Monthly Archives: August 2009

Murdered Canadian Tourist Terry Schwarzfeld Called “White Trash” – Senior Advisor to Barbados Prime Minister Publishes Articles on Same Racist Website!

schwarzfeld-murder-barbados

Why Does Prime Minister Thompson’s most senior advisor publish articles at a website that calls Terry Schwarzfeld “White Trash”?

Early this year, readers from Barbados Free Press voted to remove the sidebar links to the Barbados Underground blog because that blog had become a racist hotbed – and also because they published reader comments containing threats of violence against named individuals. Some other Barbados blogs also removed their links to Barbados Underground for the same reason.

Barbados Underground’s editor (David) allows and facilitates the most vile racist discussions and articles – even to the point of allowing posts that call murdered Canadian tourist Terry Schwarzfeld “White trash”. Other posts call for blacks to remain racially pure and to not have children with other races or lighter skinned persons of African heritage. Some posts encourage violence against whites, Chinese, Guyanese of Indian descent, and other non-Blacks – including mixed-race Bajans whose skin is not sufficiently dark enough for Barbados Underground’s commenters.

A visit to Barbados Underground will show that this disgusting racist dialogue is not restricted to readers’ comments, but actually appears in some of their published articles. For instance, a recently published article called The Fear of The Growing Ethnic Factor, Real or Imagined? stated “Bajans must understand that Hindu immigrants, with their high fertility rates, and their dislike of miscegenation with the Negro, have already destroyed the social cohesion of two Caribbean territories–Guyana and Trinidad. Now they are invading Barbados.”

All of which makes us wonder why Hartley Henry, who is Prime Minister David Thompson’s most senior advisor, continues to publish articles at Barbados Underground. It’s not as if Mr. Henry is unfamilar with the racist dialogue or the threats of violence that are published at Barbados Underground as these subjects have been major topics of discussion for the past year. Some of the racist comments have even appeared in response to Mr. Henry’s articles and in articles about him and other DLP insiders.

Barbados Underground Racist

Two days ago, Hartley Henry published an article exclusively at Barbados Underground that was the fulfillment of earlier threats he made to ruin an editor of the Nation News (photo above). We covered that story and the content of Henry’s article on Barbados Underground in two of our earlier posts. (See BFP’s articles Senior Advisor To Prime Minister David Thompson Follows Through With Threats Against Barbados Journalist and Barbados Newspaper Editor Threatened by Senior Advisor to Prime Minister David Thompson)

It is not our intent to rehash that story here.

We simply desire an answer as to why Mr. Hartley Henry – who very much represents the Barbados government and Prime Minister David Thompson – would publish exclusive political articles on a website that condones, facilitates and publishes content that is both racist and threatens violence to named individuals and members of certain races and religions.

Here are some samples from the many hundreds of disgusting writings at Barbados Underground where the senior advisor to our Prime Minister publishes his articles…

Barbados Racism A1

I guess the writer of that last comment isn’t too worried about prospective tourists discovering Barbados Underground blog through Google and other search engines. Obviously, Harley Henry doesn’t worry about it too much either.

That’s just a start folks. Here are a few more samples of writings posted at Barbados Underground… Continue reading

362 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados News & Media, Barbados Tourism, Blogging, Canada, Corruption, Culture & Race Issues, Ethics, Freedom Of The Press, Guyana, Human Rights, Immigration, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption, Race, Religion, Tourism, Travel, Traveling and Tourism

Senior Advisor To Prime Minister David Thompson Follows Through With Threats Against Barbados Journalist

Prime Minister David Thompson & Henry Hartley

Prime Minister David Thompson & Henry Hartley

Hartley Henry Makes Public Allegations of Sexual Impropriety, Beatings, Attempted Suicide by Nation Newspaper Staffers

Uses Barbados Underground Blog

We told you on August 24, 2009 how Barbados journalist and editor Carol Martindale alleges that Hartley Henry threatened to turn Barbados against her if The Nation Newspaper did not print a story about a political poll in the manner that the senior advisor to the Prime Minister of Barbados demanded.

Friends, when one of the the most powerful and connected men in Barbados threatens to destroy a journalist’s reputation, that is a threat not only to the victim: it is a threat to the very heart of our democracy.

Ms. Martindale quite rightly called the police who are said to be investigating the threats. (With our police, you never know.) Caribbean journalists are appalled at Mr. Henry’s behaviour and the story has been picked up by the Caribbean news media and even by Harvard Law School’s Global Voices. (See our original story: Barbados Newspaper Editor Threatened by Senior Advisor to Prime Minister David Thompson – Police Investigation Launched)

Hartley Henry Sets Off an Atomic Bomb at Barbados Underground Blog

On Wednesday August 26, 2009, Hartley Henry published a response to Ms. Martindale’s allegations in the August 27th edition of The Barbados Advocate newspaper. You can read that newspaper article online here: Under the Microscope: No threat to press freedom, it is all about the ‘connection’.

Mr. Henry’s Barbados Advocate article is full of innuendo about a “connection” to Nation News staffers that affords a “particular individual… unfettered access” to favourable coverage at the newspaper.

Although Mr. Henry pulls his punches (as we shall see!), it is interesting that even this relatively tame article indeed makes a good start at fulfilling the threats he made to ruin Ms. Martindale.

Hartley Henry Makes Good On The Threats to Ms. Martindale

Since the Democratic Labour Party abandoned its own blog after winning the January 2008 election, Barbados Underground Blog has become the defacto DLP government blog frequented by DLP supporters and government insiders alike. Mr. Henry and other DLP insiders have previously published quite a few articles on Barbados Underground, so we were not surprised to see Mr. Henry’s current Barbados Advocate article re-printed at Barbados Underground…

… and then we started to read the additional paragraphs and words included in the Barbados Underground version. Ca-Dear!

Read in context of the current allegations of threats against a Nation News editor, Mr. Henry details what can only be a lesbian sex triangle involving two Nation News staffers and “said heavy roller” who gets “prominence on demand” in the coverage by the Nation News – according to Mr. Henry.

Well, Mr. Henry threatened to ruin reputations if the newspaper didn’t print the article his way, and I guess he meant it.

Our opinion?

Hartley Henry would not have published his reputation-ruining article at Barbados Underground unless two conditions were assured: 1/ Prime Minister Thompson had knowledge of this article and agreed to the strategy, and 2/ Barbados Underground was safe and secure in the knowledge that the DLP government would protect them from any repercussions of publishing Henry’s hit piece.

Check it out for yourself at Barbados Underground: No Threat To Press Freedom It’s All About ‘The Connection’

About Barbados Underground…

Our readers should know that this is the first time we have linked to Barbados Underground in the many months since we dropped their link from our sidebar for publishing threats and racist comments. Infamously, Barbados Underground published comments describing a murdered Canadian tourist as “white trash” and regularly publishes articles calling for the exclusion of whites, Indians, Asians and other minority races from Barbados on the basis of their skin colours. Just a warning folks to let you know what you will find over there.

Again, we don’t normally link to racist blogs, but this story is important as it reveals so much about the character of persons in the Prime Minister’s office. The Hartley Henry article published at Barbados Underground is part of a story that needs to be told.

Prime Minister Thompson’s Problem Now…

Prime Minister Thompson had advance knowledge of Henry's Barbados Underground article or he didn't. Either way, the PM has a problem.

Prime Minister Thompson had advance knowledge of Henry's Barbados Underground article or he didn't. Either way, the PM has a problem.

If Prime Minister David Thompson had pre-knowledge about and approved Hartley Henry making good on his threats against Nation News journalists, that makes him a party to the threats, if not in law – certainly in reality.

If, on the other hand, Prime Minister Thompson had no pre-knowledge about Henry’s Barbados Underground article – that means he has lost control of his advisor. If that is the case and he does not publicly discipline Henry, Thompson will lose face and appear weak and indecisive.

That’s quite the choice for the Prime Minister. Which door will he open?

138 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados News & Media, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Freedom Of The Press, News Media, Police, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Has it come to this in Barbados? Dialysis patients turned away due to shortage of needles, gloves, standard supplies

THERE IS a shortage of supplies in the dialysis unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

And patients who rely on the unit’s blood purifying service fear their lives may be on the line.

“[The hospital] is short of equipment and people are literally afraid for their lives,” said a patient who spoke under anonymity.

Gloves, needles, and other items were needed, said the patient who added that waiting periods for dialysis treatment had lengthened.

“Some patients have had to wait for four or five days for treatment, and others were even turned back.”

… from the Nation story Dialysis Problem

A legacy of neglect and wrong priorities by successive Barbados governments

Surgical-gloves-BarbadosI wonder if politicians, civil servants and administrators in Barbados really get the fundamentals of their jobs. Hardly a day goes by that we don’t hear of another crisis or emergency that is simply the result of poor management, out and out neglect or irresponsible prioritisation. Or no prioritisation.

As an example, our “leadership” – both BLP and DLP – thought it was a wonderful idea to go into debt to the tune of half a billion dollars or more to host Cricket World Cup. Oh yes, it was under a BLP administration but Thompson and the DLP went along all the way with the CWC plans even to the point of voting to change the Constitution on a whim one afternoon. (“Oh bye the way” said the BLP,we’d like to change the Constitution this afternoon.The reply from Thompson’s DLP was “No problem, can we be outta here by three?”)

We’re still waiting for the seven hundred yachts to show up for the games as then Tourism Minister Noel “Instant Millionaire” Lynch predicted.

Oh sure, we can set up Community Councils to distribute the biscuits and beef to the party faithful – but you want water in the pipes so factories don’t burn down? Ha! Water in the pipes for firefighting would cut into the biscuits doan ya know?

“Oh… we’re a hundred police officers short and we can’t hire enough qualified candidates because we pay garbage truck drivers more than police officers? That’s too bad. We better lower our hiring standards then” say the politicians.

And so it has been for twenty or more years in Barbados. Our government Ministers drive nice shiny cars and four by fours while our firefighters beg and scrape for 20-year-old used equipment from New York City. Some of our police officers are barely literate. Ya get wat ya pay for, folks!

Lots of money for bread and circuses at Crop Over, but our nurses lack surgical gloves, needles and other supplies to look after the dialysis patients that must have treatment or die.

And speaking of a shortage of surgical gloves, it was two years ago that a reader sent us the following story about the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Nothing has changed…

Dear Friends At Barbados Free Press,

My son almost died at QEH this year. I won’t give you the details because I don’t want any reprisals for writing you with the story of his “medical treatment” at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Please edit my letter and change the words so no one knows it is me that wrote to you. (editor’s note: done)

Every day I or one of the family stayed with my son and kept him clean and brought him food. This was necessary because of the lack of food, bad food when it came IF it came and the lack of trained nurses and supplies. Especially supplies.

None of the ward toilets where my son was had paper, none had soap or paper towels for drying. Everyone must bring their own.

I had to buy “Intrasite gel” for my son’s wounds because the hospital had none that they could give me after 3 days. This was $20 a bottle and it only lasted a few days because I and my friends ended up changing the dressings ourselves when we found they were not being changed enough. I had to buy a box of sterile gloves to change his dressings. I bought a small package at first but the nurses kept “borrowing” the gloves because they were short of gloves so I bought a box…

… from Your Child Is Sick: Welcome To Barbados Queen Elizabeth Hospital

The government finds plenty of money on this island to look after the “sexy” causes and the showy “look wat we do for you!” press announcements where all the politicians stand around looking like the people just can’t live without them – but when it comes to needles for children who need dialysis, gloves for the nurses or radios, treatment for cancer patients and hoses for the firefighters, well, “We short a money. It’s the world economy, doan ya know!”

Did you hear the one about the QEH patients being issued brass bells? You just have to shake your head…

Barbados Government Triumph: Little Brass Bells Issued To Bedridden Hospital Patients!

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Filed under Barbados, Health, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Microsoft Edited Out Black Man From Marketing Photo – How Racist

UPDATED: July 24, 2010

We’re going to throw this story back up at the top for a day or two because we were looking through some back-articles and it appealed to us. No other reason than we thought we did a good job with this one. Maybe you agree, maybe you don’t – but we think it’s worth a second (or first) look…

Microsoft Racist Photo

Welcome to Microsoft’s Tribute to Selma, Alabama, 1957

Sure, Microsoft has issued apologies all around after getting caught removing one of those horrid Negro persons from a marketing photo at Microsoft’s Polish website, but we at Barbados Free Press don’t believe the corporation should be let off the hook that easily. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Ethics, History, Slavery

The Last of the Kennedy Brothers is Gone – Senator Ted Kennedy Dead of Brain Cancer

As we wish to remember them all.

Jack, Bobby & Ted as we wish to remember them all.

“The Constitution does not just protect those whose views we share; it also protects those with whose views we disagree.”

…Senator Ted Kennedy

The last of the three Kennedy brothers has gone. Senator Edward ‘Ted’ Kennedy passed away last night of brain cancer at age 77.

I am surprised that I feel so personally saddened by his passing. I was not around when brothers John and Bobby were alive and I really haven’t paid much attention to Ted Kennedy other than seeing him on the news once in a while.

Perhaps I feel as I do because in so many ways Ted Kennedy was a living bit of history and a connection to brother Jack – who called in the National Guard during that turbulent time when Governor Wallace stood on the steps and physically blocked two young Americans from University because of the colour of their skin. (Hear a recording of President Kennedy’s speech on that day right here.)

Ted Kennedy was the last major figure from a family that has often been referred to as American Royalty. But royalty or not, privileged or not, the family endured so much tragedy and Edward Kennedy saw it all.

I’m working night shift so I can’t follow the story for you other than the breaking ABC News story Ted Kennedy Dies of Brain Cancer at Age 77.

You can bet that Matt Drudge will have whatever else becomes available PDQ.

See you in the morning, friends.

Marcus

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Filed under Celebrities

Chris Brown Sentenced To Probation In Rihanna Assault – Court Reveals Ongoing Assaults By Both, Confirms Barbados Land Rover Damage Rumour

Rihanna & Chris Brown - A poison relationship that didn't end soon enough.

A poison relationship that didn't end soon enough.

Rihanna & Chris Brown: A Violent Mix

A Los Angeles judge sentenced Chris Brown to five years probation and six months’ community labour for the vicious assault upon Rihanna earlier this year. The judge made it clear that Brown was to do manual labour in the community and not easier service.

The court also heard that, as is often the case in these couples battles, there had been previous incidents of violence by both Brown and Rihanna. The sentencing report also confirmed the rumours about Chris Brown smashing the windows and mirrors of Rihanna’s Land Rover when they were in Barbados as a couple.

Hopefully both of them will have learned something from their mutually-destructive attraction for each other. The big life lesson is this: at the first sign of abuse – whether physical or verbal – terminate the relationship immediately.

It’s just not worth it to try and save a relationship that has already deteriorated to that point. At the first hint of abuse, I’m outta there permanently.

Further Reading

AP: Chris Brown sentenced in Rihanna Assault Case

E!: Chris Brown’s Bad-Boy Past: Two ‘Incidents’ before Rihanna Assault

LA Times: Chris Brown involved in two ‘domestic violence’ incidents before February assault of Rihanna

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Filed under Barbados, Celebrities, Crime & Law, Culture & Race Issues, Rihanna

Typical Barbados Justice System Follies: Another Police File “Missing” at Director of Public Prosecutions Office

Justice-Scales-MoneyIn a real Justice System all the alarm bells and sirens go off when a police file goes missing in a high-profile case.

In Barbados, its only another day of at the office.

Welcome to the Justice System of Barbados…

This is a country where a twelve year old girl is raped and it doesn’t come to court for ten years and then gets tossed because the “old boy network” looked after things.

This is a country where a popular pastor is charged with rape and it doesn’t come to court for seven years.

This is a country where a civil lawsuit against the Attorney General can’t come to trial in 17 bloody years!

This is a country where we have no laws to protect buyers of condominiums, a country where a court dispute over a condominium can take 19 years and still be unresolved!

This is a country where a seriously injured tourist has to wait eleven long years for justice.

This is a country where a foreign resident who purchased land in Barbados can’t get title or deed for 34 years! No, that is not a typo error. It is 34 bloody years and still counting!

This is a country where rape victims are pressured into taking money in exchange for not testifying when criminal charges have already been laid… and the courts go along with it!

And if the courts give a decision that the government of the day doesn’t like? The foreign investor is just as likely to see the army sent in with guns to overrule the court’s decision. They don’t usually print the story of Barbados Sea Island Cotton and Nitin Amersey in the local news!

“Rule of law?”

Ha! You mek sport my friends!

This is the reality of our Barbados courts and it has been recognized again and again but nothing changes.

Here is the latest story. Just today’s story — but citizens and foreign investors alike should be aware that if they have a dispute with one of the Barbados elites or the government, or find themselves relying upon the Barbados Justice System, this is what they are in for…

from The Nation (online story here)…

Delay in Radio Boss’ Case

THE POLICE FILE has been allegedly lost and so a year after the case against radio manager Veoma Alisha Ali first came to court, it is yet to start.

Ali’s counsel Wilfred Abrahams yesterday told the District “A” Magistrates’ Court that “apparently the file had gone to the Director of Public Prosecutions’ office and had been misplaced”.

His comments came after police prosecutor Sergeant Trenton Small said he was not yet in possession of a file.

