Monthly Archives: October 2009

Marcus: Where are you?

rum shop barbados

Out of GIN!

Out of RUM!

Down to drinking tequila. Woe! Woe! Woe!

Where are you?

Thank 2 vacationinbarbados.com 😉

We gone get high high high 2nite!

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Filed under Barbados

Investor files international complaint – says Barbados government violated agreement with Canada, failed to protect Canadian investment in Barbados

“Barbados has consistently refused to enforce its domestic environmental laws and to abide by its international obligations…”

Barbados news media silent as Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary owner alleges Government harmed wetlands & eco-tourist facility

BIT-Complaint

Letter says International investor's complaint was filed September 8, 2009

The government and the news media in Barbados must be disconnected with reality to think that in the year 2009 they can hide a major international investment story from Bajans. Do they think that ignoring the issue will make it a non-subject with investors in London, New York and Toronto?

We’ve got news for our government and our news media: Reuters covered this story four days ago and it’s being picked up by international investment and environmental forums everywhere. According to the documents presented at the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary, the international complaint was filed early in September, 2009.

Yet our print and electronic news media haven’t mentioned it or approached the Barbados government for comment.

No problem ladies and gentlemen of the Bajan news media – just go back to your intensive coverage of government Ministers standing beside a pothole announcing that government will soon commence a study on when the pothole should be fixed.

Don’t worry folks, the international investment community won’t notice anything amiss!

Read the details at The Bajan Reporter

We’ll be saying more on this story in the coming days and weeks, but unless I shut down this computer in the next five minutes there is no way I’m going to be on time for work today. Meanwhile, our blogging friend Ian Bourne has the story and links to the official complaint at the Bajan Reporter: Canadian Alleges Treaty Violations by Barbados.

48 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Environment, Nature, Offshore Investments, Wildlife

Tourists documenting our destroyed beaches, placing photos on the Internet

Destroyed beach barbados

Environment Minister maintains silence on the destruction near Mullins Bay

The government of Barbados authorized groynes to be built into the ocean near the old Kings Beach Hotel. Only a few years later the entire area is suffering as the groynes accelerated the destruction of the area beaches.

“Word is getting out that Mullins Bay is a disaster zone.  Pretty soon you are not going to be able to sell holidays, let alone condos or villas, in an area where people do not want to stay unless government does something about a situation that is getting worse by the day.”

… from the Mullins Bay Blog story Horror Of St. Peter’s Bay Captured Through The Lens Of A British Visitor

Minister of the Environment Dennis Lowe hasn’t said a word about the problem, and citizens in the area have never seen him on the beaches. (BFP editor’s note: Mr. Lowe prefers the Hilton beach where he gets free lunch and a chance to chat with pretty tourists.)

Now tourists are starting to document the destruction of our beaches through photos posted on the internet.

Our friends at Mullins Bay Blog have the sad story here.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Environment, Tourism

VECO cover-up continues in Barbados – CEO Bill Allen gets 3 years prison for bribing Alaska politicians

veco-cbc-barbados.jpg

Alaska Senator’s Son was paid US$243,250 in “consulting fees”

The corrupt former head of VECO Corporation – the same company that built the Oil Terminal and the new Dodds Prison in Barbados – has been put in jail for 3 years for his leading role in VECO’s ongoing policy of using bribes to obtain government contracts. VECO founder Bill Allen will also have to pay a 3/4 of a million dollar fine, but frankly that’s just spare change to the man who used bribes of politicians as a standard operating procedure to grow his business into a multi-billion dollar international company. As part of a plea-bargain and in exchange for Allen’s testimony, Allen’s son and other family members escaped prosecution and were able to walk away with hundreds of millions of dollars.

The American FBI seized millions of VECO’s documents and made hundreds of hours of secret recordings to document how Allen and his company undermined US democracy by the simple method of paying millions to various politicians over the years. As was revealed over the last two years in public testimony and court documents, this bribing of politicians was VECO’s standard operating policy.

Who Did Barbados Prison “Consulting”?

In Barbados, VECO was closely associated with now Opposition Leader Mia Mottley and with former Attorney General Dale Marshall. Mia was “in charge” of building the new Dodds Prison.

After the scandal broke in Alaska, then Attorney General Dale Marshall met with VECO company officials in Barbados for 23 minutes, and then announced that there were no issues about VECO’s activities in Barbados. Dale Marshall was an active part of the VECO cover-up in Barbados.

Hmmmmm…. let’s see here. VECO had never built a prison before it was awarded the contract for Dodds – without tender. VECO used bribery of politicians as its standard operating procedure to obtain government contracts around the world.

And Dale Marshall says “no problem here” after a 23 minute meeting.

Nothing suspect there!

In any event, VECO and the BLP spread the “consulting” and sub-contracts around to DLP members at the time so that if the DLP ever formed a government, they wouldn’t be able to come after the BLP.

Hmmmmm…. DLP Prime Minister David Thompson has never asked American officials to allow Barbados to examine the VECO company records that list bribes of politicians around the world.

Nope. Nothing suspect there, either!

Who were the middlemen in Miami that handled the Dodds Prison shipments? What money was paid to “consultants” in Switzerland and the USA? Which Dodds Prison sub-contracting companies were owned by relatives of Barbados politicians?

Barbados citizens will never know, and have no right to know because both the Arthur/Mottley and the David Thompson government keep this information secret.

Citizens of Barbados? More like “suckers of Barbados” if you ask me.

Further Reading

Alaska Dispatch: Ben Stevens’ consulting fees surface in Allen, Smith sentencings.

