Monthly Archives: April 2013

Raul Garcia vs. Bajan national Earl Victor

handcuffed-barbados-hacker-2.jpg

Fabricated murder charge dropped, but Earl Victor still held for five years

by Nora

It was the Barbados Free Press (BFP) who blew the lid on the Director of Public Prosecution Charles Leacock corruption racket. It was the BFP who exposed the Earl Victor story last year, and I thank you for your objective reporting. (BFP editor’s note: We covered Victor’s earlier arrest crossing the US Canadian border too!)

If Raul Garcia must be made whole, what about Bajan national Earl Victor who Charles Leacock has been holding in custody for almost five years without a trial and without due process of law?

“The fabricated murder charge has been dropped against Earl Victor, but Leacock and Magistrate Randall Worrell would not release the man on bail unless his poor mother comes up with $75,000 cash and land and property.”

One would think after serving 5 years at Dodds Prison without trial, with the only current charge of procession of stolen property against Mr. Victor would be home with his family. The penalty for handling stolen property in Barbados should not be an indefinite sentence. Mr. Victor’s mother is poor and and can’t afford this kind of money Leacock and Magistrate Worrell are demanding for Earl’s release from custody.

Nora

20 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Human Rights

Barbadians should shake and fold!

The popular adoption of small ideas can lead to big changes. Here’s one from the TED Talks.

2 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Environment

How government makes small, self-sufficient businesses support corporate leeches

Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner - now selling!

Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner – now selling!

Perhaps more than many, I can totally empathise with those individuals who have recently seen their business either fail or brought dangerously close to insolvency. In 47 years, it has happened to me twice and in both cases they were largely external forces which caused near personal financial catastrophe.

Of course, it is easy to attribute the blame to others, but in my case I can unequivocally state that both near failures, which occurred years apart, were largely caused by strike action in the United Kingdom involving the National Union of Seaman.

I personally witnessed bus loads of what can only be described as pickaxe wielding thugs, destroying property and intimidating ordinary people simply wanting to go about everyday work and operating their businesses. More than a decade later it was the same union blockading the English channel ports, which prevented literally thousands of our booked holidaymakers taking their hard earned trips.

Unless you have been a small entrepreneur and fully understand the work, sacrifice and dedication it takes to grow and nurture a business from nothing, it might be difficult to comprehend the feeling of sheer devastation you experience when all those efforts unfold and collapse in front of you.

Starting a business in Barbados

When we moved to Barbados some twenty five years ago and put our life savings into purchasing a derelict hotel, we were starting all over again.  Not surprising, the local banks we approached were not overly helpful, regularly quoting those seemingly worldly phrases like that we were ‘undercapitalised’ or ‘over trading’.  Little did we know then that these ‘pearls of wisdom’ would come back and haunt the many supposedly ‘responsible’ financial institutions, globally just years later. Continue reading

23 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy

Story changes… Nation News self-censoring? Government running the Nation News?

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by Not Taken

In BFP’s post “Canadian tourists robbed at gunpoint in room. Sex assault upon wife as husband held at gunpoint.” it was said “The Nation News has withdrawn the original story from its website – probably to try to limit the public relations damage for the Barbados Tourism Authority……..”

On Saturday April 20 I read an article  “New tourism boost”  at http://www.nationnews.com.

On Sunday April 21 I read an article  “$11m plan to boost tourism”  at http://www.nationnews.com.

Both articles covered the Minister of Tourism’s unveiling of the “Barbados Island Inclusive” programme to members of the media.

When I first read the article on Saturday, the Minister was quoted as saying something to the effect that “there really is nothing to be gained by counting the numbers of visitors disembarking from airplanes and cruise ship gangplanks in Barbados; but rather the important thing is how much money they spend when they are here.”

When I read the Sunday article, I was surprised that the comments about the numbers of visitors was excluded.  Of course it is not surprising that he does not want to talk about 9% declines.

So I revisited the Saturday article; and to my greater surprise those comments were no longer in the Saturday article.

Is it possible that the Minister or someone else in Government was able to have the article re-written to exclude those very strange comments that the numbers of visitors do not matter?  Is it possible that  knowing the MOF was to have his rather gloomy economic update/press conference yesterday, the PM decided that it would be inappropriate for MOT to be upbeat one week, when the MOF would be saying he is “disappointed” with the the state of the economy the next week.

Given that neither you nor our friend Adrian has been all over those comments, I am guessing they were deleted before either of you saw them.

Both articles, the Saturday April 20 one being apparently re-written from the one I originally saw are copied below.  Each had a different photo.  In the Saturday photo The Minister and his colleagues all appear to be searching for an answer somewhere in their papers.

