Daily Archives: April 13, 2006

US Aircraft Carrier Group To Visit Trinidad as “Signal to China” – Skips Barbados

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The US Navy Carrier Strike Group fronted by the Nimitz-class USS George Washington (CVN 73) is making a two-month visit to the Caribbean "…to touch base with our partner countries…" says US Brig. General Kenneth Glueck.

The Carrier Strike Group will be visiting in St. Maarten on Good Friday – April 14, 2006. Other countries on the tour include Honduras, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Curacao, Aruba* and St. Kitts – but not Barbados.

According to a policy wonk at the "Inter-American Dialogue Policy Institute", the Caribbean operation is also a message to China that the United States will not ignore that China has been investing heavily in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Our Take: Barbados Is Also Being Sent A Message

Besides spreading havoc and mayhem among smugglers throughout the Caribbean, the visit by the US Carrier Strike Group is an important political exercise to deliver messages on the world stage.

In this case, the most likely intended recipients of the primary messages are Venezuela and China – but the non-visit to Barbados (not even by one of the auxiliary minor ships in the Group) might also be a message directed to Barbados.

Barbados Cozying Up to China, Cuba & Venezuela 

The Government of Barbados has of late been seen cozying up to Communist states Cuba and China – as well as leftist Venezuela.

Just last week, the People's Republic of China "gave" new boats, engines, electronics, equipment and computers to the Barbados Defense Force. This China-Barbados "co-operation" is nothing new, according to the Barbados Advocate

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"In the last six years, the Barbados Defence Force has been receiving technical assistance from the People's Republic of China in various ways including training and exchange programmes. They now have new equipment. In the picture above, members of both the land forces and the naval forces look over some of the equipment donated to the BDF from the Chinese Embassy."

We have already covered the increasingly cozy relationship between Barbados and Cuba – and in particular between Cuban Dictator Fidel Castro and Barbados Prime Minister Owen Arthur, who seem to be The Best of Friends

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Where is Prime Minister Owen Arthur Taking Barbados?

Barbados must never be anyone's lapdog – whether we are talking about the USA, Britain, China or anyone else… But true independence is not to be found in trying to sell yourself to the highest bidder. True independence, whether for a person or a country, comes from self-reliance.

If the PM plans to court all the super-powers like a pretty maiden at the dance who enjoys making all the boys jealous – he had better think again. Sometimes the pretty maiden just ends up looking like a whore.

Primary Story Source: Chron.com, Associated Press Story

Ship photo courtesy of the US Navy.

* Aruba Visit by USS George Washington

We have to wonder how much of the reason for the visit is to repair US-Aruban relations after the infamous botched Natallee Holloway murder investigation.

UPDATE: Last Royal Navy Visit Was When?

A reader just emailed and asked if we knew when the last time a Royal Navy warship visited Barbados. It has been years since I've personally seen one visiting Bridgetown, and I can't find anything on Google. Can anyone advise?

posted by Robert

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Filed under Barbados, Politics & Corruption

Blogging Around Barbados – Pollution Closes School, Fishing Spin, Cricket, Swan Street Fights, Money Love and Skin Colour

A few things happening around the web today…

Louis Lynch School Closed By Government

The controversial Louis Lynch Secondary School at Whitepark Road, St. Michael, will be closed for the next term and the students relocated from next Tuesday.

The Barbados government announced today that emissions from the nearby Tropical Laundries have forced the education ministry to close the school premises for the upcoming trinity term.

Unfortunately, Barbados appears to have no enforceable laws dealing with the release or disposal of industrial chemicals. The battle to have Louis Lynch School closed has been raging for over a year. For those interested in some background, here is a Google Search for "Louis Lynch Secondary School" + "environment" OR "chemical".

Women & Love Expectations: Lighter Skin Colour, Cash, Cash & More Cash

The girls are all chatting it up over at Campfyah's blog It's All Good. The big discussion is about women trying to find a man and failing when they set their standards too high.

What do the girls want? Heh heh…. Never mind the love – just make it cash, cash and yet more cash. Some girls (very surprisingly) want a man with lighter skin for reasons they explain…

Take a friend of mine for example. A nice, well educated woman with the right assets in the right places for West Indian men and most men in general. My friend is unattached and guess some of the reasons why? First she wants a fella with the lighter complexion because she thinks that they treat women better than those of the darker complexions…go figure. So any dark skin brother that makes advances at her are dismissed simply because of the color of his skin.

That kind of racist nonsense from black girls makes me wonder just how poisoned the well has become.

Fishing Dispute Spin

Both the Trinidad & Tobago and Barbados governments are spinning the decision of the Arbitral Tribunal at the International Dispute Resolution Centre in The Hague like crazy. The Nation covers it here, while the Trinidad & Tobago Express declares victory here.

Our friend Tightscenes at BIM Today Blog has an interesting perspective. He says that no matter what happens – even if a Bajan fisherfolk was arrested for fishing in disputed waters, the two nations are so close that the same fisherfolk would be right back in Trinidad & Tobago to party or carry cargo. Tightscenes just might have a point.

Swan Street Vendors Return – But Conflict Brewing

Shona's brother (who drives taxi) says there have been night-time fist fights in the last week as some original Swan Street vendors attempted to move back into their original spots. Vendors had been removed by the police in a misplaced effort to "clean up" the street, but the police then got bored and let new vendors move in.

The police couldn't have been more successful in promoting conflict on the street if they had planned it that way.

My Barbados Blog has an interesting post on the Swan Street vendor's dispute, including some background and photos.

New Barbados Cricket Info Website

A new website with the push of the Barbados Tourism Authority. Looks good. Cric Info Barbados also has an excellent section about some of our most famous cricket players. A few bad boys there too. One can get away with murder when the nation loves your bat.

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Culture & Race Issues, Environment, Island Life, Politics & Corruption, Uncategorized