Monthly Archives: June 2012

Harlequin Hotels and Resorts issues statement blaming Paudie O‘Halloran for spreading lies

Harlequin controversy heats up

David Ames, Chairman of Harlequin Hotels and Resorts, sent Barbados Free Press yet another statement – this one alleging that Paudie O’Halloran is “spreading these lies and trying to undermine the success of Harlequin‘s resorts in the Caribbean”.

BFP reprints the statement as received (and after being run through an OCR programme to extract the words). We include the original PDF so our readers can download the statement and verify it for themselves…

“Dear Barbados Free Press,

Please find attached a further statement from Dave Ames, this time regarding the small but organised online campaign against Harlequin.

Regards,
The Harlequin Team”

Harlequin Hotels and Resorts

12*” June 2012
A Statement from Dave Ames

As you know, There has been an increase in activity of people trying to undermine the success of Buccament Bay Resort in St Vincent & The Grenadines.

It is clear that the perpetrators behind a lot of this information are associated with a company called ICE Group, which was based in Barbados and ran by Paudie O‘Halloran.

It appears now that O‘Halloran is spreading malicious lies and feeding them through members of Government and Opposition Ministers. What most people don’t know is that when O‘Halloran left the country a number of years ago, he owed the Barbados Government over BDS 1 million and The Government of St Vincent over ECD 2 million.

It is obvious that the reason why he is spreading these lies and trying to undermine the success of Harlequin‘s resorts in the Caribbean is because it is the only way he can defend himself against the court cases that have been brought against him in St Vincent, Barbados and Ireland. It should be remembered that freezing orders on his assets are still in place in St Vincent and Barbados.

It is clear that with these cases and others being brought against him, and with him owing so many people so much money throughout the Caribbean, he will find it very difficult To return to the Caribbean as the damage he has done to the region will surely ensure the Governments will take action to protect the interests of their people.

Regards,

Dave Ames
Chairman

Download the original statement here.

14 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Sir Allen Stanford sentenced to 110 years in jail: DLP & BLP refuse to return Stanford’s political donations

Ponzi Knight gets 110 years for doing what so many others do without penalty.

One thing you can say about Allen Stanford: He spread his stolen billions around. Stanford favoured no single political party or politician, according to the US Embassy in Bridgetown. According to our sources he made political donations to both the Barbados Democratic Labour Party (DLP) and the Barbados Labour Party (BLP).

The BLP and the DLP kept Stanford’s money even after it was revealed that it was stolen from victims of his Ponzi schemes. There’s lots of precedent for that… after all, the DLP kept the campaign donations of Leroy Parris and friends even after it was revealed that the money came from victims of the CLICO and CL Financial frauds.

We call upon both the DLP and the BLP to declare how much money they and their politicians received from Stanford and to return the money immediately so that it can benefit the victims.

Over to you Freundel $tuart and Owen $ Arthur…

11 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Politics

Barbadian voters offered choice between corrupt DLP and BLP

There is no ‘lesser of two evils’ between the two major parties

submitted by BFP reader ‘JJ’

Current Opposition Leader Owen Arthur says that the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) government has a moral obligation to fix the CLICO mess.  Arthur and the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) perhaps have forgotten that the Barbados Water Author (BWA), a government owned corporation and sole provider of water services  in 2009 was near bankruptcy. David Thompson and the DLP inherited the BWA problem from Arthur and the BLP.  Arthur and the BLP were morally responsible for BWA problems totalling thirteen years.  BWA problems FIRST appeared during the ruling of Arthur and the BLP, also Al Barrack.

The Al Barrack mess FIRST appeared during the ruling of Arthur and the BLP.  The court ruled in favour of Al Barrack, a little less than thirty five million, $34,490.518 to be exact. Barrack in 2008 received 2.5 million from the David Thompson administration. Al Barrack, since 2008 has not received payment from the Barbados government in any form or fashion.  Building Contractor, Al Barrack built the government office complex in Warrens (St. Michael) but yet unpaid.  The total amount NOW owed Al Barrack is far above 34, 490, 518.  The Barbados national debt also is far above the 34,490,518 amount.

