“We truly regret that gay marriage attacks the sanctity of your fourth marriage.”
Is gay marriage a one-way ticket to HELL ?
Fabricated murder charge dropped, but Earl Victor still held for five years
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.
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.
“I also have difficulty with the assumption that men are the only people those women have to fear.
Information at my disposal suggests that there are more than a few violence-prone, bullying ‘madams’ operating in Barbados.”
by Junior Campbell, All Voices
The first arrests for human trafficking by Barbadian authorities may have done little to reassure the US State Department about the country’s commitment to addressing this stain to its human rights record.
This seems to be the gist of a story appearing in the Nation newspaper today. Under the headline “Ring busted,” the local paper reports, “Police have smashed what they believe is a human trafficking ring here, and for the first time have charged individuals with this crime.
“As a result, a man and a woman will appear in court today jointly charged with human trafficking,” it continues.
And Inspector David Welch, the Royal Barbados Police Force’s (RBPF) public relations officer, is said to have confirmed that “the two were charged following a police raid of a bar in Nelson Street, The City, last Thursday.”
The paper also credits unnamed “reliable sources” for informing it that the man, a 22-year-old and the bar’s 36-year-old proprietress were arrested after police found five Guyanese women, dressed only in bathing suits, working in the bar.
“The five were between 17 and 21 years old” the report continues. It also says that investigations revealed that the women were not in possession of their passports and documentations and that there was evidence that they were part of a regional trafficking operation.
Passports are usually held by sex traffickers and other traders in human degradation and misery to prevent those they exploit from fleeing escaping their clutches. Continue reading
by P. O’Connor to the Barbados Advocate and Barbados Free Press
With reference to the Barbados Advocate article – Straight to the Point: Prime Minister David Cameron should apologise – by Mr. John Blackman in the advocate 30/12/12
I have just read this article whilst visiting the island as a tourist from the UK and I am stunned that a national newspaper from a modern progressive country such as Barbados would employ a journalist with such prejudicial and homophobic opinion never mind put in print the blatant manipulation of a very complex topic such as colonialism. I will explain further but your editorial staff should be ashamed to promote such borderline medieval opinion, Google results alone paint a poor picture of this gentleman’s past rhetoric and his veiled journalistic style.
Mr. Blackman does well to highlight the abhorrent nature of colonialism and the bullying practice, which the west continues to use against its former colonies as well as the Middle East. However he does not seem to recognise that it is as a result of this colonialism that such hatred and prejudices remain. This is certainly something that should not be held onto and celebrated but disregarded along with the emancipation of colonialism. As a developed country one would not and should not patronise you into assuming that you and your readers are not capable of accepting, supporting and understanding basic human rights. Continue reading
Illegally held for two and a half years by Prime Minister Feundel Stuart
“The legal counsel noted, too, that if the court found Garcia to in fact, be a stateless person, he would also be constitutionally entitled to choose his place of residence in Barbados, to be able to move freely about the island and to leave Barbados for any country, when he so desired.”
After more than two and a half years in detention, Cuba-born drug convict Raul Thomas Garcia will finally get his day in court.
This afternoon, the Barbados Supreme Court ordered that a writ of habeas corpus be issued, commanding the minister responsible for Immigration and the Chief Immigration Officer to present Garcia in court on Wednesday, October 24 at 9:30 a.m., to justify why they continue to detain him, despite the fact he has served his 20 year jail sentence for the drug trafficking crime.
Madam Justice Margaret Reifer made the ruling in the Number 6 Court, after hearing an application for the writ, submitted by the ex-convict’s lead attorney-at-law, David Comissiong, who headed a four-member team that included Leslie Haynes, Paula Jemmott and Ajamu Boardi…
… continue reading this article at Barbados Today: Bring him!
January 24, 2012: Barbados prisoner Raúl García vows hunger strike until death
Garcia story an ideal illustration of our do-nothing, accidental ‘Leader’
Seven months after prisoner Raul Garcia’s hunger strike, and after seven months of press conferences and announcements about what the DLP Government intends with Raul Garcia, accidental Prime Minister Freundel Stuart announced yesterday that he still hasn’t any idea at all about what to do. It’s all so complex, you see!
Well… too complex for Stuart anyway. Maybe he’s waiting until he decides to pass the dead-as-a-Monty-Python-parrot Integrity Legislation first. You can’t move too quickly on these important decisions, folks! It might take thirty or forty years just to pull out a pad and a pencil to make notes.
And what about the previously announced decision to house Garcia at a military base so our country can comply with the international human rights agreements we signed and also comply with the rulings of the Barbados courts? Well, Prime Minister Stuart was lying about that. No big deal – he lied. Hey, you think that’s the first thing he lied about?
