Daily Archives: January 17, 2014

Report of Conflict of Interest: Saint Vincent PM Ralph Gonsalves said to own 2 LIAT aircraft

UPDATED January 23, 2014: NICE Radio apologizes to PM Gonsalves for inaccurately repeating BFP story!

Hey folks, NICE Radio has apologized to Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves for claiming that the PM owns two LIAT aircraft, and blames BFP.

Well guess what: NICE Radio must have inaccurately reported our article and left out the part where we say…

“That is if Skyhigh is correct, and he is anonymous so take that with lots of salt. BFP is only an anonymous blog ya know!

But now that Skyhigh identified the exact aircraft, we think that PM Gonsalves should clear the air…

Well, Prime Minister Gonsalves… do you or any of your family have anything to do with leasing aircraft to LIAT?

Yes, or no?”

Interesting though: St. Vincent has no integrity legislation and we don’t see the PM himself making a statement denying that he or his family own any interest in the aircraft leased to LIAT. Hey… maybe it’s the Mongoose Gang that’s behind all this?

Original story published January 17, 2014…

DHC-8-300 Dash 8 LIAT V2-LGI V2-LGI (click photo for large)

“The Prime Minister of St.Vincent thinks he is Chavez but he has a long way to go… however we all know he is just protecting his investment because he owns airplanes that he leases to LIAT. (V2-LGI AND V2-GG)
So In fact if LIAT shuts down he will loose considerably…”

BFP reader Skyhigh on The not so secret LIAT Airlines incident

American Airlines pilot and Barbados Free Press reader Skyhigh says that the Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves, owns two of the aircraft leased to LIAT airlines.

The deHavilland / Bombardier Dash 8 300 Series airliners carry registrations V2-LGI and V2-GG.

The conflict of interest arises because SVG is one of the major shareholders in LIAT. Government funds are involved and Prime Minister Gonsalves is heavily involved in decision making about the airline.   Continue reading

40 Comments

Filed under Aviation, Corruption, Politics & Corruption

Ralph Taylor explains the Barbados tourism disaster

I’m about half way through this video of SoCo Hotel owner Ralph Taylor talking to a BLP meeting last Sunday the 12th of January 2014.

Mr. Taylor tells it like it is, but so far his analysis is missing two factors:

1/ There’s no money left after 20 years of BLP and DLP larceny, neglect and stupidity.

2/ Investors aren’t staying away in droves just because of the numbers: they know that Barbados governments have burned many foreign investors through broken promises and non-payment.

Nonetheless, it’s worth listening to Mr. Taylor, who starts in with how bad things have been in Barbados in terms of declining hotel rooms (and thus declining investment) for the last 34 years…

Number of Hotel Rooms 1980 and 2014

Country      1980        2014      Average Growth Hotel Rooms

Jamaica        10,000    30,000    486% for Jamaica, Cuba, St. Lucia

Cuba              7,226       57,000

St. Lucia        1,245       4,900

Barbados       6,680     5,400      -20%

“We are still not getting new hotel development. We must ask ourselves, why are we not getting this new development?

The reality is that investors are looking firstly for adequate returns on capital, and then all other factors are considered.

When there was a big hue and cry over the concessions to Sandals, my contribution to that debate is that I have long advocated that tourism is an export industry, and therefore its input costs must be free of duty.  Continue reading

18 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy