Monthly Archives: June 2007

Trinidad and Tobago Outlaws Slot Machines – While Barbados Imports Thousands More

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T & T Government Worried About The Social Impact Of Gambling

Barbados Leadership Says “To Hell With Families & Society, Give Me De Money!”

It is really all about values and where the leaders want to take their respective countries. The Government of Trinidad & Tobago under President George Maxwell Richards just passed a law that will see the phasing out of slot machines in that country. Barbados under the government of Prime Minister Owen Arthur has recently embarked upon a massive increase in slot machines situated in local communities.

Everybody knows that slots in the local communities are bad for families and bad for individuals. Prime Minister Arthur did not restrict the increase in slots to tourist hotel venues and has decided that targeting local Bajan communities is acceptable.

Previously, Arthur has equated casino gambling with selling our daughters into prostitution. (link here) Perhaps he’s changed his mind about what is acceptable. Hopefully for our daughters, the PM’s change of heart will stop at slot machines.

Like we said, it is all about values… and, as someone much wiser than we are once said…

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also…

and

For the love of money is the root of all evil

Mr. Prime Minister, members of the government… Why do you do this to Barbados?

Article Links

Trinidad & Tobago Express: Slot Machines To Be Phased Out

Barbados Free Press:

Video Gambling Machines A Free-For-All In The Virgin Islands… But Don’t Worry Barbados, There’s Lots Of Money To Go Around!

Gambling King Robert Johnson “Gave” BET To Barbados And The World

Robert Johnson Pleased To Partner With Barbados Government In New Gambling Operation

Barbados Government Licenses Yet Another Gambling Casino – Nation News Treads Oh So Delicately

How Many Barbados Slot Machines and Where?

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Politics & Corruption

Cheryl and Ashley Cole Dump Spain – Head For Sandy Lane, Barbados

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Footballer Ashley Cole and his wife, Girls Aloud singer Cheryl Tweedy, have long been frequenting Spain when they want to get away from it. Perhaps their infatuation with that country is over as the rich and famous couple were overheard complaining about the number of paparazzi in Spain – and they have now popped up at Sandy Lane, Barbados.

Paparazzi are the price of admission for fame and fortune, and as the above photo shows… we’ve got paparazzi and cameras in Barbados too!

Photo credit: Celeb Source

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Filed under Barbados, Celebrities

Barbados Airport Taxes Now The Highest In The Region?

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Are the taxes payable to leave Barbados Grantley Adams International Airport now the highest in the region?

Let’s take an example…

Travel ONE WAY from Barbados to St. Lucia on 24th June 2007, with the currently lowest airfare available on LIAT.

St. Lucia base fare US$50

Plus taxes/add-ons

US$7.40 Sales Tax (VAT)

$5.00 Passenger Facility Charge

$27.50 Airport Development Tax

$2.50 Airport Authority tax

$0.37 Airport Passenger tax

$10.25 Fuel and Insurance Surcharge

Total taxes/add-ons payable US$52.12

Now let’s do the same comparison based again on the lowest available ONE WAY airfare from Barbados to:

Bearing in mind below figures indicate ONLY the taxes payable and not the actual airfare.

Anguilla – US$77.35
Antigua – US$63.75
Curacao – US$54.80
Dominica – US$51.50
Grenada – US$56.65
Guadeloupe – US$64.25
Georgetown – US$53.60
Martinique – US$55.10
Nevis – US$66.05
St. Kitts – US$65.50
St. Vincent – US$47.45
San Juan – US$81.75
Santo Domingo – US$106.05
St. Maarten – US$64.25
St. Croix – US$78.30
St. Thomas – US$78.30
Tobago – US$51.80
Tortola – US$69.65
Port-of-Spain – US$52.75

Can any BFP readers identify any other Caribbean territory where the taxes and add-ons are higher?

Adrian Loveridge

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Politics & Corruption, Traveling and Tourism

Barbados – St. Lucia Airfare After Liat-Caribbean Star Merger = $US272 … Used To Be US$131 !!!

Well, THAT Should Encourage Inter-Island CARICOM Travel!

Airline chief executive Mark Darby is on the defensive about the recent increases in inter-island airfare, saying “Both Liat and Caribbean Star Airlines were losing millions of dollars in a competitive environment where fare levels were unsustainable.”

The key to Mr. Darby’s statement is that even the merged airlines are still money-losers. He doesn’t say it up front but he’s still begging governments to sink more into this venture.

The Government of Barbados is by far the largest shareholder of Liat so we Bajans should have a keen interest in how the airline is doing… or not doing.

The Swiss, the Belgians and so many other small countries couldn’t make a go of their national airlines, so maybe it is time for Barbados and the West Indies to admit that at the present time we just aren’t able to keep pouring money into another bottomless pit.

Perhaps the answer is to be found in sea travel with inter-island fast catamarans or other such craft. No, sea travel is not as fast, but for CARICOM inter-island commerce and movement of goods it is way cheaper than flying.

We should be questioning the assumption that there is no other practical and efficient way of doing inter-island travel besides tiny airplanes where passengers can’t even take along a decent sized suitcase.

