Barbados Bathsheba Railroad Land – Who Really Owns It?

More “unusual circumstances” with another piece of land in Barbados. We only have so much land, and the skullduggeries and intrigue surrounding the acquisition and transfer of lands on this small island are legendary.

A letter from a BFP reader…

I read in the press recently that Sir Roy is outraged at hearing that the access to the old train line at Highrock, and inter alia, the acccess to the beach at Highrock, Bathsheba, has been blocked off by stakes driven into the ground.

This is of great concern to me. This is my home village. The train line is public property and has been every since I was crawling around on all fours. No other property owner along that coast has had the audacity to fence it off, or complain, because the locals have always used that line as a right of way.

It seems to me, that the new owners of “Culpepper” the property on the hill over looking Highrock, may have thought that this land belongs to them. The fact is, when Mrs. Marie Austin owned it, she knew it was not hers and never claimed it. She died and left if jointly for her five nephews and nieces, who put it on the market a few years back for $3.5 million US.

They claimed it was 3.5 acres, which was a surprise to many locals as it did not appear to be so much land mass. If, however, the heirs included the old train line as part of the property that would, of course, increase the acreage.

It would be interesting to know who did the survey for the sale, and if they were aware that the train line belonged to the public, or if the government is aware of this land grab by the new owners of ‘culpepper’.

It would also be interesting to know what the plans are for the site and if these plans had anything to do with that ridiculous tourist trap that the government had proposed for the Beachmount pasture also at Bathsheba.


Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Island Life, Offshore Investments, Politics & Corruption

17 responses to “Barbados Bathsheba Railroad Land – Who Really Owns It?

  1. Hants

    BFP did you read?

    Barbados economy at it’s most vulnerable
    08-29-2006 — STARCOM Network News

    Barbados’ economy is probably more vulnerable today than at anytime since the turn of the century.

  2. ross

    Here is the article Hants talks about

    Barbados economy at it’s most vulnerable
    08-29-2006 — STARCOM Network News

    Barbados’ economy is probably more vulnerable today than at anytime since the turn of the century.

    That’s according to Moody Investment Service, considered second only to Standard and Poors, as a Wall Street credit rating company.

    It states that the vulnerability started to deteriorate since 2001. This was mitigated by the fact that a lot of foreign money here which can be withdrawn at anytime, is in the Financial Services Sector.

    This is unlike other countries where the foreign dollars are in the higly speculative investment arena.

  3. RA

    Bennett King ought to make contact with the stringer at Starcom behind this interpretation. Anyone who can spin like that deserves a chance to make the West Indies WC squad.

    An honest reading of the Moodys report can be made from the extracts available at this link; and maybe BFP might actually go to the trouble of obtaining and reading the entire update before rushing to judgement:

    Moodys talk of the Barbados economy’s vulnerability to external shocks. That’s a lot different to saying the entire economy is “more vulnerable” than at any time this century (ah, nice touch from Starcom using the word “century” to cover five and a half years). There’s even a nice little deception in the flight of the Starcom delivery with the insertion of a hot money argument as if Moodys made it themselves (googly).

    Said stringer even got the batsmen and women at BFP in such a spin that, besides abandoning any pretence of balance as they take a wild swipe at the ball, they confusing Moodys with S&P (playing down the wrong line).

    Understandable though, since both reports are, on balance, positive. In answer, BFP, to what the PM’s reaction might be to the Moodys update, it would be fair to expect more smiles emanating from the Ministry of Finance. What he makes of selective presentation of the facts is probably similar to what the Australians think of Bodyline.

    BFP, I like the idea behind your site. You attract debate with excellent questions. But sometimes your answers are so skewed as to suggest to the non-partisan observer that the writers are permanently anti anything the government does, particularly with regard to the economy.

    There is a lot of ground between being a government poodle and the mindless dogmatism of this warmed up dog’s dinner of a report from Starcom. And somewhere in between are thoughtful analyses to make and pertinent questions to ask. Sins of omission, so tempting for the anonymous reporter, don’t square with the “Truth” the BFP has been at pains to say it aims for. Can you really say you middled the ball on this one?

