Monthly Archives: April 2009

Taxes Killing Barbados Intra-Regional Travel

One Way Barbados to St. Lucia = BDS$93.73 in taxes, plus US$16.75 Fuel & Insurance Surcharge

Book a month in advance and the taxes on a ONE-WAY ticket with LIAT to St. Lucia from Barbados amount to BDS$93.73 alone, and that doesn’t include the US$16.75 fuel and insurance surcharge.

Why is it that the Government is calling on the private sector tourism industry to protect employment and safeguard jobs and yet they appear to be deaf to the overwhelming calls to reduce taxes on intra regional travel?

Despite the Caribbean currently being the third largest source of long stay visitors to Barbados, and this could well change due to restricted air travel caused by the Swine Flu epidemic, it still is treated as the ‘Cinderella’ of our major markets.

With ongoing subsidies of up to US$300 per passenger, plus all the extra costs associated with the Best of Barbados programme in the United States, the least per capita BTA marketing spend is on the Caribbean, despite it producing the highest return on investment.

Prior to being revoked as a Director of the Barbados Tourism Authority, I repeatedly asked, (and it is minuted), for empirical evidence of the economical justification for the Best of Barbados programme. Sadly it was never forthcoming.

It is also difficult to understand why any organisation would the sell a substantial percentage of a product at below cost, especially in a market that has not even kept abreast of inflation for seven consecutive years, when other markets are performing better.

Before we start to see the closure of yet more tourism partners, I urge our Minister of Tourism and his counterparts in the entire Caribbean to take a look at how a reduction in taxes could greatly assist some of them staying in business.

Adrian Loveridge
30th April 2009

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BREAKING: Swine Flu Pandemic Imminent – World Health Organisation Declares Level 5 of 6

barbados-influenza

Airline Flights Scaled Back, Some US Schools Closed, Europe Into Lockdown

We just finished watching WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan on CNN satellite and I wish we had recorded what she said. No doubt you can go to CNN.com or Drudge Report and get the latest, but here it is from memory…

The World Health Organization raised the pandemic alert to the second-highest level, indicating that a full blown pandemic is “imminent” according to Dr. Chan. Dr. Chan said that “all countries should immediately now activate their pandemic preparedness plans.”

Prior to the appearance of Dr. Chan, some talking heads at CNN were speculating that the Avian flu and SARS were a “3” on the pandemic scale – so that gives you an idea of the seriousness of the threat.

In the news, we see that Air France flight crews are refusing to fly to Mexico. I can’t blame them, but truly it is so appropriate that the French crews would be the first to say “non”. I can’t help it folks — like the old joke “How many Frenchmen does it take to defend Paris? Answer: no one knows, it’s never been attempted!”

Now for Some Good News… And a More Balanced Perspective

eTurbo News —  a global travel industry newsletter — reminds us that 35,000 people died of influenza in the United States last year alone. Yes, as Dr. Chan pointed out in the WHO briefing a few minutes ago, this new strain of swine flu has never been seen before and should be treated with respect and the utmost precautions. And, we should all take those precautions.

But we at Barbados Free Press are willing to bet that in two months time this new crisis in the travel industry will be ending. Our leaders should not only be thinking about what is to be immediately done to protect everyone, they should be planning for the recovery of our tourist industry after this swine flu passes.

Have a read of the eTurbo News article Applying Tourism’s Lessons Learned From SARS To Swine Flu and you will be reassured that the sky is not falling. This swine flu crisis isn’t the end of the world, but it is going to significantly impact our national economy and your pocketbook. In response, hopefully our leadership will cancel a few champagne brunches at the Hilton and devote themselves to more immediate concerns.

Meanwhile, as we continually remind our readers: look after your family and friends better than you ever have before — you might be the one needing help next week.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Health

Barbados Police Receive Training From China – Chinese Law Enforcement Handbook Instructs How To Beat People Without Leaving Marks (Were I’Akobi’s Cops China Trained?)

china-barbados-police

Slippery Slopes Get Very Slippery Indeed

Officers of the Royal Barbados Police Force already receive training from China’s police both in Barbados and during exchanges in China. As Barbados Free Press has pointed out on numerous occasions, we don’t believe that Barbados police officers have much to learn from a country that drives tanks over teenagers, kidnaps pregnant women off the streets to force abortions upon them and routinely trains police officers in how to shoot prisoners in the head during public executions. Our Barbados Defence Force also receives Chinese training and equipment.

And now we have to ask if the Chinese authorities will be supplying our police officers with the latest textbook for city administration law enforcement squads. The Chengguan handbook instructs Chinese law enforcement officers in how to inflict pain upon citizens without drawing blood or leaving marks…

“In dealing with the subject, take care to leave no blood on the face, no wounds on the body, and that no people are in the vicinity.”

… From the Beijing Municipal Bureau of City Administration and Law Enforcement training textbook “The Practice of City Administrator Law Enforcement”

Did Any Barbados Police Officer Involved With The Death Of I’Akoki Receive Chinese Training?

