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Caribbean is Sensational at Summer Olympics

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Elaine Thompson-Herah
Dom Rep Relay Team

#TheBahamas, August 4, 2021 – The Caribbean has 44 million people; together. The performances at the Tokyo Summer Olympics from Caribbean athletes, even those who have Caribbean heritage have been astounding to say the least.  It was and continues to be thrilling to watch these fine athletes collect the valuable hardware from a ‘Games’ which is a year late and wrought with complexities as a result of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. 

The Caribbean women have emerged as pioneering figures in these games, a fact not lost on another Caribbean woman of sports who has exemplified that ladies can not only prepare what is on the table, but join the feast as equal partner and leader at the table.

““It gives me great pride and honor as I reflect on the incredible accomplishments of the women participants of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.  It is fair to say that not only are women breaking glass ceilings in leadership positions around the world but women are now dominating in sports arenas around the world.  Congratulations to all the female achievers of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, in particular our Caribbean Sisters who continue to raise the bar.  You are an inspiration to all of us and we are forever proud of you and your achievements,” said Sonia Fulford, President of the Turks and Caicos Island Football Association (TCIFA) and newly re-elected member of the FIFA Council.

Shericka Jackson

Even as we prepare this issue of The Magnate; regional people celebrate the gold medal performance of Andre De Grasse of Canada who has secured first place in the Men’s 200m, with a career best time.  De Grasse is the son of a Barbadian man and a Trinidadian woman.

And while we could be wiped out by the feats of the men and women who reflect our diversity as an English, French, Dutch and Spanish speaking region, we are not and the expectation for more, is high and will not go unquenched.

Jamaica is by far is rolling out the most headline grabbing show. 

“Without having the crowds, you can actually feel the love and the comradery there.  You can see that they have really bond together well because after coming off such a tough period we are really happy that Digicel has been able to carry the Games on Sports Max,” said Addison Stoddard, CEO of Digicel TCI which is not only offering expert commentary by Caribbean professional athletes, trainers and former Olympians but an mobile App to watch on the go.

“You have 15 channels you can scroll across and select any of the channels on the (Sports Max) App and watch any of the events.”

ShellyAnn Fraser-Pryce

This is great news; the unencumbered access to the planet’s premier sporting event where Elaine Thompson-Herah would deliver the first huge and historic deed when she smashed the 33-year Olympic record of celebrated female US Champion – Florence Griffith-Joyner in the 100m.  In a time of 10.61 Thompson-Herah is firmly cemented as the fastest woman ever in the Olympics and tidily raised the bar in her home country of Jamaica where the time is also now the national record. 

Elaine wasn’t even born when Flo-Jo ran that race in 1988; Elaine at 29-years old would not only lead a one-two-three- sweep of the 100m event for Jamaica (ShellyAnn Fraser-Pryce, second and Shericka Jackson, third) but would go on to power through in the 200m for another landmark victory. 

In the race, filled with famous and accomplished female athletes from six other countries of the world, Thompson-Herah unequivocally earned another gold medal.  The thing is, this was no ordinary gold.  This triumph solidified Elaine as both the most captivating figure of health, strength, beauty and speed and the Queen of Sprints because no other female athlete has ever won both the 100m and 200m at two consecutive Olympics; those being Rio Games of 2016 and the current Summer Games in Tokyo, Japan.

“The Olympics have been absolutely amazing and we are so proud of the accomplishments of Elaine Thompson-Herah, breaking the Olympic record in the 100 and great performance by ShellyAnn Fraser-Pryce also but Elaine is definitely the Queen at the Olympics in the sprints,” said Mr. Stoddard in commenting to The Magnate.

Megan Tapper.

In the Women’s 400m hurdles we had another fantastic demonstration of sensational athleticism by several Caribbean women.  Though Devynne Charlton of The Bahamas would not make the medal stand, one of the shortest (height-wise) in the field, it would be another ‘shorty’ who would prove very successful.  Again, hailing from the Sprint Capital of the World: Jamaica, millions of television viewers were locked onto the race and eventually wowed by Megan Tapper.

Tapper, and her spirited personality won the individual bronze, becoming the first woman from the English Speaking Caribbean to medal in the event.

Rai Benjamin

“I am happy to see the young lady in the 100m hurdles, Tapper.  That was really a very good run.  She defied all odds, she is barely 5’ 1” and had to jump over all of those high hurdles, while sprinting.  And a really good event was Rai Benjamin, getting a silver medal in the 400m hurdles in record breaking time,”  Stoddard, a sports enthusiast himself reminded, “Rai Benjamin, although he is an American, he is the son of a former West Indies medium base bowler from Antigua and Barbuda called Winston Benjamin; his father played cricket for the West Indies team.”

Jasmine Camacho Quinn

The gold medal show stopper in the same race as Megan was from the Camacho line.  Hailing from Puerto Rico, Jasmine Camacho-Quinn during the heats set a new Olympic Record and then went on to secure the first individual gold medal for a Puerto Rican woman at any Games; only the second gold in the country’s history. 

