Monthly Archives: April 2014

Harlequin Buccament Bay flood deaths caused by neglect, dereliction of duty?

Harlequin Buccament-floods-deaths

“Seeing as the government knew about the need to carry out river flood protection, why did they give Harlequin’s Buccament Bay Resort permission to build in a known flood plain on a river that required river bank flood defences installed?

Why did they approve of building private houses in a flood plain, next to a dangerous river requiring bank and river base restructuring and defences?

Why? Why? Can they tell us Why?

Why did they fail to install those defences?”

by Peter Binose

(Photo courtesy of I-Witness News)

Whilst researching the Christmas Buccament floods I discovered that both Ralph Gonsalves and Julian Francis as government ministers were both informed as early as 2001 that Buccament was likely to flood. They were instructed to carry out urgent river defenses but almost every year for about 13 years just got more and more reports on the matter. They had the reports done because the World Bank was paying for the reports, they cost us nothing. But after getting the reports they failed to act – and that failure to act proved to be fatal  for a number of people.

In some of the reports it is even quoted that Buccament is in a flood plain. As such they allowed new building in a flood plain next to a river that was almost certainly going to flood, and it did.

PM Ralph Gonsalves

PM Ralph Gonsalves

Remember the videos of Gonsalves walking through Buccament with tears in his eyes? Was that all an act? He must of been terrified that the people would find out that he was pre-warned and failed to act, thus being a direct contributor to the loss of all those poor people.

The piece below is something I have submitted to all the newspapers and online publications. We will have see if the SVG newspapers have the courage to publish what I have written, regardless of the fact that its all verifiable as the truth.

Buccament Bay flood deaths neglect, dereliction of duty or something worse?

On December 24 and 25, 2013, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines was hit by a low-level, high-impact trough system which caused severe infrastructure damage to the country. The trough brought high winds, torrential rains and floods. Local rainfall stations reported between 200mm and 310mm on the windward side of the island and 153.3mm in the leeward side of the island.

As a result of the disaster event, there were 11 confirmed deaths and 3 persons were never found. The final disaster assessment concluded: 77 homes were completely destroyed or severely damaged; approximately another 300 homes were damaged; and 500 people were displaced and housed in temporary shelters.

Since their first year in power there is unequivocal evidence that the Unity Labour Party [ULP] government have been fully aware of the vulnerability to serious flooding at Buccament and in other places. They were aware that Buccament is generally a flood plain area.  Their studies from 2001 to 2014 show just that. They have had thirteen years to put river defenses in at Buccament, but failed to do so. The Christmas 2013 Buccament flood tragedy occurred and lives were lost.

For thirteen years the government had dragged their feet and carried out numerous studies for Social Assessment Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Projects, at Buccament and elsewhere.

Here are some of the official references to studies regarding the flooding danger from Buccament river. From them it is most obvious that the government were fully aware of the dangers of doing nothing.  Continue reading

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Filed under Disaster, Government, Offshore Investments, Politics

Infanticide by Barbados slave mothers – an expression of resistance?

slavery-barbados.jpg

It is truly disturbing to think that Bajan mothers murdered their own newborns as an act of rebellion to deny human slave assets to their captors and owners.

We know that as the Atlantic slave trade and supplies of new slaves dried up due to the efforts of abolitionists, plantation owners in the Caribbean and USA placed the emphasis on breeding new stock. The record is clear that some plantation owners thought it their right to impregnate their slaves with white blood for ‘better product’.

It is difficult to think that captive human beings were treated as property to this extent, but that was the reality of the day. The master had all rights, the female slave had none.

As you read the following article, just remember this…

There are more slaves held in captivity today than at any other time in history.

The obvious response to slave infanticide is to conceptualize it as an act of desperation, a sad act, or an act of altruism, in the sense that it was intended to save enslaved children from a life of hard labor, degradation, and physical, sexual, and mental abuse.

But what if slave infanticide, in all its horror, was an expression of resistance? To conceptualize it this way places agency back in the hands of the slave women who killed their children, because it assumes that their decision was actively, discursively antagonistic and insurrectionary.

… from Infanticide as Slave Resistance: Evidence from Barbados

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Filed under Barbados, Human Rights, Slavery

Harlequin – Dave Ames serves WordPress with court subpoena about Barbados Free Press

UPDATED April 30, 2014: PDF of Court Document Posted Below

Dave Ames Harlequin Ponzi

Harlequin / Ames alleges defamation by commenters?

Dear Barbados Free Press readers,

Here is what we know so far…

Today some anonymous person posted the following as a comment on Barbados Free Press.

IF the posting is for true, then Harlequin, David Ames and Carol Ames served some court papers on Automattic Inc. (otherwise known as WordPress) in San Francisco USA, demanding that WordPress produce the IP numbers and email addresses for persons who posted some comments about Harlequin on Barbados Free Press. According to the court papers, it is not BFP who is being served or sued, but our internet host WordPress.com.

We at BFP have not looked at the comments, but they are listed in the court papers printed below. It looks to us like what was posted as a comment contains errors of the type that come when a paper page is scanned and converted to a Word file.

We expect that WordPress will vigorously defend free speech – because, aside from free speech and human rights, if they don’t defend free speech, their business model collapses.

