Daily Archives: May 13, 2011

REDjet Update: Political problems with Trinidad and Jamaica

“A few weeks ago we at Barbados Free Press criticized REDjet for launching without having all the paperwork in place with Trinidad and Tobago.

We take it all back.”

Caribbean Airlines files complaints with Jamaica and T&T

REDjet: “Political delays beyond our control”

The launch of any new business is a formidable task, but when you’re talking launching a new airline into a politically charged world of protected competitors… now you’re talking trouble!

And so it is with REDjet as the governments of Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago seem to be doing everything they can to block the new upstart from Barbados.

A few weeks ago we at Barbados Free Press criticized REDjet for launching without having all the paperwork in place with Trinidad and Tobago.

We take it all back.

We take it back because we now see what the game was and is: to keep REDjet waiting forever until they give up. That’s what the governments of T&T and Jamaica would like to see happen and they are working hard to protect other airlines from those Bajan upstarts.

We’re guessing but it looks to us that after being blocked for over a year in various attempts to move forward, the REDjet team came to the conclusion that the issue had to go before the public. REDjet had to launch to force its way into the market or else they would never launch.

We’re behind REDjet 100% because the simple truth is this: if REDjet fails, the big losers will be the ordinary people of the Caribbean who, for the first time, will be able to fly to other islands without having to sell their first born children.

Further Reading

Barbados Today: REDjet still awaits T&T green light

Caribbean 360: REDjet says CAL protection blocking Jamaica flights

Go-Jamaica: JCAA tight-lipped about Redjet’s delay

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Jamaica, Politics, Trinidad and Tobago

A positive direction for Trinidad and Tobago

“Even when I consider the disastrous Reshmi-gate episode, that list adds up to substantial progress in the right direction. Democracy is a messy affair and coalition politics has particular challenges, so progress will be uneven, with some pauses along the way.”

Afra Raymond is cautiously encouraged by the People’s Partnership government.

Cautiously, of course…

Setting the Standard

by Afra Raymond

The PP government is establishing a ‘new normal’ insofar as ethics and acceptable standards of behaviour in public office are concerned. As with any real-time and complex situation, the signals are mixed, but from my point of view, the direction is a welcome one.

To me, the main positive signs were -

• Coup Enquiry – The July announcement of the Commission of Enquiry into the 1990 attempted Coup, now underway, was most welcome. It seems certain that we would still be waiting in vain, if either Manning or Panday were still in power.

• CL Financial bailout – Dookeran’s decision to review the payout to beneficiaries of the bailout was necessary and long-overdue. Dookeran has done his cause no favours by with-holding the accounts and seeming to suppress vital information, but the decision to revise the bailout terms was a sound one. On that occasion, he also took the steps of introducing relief for Hindu Credit Union depositors, which was a step in the direction of equity. Even those of us who did not support any bailout can concede that point.

• On October 1st, the Prime Minister resisted the temptation to use the PP’s Parliamentary majority to force through a new law to limit the legal rights of CLICO policyholders. The PM chose to set aside that legislative proposal and embark on an act of persuasion. That was a defining moment in our nation’s development of a democratic culture. The announcement of a Commission of Enquiry into the entire financial collapse (CL Financial and HCU) was another high point.

• Nizam Mohammed’s removal as Chairman of the Police Service Commission was overdue in my view, but not because of his ‘last-ditch/red-herring’ attempts to martyr himself. His primary and unpardonable offence, given his position, was his bold-faced abuse of power in that traffic police episode.

• Even Mary King’s removal from office earlier this week was a welcome sign despite the doubts over who knew what and when. That was a good move because it is the first time a Minister has been fired for acting in a manner which causes reasonable suspicion. Up until now in this country the rule followed by the various Ruling Parties has been the ‘wrong and strong’ one, joined-up with the ‘do as I say and not as I do’ one. To have moved away from those immoral practices is a big step in the right direction, despite the ragged edges.

Even when I consider the disastrous Reshmi-gate episode, that list adds up to substantial progress in the right direction. Democracy is a messy affair and coalition politics has particular challenges, so progress will be uneven, with some pauses along the way. But progress we must. Continue reading

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Filed under Corruption, Politics, Trinidad and Tobago