Two Different Messages: Barbados Ambassador To USA Sounds Alarm Over Tax Haven Crackdown – Barbados Prime Minister Says We Shouldn’t Be Concerned

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)

David Thompson 2facedSo has the Prime Minister suddenly changed his position on the potential impact of the US legislation? Did Ambassador Beale act on his own to contradict the PM without government approval?

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

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17 Comments

Filed under Barack Obama, Barbados, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press, History, News Media

17 responses to “Two Different Messages: Barbados Ambassador To USA Sounds Alarm Over Tax Haven Crackdown – Barbados Prime Minister Says We Shouldn’t Be Concerned

  1. kiki

    Nothing has been agreed yet (legislation can take 2-3 years to finalise)… Countries can opt for their Clients to opt out with self-certification, but most will have closed their accounts by then anyway..

  2. BFP

    Hello Kiki…

    I have read the legislation and I see nowhere in it where “countries can opt for their Clients to opt out with self-certification”

    Where do you get this piece of information?

    Robert

  3. Hants

    I just googled “arch cot collapse” and found a Barbados Advocate article in pdf format. from sunday march 15th 2009.

  4. Bajanbat

    it is hardly new to learn that we Bajans are told one thing while the “official” truth is something different. Only those who expected “change” may be surprised. I may have become cynical growing older but that scenario has been true for decades.
    What is dangerous is when one sees that there is no evidence of positive action to remedy the situation and the consequences will be serious.
    Ambassador Beale may be censured for his comments which seem to contradict the PM but what he has said reflects the truth. I hope the PM will do an about turn and do something.

  5. kiki

    Legal Precedence – EUSD Legislation
    e.g. Jersey, Guernsey, Isle Of Mann
    All you have to do is play hard ball and put your foot down in agreements / negotiations for compliance

  6. BFP

    Yes Hants… The PDF of the Machel article published in the Barbados Advocate was released as a PRESS RELEASE by the author, Dr. Hans Machel. You can also find the article online at Barbados Free Press in PDF format.

    But you can’t find it online published by the Barbados Advocate. Without the efforts of Professor Machel and BFP, the article would be irretrievably gone from public consideration.

  7. I saw a photo in the Nation of PM Thompson with US AG Eric Holder in front of the Eric Holder Jr. Municipal Center. I imagine that Holder will be involved in the offshore crackdown.

  8. Islandgirl

    I wondered why the advocate didn’t use PDF format to publish their online edition. Now I know! Thankyou BFP.

  9. J

    Dear BFP: Professor Machel can write as many press releases as he likes. Whether or not his press releases are published is still an editorial decision.

  10. Pingback: Two Different Messages: Barbados Ambassador To USA Sounds Alarm … | Barbados today

  11. Green Monkey

    NEW YORK/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) –

    Technology outsourcing and consulting firm Accenture Ltd plans to change its place of incorporation to Ireland from Bermuda, following an exodus of large multinational companies to Europe as the U.S. government plans to tighten tax rules.

    Accenture said on Tuesday it does not expect any material change in its financial results or tax treatment, but said Ireland will provide economic benefits. Its board unanimously approved the move.

    “A member of the European Union, Ireland offers a sophisticated, well-developed corporate, legal and regulatory environment,” Accenture Chief Executive William Green said in a statement.

    A company spokesman said Accenture is also moving because of continued criticism of companies incorporated in Bermuda.

    Several large companies incorporated in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands are eyeing a shift to Europe in search of more favorable tax treatment and other benefits. This comes ahead of U.S. legislation aimed at tightening rules that allow firms to defer tax payments on overseas profits if earnings are plowed back into foreign subsidiaries.

    http://tech.yahoo.com/news/nm/20090527/tc_nm/us_accenture_ireland_1

  12. BFP

    J…

    You really don’t want to get it, do you?

    Yes, the Barbados Advocate published Machel’s article in their paper edition and then made a decision to not publish it online. They publish NOTHING online permanently. They have made a decision to erase their online content every 24 hours so it can never be found again or even indexed or found by search engines during the 24 hour period that it does appear online.

    That is a political decision to erase history – not a business decision.

  13. BFP

    Thanks for the tip, GM. It certainly gives credibility to our article.

  14. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Barbados, U.S.A.: Getting the Message

  15. BFP

    J..

    You really don’t want to get it, do you?

    Yes, the Barbados Advocate published Machel’s article in their paper edition and then made a decision to not publish it online. They publish NOTHING online permanently. They have made a decision to erase their online content every 24 hours so it can never be found again or even indexed or found by search engines during the 24 hour period that it does appear online.

    That is a political decision to erase history – not a business decision.

  16. Rumplestilskin

    What is it that Barbados and the other islands of the Caribbean have, each of them have.

    What is that ‘little’ thing again?

    Hmmm..

    Oh, yes.

    A U.N. Vote.

    Funny that we forget that sometimes.

    We must be good to our friends and trading partners and those who seek to help us in return.

    😉

  17. Pingback: President Obama Slams African Leadership – West, Colonialism, Neo-Colonialism “Cannot Be Blamed For African Catastrophe Of Last 20 Years”o « Barbados Free Press