Monthly Archives: September 2009

First Swine Flu – H1N1 Death in Barbados – Patients report no masks, no hand gel at Warrens Polyclinic!

Barbados Swine Flu Death

Barbados Swine Flu Death “an adult and had underlying medical conditions”

Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr. Joy St. John informed the media Wednesday night that Barbados has had 96 cases of H1N1 and unfortunately, its first H1N1 flu death.

Dr. St. John said she “deeply regretted the passing of the person” and offered her condolences to friends and family. She urged the public to take the necessary precautionary measures and follow the guidelines put out by the Ministry of Health, so as to minimise the risk of contracting the H1N1 virus.

Joy St John Barbados

“We must continue to practise good hygiene if we are going to overcome this H1N1 outbreak. This death also shows that those predisposed groups must be extremely careful,”

…Barbados Chief Medical Officer: Dr. Joy St. John in Press Release – First H1N1 Death in Barbados

Dr. St. John was quick to point out that the 96 recorded cases “does not accurately reflect the current incidence of the disease here, since we have not been swabbing everybody who has exhibited flu-like symptoms in wake of the fact that there is in-country transmission.”

Trouble Reported at Warrens Polyclinic – No hand gel, limited mask use

Two hours before the press release by Dr. St. John, Barbados Free Press received the following from a reader, which we have edited to preserve their anonymity…

This is what happened when I went to be tested for suspected H1N1 virus.

When you go in at the Warrens Polyclinic it has a sign that says “ask for a mask here” so I knocked and knocked and no one came.  There’s a big poster from the MOH asking you to identify yourself as a “flu patient”, to be segregated I suppose, although there was absolutely no urgency for those showing up with flu symptoms, no trying to segregate them immediately.   I wasn’t given a mask (and no one else was either) until at least one hour after I arrived and then about 6 masks were given out to us, and I was told to sit next to children arriving for immunizations, etc.  I had enough common sense to try to keep away from the young ones.

Finally, after 1 hour I went into the holding pen for the H1N1 swabbies like me and everyone had their masks around their necks.  People walked in & out of the room without masks or a care in the world.  Hello, there’s no pandemic here is there? The only serious one there was the lone doctor in his mask and paper suit that stuck his neck out once to look at us all and pop back in.  There was a large poster depicting hand washing, but absolutely no hand sanitizer equipment or facilities of any kind were there.  I didn’t see anyone super ill, but how hard is it for a young girl with her 2 kids there, waiting for “hours!” as she said to me.  I can’t believe how inefficient it all was.

So I waited for 2 hours at the Warrens Polyclinic waiting to get tested for H1N1 as that is where FMH said to go, as they are not allowed to test anymore for it.   After two hours of waiting I just upped and left, as it was like being in Nairobi and I couldn’t take it anymore as I hadn’t been seen to by anyone but a receptionist who had made me wait over an hour to ask me what my business was, taking anyone who came in after me before me.  I couldn’t believe my eyes.

Whilst waiting to go in to speak to the nurse before the swab, I had to witness men going into the “Mens Toil” (the latter letters having disappeared) and not shutting the door behind them as they pissed.  And with nowhere to wash their hands, I was ready to hurl.  The hygiene, or lack therefore, that I noticed was incredible.  I got a friend of mine to pick me up, she nearly died when she saw me wearing the full mask on my face when I came out of the clinic.  I’m not one to slam this country, but God, is some of these government services a mess.


Filed under Barbados, Health

Barbados Family & Friends Club – Good idea, good start making it happen!

Barbados-Family-Friends sht-header

A friend directed our attention to the website of the Barbados Family & Friends Club – an initiative by the Barbados Tourism Authority to encourage Bajans abroad and people overseas (Bajan or not) who love Barbados to encourage their friends and family to vacation in Barbados. There is a membership card with points for each referral and discounts once folks are on the island.

The points are a “nice to have” feature to reward those in the diaspora who help Barbados through referrals. I think that people will collect points and this will maintain interest in the programme by giving the cards and membership some value, no matter how modest. The folks who put this together should be thanked and congratulated. I only hope that the people administering the programme receive the long term resources to make it successfully grow into a major source of visitors and revenues for Barbados. It seems to me that this type of programme needs a few evangelists to make it work because merely sticking up a website won’t be enough.

Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy greets visitors to the website in a video where he comes across as your best friend inviting you back home for a visit. No slick politician fine words: just a sincere message that we care about our friends and family living over and away, that we’d love to see them again, and we could use your help to invite other friends to Barbados.

