Brent “Silent” Symonette Finally Finds His Voice

Posted: August 30, 2013 in General Delivery

brent-symonetteHas Brent “Silent” Symonette, a character who as a minister in the former FNM government was silent for five years, suddenly and conveniently found his voice?

As the Minister with responsibility for the detention center, he was silent when the detention center went up in flames in 2008 and silent when allegations of poor conditions at the detention center were made in 2009. Further, he and his cabinet colleagues conspired together to “silence” the findings of the abuse investigation and refused to rebuild the dormitory. Why then should anybody now listen to him on any issue?

I do not recall Mr. Symonette as being particularly interested in the reputation of the Bahamas, protecting its image or standing up for this country and its people.

I recall him as a character who used his position and influence as a cabinet Minister to enrich himself, his family and friends through both the Bahamas Hot Mix and the container port relocation. He was roundly criticized for his apparent conflict of interest on both accounts.

Additionally, I know of no foreign policy initiative he advanced or philosophy he crafted to amplify our standing in the world while he served as Foreign Affairs Minister with additional responsibilities for immigration.

His idea of diplomatic relations was to say that since he and the US Embassy charge were neighbours, The Bahamas somehow enjoyed better diplomatic relations with the United States. In my view he never demonstrated an understanding of diplomacy or international relations.

Under his watch the policy of the FNM government was to release detained Haitian nationals from the detention center in the wake of the earthquake in Haiti with no apparent mechanism in place to account for or manage their movements.

His department, the department of immigration, was accused of the indiscriminate granting of huge amounts of citizenships in the run up to the 2012 general elections to bolster the re-election chances of his party at the polls.

These events collectively define Mr. Symonette’s brand as a politician – malfeasance, self-serving and indifference are a few of the adjectives that come to mind.

So Brent Symonette can return to the back stage of political irrelevance, as he never made a meaningful impression nor did he seem to care when the Bahamian people placed him on the world stage to represent their interests.

Mr. Symonette and the FNM can remain in lock step with the Miami protestors in spewing hatred and contempt for Minister Mitchell and defaming The Bahamas all they want, but it is clear that the Minister is enforcing our laws and standing up for The Bahamas

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