Daily Archives: March 13, 2006

The Problem With CARICOM – Barbados Culture Is Not Jamaican Culture

An interesting article from today’s Jamaica Gleaner illustrates a concern that many Bajans have with CARICOM – although we might share common origins and history with our Caribbean neighbours, there are some cultural manifestations that we would just as soon not import to Barbados…

The article’s author, Stephen Vasciannie, is Deputy Solicitor-General for Jamaica. He laments that one day last week while Jamaican newspapers printed story after story about Jamaican murders, rapes and violence, the Barbados Daily Nation printed frontpage stories about school track and field competitions, cycling and a lady left homeless by a house fire.

Although the article wanders around a bit, Mr. Vasciannie’s main point seems to be that Jamaica is getting an unfair shake as the only stories about Jamaica in Barbados’ Nation Newspaper concerned drug trafficking and money-laundering.

Mr. Vasciannie talks about how, under the Caribbean Single Market and Economy, there is a notion that there will be an economic integration – but that it would be beneficial if there was also a social integration…

“But even if the impulse to integration is essentially economic, it will help if the Caribbean people perceive themselves as part of a broad social unit, with a core set of shared values, and with common objectives. It will also help if the social unit has a similar set of interests, is attentive to similar cultural developments, considers itself as having commonly held historical experiences, and recognises the need for the countries of the unit to respect each other.”

Sorry, Mr. Vasciannie, but many Bajans are hard-pressed to perceive themselves as “part of a broad social unit, with a core set of shared values…” with Jamaica. Simply put, the problem is the horrific rate of violence that seems to be endemic to Jamaica. (Some samples here, here and especially here.)

Murder Rates – Jamaica vs. Barbados

Jamaica: 63.4 murders per 100,000 population.
Barbados: 7.47 murders per 100,000 population.

(Other comparative Interpol stats here.)

And here is a typical street scene in Kingston, Jamaica after a bad night…

_1737306_kingston300.jpg

No need to say anything more.

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

Secret Memo Highlights Impending Cricket World Cup 2007 Cash Crunch

West Indies Cricket Board Mortgages The Future – For A Brief Moment of Glory Now…

According to a March 12, 2006 article in The Nation News, a secret memo has revealed that the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has an “urgent need” of US$25 million dollars to cover off an “expanding debt burden”.

The memo outlines that the WICB is seriously contemplating signing away “assets” including “an estimated US$70 million to $73 million in profit … to accrue from next year’s World Cup series…”

The article states that the financiing option of choice thus far is an offer from the Antigua-based American business tycoon, Allen Stanford, for his Stanford Group Company to “guarantee” the entire loan-for-debt package against the expected “profit” from Cricket World Cup 2007 and “other assets” of the West Indies Cricket Board.

Barbados Free Press Comments…

This would be hilarious if it weren’t such a serious matter. To talk of the West Indies Cricket Board making a “PROFIT” for Cricket World Cup 2007 is to totally ignore the hundreds of millions of dollars in public funds that are being poured into the pot throughout the Caribbean – just so a few cricket matches can be held in Barbados and neighbouring fiefdoms.

The reality is that this “loan guarantee” is actually the potential sale of the West Indies Cricket Board and all its assets including future revenues.

Barbados had better wake up soon. The brief “blip” of increased tourist traffic for Cricket World Cup is being paid for with the next decade of public revenues – Revenues that will now longer then be available for schools, health care and our rapidly deteriorating infrastructure.

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Filed under Barbados, Island Life, Politics & Corruption, Traveling and Tourism