutely the wrong way to go:

THERE ARE THREE MAJOR PROBLEMS, AMONGST OTHERS:

A. It is wrong in Constitutional terms as the devolution of Sovereign concessions under the Hawksbill Creek Agreement was not a benefit to or intended for the Port Authority. Rather, it was to enable and empower the Port to deliver benefits to the Licensees.

Everything about this Act offends that.

Moreover, given the constitutional prohibition on discrimination, (on the one hand), no minister of governments of the Bahamas can be empowered, constitutionally, to give a tax benefit to one citizen, which is denied to any other under the same or similar circumstances. On the other hand, for any minister of government's of the Bahamas to make a distinction between Licensee applicants for the tax benefits, would require so much bureaucratic engagement, not to mention time, as to destroy any possible or conceivable actual incentive.

B. It is inconsistent with both the letter and spirit of the agreement itself, because - again - all benefits -
in the central thesis and core purpose of the Agreement - were to accrue to the Licensees.

This is crucial because under our Constitution, no government of the Bahamas is empowered to alienate or pass on the assets of the Bahamian people to others without "value for money".

The cardinal - value for money - prospect and concept in the HCA remains: TO BENEFIT THE LICENSEES!

Therefore ANY action that places the Licensees at ANY disadvantage offends the Agreement and is unconstitutional.

C. The Incentive Act is anti-Incentive. Everywhere in the world where economies are growing, governments are eliminating red-tape.

In this case, the very people who are disadvantaged by the economic doldrums in Freeport, are hit again by a regressive, over-burdening anti-competitive approach - even if well-meaning - infused with many confusions, thus limiting options for operations and investments for existing Licensee businesses.

It is critical to note that entities like the Grand Bahama Port Authority and it's companies under the Hawksbill Creek Agreement carry no market-to-market value as an entity.

Given the loss of the deep seabed advantages or the likely more aggressive approaches to trade by the Trump administration, now more than ever, the Port's net present value or "intrinsic value" is ONLY as is defined in the Hawksbill Creek Agreement. There is no other means to give Freeport a value beyond a low grade benchmark pricing of its component parts.

The effect of this initiative therefore also makes investing in the Port area LESS ATTRACTIVE and worse reduces the value of the Port's assets at a time when other jurisdictions are investing in port facilities.

I appeal to the government to withdrawal this initiative absolutely and completely.

Source

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Freetowns In The Bahamas

RE - A Brief History of the 'Freetowns' in New Providence and in Grand Bahama, Bahamas.

 

 

PREFACE - When you said something that was DUMB, my 9th Grade teacher at Eastern Senior School would say: "Don't let your IGNORANCE predominate where your INTELLIGENCE should assist". This pronouncement related to some of the DUMB comments I have seen posted here on Facebook, as they relate to the new FREETOWN Constituency. Personally to me, this sad because there are those Bahamians, who just do not know their history, or those that do not appreciate the value of the very rich history our Bahamaland. Hence my decision to share the facts about the Freetowns in The Bahamas.
 
Why I stated: Freetowns In the Bahamas’, well, just for the record, Freetowns are not unique to The Bahamas, as there are 17 places in the world that are named ‘Freetown’. Freetown In Africa, there is a place (the original) named Freetown, Sierra Leone. There are 3 places named Freetown in Liberia. There is one place named Freetown in Nigeria. The original Freetown, Sierra Leone was founded in 1787, by Great Britain as a settlement for ‘freed slaves’ who sided with the British during the American Revolutionary War and that arrived in the city from 1787.
 
Freetowns In the Americas (those mainly North America, Central America and The Caribbean ) - There are 7 places named Freetown in America. There is one place named Freetown in Jamaica. There is one place named Freetown in Belize. There is one place named Freetown in Antigua and Barbuda. There are 2 places named Freetown in Bahamas. All of the places called ‘Freetown’ in the Americas, they are believed to be historical communities that were established after their emancipation in August 1834, for 'freed slaves' when all slaves in the British Empire were emancipated. They were probably given the name by the British Colonials, after the original original Freetown, Sierra Leone.
 
Freetown In Bahamas. Now that I have established the historical factors behind the name FREETOWN, I now will address and contribute to the history of Freetowns in The Bahamas. So, appears that the FNM and UBP Parties is not a 'nationalist' parties... country first. They seem to be not really concerned with preservation of our Bahamaland history, as the UBP first named the Killanery constituency - after the lake, The PLP Party saw it fit rename Killarney constituency after the historical 'Gambier' township; that which just like the well-established 'Foxhill' constituency, ‘Bain & Grants Towns’ constituency, ‘Carmichael’ and 'Adelaide', all that are an integral part of our rich Bahamian history. Let me interject here; that in cases where possible that it is tradition that constituencies be names after ‘places of history’, for example historical churches in New Providence - St Barnabas, Mt Moriah, St Cecelia, and once others, as were, St Thomas More and St Agnes. Also edifice like the historical forts: Ft Montgua and Ft Charlotte in New Providence.
 
Now back to the history of Freetown in The Bahamas. These communities named above, all of which are historical townships that 'freed slaves' established after their emancipation in August 1834, when all slaves in the British Empire were emancipated. Including those 'freed slaves' living in The Bahamas, and those that escaped from 'Slavery in America'. Most 'black Bahamians' are direct descendants of these former African slaves. As noted above, in addition to 'Adelaide', 'Gambier', 'Foxhill', ‘Bain & Grants Towns’ there are also two known historical ‘Freetowns’, in the Bahamas. 
 
Bainstown, New Providence, The Bahamas
However, my research discovered that there are also to small settlements called 'Freetown', one in Eleuthera, this area is located on the southern (east-west) Deep Creek and one south in The Bight, Cat Island very little in known of these towns history. Let's focus on the historical ‘Freetowns’ in New Providence and Grand Bahama Islands respectively.
 