The Sunday article also excludes the following, which was in the Saturday issue.

“For example selected vendors at Oistins will be able to participate,” he said.

Sealy said 15 eating places have signed on for the programme adding the list as ‘not exhaustive’.

It is all very confusing

Not Taken

New tourism boost

SAT, APRIL 20, 2013 – 5:51 PM
Barbados will invest  $11 million on a new tourism product, ‘Barbados Island Inclusive’. Continue reading

25 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Freedom Of The Press

Lawyer Mark Goodridge named Queen’s Counsel – How many previously “Most Wanted by Police” are awarded QC?

QC mugshot?

QC mugshot?

Lawyer Mark Goodridge named Queen’s Counsel

“The honour which you have garnered has come at the price of your continued respect of the court system in which you work and of which you have been officers since the date of your admission to practise law,” Sir Marston told them.

“Those junior to you in years called, and in years born, will look to you for guidance and leadership. They must continue to receive it and to see it demonstrated, not only in your words, but in your actions, particularly in your respect for Her Majesty’s judges and her courts,” he said.

And with the words: “May I invite you to take your seat at the Inner Bar?”Sir Marston welcomed Deputy Solicitor General Donna Brathwaite, Speaker of Parliament Michael Carrington, Brian Clarke, Stephen Farmer, Hal Gollop, Mark Goodridge, Deputy Clerk of Parliament Nigel Jones, Milton Pierce and Stephen Walcott as new QCs.

Full story at The Nation Show Respect to Judges

I can’t remember what the end story was about Mark Goodridge…

There was some controversy about him back in 2006. Mark Goodridge and his son were charged with a racial attack on a young black man on his property, but then it all faded away without any public announcement that I saw. What was the ultimate disposition of all the happenings? Does anyone remember… because I can’t find it on the internet.

Barbados Free Press story published October 16, 2006 – Barbados Lawyer Wanted For Beating Of Teen – Thoughts Of Racial Tension, White Privilege & Black Attitudes

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Culture & Race Issues, Race

Raul Garcia free after being jailed illegally for three years

Raul garcia free Barbados

After serving a 20 year jail sentence for drug trafficking, and then being held illegally for almost three years by a Barbados Government that refused to obey a Supreme Court ruling, Raul Garcia walked free yesterday.

Barbados Free Press published over 20 articles about Garcia in the past year alone. The U.S. State Department issued a Human Rights Report criticising Barbados for continuing to illegally hold Garcia. The Barbados Bar Association took up his cause.

And still the government continued to hold Garcia against the order of the Supreme Court.

We celebrate today with Raul Garcia, and you know that the Bajan news media will focus on the joy of his release until public interest fades. There will be a few stories later on to say how Garcia is making out… but Bajans should continue to think about how our government ignored the Rule of Law. That is the big story here because it happens so frequently on this little rock that those in power develop an attitude that they are above the law. That’s the real story of Raul Garcia.

Garcia a free man
by Emmanuel Joseph

High Court judge approves Garcia’s release to rural family

Tonight, for the first time in almost a quarter of a century, Raul Garcia will sleep in a bed that is not owned by the state.

His 20 years of jail time for drug trafficking and more than three years of immigration detention, pending his deportation, came to an end just after 3 p.m. today, when the Cuban national, with hands raised, walked out of the Supreme Court, unescorted for the first time in seven months of hearings.

Garcia emerged from the Number 9 High Court Chambers with a broad smile, never before seen since proceedings began in front of Justice Margaret Reifer, hugging members of the Prison Ministries who had been supporting him in his quest to be freed from detention.

After spending “a few minutes” immediately outside the doors of the courtroom with his team of lawyers, the family with whom he will live and Prison Ministry officials, an emotional and visibly overwhelmed Garcia, spoke briefly with reporters on the steps of the judicial complex.

Struggling to fight back the tears, the Cuba-born man’s voice was heard in public for the first time since his “incarceration” for the past 23 years…

Thanks to Barbados Today for the photo. You can read Barbados Today’s full story here.

28 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Human Rights

Harlequin Investor Group Update

Harlequin Resort

Harlequin Update – 25th April 2013

The Harlequin Investor Group (HIG) have met following the Harlequin presentations over the last few days.

The presentations brought forward two key issues.

1.      The re-financing of the Harlequin companies and the “Rescue Plan” and ;

2.      The quality of the initial advice surrounding the investments in Harlequin.

Re-Financing

The key to any financing is that those providing the monies are confident in both the company and the investors. We have little evidence as to the progress being made with regard to the finance.  Continue reading

51 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues