Monthly Archives: September 2013

Bold-faced thieves, reckless public officials will destroy post-independence Caribbean

Once again our old friend Afra Raymond does his research and sounds the clarion: Everything Caribbean nations have achieved is at risk because of crooked politicians, bad lawyers and corrupt judges…

The Threat to Integrity – part 4

by Afra Raymond

by Afra Raymond

I am fully in support of a vigorous and conscientious Integrity Commission (IC).  I do not want to see the IC abolished or sidelined.  The IC must realign its limited resources to ensure a decisive impact on the conduct of Public Officials.  The proposals contained in its 2012 Annual Report show clearly that the Gordon Commission has started to seriously grapple with that challenge.

The derailment of the IC between 2004 and 2009 is a clear example of what can happen to an Independent Commission if we do not maintain vigilant oversight.

This matter is of the greatest interest for those of us campaigning for Public Procurement reform so as to get effective control over all transactions in Public Money.  The arrangements we are proposing include new Independent Commissions/Officeholders.  It is therefore critical that we learn the lessons from this debacle so as to safeguard the bodies we are proposing.  The stakes are very high for our nation’s Integrity Framework, which must be strengthened, with swifter resolution of allegations.

To continue in the current manner is to drag the system into further disrepute, encourage even more bold-faced thieves, more reckless public officials and we can expect complete loss of the residual respect for the post-independence civilization we have tried to grow.  That would be an ugly and violent future for our society, so this episode requires stern and conscientious examination. Continue reading

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Filed under Corruption, Crime & Law, Political Corruption, Trinidad and Tobago

Barbados porn-industry profiteer takes moral position against same-sex marriage laws

Barbados Sex Trafficking

“One of the saddest things I’ve ever seen is Orgasm.com’s pregnant woman porn section. How does Donville Inniss feel about these desperate young girls – making money for him like this?”

… from BFP’s Barbados Health Minister Donville Inniss: King of Pregnant Women Porn?

Inniss profited from Orgasm.com and OrgasmLive.com

Minister of Industry and International Business Donville Inniss made it clear yesterday that he is not in favour of same-sex marriage laws in Barbados, but the internet porn-industry pioneer and profiteer also seemed to indicate that Prime Minister Freundel Stuart might not share his views.

Inniss, a DLP Democratic Labour Party Cabinet member, told Barbados Today “Government is within its right to look at everything. We can even consider same sex marriage, it doesn’t mean we will do it… well I hope we wouldn’t do it,”

Here at Barbados Free Press we don’t know what to think about Minister Inniss. How does a person come out with a moral position against same-sex marriage laws while having profited from pregnant women porn, teenagers performing sex acts live on the web, and people having sex with horses, goats, dogs, snakes and other assorted creatures? Inniss profited from websites with names Orgasmlive.com, Kinkfarm.com and many others.

On the rare occasion when the local press raises the question of his porn business background, Inniss turns cowardly aggressive and refuses to discuss the subject.

“We just don’t understand your moral compass, Minister Inniss. It’s okay for you to have profited from pregnant women porn and people having sex with animals, but it’s not okay for two men or two women who love each other to live together in a legally recognized marital partnership?”

No matter what position one has on same-sex marriage, Minister Inniss doesn’t seem to be in any position to provide any moral leadership or guidance to Bajans until he comes clean in a very public manner about his own sordid history with internet porn, how much money he made, what he did with the profits and whether or not he is still involved.

george with Cliverton

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Filed under Barbados, Ethics, Human Rights

American visitor: Barbados gun licensing shows a class-based system with the police favouring elites

barbados-shooting-football

An American who loves Barbados left this thoughtful comment on our September 8, 2011 post No jail sentence necessary for Johan Bjerkhamn, but larger issues ignored

by Patriot from Idaho

“No Police Commissioner has the right to act as a tinpot dictator and not tell the nation what the nation needs to know in order to form an intelligent and thoughtful set of solutions to commonly held problems.”

I have read many of the comments here, and I am aghast at the many misinterpretations of common law terminology. I am also, as a Life Member of the NRA here in the USA aghast at the apparent lack of openness and complete honesty of the Bajan Police. I am shocked and actually angered on the behalf of the entire Bajan nation that this situation of a lack of complete honesty about such an important body of law has not been corrected.

