Daily Archives: June 17, 2007

Chicago Sun-Times Tourism Writer “Bajans My Kind Of People”

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“Compared to other islands in the region, I find the Bajans to be my kind of people. It seems that what they say to your face is very likely the same sentiments they would say when you’re out of the room.”

Bill Zwecker likes everything about Barbados. Read his article here.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

“Sleazy” VECO-Tainted Congressman Caught Up In New Florida “Campaign Donation” Scandal

Campaign Donation Equals Construction Contract – Sounds Like Barbados!

Our Very Own Road To Perdition – Miami Herald

What happens when a sleazy congressman from Alaska comes sniffing around Florida for campaign donations?

He gets the dough, and $10 million magically materializes to build a road through sensitive wetlands for a friendly developer.

First exposed by The Fort Myers News-Press and Naples Daily News, the saga of Coconut Road is a classic illustration of how taxpayer dollars are used to rape Florida and pay off political favors.

This time the culprit is Rep. Don Young, a Republican from Alaska and a notorious shill for oil companies, developers and industry lobbyists.

Until January, Young chaired the House Transportation Committee, where he proudly larded U.S. transportation bills with wasteful pork, including the now-scuttled ”bridge to nowhere” — a $223 million span to an Alaskan island occupied by only 80 souls…

… Read the rest at the Miami Herald (link here)

According to many online stories like this one, and this one, Alaska politician Don Young is (or was) tight with VECO and it’s founder Bill Allen, while Young’s former aide Mark Zachares has pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges.

The Government of Barbados, VECO and it’s new owners would like everyone to believe that the guilty plea by VECO founder Bill Allen gives closure to the whole issue of VECO political corruption.

Says new VECO owner CH2M Hill “the issue is an isolated one”.

Says Barbados Attorney General Dale Marshall “…I am satisfied that the company’s relationship with Barbados and the work they are doing for the Government of Barbados has at all times been entirely above board, and at no time is there any hint of a scandal in relation to the contracting of that company for the work on the prison or other work that they have previously done for the Barbados Government,”

As new corruption stories about VECO and VECO-tainted politicians keep coming – with something new surfacing almost every week – taxpayers in both the United States and Barbados know that the issue is NOT closed, no matter what our fearful politicians say.

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Filed under Barbados, Politics & Corruption

Barbados Prison Builder VECO To Be Sold – Will Court Actions Stop This Attempt To Shed Liability For VECO’s Corrupt Activities?

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VECO’s Owners Attempt To Shield Themselves From Further Liability For Any Other Corrupt Acts

Colorado-based CH2M Hill says it has agreed to purchase “core VECO assets and staff” for US$365 million. That is peanuts to pay for a company like VECO – except for the fact that there probably are all kinds of yet-to-be-discovered lawsuits and other liabilities against VECO that are just waiting to explode. VECO’s founder, some former executives and lawmakers are all caught up in a corruption scandal that has destroyed much of the company’s value and tainted it so much that it can’t be saved as is. (See Barbados Closely Watches The VECO Scandal)

The reality is that nobody would give another contract to VECO in it’s existing state. That’s why the current owners want to sell VECO – to take their equity now before anything else surfaces. The new owners will claim that they have purchased all of the good side of VECO and are now running the company with integrity. The new owners will also say that all the still-surfacing corruption charges have nothing to do with them.

And after the new owners strip VECO of everything worthwhile and leave it as a hollow shell, the victims of VECO’s corruption will be left with nothing.

Both VECO’s buyers and sellers will try to claim this acquisition is a win-win solution, but what of the victims of VECO’s corrupt past? The plan is to leave them with nothing and no recourse.

Barbados Prison Is Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars Over Budget – How Much Of That Is Due To VECO’s Corrupt Acts And Political Payoffs?

Barbados Attorney General Dale Marshall was quick to absolve VECO of any corrupt activities for both the jail and the previous oil terminal project. Within days of the scandal breaking, the Attorney General held a press conference to say “Everything be jus fine wit dem nice honest people from VECO. Nothin to see here folks. Move along, move along.”

Yup, the AG was quick to absolve VECO: way too quick. Outrageously too quick in fact.

The FBI investigation is not even up to speed, there are hundreds of hours of secretly recorded conversations and thousands of pages of potential evidence that haven’t yet been revealed, more arrests to come and probably some public hearings – yet the Attorney General announces that he’s looked into everything in a morning meeting and it’s all clean.

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Dale Marshall contemptuously thinks that ordinary Bajans are idiots and believe him when he says that he looked into everything in one day. (Sure, Dale. Anything you say – you traitor to your fellow citizens. We used to believe in you personally, but this is the very last straw.)

Every Barbados citizen knows that when you combine VECO’s top-down corporate culture of corruption with the political corruption and payoffs that are endemic to Barbados – this all stinks to high heaven. Two hundred million dollars over budget and we’re supposed to take it?

Have VECO’s New Owners Considered That A New Barbados Government Might Just Grab The Prison?

We are about to have an election and there is a chance that there will be a change of government. It is entirely likely that a new government will do it’s best to uncover evidence of corruption by VECO and Bajan politicians. What then? What if we discover that Barbados taxpayers were corruptly taken for millions of dollars by VECO and the current corrupt government officials? With VECO’s assets sold, what recourse will Barbados have to recover what was stolen?

Will Barbados be able to sue VECO’s new owners, Colorado-based CH2M Hill?

Will we be able to just take the prison and make CH2M Hill sue Barbados in our courts?

We’re no lawyers but we’re doing the best we can to try and protect Barbados from this current attempt to leave us with nothing once VECO is gutted.

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Where the heck is the Opposition party on all this? Where is the Barbados media?

Wouldn’t it be nice if Barbados had an opposition? Wouldn’t it be nice if Barbados had a responsible media that acted in the public interest?

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

Bizzy Williams Comments On The Chinese Imported Labourers

Concerning All That Cheap Imported Labour While Bajans Are Unemployed…

Businessman Ralph “Bizzy” Williams launched a strong statement, noting that “The truth is that the Chinese are the cheapest labour. they don’t pay National Insurance, they don’t pay tax, they don’t pay anything in Barbados. We have to pay our taxes, National Insurance and severance if you’re laying off people from time to time . . .

“If the Chinese labourers are going to come to Barbados and operate the same way we have to operate, then I have no quarrel with them; but if they come here under a different set of rules then I don’t think it is fair”.

… From the Nation News Chinese Here Legally or Illegally?

Our Take…

The Government could fix this issue up in no time at all – but Owen Arthur just spent a week in China begging hat-in-hand from the communists so although there will be lots of stompin’ an yellin’ done by the Prime Minister to keep him in tune with public anger, he’s not about to spit in the eye of the Chinese communists and toughen up immigration enforcement against illegal workers.

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Filed under Barbados, Business, Politics & Corruption