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Much to do about nothing

Published: Aug 08, 2017

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Dear Editor,


Last week Mr. Doug Manchester, the nominated Ambassador to The Bahamas, made remarks to the U.S. Senate Committee vetting his selection by President Donald J. Trump. Manchester referred to The Bahamas as 'a protectorate' of the United States of America. Members of the committee, as many Bahamians, were taken aback by that 'innocent' description. The reactions, both in the U.S. and here in our nation (not protectorate), were swift and almost brutal.

I do not know the ambassador designate but, from what I have been able to google and research about Manchester, he is an astute businessman, husband and father. He earned his multi-million dollar portfolio the hard way.....he worked for it. There is no hint of public scandal attached to his name and he is pro-business. He's never been the rank and file politician and, as far as I am aware, he is not a trained lawyer or legislator.

Doug 'Papa' Manchester referred to our nation as a 'protectorate', innocently and with no known ulterior motives, to my knowledge. The Bahamas, as we all know, is not an actual protectorate, in the ordinary sense of the word. If one were to closely examine the relationship between our two wonderful nations, it would readily be agreed that the U.S. is, in fact, our 'protector'. That does not, strictly speaking from a constitutional point, makes us a 'protectorate'. It is also to be agreed that the U.S. is, like it or lump it, our big brother and literal protector.

Decades ago, when Cuban mig jets attacked our defense force, the U.S. was the first country to come to our defense. Way back in the 1930s during the Great Depression the U.S. offered our people, especially low income persons, an opportunity to travel to the now fabled 'contract' where those selected were able to live and work in the U.S. while remitting funds back to The Bahamas. The vast majority of our university graduates went to one in the U.S. Today, tens of thousands of Bahamians, illegally and legally, reside and work in the U.S., seeking a better way of life for themselves and family.

Our second home industry is dominated by citizens of the U.S. Grand Bahama was conceptualized, developed and built by Wallace Groves, a citizen of the U.S. Paradise Island (a.k.a 'Hog Island'), before it became Atlantis, was also rolled out by big time U.S. investors. The U.S. is also intimately involved with The Bahamas on many bilateral matters, inclusive of illegal migration; drug interdiction; human smuggling and, of course, military and defense cooperation (OBAT); coast guard protection and availability during natural disasters. The U.S has always been our ‘protector' in more ways than one.

I, for one, hope that Manchester is approved and sworn in as the U.S.'s ambassador to The Bahamas. We have been without a continuous ambassador for a long time. This man has already laid out some of his plans to improve and enhance relationships between our countries. All of the displeasure over Papa's description is much to do about nothing.

Let's pray that he is confirmed and that he who, by the way, has the ear of President Trump, will assist us in ushering in a new golden and pro-business relationship. God knows that we need all of the foreign investment and financial assistance that we are able to get. While I love the Chinese people and their food, I'd prefer to have the U.S. remain our ‘big brother’ and, of course, our ‘protector’. To God then, in all things, be the glory.


– Ortland H. Bodie, Jr.

Business consultant & talk show host


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