That old definition of crazy sure applies to our continued willingness to sink millions into airlines based on a feeling of national pride rather than objective reality.

Definition of Crazy Airline “Investments”: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

From The Trinidad & Tobago Express…

US$20 fare increase by Liat

An increase in airfares on regional carrier Liat by US$20 for return trips in most islands has recently crossed over into the airline’s service to Barbados.

Airline chief executive Mark Darby said: “Both Liat and Caribbean Star Airlines were losing millions of dollars in a competitive environment where fare levels were unsustainable.”

“For some destinations, the total fare has been further increased by new airport taxes and charges. The fares in the market today are appropriate and realistic as far as our costs are concerned.”

He said in an advertisement yesterday that the fares had increased but not substantially.

Using the fare increase between Barbados and St Lucia of US$131 before the merger of the two airlines and a post-merger fare of US $272 he said:

“Within the fares listed above are a number of add-ons and taxes to the total fare such as airport development charges, various sales taxes to name a few which often account for one third of the overall fare paid by the passenger.”

He then listed the cost of running the company’s aircraft…

… continue reading this article at the Trinidad & Tobago Express (link here)

Also see LIAT CEO Says Airfares Realistic

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

New Canadian High Commissioner To Barbados Under A Cloud

The Canadian Globe newspaper says that a fellow by the name of David Marshall “has left Public Works and, according to federal sources, is in training to become Canada’s high commissioner to Barbados.”

The newspaper also says that Mr. Marshall is in the center of a scandal where he was in charge of doing some sort of study to find ways of saving money for the Canadian government. Marshall spent $24 million or so and accomplished nothing.

Hmmmmm….

On second thought, Mr. Marshall will make an ideal Canadian High Commissioner. He’ll fit right in with all the Barbados government members – no problem!

The Globe – Ottawa Lost Control Of Cost-Cutting Project

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Filed under Barbados, Politics & Corruption

Barbados Prime Minister Proposes New Flag

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Prime Minister Arthur & Ministers Silent About The 100 Illegal Chinese Labourers – And Silent About Chinese “Gifts” To Come

The Prime Minister and other senior members of government just returned from a big shopping trip in Communist China, but they are strangely silent about the specifics of any deals reached with the Chinese dictatorship.

Not to worry folks, the Prime Minister will tell us all about the gifts that China will shower upon Barbados – when it is convenient to do so.

When will we hear about all the support from China? Stupse… don’t you know? We’ll hear about all those Chinese gifts when we are a little closer to election time!

Meanwhile though, Owen and the gang don’t want to make any waves that might offend our new benefactors, so the government is remaining silent about those 100 illegal Chinese labourers that were caught working on the new hotel project. (For background, see here)

Were they given permission to stay?

Were they deported? (ha!)

Was the firm that hired them charged and fined?

Owen and his gang hope that we forget all about the price that we are about to pay as we return to our colonial days.

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Graeme Hall National Park – Powerful Entities Want To Possess And Profit From This Public Land

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Should We Allow More Houses & Commercial Building In The Last Remaining Green Space On The South Coast?

The majority of the lands within the proposed Graeme Hall National Park are already owned by the people of Barbados. The vast majority of us naturally want to preserve those lands for our country’s future and for the immediate enjoyment of all our people.

But this will not happen if very powerful entities who want to profit from these public lands have their way.

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How Powerful Are These Entities?

How Much Money Can Politicians Make If They Surrender Our Land To Them?

The people and corporations who want to use our last remaining south coast green space for personal profit are powerful enough, and the money is attractive enough, that the Government of Barbados ignored an offer from the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary to donate most of the sanctuary’s land to the people of Barbados.

You see, the gift of land from Peter Allard and the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary was tied to government declaring a National Park – and that would mean the end of selling off the surrounding public lands to “friends” of the government.

Graeme Hall National Park would mean the end of hundreds of millions of dollars of profits for those “friends of the government” who want to build wall-to-wall housing and businesses on our public land…

… So Prime Minister Owen Arthur and the Government of Barbados did not even have the courtesy to acknowledge the over 6000 citizens who petitioned for Graeme Hall National Park, nor the offer of a gift of the majority of the nature sanctuary lands.

The fix is in because the Prime Minister has those lands already promised to his friends.

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Declaring the Graeme Hall National Park would legally protect the last mangrove forest, the last major wetland, the largest inland lake, and the most concentrated biodiversity in Barbados. It would provide an easily accessible park area for the enjoyment of all and would be a lasting legacy to future generations – a refuge from the tightly-packed urban living that is crawling across this small island with a speed never before seen.

The great cities of the world are great in part because they are not mile after mile of urban development and nothing else. The leaders and visionaries of New York City set aside Central Park over a hundred years ago. Think what a concrete jungle that city would be without Central Park.

Think of what Barbados will be in 100 years – or 30 years – or even 10 – if everything is done for profit and nothing is done for quality of life and the future.

This Train Is Leaving The Station

After being kicked around for years by the Government of Barbados, the Canadian philanthropist who funded the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary is calling it quits in Barbados. Peter Allard poured some $32 million dollars into his gift to the people of Barbados just because he likes our country and our people. He wanted to preserve our last mangrove forest as a legacy to our children.

