After their children have been jailed for several weeks after an alleged scuffle with police in Antigua, parents of the six are speaking out against the island nation and Carnival Cruise Lines.
The six were jailed after allegedly refusing to pay a cab fare, which according to them was doubled at the last minute. Following the incident, the group was driven to a local police station where the scuffle took place. Both sides have different stories at this point.
The Antiguan police say the group was aggressive towards them, while the group says they were beaten by plain-clothes police officers and fought back.
A community activist from Brooklyn and unofficial family spokesperson says that, “We think the court system is a bit of a mockery. It’s being dragged out…They’re hoping the young people surrender and say they’re guilty and pay the fine.” The crimes they’re accused of could carry 2 years in prison and up to a $4000 fine each.
The family has also been critical of Carnival Cruise Lines, who they claim left the tourists high and dry. Carnival disputes that, saying they have “been in frequent contact with these individuals and a variety of assistance has been provided.”
While we commend Carnival for trying to help, it seems a bit misguided to blame the cruise line. Anytime you venture on your own into another country you’re taking a risk. If the cruise line had set up the tour or hosted it – then some culpability would be expected. In this case, the real blame should be placed on the Antiguan government that is allowing this minor dispute take weeks to resolve.
Even though we weren’t there, we highly suspect the cruisers are telling the truth about a dishonest cab driver — something many of us have experience with.
The longer Antigua lets this drag on, the more likely it is to lose millions of lost tourism dollars in the future.
The family is expected to make public comments Wednesday afternoon.
Source: Daily News