Just recently, Arthur reported to Midweek Nation that “the REDjet Airlines might still be flying if the Barbados Government had honoured its financial commitment to the collapsed airline”.  Well Mr. Arthur, if the government during your rein had honoured its financial commitment to Contractor Al Barrack, Barbados  NOW would not owe him seventy five million.

Owen Arthur would like us to forget the  $75,000 cheque that was directed into her personal banking account NOT the war chest of the BLP for electioneering where it rightfully belonged.  The BLP in 2008 lost power to its twin party, the DLP because of corruption.  The late David Thompson was able to prove this.  It was he David Thompson who produced the $75,000 cheque linked to Owen Arthur’s personal banking account.  The DLP house, of course is not clean.  The CLICO mess proves this.

The BLP house also was not/is not clean.  The $75,000 cheque proves this, likewise the Arch Cot Scrub land linked to Mia Mottley, the now opposition leader of the DLP.  The Mottley family brought the Arch Cot Scrub land and couldn’t be built on and within six months got planning permission when the previous owner couldn’t.

Barbados according to the United Nations has lots of thefts but relatively less violence than Jamaica and other Caribbean countries.  This perhaps is memory of the 75,000 check linked to Arthur’s personal banking account, the Arch Cot Scrub land linked to Mia Mottley and now the CLICO insurance mess.  A lot of things have surfaced before and since 2008.  Both the BLP and the DLP are equally corrupt. Both are vampire identical twins.

Bajans on January 16, 2008 awoke to a new ruling government, the DLP.  The DLP, however made promises that were not kept.  The DLP, additionally enjoyed a relationship with LeRoy Parris that was not squeaky clean.  The DLP now in a hospital intensive care unit has seriously wounded itself with THAT DAMM CLICO MESS.  If David Thompson were alive, it would be in his face.  Thompson put the 75,000 cheque in Owen’s face.  He did.  The BLP left office in 2008 and should have kicked itself in the butt for poor leadership and corruption.  The DLP possibly will depart office, January 2013 and should kick itself in the butt for poor leadership and corruption.  The BLP is a national embarrassment as is the DPL.

Barbados is at moment amidst an economic crisis.  Barbados, additionally has attained high unemployment.  It has also attained quite a large debt that continues to grow.  The Barbados S&P rating currently is BBB- with a negative outlook – not good.  The S&P recently has expressed concern on the growing debt in Barbados and warned another downgrade.  The current opposition leader, Owen Arthur says he believes he has the medicine to cure the Barbados economy problem.  The economy in Barbados is a giant problem. Barbados sad to say has many of those giant problems. Arthur needs medicine to cure all of them:  1). Unemployment the economy 2). It’s growing national debt 3). The Al Barrack mess and another 4). CLICO.

The Barbados S&P rating BEFORE the 2008 general election win by David Thompson and the DLP was continuously sliding down hill.  The S&P had downgraded Barbados several times before the 2008 general election.  The three, Kerrie Symmonds, Clyde Mascoll and Owen Arthur perhaps are not aware of this.  Barbados during the ruling years of Owen Arthur and the BLP got a state of the art prison at Dodds in St. Philip and Kensington Oval west of Bridgetown.  They also got several S&P downgrades.  The DLP in 2008 inherited  a large national debt from Owen Arthur and the BLP.  The BLP possibly will return to office in January 2013 and inherit a larger national debt.

Both vampire twins, the BLP and the DLP have sucked blood from the Bajans; they both want recognition and power; both want the Bajans to trust them AGAIN.

