Daily Archives: February 12, 2007

Newspaper Publishes Photos: Anna Nicole Smith In Bed With Bahamas Immigration Minister!


Bahamian Cabinet Minister Shane Gibson Conducts Immigration Interview!

Immigration Minister Shane Gibson was the one who approved Smith’s controversial immigration permit… Must be a coincidence!

From ABC News…

NASSAU, Bahamas Feb 12, 2007 (AP)— A newspaper published two photographs on its front page Monday showing Anna Nicole Smith lying in bed fully clothed in a romantic embrace with the Bahamian immigration minister, who approved her application for permanent residency.

Immigration Minister Shane Gibson has come under criticism from the political opposition for giving the former Playboy Playmate special treatment in granting Smith residency in the Bahamas last year. Smith died Thursday in Florida.

The residency application was based on Smith’s purported ownership of a waterfront mansion. But G. Ben Thompson, a South Carolina developer who once dated Smith, has said he had not given Smith the house as a gift as her lawyers have asserted. Thompson is attempting to reclaim the house…

… read the full article link here.

Is there any man in the world who Smith didn’t bed?

We had to mention this because it is soooooo Caribbean – a Cabinet Minister misusing his position for a woman! Never happen in Barbados though. (Oh… almost forgot our friend Gline Clarke. Circumstances are a bit different, but the lack of ethics is the same – and there is a woman involved.)

Watch with the world as the most important news story this year continues to unfold!

ABC News: Anna Nicole Smith, Official Photographed


Filed under Barbados, Politics & Corruption

Big Airline Merger On The Way? Air Jamaica, Caribbean, Caribbean Star, Liat

CARICOM Meeting Today Will Consider The Obvious – Even If They Use Other Words

As any good paperback novel detective would say, “There are no coincidences” – so when the BBC News comes out with a big article on the necessity for a single airline to serve the Caribbean, and then we read in the Jamaica Observer that Prime Minister Arthur and his CARICOM peers are talking today about the “harmonisation of regional air transportation” – you know that something is afoot.

I guess that one Caribbean airline makes sense from both a financial and a “Unite CARICOM” perspective, but why do I automatically reach to check that my wallet is still in my pocket every time the words “airline” and “government” are mentioned in the same sentence?

Oh well!

Here’s the start of the first article from BBC (Thanks to BFP sweetheart “K” for the tip)


Caribbean airlines hit turbulence

As cricket-lovers prepare to converge on the Caribbean for the start of the sport’s World Cup in March, airlines in the region are undergoing their biggest shake-up in years.

After 66 years in service, the old state-owned national airline of Trinidad and Tobago – BWIA West Indies Airways – shut down at the end of 2006, having run up a deficit of $50m for the year.

It has been replaced by Caribbean Airlines – a slimmed-down company employing about a third of the old staff…

… (big snip)…

… “The absence of an agreed policy has made a complete mess of regional air transportation,” says Sir Ronald Sanders, a Guyanese-born former diplomat turned business consultant who writes a regular column published on the BBC’s Caribbean service website.

“Neither tourism to the region nor Caribbean travellers within the region can feel secure… In the name of national pride or national control, the gains that could result from regional co-operation go by the wayside.”

So with all this in mind, how are the Caribbean’s revamped airlines measuring up to the challenge of the Cricket World Cup?

Well, some countries are already voicing concern that ticket sales for the initial matches have been poor.

Only one-third of tickets available for Group C matches in St Lucia have been sold, for example, although the semi-final to be played there on 25 April has sold out.

However, many travellers trying to book flights to the Caribbean during the tournament are finding that few seats are on offer – so cricket fans making a last-minute decision to follow their team risk being unable to get there in the first place.

The Cricket World Cup may prove to be an impressive sporting showcase. But as an advertisement for Caribbean infrastructure, it could end up being an embarrassment.

… read the entire BBC article (link here)

CARICOM Leaders Meeting In Jamaica – Airlines On The Agenda

Here is the article from the Jamaica Observer…

Regional Air Transportation High On CARICOM’s Agenda Today

A FRESH effort is to be made at this week’s Inter-Sessional Meeting of Caribbean Community Heads of Government to move in the direction of harmonisation of regional air transportation.

It is a priority agenda issue for the three-day meeting of Caricom leaders that gets under way this morning in Kingstown, with at least three Heads of Government expected to be absent -Haiti’s Rene Preval; Belize’s Said Musa and The Bahamas’ Perry Christie.

The meeting, hosted by Vincentian Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, current Caricom chairman, will also be focused on advancing arrangements for the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME); creation of a Caribbean Development Fund and establishment of a new governance mechanism in the form of a Caricom Commission with executive authority.