“Even if that were true,” said Magistrate Pamela Beckles in response to Abrahams’ comments, “this is a whole year that has passed and you should go back to the complainant and re-interview her.”

Ali, 29, of No. 397 A, Westwood Park, Husbands, St James, has been accused that with intent to maim, disfigure or disable Kareen Clarke, of Denton Road, Grazettes, St Michael, she did serious bodily harm to Clarke on August 27, 2008.

Ali remains on $20 000 bail.

The matter was then adjourned until Novembers 9.

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Human Rights, Offshore Investments, Police, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

We’re Happy Nicholas Cox agrees again with Barbados Free Press

Yup, once again Nicholas Cox has taken a position agreeing with an earlier Barbados Free Press article. It is always heartening to see that members of the local news media and frequently published writers still come around BFP once in a while even though we constantly criticize the Bajan news media on many levels.

This time Nicholas expanded upon our little article Illegal Dumping Free-For-All In Barbados: No Charges, No Penalty if you are caught!

In his Barbados Advocate piece Time to make dumpers pay! Nicholas makes some fine points about the big-time dumping and small-time littering that threatens our tourism industry and has become an all too frequent occurrence in Barbados. The problem is so deep-rooted that Bajans, argues Nicholas, need a cultural change. He shares our belief that consistent enforcement backed by consistent penalties in the form of fines is foundational to changing our bad habits.

An article well worth your time at the Barbados Advocate: Time to make dumpers pay!

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Crime & Law, Environment

Emergency Blood Donation Call in Barbados – AB+ Especially Needed – Please help ‘Louise’

Barbados Free Press picked up on this article from Ian Bourne’s The Bajan Reporter blog…

(Patient’s name changed to protect the innocent, but charity people at bottom of note use their actual contacts and names)

I have a very big favour to ask. The only way forward at this stage is to get help by word of mouth around the island. I am therefore asking you to forward the two enclosures to as many people as you can, with a message to continue to forward. I am hoping that eventually, the right people will respond to one or both requests.

I am not sure if you have heard yet, or even know of “Louise,” but she needs some help urgently. She needs to sell her car and to get people to donate blood early next week so that her operation can go ahead.

“Louise” is my best friend here on the island and she told me less than 2 weeks ago that she has colon cancer. It has all been a huge shock for “Louise” and her family and friends. But the worse of it is that although her cancer is very serious, she is facing other problems. Usually “Louise” would be moritified that I am even discussing her condition, but she has come to terms with the fact that we now have to go to great lengths if she is going to get through this nightmare.

Only today was the date for her surgery confirmed as next Friday 28th – but they will not operate without donations of blood. With that in mind, I now need to ask people to donate blood next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday so that “Louise” can benefit from the donations. FYI, “Louise” is AB+ blood group which in theory means that she can accept blood from anyone. However, when she was in hospital recently she rejected one batch of blood which meant that her body was making antibodies against some blood groups. This meant that could only accept her own blood group i.e. AB+ and as a result the hospital ran out of blood twice during the transfusion. It is therefore imperative that we get people to donate AB+ blood. However, it would also be good for people of other blood groups to donate as a contingency. If we do not collect enough AB+ then “Louise” can still use other blood groups if she was prepared with drugs that will hopefully stop the antibodies. But this is not an ideal situation and is a last resort. Therefore we need as many people to donate blood as possible, but AB+ people especially. She has been told by the doctors that the surgery for her cancer cannot go ahead without the blood.

The Blood Collection offices are open from 8-4 Monday to Friday (shorter day on Friday); you need to be between 18 and 65, not had a tattoo, acupuncture or ear piercing within a year and must have a full tummy i.e. eaten a half hour before going and an hour should be all it takes. The Blood Bank can be reached through the QEH switchboard at extension 2614 or direct at 429-4307; it is now located just around the roundabout down from St-Gabriel’s on Jemmotts Lane.

Therefore can you please forward the attached note to your database.

IN ADDITION – WE NEED TO SELL “LOUISE’S” CAR

She urgently needs to sell the car to pay for her treatment, as well as chemotherapy, so again, can you send out an urgent message to your database – see across for similar vehicle.

It is a Toyota MR2 Spider convertible blue car. “Louise” has recently had the car valued at around 70,000 bds, but is asking 55,000 for a quick sale, but will take 50,000 as the lowest price.

—————–

I am not sure if you know “Louise,” but she is a strong and impressive lady, but this is the first time in her life that she has had to accept help from friends and others. But this is not a time to be shy about asking for favours as too much is at stake. So any help you can give is much appreciated.

Many thanks again for your help on this.

Love to you all

Bridget XXX [NB: e-mail in link] – any questions call me on 247 9292 (do not leave messages as I am bad at collecting them) or call Richard on 247 9222. Or call the house at 432 1630

21 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Health

Barbados Police Allow Thieves To Take Home Stolen Fish – No Charges

Graeme Hall Mangrove Wetland & Watershed

Graeme Hall Mangrove Wetland & Watershed

GRAEME HALL NATURE SANCTUARY, INC.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Bridgetown, Barbados
MONDAY, August 24, 2009
Email Contact:               news@graemehall.com
Archives and Art:          www.graemehall.com/reference.htm

Poachers Caught and Released by Police

On Saturday, August 15, 2009, a group of about 15 fisherman were found in the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary fishing illegally for its rare tarpon, the largest and most popular exhibit fish in the Graeme Hall wetland.  Five of the “ringleader” fishermen were caught and questioned by police and Sanctuary security personnel as the other ten fled.

Another incident like this happened in late March of this year.  In both instances police were called, but there was no immediate response, and insistent follow up requests by Sanctuary staff had to be made before they came.

As of Friday, August 21, police had not made any arrests or brought charges in either case, and in fact had allowed the fishermen to leave the Sanctuary with all of the dead tarpon.

