Monthly Archives: July 2011

Some Queries about the ongoing CLICO Debacle

Who are the CLICO receivers… really?

submitted by BFP reader “H”

Who are the CLICO receivers anyway … and who, working for what company, were appointed foot soldiers? And by whom? And who is paying the cost of the receivership proceedings? CLICO customers and investors, directors or the taxpayer? Surely not the latter.

What about the many CLICO subsidiaries like BAICO and Angostura? Are they liquid and still in operation or have they been shut down? And those overseas? Has a comprehensive list been published yet in the T&T press?

Should Lawrence Duprey be arrested and charged in Trinidad for Ponzi Scheming or embezzlement, like Allen Stanford was for the very same reasons in the US? Or are Trinidadians scared of touching corrupt billionaires like certain as yet uncharged and unconvicted ex-government ministers, past and current state enterprise directors, Calder Hart, Lawrence Duprey and his affiliated cronies …

I think that the entire CLICO debacle is deliberately being made complex and confusing to enable old criminals to manipulate or destroy incriminating evidence and get off scot-free and to lure newly emerging robbers to deliberately get a piece of the unsavory action in the prevailing mayhem …


Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Consumer Issues, Trinidad and Tobago

When Barbadians emigrated to Guyana…

Some Bajans choose to forget our shared roots and history…

The period between 1863 and 1886 was the most intense period of Barbadian emigration to Guyana, but even as late as the 1920s and 1930s there were still Barbadians leaving for Guyana.  The majority of Barbadians who migrated to Guyana were cane-cutters.  The then British Guiana was a safety valve for a densely populated island such as Barbados that had limited job prospects for the mass of working class people, and little available and affordable land for the development of an independent peasantry.  The genealogies of Guyanese and Barbadians are so intertwined that it is not uncommon to learn of Guyanese who have grandparents from Barbados, and vice versa.  There are deep families ties in which, in one family, half of the children could be born in Guyana and the other half in Barbados.  My own extended family embodied this split national profile.  The familial ties are enduring, but the vicissitudes of development have been more favorable to Barbados, while the fortunes of Guyana have rendered the country less attractive by comparison in the contemporary period…

From the excellent Sunday Stabroek story Mudheads in Barbados: A Lived Experience


Filed under Barbados, History, Immigration

Miracle in Guyana: Caribbean Airlines crash could have been so bad

No fatalities, few injuries as 737-800 overshoots in rain.

Egos and macho fools in the cockpit.

by BFP’s Robert

Thank God there was no fire because according to the reports nothing else went right just after midnight when a Caribbean Airlines 737-800 slid off the end of the runway in the rain and broke up while landing in Guyana.

Cheddi Jagan International Airport is not a bad airport as the region goes. With over 7,000 feet of runway in pretty fair condition, the CAL Boeing 737 should have been able to land safely no matter the weather. The runway has an excellent friction coefficient (the surface is rough and grips the tyres), great drainage during rain and the approach is easy compared with many major airports (Try Newark for a thrill!). The newish 737 was light at the end of a flight from New York and should have been able to come in slow and easy, but…

but… all it takes is a combination of factors all coming together. I’ll go out on a limb here and guess that the weather was a little rough so the pilot added ten or fifteen knots because it felt good on approach. Then maybe he was a little high – it happens in the rain because rain changes the optics especially at night – then the wind backed and all of a sudden he’s floating down the runway and the sucker isn’t touching down. Go around or no? Yes? No? Might be okay?

Cockpit Culture is a Killer

Co-pilot starts sitting up, sweat starts, but he doesn’t want to say “Recommend abort” because some senior Captains get real touchy about some wet-behind-the-ears punk telling them they are a little high, long and fast. So the co-pilot said nothing until it didn’t matter anyway. The cockpit culture prevented him from saying something to save the day when they were floating down the runway eating up what little safety margin they had with only 7,000 feet.

I’ll guess again and say that they probably had auto-deployment set on the spoilers. This is a little killer that is supposed to make for smoother touch-downs and no-bounce landings. The moment the wheels take a little weight, out pop the spoilers to kill the lift on the wing and start to slow the aircraft. The problem is that auto-deployment removes control from the pilots and commits the aircraft to a ground roll and landing when someone in the cockpit might have changed their mind. Five seconds is a lifetime to retract the spoilers and get some lift going again.

So the Boeing floated for a bit – a little fast and a little high and then it touched down way too late.

And all of a sudden the aircraft is down and both pilots know it’s going to be close. Now that tyre on the starboard side that everybody decided was okay for a couple of more landings isn’t performing so well in the rain. The grooves are gone and with little tread it’s hydroplaning even when its mate is okay. Full reverse thrust – brakes doing their best and spoilers deployed to put the weight on the wheels – but reverse thrust is only a small part of what stops an aircraft. Any pilot will tell you it’s really all about the brakes and tires and pavement condition. Reverse thrust doesn’t count when the pucker factor is operating.

And momentum. It’s all about inertia and momentum and they lost. Truth be known, it was probably a done deal before the wheels kissed the wet pavement and both jocks were thinking “It’s probably going to be okay.” They didn’t want to be embarrassed by going around again, so they gambled and they lost. Fools. How embarrassed are they now? Macho fools.

Did they try and go around too late or not at all? I don’t know – but Thank God there was no fire because the smoke eaters didn’t arrive until ten minutes after the aircraft ran off the end of the runway and broke up.

Some of the passengers paid to take taxis back to the terminal after the crash. CAN YOU F**KING IMAGINE THAT?

Our friend “Tom” sent us a little message and he makes a major point about 250 hour co-pilots sitting in the right seat. Do you really think a 250 hour wonder will inform a 15,000 hour Captain that he’s a little high and fast? Shut your mouth! Not going to happen.

by BFP’s Robert

REDjet looking good!

by BFP reader “Tom”

Looks like some people might start flying REDjet after the big bully next door ‘scraped his knee’ … thankfully all are well on CAL708.

All of you who have any skepticisms i’m a Captain for a small airline in the Caribbean and have been working as an expat for 6 years. Put your misconceptions and pre-notions aside no matter how good the machinery and how great a reputation, we are all human.

I’m more than sure REDjet is fully capable of servicing their destinations with ontime performance and giving their customers a great service. Regardless even those with numerous aircraft will try and stretch schedules thinner and thinner to accommodate more destinations… money doesn’t grow on trees and fuel is costly, and a plane sitting on the ground isn’t making any money. Continue reading


Filed under Aviation

Barbados Police again fail to answer “gun robbery in progress” call: Email from reader

“Incidents of Barbados Police being a bit shy or late to respond to gun calls are also becoming more common.”

Another case of unanswered 211 Police Emergency call!

Police didn’t show up until the next morning for “Robbery with Gun” call

Several folks sent us this story that is circulating on the internet via email and Facebook. WE CAUTION readers to take this story with a grain of salt until we receive some independent confirmation, but stories of Emergency 211 calls not being answered are becoming a weekly event. Incidents of Barbados Police being a bit shy or late to respond to gun calls are also becoming more common. Commissioner Dottin remains silent about this life-critical failing. We’ve written about that here and here but that’s only a small sample of what people are hearing and talking about.

Commissioner Dottin: Why isn’t the 211 Police Emergency number being answered?

Here is the current email with the names, email addresses and other details of the victim removed. The full version circulating has many personal details that we’re not about to publish here…

Last night around 12:30am former Fort George resident “H” was robbed at gunpoint outside his current residence at Rendezvous Ridge where he resides with his mum and grandmother. I spoke with “J” this morning and she advised that “H” parked on the curb outside the house (being the last in and the yard was full) and immediately as he opened the car door a gun was placed on his cheek and he was ordered out of the car. He was ordered to hand over his wallet, cell phone and jewelry and then the two assailants got into a green sedan parked nearby and drove away. A combination of youth and _ _ _ _ _ then ensured that he started his own car and gave chase and followed the car into Sergeants Village where the car was parked. At that point “H” drove to the nearest pay phone and dialed 211 and got no answer so he was forced to leave and head home to use the home phone and call other police numbers. The police arrived this morning to investigate and were taken to where the green car was last seen (of course it was gone) and take statements etc. “H” confirmed that the man who did the talking did NOT have a foreign accent.

This incident follows another one at the same residence last Saturday night where a man was spotted on the pool deck of the said residence and was chased by “H” and his sister’s boyfriend up the road. During the chase they failed to flag down a passing police car and again on that occasion 211 also failed to provide an answer.

Here’s another story of unanswered 211 Emergency Calls from The Barbados Advocate. You should read it at the Advocate’s website, but as usual we have to reprint the whole story here because that newspaper regularly changes or deletes stories for political and other agendas… Continue reading


Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Police

I have a problem with fellow CLICO policyholders

Time to join Barbados Investors and Policyholders Alliance (BIPA)

by J. Payne

I have a severe problem with fellow CLICO policyholders in Barbados. What are you waiting for? Are you aware that the Judicial Manager has not filed a defence against Parris’s claim for $10 million from CLICO? Are you aware that, in the absence of that defence, Parris has already applied for a judgement from the Court? What is the matter with you? Do you feel that by staying silent and doing nothing that all will sort itself out in end? Without direct action by CLICO policyholders, nothing will be done. Worried about victimisation? This is YOUR money! So haven’t you been victimised already?

I urge all policyholders and those who know policyholders to join those of us already members of the Barbados Investors and Policyholders Alliance (BIPA). We can and will take action to recover what is rightly ours, and nobody – not Parris, not the Judicial Manager, nor government will be allowed to conspire to keep us from a just end to this fiasco.


Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Crime & Law, Offshore Investments

Without fear of punishment CL Financial – CLICO Executives had no limits

“If you let people get the idea that they can never be punished, there is virtually no limit to the rules they will break.  Asset-stripping, Bribery and Corruption can become the new norms of a governing class and that is what has happened in our country.”

This is an edited version of Afra Raymond’s address to the 4th Biennial Business Banking and Finance Conference (BBF4) held at the Trinidad Hilton from 22nd to 24th June, 2011.

The session he participated in was devoted to ‘Lessons from the Financial Crisis: The Resolution of Failed Entities’.

by Afra Raymond

Thanks for the invitation to speak at this forum, it was last-minute, but welcome, since our local Institutions of Higher Learning have not spent the necessary time to explain and analyse this financial fiasco.  I have been very critical of the Institute of Business, the Institute of Social and Economic Research, the Faculties of Economics and Management and the Caribbean Centre for Money & Finance, so it is great to see you making a start on this overdue work.  It is my pleasure to participate in these proceedings.

I want to start by shifting focus to the arena of the mind and the existence of elements such as moral and ethical values, as well as social standards.  In 1971 there was a famous series of psychological experiments in which selected students entered a two-week role-play as prison-guards in control of other people who were playing the role of prisoners.

That experiment was conducted at Stanford University in California and the results were that most of the prison guards adopted cruel behaviour with most of them being upset when the experiment was stopped after only six days.  The entire experiment was filmed and the prisoners suffered from regular acts of wickedness, abuse and sheer perversity – one-third of the guards acted sadistically.

The Stanford Prison Experiment as it is now known, was heavily criticised as being unethical and unprofessional.  Of course the other aspect is that it re-opened the perennial discussion into the nature of things.  The nature of our nature, as it were – ‘Are we humans naturally evil and cruel?’  The learning seems to be that well-adjusted and reasonable people can very quickly lose their moral compass in a situation with a lack of the conventional controls such as disapproval and laws.

The New Norms of the Governing Class…

No surprise to those familiar with history and politics, but the lesson for us in T&T is that…

If you let people get the idea that they can never be punished, there is virtually no limit to the rules they will break.  Asset-stripping, Bribery and Corruption can become the new norms of a governing class and that is what has happened in our country.

We have never had a strong tradition of detecting and punishing White-Collar Criminals, so if we are to make a start in terms of the resolution of failed entities, that has to be the starting-point.  We cannot reconstruct or resolve the failed entities if we do not change that aspect of our culture – the absence of consequence has to be abolished. Continue reading


Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Crime & Law, Economy, Ethics, Offshore Investments

Why does Barbados have a “low risk of liability” for doctors?

click photo for large

What does “low risk of liability” for doctors mean for medical patients?

Dear Barbados Free Press,

I saw in the news the other day that the Barbados government is partnering with an American company to build new medical tourism facilities on the site of the St. Joseph Hospital. The news story and the press release sound like this could be an opportunity for Barbados but only if enough investors and medical professionals come on board.

The American World Clinics website is straightforward saying that Barbados is the company’s first project, and lists many reasons why Barbados would be a good place for medical professionals and to build a medical tourism industry. One of the listed reasons puzzles me though…

The American World Clinics press release and the website say that Barbados is a good place for medical professionals because “Barbados is friendly for medical practice and features low risk of liability…”

What does this “low risk of liability” mean, exactly?

We know it takes ten and fifteen years for civil lawsuits to be heard in our court system. What about medical malpractice lawsuits? Would a medical malpractice lawsuit take ten or fifteen years to resolve in the Barbados courts? If the Barbados government is a partner with American World Clinics, can a patient rely upon the Barbados government and the courts in a dispute?

The question that really needs answering is “If Barbados features ‘low risk of liability’ for physicians, does that mean it features a higher risk for international medical tourism patients?”

Also I would like to know about the medical certification procedures in Barbados and what body will oversee the clinics to ensure that compliance with medical standards is acceptable? What are the medical standards in Barbados?

Yours truly,

(name withheld by BFP) Continue reading


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Consumer Issues, Health