    As you also say “knowledge, transparency and accountability are fundamental to a healthy democracy”. But not just amongst politicians. It’s a collective responsibility.

  4. ross

    BFP, the comments section of the Moody topic is off and so is your comment. It is not S&P that prepared the report it is Moody.

  5. Hants

    BFP reported accurately what was written on the VOB929 website.

    I saw the article and thought it was interesting in view of the fact that the Prime Minister of Canada had threatened to change the Tax laws in Canada to stop Canadian Corporations from using Barbados as a Tax Haven.

    It will be an issue in the next Canadian Elections due Early next year.

    It is not unreasonable to suggest that the Barbados can be hurt by external forces of this kind.

  6. Biscoe

    Six runs RA.

    I followed your link and having read more details of the Moody report I am absolutely disgusted by the sheer dishonesty of the Starcom report. I think it is worth repeating here exactly what the Moody analyst actually said: “Barbados’ external vulnerability indicator has deteriorated since 2001 and it is now higher than the average of similarly rated countries,” said Ramondelli. “However, this vulnerability is mitigated by the sizable increase in non-resident deposits related directly to the growth of the country’s international business sector.

    Your analysis is right on RA. Of course I do not expect any better from BFP having read their blog from time to time over the last few months. In fact, this blog is fast becoming an electronic version of the call in shows. Same people spewing the same venom. Really tired and boring.

    To give BFP some credit I do follow their environmental issues with interest. But their childish approach of blaming the Government and more specifically Liz Thompson for every piece of paper or old fridge indiscriminately dropped or dumped by wufless Bajans who could care less does little to inspire people who care about our island to get involved in changing these attitudes or getting involved in other ways.

    Look forward to you lending more balance to the blog on my occasional visits RA.


  7. BFP

    Hi Biscoe

    Neither you nor RA read the actual Moody’s report. Like us, both of you read someone else’s opinion of the Moody’s report – and you like that take on the report rather than VOB’s.

    No problem… but let’s not pretend that you read the actual report, guys!

    We only reported what VOB said – and this is certainly a better forum than VOB’s or the website as folks can post and discuss issues – and we leave your sources and opinions up for all to see.

    As far as blaming the Envronment Minister – the alternative is to hold no one accountable…. which is the usual Bajan way.

  8. rightvwrong

    Good discussion—not available in the mainstream press

    The United States, unlike other western countries who have balanced budgets, has been printing money for the past several years to the tune of over a half trillion dollars per year on average. This is unsustainable long term and unlike Barbados which has a fixed US dollar based currency, the US has paid a heavy penalty in currency devaluation of upwards of 30-40% visavis Euros, British pounds and other Commonwealth countries over roughly the same time. Someone other party or persons will have to bite the bullet, pay the price and pick up the pieces.

    Likewise, Barbados which has a far less vibrant economy, has been stacking up debt at an unprecedented rate with absolutely little or no accountability and definitely no audited financial statements of statutory companies. The writing is also on the wall for Barbados and it would be completely ” head in the sand ” mentality not to categorise this situation as extremely serious and unsustainable. Devaluation will hit Barbados a lot harder than it has hit the US and could very well be more like the Jamaican and Guyanese devaluation. The PM should be all too familiar with those situations! Vulnerable in fact might be an understatement.

    As for picking on Liz, we all have garbage indisciminately dumped in all of our neighborhoods. In a very fragile tourist dominated economy we cannot afford to have absolutely no enforcement. Rather than attending photo opportunities and government functions, Liz needs to be out front leading the charge. All the coomplaints set out by BFP ato date, appear to be completely legitimate. To downplay the degradation of our environment over the past number of years, simply condones the unaccepatble. Why has William Duguid had the guts to weigh in and behave like an accountable elected official while none of the others have chosen to use the blogs as an opportunity to set their case. Their silence is deafening!

  9. RA

    BFP, Moodys did not issue a report. They issued an update. I did read it because I have a Moodys account. If I point you to a summary link it’s because you and your readers probably do not. So please, do not produce arguments in your defence based on fiction. You did a poor job and that you do not acknowledge this is a missed opportunity to inject some rigour into you economic opinions. As is they are very weak.

