PM receives backlash from Caribbean countries on CSME decision

Prime Minister, Dr. Hubert Minnis.

Since announcing The Bahamas will not be apart of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Single Market and Economy (CSME) this week, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis has received regional and international backlash after his announcement.

Dr. Minnis made the announcement in an interview with media following his return from the 39th Annual CARICOM Heads of Government Conference, held in Jamaica. Barbados, Haiti, Jamaica, Suriname, St Lucia and Grenada signed onto CSME.

Jack Mandora of Brazil called the announcement under a social media post “Animal Farm 2.0 – CARICOM edition”.

“All nationals are equal but some ‘less’ equal than others,” Mandora said.

“How ironic that not two days ago, all these leaders were singing at the 39th conference about strength, unity and togetherness! And now this!”

Mealie Wilson, a resident of Chicago, Illinois, echoed similar sentiments.

“The Bahamas has always behaved as though they are the 51st United States (U.S.) state,” Wilson wrote.

“They’ve never been a part of the region. They’ve always behaved privileged! They’ve now exercised their privileged status!”

‘ZZadike’ on Twitter wrote, “I think it’s an ignorant statement by the leader. Free movements but setting standards and regulations is key… 99% of people would go to The Bahamas rather Jamaica to seek work based on the operational level because of value of currency.”

There were others who defended the prime minister’s decision.

“You all can do as you all please. Every country must do what’s in their best. The Bahamas can’t afford to sign on to CSME. For The Bahamas, the costs outweigh the benefits,” wrote ‘The Problem 242’.

An opinion poll was taken online, which asked persons whether or not they supported The Bahamas decision in backing out of CSME:

  • 25 per cent voted yes they supported the decision
  • 61 per cent voted no they did not support the decision
  • 14 per cent voted that they didn’t care

“We have our rules, our laws and they will continue to apply so we are not and will not be a part of CSME,” Dr. Minnis told reporters earlier this week.

“The Bahamas will not allow free movement of people within our boundaries so we are not a part of CSME. That must be clear, so you do not feel that because of what has happened there, that Caribbean nationals would be able to move into the Bahamas quite readily.”

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