I have been visiting your beautiful and precious nation for over 20 years now and I have observed with relish the wonderful dialogue that comes with every election. A more literate and thoughtful populace anywhere cannot be found. And I respect the Bajan Nation for this in a way that I do not respect my own, sadly enough. I am very protective of the rights we Americans enjoy, and the differences between us and other nations. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Human Rights, Police

Why is Dengue Fever up 300% so far this year?

Mosquito dengue Barbados

Dengue is serious business, and a secondary infection can be a disaster shutting down the liver or damaging the heart.

That’s serious business alright.

Epidemic Dengue is also serious business when it comes to tourism and the economy.

So what is the government doing about a spectacular 300% increase in cases?

It should be a national emergency, but all I see is the same old, same old.

Some things never change.

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Allard Prize for International Integrity – Live broadcast to Barbados and the world

UPDATED: Anna Hazare wins $100,000 Allard Prize for International Integrity

The University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Law at Allard Hall presented Anna Hazare, one of India’s most influential social activists, with the inaugural Allard Prize for International Integrity at a special ceremony last night.

The $100,000 prize is one of the world’s largest awards recognizing efforts to combat corruption and to promote human rights.

“My lifelong mission to fight corruption and promote transparency is stronger for having received this award,” said Mr. Hazare. “I have never been attracted to money and wealth, but the Allard Prize will help me and all those that are working towards the same cause to continue the fight. I am hopeful that this international recognition will promote a movement for change that will endure beyond my lifetime for generations to come.”

more about Anna Hazare and the Allard Prize.

Original Story published September 25, 2013…

Allard Prize Barbados

Who will win the inaugural prize?

The Allard Prize for International Integrity is awarded to an individual, movement or organization that has demonstrated exceptional courage and leadership in combating corruption, especially through promoting transparency, accountability and the rule of law.

Established by UBC Law alumnus Mr. Peter A. Allard, QC, the $100,000 Allard Prize is one of the largest awards in the world recognizing efforts to combat corruption and promote human rights.

“Our outstanding finalists exemplify the values of the Allard Prize through their extraordinary courage and leadership in promoting transparency, accountability and the rule of law in opposing corruption and promoting and protecting human rights,”

“In celebrating these achievements and remarkable stories, the Allard Prize strives to inspire others to take up the fight against abuses of power and the suppression of human rights, wherever they arise.”

Peter Allard (Allardprize.org)

allard prize finalists

The 2013 Allard Prize finalists are:

Global Witness – Based in London, U.K. and Washington, D.C., Global Witness has initiated trailblazing campaigns against natural resource-related conflict and corruption and associated environmental and human rights abuses.

Anna Hazare – One of India’s most influential and renowned social and political activists, Mr. Hazare has led popular movements to enhance government transparency and investigate and prosecute official corruption.

Dr. Sima Samar – Dr. Samar is an internationally celebrated advocate for human and women’s rights. Dr. Samar has worked to raise global awareness about the detrimental impact of corruption on the promotion and protection of Afghan human and women’s rights.

The winner of the Allard Prize will be announced on September 25, 2013 at a ceremony at the UBC Faculty of Law at Allard Hall in Vancouver, British Columbia.  The other two finalists will each be given Honourable Mention recognition and a $25,000 cash prize. These three finalists were selected from a short list of six nominees, which also included: Peter Eigen, John Githongo and Chen Guangcheng.

“UBC Law has a deep and longstanding history of advancing human rights,” says Dean Mary Anne Bobinski. “Faculty members have been pioneers supporting the human rights of women, indigenous communities and the rights of victims of crime around the world.”

“Government Corruption Is Death To Philanthropy And Foreign Investment”

The sad tale of Peter Allard and Barbados… Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Ethics, Human Rights, Politics & Corruption

Barbados tourism: How deep does this hole go, and how much money will government waste?

“I cannot recall, at least in my 25 years actively involved in tourism on Barbados, that we have ever endured 17 consecutive months of visitor decline under any Government.

