Tag Archives: Barbados Political Corruption

Harlequin’s Merricks Resort “a rotting garbage dump – a liability not an asset”

Merricks Barbados Harlequin Bankruptcy 14Merricks Barbados Harlequin Bankruptcy 12

Why didn’t Barbados obtain completion guarantees backed with performance deposits and bonds?

Our political class, along with Harlequin and other developers, left Bajans holding the bag!

by Old Cutter

What a mess we have with abandoned and “on hold” construction sites and failed projects throughout this country. There is a reason for this and it is not “economic slowdowns” or “unforeseen circumstances”.

“We have these numerous failed project disasters littering our coasts because our DLP and BLP governments allowed unfettered development of our beautiful island by almost anyone that showed up.”

Politicians’ offshore accounts are fat and happy

Our elected representatives stuffed bags of cash into offshore accounts of their “consulting” companies but never acted to protect Barbados from shaky developers.

Our political class never imposed standard contract conditions like performance guarantees and deposits. The big developers hired DLP and BLP friends and family as ‘consultants’ in exchange for building permissions.

“Everybody knows how this place works, and why the political class never voted for Integrity Legislation or assets declarations since Bajan independence almost 50 years ago.”

Harlequin Resorts is just one more failed developer, but they fell in a big way and are worth looking at closely…

As the broader Harlequin Resorts debacle carries on in the courts we see Harlequin suing accountants Wilkins Kennedy and WK countering with accusations of their own, and many other court battles in various stages.

Somewhere in all of that there is a book figure for the value of Harlequin’s assets, including the abandoned Merricks Resort site in Barbados.

Whatever that book figure is for Merricks Resort, a visit to the abandoned construction site reveals a rotting garbage dump that is undoubtedly far less of an asset due to the demolition and environmental cleanup that would be necessary prior to any new activity. Barbados Free Press covered this story a year and a half ago, and the deterioration is easy to see when we compare the photos then and now. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Economy, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption

Barbados vote buying: cash, iPods, cell phones and backroom deals all part of sophisticated corruption sanctioned by both DLP & BLP

barbados-election-bribe.jpg

submitted by Mahogany CoConut

The Mahogany Coconut Group submits that the real vote buying is in the upper echelons of our society. What we witnessed on Election Day was some voters getting cash, cell phones, iPods and a bill paid here and there. The real votes were bought by those shadows- black and white, – who Dr. Don Blackman referred to a few decades ago! Of course Dr. Blackman talked only about white shadows but the corporate landscape has dramatically changed over the years – we now have shadows of all colors and ethnicities.

While we shout from the roof tops about what took place on elections day, we bury our heads in the proverbial sand, by refusing to ask one simple question:

“How did the two political parties, both claiming to be rather financially impoverished, raise a conservative estimate of over twenty million dollars to pour into a three week campaign?”

We ask Dale Marshall (BLP) to tell us about the successful “cake sales and car washes” that raised their money. We ask Ronald Jones (DLP) to tell us more about the “$500 here and there” that was given to his party by well wishers. Let’s face it; elections are now big business and the corporate shadows are well entrenched in both the Barbados Labour Party and the Democratic Labour Party.

Anybody who believes that car washes, cake sales and a five hundred dollar donation here and there, can raise this large amount of money, needs to seriously wake up from his/her slumber! Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption

Bizzy Williams wants to ban private support to political parties

"Campaign Donation" deposited to Prime Minister Owen Arthur's personal bank account. Barbados political elites break laws without fear.

“Campaign Donation” deposited to Prime Minister Owen Arthur’s personal bank account. Barbados political elites break laws without fear.

Bizzy Williams probably tired of being shaken down every election

by James M.

First off, who knows what Bizzy really told The Nation? I don’t trust Barbados journalists to deliver the truth any more than I trust anyone. Whatever Bizzy said about political campaign funding has been reduced to four paragraphs with no video as proof.