A major feature of the new initiative on harmonisation of regional air transportation – that could also extend to Air Jamaica – is the consideration of a viable commercial alliance between Trinidad and Tobago’s new Caribbean Airline and the recently merged entity Liat, Star of the Caribbean…

… continue reading this article at The Jamaica Observer (link here)


Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, CARICOM, Traveling and Tourism

Barbados Theatre: The Polished Hoe Coming for Cricket World Cup


Barbados-Born Austin Clarke Writes Of Murder In Bimshire

Excerpts from the Toronto Sun (Love those Google Searches!)…

… Author Austin Clarke is already well-known for his powerful fiction. Since 1964 he has published 10 novels and five short collections in North America and Britain. He has won numerous awards for his works, but none bigger than the 2002 Giller Prize for The Polished Hoe — the story of an elderly woman living on the fictional Island of Bimshire who confesses to the murder of a plantation owner.

The idea for the story came about a few years ago when Clarke was in Barbados on his way to a lunch party.

“We were passing this field where I saw this woman feeding her children,” recalls Clarke, who was born in Barbados. “There was something about the way she carried herself that seemed so strong. I asked myself, ‘Could I write a short story about this woman who appeared so domineering?’ I then asked, ‘How can I represent her properly?’

“I took my guidance from Frantz Fanon’s book Black Skin, White Masks where he showed me, in spite of the oppression showed in colonization and slavery, a person is still able to mark out an area for a culture of freedom. And I said that’s what I would do. I would put this woman back in her community where she is free and can have a certain amount of power, and where she can deal with a crueller society and find her salvation.”

It took Clarke three years to write what would become his literary masterpiece. One of the hurdles he faced writing The Polished Hoe, set in the ’30s and ’40s, was telling the story from a woman’s perspective.

“It’s not something I took for granted,” the 72 year-old writer says. “I was sensitive that I was treading on thin ice. What helped was that I was brought up by women — my mother, aunt, cousin and grandmother. I think I’m a better man because I was brought up by those women. And they showed me the strength and beauty of women.”

It was the strength of Mary-Mathilda, the main character in Clarke’s book, which led Obsidian Theatre to ask Clarke if they could turn his book into a stage play.

“They could not have met my financial obligations,” Clarke says. “But I felt the important thing is that we are living in a black diaspora in this country, and if I had a manuscript they wished to transfer from a novel into a play, I should not do anything to put obstacles in their way.”

The Polished Hoe runs from Feb. 18 to March 4 at the Enwave Theatre (formerly Harbourfront Centre Theatre) before heading to Barbados to represent Canada’s cultural contribution to the World Cup of Cricket Championships in April. For more info visit obsidian-theatre.com.

… read the entire article at the Toronto Sun (link here)

… Obsidian Theatre (link here)


Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues

UPDATED: About Those Queen Elizabeth Hospital – Waiting Room Deaths

It Is All About Priorities

Over the last year, Barbados Free Press and the other Bajan media have reported with increasing concern on the crisis in patient care at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. The Nation News has recently published some excellent stories by Melissa Wickham. We linked to Melissa’s expose last Saturday with BFP’s Barbados Queen Elizabeth Hospital Horror Stories: Emergency Patients Not Treated After Over 24 Hours Wait!

Last Friday night, a 4 year-old boy died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and as reported in The Nation News article below, the boy’s parents (who are hospital workers themselves) blame the lengthy wait for his death. On Thursday night, a woman died while waiting for treatment – and the recent newpaper articles are full of horror stories.

Folks, before I go to work today I’d like to share my thoughts with you …

The patient care crisis at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital has been many years in the making, and can be directly traced back to a combination of poor management and criminally inadequate health-care funding by the Government of Barbados.

This is all about priorities.

As a country, we only have so many tax dollars in the pot and there’s only so much more we can borrow. For the last 12 years, the government made other things a priority over health care. This year it is cricket and flyovers that are the priority for government spending. Last year it was something else that was the priority and so on – with health care taking a back seat for at least a decade.

Barbados has enough money to build flyovers and cricket venues or to fix the problems at the QEH: but not enough money to do both. The government chose flyovers and cricket instead of health care.

We say they chose wrong.

Original BFP Post was a request for information that said…

This was just posted by a BFP reader “Junior”…

….heard horrible news that four year old kid died in A+E waiting room at QEH….anybody else with more info..?
..if this true surely Jerome Walcott must resign

Do any of our readers have further information on this breaking news?

UPDATE: Article from The Nation News

LATE FRIDAY NIGHT, a four-year-old died, while still being treated at the Accident & Emergency (A&E) Department.

Justifiably so or not, her parents Cyril Gilkes and Marva Maynard, who are both hospital workers, blame the length of time they had to wait for her death.

On Thursday night, 71-year-old Bonita Sobers, a patient of the Geriatric Hospital, also died while waiting in that department.

