Daily Archives: July 31, 2007

We Were Promised Cricket World Cup Accounting Would Be Delivered NOW. (Did We Stupid Bajans Really Believe That Promise?)

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The financial and public relations disaster called Cricket World Cup has come and gone – and with it hundreds of millions of tax dollars that will see our grandchildren still working to pay off the debt decades from now.

We were promised an accounting.

The time we were promised to have that accounting is now.

Barbados Underground has the story, but don’t hold your breath…

Prime Minister Owen Arthur promised years ago that we would have a “full accounting” of the GEMS Hotels expenditures and that has yet to arrive.

As Owen Arthur and company have proven time and time again, we stupid Bajans will believe anything.

Barbados Underground: Cricket World Cup 2007 Three Months Later~What Is The Final Tally; You Promised To Tell Us And We The People Have A Right To Know

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Filed under Barbados, Cricket, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary Almost Financially Self-Supporting

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A very few BFP commenters (it seems with an agenda to discredit the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary and donor Peter Allard) posted information that the people of Barbados shouldn’t even want to own the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary as it is (so they say) a liability, not an asset.

Nevermind the issue of a clean and stable watershed. Nevermind the natural beauty and tourism attraction. Nevermind that the Barbados Government pumps millions of dollars annually into schemes that make the medieval quest to turn lead into gold almost legitimate… the commenters with an agenda declared that the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary was loosing millions of dollars every year.

Here is what the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary has to say about those comments…

Dear Barbados Free Press,

Here is some information which may shed some light on recent comments by certain readers of BFP in regard to Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary.

Some of these reader comments are not true. There are many good-hearted and well-meaning people in and out of Government who know
this, and believe that a National Park at Graeme Hall would be a good thing. Here are my responses:

The Allard investment in the Sanctuary is in excess of US $16 million.

Total acreage of the Sanctuary is 34.25 acres. The Offer made in December 2007 included donation of 25 of those acres plus financial and
technical services to improve and manage the Graeme Hall green space in its entirety as a National Park for all Barbadians. The donation
offer represented the largest single philanthropic offer ever made by Peter Allard, or the Allard Family, worldwide.

As this is being written, Mr. Allard is investing nearly Bds $900,000 to install an upgraded Nature Pathway System with an additional 60
interpretive exhibit signs for birds and botanicals, plus additional infrastructure improvements, all of which are designed to last another
20-25 years. He cannot profit from these investments. If he didn’t care, or if he wanted to make as much money as possible from a sale, he
wouldn’t do it. This philanthropic investment, as well as countless others, will never be repaid to Mr. Allard, except in the sense that he
will know he has done the right and ethical thing for the people of Barbados.

Sanctuary operations are rapidly moving toward break-even status. Based on the hard work by Harry Roberts and his staff, break-even
operations are expected within the first quarter of next year (2008).

Mr. Allard has always known that there would be a day when the future of the Sanctuary would need to be assured beyond his lifetime, and for that
reason alone it is best for us and best for the Government and people of Barbados to address how the Sanctuary and surrounding lands can be
protected in perpetuity. It is not in anyone’s best interest to wait for the disposition of the Sanctuary to become an estate issue, as no
one can assure the people of Barbados that Mr. Allard’s heirs would have the long-term interests of Barbados at heart.

Stuart Heaslet
Board Representative
Oversight and Philanthropy
Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary

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

Barbados Reporters Again Assaulted By Police Thugs – But Is The Nation News Reaping What Is Sowed?

“The government and police long ago lost any respect for, or fear of, the Barbados media.”

Barbados Police Officers Use Violence If Reporters Don’t Show Instant Obedience – A Legacy Of The Press Always Saying “Yes, Massa”

For at least a decade the Nation News and other Barbados media have bowed down to the government – ignoring well-proven stories of political corruption, censoring letters to the editor to remove facts and soften the impact, selectively covering stories to show the government in a better light, providing questions in advance and agreeing to restrict areas of enquiry during the few live “on air” interviews of government or police officials. When police or government demanded that a story be ignored or facts withheld, the editors were only too willing to say “Yes Massa”.

Whether this was done because of cowardness, laziness, a desire not to jeopardise revenues from government advertising – or a combination of factors, the net effect has been a weakening of freedom of the press and democracy in Barbados – and part of the blame lies with the Barbados media itself.

The government and police long ago lost any respect for, or fear of, the Barbados media. Likewise, even the ordinary citizens long ago lost faith in the Nation News as a defender of citizens’ rights and democracy or as a source for unbiased truth in reporting.

On Friday, May 25, 2007, three respected Barbados journalists were roughed up by police thugs as they were covering a story at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. As BFP said at the time…

“The police physical attack on the three journalists perfectly reflected the government’s policy and attitude towards a free Barbados news media. The government has long provided the example and leadership in this area. The police were merely following the government’s example.”

… from BFP’s Barbados Government In Damage Control Mode Over Police Roughing Up Journalists At Hospital

Barbados Bus Accident – Police Assault Journalists, Take Camera, Phone, Delete Photos

In the latest incident of assault, thugs from the Royal Barbados Police Force assaulted two Nation News journalists at the scene of the bus accident. According to a story in the Nation News, Senior Superintendent Leonard Broomes told reporter Rawle Culbard that he “could not take pictures of the scene” even though he was not within any cordoned off area.