Simply put, could ‘we’ be spending more, to harvest less?

Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner - now selling!

Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner – now selling!

If I had to make a short list for our tourism policymakers in an attempt to influence positive change, it probably might end up as quite a long list, but two pleas would be right at the top…

Number One is to avoid making heady predictions when even at the outset any informed opinion indicated there was very little, if any, possibility they would become true.

Secondly, please do not use the word ‘success’ when referring to a promotion or initiative before there is at least clear evidence that it is, or will become one.

The second booking deadline of the Barbados Island Inclusive (BII) programme has just passed since it was originally launched on April 29, 2013. Just to refresh your memory, $11 million was allocated for BII to ‘bring an additional 15,000 tourists to our shores, with a total spend of BDS$30 million’ by issuing ‘free spending vouchers’.

The critical phrase is ‘additional tourists’.

In July it was ‘revealed that more than 5,000 tourists had taken advantage’ of the offer. However, since the BII became effective in early May, we have experienced a fall in long stay visitors during every month so far this year.

May was down 29 persons, June down 2,965, July down 3,318 (the lowest arrivals for that month in eleven years) and August* down 2,591.

So a collective decline for the four months of 8,903 people.

Therefore to boast ‘5,000 tourists’ have used the voucher may be true, but that does not in anyway reflect an accurate and fair picture of the current state of the industry.

One of our most senior tourism policymakers was quoted in the media on March 12 as stating ‘We are putting some programmes in place that we should end the year flat’. Even though the numbers were already down by over 10,000 long stay visitor arrivals at that stage when compared with 2012.

Well, here we are in the latter part of September and that number has climbed to over 26,000. Or, I should say ‘fallen’. I cannot recall, at least in my 25 years actively involved in tourism on Barbados, that we have ever endured 17 consecutive months of visitor decline under any Government.

And the very thought of ending the year ‘flat’, either reflects a massive disconnect with reality or a severe attack of wishful thinking, which only may end in tears for some, but potential insolvency for others. Continue reading

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Resignation of Scapegoat Ian Brunton doesn’t redeem LIAT Airlines

LIAT Airlines Crash

“There has never been a more appropriate time to end LIAT’s vicious cycle of operational and financial instability and to reconfigure an airline which can serve the Eastern Caribbean’s vital needs on a sustainable basis.

The damage inflicted has been immense, the financial outlook is grim, the time for change has arrived and the need is urgent.”

Tourism expert Robert MacLellan tells some hard truths

by Robert MacLellan

Some might believe that for the second time in only three years Captain Ian Brunton has been made a scapegoat by the board of directors of a Caribbean airline company – fired as CEO of Caribbean Airlines Limited in late 2010 and, this week, he resigned as CEO of LIAT. Indisputably, the overall operation of LIAT has continued to be disastrous during the last four months but so has the marketing / P R / communications function and yet the senior management there appears unchanged going forward. More importantly, the chairman, Jean Holder, and the LIAT board – which has authorised the strategy, business plan, operating budget and bank loans underlying the recent chaos and financial uncertainty – also appear unchanged going forward.

While Captain Brunton has resigned, Mr Holder is reportedly on vacation in the midst of the crisis. The chairman has been in position since 2004 and submitted his own resignation two years ago, although this was not accepted by the LIAT government ownership group at that time. Continue reading

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism

American complains about Barbados Justice system in child custody matter.

usa_flag_waving.jpg

Talk ya talk!

By American “CU”

I feel it is my responsibility and duty to inform your readers, especially the ones here in the United States, on the favoritism and bias or non-decisions handed down as orders by some in your judicial system in Barbados. Especially if the presiding Judge happens to be friends with the opposing counsel, or maybe they both belong to the same labor party.

This all started back in May of this year, when my daughter  finally got an interview with the US embassy to obtain her Green Card for her and her daughter. Even though they were never married the child ended up with the father’s last name and the Embassy requested that he provided a letter of permission.