Do you remember what Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary was before Allard came? It was a garbage dump on its way to becoming condos and more concrete. Trucks would come in the middle of the night and dump chemicals and industrial rubbish and even then the developers had their eyes on it.

Peter Allard spent his millions to give that back to us, and now our government parasites want it so badly that they will take it from us to line their own pockets.

The Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary Is Now For Sale

What we could have had for free, what Prime Minister Owen Arthur and his government refused as a gift, is now for sale as Peter Allard rightly and righteously shakes the Bajan dust from his shoes.

Our leaders have decided to line their pockets rather than look after the future for our children.

This is not the first time that politicians refused a gift to the people because they could not line their own pockets.

Tomorrow we will tell you about how our leaders refused an offer of a free AIDS and cancer clinic – because there was no “squeeze” for their pockets.

Meanwhile, enjoy the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary while you can.

If you are concerned at all about the refusal of your leaders to create a national park at Graeme Hall, I guess you could do a few things to help…

1/ Write and call your Member of Parliament. Tell him what you think.

2/ Write and call Prime Minister Owen Arthur. Give him a piece of your mind.

3/ Visit the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary and its website. See for yourself what you and your children are about to have taken from you.

4/ Visit the website of the Graeme Hall National Park (link here). Learn about the issues surrounding this proposal. See how the government is violating it’s own plans and rules so it’s friends can make some heavy money.

5/ Talk to your friends and family. Talk on Brass Tacks and other call-in shows. Write letters to the media. Ask questions about the agendas that are preventing the creation of Graeme Hall National Park.

Don’t let the crooked politicians and their friends take your children’s land – the last green space on the South Coast – to fill their offshore bank accounts.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Environment, Politics & Corruption

Corruption Trial: VECO Paid Alaska Politician US$2,500 A Month For “Consulting”

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The corruption trial of disgraced Alaska politician Tom Anderson continued today with the judge being asked to admit evidence that VECO paid Anderson as a “consultant” to do nothing for $2,500 a month.

And THAT folks, is exactly why we need some answers in Barbados. VECO has shown that bribery and corruption are standard operating procedure. Why would it be any different in Barbados?

Excerpt from the Anchorage Daily News…

Tom Anderson was deep in debt and living beyond his means during the time that prosecutors say he took bribes to do the bidding of a private prison company, according to assertions in a new court filing.

Federal prosecutors Prosecutors Nick Marsh and Joe Bottini want to show jurors the former state legislator’s financial records, including tax returns, bank records and credit reports. Anderson is fighting to keep the material out of the trial, arguing that it is irrelevant.

As jury selection for the trial extends to a third day, the battle over financial records is one of several issues yet to be decided. Anderson, who served two terms in the state House but didn’t run last year, is being tried on seven felony charges, including bribery, extortion and money laundering.

Prosecutors say that Bill Bobrick, then a top lobbyist in Anchorage, set up a phony business and used it to funnel payments from Cornell Cos. to Anderson.

Among the issues before U.S. District Judge John Sedwick:

• Anderson’s work for Veco Corp. Anderson was a paid Veco consultant during the time he was in the Legislature, but he is not charged with any crime related to the Anchorage-based oil field services contractor. His defense lawyer, Paul Stockler, wants to prevent jurors from hearing a recording of a conversation in which Bobrick says Veco was paying Anderson $2,500 a month “to do nothing.”

… read the full story at Anchorage Daily News (Link here)

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Barbados Tourism Minister – “Let’s Pour More Tax Money Down This GEMS Hole. NO… You Can’t See The Financial Statements You Stupid Bajans”

Theft In Progress – Somebody Call The Police! (oh, ya… nevermind)

Everybody knows that the best predictor of future performance – is past performance.

That’s why a store owner doesn’t hire a paroled thief just out of jail for the position of head cashier.

The Government of Barbados has poured millions and millions into the GEMS hotels and refuses to provide an accounting even though it is required by law. They can’t even say how much they have lost.

Nor will they provide any explanation for government purchases of run-down hotels that belong to “special friends” of the government.

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Now our Instant Millionaire Minister of Tourism Noel Lynch wants us to believe that everything can be solved with yet more tax money and the same management team – with, of course, absolutely no accounting for what has been spent thus far.

“Just give me one more chance” says the applicant for the Head Cashier’s job…

See our previous story Barbados Government Enters Time-Share Vacation Hucksterism – But Shuns The Words “Time Share”

We notice that in the original announcement as reported in the link above, Minister Lynch said that Hotels & Resorts would be the company that was given the land to build condos. The latest report (below) indicates that the land is being given to a company called “Sapphire Inc.”

I wonder who owns “Sapphire Inc.” and if any politicians or their family members have any shares?

Adrian Loveridge was thinking about the same thing when he sent this…

Who and what is Sapphire Inc?

‘Chance for Gems to bounce back says Lynch’

‘Minister of Tourism Noel Lynch hinted at this yesterday as the House of Assembly approved the grant of a lease of land owned by the Crown to the company Sapphire Inc., for the project’.

Where is this company registered?