I think that Minister Sealy’s talk is exactly what is needed to set the tone and purpose for this programme. Have a look for yourself and tell me if you agree that he did an excellent job…


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

CLICO sold to CGI – Skeletons will be pulled out of the closet and buried deep

Consumers Guarantee Insurance Limited of Barbados is approved to purchase the assets of CLICO.

The secretive committee formed by Barbados Prime Minister David Thompson to keep CLICO skeletons in the closet worked swiftly to sell the remaining assets before the public realises that the fiasco was caused by three factors: mismanagement, fraud and a lack of proper regulation, oversight and accountability.

Earlier media reports spoke of criminal activities and a billion dollar asset that turned out to be a worthless piece of paper, but don’t expect to hear anything more about the issue. Prime Minister Thompson has done all he can to ensure that no public inquiry will be conducted – starting with his refusal to put CLICO Holdings under judicial management.

Oh… did we mention that CLICO’s top dawg, Leroy Parris, is the Prime Minister’s best friend and godfather to one of his daughters?

No conflict of interest there folks.

Don’t expect the Mottley Crew to say too much either, because much of the shenanigans happened when the Arthur/Mottley BLP Government was in power.

Although there will be much said, there’s not really much else to say folks – because everything is being kept secret, especially the amount that this debacle cost the taxpayers of Barbados.

Nation News: CGI Wins CLICO Bid


Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Texas Billionaire Crook Sir Allen Stanford hospitalised after jailhouse attack. Can we get a deal on his yacht?

Sir Allen Stanford - Drug Money, Fraud

Sir Allen Stanford - Drug Money, Fraud

As of Sunday night, SIR Allen Stanford is still in hospital after taking a thumping last Thursday in a jail about 40 miles north of Houston Texas. His injuries are reported minor and there is no word why he’s still in hospital.

Would an ordinary crook still be in hospital for “minor” injuries after a fight with another inmate?

Probably. We found some stories that mention SIR Allen has an ongoing health problem and carries a metal stint in his heart.

Meanwhile, how about we all chip in on a new boat? SIR Allen’s newly renovated 112 foot yacht is up for sale. Yup… I could see myself with a tonic and gin in one hand and my woman in the other… sitting back as we head for nowhere in particular. Maybe a little sport fishing in the morning. Yup, I could get into that just fine!

I got me a thousand dollars, maybe double that if I stiff George for the money I borrowed to fix the car when the engine blew up.

Let’s see. Yes, subtract two thousand and that will leave a balance of, ah, about six and a half million US dollars…

Sea Eagle - 112' Hakvoort seized by Stanford's trustee.

Sea Eagle - 112' Hakvoort seized by Stanford's trustee.

Further Reading

June 19, 2009: FBI Arrests Sir Allen Stanford, Antigua Government Official & Others For US$7 Billion Fraud, Money Laundering. Striking Similarities With Barbados CLICO Fraud

1 Comment

Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Corruption, Offshore Investments

Barbados Government & media focus on trees, coral and beaches. Wetlands are a forbidden topic.


“Wetlands” a banned topic in Barbados Media & Politics

Our newspapers, television and radio media are never lacking in articles and reminders about the importance of our natural environment. If there’s not a story in the Nation about cleaning up the gullies, there will be a piece in the Barbados Advocate about the bleaching of coral due to the rise in ocean temperatures. If the CBC isn’t running something about a planting day for some school, then Brass Tacks will be talking about keeping the beaches clean and accessible.

Check out the coverage of the third annual Arbor Expo this past weekend. It was by all accounts a smashing success at demonstrating the importance of trees and vegetation to Bajans. Trees control soil erosion, cool the environment, purify water, reduce CO2 in the atmosphere, replenish oxygen and sustain myriads of different species as shelter, food and protection. Not to forget their beauty and contribution to our social lives and the economy.

Bajans again were given the clear message – Take away the trees and vegetation and see how long the soil and the tourists last! But not a word about wetlands.

Politicians talk about every environmental concern: except one

Minister of the Environment Denis Lowe is a frequent commentator in the media. I saw him on CBC not too long ago talking about the importance of vegetation and trees in reducing flooding and maintaining healthy soils. (As further evidence of Dr. Lowe’s concern for the environment, we can also mention that he is frequently seen checking out the beach wildlife at the Hilton right after the luncheon buffet.)

Prime Minister Thompson recently spoke in New York City on the potential for Global Warming to devastate coastal areas, and how small island states like Barbados lack the higher elevation land areas and financial resources to effectively deal with the threat.

My friends, there is no doubt that our Barbados government and news media are paying more attention to environmental concerns and the protection of our natural environment than we have previously seen in the 25 years since I personally started paying attention to these issues.

