By Travis Cartwright-Carroll
Nassau Guardian Staff Reporter
Miami-based Cuban protest group Democracy Movement met with executives from Carnival Cruise Lines last week to discuss the alleged abuse of detainees at a detention centre in The Bahamas, spokesman Ramon Sanchez claimed on Thursday.
Sanchez said the group is trying to meet with Genting Group, Royal Caribbean International and other cruise lines that frequent The Bahamas in an effort to make “entities that deal with The Bahamas aware of the human rights abuses in The Bahamas”.
Sanchez said executives from Carnival did not offer a position on the allegations.
“They were kind enough to listen to our position,” he said. “They haven’t made any kind of commitment one way or the other, but they did meet with us over the abuse at the detention centre. They asked us some questions about it.”
Sanchez said the group hopes that “maybe they (Carnival) can help convey our message to The Bahamas”.
The Guardian contacted Carnival to confirm the meeting, but messages left were not returned up to press time.
“We are not trying to attack The Bahamas’ tourism market,” Sanchez said.
He said the group plans to approach regional entities, including human rights groups, about the alleged abuse. Sanchez said regional politicians will also be contacted.
Democracy Movement has held protests against the alleged abuse of Cuban detainees in The Bahamas after a video aired on a Spanish language TV station in Miami.
The video purported to show Cuban detainees being abused by Bahamian guards. The Bahamas government has said the video was staged.
“Most Bahamian people know, and people in Florida understand that respect for human rights is good for The Bahamas,” Sanchez said. “I think the only people who do not understand that is the prime minister and his foreign affairs minister.”
The group was expected to hold a silent protest outside the Bahamas Consulate office in Miami on Friday. Sanchez said about 40 women will protest outside the office with their mouths symbolically covered.
“If the report doesn’t come out, I imagine we’re not going anywhere,” he said.
Republished with permission of the Nassau Guardian