Who are the directors?

What is its share capital?

What is its previous experience in operating Condominium hotels?

Let me see if I have this right!

‘Government hoped to sell most of the units on the international market to non-residents’.

So, non-nationals will purchase individual condominiums on Government (taxpayer) leased land?

What is the length of the lease and exactly how much is Sapphire Inc., paying to lease the land?

More questions than answers.

Adrian Loveridge

Here is the article in The Nation News…

Chance for Gems to bounce back, says Lynch
Published on: 6/27/07.

A new condominium project planned for St Lawrence Gap in Christ Church could well represent a new lease on life for the controversial Gems of Barbados hotel group.

Minister of Tourism Noel Lynch hinted at this yesterday as the House of Assembly approved the grant of a lease of land owned by the Crown to the company Sapphire Inc. for the project.

The development “gives the Gems an opportunity to really claw back”, he said.

The project “will move the Gems of Barbados – at least start the process of restructuring the portfolio of the Gems, which is so much needed”, he added.

For years Gems has been under attack by the political Opposition as a badly conceived project that squandered money while attempting to rescue troubled hotels.

‘Right way to go’

Lynch told Parliament the Gems project had suffered some “significant operating shocks”,
but getting involved in the new venture was “the right way to go”.

The new project will use the former location of the Dover Convention Centre to construct 54 condominium units.

Last year Lynch said Government hoped to sell most of the units on the international market to non-residents.

Under the contract, 80 per cent of the units will return to the rental pool for a minimum of nine months of the year. They will be marketed and managed in association with an upgraded Time Out At The Gap, one of the Gems hotels.

Part of the receipts from the initial sale of the units will be ploughed back into upgrading Time Out At the Gap and other Gems properties, according to Lynch.

The minister said the jury “is still out on this issue of condos versus traditional hotel rooms”, but Barbados had to find creative ways to help “under-performing” hotel rooms.

Most tourism developers were now involved in a mixture of accommodation, he reported.

… read the original lies as reported uncontested in the lapdog Nation News (link here)

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

UPDATED: Final Leg Of Round The World Solo – Barrington Irving Arrives Home In Miami

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UPDATED: June 27, 2007

Barrington arrived safely in Miami to a marching-band welcome.

I didn’t know it before… but he built the aircraft that he flew around the world in!

Story here

UPDATED: June 27, 2007 06:45am Miami Time

Position Update CLICK HERE

Barrington Irvine touched down at Orlando Executive Airport late last night and will be making his final leg from Orlando to Miami this morning. He is scheduled to arrive at Miami at 10am local time (14:00 hours GMT, June 27, 2007)

Word is that CNN may cover his landing live (like the Space Shuttle!)

Now that he is only a 30 minute flight from home, the world is paying attention. I see all kinds of stories on the newswires this morning.

“Kick the tires and light the fires”

Good luck Barrington!

June 27, 2007, 01:42hrs GMT – Watching Live Via GPS Satellite Tracking…

Altitude: 7411 feet / Ground speed: 169 knots / Heading: 92 degrees true

I love this kid. Only hours to go and he’s punching through thunderstorm alley on his way home. He must be facing a fierce headwind because his aircraft is capable of much more progress over the track made good.

Damn, I wish I could be there in Miami to tell Barrington how proud we are of him, but the best I can do is to stay up all night and follow his progress on his website.

If you don’t know what it is all about, check out our earlier story…

Jamaican-Born Barrington Irving: First Black Person, And The Youngest Pilot Ever To Fly Solo Around The World

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Filed under Aviation, Culture & Race Issues

Lennox Linton: My Deportation From Antigua and Barbuda

The Facts Of My Deportation From Antigua And Barbuda

By Lennox Linton

On Wednesday 13th, June 2007, sometime before 12 noon, six immigration officers showed up at my home in Upper Gambles and requested to see my passport.

I advised them that I entered the country in January of this year with a CARICOM Skilled Nationals Certificate from the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica and on February 5th, 2007, I was given six months ending August 5th, 2007 to stay in the country.

The officer in charge of the group of six examined my passport and then advised that their supervisor had directed that I be brought to his office immediately. I asked whether I could have an appointment with the supervisor sometime in the afternoon since I had to pick up my two 6 year old kids from school at 1.00 p.m. They refused the request. I then asked for time to take a bath. They agreed. They also allowed me time to make a phone call to my wife – a national of Dominica – who is employed with Port Services Limited at the V. C. Bird International Airport, so that she could make arrangements to pick up the kids from school.

I was driven from my home by an Immigration Officer accompanied by 5 of his colleagues in what I presumed to be a bus belonging to the Immigration Department to the Immigration Office in St. John’s and escorted to the office of the supervisor – a gentleman by the name of Melvin James.

He told me in the presence of four other officers that he was carrying out instructions from his superiors who had determined that I should be sent out of the country as soon as possible. I asked why. He simply repeated the statement that he was acting on the instructions of his superiors and that I would have to leave on the next available flight. He asked whether I needed to go home to pick up some things. I was told this was a courtesy that was being extended to me. I accepted the courtesy and was then driven back home by the same officer who led the mission to my home accompanied this time by three of his colleagues.