The results was a beautiful recompense for Jasmine who DQed out of the event at the 2016 Rio Games and missed a medal many said she would have surely won.

The other Latino-Caribbean countries are working spectacularly on the field and off.  Cuba has 12 medals in the Games, the most of any Caribbean region country.  The Dominican Republic has 3 medals, including one in female weightlifting.

Crismery Santana, 26 years old has earned a bronze and the DomRep is beaming with joy at her historic feat. 

The Cuban long jumpers were almost gold and silver in the men’s event, until their Greek counterpart Miltiadis Tentoglou pulled off an upset in his final effort; snatching the gold.  The men – Juan Miguel Echevarria and Maykel Masso – would walk away with a limp each and the silver and bronze for the Republic.

Juan Miguel Echevarria

There is great expectation in the Women’s 400m on Thursday; it features Shaunae Miller-Uibo of The Bahamas; who has come to defend her Rio Games title in the event.  Miller-Uibo has run well in these Games, but even veteran Olympic champion and compatriot Pauline Davis-Thompson is worried.

The Bahamian Golden Girl expressed, in her Sports Max interview on Wednesday that, she is a concerned about Miller-Uibo who showed some weakness in the 200m; Shaunae placed last in the event after three consecutive sessions of running the 200m and 400m heats and final.

Bahamas News

Statement From The Ministry  of Foreign Affairs – On Order  For All Bahamians  To Leave Haiti

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#TheBahamas, January 26, 2023 – The Prime Minister  has ordered an immediate involuntary  departure from Haiti  of all diplomatic  personnel or as soon as security conditions  permit.Up to this time, there was a voluntary departure order in place and all staff at the embassy  chose to stay.  Per the new instructions, they are to leave for home as soon as conditions  permit.  This is only a temporary  measure in light of recent developments  which require a corporate  security and intelligence  assessment  and restaging.This morning  the Chargè  reported that they had been stopped by Haitian police and relieved of their vehicle and weapons. This is part of a protest by the Haitian National Police against  their own authorities.All of our diplomats are personally  safe.There also is a report  of 5 Bahamians from Bahamasair who landed at Port Au Prince Airport who were unable to leave the environs of the airport.  They are all safe and well.  The security situation  appears less stable over the past three days in the country, and we are taking steps out of an abundance  of caution.The pattern of security concerns is one of ebb and flow and these withdrawals are sometimes  necessary  to regroup.  The Security Forces  in our country have been alerted to these developments.  As soon as conditions  permit a team will be sent back into Haiti without further announcement.PLQ
Courtesy of BIS

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Bahamas takes in 396 Haitian migrants; shocking interception

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

 

 

#TheBahamas, January 25, 2023 – In what is being described by Bahamian officials as one of the largest human smuggling incidents in the region, 394 Haitian migrants were intercepted by the United States Coast Guard near Cay Sal Island on Saturday, January 21.

According to immigration officials in The Bahamas, the migrants will be processed on the island of Inagua and later repatriated.

US Coast Guard spokeswoman Nicole Groll described the condition of the intercepted boat to the Associated Press on Monday. She said, “it was grossly overloaded and very much unsafe.”

The officials did not provide any further information on the matter.

The recent apprehension brings the total number of Haitian migrants intercepted in Bahamian waters since the start of the year to just over five hundred (500) persons.

Due to the worsening humanitarian, a surge in gang violence and deepening political instability in Haiti, thousands of Haitians are fleeing their country in search of a better life for themselves and family.

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Governor and Premier make official visit to the Commonwealth of the Bahamas

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#TurksandCaicos, January 25, 2023 – On 4th to 8th December 2022, a delegation led by His Excellency the Governor, Nigel Dakin and the Premier, Honorable Charles W. Missick made an official visit to the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.  The delegation also included officials from the National Security Secretariat, Police, TCI Regiment and the Office of the Premier.

(From Left to Right: Governor HE Nigel Dakin, Governor General of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas Sir Cornelius A. Smith and Premier Hon. C. Washington Misick)

Day one of the three-day visit included meetings with: the Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Phillip Davis; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Public Service, Hon. Frederick Mitchell; the Ministry of National Security, Hon. Wayne Monroe; the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, Commodore Raymond King and the British High Commission.

The agenda for the second day involved a courtesy call with H.E. Governor General, Sir Cornelius Smith, followed by detailed meetings with the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, led by its Commander, Dr Raymond King and the Royal Bahamas Police Force led by Deputy Commissioner of Police, Leamond Deleveaux. This included a tour of the Defence Force base at Coral Harbour.  The second day ended with a meeting with the Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Michael Pintard.

On the third day, the TCI delegation was hosted by the United States Embassy led by Mrs. Usha Pitts, Charge d’ Affaires, and the United States Coast Guard led by Captain Benjamin Golightly.  That evening a reception was held by the Charge d’ Affaires and, on the previous evening, a formal Dinner by the Governor General.

