Bahamas Issues US Travel Advisory Following Police Shootings
PHOTO: Nassau, Bahamas. (Photo by Brian Major).
In recent years the United States has issued several advisories warning travelers of crime in international destinations. This week the Bahamas Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued an advisory of its own, warning Bahamians traveling to the U.S. to “exercise appropriate caution generally” due to “the recent tensions in some American cities” following the shootings of young black men by police officers.
The advisory came after two black men were shot dead by police in Minnesota and Louisiana, and five officers were killed by a gunman during a Dallas protest. Ninetyone percent of Bahamians described themselves as “African” or “Afro-Bahamian” according to a 2010 census. The advisory warns Bahamian citizens to not get involved in protests and avoid crowds.
“At the commencement of the Independence holiday weekend, many Bahamians will no doubt use the opportunity to travel, in particular to destinations in the United States,” the advisory reads.
“We wish to advise all Bahamians traveling to the U.S. but especially to the affected cities to exercise appropriate caution generally,” it continues. “In particular young males are asked to exercise extreme caution in affected cities in their interactions with the police. Do not be confrontational and cooperate. If there is any issue please allow consular offices for The Bahamas to deal with the issues.”
In early 2014 the U.S. Embassy in Nassau, Bahamas, issued two advisories in three months advising U.S. citizens traveling to the warm-weather destination to “remain on heightened alert to avoid being a victim of crime.” The warnings followed the Bahamas prime minister’s December 2013 statement that a crime upsurge threatened to thwart the country’s tourism growth.
The Bahamas Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not maintain branches in the cities where the shootings occurred but does operate consular offices in New York, Washington, Miami and Atlanta, and honorary consuls in Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago and Houston.
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