At home, I packed a few essentials in a travel bag, secured the house and left with the Immigration Officers for the Airport. They had advised that I would be required to purchase my ticket, failing which they would purchase it in which case the action against me would then become a deportation.

At the airport, I was accompanied to the LIAT ticket counter where I purchased a one-way ticket and checked in for flight #557 scheduled to depart for Dominica at 3.15 pm. I was then escorted to the counter where I paid the departure tax and then passed all the travel documents to the Immigration Officer at his request.

I was then taken to the Immigration Office at the airport and told that I would have to wait there until it was time to board the flight. At all material times, there was at least one Immigration Officer, watching my every move, no doubt to ensure that I did not attempt to escape. My passport was confiscated and held by the Immigration Officers throughout the entire episode until I passed the LIAT gate en route to boarding the plane. It took a while but the reality eventually sunk in that I was actually in law enforcement custody.

In the Immigration Office, an officer with the surname Emmanuel introduced himself to me as the Head of Immigration at the Airport. He asked whether anyone told me why I was being put out of the country. I said no. He then said it was because they “suspected” that I was working. There was no indication who my suspected employer was, in what capacity I was suspected to be employed or the location of my suspected place of employment.

I was not given any opportunity to confirm or deny the suspicions nor was there any attention paid to the legitimate expectation of being able to work in Antigua and Barbuda arising out the fact that the CARICOM Skilled Nationals Certificate issued to me by the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica provides me (as a CARICOM Treaty obligation) with work permit exempt status in the member territories of CARICOM.

While waiting for the LIAT flight, I received a call from the Prime Minister of Dominica Honorable Roosevelt Skerrit. He asked for an explanation of the difficulty he heard I was experiencing in Antigua and Barbuda. After relating to him what had transpired, he advised that he was going to get in touch with Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer to have the matter resolved. A few minutes later he called back to say that he had spoken to Mr. Spencer who had agreed to take up the matter with the Chief Immigration Officer.

Shortly thereafter, I advised the Immigration Officer in charge of the team assigned to hold me in custody, that since the matter was been addressed at the level of the Prime Ministers of both countries, it may be prudent to arrange for me to leave on a later flight to give the prime ministerial discussions some time to come to fruition.

He confirmed that the Chief Immigration Officer was in a meeting with the Prime Minister but advised that there was no later flight and if there was no word from the meeting by the time the flight was ready to depart then he would have no choice but to proceed as planned and ensure that I leave.

I assume that he heard nothing further since he hustled me through the LIAT gate and unto flight #557 at approximately 3.10. The flight left for Dominica at 3.20.

On arrival in Dominica I noticed two stamps from the Immigration Authority in Antigua and Barbuda which had been placed in my passport behind my back.

One stamp dated June 13, 2007 cancelled “without prejudice” my previously granted stay in the country until August 5th, 2007. The other stamp also bearing the date of June 13th, 2007, indicated “employment prohibited”.
I have been living in Antigua and Barbuda continuously from April 11th, 2004 when I accepted an offer of employment from Observer Radio Limited which came to an end on December 4th, 2004.

My wife and two children have been living with me in Antigua since July 2005. The children are completing their second year at St. John’s Catholic Primary.

Barbados Free Press received this article from a reader. It has been published online by many websites including The Dominican.net.

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Filed under Barbados, CARICOM, Crime & Law, News Media, Politics & Corruption

How Communist China Made Rupert Murdock And Owen Arthur Behave

As Auntie Moses likes to say, “Ain’t nothin be free!”

The first repayment to the Communist Chinese is that Prime Minister Owen Arthur will keep his mouth shut about the 100 illegal Chinese labourers who are working at the Four Seasons Resort in Black Rock, St. Michael.

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In 1993, shortly after Rupert Murdock purchased the satellite broadcaster Star TV in Hong Kong, he said that modern communications technology had “proved an unambiguous threat to totalitarian regimes everywhere.” Star could beam programming to every corner of China, and Murdoch had paid a big premium for the broadcaster for that reason.

Chinese Prime Minister Li Peng was enraged and promptly outlawed private ownership of satellite dishes, which had once proliferated on rooftops. Star TV faced a threat to its viability.

What did Rupert Murdock do?

He caved in and abandoned all thought of journalism as a duty or a tool for truth and freedom. Murdock cooperated with the communists and gave them whatever they wanted.

Star TV overhauled its programming to suit Chinese tastes. In 1994 it dropped BBC News, which had frequently angered Chinese officials with its reports on mainland affairs.

In particular, Murdock censored any coverage of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

When the “man with a briefcase” video outraged the Chinese leadership, Murdock pulled it from his satellite and has put dollars before courage and righteousness ever since. (see New York Times article here)

What Of Barbados?

Lately, the Government of Barbados has been cozying up to the communists who rule China with a closed fist.

Why? Money… pure and simple.

As Auntie Moses likes to say, “Ain’t nothin be free!”

The first repayment to the Communist Chinese is that Prime Minister Owen Arthur will keep his mouth shut about the 100 illegal Chinese labourers who are working at the Four Seasons Resort in Black Rock, St. Michael.