The focus of the visit was threefold – to say thank you to the Government of the Bahamas for their support over the last year – particularly the deployment of twenty-four Bahamian Police Officers to TCI and the operationalizing of the Bahamas/TCI Ship-Rider Agreement. TCI also noted and welcomed the decentralization of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force which brought naval assets closer to the TCI borders and opportunities to further fuse and co-ordinate our collective surveillance assets, including TCI being invited to provide Liaison Officers in the Bahamas Defense Force Command Centre to better fuse maritime intelligence.

Secondly, to brief on and discuss matters of shared National Security interests and threats. Thematic areas of mutual interest included: Operation Bahamas and Turks and Caicos (OPBAT) including the next OPBAT conference, scheduled for March 2023; maritime security (future ratification of jurisdictional boundaries between the TCI and Bahamas); expansion of coastal radar networks; decentralization of Defence Force naval assets; expanding the Bahamas/TCI Ship-Rider program; and sharing of resources, information and intelligence which will be aided by TCI’s new legal intercept provisions.

Additionally, through discussions with Bahamian colleagues, it was evident that TCI and the Bahamas face similar threats individually and collectively in the region including trans-national gangs, smuggling of people, illicit drugs and weapons and the continued destabilization of Haiti – which if left unchecked – could lead to a mass migration event that could have significant implications for the Lucayan Island chain (TCI and Bahamas).

(From Left to Right: HE Governor Nigel Dakin, Bahamas National Security Minister Hon. Wayne Munroe and Premier Hon. C. Washington Misick)

Thirdly, the delegation from TCI sought to explore areas to deepen and strengthen TCI’s friendship with the Bahamas – now and in the future. TCI advised of its intention to seek full membership of CARICOM – for which a letter of entrustment that allows for this negotiation has been provided by the United Kingdom.  Deliberations consisted of a request to extend the Bahamian Police contingent in TCI – since agreed – and strengthening the: National Security-to-National Security, Police-to-Police and Military–to-Military relationships including information sharing, improved collaboration and training.

Moreover, the unanimous resolve is to establish and strengthen a relationship between our national security functions on all matters of national security.  In this first instance, both countries will seek to learn from each other on two key common challenges: informal settlements and causes of crime.

Furthermore, the TCI offered the Royal Bahamas Defence Force an opportunity to host and deploy their naval assets in Grand Turk, to jointly task the aerial surveillance aircraft that is being procured by the United Kingdom, for TCI, and to share – in real time, TCI’s coastal radar network with the Maritime Operations Center in the Bahamas. This mutually beneficial arrangement will expand the Bahamian southern border of protection while allowing for increased coverage of TCI’s waters.

Also, the Premier, in communicating his intention to open an official TCIG office in Nassau in February 2023 had this to say:

“As part of the Turks and Caicos development goals it is important  to leverage the broad contribution that our kin and kind offer to the homeland. While we are reaching out to our global diaspora family it is generally believed that the largest proportion of Turks and Caicos Islanders live through-out the Bahamas: for that reason it is only fitting that we start by establishing an office there. The office will not have consular status but will with deference to the Governor’s office liaise with the British High Commission in Nassau where and when required to do so.

(Turks and Caicos Islands Government Delegation with the leadership of the Royal Bahamas Defense Force)

Additionally, the Bahamas is our closest neighbour. The people of our countries share similar cultures, close family ties and perform important roles in each other countries.  We also enjoy a high level of informal co-operation in many fields including security, medicine law and politics.  Additionally, we share leadership of several church and civic organisations. The Bahamas has been a friend to the Turks and Caicos Islands. It is only fitting that we formally recognise our friendship and a commitment to work closely together in our mutual interest. An office in the Nassau will help us to do just that. We also welcome the expressed intention of the Bahamas to establish a consular office in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

H.E Nigel Dakin said:

“The Bahamas could not have made us feel more welcome or valued. The regional and trans-national threats we face are too large for TCI to face alone. Indeed, because criminals and smugglers so easily cross borders, they are too large for the Bahamas, or even the US, to face alone. We are stronger together – and our individual security needs to be increasingly thought of in terms of our collective security.

We have worked diligently over recent years to strengthen OPBAT. We can feel the difference at sea, and the Bahamas support to our Policing effort has helped demonstrate that very clearly to our population on land. 

But there is so much more we can do together – particularly in the area of intelligence sharing, where TCI is developing, and will develop further strength, that our allies can draw on. While the threat won’t diminish, I’m confident our collective response will only now accelerate, and we can disrupt and arrest those that believe they can operate between and against our jurisdictions. I look forward to the OPBAT Conference in March to continue this engagement and I’m grateful that the Bahama’s have chosen to continue their Tactical Firearms Officer Support to us as we enter 2023”.  

 

Header: (From Left to right: Premier Hon. C. Washington Misick, HE Governor Nigel Dakin, Prime Minister Hon. Philip Brave Davis and Deputy Prime Minister Hon. E. Chester Cooper)

 

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