The PLP Government has again showed its blatant incompetence as 5 Cuban detainees escaped the Detention Centre last Thursday in the early morning hours. This shameful breach of the nation’s security is the third such actions taken by detainees at the Detention Centre in as many months. The relative ease with which these Cuban immigrants were able to undermine our nation’s security apparatus is indicative of the cavalier and nonchalant manner in which the government oversees our national security. It is certainly a cause for alarm in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas when illegal immigrants, already in violation of our immigration laws and being detained by our immigration authorities, take their total disregard and disrespect for our nation’s security one step further by making good their escape.
What is interesting is that this inept and ineffective PLP Government believes wholeheartedly that they have made significant progress and strides in the area of National Security since coming to office in 2002. However, the BDM believes that our National Security in general and the Detention Centre in particular is as disorganized and inefficient as the day they took office. This is apparent in the behavior of detainees who, after brief stays at our porous Hotel Detention Centre, realize that corruption is rampant and security is easy to breach. Yet the PLP would deny this and even try to cover it up.
In her infinite wisdom on National Security matter, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Hon. Cynthia Pratt not only admitted that National Security is not responsible for the Centre and that Defense Force officers should not be stationed there but alluded to the fact that it is not practical or sensible to have these officers who are trained to be soldiers responsible for the Centre’s security. Could the honorable Minister be admitting by making such a statement that past instances of alleged brutality on the part of certain Officers were indeed accurate? It is the mode of operation of the Minister of National Security to deflect responsibility whenever it confronts her. It is evident that she is neither fit nor qualifies to sit at the helm of such an important ministry.
In an interview with the Guardian following this most recent escape by the 5 Cuban detainees, Minister Pratt boldly asserted that this incident did not constitute a security failure and stated that “Things happen.” The BDM condemns this cavalier and indifferent attitude by the Minister toward this shameful breach of our national security carried out by 5 Cubans with mere fence cutting clippers. The casual and laid-back behavior of this Minister might have found its origin in the fact that the escapees used inferior cutting instruments instead of airplanes or bombs to breach our national security.
No matter the method of escape, however, the national security of The Bahamas was compromised on that day. Despite the Minister’s head being in the sand, it was her own Cabinet colleague, the Minister of Immigration, Hon. Shane Gibson who disagreed with her and when asked, dubbed this latest incident in security an absolute failure.
With this in mind, the BDM calls on the Minister of National Security to not only resign but to seek gainful employment as a nighttime security officer with the security firm that will receive the contract from the government to secure the Detention Centre in the immediate future. As such, the BDM believes that as a blue collar security officer, should another daring escape plot come to fruition, the Minister can be on the front lines to witness first hand the obvious breaching of a nation’s security.