That same night a 25-year-old woman miscarried while waiting her turn in the A&E.

Wayne Batson, a severely ill United States citizen who suffers from kidney problems, complained that he was waiting from Wednesday and up to Friday night, still had not been seen.

These were some of the stories told over the last 36 hours by patients who sought treatment at the department and a SUNDAY SUN team was right there in the A&E waiting room to witness some of the horrors.

When our reporter, Melissa Wickham, tried to contact Winston Collymore, director of the hospital, we were told he was not in the island.

We also tried to contact Ricardo Blackman, public relations consultant for the hospital, but to no avail.

President of Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners (BAMP), Dr Carlos Chase was also out of the island. However, vice-president Dr Oguinbiyi Bayo said that members of the association would meet on Tuesday where the matter would be discussed.

However, head of the A&E Department Mr Haresh Thani, who could not comment on the particular cases cited, said that to help address some of the problems facing the A&E, there were plans to have a “patient advocate” deployed in that department.

This individual, he said, would be responsible for liaising with patients who endured long waits to see doctors, as well as with doctors themselves, who were on the inside attending to the needs of others.

He said communication between both groups was sadly lacking in this department.

“There are cases where people are waiting for four hours and have no idea why they are still there. We badly need to address the lack of communication with patients,” he said.

“We have to try and improve the communication between relatives and patients and the staff at the A&E Department. Very often we sit on the inside and don’t know what is happening outside and people outside, don’t know what is happening inside,” he said.

Thani said last year there was a trial run, a female volunteer did this job.

He said while they were still working out some details, they were hoping that such an individual would be in place soon.


Filed under Barbados, Politics & Corruption

Germans To Buy Cable and Wireless?

Does This Mean My Phone Will Ring On Time?

Reuters is reporting that shares in Cable & Wireless jumped 4% Thursday on speculation that Deutsche Telekom might be interested in making a bid. While both companies refused to comment on the rumours, city analysts have been considering the possible benefits of such a deal, with the general opinion appearing to be that the pair would be a good fit.

Above lifted from TeleGeography (link here)

For the latest, search Google News for “Deutsche Telekom” + “Cable & Wireless”


Filed under Barbados, Business

Where Is Andy The Hobo Traveler Today? Flying From Nepal To India! Soon To Ghana, Africa


Andy Visited Barbados A Year Ago

Way back on February 24, 2006, Andy The Hobo Traveler stopped in Barbados and BFP wrote Andy The Hobo Traveler In Barbados – But Who Is He? We thought we’d have a look at Andy as it has been almost a year since we last mentioned him.

Andy is an unemployed “hobo” who has traveled the planet for 10 years and visited over 76 countries. He supports himself by writing a blog of his adventures.

We have followed his adventures through Africa and Asia – lost in Nepal, chased by a lion in Kenya and frightened to death in Iraq. Yes, Iraq as a tourist. Andy is 50 years old, looks about 15 years younger and hardly had a dollar to his name until his started his blog and began posting Google AdSense advertisements. Now, his blog is rated by Forbes as the Number 5 Travel Website in the World with over 10,000 photos personally taken, 200 newsletters published to 7000 subscribers and over 2000 blog entries read by over 10,000 people daily.

Today we find Andy flying from Kathmandu, Nepal to Delhi, India. Soon he will be arriving in Ghana, Africa.

Today we find me getting home dead-tired from working nights.

Sometimes I dream about being Andy, but only for a moment or two.

You can visit Andy The Hobo Traveler at this link.

photo from Andy’s blog: Tungabhdra River, Hampi, India

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Filed under Africa, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Traveling and Tourism

Glendairy Prison Riot Enquiry: One Witness The Barbados Government Doesn’t Want To Call


One Prisoner The Government Doesn’t Want Testifying: An Intelligent, Articulate Author

His name is Terry Donaldson – a prisoner at the time of the riot and the author of a newly published book “Hell In Barbados”

Ian Bourne has all the details at Bajan Reporter blog (link here)


Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Politics & Corruption

Foreign Investors Watching Barbados – As Former Chief Town Planner Tells The Truth About Government Land Thefts

“There are people whose lands have been acquired on the ABC Highway who haven’t been paid yet . . . and there would be interest accruing and Government would have to pay. But who cares? This is the erosion that I’m talking about and you can’t have order in this country if you’re not going to obey the law.”

While Government was looking to persecute people for non-payment of land tax, “in fact the Government owes $190 million to people whose lands have been acquired…

… (Land acquisition) has been problematic because the procedures are not followed as they are laid down in law. . .”

… Former Barbados Chief Town Planner Leonard St. Hill talking about what amounts to thefts of lands by government.

Former Chief Town Planner Exposes The Corrupt Process That Ends With Ministers Of Government Living On Expropriated Land That Was Never Paid For!