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Filed under Barbados, News Media, Politics & Corruption

Something Bothering The PM?

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Prime Minister Owen Arthur wasn’t his old self today. Whether you are a supporter or not, you have to admire his energy, his ability to put a smile on anywhere and his Machiavellian skill.

But today Owen was a little down. In a reversal of the usual, his wife was driving the Lexus 4×4 while the PM sat sad faced and glum in the passenger seat. Perhaps he was feeling unwell.

Or… perhaps the Prime Minister was thinking about the increasing calls for accountability for that $750,000 “campaign” cheque that he deposited to his personal bank account “accidentally”?

Chickens sometimes run away, Owen.

But sometimes they come home to roost.

Now, about that $750k, Mr. Prime Minister…

Who gave it to you? Why did you deposit it to your personal bank account? When were the funds transferred to the party coffers? Did you fill out the prescribed anti-money laundering forms?

… and what, Sir, did you promise in return?

At least tell us that it was not received directly or indirectly from a foreign government!

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Barbados Government BLP Agent Plays Race Card. Calls Opposition Leader “White”, Equates With British Slave Owners

The Barbados Government insider who uses the name “Royalrumble” to post on Barbados Free Press has proven his credentials many times – occasionally coming up with or talking about confidential government documents in the middle of the night that have later appeared on the government BLP Blog. “Royalrumble” appears to be the real thing – a government insider who has access to Cabinet documents no matter what the day or time.

Today this government insider posted the following comment on Barbados Free Press …

“(Opposition Leader David) Thompson is a white man who believes that any success gained by a black man is by way of corruption and I would warn all blacks from both sides of the political fence not to follow him down this dark path to his own political demise. This is his last political mass let him pool his shit himself.

He feels that he has no expiry date and that the only person who has the right to receive campaign funds in their name is he. In others words the only person who has the right to be rich is he. The last group of people that had such a mindset was our slave masters from England, the birth place of this same Thompson.”

… read the full comment by government insider Royalrumble here

Our apologies for letting Royalrumble’s bad language stand, but we think it is important to realise the full vehemence of his thoughts.

Is Royalrumble a Cabinet Minister, an MP or a Barbados Labour Party strategist? We don’t know who this person is, but many times Royalrumble has proven their credentials publicly for all to see.

This person has also continually shown their racist attitude against lighter-skinned Bajans of African and Indian heritage and, of course, whites. (For an example see BLP Government Insider Says Tourism Official Distributing Info Package Calling Pundit Adrian Loveridge “The Embodiment Of Racist” !)

What is truly disturbing about Royalrumble and his racist comments is that he is a real government insider with access to Cabinet documents in the middle of the night.

We fear that his or her racist writings are indicative of a general racist attitude by more than just a few persons in the Barbados Government and the BLP.

In the past we have mentioned other racist comments and attitudes by members of the Barbados Government, including…

– Prime Minister Owen Arthur’s use of the racially charged term “negrocrat” as a derogatory slur against folks who disagree with him. (link here)

– Environment Minister Liz Thompson’s use of the word “Caucasian” as a racial slur against a Bajan with light skin (on television no less!)

– The website of the government Barbados Labour Party shows only Barbados citizens of one race – with dark skin. (link here)
– Barbados Government’s continued support of Ikael Tafari, it’s appointed Director of the Commission for Pan-African Affairs, who time and time again has spouted racist positions. (see here)

Non-blacks being expelled from government sponsored “anti-racism” conference.

Barbados Government Displays A Mugabe-Like Attitude Towards Racial Minorities

We have said many times that race and culture are always just below the surface in Barbados. That’s just a reality – but it doesn’t mean that we can’t progress or become colour-blind as we move forward as a society.

Friends of BFP know that like the reality of Barbados, the colours of our writers’ skins run from very dark to very light. Marcus and Shona are of entirely different races and their children are somewhere in between. Cliverton is dark. George is light. Robert is somewhere in the middle and obviously had some oriental ancestors somewhere in the mix.

Even the darkest of us are a mixed breed stew.

But we are BAJANS first and last. That is our decision for our children and for our country’s future.

The Government of Barbados under Prime Minister Owen Arthur displays one face when on the world stage of international relations – or when talking with foreign investors.

But when their guard is down or they believe they are talking to their chosen core audience in the racial majority, this government displays a disturbing Magabe-like attitude towards citizens who are not of the racial majority.

As we pointed out over a year ago with the Government party’s official website…

“(The Barbados Government BLP website has) a powerful feel-good message of progress – until you realize that the images only show Barbadians of African heritage who have darker skin tones. No lighter-skinned persons of African heritage are shown. No Barbadians of Indian heritage. No Oriental races. No Asians. No whites. No Barbadians of mixed race. No mixed race couples.

Only persons of African heritage who have dark skin tones.

My friends, that is a powerful, powerful message. It is also a disturbing message in light of past racially-charged comments by both Prime Minister Owen Arthur and Environment Minister Liz Thompson.

If the Barbados Labour Party truly believes that it wants to represent the interests of all Barbadians – no matter the colour of their skin or their racial heritage – then the BLP should change it’s website to reflect all our citizens.