There’s just one thing lacking though…

DLP changed law to permit development of Graeme Hall greenspace

DLP changed law to permit development of Graeme Hall greenspace

The Government and News Media never talk about the importance of Coastal Wetlands, Swamps or Mangrove Forests

Now that I’ve mentioned it, think about it. When was the last time you saw an news article on Wetlands, Swamps or Mangrove Forests? With the exception of some “Letters to the Editor”, when was the last time you saw some detailed investigative journalism about the DLP government’s changing the law to allow development on previously-protected greenspace at Graeme Hall? When was the last time you heard a politician of any party talking about the importance of coastal wetlands or their preservation?

Go ahead – try Google. Try the archives at The Nation. Look through the Barbados Advocate old issues.

Except for a single self-serving statement last January (forced by the closing of the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary) Minister of the Environment Denis Lowe is coming up on two years since he last uttered the words “Graeme Hall” or “wetlands” or “mangroves” or “nature sanctuary” in public.

Denis Lowe, David Thompson Serving Land Developers & Friends: Not the people of Barbados

As an Opposition Senator back in February of 2006, Denis Lowe called for the strict limitation of development anywhere near the Graeme Hall wetlands. Lowe dropped that line when it became obvious his DLP was going to win the election. He then voted to change the law and allow commercial development on previously-protected Graeme Hall greenspace.

I guess that Prime Minister Thompson had a word with Dr. Lowe about CLICO’s land holdings at Graeme Hall and how the PM’s good friend Leroy Parris wanted to make some money from the greenspace.

And that is how we come to this, old friends. In the Barbados government and news media, “wetlands” and “Graeme Hall” are banned words. Discussing how the DLP changed the law to permit commercial development of previously-protected greenspace is a banned topic.

Here’s the visual proof: a map of the changes (click map to enlarge). Ask yourself why you haven’t seen a story on it in the Barbados news media…



Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Corruption, Disaster, Environment, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Using World Tourism Day to build bridges between cultures and religions

Rome’s Holy See puts out an excellent short video marking World Tourism Day

“Through tourism you have the chance to meet and to know people of different minds and opinions and religions and idiosyncrasies, etc. And this can be an enrichment because it could be an occasion of respect, of acceptance.”

Archbishop Agostino Marchetto
Secretary, Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants

Today’s Barbados Advocate also has an excellent World Tourism Day section once you get past the use of the occasion to transfer government tax revenues to the paper through advertisements from smiling politicians.

I haven’t seen The Nation today and I wonder if that paper will have received an equal amount of government revenue.

Comments Off on Using World Tourism Day to build bridges between cultures and religions

Filed under Barbados

Where did Denis Lowe get the money to pay for this Barbados Advocate advertisement?

Denis Lowe Barbados 2

The Public has no right in law to monitor any government expenditures – Once elected, MPs do as they wish

The simplest questions are often the most awkward – but only if you have to answer them. Dr. Lowe and our other elected representatives don’t have to answer questions about money, so why should they worry? With zero transparency and accountability required of government officials, Barbados Members of Parliament don’t have to be concerned about keeping financial records showing where the money comes from and how it is spent.

Barbados has no Freedom of Information laws, so unlike in many responsible democracies Bajans have neither the right in law nor the tools necessary to monitor how government officials spend our tax dollars. We were promised an FOI law within 100 days of the DLP’s election, but you know what happened to that and other promises of Integrity, Transparency and Accountability.

But back to our simple little question…

…where did Denis Lowe get the money to pay for the advertisement in today’s Barbados Advocate?

Did Minister Lowe pay for the advertisement out of his own salary? (As if!)

Did the money come from the DLP’s bank account. (I don’t think so!)

I’d have to guess that the money came from the taxpayers. That’s your money and mine that Minister Lowe used to congratulate the Sanitation Service Authority for 40 years of hard work.

How much money does Mr. Lowe spend on newspaper advertising? How much on meals and entertainment? How much on trips? Has he ever purchased any personal items using government funds? Any computers or clothes? Any books or supplies for his “home” office?

How much money does Mr. Lowe spend in a year placing advertisements in the Barbados Advocate? How much in the Nation? How much does the DLP spend in advertising with the Advocate compared with the Nation?

These are all valid questions. Citizens have a moral right to know how our tax dollars are spent, but thanks to the joint efforts of David Thompson, Owen Arthur, Mia Mottley and a host of present and past politicians, there is no transparency or accountability concerning the discretionary spending of the government and individual elected members.

And that is exactly the way that Denis Lowe, Mia Mottley and David Thompson prefer it.