This ended up in the courts and this one judge that in my opinion did not have the desire to rule and therefore, started in motion a set of procedures that prolonged the request. She even included the Child Care Board and even they did not change her original thoughts, that if the mother wanted to leave the Island, she must leave her three year old daughter with the father. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, USA

Cliverton (thoroughly drunk) surfs around on a Friday night…

Above: I can’t believe I posted this!

A few interesting links tonight for the bored, the drunks, and the love-life frustrated…

At least his heart was in the right place…

Yes, he offered to violate the trust of his government and to sell secret government data to the press, but at least he wanted to use his ill-gotten money to holiday in Barbados.

And another one: Police officer on sick leave for two years flew to Barbados when called in for meeting with bosses.

The most beautiful woman I never slept with…

Wanna make babies all week.

The things we won’t do for love.

Raul Garcia heading to Cuba

Good luck Raul. It’s an adventure.

The Lady Hawkins – Canadian ship with Barbadian crew torpedoed on January 19, 1942

After being shipwrecked the crew flew home on BeeWee.

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Murderer Leroy Griffiths heading home to Barbados?

Barbados Murder Leroy Griffiths

Back in 2002, Barbadian Leroy Griffiths was threatening a woman with a knife in a pub in Addingham, UK. When a young lad named Mark Webster stepped in to try and talk some sense into the man with the knife, Griffiths stabbed him to death for his trouble.

A bad bastard, that Leroy Griffiths.

Griffiths went away for ‘life’ but here we are 13 years later and it looks like he will be deported from the UK to Barbados, his ‘homeland’.

Welcome home, Mr. Griffiths. Seeing as how you’ve been deported from the UK six times in the past, we hope you won’t stick around ’bout hey.

Further Reading

BBC News: Dec 18, 2002 Murder verdict on knife killing

Ilkley Gazette, Sept 2013: Ilkley dad in emotional plea for son’s killer to be kept away

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law

Afra Raymond: The threat from Trinidad & Tobago’s Appeal Court

trinidad integrity law

Politicians everywhere love those state-controlled enterprises that are exempt from the rules applying to wholly owned state-enterprises. Why, you ask? It’s all about politicos being able to profit from your tax dollars while hiding the profits.

It’s been a constant battle trying to craft integrity laws because the moment a country puts them in place the politicians discover a hundred ways they are exempt.

In Barbados, of course, we don’t bother with Integrity Legislation because we’re happy that the politicians and government employees are able to steal. With about 60 % of the islands workforce somehow employed by the government it all works out. Well, everything works out except the mathematics of keeping the whole thing afloat.

Our old friend Afra Raymond has a problem with the Trinidad & Tobago Appeal Court ruling that undermines Integrity Legislation.

We only wish we had the same problem in Barbados. For in Barbados, we have no integrity or conflicts of interest laws at all!

Take it away, Afra…

afra raymond

Integrity threat from the Appeal Court

by Afra Raymond

On 27th June the Appeal Court ruled that –

  • TSTT is not a State Enterprise. The members of its Board are not subject to the Integrity Provisions.
  • It is only the members of the Boards of those Statutory Bodies which exercise public functions that are subject to the jurisdiction of the (Integrity) Commission.

Telecommunications Company of Trinidad & Tobago (TSTT) is a company established between the T&T State and the British-based multinational, Cable & Wireless. C&W holds 49% of the shares in TSTT, while the State holds about 42% of the shares together with the right to nominate 5 of its 9 Directors.

That unanimous ruling has serious consequences for the viability of our nation’s integrity framework.

The intended purpose of that framework is to ensure a satisfactory level of transparency and accountability in the way Public Money is transacted and Public Functions are discharged.  There is still a strong case for this Integrity Framework as a necessary ingredient in the Good Governance of our nation. The Integrity Framework includes the Auditor General; the Integrity Commission; the Investments Division of the Ministry of Finance and the two Parliamentary Accounts Enterprises Committees.  Ours is the most vibrant Caribbean economy and the State is clearly the largest player, so the proper management of that sector is critical. Given the continuing rise in the waste and theft of Public Money, there will always be a need for an improved, more effective Integrity Framework to oversee these huge, controversial operations…

…continue reading this article at AfraRaymond.com

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

LIAT Airlines is killing tourism investment throughout the Eastern Caribbean

Liat Airline

The Caribbean Needs Radical Change at LIAT

by Robert MacLellan

During the last week of August our hospitality consultancy organised a visit by potential developers to the Eastern Caribbean. The participants on the trip – from UK, China, Trinidad and St Lucia – all experienced significant delays or cancellations on LIAT flights. I have travelled regularly with LIAT throughout the Caribbean for over sixteen years but recent events represent a new low point.