    I believe Biscoe’s reaction, which was mine, is what happens to most people when they discover their sources of information are badly distorted and misleading. And that is how BFP came across this time.

    It is interesting, BFP, to claim nonetheless that the TMC link is an “interpretation”. Starcom’s is indeed an “interpretation” in the kindest sense of the word. But please, read the TMC article again and tell us just what its “interpretation” is.

    The article, in fact, accurately cites Moodys without “interpreting” the agency’s analysis. It is an example of balanced reporting in that it honestly represents the essence of the Moodys update.

    Don’t be modest – you did more than “only” report “what VOB said”. You issued an opinion based on selective presentation of the facts from a secondary source. In that regard you have been misled by both the source and your own decision/inertia not to confirm the accuracy of the Starcom article. You end up enslaved to someone else’s inaccuracies and attention seeking alarmism.

    If attention seeking is your primary motivation too, so be it. But it sits badly with the idea of probity and truthful writing. Why go on defending the indefensible that is your Moodys piece? I urge you – and this is in a spirit of constuctive criticism – to get your facts right before editorialising.

  10. Linda

    Italy has already started dumping billions billions of dollars in US Treasury bonds, and is diversifying into the British Pound. Sweden has cut it holdings of U.S. dollars by 26%

    The United Arab Emirates hint that they will diversify into Gold and Euros – and of course they already have. And Qutar plans to do the same. Russia cut its holding in US dollars nearly 30%, and Switzerland, like Italy has decided that 12% of its US dollar holdings would look better in British Pounds

    Now China and Japan are in a unique position. Both countries are two of the largest holders of U.S. Treasuries. Both countries would like to diversify to the Euros, however it’s a very tricky situation, especially for China.

    In order to keep Americans buying the cheap “made in China” goods, China has to keep buying more long term U.S. Treasury Bonds, and Securities – even though our devalued dollars are not an attractive investment. Estimates indicate that China is heading towards a TRILLION DOLLAR reserve by the end of this year.

    So in essence, we keep buying cheap products made in China, and they use that money to buy more and more of our debt. So, if China was to decide to sell off its US debt, our economy would fall apart, but China’s would also put its own economy in an economic free fall.

    Japan started selling off some of its US Dollar reserves around March of this year – to the tune of $18 billion dollars. However, neither China or Japan can afford to dump too many dollars too fast – that would cause the dollar to collapse, a global financial crisis, and leave them, and a lot of other global investors with a severely devalued investment.

    In order to finance the nation’s trade deficits, the U.S. is selling off more of its assets to foreign investors – U.S. ports, buildings, roads, dams and highways.

    Take a look at our “U.S. National Debt Clock”. Refresh your browser while there, and watch our debt grow – Compliments of the Bush Administration.

  11. Linda

    Sorry, I forgot to add something about the debt clock. Can you tell me how much money that is? Since my bank account stays in the thousand range, it’s a bit over my head!

  12. John

    Not very comforting for Barbados to know the USA economy is also in jeopardy.

    For heaven’s sake, don’t give Owen a printing press.

  13. Velzo

    What does RA have to say about Tony Best’s report? He said the same thing as Starcom. He is a highly-respected and oft-quoted journalist and, incidentally, BLP supporter.

    Let’s hear you RA?

  14. Anonymous

    Velzo, you post no link to Mr Best’s article. Assuming this is it:

    it is hard to entertain the suggestion that it and Starcom’s might possibly be conveying the same message/conclusions.

    But maybe you refer to a different article.

  15. Velzo

    Best wrote the Starcom report… he is their NY editor.

  16. RA

    If the same guy wrote both (and from the styles of each I wouldn’t bet on it), so what? Is an assumption of one author all it takes to make the two articles identical to your mind?

  17. Comment Maker

    Tony Best is the Nation Group’s NY Editor for the Newspaper and Starcom.

    BFP rides again!


    (if you are wondering about this check the historic posts)