According to Peter Allard, owner of the Sanctuary, the value and integrity of the Sanctuary investment depend on enforced protections of wildlife inventory.   The long term health of the Sanctuary also depends on the enforcement of Barbados’ pollution and other environmental laws within the Graeme Hall wetland and contiguous lands.

To protect his investment, Mr. Allard is making a formal request to the Government of Barbados that immediate criminal trespass, theft, and related environmental poaching charges be brought against all future violators and the ringleaders of the last trespass be immediately notified of this proposed action.

Allard noted that it is also an issue of protecting the last remaining biological reserves of Barbados.  This wildlife is part of Barbados’ natural heritage within the OS2 Natural Heritage Conservation Area, and is part of the international Convention on Wetlands Multilateral Environmental Agreement (RAMSAR) to which Barbados is a party.

The Sanctuary is also calling upon the Ministry of Environment and all conservation groups to increase their efforts to educate the mainstream public about the seriousness of wildlife and habitat protection in Barbados.

The Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary occupies 35 acres of the 81 acre RAMSAR wetland at Graeme Hall.  The RAMSAR designation is associated with the 1971 RAMSAR Convention on Wetlands Treaty for internationally significant areas of biodiversity.

More information about the Sanctuary can be found at www.graemehall.com.

BFP Editor’s Note: The above media release was printed exactly as received via email from the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary. Our previous articles about the lack of police response to crimes committed against the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary can be found at…

August 19, 2009: Barbados Police Again Fail To Uphold Law At Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary & RAMSAR Protected Wetlands

April 1, 2009: Barbados Advocate Covers Up Police Failure To Respond To Theft, Gunshots At Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary

March 30, 2009: Another Reason Why Barbados Police Commissioner Dottin Should Be Fired – Police Again Fail To Answer Call For Help

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Filed under Agriculture, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Corruption, Crime & Law, Disaster, Environment, Nature, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption, Tourism, Wildlife

Are CCTV Video Cameras Effective In Solving Crimes?

Barbados crime CCTVBarbados politicians and senior police officers have often been heard talking about installing Closed Circuit Television Cameras (CCTV) as as method of deterring and solving crimes. Half the time the politicians talk about CCTV though, I get the impression that they are merely offering the “crime solution idea” soup de jour.

It seems common sense that CCTVs on Bridgetown streets would deter crimes in their coverage area, but would the crimes simply be moved to other areas of the city not under the watchful lens?

And what if we disregard the deterrent effect of video cameras and just consider how many crimes are solved through video cameras…

How many crimes are solved in a year, say, per thousand installed video cameras?

London has more video cameras than any other urban area in the world so they know about this.

So what do you think… how many crimes are solved in a year per thousand CCTV video cameras?

Any guesses? A thousand video cameras on Bridgetown streets… how many crimes per year would that solve?

The answer is… Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Police, Politics

Barbados Newspaper Editor Threatened by Senior Advisor to Prime Minister David Thompson – Police Investigation Launched

Prime Minister David Thompson & Henry Hartley

Prime Minister Thompson & Henry Hartley

Mr. Hartley Henry, the senior political advisor to Barbados Prime Minister David Thompson and, many say, the primary engineer of the DLP’s election victory in the 2007/2008 campaign, is under police investigation for alleged threats to the editor of the Sunday Sun newspaper. The editor, Carol Martindale, says that Mr. Henry threatened to destroy her reputation unless she printed a story about a DLP political survey in a certain manner.

Ms. Martindale was warned by Mr. Henry to “Do the right thing” or else face the consequences of a destroyed reputation. According to the account in The Nation newspaper, Mr. Henry told Martindale “If the story is not played the right way, I would turn Barbados against you.” Henry also said that The Nation newspaper for the last couple of months had become the “mouthpiece” of Opposition leader Mia Mottley.

As shocking as this one incident might seem to foreigners, most Bajans are not at all surprised. Not in the least bit.

Officially, Barbados is happy to cash in on the perception of the country as “Little Britain” with all that moniker implies about rule of law, public order, democracy and freedoms – but the reality is quite different. Bajans know that our country has not enjoyed true freedom of the press in two decades or more.

Nothing really changes as each new government seeks to gain control of the news media through intimidation, withholding government advertising, outright threats and the occasional use of bullies and even the police to oh-so-carefully deliver a very serious message to uncooperative journalists. These abuses tend to get worse the longer a party is in power and have been documented publicly by professional journalists themselves. (For details, see the list of sources at the end of this article. Note: I’ll have to fill them in later on Monday when I get home from night shift.)

Bajans also know that over the years government officials have been guilty of some terrible abuses of power not just against journalists and news organisations, but also against ordinary citizens and foreigners alike. Corrupt and abusive government officials have destroyed people’s lives and their businesses – safe in the knowledge that no elected or appointed Barbados government official has ever faced charges for these abuses of power. Ever. Not a single one.

Arrogance of Power

In our opinion, the problem with Barbados government officials is much deeper than their simple wish to control the press. In Barbados it is normal for elected or appointed officials to quickly develop and openly display a certain arrogance of power.

Prime Minister Thompson’s election campaign promise that only faithful DLP members would “feast at the fatted calf” perfectly illustrates the prevailing attitude that election to office gives politicians a license to profit, to control and to have revenge upon political enemies.

Successive governments – and the current DLP government is no exception – view themselves and their own power as the highest authority in Barbados. Most people in the UK, the USA or Canada have no concept of how Barbados politicians define “rule of law” as whatever is convenient at the moment.

And if the maintenance and consolidation of power requires the purging of opposition supporters from their employment with government agencies like the UDC, or cutting government advertising to newspapers that don’t support the party in power – government princes like Hartley Henry have no problem abusing their power to achieve the goal.

Hartley Henry’s threatening of newspaper editors like Carol Martindale is merely a symptom of a deeper corruption that is endemic in our two major political parties. The oppression of journalists under the BLP government of Owen Arthur and Mia Mottley was standard operating procedure. The Thompson government are merely a different bunch using the same abusive techniques as the BLP before them. Hartley Henry’s threats are nothing new.