“The challenge of convincing investors to consider tourism developments in those islands, which are served primarily by LIAT, is now onerous indeed.”

Gregor Nassief’s recent open letter to the LIAT board of directors has already catalogued the airline’s worst ever performance over the last three months and called for management heads to roll. This solicited a response from LIAT’s chairman, Jean Holder, which addressed virtually none of Mr Nassief’s points and seemed only to confirm the level of delusion in the highest ranks of LIAT management. Having received a worthless and self serving response, Mr Nassief has since called directly for Dr Holder’s resignation.

In his initial response to Mr Nassief, Dr Holder refers to the “track record” of the current company leadership and so I felt the need to clarify the true meaning of those words. One dictionary provides the following definition: “Track record: 1.The best recorded performance in a particular track-and-field event at a particular track. 2. The past achievements or performance of a person, organisation or product.” The definitions seem to suggest some degree of excellence, a million miles away from the performance delivered to its customers by LIAT!

Patience with LIAT is now at an end and senior figures in the hotel and tourism industry across the region are quite legitimately questioning Dr Holder’s strategic and financial track record as Chairman of LIAT since 2004. They are equally entitled to evaluate Captain Ian Brunton’s track record, firstly, as former CEO of Caribbean Airlines and his departure from that company and, since 1st August 2012, his track record as CEO of LIAT. Captain Brunton has been responsible since that date for forward planning and day-to-day operation of the airline. Therefore, he must have been closely involved in the recent scheduling of LIAT’s aircraft acquisitions / disposals programme and the associated crew training – the apparent root causes of the recent appalling performance. Continue reading

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism

LIAT CEO Ian Brunton calls it quits after 1 year and 45 days

Ian Brunton LIAT

Should we blame Brunton for all LIAT’s outrageous failures?

Who can we blame now?

Perhaps the question really should be: How big a fool was Brunton to take a no-win job in the first place?

While there is still a chance that the airline’s board will not accept the resignation at Wednesday’s meeting, the faltering airline might have trouble finding the next candidate for execution, er, for the job.

Because when you really get down to it, new leadership can only go so far if the workforce is already spoiled and secure in their belief that adhering to schedules and performance standards is optional.

It will be interesting to hear what our own Robert MacLellan has to say about the resignation!

LIAT CEO Ian Brunton resigns

Caribbean airline top exec quits

The Antigua Observer is reporting that Leeward Island Air Transport (LIAT) chief executive officer Ian Brunton has resigned.

LIAT is a regional air carrier based in Antigua. LIAT’s three main shareholder governments are Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados and St Vincent & the Grenadines.

Brunton, a former chief executive of Trinidad & Tobago state owned Caribbean Airlines Ltd (CAL) was appointed CEO of LIAT on August 1, 2012.

His appointment came during a period of massive sustained losses for the airline – a combined amount of almost EC $80 million in losses from 2010 – and a deficit of around EC $344 million by the end of 2012. Brunton has been leading a US $100 million re-fleeting process from ageing Dash-8 aircraft to ATR’s – which is designed to help move the airline back into profit by lowering maintenance and fuel costs.

read the rest of this article at the T&T Guardian

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Chinese government calls Senator Trevor Carmichael “a renowned business lawyer”

china-barbados-flag-sm

Why yes, of course.

No doubt about it.

Just so long as we don’t mention that China has the world’s largest organisation of slave camps.

Shhhhh!  Nevermind that awful news if they are going to give us money and gifts!

“Even more gruesome and largely ignored are the mobile execution vans that harvest prisoners organs on the way to planes to be shipped and sold on the black market to the highest bidder.”

