Category Archives: Freedom Of The Press

Tennyson Joseph: DeLisle Worrell’s folly

delisle worrell Barbados

Tin-pot dictator, Insecure, drunk on power…

“To issue a ban and to accuse the Nation of “lack of professional integrity” is burning a house to kill an ant. Banning a media house for a misleading headline is the kind of action associated with backward tin-pot dictators, rather than very intelligent, highly placed civil servants.

In a context of authoritarian political leadership, our leading public servants must lift the political culture above the paranoid vindictiveness we associate with insecure politicians, drunk on power…”

Good reading at the Trinidad Express – Tennyson Joseph: DeLisle Worrell’s folly

5 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Government, Disaster, Economy, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press

Harlequin victim thanks BFP – “My prayers are with you…”

Charles Ponzi never worked for Harlequin... but he could have!

Charles Ponzi never worked for Harlequin… but he could have!

Dear BFP

My anonymous ID is one of those referred to in the Harlequin subpoena, but I always used an anonymous proxy.

Nonetheless, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t fighting off an overwhelming fear of the consequences of them discovering my identity. Not because of the defamation threat; I see no issues with me proving what I said was true. I just could not stand by and watch the shameful lies, deception, bullying and propaganda being spouted from Ames and his conspirators. They misuse the courts to shut down any public criticism because they cannot continue to defraud people when information is flowing freely.

Too many peoples’ lives have been damaged in the Caribbean and UK. Many lives have been irreconcilably ruined. And the UK authorities just stand by, knowing what is happening, and let it continue to happen.

Barbados Free Press on WordPress has been the only major website which has continuously stood up to threat of litigation and enabled the reporting of the true Harlequin story to appear on internet search results despite Harlequin’s scatter gun litigation attack on the rest of the internet.

BFP and WordPress must have saved hundreds and maybe thousands of people from being ripped off and has given those who want to keep the real facts out there and alive a mainstream social media channel to communicate through.

Many thanks; my prayers are with you, me, and all the other contributors who had good reason to comment anonymously under the fear and threat created by Harlequin.

signed, A Harlequin victim and grateful BFP reader!

BFP Editor Robert replies…

Thanks for your prayers, friend.

And thanks to Matt Mullenweg and the WordPress gang for defending freedom of the press, freedom of speech and giving freedom a home.

Robert

491 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Freedom Of The Press, Offshore Investments

Dave Ames and Harlequin Property file legal papers against Barbados Free Press readers

matt-mullenweg-wordpressed

Hi folks,

A few weeks ago we informed our readers that Harlequin had served our webhost WordPress – Automattic Inc with a court subpoena concerning reader comments on Barbados Free Press. Ames and Harlequin want to discover the identities of BFP readers who left anonymous comments on stories about them.

This will be difficult even if WordPress turns over the ip numbers to Harlequin because further steps are required with internet suppliers in other countries. Lots of folks use proxies and protection like ‘Anonymouse.org‘ for surfing too. Nope, we’re not worried at all and we run this here little blog. Have for nine years and the DLP and BLP haven’t found us yet!

WordPress didn’t send copies of the legal papers to us, so we presume they are fighting it out in court with Harlequin and David Ames. WordPress inventor Matt Mullenweg has a reputation as a hell of a scrapper when it comes to defending free speech and he’ll spend millions rather than give into extortion. (Matt is the handsome young chap above, just turned 30. And ladies, not only is he single – his business costs about $400,000 a month to run, but takes in gross revenues of $45 million a year. You do the math. The latest Business Insider issue says Matt is probably worth a billion yankee dollars and he has homes in New York, California and Texas. He was in Barbados a few months ago – I’ll try and find the photos I saw on the web.) 

Today we received more legal papers – unofficially and anonymously – from someone. This batch lists exactly what comments and BFP readers that Ames and Harlequin is after.

We’re not worried because we know that the WordPress business model would collapse overnight if Matt and the boys didn’t defend free speech.

Besides – we believe in Matt and WP crew. They will fight this attack all the way on a purely ideological basis – nevermind anything else.