Barbados Free Press will have much more to say about the illegal arrest of I’Akobi Maloney by Barbados police — an act that is all too common on this island as our police officers routinely exceed their authority in law and abuse the rights of citizens and members of the press.

But for now, we just want an answer from the Commissioner of Police…

Commissioner Dottin — Please inform the good citizens of Barbados whether any of the police officers involved with the death of I’Akobi Maloney, either at the scene or during the subsequent investigation, ever received training from China.

Further Reading

Global Voices – China: A practical handbook for beating street vendors

Nova Scotia Scott blog – Chinese Junior Cops Trained In Thuggery

Danwei – A practical handbook for beating street vendors

BFP: Chinese Police Arrest Christians For Nativity Play, Praying – But Barbados Still Loves Chinese Charity and Investment

BFP: Would Bussa Have Accompanied Barbados Chief Justice and Prime Minister To Chinese Embassy Celebration?

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Culture & Race Issues, Ethics, Human Rights, Police, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Barbados Chief Justice Testifies Under Oath: He Destroyed Business Records Evidence After Lawsuit Launched!!!

Barbados Chief Justice Simmons testified he had a man burn the corporate records for his land speculation company, S.B.G. This fellow looks like he could have done the job for the Chief Justice!

Barbados Chief Justice Simmons testified he had a man burn the corporate records for his land speculation company, S.B.G. - This fellow looks like he could have done the job for the Chief Justice!

A Sad Day For The Dignity Of The Office Of The Chief Justice Of Barbados

Barbados Chief Justice Sir David Simmons recently gave testimony for a Canadian court in the Kingsland land fraud case. The court transcript has been posted online at Keltruth Blog here so there is really no dispute about what Sir David said while under oath.

Sir David confirmed that in 2004 he ordered the destruction of his land speculation company’s business records  — even though the business records were evidence in an ongoing lawsuit concerning US$1 billion worth of prime Barbados real estate known as Kingsland. Disgusting, but true.

According to Keltruth Blog, the Chief Justice and some other defendants were recently dropped from the Canadian lawsuit about Kingsland. We at Barbados Free Press have to wonder if the charges being dropped against Sir David had anything to do with the unavailability of evidence that he ordered destroyed. If so, it can be seen that our Chief Justice is a very intelligent man — in a cunning sort of way.

Whether cunningly destroying evidence is a quality that we want to see in our Chief Justice is, of course, another matter.

Career Politician Appointed As Chief Justice To Consolidate Political Power

Chief Justice Simmons - Career Politician Is No Independent Judge!

Chief Justice Simmons - Career Politician Is No Independent Judge!

Once again the people of Barbados are reminded what a mistake it was when then Prime Minister Owen Arthur appointed his former Attorney General and good friend as the Chief Justice of Barbados. Our country needed and deserved to have an independent, non-political person as its Chief Justice. Instead, Owen Arthur and the BLP decided to consolidate power by politicizing the office of our highest judge.

David Simmons was a career politician who had served as Attorney General and acting Prime Minister. He was also an entrepreneur, land speculator and backroom deal maker. As we have stated in the past, we believe that David Simmons should not have accepted the office of cheap justice Chief Justice, but that he wanted the job and the power more than he loved our Barbadian democracy and judicial system. He cheapened the office of the Chief Justice and made it impossible for citizens to have confidence that the highest court in the land was not a political tool. We shall never forgive David Simmons for allowing this to happen.

Further reading: click on the photo to read the original article and the court transcript at Keltruth Blog

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Swine Flu Scare Decimates International Travel – Barbados Suffers With Other Prime Destinations

Swine Flu = Empty Airplanes

Swine Flu = Empty Airplanes

“Dear Barbados Free Press,

It has been nothing but cancellations all day at the Hilton…”

Government Implements Watch At Grantley Adams Airport – Not Much Else To Be Done

No man and no nation can control the wind, tides and the seas. And so it is with swine flu. Nothing that Barbados did contributed to the outbreak, and little that Barbados does will matter on an international scale. Our government has instituted a watch at Grantley Adams international Airport, but realistically that is about all that can be done.

Shona’s little brother works at the airport and he says that passenger pickups are down by half as of today. An anonymous reader tells us that the staff at the Hilton were on the phone all day taking cancellations — not only from individuals, but also from group bookings.

It may take a few weeks or even a month, but this will pass.

As we said before, when times are tough — be frugal, and look after your family and friends because you never know when you might need a little help yourself.

Further Reading

Barbados Advocate: Barbados on alert!

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Summit Of The Americas Official Group Photo!

barbados-obama-thompson-2

See our previous article…

obama-thompson-barbados

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Time For The Semi-Annual “Barbados Queen Elizabeth Hospital Needs A Cafeteria” Story

“For nearly 15 years now, getting a cafeteria or canteen has been an urgent matter for the island’s main health facility and has been ventilated by doctors, nurses and the board, but even now no one can say when the much-needed facility will be in place.”

From the Nation story Call for new QEH Cafeteria

Who says Barbadians don’t have a sense of humour?

Also see BFP’s Barbados News Media Refuse To Cover NUPW Press Release About Queen Elizabeth Hospital Doctors

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