FREETOWN, NEW PROVIDENCE - The area between Mackey Street and Kemp Road, called 'Freetown' is also a part of this rich history of New Providence Island. For The Record, FREETOWN, New Providence, extended beyond Kemp Road, to John Evans Road just to the East of the new Shell Gas Station on Shirley Street. Freetown Lane - located between Lyon Road and John Evans Road - is still on the map. In fact, the Church of God of Prophecy on East Shirley Street; still gives its address location as Freetown. In addition to this, many prominent Bahamian Families originate out of the Freetown / Kemp Road Community.
 
The facts are, the Freetown Constituency was FIRST established in 1968 by the PLP Government a year later after being elected in January 1967. The Freetown constituency that grouped the ‘Out East’ black communities all together. The Anns Town / Freetown Community being bounded between Shirlea (west) John Evans Road / Kemp Road Area (east), Bar 20 Corner / White Road (south) and Bay Street (North), Mr. Simeon Bowe was the PLP MHA for Freetown in the 1968 election and he won the seat. Today, this ‘renaming’ is now only the reestablishment of the old Freetown Constituency.
 
Contrary to reports on Facebook, Freetown was never a part of the Montagu community, as Freetown did not extend beyond (John Evans Road) that is the Western boundary walls of Montagu Heights and Queens College west boundary. In the 1968 General Elections, there was both a Freetown constituency and there was a Montagu constituency. But for the last 3 general elections, the Freetown / Kemp Road communities were integrated into the Montagu constituency by The FNM Party, in this case, this will now be reversed for the 2012.
 
FREETOWN, GRAND BAHAMA - Just like New Providence, there was also a Freetown established in Grand Bahama. But this Freetown has nothing to do with ‘politics’. In 1836 the population of the entire island of Grand Bahama was recorded as 370; most of those people are presumed to have lived around West End. By 1861 the population had grown to 858, and was probably spread between West End, Eight Mile Rock and Freetown.
 
Rum Running West End
Records from West End, the oldest city on Grand Bahama Island, show that the population in 1836 was only about 370, many of whom abandoned the island for greater opportunities in Nassau. However, in 1861 people flocked to Grand Bahama because of an unexpected economic opportunity the American Civil War.
 
At the outbreak of the war, with the Confederacy of Southern States under a strict Union embargo, smugglers operating out of West End were able to command hefty prices from the South for goods such as cotton, sugar, and weapons. As soon as the war ended, the economic boom ended as well, but it established strong ties between The Bahamas and the United States that still exist today.
 
So there is the history of the 'Freetowns' in Nassau and in Grand Bahama. As the saying goes: ‘If you don't know where you came from, you surely don't know where you are headed'.
 
 
Written and Published by Monte A. Pratt - M.A.Pratt & Associates - Consulting Partners - Copyrights (C) 2017
 
Source: Bahamas Historical Society and Wikipedia.com - Photos: oldbahams.com Facebook (copyrights)
 
From Monte A. Pratt - Facebook

 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

An economic and social review of The Bahamas

by Dr Kevin Alcena


As citizens of a democracy, we are often called upon to make on complex public issues. We express our decision indirectly by for leader who represent or support certain policies. Sometimes, Though less frequently, we express our directly by participating in two public referendum.

Historically, in a democracy the people choose the policies that govern them, or at least the representatives who formulate these policies. When this choice is absent, democracy dose not exist. A despotism, however benevolent, is not democracy.

Public finance, even more than any other branch of the Bahamas economic; suggests the idea of a purposive conduct of economic affairs. In public finance in the Bahamas it is particularly tempting to postulate a single subject and a coherent and objective set of values which guide economic activity.

Moreover, Public finance represents economic 'planning ',I. e. positive intervention, and not just an automatic mechanism as in the abstract economic in the Bahamas of harmony. Therefore the contradictions inherent in fiction of a single collective of and demand for taxation occasionally, regressive taxation we need in the Bahamas 'tax benefit. '

Reduce debt principal and hence interest payments; Provide an extended and flexible reschedule of interest payments; Provide new credit to finance department with precedence over existing loans.

Any one of these would modify the annual flows of real resources from debtors to creditors, flows that are too large and too inflexible. A solution to the debt issues in the must be reduce.we be forced to increase our reserves against the US dollars loans.

There is one important assumption of the principal of ability which is the key to an understanding of later developments.

Like the principal of interest it presupposes a correct distribution of income and property upon which the correct tax system for the Bahamas is imposed. Whether one arrive at recommendation of proportional or of progressive taxation, the tax determined in relation to VAT and property, which are accepted as given.

The general attitude which VAT is not good to increase it be big mistake.

In short, it is estimated that the government collected a substantial amount of money from VAT, while the Bahamian public is actually waiting on a report on the expenditure. We must be cognizant of the fact that we all have a contract with the government, and we have to ask ourselves the question, have they delivered on the contract.

Transparency and accountability is an inherited expectation that we are entitled to in the contract. The Bahamian people have zero tolerance for any form of unfettered power that is displayed without impunity.

Nevertheless, we must safeguard our sovereignty, and embrace solidarity in the global arena with one common goal in mind. Realizing that the Trump administration can possibly derail the true spirit of economic growth in the economic community. Realizing the neocon racist agenda that can effectively impact the Caribbean region.

We must be mindful of the fact that Obama made a comment that he is skeptically optimistic of Trump administration, so we should be equally suspicious of the process in this volatile global community.

We Bahamians, PLP, FNM and DNA must all come together in these uncertain times to protect our fragile industry from the new neocon global economic agenda.

From Dr. Kevin Alcena