Senior Police THUG Broomes and his henchmen then forcibly yanked the camera from Mr. Culbard’s neck and deleted the photos. Senior Police THUG Broomes then used force to take the cell phone from another Nation News staffer to erase any photos taken by the phone.

That, my friends, is assault by any definition.

What Law Did These Police Thugs Think They Were Enforcing When They Assaulted Journalists and Deleted Photos?

Once again, our police officers show that they and their political masters have no respect for the rule of law or citizens’ rights.

What is not prohibited by law is permitted by law, but taking a page from the government – the police hold themselves to be the law. Whatever an officer declares at the time is the law on Barbados – citizens’ rights and freedom of the press be damned.

Just listen to the contempt that the Senior Superintendent has for citizens, journalists and the rule of law. How confident the police thug is of the outcome of any complaint! How secure he is in the certainty that the police can do as they please in Barbados without having to worry about little things like “the law”…

“When I asked his name, (Police Superintendent) Broomes said to me that ‘you all always asking for names as if something will come out of it’.

… Nation News journalist Rawle Culbard describing what Police Senior Superintendent Broomes said after assaulting him.

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Cowardly Yellow-Backed Nation News Refuses To File Criminal Assault Charges Against Police

What is the reaction of The Nation News to this latest assault by police?

Oh… They filed a COMPLAINT with the police!

Well, that should take care of everything.

Is Vivian-Anne Gittens, the Publisher and Chief Executive Officer of The Nation News, cowardly, stupid or a little of both?

This is yet another clear case of assault against journalists by police thugs. It is time that criminal charges were laid against at least Senior Superintendent Broomes who was clearly operating outside the law and with total contempt for citizens’ rights and freedom of the press. Without sanctions against these police thugs, we can only expect things to get much worse.

If the publisher of The Nation News hasn’t the courage or integrity to stand up for her journalists then the concept of freedom of the press in Barbados is well and truly dead in the old media.

Required Reading:

The Nation News: Photographer’s Pictures Deleted

Notes From The Margin: Joe’s River Tragedy – Nation Files A Complaint With Police

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados News & Media, Crime & Law, Freedom Of The Press, News Media, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Barbados Prison Builder VECO – Political Corruption Scandal Continues – FBI and Tax Police Raid US Senator’s Home

FBI Investigation Has Barbados Connections

VECO, the same company that is building Barbados’ way-over-budget new prison, has a long history of bribing politicians and other corrupt practices. United States politicians and VECO executives are dropping like flies as an FBI investigation shows no signs of stopping.

The latest in the continuing saga happened on Monday, July 30, 2007 at about 2:30pm Alaska time when the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service teamed up and raided the home of Alaska Senator Ted Stevens.

Whooooooeee!

Give me the FBI over the tax people any day!

Which reminds me… IF a Barbados politician failed to declare received monies or benefits either in Barbados or in a foreign bank account, who would be in charge of judging their guilt or innocence in any Barbados tax-evasion charge? (Like one would be laid anyway in Barbados… Not in a million years)

But IF a Barbados politician were charged with tax evasion, who would be in charge of the system that would decide guilty or innocence and impose any penalty?

Oh ya. Right. I forgot…

Prime Minister Owen Arthur’s good old drinking buddy, now Chief Justice SIR David Simmons!

What a joke.

Required Reading…

CNN.com: FBI Raids U.S. Senator’s Home

BFP: Corrupt Barbados Prison Builder VECO Implicated In Yet Another Money-To-Politician Scandal

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Filed under Barbados, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Barbados Bus Tragedy – Bajans From Around The World Look Towards Home

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THEY SAY that wherever you travel in the world you will find someone from Barbados, and from what we have seen over the past year and a half at Barbados Free Press that is true. Bajans visit BFP and send us emails and comments from just about any country you can name. A few weeks ago our one millionth visitor (visitor, not page view) logged on from Germany, shortly followed by visitor number one million and one from Thailand – both Bajans living abroad.

The tragedy this week has again reminded us of how many of our brothers and sisters still look towards home no matter how far away they find themselves, or for how long.

As a matter of sad record, today has seen the highest number of visitors that BFP has ever had in one 24-hour period as Bajans around the world search for news of their loved ones and friends. We haven’t spoken with our friends at the other Barbados-based blogs, but we imagine that their traffic is also up significantly.

We notice that Barbados Underground’s post Bus Crashes In St. Joseph Intransit To The Party Monarch Finals Held At The East Coast~A Time For National Mourning is today the #59th most visited WordPress.com post, while BFP’s Tragedy At Joes River – Six Dead In Barbados Tour Bus Crash is the #34 most visited WordPress.com post out of the couple of hundred million articles online today.

Barbados Underground also appeared on the “Top 100 WordPress Blogs” list for the first time, listed at the #72 most popular blog out of one and a quarter million WordPress.com blogs worldwide. Barbados Free Press moved up to #31 on the same Top 100 WordPress Blogs list.

We point these statistics out with no joy or sense of accomplishment because, of course, we wish today had never happened the way it did – but the visitor statistics are an indication of the interest and concern shown by folks everywhere.

All of us at BFP hope that the families and friends who are suffering at this moment can take some small comfort in knowing that the entire Bajan family at home and around the world is praying for them and sharing in their troubles.

*** Photo courtesy of Barbados In Focus 

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Filed under Barbados