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Filed under Barbados, China, Human Rights, Slavery

An open letter about LIAT to Prime Ministers Stuart, Spencer and Gonsalves

It’s often cheaper to charter an executive aircraft than to fly LIAT!

To:
Hon. Freundel Stuart, Prime Minister of Barbados
Dr. Hon. Baldwin Spencer, Prime Minister of Antigua & Barbuda
Dr. Hon. Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Vincent & Grenadines

Gentlemen:

by James Lynch, Twotter pilot extraordinaire!

by James Lynch, Twotter pilot extraordinaire!

Because of my Petition (about LIAT on change.org), I have been contacted by several prominent people, some of them hoteliers in the smaller islands, who are now ACTIVELY seeking alternatives to LIAT’s services for the foreseeable future in protection of their businesses.

It is my considered opinion – supported by many others, including those with similar decades of aviation experience in the region – that unless the owners/shareholders of LIAT make SWEEPING and DETERMINED changes in the way LIAT is run then the travellers of the region WILL find alternate ways of getting where they are going.

The recent month-long “meltdown” LIAT has undergone (which is in part still going on, by the way) has amply demonstrated to those who were inconvenienced that, in the long run, it is actually cheaper to charter an aircraft for a group of five or six people and know for sure that – upon arrival from the other continents – a means of travel will unquestionably be there, and that their baggage will accompany them, than to be stranded in an unfamiliar place for three days (or longer) without baggage, without connections, and without a reliable way to get where they want to go.

I would like to see LIAT continue to serve the eastern Caribbean and the reliable, and be the trusted carrier it can be, but decades of lack of serious political interest in the health of LIAT has now resulted in avery real possibility of its demise.

Years ago LIAT’s conversion from Avro to Dash-8 held no horrors. Yet this fleet conversion from Dash-8 to ATR has been horribly mismanaged and that the CEO is out of his depth. It is also publicly apparent that the Chairman and Board approves of the way CEO Captain Brunton has mismanaged the entire situation.  Continue reading

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Britain & Ireland’s Next Top Models charm the camera in Barbados

I would! (and a big shout to Chris Warren)

Cliverton

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Finding Barbados when you are drunk on Royal Navy rum…

barbados-happy-marcus.jpg

You think it was difficult stumbling home from Christ Church last Friday night?

Try doing it without a mobile phone and GPS location.

God; how I miss you, my brother.

Cliverton

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Filed under Barbados, History, Science

What happened to the Bim I knew?

barbados wave flag

“How can a prosperous flourishing country which gained it’s independence from mother England in 1966 have fallen into such a Political, Economic, Social & Financial morass in 47 years?”

by Wily Coyote

How can a prosperous flourishing country which gained it’s independence from mother England in 1966 have fallen into such a Political, Economic, Social & Financial morass in 47 years?

Under the leadership of the British the country flourished, economically, financially and socially. It can be argued that this flourish was on the backs of black slaves, indentured white slaves and an aristocratic over bearing British master.  The point is that the country did flourish and was looked on as the JEWEL of the Caribbean.

During the initial years of independence the leaders of the country were black and white, British educated and schooled in old world ethics. Eventually locally educated and raised individuals assumed the day to day responsibilities, the political entity controlled by the blacks and the economic identity controlled by the whites. Today in 2013 these black/white control distinctions are becoming somewhat less distinct in the economic forum as the non-whites are now responsible for the majority of lower/mid level commerce.  The non-blacks still control the majority of the larger corporate end of the economy which may or may not reside within the country.

The education, political, economic, social and financial learning of all these new controlling groups was heavily influenced by the Caribbean Culture, both in Barbados and surrounding countries.

Caribbean people are well known for their “laid back attitudes”, poor work ethics, liming, put it off till tomorrow attitudes. This is not necessarily to be taken as a bad thing and in fact is good for ones longevity providing you do not interfere with thy neighbours wife.

However this attitude can get you into trouble very quickly economically should you not keep close attention to exactly what’s happening in the global environment that we deal in today.

Barbados economy has moved from being agricultural based to one of tourism and off shore banking, both of which the country is not in control.  Barbados has attracted a large off shore banking economy by offering LOW TAX rate shelters for higher tax jurisdictions. Continue reading

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