Monthly Archives: March 2011

Freedom of Information, Integrity Legislation “Died with David Thompson. It was his promise…”

“Integrity Legislation? Freedom of Information? All that died with David Thompson. It was his promise and his agenda. The economy must be the priority…”

… said at a DLP gathering as reported by NeverMind Kurt

DLP Strategy: Everything must stand aside for the economy

Nation Newspaper layoffs directly related to politics!

by Nevermind Kurt

The promised Integrity and Freedom of Information legislation is dead, dead, dead. The Democratic Labour Party’s only problem is how to delay the legislation until the next election without being seen to delay the legislation.

The answer is to elevate the economy to the number one priority and to convince Bajans that there is no time and no room right now to work on the promised Integrity Legislation and FOI. It’s all about the economy, you see. We’re in a crisis that is worldwide. “All hands on deck for the economy” is the strategy to delay FOI and Integrity Legislation until after the next election.

It almost sounds reasonable, doesn’t it?

Another strategy being talked about by DLP folks is to delay the FOI and Integrity Legislation until very close to the election, and then when the BLP Opposition says one word against it, call the election over the Integrity Legislation and FOI. Harley Henry and his friends are devious but no fools.

Continue reading

12 Comments

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

Spark of the Day! About that missing sock…


My sock fell off. What do I do now?

Of course all the girls at work did nothing else yesterday after this hit the network! 🙂

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Filed under Spark of the Day!

Whither the promised Integrity Legislation?

Or should that be “Wither the promised Integrity Legislation” ?

… from a reader who didn’t let us know if we could use their name

The Democratic Labour Party  in its 2008 Manifesto promised to “immediately introduce Integrity Legislation requiring a declaration of assets by public officials and a code of conduct for Ministers”. Indeed, the DLP made the absence of such legislation after thirteen years of governance by the Owen Arthur administration one of the major issues during the last general election campaign, as it sought to link some members of the Barbados Labour Party government with lack of transparency and accountability and with corrupt practices in public office.

The Prevention of Corruption Bill is however still to be  debated in Parliament after three years of DLP governance. Serious doubt now exists as to whether integrity legislation will indeed be enacted by this particular Parliament, considering the utterances by some Government Members of Parliament since the general election as to their individual willingness to declare their assets. Continue reading

27 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Tri Mart will not sell cigarettes to plumbers, carpenters…

… Or to Miners

Someone please tell me that this is a PhotoShop creation!

It must be, right? Here in Barbados we brags that we gots de highest litter I see rates in de Carib? Rights you is? Right?

Maybe they doesn’t not. Or do not. Or doesn’t nor do not or someting to de miners in de hole. Coulda happen!

Cha!

18 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Education

Canadian University team wants your thoughts on Medical Tourism

Simon Fraser University research team coming to Barbados

Dear Barbados Free Press,

I am part of a research team from Simon Fraser University, near Vancouver, Canada, that is researching medical tourism – that is, international travel with the intention of receiving medical care. As you may know, international patients, including Canadians, are traveling to Barbados to engage in medical tourism. Many questions are raised by this process, including what steps Barbados has taken to encourage and regulate this industry, how this industry has developed in Barbados, what effects this industry is having in Barbados, how many Canadians are traveling to Barbados and for what procedures, and whether Canadians are investing in the medical tourism industry in Barbados.

To address these questions, my colleagues Valorie Crooks, Rory Johnston, Leigh Turner and I will be visiting Barbados from April 26 – May 2, 2011 to conduct interviews with ‘medical tourism stakeholders’. We would like to invite you to participate in an interview during our time there in order to better understand the scope and effects of medical tourism in Barbados and the role of Canadians in this industry. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Health

Race a significant aspect of property ownership in Barbados

Their fields, their hills?

by Manjack

Dear Editors,

Thank you for reminding me of the article you carried October/2010 with regard to the theft of Graeme Hall and the Scotland District National Parks. I may very well have missed it or forgotten . Kismardin was kind enough to remind one of the BTI Coastal Master Plan that appears to have gone the way of so many other ill thought out propositions from the political clowns who masquerade as MP’s and government in the House of Varieties in Bridgetown.

You disagreed with my raising of race in the context of environmental/heritage/ancestral destruction that has visited Barbados in the past years. (Ed: article here) I raise race not in any not in any abstract or salacious manner for effect but because it is an integral and significant aspect when we speak of land and property ownership in Barbados. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, History, Human Rights, Real Estate, Slavery

Libya and the addiction of “The World’s Policeman”

The Military Industrial Complex says, “Pssst… Hey… Want some good stuff?”