This is becoming less about Garcia and more about Stuart’s failed leadership
Hey reader… yes, you! You are a fairly intelligent person. You’re not without compassion – but you are no pushover either… You have our national interests, our reputation in the international community, and the security of Bajans in your mind. Maybe you see it this way, maybe that way. No matter…
How long would it take you to make a decision about Raul Garcia? Seven months? Six months?
More like a day or two is my guess.
And as far as Prime Minister Stuart’s comments about Raul Garcia’s 20 year old drug crimes being of concern – the DLP government just released a murderer after 3 decades in prison. Why the double standard?
Here’s the latest bit of propaganda from the Barbados Advocate. You should read it at their website, but you know we have to reprint it here because the Bajan news media have a habit of deleting or changing stores…
Raul Garcia’s fate being carefully weighed
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart says that he is carefully examining the options that currently exist with respect to the future of Cuban Raúl García, who remains at Her Majesty’s Prison Dodds. Continue reading
Unless the rule of law means nothing in this country, Raul Garcia should be immediately freed under the 1954 Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons.
That’s the law and a 2009 Supreme Court judgment backs it up.
Instead of obeying the law though, we have the sad spectacle of the Prime Minister of Barbados lying to the public and the unjustly imprisoned man – telling Garcia 186 days ago that he would soon be transferred from the Dodds Prison punishment facility.
PM Stuart lied to Mr. Garcia and he lied to Bajans.
The government and our Prime Minister continue to ignore Mr. Garcia’s frustrated lawyer, Attorney David Comissiong, who is forced to relay messages to the government through the newspapers.
This isn’t just about Raul Garcia: it’s about Rule of Law, and the fact that successive Barbados governments just do whatever they want to – the law be damned.
There are enough examples of that in our history. Garcia is just the latest.
Readers are asked to visit the Nation website to read Garcia Option, but we have to print the entire story here because of the Nation’s habit of deleting news stories to suit various agendas…
THE ATTORNEY for Cuban Raul Garcia has recommended to Prime Minister Freundel Stuart that the stateless prisoner be allowed to stay with Bajans who have volunteered to take him in, rather than house him on taxpayer dollars. Continue reading
Six months ago Barbados lawyer David Comissiong told the papers:
“I was able to convey good news to Mr. Garcia. Having had several discussions with Prime Minister Stuart …, I was able to inform Mr. Garcia that concrete steps were underway to have him removed from Dodds Prison, and transferred to a non-punitive facility.
“I explained to Mr Garcia that although he would not be a ‘free man’, he would be relieved of the indignity of still being confined in a prison after having served his time and paid his dues to society. He would also be relieved of a number of restrictions and privations that are an intrinsic part of the Dodds’ prison culture,”
Then Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite gave Comissiong a “Put up or shut up” challenge…
“Responding to Comissiong’s criticism about the government continuing to hold Raul Garcia in prison for two years after he finished his 17 year sentence for drug offences, Mr. Brathwaite offered to release Garcia into Comissiong’s custody and care.”
“Brathwaite informed Comissiong, who is an attorney-at-law, that if he could put him up at his residence and guarantee to him, Brathwaite, that there was where the ex-convict would remain, then he would permit his release. No final decision was taken on that issue.”
Comissiong didn’t take the bait, didn’t release Garcia. Now, six months later…
Nothing has changed and we haven’t heard from David Comissiong since February. Was Comissiong grabbing onto the cause of the day when Garcia was on a hunger strike? When Garcia ended the hunger strike was that the end of David Comissiong’s interest?
Was it all about the publicity for Comissiong? Just the latest high-profile case? We notice that Comissiong represents many causes at the outset but then says nothing as they fade into obscurity.
Hey… David… do you really give a damn about Raul Garcia?
photo of Mr. Comissiong courtesy of Caribbean360.com, doctored by Shona (thanks darlin’ !)
Barbados Human Rights… according to the United States of America
You can read the report at the U.S. State Department here.
Bajan Reporter has the full text of Hillary Clinton’s speech about the Annual Human Rights Report.
U.S. Department of State
2011 Human Rights Reports: Barbados
BUREAU OF DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS, AND LABOR
2011 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices
May 24, 2012
Barbados is a multiparty, parliamentary democracy. In 2008 national elections, voters elected Prime Minister David Thompson of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP). International observers assessed the vote as generally free and fair. Prime Minister Thompson died in office in October 2010 and was replaced by Deputy Prime Minister Freundel Stuart. Security forces reported to civilian authorities.
The most serious human rights problem was occasional use of excessive force by the police.
Other human rights problems included societal violence against women and children and discrimination against gays and lesbians.
