Daily Archives: May 3, 2011

New Barbados WikiLeaks – Billie Miller confidential to US Ambassador: “Chinese owe Barbados for the favourable state construction deals…”

Billie Miller implies that Barbados Government Bid Process is rigged to favour Chinese Companies!

China “will continue” to win new construction contracts in Barbados!

You know why the Barbados news media doesn’t cover WikiLeaks

Barbados Free Press asks: “Can we expect a statement from COW or Bizzy Williams on the China construction contracts revelations?”

Every morning we rise ‘n shine, flip on the old PC and head for WikiLeaks first thing to see if there’s anything new about Barbados. We can’t imagine any Bajan journalist not doing that because we know that WikiLeaks has some 261 US Embassy cables sent from Bridgetown and up until April 18, 2011 only 3 had been released.

Maybe we missed some recent coverage in the Bajan oldstream news media, and if so we apologise. If it wasn’t covered, maybe the Bajan oldstream news media should apologise to Barbadians.

The latest release of 16 embassy cables is online now at WikiLeaks Bridgetown Embassy List. There’s only one “Confidential” cable in the bunch, but that’s not to say that the others aren’t important – we just haven’t looked at them yet.

Here’s some excerpts from the April 12, 2006 “CONFIDENTIAL” cable from Ambassador Mary Kramer, talking about some official and off-the-record conversations she had with Barbados Foreign Minister Dame Billie Miller…

China

“Miller told the Ambassador privately that the Chinese “owe” Barbados for all the favorable deals their state construction company has won – and will continue to win – in Barbados.”

Sugar Subsidies out, Service Industry in

“Ambassador Kramer asked FM Miller to share CARICOM’s vision of a desired future for regional and global trade. The Foreign Minister responded that for over 300 years Barbados has never openly traded sugar.  Her country has always had preferential treatment; sugar has almost always been subsidized.  Miller said Barbados has determined that
sugar is not the way forward; instead, the service industry represents the most promising future.”

Cameras at Airport and Port

The PS for Trade, Samuel Chandler, entered the discussion, noting how security regulation and requirements have added cost to both exporters and governments.  Miller remarked on all the camera equipment at the port and airport, saying, “These are not one-off expenses, they are recurring expenses, but without them one risks the loss of international access for the port and the airport.”

Barbados stifles open discussion with USA

Such a frank and wide-ranging discussion between the Barbados Government and senior diplomats is extremely rare. The Barbadians normally hold embassies at arm’s length, insisting on a rigorous adherence to protocol that stifles open discussion.  Barbados and FM Miller in particular are CARICOM leaders in many areas of foreign affairs, and her views on Haiti and trade likely hold true for most CARICOM members.

KRAMER

Full text of Confidential April 12, 2006 message from US Embassy, Bridgetown

C O N F I D E N T I A L BRIDGETOWN 000637 Continue reading

8 Comments

Filed under Barbados, CARICOM, China, Haiti, History, Politics