6 Comments

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

How Chinese activist artist Ai Weiwei exposed shoddy Chinese construction that killed thousands of students

File under ‘Give more Bajan construction jobs to Chinese companies’

Ai Weiwei

Named by ArtReview as the most powerful artist in the world, Ai Weiwei is China’s most celebrated contemporary artist, and its most outspoken domestic critic. In April 2011, when Ai disappeared into police custody for three months, he quickly became China’s most famous missing person. First-time director Alison Klayman gained unprecedented access to the charismatic artist, as well as his family and others close to him, while working as a journalist in Beijing. In the years she filmed, government authorities shut down Ai’s blog, beat him up, bulldozed his newly built studio, and held him in secret detention–while Time magazine named him a runner-up for 2011’s Person of the Year. Winner of the Special Jury Prize at Sundance 2012, her compelling documentary portrait is the inside story of a passionate dissident for the digital age who inspires global audiences and blurs the boundaries of art and politics.

Thanks to an old friend for pointing us to this video

2 Comments

Filed under Building Collapse, China, Consumer Issues, Human Rights

Harlequin Hotels & Resorts: New Democratic Party politicians “alarmist” in predicting violence and bankruptcy at Buccament Bay Resort

St. Vincent and The Grenadines Opposition Leader says eight lawsuits filed over non-payment at Buccament Bay Resort

On June 6, 2012, NDP and Opposition Leader the Honourable Arhnim Eustace issued the following on the NDP website:

Government must make every effort to have investors pay local contractors

Opposition Leader the Hon. Arhnim Eustace is calling on the government to make every effort to have investors make payments that are due to local contractors and employees who are working at the Buccama Bay Resort.

The Opposition Leader made the call today at a press briefing held by the NDP to discuss issues of importance to the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Mr. Eustace noted that the evidents that are being produce are indicative of problems associated with the Buccama project. Some of these includes, eight law suits being filed against the company by contractors who claimed that they have not been paid or only paid in part and local workers not being paid their salaries.

Eustace said that those with authority need to defend the interest and rights of local contractors and workers. The government must make efforts to ensure that the rights of Vincentians are protected.

In addition the government must maintain an appropriate investment climate that will allow for foreign investments, thus it is therefore imperative that this matter be dealt with promptly, Eustace added.

… taken from the NDP website here

Dave Ames fires back…

The following press release was received from Harlequin Hotels & Resorts on June 11, 2012. The original press release is in PDF format at the end of this article. BFP used an OCR programme to cull the following words as Harliquin’s PDF was set up to block the copying of text. OCR (Optical Character Recognition) produced some errors and we think we corrected them all – but before you get too excited about anything you read in the following, check the original PDF, okay? If it reads the same, then you can get excited.

Take it away, Mr. David Ames…

11th June 2012

Press Statement from Mr Dave Ames, Chairman of Harlequin Hotels & Resorts

In an interview with Searchlight newspaper, Mr Dave Ames provided the following statement:

I first came to the beautiful islands of St. Vincent and The Grenadines in 2005 and fell in love with it. In the years since, I have worked hard to open Buccament Bay Resort, one of the most stunning resorts in the Caribbean.

Harlequin has never engaged in politics, nor do we wish to do so. It has always been our position to remain impartial and go about our business, but following recent comments by Mr Eustace and opposition legislator Mr Leacock in both parliament and press, I feel obliged to speak out for the first time. Mr Eustace and Mr Leacock raise alarmist concerns about the government’s “hands off approach“ to Buccament Bay Resort. Further, they make allegations of failing to pay staff and Mr Leacock goes as far as to suggest, and I quote, “There is the potential for a business to go belly up, leading to violence at the worksite.”

It is apparent to me that Mr Leacock has no idea what he is talking about at all and these comments are not only wholly incorrect and baseless, but frankly tantamount to incitement and hugely damaging to our relationship with the people of St Vincent and The Grenadines. I have in excess of 300 full time employed staff at Buccament Bay Resort, and let me state very clearly that all employees of Harlequin at Buccament Bay Resort are paid and paid on time, every month. In fact, since opening I have committed over $14,000,000 EC Dollars to payroll our hardworking staff in Buccament Bay Resort, making Harlequin one of the largest private employers on the island. Continue reading

11 Comments

Filed under Barbados Tourism

Formerly crooked lawyer says he doesn’t write for Barbados Free Press or other blogs

Then-crooked lawyer Bryan turns from camera at court

Strange things are done in the warm Bajan sun, but one of the strangest requests we’ve received in recent times is the following letter from Barbados Attorney-at-Law A. David Bryan.

