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The Cubans and the marines

Published: Oct 11, 2013

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Dear Editor,

Now that the state has finally brought five Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) marines before a disciplinary hearing at the RBDF base at Coral Harbour in order to be charged for allegedly abusing a group of Cuban detainees at the Carmichael Road Detention Centre several months back, it appears that this ugly and embarrassing saga will come to an end – much to the relief of the Bahamian public and the Cuban-American protest group Democracy Movement.

The marines will now have their day in court to attempt to prove that these troubling allegations are nothing more than pure fabrications to impugn the good name of The Bahamas and the RBDF.

I agree with Minister of National Security Dr. Bernard Nottage 1,000 percent when he said that he is very happy that the marines did not use their firearms to subdue the detainees who attempted to escape.  Had they done so, the detainees might have either been killed or seriously injured; and the Cuban-American community in South Florida would have been crying bloody murder.

One cannot even begin to imagine what this kind of publicity would have done to this country’s image abroad.

Having said that, I believe that the explanation that the accused RBDF marines gave to their attorney Wayne Munroe for not shooting the detainees defies logic and reason.

According to Munroe per The Nassau Guardian, the marines didn’t shoot the detainees because they weren’t confident that the minister of national security, the RBDF commodore and the Bahamian people would stand behind them.

No right-thinking Bahamian would have condoned any law enforcement officer shooting at unarmed and non-violent wards of the state.  Their hunch was right.

Still, I am baffled that the officers would even entertain this troubling notion.

If Munroe is attempting to gain sympathy for his clients, he is going about it the wrong way.  The onus is now on the Progressive Liberal Party government to bring this matter to an end.  It has dragged on long enough.

– Kevin Evans

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