What has changed is that the Barbados news media is finally screaming rape instead of keeping silent. But this time they have to carry it all the way through and not settle for everything just being forgotten as they did when the police illegally assaulted journalists and falsely charged them with criminal offences.

I hope to God that a tape recording was made of Hartley Henry delivering the threats, and I hope to God that the recording is put on YouTube for everyone to hear. I hope that Carol Martindale has the courage and strength to carry this through to the end.

But most of all, I hope that The Nation and all Barbados journalists have finally decided to stop selling themselves to the highest bidder through covering up embarrassing stories in exchange for government advertising and access to easy stories.

Have things really changed around here?

If this Henry Hartley situation just disappears like happens all the time, Bajans will know the answer.

Further Reading

Jennifer Laszlo alleged threats, sexual harassment by Henry

Jennifer Laszlo alleged threats, sexual harassment by Henry

In 1998 communications expert Jennifer Laszlo of Laszlo & Associates, Inc. sent a letter to Prime Minister Bird of Antigua & Barbuda alleging…

“I suffered repeated unwanted sexual advances, harassment and threats from your then senior advisor, Mr. Hartley Henry. He several times indicated to me that if I did not have a sexual relationship with him, that I would not get paid and that he would claim that I had overcharged. I had and will never have a sexual relationship with Hartley Henry. Now it is being claimed that I overcharged, and I have not been paid. This leaves me suffering from unpaid bills, a liabled reputation, and the pain of ongoing inappropriate sexual harassment by your then senior advisor. It also leave the appearance that the threats of sexual harassment were more than threats.”

Here is the full letter that has been circulating on the internet and via email for some time…

Hartley Henry Jennifer Laszlo Threat (pdf)

As published in The Nation…

THREAT TO SUN EDITOR (online article here)

Published on: 8/23/2009.

EDITOR OF THE SUNDAY SUN, Carol Martindale, yesterday received the threat “to do the right thing” or have her reputation destroyed. The threat came from Hartley Henry, senior political advisor to Prime Minister David Thompson.

Just before 2 p.m. Henry called Martindale to warn her that the results of the poll conducted for the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) and released yesterday get the same Front Page treatment as polls done on behalf of this newspaper.

Henry expressed annoyance with the publication of the past several SUNDAY SUN editions, charging they were geared towards publicising and enhancing the image of Opposition Leader Mia Mottley.

He said: “For the last couple of months the SUNDAY SUN has become the mouthpiece of Mia Mottley. If the story [referring to reports of the CARDES Poll] is not played the right way, I would turn Barbados against you,” he told a shocked Martindale. He also mentioned to her about “doing the right thing”. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press, Human Rights, News Media, Police, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Hero’s Welcome In Libya For Lockerbie Terrorist Spits On Victims’ Graves

British PM Gordon Brown discussed Lockerbie terrorist's release with Gaddafi six weeks ago. Reminder: Years ago Gaddafi confessed Lybia's involvement in the Lockerbie 747 bombing.

British PM Gordon Brown discussed Lockerbie terrorist's release with Gaddafi six weeks ago. Reminder: On August 15, 2003, Gaddafi's UN ambassador confessed and apologized for Libya's involvement in the Lockerbie 747 bombing.

“Obviously a political decision…” … US Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff

The full story of the “compassionate release” of the man convicted in the terror bombing that brought down a Pan Am 103, a Boeing 747 full of innocent men, women and children, is starting to appear in the British news media. Contrary to the original statements of denial by the British government, it now appears that senior UK government officials including Prime Minister Brown were deeply involved in the release of Libyan intelligence officer Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi. (Guardian: Gordon Brown in new storm over freed Lockerbie bomber and US Piles Pressure On Britain)

Gaddafi celebrates with terrorist on national television.

Gaddafi celebrates with terrorist on national television. Thanks to the Government of the United Kingdom for not consulting with victims' families or other involved countries beforehand.

As any idiot could have predicted, Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi and thousands of his subjects met the freed terrorist in a disgusting victory celebration upon his return. The outrage in the U.K., the USA and in the other countries that lost citizens is just starting. Whatever moral authority the UK Government had disappeared in an instant.

Many prominent and ordinary people alike are writing about the release of a convicted terrorist, but the recently published letter to Scottish Minister Kenny MacAskill by the Director of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation pretty well sums up our feelings ’bout hey…

The full letter from FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, III, to Scottish Minister Kenny MacAskill regarding the release of the Lockerbie bomber, Abdelbaset Ali Al Megrahi.

Dear Mr. Secretary:

Over the years I have been a prosecutor, and recently as the Director of the FBI, I have made it a practice not to comment on the actions of other prosecutors, since only the prosecutor handling the case has all the facts and the law before him in reaching the appropriate decision.

Your decision to release Megrahi causes me to abandon that practice in this case. I do so because I am familiar with the facts, and the law, having been the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the investigation and indictment of Megrahi in 1991. And I do so because I am outraged at your decision, blithely defended on the grounds of “compassion.”

Your action in releasing Megrahi is as inexplicable as it is detrimental to the cause of justice. Indeed your action makes a mockery of the rule of law.

Your action gives comfort to terrorists around the world who now believe that regardless of the quality of the investigation, the conviction by jury after the defendant is given all due process, and sentence appropriate to the crime, the terrorist will be freed by one man’s exercise of “compassion.” Your action rewards a terrorist even though he never admitted to his role in this act of mass murder and even though neither he nor the government of Libya ever disclosed the names and roles of others who were responsible. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Ethics, Politics

Barbados Ambassador to the USA Wows ’em in Iowa – BFP Readers can follow up and invite folks to Barbados: Read How!

john_beale_barbados_obama

55 Foreign Dignitaries Tour Iowa – and the state newspapers feature our John Beale in syndicated story

Barbados Ambassador to the USA, John Beale, recently finished a five day tour of the state of Iowa that was sponsored by Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley. Beale was part of a group of 55 foreign dignitaries who were shown around the state to promote Iowa’s agriculture, educational system and industry to international markets.