The government took steps to punish officials who committed abuses, and there was not a widespread perception of impunity for security force members. Continue reading
Now this is interesting…
When was the last time you heard of the Chief Justice of a sovereign country informing UN High Commissioner for Human Rights of a violation of human rights in his own country?
Good for Chief Justice Marston Gibson. That took integrity and courage. Nice to see those qualities exhibited by our top judge.
Bajan Reporter has the whole story and a video of UN Commissioner Navi Pillay explaining how she learned about Raul Garcia’s plight.
UPDATED: April 5, 2012
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay stated at an April 5, 2012 news conference that she wants Raul Garcia freed immediately – however the April 5, 2012 official UN press release detailing her Barbados visit does not mention Mr. Garcia. Ian Bourne was at the press conference and will file a story at Bajan Reporter.
Illegally held prisoner Raul Garcia a non-subject
Navanethem Pillay (above) arrives in Barbados today, but the plight of illegally-held prisoner Raul Garcia is nowhere to be found in the published agenda of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. That’s too bad because the only difference between the USA’s Guantanamo Bay facility in Cuba, and Raul Garcia’s detention in Barbados’ Dodds prison is in the number of illegally detained prisoners who have no hope of charges, trial or release.
USA’s Guantanamo has many illegally-held prisoners. Barbados has one: Raul Garcia.
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba…
‘GITMO’ in the language of the military: where the United States of America holds prisoners without without charges and without trial. The men imprisoned there are not prisoners of war, nor are they held under any law that is valid within the United States. Because the USA wishes to disobey and circumvent its own laws and Constitution, the Gitmo prisoners are held off US soil. This is because the government of the United States would not dare to do what it does at Gitmo within the borders of the USA.
At least not yet…
… so the USA has Guantanamo.
Barbados Government motto: ‘The law be damned.‘
It is a pity the DLP Barbados government of Prime Minister Freundel Stuart is not at least as concerned as the USA is with technically obeying the laws of the land, because if our Barbados government was concerned with the law it would have to release Raul Garcia today.
Mr. Garcia is stateless. Over two years ago, he completed a 20 year sentence in Barbados for drug trafficking. He served his time and by all accounts is a reformed and model prisoner, and an accomplished artist. Perhaps even a man you would be proud to call your friend.
Why not call Raul Garcia your friend? People change, and good people occasionally get caught up in things that they shouldn’t have been involved in. Perhaps even some of your own friends.
Garcia has no place to go because the land of his birth, Cuba, will not take him back, nor will the USA where he spent his youth, accept him.
It is against Barbados law for the government to continue to hold Mr. Garcia in custody, let alone in a punitive facility… but our government continues to do so.
48 days ago, Prime Minister Freundal Stuart promised to transfer Garcia from his punishment cell at Her Majesty’s Dodds prison, but Stuart is about as credible on that promise as he was on Integrity Legislation, Freedom of Information and Conflict of Interest policies.
Raul Garcia remains illegally imprisoned at Dodds.
Will Navanethem Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, hear the name ‘Raul Garcia’ during her visit? Will she ask to visit Garcia? Will our unlawful detention of an innocent man for over two years be a subject of conversation with PM Stuart or part of the public remarks of Ms. Pillay?
That is unfortunately up to the Barbados news media…
… government lapdogs that they are. Continue reading
Raul Garcia illegally held in ‘punitive facility’ Dodds Prison
43 days ago, Raul Garcia discontinued his ‘fast unto death’ on the word of Barbados Prime Minister Freundel Stuart that he would be moved from his illegal imprisonment at H.M. Dodds Prison to a non-punitive facility. Garcia, naive fool that he is, took the bait and remains at Dodds… having lost his credibility and media interest. Worldwide interest in his case went to zero overnight. Only little old BFP keeps Mr. Garcia close to our hearts.
Mr. Garcia believed PM Stuart because he did not know that Bajan politicians equate words with action. “I have said it, therefore it will happen sometime, so the subject is no longer newsworthy” is the standard reaction by Bajan politicians when asked a hot question by the island media. This is the standard means of defusing any hot topic in Barbados. Poor Mr. Garcia didn’t realize that and so he was suckered by Stuart’s words and visit to his hole of a jail cell. Garcia didn’t realize that Stuart was lying to him.
Now PM Stuart is saying the government will “look at” creating a non-punitive holding facility for immigration detainees. Fine words from Stuart. FFFFFFFF…fine words.
A new immigration holding facility, Mr. Prime Minister? Really? With what money?
And what does that new fantasy facility have to do with your promise to Mr. Garcia?
