Daily Archives: February 23, 2008

UPDATED: Stranded Passengers Working Illegally In Barbados – Ghana International Airlines Strands Passengers For Weeks

Comment from BFP reader “Hants”…

This has made me think about the situation. This could be an immigration scam.

…One would expect that the type of people flying from so far away for a vacation would be middle to upper class with jobs and commitments requiring them to get back home asap.

Instead they are working in construction.

On BFP…sooner or later…the truth will out.

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UPDATED: Stranded Passengers Working Illegally In Barbados – Want To Remain (Surprise, surprise!)

The Nation News finally published a story on the plight of 149 Ghana International Airlines passengers who were stranded in Barbados for weeks when their return flight did not arrive. (See The Nation News: Stranded)

It turns out that some are now working at a construction site while others have moved on. Unsurprisingly, some stranded passengers have announced that they would like to stay in Barbados.

Really? Gosh… what was our first clue that not every passenger arriving from Africa would intend to return? Any idiot could have predicted that – especially with the many Nigerians who took the flight to Barbados “for a vacation”.

Yup, this embracing of Africa will result in refugee claims and other uncontrolled immigration to Barbados, so our government and immigration authorities had better be on it.

But our Chief Immigration Officer Marva Farmer doesn’t seem to be answering the phone for the Nation News.

Has anyone seen Marva Farmer around? Please relay the message that folks would like to know what is going on!

Thanks.

Original BFP Story below…

Passengers From Ghana & Nigeria Can’t Get Home

Well… this really makes me want to take Ghana International Airlines back to Africa to connect with my historical roots.

Ahhh… on second thought even though it will drive Ikael Tafari to smoke more than he should… maybe I’ll take British Airways through London…

According to one African website, the holdup is with the Barbados Ministry of Transport… but I don’t buy that at all. Here’s what is said…

According to the statement, over the last week or so, the Charterer has been trying to procure another permit from the Ministry of Transport, Works and International Transport in Barbados to enable it transport a second batch of tourists to Barbados.

However, the Ministry insists it would not allow the Charterer to bring in additional tourists unless the first batch is repatriated to Accra, thus the Ministry would only permit the Charterer to bring an aircraft without passengers.

The Ministry of Transport, Works and International Transport in Barbados on February 1, 2008 granted a permit to GIA on behalf of the Charterer to operate one rotation- Ghana/Barbados/Ghana- but the ongoing dissimilarity in position between the Charterer and the authorities in Barbados prevented the repatriation of the tourists to Ghana.

… from Daily Guide Ghana

Barbados Media Fails To Report Story

Now, maybe we’re wrong here, folks. Maybe it was on the news and we didn’t hear it. Maybe the newspapers printed a huge article on this human interest story of Africans being put up in private homes all around the island. Please correct us if we’re wrong…

Yup, there’s nothing like the PROFESSIONAL Barbados news media: always so quick to make a major story out of government press announcement that a meeting will be held next week – but when it comes to anything but retyping a press release, they are lost.

… and the story from Young Bajan Lion

What a big disgrace!

SHAME! GHANA! SHAME!

I started this month bursting with pride and happiness when news broke on 1 February that Ghana International Airlines had created history in Barbados by making the first direct flight from Africa to Barbados. So proud was I of the achievement that I rose in solid defense of GIA which came under attack from many skeptical Ghanaians here who cast slurs against the airline’s effort.

But tonight I hang my head in shame.

Two weeks after that first inaugural charter flight, GIA on Friday 15 February failed to show up on the planned second flight to Barbados and back, leaving 149 African passengers stranded in Barbados for ANOTHER TWO WEEKS until the next scheduled flight which is supposed to arrive on 29 February. The only solace I could find in the news story was that many of the Africans had deserted the guesthouse where some of them had been staying, and had taken up lodging with various Bajans whom they had met after arriving here.

A delay of a day or two is understandable, but to be stranded in a foreign country for TWO WHOLE WEEKS is outrageous. Surely some of those passengers have jobs and other responsibilities waiting for them in West Africa. They paid for TWO WEEKS in the Caribbean and now because of GIA’s atrocious bungling they have ended up spending TWO MORE WEEKS in a foreign country with money running low while food and accommodation still have to be found every day. GIA should be SUED for this, and I am sure that some Bajan lawyers would do it for free. There is no way that people should be treated like this.

I strongly commend my Bajan people for reaching out and accepting these Ghanaian and Nigerian strangers (who are our African brothers and sisters) into their homes. But I am very angry with GIA for ruining what should have been a historic and enjoyable visit to our country, because the whole idea of coming to Barbados is to make all visitors feel comfortable and welcome.

SHAME AND DISGRACE TO GHANA INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES.

They started well and finished badly.

Nuff Respect, Young Bajan.