Mr. Bryan used to be the General Manager of the Barbados Advocate Newspaper. He states in his letter that a rumour has been going around for about five years that he is behind Barbados Free Press and Barbados Underground blogs. We at BFP were not aware of that rumour until very recently.

Of course Mr. Bryan or anyone else can submit articles anonymously to BFP or any other blog and the blog editors wouldn’t know who wrote the article. The best we can say is that we’ve never received anything with Mr. Bryan’s name as the author until now.

As to Mr. Bryan being on-staff or “behind” Barbados Free Press, that’s hardly likely considering what we’ve previously written about Mr. Bryan…

Another Barbados lawyer buys his way out of criminal charges. A system rotten to the core.

Attorney Alvin David Bryan wouldn’t look at camera.

Three Lessons:

1. No deterrent for the next thief lawyer.
2. Bajan lawyers cover up for their own.
3. Foreign investors and real estate buyers who live overseas are still nothing more than victims-in-waiting for Barbados lawyers.

All that talk by the justice system and the Barbados Bar Association about cleaning up the legal profession is just so much talk. You need look no further than the latest case where Attorney Alvin David Bryan (also called David Alvin Bryan) was charged multiple crimes for stealing over $226,000 from TWO different clients over a long period. At least one of the victims was a foreign investor living over and away.

After being criminally charged, lawyer Bryan paid the money back to the victims and walked a free man. That’s the normal penalty when a lawyer is caught thieving in Barbados: they have to pay back the money and then they can continue to practice law.

One law for the lawyers, and another for the rest of us…

… from the BFP article Another Barbados lawyer buys his way out of criminal charges. A system rotten to the core.

Here is Mr. Bryan’s unedited letter to Barbados Free Press, as received from his email account on June 10, 2012…

NOT THIS DAVID- Who Writes For the Blogs!

By A. David Bryan
Attorney-at-Law and former General Manager of the Barbados Advocate Newspaper.

I received a telephone call last Friday June 8th, 2012 by a concerned person, who decided to do what rarely Barbadians do, when they have heard a rumor about someone, and that is to approach them directly about it.

Even though I was surprised what this individual informed me on what people were saying concerning me, in this country. Indeed, I was not disappointed, since it is systemic in our culture to gossip about individuals regardless of the consequences this behavior may cause. Hence the law of libel is there to protect such innocent parties.

In any event, I would like to “clear the air” as it relates to these rumors which according to my anonymous friend were circulating for the last 5 or so years, to which I obviously had no idea, until now. Continue reading

5 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Blogging, Crime & Law

Bajan-Brit author Andrea Stuart: Britain still in denial about British slavery

UPDATED: August 10, 2012 – Andrea Stuart’s book now listed for sale

To be the descendant of Barbadian slaves and white British sugar plantation owners is an extraordinary legacy, for it means that one side of your family once owned the other. But that is the strange inheritance that Andrea Stuart discovered when she began to investigate her family history…

Read a new account in Mail Online and purchase Sugar in the Blood: A family’s story of Slavery and Empire

“I think that in Britain there’s still a degree of denial or an unwillingness to really confront the back story of British slavery and so on. So there’s a sense of it being something that happened sometime a long time ago in some far away place, rather than realizing that the British colonies were, at that point, Britain, that they were British territories and the connection between the colonies and Britain is incredibly intimate. Not something that happened far away and a long time ago, but something that happened in Britain in the world of British life and something that still has repercussion today, and I think that’s the thing that, as a culture, Britain hasn’t quite come to terms with.” Continue reading

107 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, History, Slavery, Sugar

Revised Barbados Building Code leaves structural engineer “shocked, saddened”

In my opinion, the proposed ‘Revised’ code cannot be understood by most builders and homeowners – it appears to be designed to be understood only by designers.”