 

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Freedom Of Information, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption, VECO Corporation

Freedom of Information Request #2009-1: To Barbados Transport Board

With much fanfare during the 2007 election campaign, then Opposition Leader David Thompson promised that a DLP government would introduce Freedom of Information legislation (FOI) within 100 days of taking office. FOI was part of a promised ITAL (Integrity, Transparency and Accountability Legislation) package that dropped off the radar the minute that the DLP gained access to the treasury after 14 years out of power. Likewise, the promise to “immediately” enact conflict of interest rules for Ministers was never heard about again. Thanks To Prime Minister David Thompson, Barbados Government Officials Can Still Use Their Office For Personal Profit

Almost two years have passed since those ITAL promises and even the most die-hard DLP supporters have reluctantly conceded that Thompson and his DLP lied to the electorate about their intentions.

Thompson and his gang of piggies at the public trough don’t want to enact Freedom of Information Legislation because FOI would allow ordinary citizens access to government financial records. That would empower ordinary citizens and the media to hold elected and appointed government officials accountable for wrongdoing and the Prime Minister doesn’t want that!

Like the Barbados Labour Party government before them, the DLP government is committed to keeping citizens in the dark – but there is no reason why we can’t put these Freedom of Information Requests on file on the internet. Someday perhaps citizens will be able to act upon them, but in the meantime the presence of these FOI requests on the internet will serve to illustrate that Prime Minister Thompson and his gang know nothing about transparency, accountability or integrity.

Here is our first…

Barbados Bus Accidents

FOI Request #2009-1: To Barbados Transport Board

To: Barbados Transport Board

FOI Request: Maintenance & other records for bus involved in accident October 9, 2009

Dear Sirs,

Under the FOI legislation of Barbados, I demand copies of the following records for the bus involved in the accident that happened about October 9, 2009 as illustrated in the attached photo taken from the Nation newspaper. I enclose the required fee and expect to receive copies of the requested records within 100 days as per the FOI law. Specifically, I request copies of…

1/ All maintenance records for the bus for the last five years.

2/ All vehicle licenses, inspection certificates, safety certificates and/or other forms and inspection sheets associated with this bus.

3/ Any Bus inspection procedures and/or regulations published internally by the Barbados Transport Board.

4/ Copies of all internal and external correspondence and/or reports mentioning this bus for the last five years.

5/ Copies of all post-accident reports, photos, inspection forms, reports, letters and/or any communications, whether internal or external, possessed by the Barbados Transport Board and having to do with the accident involving this bus.

Yours truly,

A Bajan citizen empowered by the Freedom of Information Act of Barbados (enacted 2017 by the Barbados Integrity Party government)

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Filed under Barbados, Freedom Of Information, Politics

Owen Arthur clearly indicates he’d take the BLP leadership again

We at Barbados Free Press spent our lunch listening once again to a recording of yesterday’s interview with former Prime Minister Owen Arthur.

One thing is clear: Owen Arthur will return to lead the Barbados Labour Party for the next election if he is asked to do so by a unified BLP. The ex-PM says that pretty well straight out.

“A unified BLP” is the key concept in Arthur’s interview, but the only way that will happen is if Mia Mottley pulls the ejection handles – which she must be thinking about considering all those knives sticking out of her back after Monday’s meeting of the BLP Members of Parliament.

Here’s the quote from Owen Arthur…

“I have no interest whatsoever in being involved in dividing the Barbados Labour Party.

I will have no interest whatsoever of wanting to re-emerge as leader in a divided party. My only interest is wanting to serve if they, if I still think that I have something to contribute to the people of Barbados. And that is my only interest in being in public life at this time.”

…from Owen Arthur’s interview by David Ellis on Tuesday, October 27, 2009 on Voice of Barbados Radio.

What do you think, folks? We say that Arthur is taking great pains to leave the door wide open while trying not to look like he is fomenting rebellion against Mottley.

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Filed under Barbados, Politics

Owen Arthur as skillful an assassin as we’ve ever seen

Mottley BLP Leader Ae

(Alternate cartoon caption: The party has spoken!)

BLP Elder Statesman publicly assassinates current party leader

We listened to the Voice of Barbados re-broadcast tonight and within five minutes we realised that Mia Mottley is now walking dead. Former Prime Minister Owen Arthur slid the stiletto into Mia Mottley’s political heart so quietly and so smoothly that his victim probably has no idea that she has been mortally wounded.

And there is no doubt that Miss Mottley is mortally wounded, politically speaking. The only question is, how long will it take her to bleed out?

Owen Arthur spent an hour talking to reporters on Tuesday morning, arguing that Mottley lacked judgment in delivering an ultimatum to the BLP inner circle and forcing a leadership loyalty vote as she did on Monday. Mr. Arthur is correct. With three of the nine sitting MPs effectively voicing their non-confidence in Mottley the result of the “vote” gave public credibility to the rumours of chaos within the Barbados Labour Party.

Mr. Arthur has obviously decided that the best way forward for the BLP is to lance the leadership boil now, rather than have it continue to fester for another year or so.

At the crux of the matter is Arthur’s contention that Mottley does not enjoy the widespread popularity and support throughout our society that is needed to lead the BLP to victory in the next election. Owen Arthur is correct, and we at BFP can’t see Mia Mottley being able to repair that deficiency. Not in a year, not in two or three years and maybe not in five years.

The big question for the Barbados Labour Party: What now?

Further Reading

Nation News: Owen has his say

The Barbados Advocate: It’s up to Mia!

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Filed under Barbados, Politics