Your local MP?

Your local MP?

And speaking about Members of Parliament and money, we hear rumours that one or two MPs turn around and walk the other way when they see certain landlords and creditors heading in their direction.

With no accountability for official spending and everyone willing to extend credit to members of a newly elected government, it wouldn’t surprise us to hear that some elected members have dug themselves into a little hole with their personal finances. This, of course, opens the door to temptation as a Member of Parliament who is under personal financial pressure might be susceptible to “loans” from land developers or people who obtain government contracts.

As strange as it seems, elected Members of Parliament are free to take “loans” or “gifts” from people who do business with the government – because Barbados has no law against this activity. Prime Minister Thompson and the DLP government reneged on their promise to implement a code of conduct immediately upon taking office, but we don’t hear Mia Mottley and the BLP Opposition saying anything about it. Something about pots and kettles.

Rumours of a Fax from Dr. Lowe

You might want to read our piece from December 19, 2008 to remember a controversy that came and died and was forgotten…

BFP, Dec 19, 2008: Barbados Government Minister Denis Lowe Seduced By The Dark Side


Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Push Pull Blog’s Tourism Study on Brass Tacks Radio, Sunday

Dear BU and BFP (as well as your respective readers!),

Firstly, I’d like to thank everyone for assistance with my questionnaire. In total, I collected 405 valid responses.

Secondly, as a result of some nifty networking on the part of Dennis Jones, of the Living in Barbados blog, I will be presenting a condensed version of the findings of my Resident Perceptions of Tourism Impacts in Barbados study, on Brass Tacks this Sunday (I believe the show starts at around 11 AM). Also, thanks to Daniel Foster for the crash course in stats!

Finally, as the results will be condensed (because of time factors of the radio show), I will be posting the complete results to my blog (, as well as emailing them to your respective blogs.

Thank you (and your readers) for your time, patience and participation. It is my hope that the information coming out this study will be useful in some small way, not only to the the tourism industry, but to Barbadians in general.

Kind regards,


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Andrew Breitbart’s Big links to Barbados Free Press over ACORN Scandal

Andrew Breitbart

The website that broke the ACORN prostitution scandal, Big, currently features a front page link to a Barbados Free Press story – and our hit meter is starting to go wild.

Drudge Report editor, Washington Times journalist and Fox News commentator Andrew Breitbart is behind the high-traffic and high-profile websites,, Big Hollywood and his newest creation: Big The Breitbart websites attract over a million visitors per day and news site is ranked as #558 in web traffic in the USA.

Dana Loesch: CNN, Fox News journalist

Dana Loesch: CNN, Fox News journalist

Link to Barbados Free Press article…

Breitbart published a front page article by talk radio host, CNN and Fox News contributor Dana Loesch: Left Employing Sexist Tactics to Discredit Giles, O’Keefe?

The first link in that article leads to our May 14, 2009 post Sweden Says Aborting Female Baby OK If You Want A Son.

Dana Loesch has been covering the ACORN prostitution scandal and linked to one of BFP’s femicide stories to support her article about the political attacks being launched against James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles – the two undercover journalists who pretended to be a pimp and a prostitute seeking ACORN’s federally-funded assistance to establish a child sex brothel.

Yup, that’s what we said: child sex brothel… and various ACORN employees had no problem with assisting the “pimp and prostitute” in their business venture.

So our thanks to Dana Loesch, Andrew Breitbart and Big editor Mike Flynn. We’re honoured that you think Barbados Free Press has something worthwhile sharing with your millions of readers.

Andrew Breitbart ACORN 2

(click above image to read Big article)

Welcome to our Breitbart Visitors!

Barbados Free Press is receiving thousands of extra visitors today thanks to coverage from Breitbart’s Big

Barbados is a wonderful country full of good people – but we have this one huge problem with a long-established culture of corruption and entitlement in politics and government service. BFP and other reform-minded folks believe that the only way the culture will change is if the international community starts examining the Barbados government’s actions, inaction and policies with a critical eye in decisions regarding Barbados investments, property ownership and business deals.

International visitors to Barbados Free Press are usually shocked when they learn that Barbados government officials are not prohibited from accepting gifts of any value from land developers or companies that receive government contracts.

No Integrity Legislation exists in Barbados. As a result, powerful Government Ministers do not have to declare their assets or explain (for instance) how it is that, as a Member of the Cabinet that approves the expropriation of privately-owned lands, a Minister of Government can come to live upon a choice building lot that was forceably taken from an owner – using the full power of the Government.

