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Henfield confident Trump will address travel advisory concerns

In light of a recent U.S. travel advisory about The Bahamas, Minister of Foreign Affairs Darren Henfield said he remains confident that U.S. President Donald Trump will address The Bahamas’ concerns with advisories.

Last week, the U.S. issued an advisory listing The Bahamas as a level two country where tourists should exercise increased caution due to crime.

When asked about the advisory last Wednesday, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said, “I think every nation has a responsibility to protect its citizens.

“If Bahamians visit particular shores and experience problems, we would advise our Bahamians to be careful when they visit certain areas or advise them to avoid or be very careful visiting certain areas. I think that’s a national standard. So we expect that.”

Following a meeting with Trump last month, Minnis said the U.S. president promised to have the issuance of travel advisories “looked into”.

Speaking about the meeting, Henfield said, “…The prime minister reported that, as was indicated by President [Donald] Trump in Mar-a-Lago, that they’re going to look at these travel advisories and the potential negative impact that they may have on the Bahamian economy and we leave it there.”

He added: “Well, the president of the United States promised the prime minister of The Bahamas that he’ll have a look at it and that’s a good enough promise for me for now. I take him at his word.

“I take the president of the United States at his word when he speaks to the prime minister of The Bahamas along with other foreign leaders of the Caribbean region.”

Henfield said Bahamians need to be “cognizant of the fact” that Americans will report any issues they encounter in The Bahamas.

The advisory notes the occurrence of violent crime, such as burglaries, armed robberies, and sexual assaults during the day and in tourist areas.

“Although the Family Islands are not crime-free, the vast majority of crime occurs on New Providence and Grand Bahama islands,” the advisory said.

“U.S. government personnel are not permitted to visit the area known by many visitors as the Sand Trap area in Nassau due to crime. Activities involving commercial recreational watercraft, including water tours, are not consistently regulated. Watercraft are often not maintained, and many companies do not have safety certifications to operate in The Bahamas.

“Jet-ski operators have been known to commit sexual assaults against tourists. As a result, U.S. government personnel are not permitted to use jet-ski rentals on New Providence and Paradise [Island].”

Jasper Ward

Staff Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues.
Education: Goldsmith, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice
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