Deportation is a tool, either anonymously administered through procedure or strategically targeted through vigilance. In the end, it is an action which can embrace any number of antecedents. In 1969, a deportation was authorised in Nassau which had unsettling repercussions later on, not the least of which, would be a international conspiracy to assassinate the first black Premier of the Bahamas.
By 1969, two years into the first administration, of the first black leader of the Bahamas government, Premier Lynden Pindling, was not a man to be trifled with. The expanding powers of a Premiership were now at his disposal. One power which had been transferred to Pindling, for the first time in the history of the Bahamas, was the authority for national security. This authority, had previously been, the sole remit of every British appointed Governor since Woodes Rogers.
Pindling and the PLP government now held the power to determine who or what was deemed a threat to the national security, peace and tranquillity of the Bahamas.
Premier Lynden Oscar Pindling
The year 1969 was also a proving ground for Pindling’s ability to lead with a iron hand type authority needed to alter the direction of long history. With so much to be done to affect material change in the Bahamas, no two-bit hustlers or chancers were going to disrupt the PLP train, which had already left the station in 1967. If anything, those trying to stand in Pindling’s way, were about to get run over and run out of town.
(Fort Lauderdale News, Sunday, 10 August 1969)
WHO WAS MICHAEL MCLANEY? WHY WAS HE DEPORTED FROM THE BAHAMAS AND WHY DID HE REPORTEDLY TRY TO HAVE PINDLING KILLED?
A bitterly contentious general election was scheduled for January 10, 1967. It had the entire Bahamas divided along racial and economic lines. Black versus white, the haves versus have nots, Bahamian generational interests versus foreign financial interests. The electorate had to make a decision as to whom they would vote for; while, very important others, had to figure out which of the two primary political parties to support financially.
Foreign investors, foreign governments and a plethora of foreign interests, from business owners to second home owners to work permit holders, to intelligence agencies were having their say, albeit covertly, through financial support of the two main political parties of 1967 – the ruling UBP (United Bahamian Party) and Opposition Party, the PLP (Progressive Liberal Party).
A casino operator named Michael McLaney would later claim that sometime in 1966, he loaned Lynden Pindling and the PLP Party some $60,000 to help finance their campaign. McLaney would also claim he provided the use of a helicopter and vehicles for the 1967 political campaign. In return, if the PLP had won, McLaney had expected his application for a casino licence to be granted. McLaney also said that Pindling promised to hire people from England and the United States to act as executive assistants to his ministers to help them run the country.
The license was not granted and the executive assistants from abroad never materialised.
When American Michael McLaney tried to pressure a quid pro quo favour out of the new negro leader of the Bahamas, Premier Lynden Pindling had McLaney’s immigration status re-evaluated. Micheal McLaney was labelled “a dangerous person.”
Then categorised as a dangerous foreign national, probably up to all kinds of mischief, Micheal McLaney was deported as a person likely to cause harm to the Bahamas.
Micheal McLaney, as time would soon tell, was not a happy man when he was frozen out from access to the new Bahamian leader and that his casino license was denied by Pindling. McLaney was even more angry at being deemed persona non grata and deported.
In fact, McLaney was so incensed that in 1973, he would be accused in a United States Senate hearing of hiring a hitman to have Pindling killed, over his failure to be granted a casino licence, in the Bahamas.
1963 – Micheal McLaney was the former owner of Hotel National Gambling Casino in Havana, Cuba before Castro nationalised all businesses in the country in 1959.
(The Morning Call, Monday, 21 January 1963)
09 January 1969 – AUTHORITY FOR SECURITY TRANSFERRED TO PREMIER LYNDEN PINDLING
(Palm Beach Post, Thursday 09 January 1969)
20 January 1969 – Michael McLaney Deported By Pindling As “A Dangerous Person, Likely To Do Nothing But Cause Harm To The Bahamas.”
(The News Journal, Monday, 20 January 1969)
1971 – Micheal McLaney, now deported from the Bahamas, was operating the only casino in Haiti. McLaney once had a casino in Cuba but was closed by Castro. McLaney operated a casino on Cat Cay, Bahamas with his brother. In 1971 indicted in the United States on tax evasion for failure to report in 1963.
(Miami News, Tuesday, 25 May, 1971)
1973 – Michael McLaney Implicated In Plot To Kill Pindling
McLaney later testified that Pindling paid back the entire sum of $60,000 in 1968, one year after the general elections.