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Statement on the Bahamian foreign minister falsely attacking me

Last night, I was a guest on Fox News Radio with Tom Shillue and Andy Levy. Over the course of this hourlong conversation, the subject of Russia and China’s geopolitical movements was raised. During this roughly two minute section of my appearance, I noted the themes of my April 6 Daily Beast column. I highlighted China’s geopolitical expansion, particularly through state-owned companies, in the Caribbean and Central America with the Bahamas as the prime example.

Unbeknownst to me, overnight, this appearance went viral in the Bahamas.

This morning, Fred Mitchell, the Bahamian minister of foreign affairs, held a press conference to address my comments.

Accordingly, I am compelled to respond with the below:

Fred Mitchell’s desperate and confusing press conference earlier was a clear demonstration that not only is the Bahamas plagued with less than scrupulous government ministers, but incompetent ones as well.

Mitchell’s statement is false. I am not, nor have I ever been an employee of Fox News. Nor am I trying to influence tomorrow’s election. I was stating established facts that he has clearly been unable to rebut.

My own comments about the Bahamas are rooted in facts. Officials in the U.S. State Department under both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama both expressed their concern about China’s growing control in the Caribbean, which included the Bahamas. Experts and major media outlets including the New York Times, Bloomberg, Forbes and others have also sounded the alarm about Chinese control of the Bahamas. Does Mitchell consider them “fake news” too?

Facts are facts, even if they don’t have a pro-Christie bias.

As The Nassau Guardian reported this morning, unemployment in the Bahamas is a staggering 16.2 percent nationwide and 19.5 percent in Grand Bahama. Yet, Fred Mitchell and Prime Minister Christie are not focused on solving that. Instead, they have made me and my factual comments the most important thing for them to tackle. Not unemployment, crime, addressing potential corruption within the cabinet or improving the Bahamian economy.

Minister Fitzgerald has been caught (in writing!) trying to solicit bribes and engage in self dealing with foreign companies seeking to do business in the Bahamas. He was not removed from his cabinet post, which is a sign from Prime Minister Christie that he condones Fitzgerald’s actions. At the same time, Maynard Gibson seems to be looking the other way on this, even though it seems like a matter worthy investigation and prosecution.

This a failure of leadership.

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