Revised Building Code likely to increase homeowner costs by 15%

by Grenville Phillips II
June 8, 2012

Yesterday, I attended a seminar hosted by the BNSI and BCSI titled “The Revised National Building Code”. I left the seminar feeling shocked and saddened. The current building code is designed to be understood by building contractors to allow them to build a fairly stable house. Many homeowners should also be able to understand it in order to check that their builder is following this national standard.

In my opinion, the proposed ‘Revised’ code cannot be understood by most builders and homeowners – it appears to be designed to be understood only by designers. Certainly, only structural engineers can understand the Structural section of the “Revised” code, while most builders should be able to understand the structural section in the current code.

In addition, the homeowner will have to provide detailed construction drawings for Government approval. This is likely to increase the cost to the homeowner by approximately 15%. This additional cost is not due to additional construction materials, but the cost of paying designers to prepare the detailed designs.

The current building code contains most of the technical information normally provided by designers (Engineers and Architects). What is so disheartening is that all of this useful information that can be understood by building contractors and many homeowners has been removed.

For the past 2 decades, designers have endured the entirely false charge that the enforcement of national building standards will financially benefit them. What is certain is that if the proposed ‘Revised’ building code is enforced, then the designers will be the principal financial beneficiaries. I am unaware of any designer who has lobbied for this ‘Revised’ code.

Grenville Phillips II is a son, brother, husband, father, friend, employer, teacher, musician, singer, composer, author, and publisher. He holds a diploma in Engineering, Bachelor of Science (Mathematics), Bachelor of Engineering (Structural), Master of Applied Science (Environmental Engineering), Master of Urban and Rural Planning. Chartered Structural Engineer (Fellow), Chartered Highway and Transportation Engineer (Fellow), Environmental Engineer, Project Manager, Planner, and President of Walbrent College.

In his spare time he writes the respected blog Weighed in the Balance

Further Reading

Meanwhile, Jonathan Platt of the Barbados National Standards Institution (BNSI), has issued a press release telling all how wonderful the new building code is – but lamenting that it is “voluntary” because the DLP and BLP governments haven’t bothered to pass legislation making adherence to the code mandatory. I think we’ve all heard that song before…

Barbados: Building Code on its Way to Being Published

Bridgetown – June 8, 2012 – Tragedies such as the collapse at Arch Cot in 2007 and the Campus Trendz fire in 2010, were offered as examples of calamities which need not recur, should the Revised National Building Code be put into practice. Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Building Collapse

REDjet officially dead, takes a chunk of Prime Minister Stuart’s credibility with it

Nonsense from the Prime Minister…

The Barbados Government “has not turned its back on REDjet”

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart speaking at a DLP meeting on Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Truth from Barbados Free Press…

“REDjet is dead, dead, dead – and it’s not coming back…

If the Prime Minister of Barbados is going to speak, please let him speak the common sense truth – and if he doesn’t, will the news media please call him on it?”

BFP’s Robert on Sunday, May 6, 2012 About REDjet: False hope and nonsense from PM Stuart

The Reality: REDjet declares bankruptcy on June 8, 2012

from The Nation Over for REDjet

FINANCIALLY TROUBLED airline REDjet has officially gone under.

A day after dismissing the remaining 94 employees, the carrier announced it had shut its Barbados operations and was filing for bankruptcy, blocking any legal proceedings by passengers and others owed by the airline.

“Airone Ventures Limited, doing business as REDjet, hereby announces the suspension of all operations in Barbados. REDjet profoundly regrets this decision and its impact on its suppliers, staff and passengers,” said a statement from the airline…

The last word from Ian Bourne and Bajan Reporter…

94 Barbadians unemployed, bravo George Hutson – REDjet officially dies

16 Comments

Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism

My lawyer, a Member of Parliament, took my money but didn’t complete a real estate transaction

I demanded to know what was going on, as I had paid my lawyer in full to complete our land deal since last year, November 03rd, 2011. I have been informed that my lawyer failed to attend not one, but two scheduled meetings to complete this transaction so that we can get our deeds.”

Yet another lawyer fails to transfer purchase funds already provided by client!