Even our Prime Minister, David Thompson, is currently embroiled in conflict of interest scandal where he refuses to allow independent oversight and transparency in the collapse of CLICO Barbados – a public company run by his best friend, Leroy Parris.

Integrity, transparency and accountability are just words to Barbados politicians, but to fellow taxpayers the failure of successive Barbados governments to implement and enforce ITAL (Integrity, Transparency and Accountability Legislation) says “corruption”.

To international investors, the refusal of Barbados governments to define and regulate obvious conflicts of interest by elected and appointed officials says “higher risk”. After all, nothing says “banana republic” like the fact that Barbados citizens have an expectation and an acceptance that government officials will become millionaires while in office.


Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

The Barbados Chamber of Commerce & Industry – Franchising Presentation with Regional Expert Mario Sabga-Aboud: Wednesday September 30th

BCCI President Glenda Medford

BCCI President Glenda Medford

Franchising – A Catalyst for Economic Development

There are strong and opposing views in the Barbadian business community over the granting of a licence to open a franchise of the American fast food chain Subway in Barbados. Some members of the business community object to Subway setting up shop citing the threat of job security during an economic recession as one reason.

Nevertheless, Barbadians like several of their CARICOM neighbours are no strangers to including fast food in their diet.  Indeed, over the years a number of well know outlets have sought to make their stake on the local market only to pull up stakes shortly thereafter.

Yet many view franchising as an attractive investment option, since a few Barbadian entrepreneurs outside of the food industry have franchised their operations across the region and beyond and continue to reap success.

Pizza Boys CEO Mario Sabga-Aboud

Pizza Boys' Mario Sabga-Aboud

The Barbados Chamber of Commerce & Industry is facilitating discussion between the differing viewpoints with a Special Presentation from Mr. Mario Sabga-Aboud, Chairman, Pizza Boys Group of Companies as he addresses the topic ‘Franchising – A Catalyst for Economic Development’ creating opportunities for a very enlightening and stimulating dialogue on Wednesday, 30 September 2009 at 12 noon at Hilton Barbados.

Contact the Chamber to make your reservations now, seating is limited.

Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Tel:   (246) 620-4750
Fax:  (246) 620-2907


Filed under Barbados, Business, Consumer Issues, Offshore Investments

Tsunami of Swiss, European visitors to our Leroy Parris – CLICO articles

UBS Swiss BankHundreds of Swiss and other continental visitors are arriving at Barbados Free Press to read our articles dealing with CLICO and Leroy Parris.

The trend started early last night and started to taper off about 11am Bridgetown, which is 5pm in Zurich, Switzerland where many (but not all) of the visitors originate. While most arrive through various Swiss and European telecom companies, a sizable number indicate the in-house networks of “UBS AG” and “Credit Suisse”.

Barbados Free Press has no idea why these visits are happening, but it seems obvious that the story links are being sent around via email because they are NOT originating from a single referrer as happens when another blog or website puts up a link to one of our stories.

The first-time visitors are arriving primarily at four stories and then spend an average of just under 9 minutes cruising around other Barbados Free Press CLICO/Parris articles. This loiter time, according to our own Cliverton, is really something.

The four articles receiving the most initial attention from the visitors are…

September 24, 2009: Report: Leroy Parris ‘may retire’ from CLICO. Question: Would they dare fire him?

September 22, 2009: Conflicts of Interest and Sinister Secrecy Continue in CLICO Scandal

June 3, 2009: CL Financial, CLICO Fraud Report: Dummy Company, Phantom “Consultancy” Payments, Vanishing Money Transfers From Company To Company

June 2, 2009: EXCLUSIVE REPORT BY BARBADOS FREE PRESS: CL Financial Group Collapse – Insiders Took Bribes To Have Company Purchase Land For More Than Market Value!

If you are a visitor from a Swiss financial institution, please tell us what is happening. Thanks!


Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law

Report: Leroy Parris ‘may retire’ from CLICO. Question: Would they dare fire him?

Is Leroy Parris "The man who knew too much?"

Is Leroy Parris "The man who knows too much?"

CBC says it hears “reports” that the Chairman of CLICO Holdings will be retiring before the year end and that he made his intentions known to the board last Monday.

That is the story from CBC where last time we heard, Parris was still in charge. CBC says that Parris couldn’t be reached for comment – which is a rather strange admission from the CBC that they can’t reach the boss, don’t you think? Or maybe he keeps his phone number secret from the CBC?

Pretty silly.

So don’t call it a “report”; call it a “controlled leak” or “planted story”. The questions are “Who planted the story?” and “Why?”