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105 Comments

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

“Like every human being, Castro had his flaws…” – Former DLP Spokesperson Reudon Eversley

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Former DLP communications spokesperson Reudon Eversley wishes a despot Viva Fidel! Happy retirement! in the Nation News.

Some of the folks in the photos probably wouldn’t be so quick to wish Fidel Castro anything but a quick trip to Hell. But maybe they shouldn’t be so quick to condemn the mass-murderer. As Eversley says, Castro probably did some good – when he wasn’t putting bullets into the heads of men, women and children.

Perhaps Reudon Eversley should ask Cuban journalist Guillermo Fariñas what he thinks of Castro. Here’s a photo so Fariñas can be recognised when Eversley moves to Cuba…

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Shame on you, Reudon Eversley. Shame.

11 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Cuba, Freedom Of The Press, History, Human Rights, Slavery

Fish Flocking To Barbados Reef Balls – Thanks In Part To An Abused Canadian Philanthropist

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Fish Flocking To Reef Balls

An experiment aimed at encouraging the growth of coral, and attracting and promoting fish and marine life in Barbados’ coastal waters is said to be reaping resounding success.

The Barbados Marine Trust says 30 reef balls which were placed in 40 feet of water off the Hastings coast in 2004 are working.

The hollow concrete balls, which are six feet high and six feet wide, are said to not only encourage coral grow, but also provide an excellent environment for fish to live and breed.

Board member of the Trust, David Gill, says as a result of the experiment, an area which once had little marine life is now very active.

Mr. Gill says the reef ball project is to be extended to Oistins Bay thanks to funding from the United Nations Development Fund… (from the CBC article link here)

Canadian Philanthropist Chased Out Of Barbados Over Refusal To Pay “Consulting Fees” To Politicians ?

When I read the CBC article about the success with the reef balls, I wondered if anyone remembered one of the big donors for that and so many other environmental and social good works on Barbados: Peter Allard.

The Canadian philanthropist also saved the Graeme Hall mangrove swamp pretty well singlehandedly and has financed and inspired many projects in Barbados and around the world.

But Allard doesn’t feel welcome in Barbados any more and he put his Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary up for sale. Frankly we can’t blame him because the previous government treated him like dirt.

Why Did The BLP Government Despise Canadian Philanthropist Peter Allard?

That’s a good question that all citizens should ask. The answer might be found in another question … Why doesn’t Barbados have the free AIDS and Cancer Hospice that Peter Allard offered to donate?

You can read this BFP article to discover how Prime Minister Owen Arthur and his government members turned down Peter Allard’s offer to donate a multi-million dollar state of the art AIDS & Cancer hospice and clinic in Barbados. Why would any Bajan turn down such an offer?

How about… Money. Squeeze. Juice.

Or, as it is euphemistically known in Barbados, “Consulting Fees”.

When a foreigner wants to do business on Barbados – or even do some major philanthropic project – various “recommended consultants” must be hired to, well, “consult”. This was long a tradition under the previous BLP Government.

Sometimes foreigners would end up seeking out various well-known “consultants” such as (for instance) David Shorey. Mr. Shorey had the business and local knowledge to make projects happen.

And, oh yes, he just happened to be a close friend of then-Prime Minister Owen Arthur.

Yup, one just hired Mr. Shorey or some other recommended “consultant” to “consult” on a major business project under the previous BLP government and things were bound to go smoother.

Of course, it didn’t always work out. Sometimes the citizens wouldn’t be pushed around even if the proper “consulting” was done. I almost feel sorry for Matthew Kerins, the Caribbean Splash Water Park developer who said he spent over two million US dollars on “consultants” to “consult” with the last Barbados government and has now undoubtedly lost it all. (Hey… Mr. Kerins… we told you in 2006, 2007 and 2008 to kiss that money goodbye!)

So Why Wouldn’t The Barbados Government Accept A FREE Multi-Million Dollar State Of The Art AIDS & Cancer Hospice From Mr. Allard?

Peter Allard is still spending his millions doing good works all over the world and closer to home for at least one of our Caribbean neighbours, Dominica – where citizens and tourists alike now enjoy a new national park in good measure thanks to Allard.

Philanthropists like Allard like to see 100% of their money used where it is needed. Conditions of “consulting” or of using only “recommended” suppliers at a higher-than-the-going-price drive away those who want to do something out of the goodness of their hearts. People with other agendas will stay and pay, but in today’s world true philanthropists put their money where it will do the most good.

Government Corruption Is Death To Philanthropy And Foreign Investment

But Allard is only one of many foreign investors and philanthropists who were burned in Barbados under previous government – all of whom have a bad taste when it comes to our country.

Issues of government corruption, lack of standards, enforceable laws and lack of impartial police and judicial systems have caused a many large and small foreign investors to forsake Barbados.

Let’s hope that the new DLP Government will take the necessary steps to once again make Barbados attractive to foreign investors and business people.

15 Comments

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