Monthly Archives: December 2013

Happy New Year 2014: Forbes announces that Barbados is on its knees, in a financial meltdown.

Barbados Finance Minister Sinckler

“Barbados has credit rating equal to Gabon and Nigeria.”

“That is very bad news for 126,000 long-time contributors to Barbados’ National Insurance Fund…

At least 60 percent of the Barbados National Insurance Fund’s $2 billion is invested in this dodgy Bajan junk – it now finances a third of Barbados’ entire public debt.”

There’s not much more to say when the truth slaps you hard in the face – in this case delivered by one of the most respected financial publications: Forbes.

You see that photo above of Finance Minister Christ Sinckler, “the Grinchler who soiled Christmas” ???

Forbes printed that. Wuhloss!

It looks like BLP Member of Parliament Dr. William Duguid knew something when he pulled the ejection handles on Barbados, moved his family to Canada and his assets offshore. You can bet that Owen Arthur has his Swiss bank account number memorised too!

And although the DLP blames the BLP and the BLP blames the DLP, it really doesn’t matter anymore. This is where we are…

Postcard from Barbados — a.k.a. ‘Cyprus West’

Barbados, “the Jewel of the Caribbean,” the tiny easternmost island in the Lesser Antilles with 288,000 year-around inhabitants and lots of very rich foreign visitors and investors, is in the throes of a financial meltdown.

While its entire GDP is now only worth about $4.2 billion, and its population is smaller than that of Duluth Minnesota, this crisis is worth examining closely. For here we have a very precise example of the “finance curse,” where excessive dependence on high debt, an aggressive offshore haven industry, very low tax rates for high-net worth investors, foreign companies, and banks, and high tax rates for everyone else, have essentially brought this little country to its knees. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Disaster, Economy, Offshore Investments

Murder of former Barbados Immigration Chief Kenrick Hutson now six years cold

Barbados Murder Gun Revolver 3

Six years ago on December 28, 2007, retired Chief Immigration Officer Kenrick Hutson, aged 74, was murdered at the front of his home on a Friday evening as his wife and daughter were inside.

The killer’s trail has long grown cold and the police question how a man who retired 14 years previously could have been an assassin’s target over something that happened while he was either on the police force or head of Immigration.

It doesn’t seem square though – a 74 year old long retired man doesn’t get shot down as he reads the newspaper on the verandah with family and neighbours right there.

The murder of a former Chief Immigration Officer raises all kinds of concerns and questions. Obviously a man of Hutson’s experience and service would have made some enemies in a post where he was in charge of Immigration processing, investigations, charges and deportations. But Hutson was retired, and presumably would have little input or influence into current immigration matters.

IF his murder is associated with his service as Chief Immigration Officer, it would seem that it was either revenge for some past action – or to prevent Hutson from testifying or revealing information about something he knew.

Somebody knows something. There was a reason for this murder.

After two years of intense investigation, the murder of retired Chief Immigration Officer Kenrick Hutson, still remains a mystery to Police Investigators. Kenrick Hutson was a family man, a father of three children and husband of Coreen for over 44 years. He had a reputation of being a true gentleman among his peers and was well liked in his community and club circles.

Friends and relatives can think of no incident during his tenure as a Police Officer and Chief Immigration Officer that can be attributed as being a motive for his murder, 14 years into his retirement. However, on Friday December 28th 2007, at 6.50 pm Kenrick Hutson was murdered at his home located on Butlers Avenue, Spooners Hill, St. Michael.

Investigations indicate that the assailant walked from the direction of Codrington Hill, turned left into Butlers Avenue and proceeded to the Hutson residence. At the time of the incident, Mr. Hutson aged 74 was sitting on his verandah reading the daily newspapers, when the assailant entered the yard through the open front gate, climbed the steps leading to the verandah and shot Mr. Hutson several times about the body. The assailant then existed through the front gate and was seen running along Butlers Avenue towards Codrington Hill.

The assailant was identified as having a slim build, and dark complexion. He was wearing a whitish shirt, dark coloured pants and a cap with the peak facing front.

Crime Stoppers: March 17, 2010

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Immigration, Police

Barbados thefts from vehicles with no sign of tampering: Could this gadget be on the island?

