Barbados Government expropriates land from one business owner – gives it to competitor

Land owner finds out by reading newspaper!

by Nevermind Kurt (with Cliverton)

Our headline says it all. Brian Cozier owns some industrially zoned land at Vaucluse where his company recycles metal for export.

Your commissars of the Barbados government intend to “compulsorily acquire” (that means “expropriate” in Bajan) a portion of Mr. Cozier’s land so a competitor can use it for the competitor’s recycling business. If you say that sounds unfair and like a huge slap in the face for Mr. Cozier, I couldn’t disagree. It sounds incredibly unjust at first look anyway. (Nation News: Not my land!)

There are a few issues here and I’ll be quick…

1/ Land expropriation is incredibly arbitrary in Barbados, and is often influenced by connections, politics and political donations. Those who give sizable political donations don’t get expropriated. Sometimes the political contributors are the ones who end up benefiting from the expropriations.

2/ There is a long history of private lands being expropriated for a named public purpose, but then being used for other purposes nothing to do with the original reason.

3/ There is a long history of private lands being expropriated for public purposes, but then ending up in private hands after the government “changes its mind” and disposes of the land.

4/ It’s not unknown for a Government Minister to end up residing on land that his government expropriated from private ownership. Barbados has no conflict of interest rules, no Integrity Legislation, no Freedom of Information Act and no constraints or transparency on political donations. The absence of these kinds of laws and standards means that just about anything goes, and that includes expropriations of privately owned lands, then turning the lands over to friends of government.

5/ There is a long history of government expropriating land and not paying for it. Read that again. It is a true statement.

True fact: Had Mr. Cozier made sizable political donations to the Democratic Labour Party, he wouldn’t be facing this trouble. Just look at Leroy Parris, who probably should be in jail. He loaned the CLICO business jet to the Prime Minister and then when the Clico house of cards collapsed, the DLP gave Parris a cushy job at the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation CBC and covered-up his crimes at every opportunity.

Maybe it’s not too late yet, Mr. Cozier: write out that DLP campaign cheque for five or ten thousand and get it submitted right away.

On second thought, forget it. Ten thousand is peanuts beside Leroy’s donations and you probably can’t afford that much anyway. Say, I wonder if Mr. Cozier’s business competitor (Paul Bynoe & B’s Recycling) made any sizable donations to the DLP?

In a truly transparent, democratic and accountable society we’d be able to see the campaign finance records for every political party and candidate.

Not a chance of that ‘pon de rock, my friends. Not a chance.

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14 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Ethics, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption

14 responses to “Barbados Government expropriates land from one business owner – gives it to competitor

  1. Softly comes the storm

    The campaign funding issue hasn’t seen much publicity but in my opinion it is central to 90% of the corruption that happens in government procurements and contracts. If we were able to see that the ‘competitor’ wasn’t a campaign contributor to any DLP candidate it would go a long way to defuse the situation.

  2. rasta man

    However you cannot get away though from the peceived colour issue. If it was the other way around, all hell would have broken loose already.

  3. just want to know

    This does not surprise me, it happens all the time. What about the land at Constance plantation, refused to give the owner the rights to build, says its agriculture land, but then the minister of housing want to take the same land and build houses on it, seems as if this is something that goes on regularly. What about the elderly lady in St. Peter, I think she died without getting a red cent for hers. You know God does not sleep, we will all have to answer for our actions, sooner rather than later.

  4. what will they think of next

    Don’t talk foolishness. Paul Bynoe & B’s Recycling and all of Paul Bynoe’s relatives including his brother Andrew Bynoe oF CARLTON SUPERMARKET ARE ALL DIEHARD card carring members of the Barbados Labour Party. During the last general elections they campaigned vigourously against STEVE BLACKETT in St. Michael Central but to no avail. Their man RUDY GRANT was soundly beaten.

  5. John

    I think at least one of the two political parties has been financed by expropriating lands in the 60’s and having portions end up in hands where profits are realised and donations made to the party.

    That is my gut feeling from observing what has happened over the past 50 years or so.

    I think the strategy changed as the politicians grew up and the Town Planning arm of the Government was used to facilitate the passage of title to the correct persons .

    I think both parties use this strategy.

    I think the sugar industry has suffered as a result.

    The conversion of lands (capital assets) into developments to realise cash should really have been accomplished by the owners of the lands with the goal of diversifying their economic activity with the cash being ploughed (pardon the pun) back into the business to create more sustainable economic activities.

    Those activities did not have to be agricultural, they could have been for example, the building of hotels to benefit from the growth in tourism.

    By fooling with Town Planning permissions, some people make plenty cash money but no sustainable economic activity results.

    The economic units that owned the land are thus bled dry.

    What is worse is that the will to try new economic ventures is sapped because the capital is effecively stolen … and people know it has been stolen.

    I think the economic shambles we see in our country today is as a result.

    I hear the word “entrepreneurship”, I see the fortunes invested in free tertiary education but …… “where are the sustainable jobs?”

  6. 73

    Are we still in Barbados?, or are we becoming another Zimbabwe?

  7. b corde

    I live in the area. The reason B’s has to leave is that he has NEVER had permission to operate a recycling business there. He is on agriculture land. He found some land correctly zoned and got his friends to make it happen.

  8. BFP

    What friends of B’s decided to expropriate the land of the existing recycling business?

  9. Maguffy

    How much longer left? Just over a year? Goodbye, we gave wunna a try and it has not worke,d so bye, bye.

    Ah well, we got Owen back. 5years one, 5 years next, 5 years one… etc etc

  10. what will they think of next

    Maguffy by calling back for the corrupt Barbados Labour Party you are demostrating to me that you are suffering from an acute case of STOCKHOLM SYNDROME.

  11. Marvin Bareback

    The thing is, when someone gets something for nothing, they usually don’t have the wherewithal to make a success of it….Barbados is full of examples of businessmen who get an ease from government…either they don’t pay any rents to the Industrial estate landlords, they don’t pay the VAT or the NIS and soon enough, they go bankrupt. But they still have those Mercedes and Jaguars as a consolation prize. Cozier will just have to wait out the eventual poor management from someone who doesn’t have much skin in the game and it will all come back to him….

  12. Newbie

    Blow away all the smokescreens, leaving all the political issues aside, this is just plain wrong. How can you take something from one person (whether the owner is paid for it or not) to give it to another person who is in direct competition with the first person. Why don’t the Government just shut down Mr Cozier’s business instead of torturing him also.

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