“I’m not in favour of Bizzy’s solutions, but he’s right about one thing: Bajan politics is a corrupt, unregulated mess that has to be cleaned up.”

If Bizzy wants to put his ideas forward about cleaning up politics, enhancing governance and reforming the election process, it would be better if he wrote an article or recorded a video and posted it on the internet instead of relying upon reporters and news organisations that have proven histories of misreporting and censoring news and ideas to fulfill agenda-driven journalism. I’m sure BFP or Barbados Underground would print Bizzy’s article.

Former Prime Minister Thompson money-laundered $3 million + dollars for pal Leroy Parris

Former Prime Minister Thompson money-laundered $3 million + dollars for pal Leroy Parris

Nevermind that though, I’ll comment upon what Bizzy Williams is reported to have said.   Continue reading

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A new model of Governance for Barbados

barbados wave flag

by David Comissiong

During the 2013 General Election season the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) spent millions of dollars on a propaganda campaign that was designed to convince you – the people of Barbados  – that the DLP was profoundly committed to maintaining all existing jobs in the public sector of Barbados.

They used the millions of dollars given to them by un-named wealthy “donors” on advertisements and public meetings in which they assured you that a vote for the DLP was a vote to preserve public sector jobs, and that a vote for the opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) would be a vote for privatisation of public entities and loss of public sector jobs!

Indeed, they even went beyond this and actually created additional public sector jobs during the year leading up to the General Elections!

Now, a few months later, the leaders of the DLP have callously and unabashedly informed you that there are too many persons employed in the public sector ; that over 5,000 of these jobs are being cut; and that — in the words of Minister Donville Inniss – the decision to cut these jobs was not a tough decision to make!  This, mind you, is the same Donville Inniss that is a member of the largest and highest paid Cabinet in the history of Barbados – the same Donville Inniss who publicly rubbished the proposal that Ministers of Government should take a salary cut!

Well, there you have it!  Once again you have been taken for a ride!     Continue reading

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Dirty politics in Barbados? Sex Video said to be a well-known politician… but it’s not him

1 Barbados Sex Video

At least, we don’t think it’s him…

In the past few days eight readers have sent us a sex video that is supposed to involve a well-known Bajan politician having an excellent time with a woman not his wife.

Wuhloss! Who would have imagined such a relationship could happen on this rock?

After a thorough examination of the video, several times, with rum and beers in hand, your committee of Barbados Free Press editors and staff concluded that it sure looks like you-know-who, but it’s not. At least, we don’t think it’s him.

But that leads us to the next question: Who created or discovered a slightly-blurred sex video that looks like a Barbados politician but isn’t really? Who sent it around and put it up on the chat groups with his name? Was it done with a hidden camera? It looks that way!

Why it was done is an easy question to answer, and we’re not going to mention which party might have done it. *** (We’ve changed our minds… see the end of this post.)

All we can say is, politics is a dirty game everywhere, but especially in Barbados where there are no rules about conflicts of interest, there are no procurement standards for spending government money, and there is no Freedom of Information Act that would at least give citizens a hope of finding out the truth.

Do you want to clean up politics in Barbados? We have to start by stopping the feed at the piggy trough. Being elected shouldn’t be a guarantee of becoming a millionaire, but that’s the way it is ’bout hey.

As long as the rewards of being elected are that large, and the chances of being caught so small, the politicians of both parties will continue to use every dirty trick to discredit others and to get themselves elected to the piggy trough.

Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Freedom Of Information, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Barbados DLP Executive involved in political influence loan scandal

Reynold Austin Barbados DLP

Photo: Reynold Austin – President DLP (Canada)

Noted Jamaican-Canadian businessman says DLP Executive Reynold Austin obtained US$750,000 business loan on the basis of political assurances

It doesn’t much matter whether we’re talking a corrupt BLP government or a corrupt DLP government – it’s the “Same old, same old ’bout this place”. Once elected, party officials rush to turn political influence and government authority into personal profits.