Meanwhile here are the two batches of documents so far…

Latest – 04447212-Page0-41(1)

Previous – 2014_04_21_19_26_39

109 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Freedom Of The Press, Human Rights

Central Banking Review: “Newspaper spat puts serious dent in credibility of Central Bank of Barbados”

central bank Barbados dispute

When the governor of the Central Bank of Barbados had his little hissy-fit against The Nation, do you think that he envisioned the worldwide condemnation his actions attracted?

Here’s the link for CentralBanking.com’s story, but you’ll need to sign up for a free trial to read the whole thing. We didn’t sign up but your choice might be different.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados News & Media, Business & Banking, Freedom Of The Press

Barbados Central Bank press release deceptive – What does ‘Weasel Words’ Worrell fear? What is the bank hiding?

That's Governor Worrell on the right... er, left!

That’s Governor Worrell on the right… er, left!

The Central Bank of Barbados just issued a new press release in an attempt to backpedal from Governor Worrell’s message last week that journalists from The Nation Newspaper are banned from future press conferences – but if anything the new weasel words press release makes things worse. As our friend Ian Bourne points out, the new press release does nothing to retract Worrell’s statement that Nation journalists are not welcome at bank media events.

Nope, that COWARDLY WEASEL-WORDED THUG Worrell still doesn’t want to face questions from Nation journalists.

Mr. Bourne goes much further too…

“The threats against Barbadian Journalism have only just started; it will get more strenuous as the DLP try to hold on for a third term and all of their beneficiaries seek to rally defences against real or imagined threats.”

Journalist Ian Bourne of The Bajan Reporter

Central Bank Sucks, Blows and Backpedals without a truthful admission and apology

No doubt the Central Bank’s new press release is in response to Bajans’ general disgust with Worrell’s and the bank’s thuggish attempt to muzzle a free press.

Here’s what Worrell originally said…

“Consequent upon the lack of professional integrity manifest in the Nation’s Front Page headline of Thursday, May 8, you should be aware that Nation/Sun staff will not be invited to any future Press conference or media event hosted by myself as Governor of the Central Bank,”

Central Bank Thug in Chief Dr. DeLisle Worrell in letter to all bank employees and The Nation Newspaper

Well, that sounds like a ban to us here at BFP. How about you dear readers?

Now Worrell is saying…   Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Economy, Freedom Of The Press

Head thug of Central Bank of Barbados bans Nation journalists from press conferences

delisle worrell Barbados

Dr. Worrell must consider himself a very important and powerful person

by Passin thru

This is so typical of the Bajan elites’ contempt for freedom of the press and the right of citizens to hold government officials and institutions accountable.

Central Bank Governor, Dr. DeLisle Worrell, took issue with a story about the central bank as published in The Nation. So does he ask the paper for space to present his thoughts to the citizens? Does he demand an apology, retraction or correction? Does he write an article to be published in the media or on the bank’s website?

Nope… he bans Nation journalists from all bank events. Worrell wants to control what the press says about him and this is his stupid, thuggish reaction to an article he disagreed with.

Maybe I’m missing something here, but banning journalists doesn’t seem to be the smartest option.

Then again, as former Prime Minister Owen Arthur has often commented in so many words: DeLiesle Worrell never was the sharpest pencil in the box.

Nation News: Worrell bans Nation

21 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Economy, Freedom Of The Press

Anna Druzhinina murder: Persaud appealing sentence, Barbados Court stonewalls journalist

BFP:

Zero Transparency or Accountability from Barbados courts…

One is not permitted to take notes or record in courts in Barbados, even public criminal proceedings. The press is gagged until after the trial is over. Then one cannot get any transcripts of the proceedings, motions, and findings.

Over a year later and I am still waiting on the High Court’s registrar’s office to provide me with DPP Leacock’s recommendations for sentencing of the two murderers of Anna Druzhinina, one in 2010 and one in 2012. They got manslaughter for hanging her.

So what is the definition of transparency?

Amy L. Beam, journalist and BFP contributor

Below article originally published on February 13, 2013…

Originally posted on Barbados Free Press:

Anna Druzhinina Murder

Censorship and a Travesty of Justice

By Amy L. Beam, Ed.D

As of today, I have waited over one month for the chief registrar in the court’s registrar’s office to provide me with the written statements of DPP Leacock in the sentencing recommendations for McCollin (2010) and Persaud (2012). In common parlance, this is known as stone-walling. Silence does not mean I’m finished with this issue.