Here’s a kicker…

“He has spent 30 years with CLICO Holdings moving its asset base from two million dollars to one point four billion dollars, and he has also been responsible for the development for all the subsidiaries of CLICO holdings.

… from the CBC story CLICO Chairman may retire

Parris “responsible for the development for all the subsidiaries of CLICO holdings.”

It seems that the CBC “journalist” who wrote the story forgot about the collapse of CLICO and the revelations of fraud, excess and Florida swampland “investments” that devastated so many families. The journalist also forgot that so much of the four billion dollars in assets was inflated smoke that blew away leaving despair and human wreckage. There was big talk of criminal activities in Barbados and people going to jail until Prime Minister David Thompson stepped in and killed any kind of public accountability by appointing a secretive insider group to keep the lid on de boiling over pot.

Thompson was CLICO's lawyer when bad things happened. Now he's Prime Minister & blocking transparency

Thompson was CLICO's lawyer when bad things happened. Now he's Prime Minister

After all, David Thompson was CLICO’s lawyer when the company illegally failed to file financial statements. Can’t have the courts and the public looking at things too closely then, can we? And don’t think that the BLP weren’t benefiting from CLICO either. No Sir, don’t think that the BLP piggies didn’t share in that trough for 14 years!

Notice how quiet Mottley and Arthur really are on CLICO and the relationship between Parris and Thompson? The BLP aren’t going to look under that rock, that’s fur sur!

Leroy Parris will retire because they wouldn’t dare to fire him

They wouldn’t dare fire him. With most companies Parris would have been out the door for non-performance years ago, let alone the lack of audited statements. It was only after the house of cards collapsed that some of the truth came out. Independent fair market appraisals and reality showed that CLICO’s “four billion dollar” valuation was one big papered lie.

As the top man at CLICO Barbados, Leroy Parris was a big part of that lie.

So Prime Minister David Thompson will continue to shield his friend, and Leroy Parris will retire with honours and a full bank account while thousands of ordinary people suffer because of his actions and failures.

Further Reading

For some background and many links to relevant stories, please read our previous article…

Conflicts of Interest and Sinister Secrecy Continue in CLICO Scandal


Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Offshore Investments

Idiocy! Government Minister Hutson says “Look to Latinos”, but Barbados Tourism Authority failed to establish Spanish, Portuguese language websites despite 10 years of begging by hotel owners

Those leaders who can… do. The rest of the politicians and tourism officials talk, talk, talk and then do nothing.

Can Minister Hutson have Portuguese and Spanish BTA websites up in 30 days or is he just blowing smoke?

Can Minister Hutson have Portuguese and Spanish BTA websites up in 30 days or is he just blowing smoke?

Minister of International Business and International Transport George Hutson gave a press conference last Sunday where he mused about the possibilities of targeting South American markets to fill the tourism void during the “off” season – and to try to raise some new business opportunities.

The Barbados Advocate picked up on Hutsons’ comments with an article Look to Latinos and an editorial today Don’t stay behind the barrier.

All of this makes sense, although with the emphasis on Spanish in the articles it seems that neither the Minister nor the professional journalists at the Barbados Advocate realise that the language spoken by the majority of South Americans is Portuguese. Spanish is also huge in South America and is, of course, the language of Central America – but if we’re serious about South America we must target Portuguese as well as Spanish.

Oh well, not to get upset about it because the truth is that nothing will be done.

The Minister spoke a fine little speech, and the newspaper printed a fine little article and editorial.

That’s it, folks. That’s all you’ll see. This is Barbados and we do – or don’t do – things a certain way.

The current DLP government has been in power for 20 months now, coming up on two years.

If the government and the Minister were serious about South America, they would already have ordered Spanish and Portuguese language options on the websites of the Barbados Tourism Authority and the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation.

That makes sense, doesn’t it? If the government or the Minister really cared about the South American market, they would have taken a week and put up Spanish and Portuguese sections on the government websites.

People who take vacations have money, and the web is a huge resource in deciding where to go. If you want to attract tourists or investors from a certain market or region the first thing is to put up a website in the language of your potential customer. Pretty basic stuff. I mean, you could probably hire some drunken paro to consult for the Barbados Tourism Authority and even he’d know that if you want to attract Portuguese tourists you should put up a website in Portuguese.

Any idiot knows that, but apparently the folks at the Barbados Tourism Authority and Barbados Investment & Development Corporation (or whatever it’s called this week) are either too lazy, too stupid or just don’t care enough to provide foreign language capabilities on their websites.

