One Message For Citizens, Another For The World Off The Island
Is Barbados worried about the USA’s Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act? Not according to Prime Minister David Thompson, who recently told the Bajan press that he doesn’t “feel” that the American legislation is aimed at jurisdictions like Barbados. (See our previous article US “Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act” Names & Targets Barbados)
But just this morning our Ambassador to the USA, John Beale, joined other Caribbean diplomats in criticizing the Obama-supported law and taking a position that it threatens the very foundations of our economy: tourism and the offshore financial industry. (See NASDAQ DJ article: Caribbean Nations Squawk At US Plans To Crack Down On Tax Havens)
We doubt both scenarios.
More than likely the Government of Barbados is presenting one message to the Bajan people (“Don’t worry, every ‘ting is under control an fine!”), but at the same time telling the USA the truth: Barbados recognizes that our country is targeted by the Obama administration and if nothing changes, we will be a quote “economic victim” of the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act.
“The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became truth.”
“And if all others accepted the lie which the party imposed – if all records told the same tale – then the lie passed into history and became the truth.”
… from George Orwell’s famous novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (pages 78 & 37)
Internet A Major Problem For Barbados Government Wanting To Control Information To Citizens
The issue of the Bajan public being told one thing while the world is told another is not new or unusual in Barbados.
With the exception of a small number of carefully-vetted news stories, the Government of Barbados and the cowardly Bajan news media have virtually shut down the publishing of local and national news content on the internet.
The island’s two largest newspapers have also taken steps to prevent public access to news story archives both online and at their offices.
For instance, the DLP Government-favoured Barbados Advocate newspaper publishes a daily edition online in .JPG image format so the stories cannot be discovered, cached or listed by internet search engines like Yahoo, Google and Live etc. With each day’s new edition, the previous stories disappear into the dustbin. In this way, neither the paper nor the government can later be found to be “wrong” by citizens. The historical record lasts 24 hours at the Barbados Advocate.
As well, by publishing only on paper or with disappearing .JPG image files, Barbados Advocate is able to conceal unfavourable stories from the outside world. For an example, check out BFP’s Barbados Advocate (Finally) Publishes Prof. Machel’s Investigation Of Arch Cot Cave-In Deaths or another article Barbados Government Cover-Up – No Inquest Into Codrington Family Deaths – Home Collapsed Into Known Cave.
Now try to find these major Barbados Advocate articles online at the newspaper. Then go to the office and try to research all paper-published articles about the Arch Cot collapse and purchase copies. Can’t be done!
We’ll have much more to say about this censorship and control of the Barbados news media, but for now – we citizens should know that one story is being told to us, while another is being told to the world.
Excerpts from NASDAQ article… Caribbean Nations Squawk At US Plans To Crack Down On Tax Havens
Caribbean Nations Squawk At US Plans To Crack Down On Tax Havens
By Martin Vaughan, Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- Caribbean nations say they will be the economic victims of U.S. President Barack Obama’s proposals to collect more taxes on the offshore transactions of U.S. individuals and corporations.
Caribbean countries have spent decades building up a financial industry to serve companies and individuals from the U.S. and Europe, touting low tax rates, a friendly regulatory environment and proximity to the U.S. financial markets.
On Wednesday, Caribbean ambassadors at a Washington event criticized Obama’s proposals as well as legislation from Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., aimed at making it harder for U.S. individuals to hide assets offshore.
They also criticized proposals from Obama that would tax more of companies’ foreign profits. Many companies use subsidiaries in low-tax jurisdictions in the Caribbean to help manage their foreign income.
“This legislation proposes to name, shame and otherwise take punitive action towards countries that are believed to be participating in tax evasion, without regard to the level of compliance,” said Cornelius Smith, ambassador to the U.S. from the Bahamas.
The Caribbean officials said their tourism sector could take a hit from legislation aimed at taxing offshore activity. U.S. executives and holders of offshore accounts make regular visits to meet with island lawyers and accountants – and play golf, dine and shop when they do.
“The offshore sector feeds the tourism sector, and the tourism sector feeds the offshore sector,” said John Beale, ambassador to the U.S. from Barbados.
The diplomats spoke at an event sponsored by the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington think tank.
Bahamian officials lodged specific objections about aspects of Levin’s bill that would publish a list of tax-haven jurisdictions, introduce sanctions from the Patriot Act for tax evasion, and treat offshore corporations as U.S. entities if their managers reside in the U.S.
A common theme from opponents of Democratic proposals on tax havens is that the offshore activities of U.S. businesses aren’t illegal, and in some cases were designed by Congress to help companies lower their tax burden.
In terms of tax evasion by individual U.S. taxpayers, many of the countries have information exchange agreements with the IRS and many have made efforts to comply with OECD guidelines for financial transparency…
… read the full article at NASDAQ