Barbados Bar Association making inquiries

This post was received from a reader we’ll call “Z”. As requested, Barbados Free Press editors removed the names from the letter.

My lawyer, a Member of Parliament I will call Lawyer #1, overcharged me for a land deal, tried to extort more money when I spoke to the disciplinary board of the Bar Association about him. I am purchasing real estate and has not yet completed the land deal for which he was paid in full for. I gave him the money to buy the land and he has not forwarded this money to the seller’s lawyer in over 6 months!

• Lawyer #1 was hired to complete a secession land deal for us. This plot was to be purchased under the Land Tenantries Act.

• Lawyer #1 was paid in full, inclusive of all his lawyer fees to complete this land deal as of November 03rd, 2011.

• May 2012, our land lady for called indicating that she did not receive her money as yet for the land purchase. She asked us to check with our lawyer to find out what the hold up was.

• On receiving this information from our land lady, on May 29th, 2012, I called the office of the land lady’s lawyer (Lawyer #2), who is the lawyer for our land lady as I was confused as to what was going on, due to the fact I have been given information from my lawyer’s secretary which did not add up with our land lady’s query.

• I spoke to Lawyer #2’s secretary, who informed me that Lawyer #2’s law firm were awaiting the 10% funds from me. I enquired as to what she meant, as I have paid my Lawyer since last year, November 03rd, 2011 in full and therefore, there was no hold up of money on my end.

My Lawyer missed two meetings to transfer the money!

• Lawyer #2’s secretary when on to say that two meetings were scheduled to have this matter completed and that my lawyer (Lawyer #1) did not turn up to either of these meetings. Continue reading

26 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law

Conscience tells us that Raul Garcia should be freed

“The inner voice of my conscience tells me that there is something seriously wrong with the way Mr. Garcia has been treated thus far.”

“Somehow the government of Barbados thinks that it has the moral authority to confine Mr. Garcia indefinitely.  That’s just not right.”

by Mark Fenty

I’ve written quite extensively I believe on the topic regarding Mr. Raul Garcia’s confinement. I’ve done so because I believe that this case transcends the jurisprudence with governs human society and penetrates profoundly within our human conscience.

Many if not most have argued the pros and cons of this very unusual case. And sadly enough, some have used Mr. Garcia’s shortcomings as a convenient punching bag to marginalize the effort made by others to win his personal autonomy.

But, whether rightfully interpreted or wrongfully conceived by some – what is important in this case is the fact that a human life hangs in the balance. Now, don’t misinterpret my intentions, because I don’t profess to be an authority on what government should or should not do with respect to the happenstances of this nature. But I’m merely voicing my opinion because the inner voice of my conscience tells me that there is something seriously wrong with the way in which Mr. Garcia has been treated thus far.

From an outside observer’s vantage point, it seems like the actions of the Barbados government are rather precipitous. I could understand if Mr. Garcia was given a second opportunity to redeem himself and he had made a similar mistake. Then the actions of the Barbados government in my opinion would have warranted such response.

But we are dealing here with a man who has served his time, and just because the country of his birth refuses to accept him back, somehow the government of Barbados thinks that it has the moral authority to confine Mr. Garcia indefinitely.  That’s just not right.

Listen! The choice the Barbados government ought to make seems quite clear to me. Restore Mr. Raul Garcia’s freedom and individual autonomy. Allow him to resume his life as a productive member of the society.

10 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Human Rights

Celebrate World Environment Day by asking: Where is the promised Environmental Protection Act?

Why worry about chemical spills when you have champagne and pate?

Dear Current and Past Environment Ministers: Why didn’t you pass an Environmental Protection Act in the last 20 years?

After four and a half years of Democratic Labour Party government, Barbados still lacks an Environmental Protection Act. Of course the DLP has a ways to go to equal the record of Owen Arthur and the Barbados Labour Party – who couldn’t pass an Environmental Protection Act in 14 years in power.