It would only take one person a few days, perhaps a week

There’s nothing to it. The BTA and BIDC already have the websites developed with English content, so they have all the hard programming done. All it would take would be translated content – maybe a couple of days work if that for a competent translator – and both the BTA and the BIDC would have Spanish and Portuguese websites up and going.

Nothing to it technically. All it takes is somebody who gives a damn enough to give the order and make it happen. Tough to find such a person in politics or government service, I guess.

Tourism business owners like Adrian Loveridge have regularly suggested Portuguese and Spanish websites to the government and the Barbados Tourism Authority for over a decade and Minister Hutson is only the latest politician to hold a press conference proclaiming that targeting South American tourists is a great idea.

Today is September 23, 2009. Technically it would take about a week to put up Spanish and Portuguese language websites at the BTA and the BDIC. We’ll check back in a month and see if Minister Hutson was just talking shite after church on Sunday or if he is capable of producing an actual result.

The following comment was left on Barbados Free Press a few days ago by Adrian Loveridge…

Hundreds of thousands of people in South America speak English. I was in Argentina less than a year ago and there is growing number of highly educated people who want and have the financial means to travel.
 Some already do, to play Polo on Barbados.

But ‘we’ must PREPARE.

Its now over ten years since I pleaded with the BTA to place a Spanish and Portuguese language version on the national website, so at least some of those 400 million plus potential travelers could do the prior research or planning.
 Look on YouTube and you will see a Spanish version of a television ‘ad’ prepared for the BTA. Of course it was almost a waste of time and money because it contained no-call-to action (telephone number or website address).

I am am NOT advocating an instant new route like we did in the past with BWIA and Brazil, but a plan that includes ALL the options like smart partnerships, freight, agro processing, niche markets etc.
 Government is looking at trying to reduce the cost of living on Barbados. If you have ever been to Northern Brazil and seen their development of food processing, this may be part of the answer to both reducing the cost of food for families and the hospitality industry. 
US$2 per kilo in freight charges could easily offset the start-up cost of a passenger service.

Adrian Loveridge


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Offshore Investments, Tourism, Travel, Traveling and Tourism

Little Good Harbour getting ready for a Bajan Christmas

Little Good Harbour Barbados

Dear Barbados Free Press,

Andrew & Patricia Warden own and operate Little Good Harbour on our West Coast as a family-run hotel. “Family-run” means that they are hands-on people, not that you’ll think you’re still at home during a miserable Newcastle January, if you get my drift. I won’t bore you with the big names who frequent their place instead of the terribly pretentious and expensive Sandy Lane down the way. Suffice to say that you never know who you’ll meet at Little Good Harbour or their excellent Fishpot restaurant.

The Wardens prove that there is no need to pay through the nose for first class accommodation, service or cuisine. Their website is

A friend of a friend sent me the latest Little Good Harbour email and I’ve forwarded it to Barbados Free Press along with this little missive. I hope BFP will publish it.

Yours truly,

West Side Davie

BFP Replies

No problem WSD. We’re not in the business of advertising, but you cared enough to send it so no problem. Here it is as a jpg because we don’t publish PDFs anymore…

Click for full size!

Click for full size!


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Conflicts of Interest and Sinister Secrecy Continue in CLICO Scandal

Update: March 2, 2010

This article was originally published by us on September 22, 2009. In light of Afra Raymond’s excellent article published by BFP on March 1, 2010 CL Financial & CLICO Bailout – The Mystery of the Missing Billions we thought our readers might want to give further consideration to the conflicts of interest by Barbados Prime Minister Thompson in relation to the CLICO scandal and bailout. We’ll repost this article at the top of the blog for a day or two.

Here is our original Sept. 22, 2009 article…

Barbados Insurance Industry executives finally sound public alarm about Prime Minister Thompson’s friendship with Leroy Parris

As CLICO's lawyer, PM Thompson helped to build the house of cards

As CLICO's lawyer, PM Thompson helped Leroy Parris build the house of cards

The Prime Minister of Barbados has a long-standing conflict of interest between his duty to the public and his close friendship with CLICO Barbados executive Leroy Parris. Mr. Thompson has addressed the conflict essentially by saying that Parris is his longtime friend and anyone who has a problem with that can pound salt. In other words, the public can “piss off”.

Sorry about the language friends, but I wanted you to be clear on the Prime Minister’s simple message when the fancy words are stripped away. Make no mistake, Barbados citizens have been told to “piss off” when it comes to mentioning David Thompson’s conflict of interest.