Also, I was told at the court house that Persaud is appealing his sentencing.

So Barbados is a country with complete judicial secrecy. In the courtroom I was not allowed to have paper, pen, or recording devices. Now I have been refused ALL documents relating to both of the convicted men.

“The case is over, the verdicts and sentencing have been rendered, yet the documents are being kept secret. Does Barbados seal documents after a murder or manslaughter trial? Is the international community taking…

View original 67 more words

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Filed under Barbados, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press

Ian Bourne: Barbados Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite a “stinking coward”, “bullies local media, but cannot bear scrutiny”

Ian Bourne (L), Adriel Brathwaite

Ian Bourne (L), Adriel Brathwaite

The ongoing battle between the Attorney General and a tenacious Bajan journalist just entered a new level. The Bajan Reporter’s Ian Bourne published a news story calling Adriel Brathwaite a “stinking coward” and alleging that the Attorney General “bullies local media, but cannot bear scrutiny…”

And that’s just a start.

The lapdog local press will not ask the questions that Ian Bourne regularly puts to the political elites, and Bourne has again shown those same elites that they ignore his questions at their peril.

Freedom of the press belongs to those who have one… and by the looks of this, Ian Bourne certainly has his own press! Wuhloss!

10 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Freedom Of The Press, Politics

LIAT Statement On Barbados Free Press Blog Post

DHC-8-300 Dash 8 LIAT V2-LGI

LIAT Statement On Barbados Free Press Blog Post

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, Jan 21 2014 – LIAT (1974) Ltd. has taken note of the post, dated 17th January 2014, in the Barbados Free Press online blog of an Article entitled “Report of Conflict of Interest: Saint Vincent PM Ralph Gonsalves said to own 2 LIAT aircraft”.

The anonymous author concludes that “The conflict of interest arises because SVG is one of the major shareholders in LIAT. Government funds are involved and Prime Minister Gonsalves is heavily involved in decision making about the airline”.

The two aircraft mentioned in the article are owned by a publicly listed US based Leasing Company trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). LIAT has always had arms length negotiations with this Lessor and its relationship with this Lessor is firmly set on a commercial basis. LIAT has no Aircraft Leases with Prime Minister Gonsalves or any shareholder of the Company and categorically denies the suggestion that the Prime Minister has anything to do with the leasing of aircraft to LIAT. LIAT views conflict of interest very seriously and abides by principles of good corporate governance.   Continue reading

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press, Politics

Barbados Government censorship of news media a diversion for 3,000 workers fired at Christmas!

Barbados Opposition walks out

(click above image for large view!)

by West Side Davie and friends…

It seems to me that both the “Child Porn” (the teens’ faces were blurred, and the sex act is not well-defined) against the Nation and this latest salvo per Speaker striking a comment and paper carrying it is merely Government trying to build a case so as to muzzle The Nation. It is only a matter of time before they come after other news media as well. Why attack 6 weeks after the event? Prime Minster Stuart knew the 3,000 workers sent home was afoot an he and his DLP Government are scared as IMF is here for “Management”! This is nothing but a diversion. This is nothing except something to occupy the public’s attention while 3,000 families are gutted at Christmas.

I believe there might be a minor infraction in the Nation’s 10th paragraph that reported on a matter struck from parliament’s record – but it is minor. The fact that the DLP Government took six weeks to refer to the police indicates the smallness of the offence and a witch-hunting approach with backroom zealots poring over every report looking for media (Nation) slip-ups.

Dearest BFP: please reprint the Nation article, and ask everyone on the internet to reprint it. We must not let freedom of the press be gutted by a bunch of corrupt bastards.

Regards from the platinum coast,

West Side Davie

9 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Freedom Of The Press, Politics

International Press Institute calls for Barbados to allow newspapers to publish child pornography

International_Press_Institute

Well… that’s exactly what  IPI executive director Alison Bethel McKenzie is calling for.

Same with the Association of Caribbean Mediaworkers.