Upon reading today’s news about the continued war in Libya (and yes, Marcus, it is a war) my thoughts again turn to the questions: “What is the compelling national interest that caused the UK and the USA to intervene on one side of the Libyan civil war? And when they did intervene, why did the UK and the USA choose to fight on the side of Al-Qaeda?” Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, History, Human Rights, Military, Politics

Air Passenger Duty killing profits and revenue in the UK as well as the Caribbean


“People are traveling to the continent to get flights… so the Exchequer is losing revenue too”

StudioCaribe’s excellent news item on the UK’s Air Passenger Duty makes an important point: the APD is bad for the UK too, and there is a growing movement within UK business to have the tax removed entirely.

As the news item points out, the budget announcement that Air Passenger Duty will not rise this year is a small but important victory for the Caribbean – but the fight is far from over.

This is the first time we’ve taken a look at StudioCaribe’s YouTube channel and we’re very impressed with the high quality production values and their ability to tell a story. By the looks of some of the other videos they have a compelling documentary in production too – The Smelter Wars – about a community’s fight against a smelting operation that threatens their very lives.

This is one of those web surfing moments when we said to ourselves “What a great little discovery!”

It’s well worth your time to check out StudioCaribe’s videos at YouTube.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

CameronEV completes electric vehicle tests in Barbados

by David Cameron

After 18 months the testing of e-bykes (electric bicycles) in Barbados is complete and the results analyzed. The following summary of analysis has taken into account current regulations determined from the Barbados Ministry of Transport.

The 500Watt Canadian versions used for the testing were adequate for majority of Barbados as long as the inclines are not too steep (>12°). The Canadian versions can be used as a mode of transportation for over 75% of Barbados. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Energy, Environment, Technology

Bull whips and bulldozers: Race card played in Bermuda Tucker’s Point development debate

Bermudian Senator LaVerne Furbert accused of “dancing to white man’s tune”

“(Furbert is) a marionette, a black puppet dancing to a white man’s tune.”

…Larry Burchall in the Bermuda Sun

“(Mr Burchall’s comments are) extremely offensive. I’m not a person who has my strings pulled…

At this stage of my life I will dance with anyone. I don’t care if they are black or white. I just want to dance.”

…Bermudian Senator LaVerne Furbert

Listening to the current debate about development at Tucker’s Point in Bermuda, for a moment I thought we were back in Bridgetown in the 1960’s when the white-flight was in full swing and black racial pride was more about “time for some payback” than building our children’s future.

Things have settled down some since those days, but this week in Bermuda the unwarranted injection of the race card overwhelmed what should have been the focus of the discussion. The debate on the real economic, social and environmental issues fell off the tracks as persons on both sides traded racial taunts and accused everyone else of playing the race card (except themselves, of course).

As we’ve said at BFP for a long time, in Barbados and the rest of the Caribbean race is always just below the surface. Sometimes those racial perspectives and an exaggerated racial consciousness combine to hold us back as individuals and as a country.

Sometimes though, the racial awareness alarm bells go off and it’s no false alarm. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Bermuda, Culture & Race Issues, Economy, Environment, Race

Environmental essay contest winner Dudley Ellis: “Many people fail to see the bridge between the environment and the economy.”

“Barbados… you decide”

Dudley Ellis of Harrison College took 1st Place honours and won a cool $1,250 in the Age 14-18 category of the 2011 national Canada-Barbados Environmental Essay Contest.

Hey, I’d be smiling too!

Here is Dudley’s winning essay…

Why is the Environment Important to Barbados?

Too very often we look at the environment as something that provides aesthetic pleasure for both locals and tourists alike. However, have we ever consciously taken the time to contemplate what Barbados would be like without a healthy environment? A disease-ridden, desolate and underdeveloped rock is what one could hazard as the possibility. The benefits to be derived from the environment are too numerous for one to exhaust. Among this myriad of advantages, things such as economic sustainability, improved general health of the populace and social inclusiveness are of key note.

Many people fail to see the bridge between the environment and the economy. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Economy, Education, Environment

CL Financial disaster: Did Trinidad and Tobago Finance Minister Karen Nunez-Tesheira get her money out?

Afra Raymond digs deeper…

“The 325 (CL Financial) shareholders are listed alphabetically, as at 7th September 2008, with details of their occupations and addresses also supplied.  Of course, that list shows, at #289, the then Minister of Finance – Karen Nunez-Tesheira – as Karen Tesheira, Attorney-at-Law – holding some 10,410 shares.”

