Daily Archives: August 22, 2009

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