It turns out that Ambassador Beale said all the right things and got himself and Barbados featured in a syndicated news article that is starting to appear in local newspapers all across Iowa. USA Today picked up on it too.

Well done, Ambassador Beale!

Barbados Free Press readers: take a few minutes to make online comments in the Iowa articles. Invite Americans to vacation in Barbados!

Iowa must be one cold place during the winter because Iowa State University has a Winter Weather Awareness tutorial up that warns about frostbite and hypothermia (!) and teaches foreign students how to dress and walk (!) in the winter.

It sounds to me like folks from Iowa would be ideal candidates to visit warm Barbados and get away from all that snow, ice and (brrrrr!) hypothermia. As well, Mary Kramer, a former US Ambassador to Barbados (2004-2006) came from Iowa so Iowans might be familiar with our island. Ambassador Kramer and Barbados were also recently in the news when Kramer was announced as an inductee into the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame.

So… here are a few of the Iowa newspaper articles that mention Ambassador Beale and Barbados – and you can probably find a few new ones yourself with a Google search as they come online. Take a moment to make some friendly comments inviting people from Iowa down to warm, hospitable BIM. Every little bit helps, and if a few dozen comments appeared on each article it might get us a few visitors or maybe another story. Can’t hurt anyways!

Quad-City Times, Iowa: Ambassadors impressed with Iowa

Covering Iowa Politics: Iowa impresses foreign dignitaries

Globe Gazette: Foreign dignitaries praise Iowa, Iowans

Globe Gazette on Twitter carried a tweet about the article…

Foreign dignitaries praise Iowa, Iowans: DES MOINES — Barbados ambassador John Beale said his first ground.. http://bit.ly/IlIgv

WCF Courier, Cedar Valley Iowa: Iowa Impresses Ambassadors

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Filed under Barack Obama, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Politics, Tourism, Traveling and Tourism

Mexico Decriminalizes Marijuana, Cocaine, Heroin Personal Use – Is it about tourism?

Wise Move in the Drug Wars… or Desperation By A Failed Nation?

Our favourite Bob

Our favourite Bob

This week the Mexican government decriminalized personal possession of marijuana, cocaine, LSD, methamphetamine and heroin.

I’m no expert, but it seems to me that Mexico has just expanded the demand for product and enriched the drug cartels and local dealers – while doing nothing to stop the gang warfare that has killed over 11,000 people in the last three years alone.

Had the Mexicans also instituted governmental production and distribution of the drugs – much as jurisdictions control and license liquor – the drug wars in Mexico would have ended virtually overnight just as the end of alcohol prohibition in the USA and Canada ended the turf wars of the rum runners in that era.

Why Did The Mexican Government Make This Move?

Mexican Federal Police... serving what master?

Mexican Federal Police... serving what master?

According to Mexican government officials (as reported here, here and here) one of the primary reasons for decriminalization is to stop corrupt Mexican police officers from using the drug laws to extort money from casual drug users and other little people.

In other words, the Mexican police are so out of control, so corrupt and so autonomous that the government’s only hope of limiting abuse of police power was to change the drug laws. With this admission, all the other supposedly good things about this change (like being able to offer treatment to addicts) become so much window dressing to brighten up an otherwise desperate move by a desperate government.

“Parents will be delighted to learn that their college students now have a legal place to experiment with hard drugs. And it’s just across the border.”

Phoenix Times: Want to Do Drugs? Go to Mexico: Now Small Amounts are Legal!

Drug Tourism… Here We Come! “We gon get high, high, high!”

The Stranger (a famous or infamous counter-culture publication out of Seattle, Washington) discussed the decriminalization and then summed it up with the phrase “In the meantime, have fun vacationing in Mexico.”

This sentiment is echoed on dozens of other blogs to the point where it is obvious that many people in the USA will now consider vacationing in Mexico because recreational drugs will be available. I can’t really empathize with these folks because my drug comes with a Mount Gay label on the bottle. Then again, would I consider a vacation at a “dry” destination? Probably not, so maybe I can understand the potheads to a certain extent.

Mexico’s tourism has been in the dumps for some time due to the recession, out of control crime and the drug wars. There’s nothing like a few severed heads rolling about on a nightclub floor to attract tourists, you know! Or heads left by the side of the road in a cooler.  Even the Mexican police are frightened to death.

Mexican Tourist Attraction: Severed heads in coolers by the roadside

Mexican Tourist Attraction: Severed heads in coolers by the roadside

Will decriminalization stop the drug wars? I don’t think so.

Will decriminalization “save” Mexican tourism? I don’t think so – but it may attract more of a certain type of tourist and “retiring” person to enjoy recreational drugs as Mexico moves even closer to the abyss of being a failed country.

VACATION IN MEXICO?

“Just say No!”

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Police, Tourism

“I think the Bajan took it!” – Ryan Brathwaite wins Gold in Berlin photo-finish

ryan-brathwaite-barbados

“At the first hurdle I thought I do not have this race anymore but then I fought and fought to the end and the gold was mine.”

Ryan does Barbados proud and let the world know it!

How close was it? So close that Ryan Brathwaite won gold in the 110-meter hurdles at the World Athletics Championships because he bent further forward than the two Americans on either side of him: Terrence Trammell on his right and David Payne to his left.

Brathwaite hit the first hurdle but ran a clean race for the rest of the way and finished in 13.14 seconds.

Here is Ryan at the finish line…

Brathwaite Photo Finish

So Barbados’ first gold at the games comes from speed and technique.

Some of the news coverage tried to take the shine off Ryan’s victory by highlighting that two of the top runners weren’t in the race. Olympic champion and world-record holder Dayron Robles of Cuba and defending champion Liu Xiang of China were both sidelined with injuries.