But if the website fairly represents how the BLP views Barbados and their vision for this nation, then they should leave the website the way it is. Don’t change a thing BLP, unless you really mean it.”

Here we are over a year later and the Government BLP website remains the same.

We Get The Message

98 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Politics & Corruption

Nation News Prints Letter From Friends Of Graeme Hall – But Deletes Some Sections

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Were The Deletions By Nation News Acceptable?

Friends Of Graeme Hall Write Letter About Caribbean Splash Waterpark vs National Park

Peter Simmons, the Chairman of the Friends of Graeme Hall citizen’s group, wrote a letter to various news media including Barbados Free Press. The Nation News printed his letter but deleted some of the paragraphs.

We are printing the entire letter with the deleted sections shown in red.

There have been many times in the past when the Nation News has heavily censored or even refused to cover stories involving Graeme Hall National Park – in our opinion to avoid embarrassing the Barbados Government. For examples, read…

Nation News Censors Important Story & Letter To Editor – Millionaire Philanthropist Abused By Barbados Government

Outrage As Deceitful Nation News Censors Letter From National Park Donor Peter Allard

While this type of censorship, bias and outright lapdog behaviour towards the government is a betrayal of the media’s duty towards Barbados and the public – we also recognize that any newspaper might have space limits or fear legal problems under our outrageous libel laws.

In the past, we have been sure about The Nation News’ censorship. This time, we’re not so sure that we detect an agenda.

What do our readers think?

Here is the letter as we received it from The Friends Of Graeme Hall, once again with the sections deleted by the Nation News shown in red…

Park Figures Don’t Add Up

Lawrence Loughlin who, with fellow American Matthew Kerins of Caribbean Water Splash, seems determined to construct a water park adjacent to the Errol Barrow Roundabout at Graeme Hall, reacted with lightning speed to the announcement that permission had been granted for a water park at the Ocean Park Aquarium just up the highway at Balls.

Writing on the Barbados Free Press blog on June 6, he says, inter alias:

1) “Same old, same old gross misrepresentations of facts and figures . . .

2) “Our project will be a wholesome playground for children and youngsters . . .

3) “I can take extreme comfort and knowledge that my private polling suggests 93 per cent of Bajans polled were enthralled about the water park. I even went a step further, by saying I am willing to do a referendum on the issue. If 75 per cent or less of Bajans do not want a water park, then we gone . . .

4) “Are we not a democracy!!! Let the people have their voice.”

As a Barbadian living in our robust democracy, I write on behalf of The Friends of Graeme Hall Inc. and the hundreds of residents of Graeme Hall and the surrounding districts, 420 of whom have signed a petition to the Chief Town Planner objecting to a water park at Graeme Hall.

I also write on behalf of the 6 083 individuals from across the length and breadth of Barbados who have signed a public petition in favour of the creation of a national park at Graeme Hall.

I find No.1 most interesting coming from one of the group who wants to lease 17 acres of Government-owned land at a peppercorn rent ($100 per year?) rather than buying it at its commercial value of, I am advised, between $25 and $30 per sq. ft and ask the following:

a) If they are seeking a peppercorn lease to avoid paying the realistic commercial price for the land and will erect what they call “chattel house type structures” on it, on precisely what will the alleged US$22 million investment be spent?

b) Why do Loughlin and Kerins want to convert five of the 17 acres into a concrete car park to accommodate 2 000 motor vehicles, making it the largest car park not only in Barbados, but in the entire English-speaking Caribbean?

c) Who said at a church hall meeting that amount of parking was a Town Planning requirement?

d) On what was the 2 000 parking spots based? Was it on Caribbean Water Splash’s projection that there would be over 2 000 visitors per day?

e) When Henderson Forde, a director of Caribbean Water Splash, said on the Brass Tacks Sunday programme which was dedicated to discussing the water park, that 300 000 visitors per year were projected, was it not Lawrence Loughlin who was in the studio with me who challenged Forde’s figure and said that his own projection was 270 000?

f) If you divide Forde’s and Loughlin’s figures by 365, they are both projecting less than 1 000 visitors a day.

g) Additionally, since the majority of patrons will be “children and youngsters” who presumably are not licensed to drive motor vehicles, the mystery deepens intriguingly!

h) Are Loughlin and Kerins aware that at the new International Waterfront Development project in Port-of-Spain comprising two 26-storey corporate office towers, a 22-floor 428-room hotel, a conference complex and retail shopping facilities, the car park will be for 1 200 vehicles? (Business Authority, May 28, 2007).

i) When will Barbadians learn if there may be a hidden agenda behind construction of this massive car park when, by their own admission, less than 1 000 patrons per day on average will visit?

j) Could it be that should the water park fail (and I am not aware of one anywhere in the Caribbean which has been successful), then the five acres under concrete could easily facilitate the construction of upscale condominiums and townhouses?

I am fascinated that Lawrence Loughlin takes “extreme comfort and knowledge” that his “private polling suggests 93 per cent of Bajans polled were enthralled about the water park”.

I ask: who was polled? What was their social, economic, racial and age cohorts? Where and when was the poll conducted? Who was the pollster?