For background, see BFP’s Barbados Nation News publishes child porn in quest for sales

7 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Culture & Race Issues, Freedom Of The Press

When a beautiful woman infuriated the Bajan clergy

Carolle Bourne Barbados

Tongue-in-cheek I say “Sorry old friend…”

I’ve just discovered a photo of your mum (now passed on) in her younger days.

As politely as I can, let’s just say; I can see why your father fell in love, and I can see why you are here!

:-)

Carolle upset all those fine upstanding men of the cloth…

I can see why!

Cliverton

 

1 Comment

Filed under Barbados, Freedom Of The Press, History

Barbados Nation News publishes child porn in quest for sales

barbados child porn arrests nation

“I hope the professional journalists of the Nation each do a couple of months in jail minimum.”

Police arrest publisher, editor and senior journalist – free on bail

Child porn is child porn, and the photo published on October 26, 2013 on the back page of the Saturday Sun of two children having sex in a classroom is child porn by any definition. The Nation staff knew that. Anybody would know that – but there was money to be made.

“gaffe /gaf/ an unintentional act or remark causing embarrassment to its originator; a blunder. “in my first few months at work I made some real gaffes” Synonyms: blunder, mistake, error, slip”

The Gleaner (Jamaica) called it ‘Barbadian Press Blunder‘, while Barbados Underground used the word ‘gaffe’ to describe the publishing of the child porn photo.

Make no mistake: what the Nation did was no ‘blunder’ or ‘gaffe’ – it was intentional. Publisher Vivian-Anne Gittens, Editor-in-Chief Roy Morris and journalist Sanka Price decided to sell lots of copies of the Saturday edition and they knew exactly how to do that. They made a decision. These ‘professional journalists’ went for the cash and now cloak themselves in the flag of freedom of the press.

The Gleaner editorial expressed ‘surprise’ that Bajan prosecutors would expend the energy to lay charges, saying “This newspaper endorses such (child pornography) laws. We, however, have serious reservation about the application of the law in relation to The Nation newspaper and its staff.”

Why the reservation? Would the Gleaner have had reservations is this blog had been charged after publishing the same photo or the video that was viral? When pigs fly! Continue reading

20 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Freedom Of The Press

Barbados tourism stalwart Bob Verdun convicted, barely avoids jail. Oh My!!!

Bob Verdun Barbados Tourism

A Canadian Court has sentenced former newspaper editor and Barbados tourism promoter Bob Verdun to 90 days of house arrest and other penalties for violating a court injunction prohibiting his commenting about Robert Astley, the former Clarica Insurance executive.

Verdun was a fixture in Barbados for a few years as he tried to push the aborted Four Seasons project and other developments. He became a bit of a hot topic in Barbados when he gave a speech that some folks took as racist. Up in Canada Verdun got hit with a $650,000 judgment for defamation. Wuhloss!

What does this mean for Barbados and Mr. Verdun? Does it matter? Mr. Verdun was all about resuscitating the failed Four Seasons Hotel project and that is not going to happen.

While we at BFP are all for free speech and get into furballs with the government ourselves, the Canadian court says that Verdun crossed the line.

Did Verdun really cross the line or are there other factors at play? Did the court hear all the evidence or was some proper and true evidence left out because it wasn’t printed on the right colour of paper? We at BFP are not so quick to condemn Mr. Verdun for speaking out. Then again, it’s not us doing 90 days of house arrest. According to Wikipedia, Verdun has been a strong supporter for shareholder rights and a positive influence upon Canadian law.

Will Verdun return to Barbados? Does he have the money to make the trip? Does anyone care now that the Four Seasons is dead, dead, dead and dead again?

Here are some past BFP stories about Mr. Verdun…  Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Freedom Of The Press

Send us documents, articles: whatever you like! You can trust Barbados Free Press.

barbados-epa-secret

Some folks want to know the answers to these questions…

How can I post a news article on Barbados Free Press?

Easy! Just email the article to us here: barbadosfreepress@yahoo.com

OR… you can use our Contact Us form.

How can I get a letter or document to BFP?

We don’t reveal our mailing address because we’re an anonymous blog. You’ll have to scan or photograph the document and then email it to us.

