Protest outside Miami Consulate based on ‘false premise’, ministry says 

A group protested outside The Bahamas Consulate in Miami yesterday, prompting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to release a statement, claiming that the protest was based on a “false premise”.

The protest was led by Coalition of Independents Leader Lincoln Bain.

While taking questions from a reporter during the protest, Bain said the group was protesting “inhumane” treatment by the Bahamian government. He went on to describe his arrest for unlawful assembly during the CARICOM Heads of Government Meeting in February, claiming that it was unlawful.

“Instead of allowing our people to peacefully protest, like we are doing right here right now, they decided to silence the Bahamian people,” Bain said.

At the protest, which was streamed live on Facebook, Bain and approximately 40 protestors stood with duct tape over their mouths.

While speaking to the reporter, Bain said the reason his group protests in The Bahamas is because the country is under an “invasion”.

“We have no problem with immigration, because Bahamians immigrate,” Bain said. “But we have a problem with illegal immigration.”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the consulate remained open, despite the protest.

“The Bahamas Consulate in Miami is open for business, and all staff at the embassy are safe and accounted for,” the statement said.

“There are people who claim to be Bahamian activists who are demonstrating in the precincts of The Bahamas Consulate in Miami today.

“They are protesting against what they say is the denial of their right to demonstrate during the CARICOM Heads of Government meeting in The Bahamas in mid February.

“Every Bahamian citizen has the right to demonstrate in The Bahamas. They are, therefore, operating on a false premise if that is their cause.

“They are misrepresenting Bahamian law. What we know is that there are several figures who were arrested within the precincts of the conference because they had breached the security cordon of the meeting.

“The facts are that under an assumed name an individual connected to the Miami demonstrators, known to the police to be a security threat, checked into the hotel where the conference was about to take place and where several heads of government were staying, including the Haitian prime minister.”

Bain and his group ended their protest after approximately two hours.

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