Foreign investors are starting to wake up to the dangers of purchasing land in a country where the government regularly ignores its own laws and expropriates lands without paying a dollar to the owners – lands that often follow a circuitous route to eventually end up in the hands of government officials or their spouses, families and friends.

We who have seen this going on for almost two decades are past being shocked at anything – but the shear scale of expropriation land thefts has reached a point where it is almost impossible to talk about Barbados real estate without touching upon the subject. Real estate professionals and lawyers are torn between protecting their clients and their livelihoods as a corrupted system of land registration makes it virtually impossible in many cases for a buyer to say “I now own this land properly.”


Looking For Land Registration Records In Barbados? Good Luck!

Every country in the civilized world has legal procedures that allow governments to forcibly acquire private lands for the public good. While there are always ongoing debates about procedures, the legitimacy of the reasons for acquiring lands and of course, price, laws are put in place to provide standardised structure and rules to the process. Similarly, many jurisdictions have integrity and transparency legislation in place to deter abuses – and to give citizens legal recourse in the event that some greedy official decides to misuse government powers of expropriation to acquire that nice house lot for, say, his live-in girl friend.

Things are different in Barbados.

We have no integrity legislation or conflict of interest laws – so even if a government official misuses their position for personal gain, no laws are broken.

We have no transparency legislation or freedom of information laws – so even if a citizen has been wronged, it is impossible to pry the evidence from the government records to prove the wrong-doing.

We have a government that has shown time and time again that it disregards the rule of law and ignores what few laws we have – or subverts them for personal and political gain.

We have a land registry that “can’t find” land certain land registration records when such records are inconvenient for the government or friends of government. A registry where inconvenient histories of land ownerships disappear forever… then surface for a few days to facilitate some underhanded deal – and then once again disappear into the void.

Unless, of course, government agents need those land records in the middle of the night to post on the government’s BLP Blog. We’ve seen Land Registry Documents mysteriously appear at 3am on the government BLP Blog!

And when we publicly called upon the news media of Barbados to investigate this 3am internet posting of supposedly secure land records and take the government to task – nothing. Not one word appeared in print, not one second of airtime mentioned such corruption by the Land Registry and the government. (If you care, read our articles: Hell Freezes Over and BLP Blog Posts Land Registry Document and in a comment posted by a BLP supporter “Royal Rumble” who came up with missing Land Application documents at 4:35am! link here. )

Anatomy Of A Land Theft By Government Officials

1/ Selection Of Victim & Land (Of the two, selecting a weak victim is the most important point – the old, the uneducated, children beneficiaries of estates etc.)

2/ Creation of Government Project that requires the targeted land

3/ Cabinet Approval For Land “Acquisition” (euphemism for “Expropriation”)

4/ Land Title Transferred To Government – No Money Paid For Expropriated Land

5/ Victim Told “Don’t Like Not Being Paid? Get A Lawyer, Sucker” (Of course, the letter says it more gently!)

6/ Original Project Provided As Reason For Expropriation Is Delayed – Sometimes for a decade or more.

7/ Victim cannot sell other nearby lands as expropriation has killed buyer interest. Victim often falls behind on taxes for remaining lands and government vultures circle with even more interest.

8/ Meanwhile, government has still not paid for the land seized years ago.

9/ If chosen correctly, victim is now either dead from old age, or bankrupt and ruined.

10/ Expropriated land is then partially used for some other government project, or not used at all.

11/ All or remaining parts of the Expropriated Lands are sold off to private buyers – who just happen to be relatives, friends or business associates of the government officials who expropriated the land.

12/ Sales of expropriated lands are pre-arranged quietly – often with no advertising or open bids.

13/ If any questions are asked, the Land Registry cooperates and destroys or “misplaces” land transfer records.

That is how it is done in Barbados, folks! And that is why even retired persons who purchase brand new builders’ homes never really know if they own their home properly or not!

A note to our retired friends from Britain and America who are considering purchasing property in Barbados…

Don’t worry folks . . . if you run into a problem, you can always hire a lawyer to sue the builder or the person who transferred the shaky title – or even the government that corruptly expropriated the land in the first place.

And don’t worry about the fact that the Chief Justice of Barbados used to be part of that same government, and that he was appointed by his old drinkin’ buddy, the Prime Minister who approved the expropriation! Nope… doan you worry cause everything gonna be just fine!


Nice House, Mr. Government Minister! Where Are The Land Registry Records?

One of our most popular series on political corruption began with our September 5, 2006 post Barbados Government Minister Gline Clarke – House and Mercedes On Expropriated Land.

Now, Barbados Free Press can inform its readers that our enquiries have shown that the historical land documents pertaining to Minister Clarke’s home are “unavailable” to members of the public.

The documents appear to have been misfiled.

What a coincidence!


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