Our Environment Ministers are pretty good at champagne and pate parties, but not so good at passing and enforcing laws that would regulate the use and disposal of toxic chemicals. Heck, Liz Thompson took the champagne and pate thing all the way to a position with the United Nations – and she never passed an Environmental Protection Act either.

Why not take advantage of the invitation from the Bellairs Research Institute and the Government to Celebrate World Environment Day with some of the very politicians who couldn’t pass Environmental Protection Legislation in a combined 20 years of DLP and BLP governments? You can ask Dr. Lowe and other government people when they will be bringing in the promised legislation.

So-Called “Clean-Up” By Shell Oil In Barbados. We have no Environmental Protection Act so why should Shell care?

Perhaps some SOL or Shell representatives will be there too and you can ask them when Bajans can expect to stop pulling up buckets of jet fuel from water wells on the southern coast.

Here’s your invitation to the party, ‘refreshments’ (YES!) and a movie!

You are Invited to Celebrate World Environment Day!

Join us Tuesday, 5th June 2012
at Bellairs Research Institute, Folkestone, St. James
5:00 – 7:00pm

World Environment Day – 2012  is being hosted by Bellairs Research Institute and the Ministry of Environment and Drainage, Government of Barbados.  We have scheduled some intriguing and entertaining activities for the evening – as well as some refreshments for your delight.

You are invited to:

“Paint Your Pledge, Plant Your Pledge or Purchase Your Pledge”.

Afterwards the Future Centre Trust will be screening a free film at Bellairs called, “One Day on Earth”.  You can find-out more about this interesting film by checking http://www.onedayonearth.org on the internet.

As a celebrant of World Environment Day, you affirm your commitment to the community and our planet. For further details please contact Kashia Whitehead, Coordinator, at enquiries@bellairs-mcgill.org or telephone 422-2087.

We look forward to seeing you!
Sincerely,

Jill Parlee
&
Susan Mahon
Academic and Managing Director
Bellairs Research Institute of McGill University

4 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Environment

Barbados removes assets from CLICO victims: Sam Lord’s Castle to be expropriated by government

CLICO policy holders will never see a dollar for this ‘fire sale’ of assets

submitted by Parris Pauper

The Barbados Government is moving to ‘compulsorily acquire’ the Sam Lord’s Castle ruins and lands. As Minister of Housing and Lands Michael Lashley stated, Sam Lord’s is being acquired “for housing purposes, tourism development and beach access.”

Sam Lord’s Castle has been owned by CLICO for almost ten years (memory fails – if someone has the exact date CLICO purchased Sam Lord’s, speak up please) and is an incredibly valuable piece of property if developed. The hold-up to development approval was always the historic Sam Lord’s Castle building, but just as Barbados Free Press predicted in April 2009 – a fire took care of that little impediment.

If anything, the burning of Sam Lord’s Castle raised the end value of the land because the historic building was totally destroyed and ceased to be a major political obstacle in new development. Only the facia remains and this could be incorporated into any new structure if it doesn’t totally fall down first.

With the collapse of CLICO, the DLP government moved to grab the asset. They didn’t move to protect the public interest in the historic building before the CLICO collapse because Leroy Parris, David Thompson and the DLP were tight as thieves and the idea was to allow Parris to let the building fall to ruin, then maximize the profit from the lands.

And there was also that one little sticking point about the DLP never acting responsibly at the time to protect the interests of Bajans: Prime Minister Thompson and Leroy Parris were godfather to each other’s children. Thompson was also CLICO’s lawyer for over a decade when the company failed to file financial statements and broke the law, and CLICO Parris et al were major financial contributors to the DLP.

CLICO was a very messy conflict of interest indeed for Thompson and the DLP.

Fortunately for the DLP though, David Thompson is now conveniently dead and revered instead of being subject to what would have been a tsunami of Opposition attacks over the CLICO cover-up and conflicts of interest.

Now the DLP government is going to take Sam Lord’s and sell it to make some good profits. Or… perhaps sell it to friends at a low price so the friends can make the profits and kickback some contributions to the DLP. That’s how things work around here, you know.