Barbados Free Press would like to remind Cuba and China that athletic competition isn’t just about speed – its about stamina and toughness too!

A horse might be fast every so often, but if it can’t take the long run then another horse might win the race – a horse named Brathwaite.

In all fairness though, have a look at the photo-finish. At this level of competition the difference between gold and bronze can be a sneeze or a pebble… or the ability to bend lower while running at full tilt.

Well done Ryan!

Here is the YouTube of the entire race, including the announcer’s “I think the Bajan took it!”

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Filed under Barbados, Olympics, Sports

Jepter’s False Start and the DLP’s Cost Overrun

Why Not Reduce Road Taxes?

by Jennifer Harding

Barbados Senator Jepter Ince

Barbados Senator Jepter Ince

Jepter Ince made his maiden speech in the Senate two Wednesdays ago on a resolution authorising Government to borrow $165 million by way of a bond issue through the Barbados National Bank (BNB) to finance the Barbados Road Network Infrastructure Improvement Project, which included the widening of the ABC Highway.

Here is what he said:

“This $165 million is going to cost us almost $229 million when you work out the interest rates,” he told senators. “And if my mathematics serves me right, on $165 million, 8.5 per cent interest should be around $13.2 million, and if you multiply it by 10 (years), you should get approximately $133 million plus $165 million.”

However, when one listens to the explanation by Prime Minister Thompson when he spoke in the Lower House, this $165m loan has to be considered, “a DLP cost overrun.”

Perhaps Jepter Ince could explain to Barbadians – why are they being saddled with the repayment of a loan of $165 million when in his 2008 Budget, Prime Minister Thompson imposed burdensome and unnecessary road taxes on the people of this country?

In fact, here is what Mr. Thompson said in his 2008 Budget:

“In an effort to ensure that we meet previous commitments in respect of the ABC Highway project, I propose to increase the fees for the use of the highway with effect from August 1, 2008. The new fees will be as follows and are expected to yield an additional $46 million in a full year.”

It must be remembered than when he appeared on: “The “People’s Business/” “DLPTV” – Minister John Boyce said that it will cost $134 million to complete the ABC Highway.

Let us do the Math! $46 million every year for 3 years is $138 million – $4 million more than John Boyce said it will take to pay for the ABC Highway. So, why borrow when the taxes being paid could cover the cost of the ABC Highway in three years? And, since the DLP has decided to borrow, why not immediately reduce Road Taxes – as any caring government would?

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Filed under Barbados, Politics

Taking Denis Lowe’s Cruise? Ask the Environment Minister about Mullins Bay.

Mullins Bay Barbados Cruise

Minister Lowe’s Cruise Vessel Usually Turns At Mullins Bay!

When we last heard from our friends at Mullins Bay Blog, Environment Minister Denis Lowe hadn’t shown his face at the site of the infamous 3 groynes that are destroying beaches in the area. The issue is that well-connected and well-financed developers were given permission by government officials to build three rock groynes (fingers into the ocean) to capture sand so their beach would be fabulous at the expense of everyone else along the coast. The sand has to come from somewhere and that is why nearby beaches are disappearing.

Dr. Lowe doesn’t want to hear about this issue and doesn’t want to deal with it because the people in question are also DLP campaign donors – and like the BLP before them, the DLP has no hesitation about trading the public good for money in the party’s bank account.

But it just so happens that the vessel chosen for Dr. Lowe’s End of Summer Cruise is the M.V. Harbour Master, and in the normal cruises the vessel usually turns in the vicinity of Mullins Bay!

That means that everyone on the Environment Minister’s cruise will be able to see the groynes and ask Dr. Lowe about his government’s inaction on the matter. Passengers will also be able to ask Minister Lowe about the rumours of a fourth groyne being planned by the developers. Here is what we see at Barbados Travel Advisor

“I now have it on good account that the Kings Beach Hotel has been sold. The proud new owner, as was suspected, is the same party responsible for the infamous groynes (groins – American English) and developers of the neighboring condos – St. Peter’s Bay Villas (Scandinavian-Bajan developer, Bjorn Bierkam, and frontman for The Villages and other foreign investors). Rumor has it that “they” got it for the firesale sum of BDS $14M at a “silent bid” auction at the end of last June.

So, again as was suspected, the orange paint on Kings Beach’s wall noted above was indicative of something serious happening in the area. Look for more condos as the property already has Town Planning approval for a six-storey/50-unit condo block; so there will be condos from Leamington in the north all the way to The Great House to the south.

Even more foreboding is that surveyors were spotted on the beach last week and the suspicion (no announcements so people can only do the Math) is that they (Bierkam & company) are getting ready to put in another groyne to try to repair the damage done to the beach in front of Kings Beach by the already infamous previous three groynes. The surveyors were spotted as far south as The Pink House in Road View/Mullins.”

So if you are going on Dr. Lowe’s cruise, you can have a look at the groynes yourself… unless, of course, the cruise vessel doesn’t take its usual trip for some strange reason.

Mullins Bay Destruction Not Just An Environmental Issue

The destruction of the beaches at Mullins Bay and nearby is not just an environmental issue. The story of Mullins Bay and the disappearing Barbados West Coast beaches is not a disagreement over environmental science by well-meaning people who all have the public good in mind. No sir.

The rape of our West Coast is all about corporations with money that have been allowed to do as they please by two successive governments. The St. Peter’s Bay condo developers were allowed by government to build groynes to enhance their own beach — never mind the disastrous impact upon the neighboring beaches and coastline.

Further Reading

Mullins Bay Blog: Let’s go to the beach

BFP: Beaches Disappearing Near Mullins Bay Barbados – Why Does Government Allow The St. Peter’s Bay Condo Project To Destroy The Coast?

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Environment, Nature, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption, Real Estate, Tourism, Travel, Traveling and Tourism