Now some insurance industry executives are finally speaking out. (source article at end of page)

Thompson’s Conflict of Interest with CLICO goes far deeper than his friendship with Leroy Parris

If the conflict was only friendship, it would be bad enough – but it is much worse than that…

Consider this about Prime Minister Thompson’s conflict of interest over CLICO…

Thompson used to be CLICO’s lawyer – at a time when the company illegally failed to file financial statements!

Continue reading


Filed under Barbados, Business, Corruption, Offshore Investments

Norman Borlaug is dead – I should have known who he was.

Norman Borlaug saved between 200 million and 1 billion people, depending on the math.

Norman Borlaug saved between 200 million and 1 billion people, depending on the math.

Our thanks to BFP reader Throckmorton for posting the link to this story as a comment.

From the Globe and Mail Blogs by Andrew Steele…

The death of the greatest human being who ever lived

by Andrew Steele

Norman Borlaug is dead.

That probably means nothing to most people.

But Borlaug – along with other researchers who create the Green Revolution in food production – saved between two hundred million people and one billion people, depending on how you do the math.

Norman Borlaug spent decades with the Rockefeller Foundation in Mexico cross-breeding grain varieties to produce a new disease-resistant dwarf strain of wheat that transformed agriculture, especially in the third world.

Previously, nations from Turkey to Mexico to India were rocked regularly by crop failures. Too much or too little rain, heat or cold could plunge entire nations into famine, war or revolution.

In the 1960’s, Borlaug introduced new strains that absorbed more nitrogen and thus grew faster. Previously, plants that grew faster just fell over and rotted, but Borlaug cross bred them with shorter “dwarf” plants with hardy thick stalks that could stand up to high nitrogen absorption. The result was fast-growing, disease-resistant plants perfect for unstable climates. He also introduced backcrossing techniques that increased their disease resistance through selective breeding.

Most importantly, he was focused on using these techniques specifically to alleviate starvation in the developing world. His goal was always to attack famine, not merely to improve margins in agribusiness.

His impact was immediate and dramatic.

When his seeds were used widely in 1963, Mexico instantly went from famine-prone to a wheat-exporter. Their wheat harvest was six times greater after Borlaug was done than before he started his work. Imagine the compromised stability of Canada and the United States if Mexico were still endured regular famines threatening the lives of millions.

Borlaug’s seeds arrived on the sub-continent in 1965 as it was roiling through famine and war. Within five years, the previously starving Pakistan was self-sufficient for grains. India would be self-sufficient within a decade. The two nations were transformed. It is impossible to conceive of the great leaps of Mumbai and Kolkata in an India still experiencing regular famine. Consider the reception of the Taliban in Northern Pakistan if the government could not prevent famine in that region. Food security is a huge contributor to world peace.

… continue reading this article at the Globe and Mail blogs: The death of the greatest human being who ever lived

… Read Borlaug’s biography at Norman Borlaug, The Nobel Peace Prize 1970


Filed under Agriculture, Barbados

There’s nothing like an exposed septic tank on the beach to impress the tourists!

"It makes me want to come back to Barbados for my next vacation too!"

"It makes me want to come back to Barbados for my next vacation too!"

Has Environment Minister Denis Lowe seen the exposed septic tank?

If Barbados’ Minister of the Environment hasn’t seen this, we’d have to ask “Why not?”

If he has seen it, we’d have to ask “Why hasn’t he done anything about it?”

Our friends over at Mullins Bay Blog have the story: Owner hits the Internet to clear up Kings Beach saga


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Disaster, Environment, Offshore Investments, Tourism

When there is a lack of will to punish wrongdoers, the world pays attention

UPDATED: June 10, 2010

Friends, we’d like to mention once again that we are well into the third year of DLP Government and not a single person has been charged with any corruption-based crime. Therefore, it’s not going to happen.

We told you that the two major parties had an agreement in place. We were correct.

Here’s an article from last year that might make you think about the song and dance you’ve been accepting from the DLP…


For almost two years now, David Thompson and his DLP comrades have been declaring that they will hold people “accountable” for wrong-doing.

The list of wrongdoings is long, and for the mostpart the main culprits are known. When we think of Hardwood Holdings, the Barbados Tourism Authority, Hotels and Resorts, Dodds prison, the dozens of major contracts let without tender and – most infamously – former Prime Minister Owen Arthur depositing into his personal bank account a (cough, cough) “campaign cheque” that was “accidentally” made out to him personally… Well, just how many instances of wrongdoing and law breaking do you want?

But as Barbadians have come to realise, not a single person will be charged by the government of Prime Minister David Thompson.

Not a single lawsuit will be launched to recover public monies that ended up in the accounts of members of the former BLP government and their supporters. Continue reading


Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Freedom Of Information