Here is the one truth in my article that you should remember above all else if you are a CLICO policy holder or other victim…

The Barbados Government will never pay CLICO for Sam Lord’s Castle. No matter whether the asset is fairly valued or under-valued, not one dollar of government money will be transferred to the assets of CLICO where the money could benefit the victims.

Instead there will be some finagling with the books and some credit or swap against CLICO’s real or contrived debt to the government coffers.

The pillaging of the good CLICO assets continues to the ultimate detriment of the poor suckers who believed that the Barbados Superintendent of Insurance and the Barbados Government were looking after policyholders’ interests.

Parris and his gang were able to do what they did only because they had the cooperation and friendship of Caribbean governments. Indeed, it could truly be said that in the case of Barbados, CLICO, Parris and Thompson owned the DLP government.

Policyholders: kiss your assets goodbye.

Further Reading

BFP, October 21, 2010: Sam Lord’s Castle burns to the ground thanks to Barbados DLP, BLP, CLICO, Leroy Parris

BFP, April 11, 2009: How CLICO Ruined A Barbados Heritage Site: Sam Lord’s Castle

14 Comments

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

Coming Barbados election explained…

 

26 Comments

Filed under Politics

Nation News finally does story on Miles Robertson, Adele’s musical director

Now if we can only get the Barbados Tourism Authority to wake up…

When golden-voiced Adele won big at the Grammys, The Nation did a huge spread on her music and her life…

… but The Nation said not one word about the Barbados-Adele connection:  musical director and Bajan Miles Robertson, who as much as anyone helped Adele to achieve all that she could with the talent she is blessed with.

Barbados Free Press covered the story at the time last February and posted Meet Adele’s musical director: Barbadian Miles Robertson. We also lamented that the Barbados Tourism Authority seems incapable of capitalizing on positive breaking news that is in any way linked to Barbados…

“Maybe we at BFP missed it, but at the moment Miles Robertson with his Adele connection sure looks like another opportunity missed by the BTA at a time when our country needs all the positive vibes and publicity we can get.”

So now The Nation has, as predicted by one of BFP’s readers, followed BFP’s lead and done a feature story on Miles Robertson.

The remaining question is whether or not the Barbados Tourism Authority has what it takes to embrace the free opportunities that come our way. Adrian Loveridge had some thoughts on that back in February. We wonder if Adrian has seen any progress since then.

The Nation: Going Miles with his music

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Filed under Celebrities, Music

The great multi-million dollar VAT tax rip-off

UPDATED: June 1, 2012

A BPF regular asks…

“Dear friends at BFP,
 
It would be interesting to ask WHAT proportion of the increased VAT collected came from the higher electricity and fuel (petrol, diesel etc) prices and did this make up for the much lower level of corporate taxes paid over this period.
 
Just asking!”

Where does the Finance Minister think this money comes from?

by Colin Leslie Beadon

“Vat Increase brings in Millions” crows the Minister of Finance, headlines Advocate May 30th. And where does he think these millions come from. His crowing is a disgusting abomination. The millions don’t come from the European Union, or the Canadians, or the USA, China, or Russia. These millions come from you and me, dear citizen, from the wealthy, the poor, and the in-between. But they hit the poor and the middle class the most, and these are the backbone of the Island.

And just where will all these ‘millions more’ go?

That is the prime question. They won’t go to pay back what has been taken out of the N.I.S. National Insurance Scheme. Oh no, never happen, they won’t go there. They will go into making more committees, to accomplish more nothings, and other such frugalities. They won’t go into helping us grow our own food, or put more money in the pockets of working people, nor into the pockets of the average citizen, because that is where the extra VAT is coming from and who it is effecting the hardest.

In other words, it is a political way to rip off the citizens of this island, and, …. get away with it.

Further Reading

Hey folks! You know we don’t like to re-print entire articles from other sources, but with The Nation and The Advocate we have to because they regularly modify and delete stories to suit the changing agendas.

Please go to The Nation to read $1.3b in VAT

… but if it is not there, you can read it here:

Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Economy