Today’s scandal involving a DLP executive member is only today’s scandal. CLICO was yesterday’s scandal. Tomorrow there will be something new, and when the BLP forms the government after the next election there will be more scandals coming – only BLP in their flavour instead of DLP.

“It is a scandal that the DLP executive Reynold Austin marketed his land development project on the basis of his position with the ruling DLP Government…”

Without Integrity Legislation, Freedom of Information and accountability laws, the buying and selling of political influence and government authority will continue to carry no penalty.

denham jolly Jamaica Canada

Photo: Jamaican-Canadian businessman Denham Jolly

Look how brazen these people are!

In this case, noted Jamaican-Canadian businessman Denham Jolly was happy to make a loan in 2011 to a Barbados development project pushed by the President of the Barbados DLP (Canada), Reynold Austin, upon assurances that the project was important to the Democratic Labour Party government.

In other words, the DLP (Canada) executive tied the success of the business project directly to his insider status with the governing party. Jolly was happy with that. Only when the property development was unable to make loan payments did Mr. Jolly complain.

“Denham Jolly should also apologize to Bajans for taking part in an act of political corruption.”

Jolly told the press that DLP executive Reynold Austin “approached me in the spring of 2011 for a business loan for Pickering Court Development. He assured me that it was a great investment because it was a centrepiece for the Government and the enhancement of their re-election.”

Why should a privately-owned property development be a “great investment” because it is a “centrepiece for the Government” and “the enhancement of their re-election”?

How does a privately-owned piece of property increase in value due to an association with government?

That’s an easy question for any Bajan because we’ve seen decades of worthless scrub and agricultural land turned into millions when a government bestows building permissions upon land owned by political friends.

It is a scandal that the DLP executive Reynold Austin marketed his land development project on the basis of his position with the ruling DLP Government, and the stated value of the land to the government and therefore ‘enhanced’ value of the loan-provider to the Government and the Government’s re-election.

Reynold Austin should immediately resign from his executive position with the DLP, and if he does not the DLP should relieve him of his position. Continue reading

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Cash for votes scandal in Barbados election: BLP, DLP… or both?

Barbados Election Corruption

Voter arrested for photographing ballot – only one caught of many!

Did the voter support the DLP or BLP candidate?

by Passin Thru

Why photograph your ballot? To prove your vote so you can receive payment!

Police made an arrest today after a voter was seen about noon using a cell phone to photograph their marked ballot while voting. This arrest absolutely proves that the rumours of the past three elections are true: people are being paid for their votes. But this was only voter arrested and obviously this was not the only person bribed to vote. How much were they paid? Who paid them? How many other voters were paid for their vote?

The practice of paying for votes strikes right at the heart of our democracy. This person should be jailed for the full six months penalty and all inquiries should be made with the party and candidate supported by the arrested voter. The voter’s jail sentence should be doubled if he or she doesn’t tell the name of the person who paid them for their vote.

The results in that constituency  should be nullified and a new election should be held.

Biscuits and Tinned Beef

In ‘de good ol day’ candidates would drive through the village handing out tinned beef, biscuits and rum. The corruption is a little more sophisticated these days with voters required to document their vote via cell phone camera. That was the rumour and now we know it is for truth.

Was the voter putting his mark on the DLP or BLP? Bajans deserve to know!

Arrested for photographing ballot

One person is in police custody following an incident in a polling booth where the individual reportedly took a cell phone picture of the ballot after it was marked with an x for one of the candidates contesting the 2013 general election.

The incident occurred after allegations surfaced that some individuals were paying Barbadians for their vote in the 2013 election.

CBC understands that the incident occurred just after midday and that the individual is likely to be charged with breaching the requirement of secrecy in an election.

Legal officials have told CBC that the penalty for such an offence on summary conviction is six months in jail.

… thanks to the CBC for the news story and the photo!

Also see CBC’s Cash for Votes

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Filed under Barbados, Political Corruption, Politics