Daily Archives: December 12, 2008

Zimbabwe: Young Boy Carries Liquid Death To His Family

zimbabwe-cholera-barbados

UPDATED: BANGO – Barbados Association of Non-Governmental Organisations says that no foreign or even African government should take over Zimbabwe even to save lives – and that Zimbabweans should sort it out themselves.

The BANGO blog also carries a stirring speech by Zimbabwean Army Chief of Staff Major General Martin Chedondo exhorting the youths to be ready to die for their country. BANGO supports the position Right or Wrong, Black must always be correct.

Hmmmm… I don’t think that Zimbabwe needs to be too concerned that the Western nations will invade tomorrow or any time in the next twenty years. They’ll send a few million every so often to ease their consciences – of which 70% will end up in Switzerland, 25% will be stolen locally and the remaining 5% will assist real people in need.

But the days of the big bucks Western support for starving people are gone for good in Africa and everywhere else. The lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan have been learned even if the USA and its friends can’t yet extracate themselves from that little mistake.

Original article…

“Breadbasket of Africa” Zimbabwe: Cholera and $500 Million Note

The boy in the photo might be dead or deathly ill as you read this. The Getty Images photo shows him carrying water from a possibly contaminated source to his family. But one needs water, so what is he to do?

Zimbabwe used to be called Rhodesia. The whites and and then the asians owned everything. Blacks were persona-non-grata in their own country. Skin colour classifications were encouraged by the British. Lighter skinned blacks were encouraged to “Learn a little English. Practice self-control” (apologies to Johnny Clegg & Savuka – God how I miss the times when I first heard Third World Child)

But everyone ate. There was no cholera.

Now everyone is “free” from foreigners. Yes, free from the foreign cash investments too! Free from education, dental and medical care, iPods and Windows Vista. Free from the Rule of Law… or any laws at all.

Mugabe was celebrated by all Africa even a decade after he had been proven to be a murderous despot. Ahhhh… but he was OUR murderous despot who vanquished the whites and asians so that the people could… could what?

Zimbabwe $50 Million Note Not Enough

Zimbabwe $50 Million Note Not Enough

Here is a $50 Million dollars Zimbabwean note. The country just introduced a $500 million dollar note!

$500 million Zimbabwean dollars are almost enough to purchase eight (8) loaves of bread.

But that is now. Tomorrow, the number of loaves will be fewer.

What Can Barbados Do To Help Zimbabwe?

Nothing. Not a G-damn thing that I can think of! We have neither the resources nor the political will to actually do something to help Zimbabwe. The time to act is ten years past. Now there is only a failed state and a generation of children who have been taught that might is right.

As we steel ourselves to say “Times are tough all over. We cannot help”, we should remember that people in Britain and the USA are saying the same thing about us.

Get ready friends. The next five years are not going to be pretty.

Further Reading

CNN: Zimbabwe Introduces $500 Million Note

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93 Comments

Filed under Africa, Barbados, Ethics, Health, History, Human Rights, Zimbabwe

A First In The History Of The Americas: Dominica Issues Diplomatic Passport To Indigenous Kalinago-Carib Leader

In a move that was widely hailed as a stunning breakthrough in the equitable treatment of Indigenous peoples – and being of great historical significance, the small Independent Caribbean State of Dominica (not to be confused with the Dominican Republic) – has accorded the democratically elected leader of it’s indigenous Kalinago-Carib community, Chief Charles Williams, with a Diplomatic passport.

“This is the first time in the history of the Americas that ANY State has EVER recognized a leader of its indigenous peoples in such an official capacity.”

Whereas it may not be either feasible or financially practical for other States with multiple Indigenous leaders of multiple Indigenous communities to follow Dominica’s noble example, there are at least two other Caribbean States that immediately come to mind such as Trinidad and Tobago – and St. Vincent and the Grenadines (both with singular Indigenous ethnic groups and leadership structures) that can very easily afford to do likewise; it only requires the political will to do so by the honorable Prime Ministers’ Patrick Manning (of Trinidad and Tobago) and Ralph Gonzalves (of St. Vincent and the Grenadines).

At today’s session Colombia’s OAS Ambassador mentioned the fact that his country was the ONLY member state of the OAS that allows the leaders of  indigenous peoples to participate directly in their parliament, other countries only allow indigenous peoples to participate through a recognized political party.

The Ambassador of Colombia also glanced around the table where State representatives are seated and highlighted the sad fact that “There are many Caribbean States in the OAS, over one third of membership to be precise, but NONE are attending these sessions on the Draft American Declaration – and this is having a negative impact on the efforts to achieve consensus.”

For the record, the delegation of the Republic of Guyana was again the ONLY OAS member state representative from CARICOM that is making an effort to be in attendance and constructively participate in the current 11th session.

As a Barbadian by birth of Guyanese Arawak descent I feel proud to see the Guyana Mission at the table, but deeply embarrassed by the COMPLETE ABSENCE of every other Caribbean island state (not to mention Belize and Suriname with sizeable Indigenous populations) at these sessions.
Every day my fellow indigenous representatives ask me why the Caribbean countries are so indifferent and unconcerned about Indigenous rights – and I can only shrug my shoulders and say “I have no idea myself.”

I am hereby beseeching the Guyana Mission, Grenada’s former Ambassador Denneth Modeste, and Dominica’s United Nations Ambassador Crispin Gregoire – to invite their fellow CARICOM colleagues based here at the OAs Missions to make an effort to attend the final day of this session (from 10am-4pm with a 1-2pm lunch break) on Friday December 12th 2008 – so that we can end this 11th session on a truly positive note.

Damon Corrie
Reporting to Barbados Free Press from OAS Headquarters
Washington DC, United States of America.

5 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, History, Human Rights, Politics, Race

Barbados Business and Government Hesitate To Use The Term “IP” (Internet Protocol) – Why?

Short answer: Money.  Hundreds of millions of dollars per year, in fact…

Longer answer: IP leads to what is known as Next Generation Networks (NGNs).

State Of The Art Technology At Our Famous Bajan Telephone Tree!

State Of The Art 1950's Technology At Our Famous Bajan Telephone Tree!

While the Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) AKA the Public Switched Telephone Service (PSTN) dealt with a single 64 kb/s dedicated circuit (which always takes a single route) between two users to provide two-way, real-time audio (read: voice) service, the Internet deals with datagrams between multiple users using the best route available at that particular instance.

The fundamental issue is that the traditional telephony providers are used to charging a *great deal* of money for providing these dedicated circuits.  This is where the *money* is…

Along comes the Internet, which views voice as just another “data service”, along with video, the web, data exchange (read: BitTorrent), and real-time “presence”.

In the “Developed” world, the Providers have had to face the competition of the Internet head on.  This is why long-distance (read: International) rates there are something like USD $0.04 a minute or less.

Here in the Caribbean, the Providers have somehow (and I’ll be careful here to not tell you exactly how) convinced “Those in Power” that Consumers should not be able to use the technology available to their own advantage.  “It could affect Tax Revenue!”  (Read: The Providers are making stupid money, and the Governments (and others…) are taking a (*very*) small cut of this.)

At the end of the day, our region is being prevented from having affordable access to telecommunications services for the benefit of a very few — most of whom are not actually within the Caribbean.  We are being prevented from being able to compete on a level playing field, for the simple reason that we can’t communicate as we should and must be able to.

We, as a People, are being hindered in our progress for the benefit of those “away”.

Kindest regards to all.

Chris Halsall

Ideas4lease.com

10 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business, Consumer Issues, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption