Daily Archives: September 3, 2011

BREAKING HERE FIRST: CBC sacks Peter Wickham over secret corruption briefings to US Ambassador

WikiLeaks “Confidential” US Embassy cable takes down Wickham

CADRES’ Peter Wickham revealed to US Diplomats: Campaign financing corruption, payoffs, “sweetheart deals”, political corruption by Leroy Parris & CLICO, drug money funding political campaigns, flying in of voters from USA.

“At the same time that Wickham was a political consultant, he provided secret briefings to US Embassy personnel about his clients’ activities. He’s finished. Who would hire him again?”

CBC senior executives “outraged”

Prime Minister Stuart said to be “beside himself” over CLICO / Leroy Parris revelations.

… CBC insider exclusive to Barbados Free Press

EXCLUSIVE to Barbados Free Press

(News media must attribute to “Barbados Free Press”)

The Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) sacked journalist and political analyst Peter Wickham on September 1st over the contents of a US Embassy cable released by WikiLeaks on August 30th, 2011.

A CBC insider tells only Barbados Free Press that the Barbados DLP government and CBC senior executives remain “outraged” after learning that Peter Wickham provided a series of secret briefings to US diplomats “over several years” where Mr. Wickham discussed and provided details about political corruption in the Caribbean. The briefings included information about the activities of clients and former clients.

Hitting the fan!

Barbados Prime Minister Freundel Stuart is said to be “beside himself” over the cable, which reveals among other facts that CLICO executive, former CBC Chairman and DLP supporter Leroy Parris provided large sums of under the table money to the Dominica DLP in exchange for business and a diplomatic passport. Barbados government members are concerned that the cable will provide more fodder for BLP Opposition calls for details on CLICO financial abuses and CLICO’s political funding of the Barbados DLP. (Editor: No kidding!)

“Wickham met periodically with Embassy Officers over the past several years”

The February 3, 2006 “CONFIDENTIAL” cable was sent by Mary Kramer, (then US Ambassador to Barbados and the Caribbean) and is published at the end of this post. The WikiLeaks cable references other US Embassy cables that are not included in the WikiLeaks releases – indicating that the United States State Department is in possession of additional information that remains secret.

The February 3, 2006 cable also contains Mr. Wickham’s assessment of Caribbean political funding.

Wickham’s assessment and information makes an excellent case for Campaign Financing and disclosure laws in Barbados…

“The amount of money spent on political campaigns in the Caribbean has increased with each election, according to Peter Wickham, a consultant who has worked for various governments and political parties throughout the region.

With no campaign finance laws or disclosure requirements present in most countries, political parties are free to accept funding from any source, including wealthy expatriates seeking to curry favor for their business and personal interests.”

Comment:  The increasing availability of campaign funds to Caribbean political leaders, combined with a lack of legal control over how the money is raised, makes for a troubling situation in a region where many turn a blind eye to corruption.

A few hundred thousand dollars, a pittance to a wealthy businessperson in Barbados or the Cayman Islands, could buy a great deal of influence in one of the small, economically troubled countries in the region.  Some of this influence may be purchased to further legitimate business concerns, but as in the case of marijuana growers, or even the bearers of passports to which they are not entitled, the influence could be used for more nefarious purposes.”

… US Ambassador Mary Kramer in WikiLeaked cable from US Embassy Barbados

Peter Wickham unaware of reason for sacking

Saturday’s Nation newspaper quotes Peter Wickham as not knowing why the CBC sacked him. According to BFP’s source, Wickham may not yet be aware of the reason for his firing.

Says Wickham to The Nation…

“No rationale was given… Needless to say, I am not pleased.”

“Where there’s a termination letter there’s always the impression conveyed that there was incompetence, misbehaviour, non-performance or underperformance, and I hope that’s not the belief that goes out there,”

Peter Wickham quoted in the Nation story CBC sacks Wickham

If Mr. Wickham wishes to comment on our story, we’d be pleased to publish whatever he emails us. Barbados Free Press published Peter Wickham’s writing during the 2007 election when the newspapers refused.

February 3, 2006 “CONFIDENTIAL” US Embassy cable from Mary Kramer, then US Ambassador to Barbados… Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

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