Will Mr. Loughlin answer these questions and share the information or will he run and take cover under the cloak that it was a private and confidential poll, his “private polling” for his eyes only?

We, the Friends of Graeme Hall Inc., take great comfort in and extrapolate from the results of our two real public petitions two factual conclusions. One, that 420 people from Graeme Hall and its environs do not want a water park at Graeme Hall.

Secondly, that there are over 6 083 real, living people who enthusiastically want a national park instead and have petitioned for it. Both petitions are available for public scrutiny.

I note Mr Loughlin has introduced a novel, if absurd, dimension to governance in our polity. He proposes a referendum on the water park and asserts “if 75 per cent or less of Bajans do not want a water park, then we gone”.

Please, Mr Loughlin, if you want to be treated seriously, desist from displaying your cavalier ignorance of our political culture. A referendum on your water park? You have obviously seen pigs flying and cows jumping over the moon!

That said, he gets high marks for his parachute clause. With public opinion running strongly against them, with permission granted to construct another water park already granted, and with this country unlikely to sustain two viable water parks, the boys backing Caribbean Splash are clearing preparing to jump.

We wish them the best of Bajan luck. Go in peace.

* Peter Simmons is chairman of Friends of Graeme Hall Inc.

Read the letter as printed in the Nation News (link here)

10 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Environment, News Media, Offshore Investments, Politics & Corruption

One Of The VECO Corruption Trials Begins Today – Will New Barbados Information Surface?

Alaska-Based VECO Is Building New Prison In Barbados

A few snippets from the Juneau Empire…

Tom Anderson bribery trial begins Monday
Attorney prepares for public scrutiny in corruption case

Former state Rep. Tom Anderson, R-Anchorage, goes on trial Monday in Anchorage, in a case which may be linked to the ongoing political corruption investigation involving VECO Corp. executives and other state legislators.

Also involved, likely without her knowledge, may be Anderson’s wife, Sen. Lesil McGuire, R-Anchorage.

(snip)

The FBI investigation in Alaska, led by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Public Integrity became publicly known in August of 2006. At that time FBI agents served search warrants on the offices of six members of the Alaska Legislature, though not Anderson, as well as VECO and other offices.

Three of the six legislators and two top VECO executives have been indicted on corruption charges. The executives have pleaded guilty, while the legislators have pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial.

A series of indictments, guilty pleas and legal maneuverings have kept those VECO-related issues in the news for months.

According to documents filed by U.S. attorneys to outline their case, the investigation had been in the works for more than two years before the raids.

(snip)

The charges against Anderson accuse him of using his position as a legislator, including the chairmanship of the Administrative Regulations Review, to benefit Cornell Companies, a Texas-based firm which operates private prisons.

In Alaska Cornell was seeking state approval to build a private prison and a juvenile psychiatric treatment facility, as well as regulatory changes to help its Alaska operations, which include a string of halfway houses around the state.

(snip)

Cornell is not accused of any wrongdoing, federal and Cornell officials have previously told the Empire.

Prosecutors said they expect to take a week to present their case.

At the time of the alleged bribery, Anderson, chairman of the Labor and Commerce Committee, was single but known to be romantically involved with McGuire, at the time chairwoman of the House Judiciary Committee…

… read the entire article online here

Also see our first story on the VECO situation…

BREAKING NEWS: U.S. Politicians Indicted For Taking/Arranging Bribes In VECO Scandal – Involves New Barbados Prison

… or use our search box in the sidebar to search for “VECO” and you will find all our stories on this ongoing scandal.

7 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Politics & Corruption

CEO Of LIAT Proves Barbados Tourism Minister A Liar… (yawn, not again?)

Good old Adrian Loveridge posted the below comment early Monday morning.

Before we get to Adrian’s comment, jog our memories for us… didn’t Barbados Minister of Tourism Noel Lynch just promise that airfares were coming down soon?

Oh yes… now I remember. Lynch said that only yesterday…

“(Tourism Minister Lynch) said the local tourism partners met with LIAT on Friday and a drop in prices was expected.” Quoted yesterday, June 24, 2007 – The Nation News

Take it away, Adrian…

Well you heard it on the news (StarCom 7.30am today).

Mark Darby, CEO of LIAT stating that airfares CANNOT come down without (further) Government subsidies!

What the heck has the taxpayer been doing for years?

$40 million (check if thats BDS$ or US$) from the Barbadian taxpaper alone according to the Prime Minister.

Never mind the 62 employees per aircraft.

My thoughts are not a cent more, Mr Darby, until we see a credible business plan.

Its almost back to a monopoly and we all know from bitter previous experience what that means.

High airfares.
Take it or leave it service.
Delays.

Its over to you Minister Lynch, before you allow Intra Caribbean tourism to become an extinct species!

42 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business, Politics & Corruption, Traveling and Tourism

Prime Minister Owen Arthur… Did You Fill Out The Proper Anti-Money Laundering Form?

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Well Mr. Prime Minister? Did You Fill Out The Form?

Barbados Underground and all of Barbados want to know…

Did you?

14 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Politics & Corruption