Daily Archives: July 9, 2012

Trinidad Express to publish Afra Raymond… after T&T Guardian shamefully caved to political pressure.

When the history of the CL Financial / CLICO fraud is written, one courageous journalist will stand out: Afra Raymond.

There is no one else in Trinidad or Barbados who has damned the torpedoes and charged straight ahead with the entire truth. No one.

Afra Raymond is a T&T journalist whose effective investigation and analysis on the CL Financial scandal has continually exposed the unethical and illegal actions of many of the main players in the financial debacle. His work has aided the small investors who were abused and deceived. Afra alerted the taxpayers who were being set up to be raped again by politicians more interested in cover-ups than in asset protection and recovery. He is feared and despised by the wrong-doers because he is capable of so clearly and simply describing what the crooks did.

If your last name is Parris or Duprey, you undoubtedly consider Afra Raymond to be a dangerous man.

Afra has paid the price for his defense of the ordinary people, the people who trusted the financial elites like Leroy Parris and Lawrence Duprey. At the end of 2011, the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian who then published Afra’s work decided that they would secretly send his articles to politicians to preview and vet his writing prior to publishing! This was a breach of basic media ethics.

Upon hearing that the editor was secretly sending his unpublished articles to selected politicians and big-ups – Afra, in very civilized terms, told the T&T Guardian to stick it where the sun doan shine. He resigned as any journalist of integrity would.

Here we are six months later and the Trinidad Express has hired Afra to write a column. Good for the Express: the paper clearly stands head and shoulders above the Guardian.

What does the CL Financial and CLICO scandal boil down to for Afra? In a phrase: “Privatized profits. Socialized losses.”

That is what Duprey, Parris and the rest of the CLICO – CL Financial clan are still doing to you and to me.

Can’t wait for Afra’s first column at the Trinidad Express. It might or might not be on CL Financial – we haven’t been informed. But whatever the subject, we’re looking forward to once again seeing Afra Raymond in the traditional news media.

Further reading and listening

Check out AfraRaymond.com where you’ll find some media interviews of Afra from June and May just passed. You’ll get angry as Afra Raymond chats in ‘The Barbershop‘ with John Wayne Benoit on i95.5FM about the CL Financial bailout and Public Procurement issues and other topics on June 30, 2012. Then go to May 4th on Early Morning with Hema Ramkissoon where Afra discusses ‘Government fails to deliver?’; a question on the minds of the construction industry.

Well worth your time!

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Trinidad and Tobago

Attorney-at-law David Comissiong: Opportunist regarding Barbados prisoner Raúl García?

Six months ago Barbados lawyer David Comissiong told the papers:

“I was able to convey good news to Mr. Garcia. Having had several discussions with Prime Minister Stuart …, I was able to inform Mr. Garcia that concrete steps were underway to have him removed from Dodds Prison, and transferred to a non-punitive facility.

“I explained to Mr Garcia that although he would not be a ‘free man’, he would be relieved of the indignity of still being confined in a prison after having served his time and paid his dues to society. He would also be relieved of a number of restrictions and privations that are an intrinsic part of the Dodds’ prison culture,”

… See BFP’s Barbados prisoner Raúl García vows hunger strike until death

Then Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite gave Comissiong a “Put up or shut up” challenge…

“Responding to Comissiong’s criticism about the government continuing to hold Raul Garcia in prison for two years after he finished his 17 year sentence for drug offences, Mr. Brathwaite offered to release Garcia into Comissiong’s custody and care.”

“Brathwaite informed Comissiong, who is an attorney-at-law, that if he could put him up at his residence and guarantee to him, Brathwaite, that there was where the ex-convict would remain, then he would permit his release. No final decision was taken on that issue.”

…from BFP’s Attorney General challenges David Comissiong: You don’t really care about Raul Garcia

Comissiong didn’t take the bait, didn’t release Garcia. Now, six months later…

Nothing has changed and we haven’t heard from David Comissiong since February. Was Comissiong grabbing onto the cause of the day when Garcia was on a hunger strike? When Garcia ended the hunger strike was that the end of David Comissiong’s interest?

Was it all about the publicity for Comissiong? Just the latest high-profile case? We notice that Comissiong represents many causes at the outset but then says nothing as they fade into obscurity.

Hey… David… do you really give a damn about Raul Garcia?

Prove it.

photo of Mr. Comissiong courtesy of Caribbean360.com, doctored by Shona (thanks darlin’ !)

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Human Rights