“Another thing that is striking is that Lawrence Duprey would appear to have only three blocks of shares in his ownership –

  • #47 – CL Duprey Investment Trust – holding 1,634,335 shares, but we are unable to find the details on that company.
  • #78 – DALCO Capital Management Company Limited of #37 Frederick Street, POS – holding 1,947,833 shares. I am assuming that DALCO is a play on his initials – Lawrence Andre Duprey LAD, reversed.
  • #302 – Trustees of CL Financial Limited – holds 119,145 shares.

I am taking that to mean that Lawrence Duprey had under his direct control a maximum of 3,701,313 shares – i.e. 49.35% of the group’s entire shareholding…slightly less than half.”

Further Reading

Afra Raymond posted a story with CL Financial’s Annual Return filed 2009 and as usual he’s like a terrier worrying a bone: he won’t let go. Good for you Afra! Keep at ’em!

6 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Crime & Law

Looking for the family of Joseph Augustus Duncan: Born Barbados 1866

Hi folks,

Once in a while we receive requests to help locate long lost branches of family trees and unknown relatives. There are lots of genealogy forums out there, but sometimes it helps to put the names to a wider audience.

We don’t mind helping out and our readers have come up with some wonderful connections along the way. So let’s see if we can help this reader from the UK… Continue reading

12 Comments

Filed under Barbados, History

Christian God, Muslim Allah… same deity?

Bajan Reporter publishes image of Jesus giving the finger.

Will Bajan Reporter now publish images of Muhammed and Buddha doing the same?

Our old friend Ian Bourne at Bajan Reporter is a bit upset with Barbados Free Press. Ian believes we’ve been “hating on all Muslims” – because we occasionally print articles about, for instance, how young Muslim students in Barbados Muslim schools are taught and believe that stoning and amputation of hands are acceptable punishments in a free and democratic society like ours. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Religion

Jamaican women welcome in Barbados if they submit to a finger up their vagina?

UPDATED: March 27, 2011 10:14 pm

Barbados Government: “Shanique Myrie is lying. There was no body cavity search”

After three days of investigations, however, McClean told reporters:“There is absolutely no truth to a story carried in a Jamaican newspaper on Thursday, March 24, that a female citizen of that country was body-searched by Immigration officers on arrival at the Grantley Adams International Airport.”

In a prepared statement, she added: “Chief Immigration Officer Ms Erine Griffith has refuted this allegation made in the Jamaica Observer. She has confirmed that her department and Customs ‘have carried out extensive investigations and the claims were baseless’.”

From The Nation story: Finger Rape Claim Untrue

Shanique Myrie: “I am not lying. They are the ones who are lying”

“I am not lying. They humiliated me and searched me like I was an animal. They can carry me back to the Barbados airport and I can show you every room they took me into. I can identify the woman who defiled me. They are the ones who are lying,” she told the Sunday Observer.

Shanique Myrie in the Nation News: Jamaican Myrie plans to sue

UPDATED: March 25, 2011 3:57 am

Barbados Government says Shanique Myrie involved in Human Trafficking

“No record” of vaginal search.

The Barbados government issued a statement late last night about the Myrie incident. Does “no record” mean the vaginal search never happened or does it mean something else? We’ll be watching this story closely, but as we said before…

“Even if Ms. Myrie was suspected and then deported for good reason such as gang affiliation or crimes committed in Jamaica, she deserves to be treated with human dignity.”

That dignity is not only about ensuring that when necessary, cavity searches are performed by qualified personnel under as clean and dignified circumstances as possible, it’s also about a bare foam mattress with no bed linen, no shower etc.

Barbados scored badly in the latest Trafficking in Persons Report, so on one hand it is good to see the authorities paying attention to the problem. On the other hand, as the Trafficking in Persons Report states, one of the big problems with prosecuting the traffickers is that the first reaction by authorities is to immediately deport the witness, in this case Ms. Myrie.

It looks like our leaders need to read that Trafficking in Persons Report again because rather than charging the Bajan male trafficker mentioned by government, they sent the witness back so the trafficker will continue in business.

As the TIP Report says of Barbados:

“Law enforcement and immigration officials continued to summarily deport undocumented foreigners without determining whether they are trafficking victims, the government opened no investigations into possible cases of sex or labor trafficking, and it did not prosecute any trafficking cases during the year. Therefore, Barbados is placed on tier 2 Watch List.”

… from page 73 of the Trafficking in Persons Report 2010 (available at US Dept. of State link here)

Our original story…

Is our title really so provocative if it is the truth?

Jamaican Shanique Myrie (photo above) flew into Barbados on March 14, 2011. Upon arrival, she was strip-searched and then a female Barbados Immigration officer shoved her finger into her vagina twice while continuously spewing venom about Jamaicans, according to Ms. Myrie. Continue reading

665 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, CARICOM, Crime & Law, Culture & Race Issues, Immigration

Dr. Gerald Bull assassinated 21 years ago: Was it the Israelis? Americans?