If the document is too large to email, try using one of the free document posting services where you can upload the document and then send us the secret link – all anonymously.

Try: anonfiles.com  Wikipedia has an updated list of anonymous file sharing sites

Will Barbados Free Press keep my identity secret?

Of course we will keep your identity secret. You don’t even have to tell us who you are. We publish anonymously-written articles all the time.

We’ve kept writers’ identities secret at their request since we started in 2006. That’s a long time and nobody has a better track record – not even WikiLeaks!

Does Barbados Free Press keep records of emails and files sent to you?

No we don’t. Once we publish something, read your email or otherwise finish with what you send us, we delete everything securely. Only what is posted on BFP’s WordPress blog remains.

1 Comment

Filed under Barbados, Blogging, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press

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

barbados-lawsuit-question.jpg

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

BBC bribery allegations a distraction in the Harlequin scandal

BBC Harlequin

Let’s assume that the BBC reporter did try to bribe a Harlequin employee… SO WHAT?

A BBC Panorama staffer has been sacked after Harlequin alleged that the BBC employee approached a Harlequin employee with bribes in return for information. BBC is reporting the staffer to the police so it looks like there might be something to the allegations… or maybe not. Ya never know the truth of these things really until they are over and even then you wonder.

But let’s say that the BBC staffer did exactly what is alleged… offered a job to Harlequin’s security chief in exchange for information. Maybe that is against the law, maybe not… but it doesn’t have a damn thing to do with what happened in the last six years with Harlequin.

Trust me on this folks… Harlequin will make the big noise about this, and make the most of it…

… but it doesn’t change a damned thing about Harlequin taking money and promising to build thousands of homes and building practically nothing.

Don’t be too concerned about this BBC happening. Keep your eye focused on the main event: Where is the money, where are the vacation homes?

BBC Panorama producer resigns after developer’s ‘bribery’ allegation

Harlequin says it will to go to the police over claim attempt was made to bribe security consultant to disclose information.

The producer at the centre of Panorama bribery allegations has left the BBC as it emerged that Harlequin, the luxury Caribbean property developer that lodged the complaint with the corporation, is to take its grievance to the police. Continue reading

192 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Freedom Of The Press, Offshore Investments

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves: How many travel writers will you jail?

Kenton Chance Wikileak

St. Vincent’s racist Prime Minister is on the record very upset that two BBC journalists ‘snuck’ into the country by telling Immigration authorities they were visiting as tourists when they were really working on a story about Harlequin and Dave Ames. Had the BBC journalists been filming a feel-good travel or investment article, Gonsalves wouldn’t have had a problem with them.

Too bad the BBC story was about how Harlequin collected hundreds of millions of pounds from British pensioners but only built a handful of promised holiday homes before running out of money.

Gonsalves threatened that Panorama tele-journalists Paul Kenyon and Mathew Hill committed crimes punishable by imprisonment.

No word on what PM Gonsalves thinks about Harlequin’s Ponzi scheme, but he is sure upset at the reporters for mentioning it!

How dare dem bloody reporters come snooping around and then expose the story of how SVG  and its politicians let a twice-bankrupt double glazing salesman get away with using the country to promote a pyramid scheme!

One problem though: does Prime Minister Gonsalves intend to apply the same rules to every travel journalist who comes to SVG as a tourist and then writes nice things about the island? Or is Gonsalves only concerned about the law when investigative journalists expose the truth?

If Prime Minister Gonsalves wants to put some journalists in jail he should start with every travel and finance writer who took a free trip from Harlequin and declared they were on holiday when they arrived in SVG. They are the ones who printed the flowery stories that set the trap for thousands of trusting Britons to lose their pensions. If any journalists deserve jail, it is that bunch.

Of course, it’s a good thing that the BBC journalists are of the white race because Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves is probably going soft on them. You see, Ralph Gonsalves is a racist who dislikes mulattos and brown people – and said so.

Further Reading

I-Witness News Citing possible jail time, BBC reporters staying away from SVG

Cartoon: SVG journalist Kenton X. Chance with PM Gonsalves. See BFP’s More WikiLeaks hit the fan!

27 Comments

Filed under Culture & Race Issues, Freedom Of The Press, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption, Race