We understand that during the past few weeks the Royal Barbados Police Force has received several reports of thefts from late-model autos where there is no damage or other signs of forced entry. The police were blaming drivers for not locking their vehicles but the sudden rash of “no damage” thefts has officers thinking that some thing else is afoot.

From one news report online:

“Police across the country are stumped by a rash of car thefts. In surveillance video of the thefts, criminals appear to open locked cars with a mysterious handheld device. Nobody, not even the car manufacturers, knows how it works.

In Long Beach, Calif. The man walked up to the car, and used a small box to open it. Right next to him another man, also using a box, opens that car. The problem is they’re thieves without keys. Now they’ve swiped all valuables from the cars.

In Chicago, it was the exact same scenario. A man by a sedan unlocked it without a key. The alarm was disabled by some mystery device.”

Could these devices be here?

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Police

Top Gear Festival coming to Barbados in May 2014 – An opportunity we must work hard to make the best of

TopGear Festival Barbados

“Based on the BBC television series, the audience reach is what can only described as staggering…”

Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner.

Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner.

After a dismal 2013 from a land based tourism perspective, certainly up until the end of November, it was refreshing to get some good news to end the year. After many early media releases in July, it was finally confirmed this month by the Barbados Tourism Authority that the Top Gear Festival will make its Americas debut at the renovated Bushy Park Circuit for two days starting May 17, 2014; the first of three consecutive annual events planned for this location.

Several similar ‘festivals’ have already taken place across the world including in Australia and South Africa and according to the organisers ‘further destinations are in development and will be announced in the New Year’.

There can be no doubt that this event has the potential to attractive massive destination coverage overseas.

Based on the BBC television series, the audience reach is what can only described as staggering and includes holding the Guinness Book of Records holder for ‘the most watched factual programme in the world’. The TV episodes are sold to 214 territories across the globe, have 2 million subscribers to the Official Top Gear YouTube Channel with over 500 million video views, 19 million FaceBook fans, a magazine circulation of over 1 million and 5.7 million unique users on its website.

It does not end there. A visit to the BBC Advertising online source details many other impressive statistics.  Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Dirty politics in Barbados? Sex Video said to be a well-known politician… but it’s not him

1 Barbados Sex Video

At least, we don’t think it’s him…

In the past few days eight readers have sent us a sex video that is supposed to involve a well-known Bajan politician having an excellent time with a woman not his wife.

Wuhloss! Who would have imagined such a relationship could happen on this rock?

After a thorough examination of the video, several times, with rum and beers in hand, your committee of Barbados Free Press editors and staff concluded that it sure looks like you-know-who, but it’s not. At least, we don’t think it’s him.

But that leads us to the next question: Who created or discovered a slightly-blurred sex video that looks like a Barbados politician but isn’t really? Who sent it around and put it up on the chat groups with his name? Was it done with a hidden camera? It looks that way!

Why it was done is an easy question to answer, and we’re not going to mention which party might have done it. *** (We’ve changed our minds… see the end of this post.)

All we can say is, politics is a dirty game everywhere, but especially in Barbados where there are no rules about conflicts of interest, there are no procurement standards for spending government money, and there is no Freedom of Information Act that would at least give citizens a hope of finding out the truth.

Do you want to clean up politics in Barbados? We have to start by stopping the feed at the piggy trough. Being elected shouldn’t be a guarantee of becoming a millionaire, but that’s the way it is ’bout hey.

As long as the rewards of being elected are that large, and the chances of being caught so small, the politicians of both parties will continue to use every dirty trick to discredit others and to get themselves elected to the piggy trough.

Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Freedom Of Information, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Afra Raymond on Heritage Radio: Public procurement, government corruption and Christmas

afra raymond CMMB

Fearless anti-corruption fighter Afra Raymond was not appointed a senator (surprise! surprise!), but he says he didn’t expect it despite the rumours.

Check out an excellent interview on 101.7FM where Afra speaks his mind as always.

Afra Raymond.com: Audio – Heritage Radio Interview of Afra Raymond

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Filed under Consumer Issues, Corruption, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption, Trinidad and Tobago

Afghanistan in 1967… and now

afghanistan history 1967

Surfing the web, wandering aimlessly at 1am as the rain keeps coming.

Like Iran, there was a time when Afghanistan was coming into a new age with increased freedoms for women, and a growing economy that had nothing to do with opium.

Those days are gone.

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Filed under History, Human Rights