What bullshit. Anybody on this island with half a brain knows that the last priority of the the government will be to build a new immigration holding facility. When are we talking here, Mr. Stuart? 2025? 2030? What total bullshit! We can’t even fix or replace a few diesel bus engines for lack of funds. Some government employees are six weeks behind in their paycheques and at least one road construction contractor has been told to STFU (keep quiet) about the government being 17 months behind on invoice payments. Where is this ‘Immigration detention facility’ money going to come from and when? What bullshit!
Garcia’s lawyer David Commisong is silent. I guess the media moment passed when Garcia stopped his fast. It’s been 42 days since PM Stuart said Garcia would be moved. HELLO? COMMISONG? YOU STILL ALIVE?
Listen folks: Raul Garcia has been held illegally according to Barbados’ own laws for over two years.
Is there not a shred of decency, of justice, left in our justice system, in our Parliament?
Yesterday Prime Minister Freundel Stuart acknowledged that there was no non-punitive facility to accommodate people such as Garcia who is being kept in prison even though he has completed a 15-year drug trafficking sentence. He remains in a maximum security cell at HMP Dodds in St Philip.
“The way he’s being held forces Barbados to look at creating some kind of facility other than what we currently have at the Grantley Adams International Airport for people in that position,” the Prime Minister said.
… from The Nation excuse for reporting titled Cell Plan
UPDATED: April 6, 2012 – The two men tell their story as victims… but photos surface of them having public sex in broad daylight!
Gay rights activist says the two were wrong…
First the two ‘victims’ cry the blues about prejudice against gays…
But then the truth comes out… Photos of the two doing it in public in broad daylight. They knew they were putting on a show with dozens of people watching…
Friends… I don’t care if you are having sex with a man, a woman or several of each at the same time… if you deliberately do it where my children can see you – nevermind the law, you have a big problem with me.
Question for Bishop Seale: Why should Owen Arthur’s sin of adultery not be against the law like the sin of buggery?
Bajan opinion columns of late are full of righteous calls to hurl fire and brimstone down upon anyone suggesting that Barbados should remove the offense of buggery from the law. I’ll have to watch for the fire coming from above because a few years ago I decided that the views I’ve held all my life were incorrect. I was wrong. I now believe that our laws against buggery should be repealed.
The latest Bajan public focus on gay rights started with UK Prime Minister Cameron’s call to withhold foreign aid from countries like Barbados that have laws on the books against physical love between men.
After Cameron (and to the horror of righteous Bajans), Hillary Clinton then piled on like a mad woman in rugby scrum and announced that gay rights are human rights.
(On the other hand, Hillary never mentioned the sexual predation of young female interns by older males in positions of power or the abuse of good cigars, but who can blame her?)
To the far North, Canada already knows about homosexual oppression in Barbados because gay Bajans have been trying to claim refugee status in the land of snow for years – and in the USA.
People like Bishop Gerald Seale responded to calls for the legalization of buggery with arguments ranging from GOD SAYS gay love is a sin to HOW DARE Britain tell us what to do because they were involved in slavery. (Barbados Advocate: Dear PM Cameron)
I see a connection between slavery and gay rights, but probably not the one seen by the well-meaning but mistaken Bishop Seale. It is also interesting that folks are outraged about Britain and the USA proposing withholding foreign aid over a human rights issue when they were all for economic sanctions against racist apartheid South Africa.
Ahh… but those sanctions against South Africa were about black people – real human beings – not queers or “slitty-eyed” people as the Duke of Edinburgh once infamously described Chinese.
Queers, slitty-eyed Chinese – aren’t real people worthy of protection. As we’ve said before at BFP, you have to dehumanize people before you can abuse them.
That’s why Barbados supported the right of Iran to hang homosexuals and teenaged girls for having sex – homosexuals and Muslim women aren’t real people worthy of protection.
That’s why Barbados supported the right of Communists in China to slaughter tens of thousands, imprison Christians in slave camps and to kidnap pregnant women off the street, hold them down and force mothers to abort the living children in their wombs.
Human rights abuses against Slitty-eyed Chinese are fine. They are a lesser race, not fully human, so it’s okay. Besides, we need their tourism dollars.
Those Iranian homosexual teens and the Chinese women and their babies in the womb aren’t real people. Not like us. Not real human beings deserving of human rights.
Remove the law against buggery? NO WAY!
Buggery is a sin, don’t you know!
But what about Owen Arthur’s adultery?
What about adultery? Former Prime Minister Owen Arthur is a famous adulterer. I’ve lost count of the wives, mistresses and children. In truth, he’s probably lost count too. There might even be one or two women and children out there that we haven’t heard about yet. But that’s Barbados and don’t say it isn’t so! Continue reading