PDF of Court Document: Harlequin Court Document 2014_04_21

Here is what was originally posted as a comment on BFP…

The following is the Ames application for the IP addresses of those posters Ames feels may have defamed him,

SUBP-002
ATTORNEY OR PARTY WITHOUT ATTORNEY (Name, State Bar number, and address):
Timothy B. Broderick (97082), Katrina M. Saleen (253706)
Broderick Saleen, 2600 El Camino Real, Ste. 506, Palo Alto, CA 94306
TELEPHONE NO.: (650) 857 9000 FAX NO.: (650) 857 1100
E-MAIL ADDRESS:
ATTORNEY FOR (Name): Dave Ames: Carol Ames• Harlequin FOR COURT USE ONLY  Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Crime & Law, Human Rights

Happy Barbados! – I fell in love about ten times watching this video

posted by Cliverton

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Filed under Barbados, Music

Anti-gay laws undermine CARICOM’s slavery reparations demands

Execution Blacks Gays Lesbians Slavery

Homosexuals executed in Iran, Blacks lynched in USA

Human Rights are Human Rights: whether denied upon skin colour or sexual orientation

by Sean Macleish
Caribbean Alliance for Equality

Prime Minister, Ralph Gonsalves, the current chair of CARICOM (Caribbean Community Secretariat) along with other Caribbean leaders who are continuing to cultivate and place a high discount rate on the lives of their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) citizens are helping to mortgage the region’s future with atrophy, by retarding the growth of their nations in exchange for power by majority rule. Social inclusion, equality and open diversity foster environments where everyone can bring their best to the table and feel valued without incurring the costs associated with repression.

In 2014, 12 of the 15 CARICOM member states still criminalize homosexuality.

Suriname is one of the remaining member states that has legalized homosexuality since 1869. Social economics has many costs and the archaic philosophy of legalized oppression is counterproductive to investing in a nation’s greatest asset; it’s people. In February, referring to the costs of homophobia, President of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim stated, “Institutionalized discrimination is bad for people and societies. Widespread discrimination is also bad for economies. There is clear evidence that when societies enact laws that prevent productive people from fully participating in the workforce, economies suffer.”  Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Culture & Race Issues, Human Rights, Slavery

What has gone wrong with the Barbados 7.5% VAT?

Current 17.5% VAT killing tourism

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

When Government announced last year that it was passing a bill to allow the lowering of Value Added Tax (VAT) to 7.5 per cent for qualifying hospitality partners my initial thought that it was a wonderful opportunity to at least partially address the frequently quoted high costs of our tourism product.

The criteria did not appear too ominous. That the entity had to be registered with or a license from the Barbados Tourism Authority, Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association or Small Hotels of Barbados Inc, it was in compliance with all statutory obligations of the Income Tax, NIS and Social Securities Act and was able to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Comptroller and generates at least 75 per cent of total earnings annually in a foreign currency.

In our 26 year experience the vast majority of guests pay via credit card, I would not have thought this was difficult to verify. These imposed conditions would seem quite reasonable and for most attainable.

Why then have so few seemingly eligible tourism partners registered successfully and applied the lower rate of VAT? After all, 10 per cent of the final cost to the consumer is not an insubstantial reduction. Looking at menus posted on the websites of many of our hotels with in-house restaurants or stand alone establishments 17.5 per cent VAT is still shown, which includes some of the big names and (unless they have yet to be updated) state owned accommodation providers are included in this. Interestingly, this applies even to businesses where their owners or managers sit on the board of the national marketing authority.

So what has gone wrong? Is this once again a case of implementation deficit?

Originally the measure was announced in the 2013 budget submission, so does it really take so long to process registration applications?   Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy

Why no solution on the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary?

Barbados Graeme Hall Sluice Gate (click photo for large)

Deliberate destruction of a RAMSAR Treaty natural wetlands

The last mangrove swamp in Barbados is being deliberately destroyed by the Barbados government – so that private interests (read ‘friends of the ruling party’) can benefit financially by squeezing out the foreign philanthropist / owner and then developing the area into condominiums and industrial parks. This is not an unheard of scenario in Barbados, especially with agricultural lands and natural / scrub / coastal areas. It also is common for landowners to spend decades trying to re-classify agricultural and other natural lands for development, only to be refused time and time again.

Then some person will come along and offer just a little bit over the agricultural value and the discouraged and beaten owner will sell. A few weeks later, the land is approved for development and quickly resold for a hundred times what was paid. That is the real Barbados!

The only problem with the Graeme Hall swamp is that the owner, a Canadian philanthropist named Peter Allard, doesn’t want to develop the area: he wants to preserve this precious natural resource for the Bajan people. Earlier Allard volunteered to have the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary incorporated into a National Park. That didn’t work out when the greedy hands of career politicians wanted their cut or NO DEAL! Now that political elite is determined to have it all.

It might take more twenty more years for the cabals to get hold of what is probably the most valuable land on the south coast, but the elites think in generations and they know that there are other foreign chickens to pluck until that time arrives. The elites own the courts and the government, so they have plenty of time.  Continue reading

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Filed under Agriculture, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Environment, Nature, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Wildlife