UPDATED: March 24, 2011

Thanks to an old friend, we ask Who was Jonathan Moyle and why was he murdered a few days after Gerald Bull? (photo of Jonathan Moyle above)

On the evening of March 22, 1990, Dr. Gerald Bull got out of a car in Brussels, Belgium and headed back to his apartment.

Gerald Bull got out of the elevator and walked toward his apartment.  From the shadows another shadow stepped, holding a silenced pistol.  Three shots were fired into the back of Gerald Bull and, after he fell, two more into his head for good measure.  Gerald Bull was dead.

… from the blog Today’s History Lesson: Supergun no Bull to Somebody

“Super Gun” Inventor Felled By Assassins – Were They American, Israeli or Others?

In the mid-sixties, the Government of Barbados allowed the Space Research Corporation (SRC) to use Barbados as a base for it’s High Altitude Research Project (HARP) in exchange for the installation and maintenance of an advanced Radar system at the Seawell Airport (now the Grantley Adams International Airport).

Officially, the purpose of HARP was to develop an alternative method to launching payloads into space. The scientists were exploring the possibility of using large guns to fire objects into space… instead of the conventional method of using rockets.

The large gun could be heard over most of the island… and just a few miles away, our house began to crack in the walls from the shockwaves…

(Thanks to Stephen Mendes and his excellent photo documentation of the HARP project in Barbados.)

Further BFP Reading About Gerald Bull & HARP Supergun

A Piece Of Barbados History: Dr. Jerry Bull’s Assassination, The HARP Gun, Saddam Hussain and Israeli Intelligence

Barbados Author Angela Cole Writes BFP About Gerald Bull, HARP – And The Claim That Bull’s Assassin Was Recently In Belize

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, History, Military

How much is Barbados paying GOL Airlines to fly to the island?

Tourism Minister Sealy does a little dance

The headline in The Nation states “Sealy clears air on Gol lure“. The “So and so clears the air…” headline is a big favourite of government and the news media because it says to a gullible public “Well, that’s explained then. Nothing to see here. Move along, move along.”

Whenever thinking Bajans see that “Clears the air…” headline, the red lights and alarm bells should start going off. “Clearing the air” is usually a smokescreen and once you realise that you find that the air is usually anything but “clear”.

Minister Sealy was responding to opposition charges that the DLP paid GOL some US$200,000 in January to fly half empty airplanes from Brazil to Barbados. Although Sealy denies the amount, he truthfully says that Barbados has guaranteed revenue for GOL Airlines and that it is hoped that this “investment” will pay off in the long run.

Okay, I can see this type of an arrangement being a legitimate strategy to open up new markets, but we are uneasy about the ability of our government and bureaucrats to properly make cost-benefit decisions. As Minister Sealy himself points out, the BLP government paid Air India US$300,000 to make one disastrous flight to Barbados and also arranged the $10 million dollar debacle involving hiring the Carnival Destiny for Cricket World Cup.

Our government is non-transparent and with the previous disasters we simply don’t trust Minister Sealy or anyone anymore to tell us the truth. Minister Sealy is still hiding the truth because he only denied the alleged amounts but didn’t state the facts.

But really… what can you expect from a government that promised to implement Freedom of Information legislation within 100 days of being elected: three years ago.

Minister Sealy: you and your DLP government lied to us before. Why should we believe you now?

Here is the article from the Nation. You should read it at their website here, but as usual we’ll reprint the entire article because the Nation has a habit of changing history… Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Freedom Of Information, Politics

Public uproar causes Bermuda to rethink development at the cost of the environment

“Will the Government continue to purport that it is ‘in the public interest’ to sacrifice the environment, or will they look for viable alternative solutions? All of Bermuda needs to be engaged in this discussion over whether we seek short term gain over long term prosperity.”

Katherine Michelmore, environment spokesperson for the Bermuda Democratic Alliance (BDA)

As Barbados citizens question the government’s decision to allow development at Cove Bay, our friends to the north in Bermuda are rising against a similar decision by their government to kill green space in pursuit of the almighty dollar.

Our thoughts at BFP are that Barbados has so many abandoned, unfinished and run down projects, hotels and resorts, that our government should be demanding that new projects be built on existing developed areas. Tear down the old and abandoned and build your shiny new resort where an eyesore stands now.

That would kill two birds: it gets rid of the eyesore and preserves the existing green space.

People might say that is too costly. To that we ask, “Too costly for whom?”

Royal Gazette Online: Premier promises ‘rethink’ of Tucker’s Point SDO

Our thanks to an old friend for the suggestion.

4 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy, Environment