Monthly Archives: February 2015

Time to resurrect re-DISCOVER the Caribbean

barbados-beach-sand-surf

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

One of the most difficult and painful decisions I have ever made was to cancel our last re-DISCOVER the Caribbean Show some years ago, which had become a highly successful annual event spanning over seven years.

As well as highlighting and driving new interest in Intra regional travel it was also used as a catalyst to build trade between the islands. It also brought almost around $1 million of foreign exchange into Barbados, filled scores of hotel rooms, generated significant car rental business and helped keep our multitude of restaurants busy, during a traditionally quieter off-season period.

If you were among the thousands of people who visited the show over the two days it took place each year, you would have met representatives from up to 22 participating territories, from Surinam in the south to Jamaica in the north and almost everywhere in between.

What finally prompted the final resolve to stop co-ordinating the show was the reduced funding by the then Barbados Tourism Authority, which even at its peak, represented less than 10 per cent of the actual cost…

Plus the sad realisation, that they could not find two or more of their staff to ‘man’ a stand for the duration, out of what were then over one hundred employees.  Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

The List: major drug dealers in Barbados who work with corrupt police, politicians

barbados-police.jpg

Drug dealers, corrupt politicians and bad cops

Who made this list?

Sheri Veronica, that’s who. And she ties it to vote buying in Barbados elections.

That woman has stones.

And she’s pretty too!

Sheri Veronica’s blog: Barbados: Bad cops, Corrupt politicians and drug lords

 

6 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Police, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption

Cotton crop in danger as Barbados Government unable to pay pickers for last year’s work

Barbados picking cotton

Labour Action a result of no pay for a year

Contributed anonymously by Rotten Cotton

Our 2015 cotton crop is in danger of rotting in the fields as fewer than 10% of last year’s 150 registered cotton pickers are willing to work, and this year the crop is almost double the size of 2014.

The problem is that the Government of Barbados hasn’t been able to pay the pickers for the work they did a full year ago, picking the 2014 crop.

Guess what folks? You promise to pay agricultural workers a certain amount for each pound of cotton and you don’t pay them for a year… what happens is that nobody shows up to pick the next crop.

Got that Prime Minster Stuart?

It’s a simple and basic concept that this government hasn’t grasped I know. The government can put off paying suppliers, contractors and government employees when the money can’t be found, and those people will hang in waiting for the government to catch up on payments.

But you can’t do that to poor agricultural workers for a year or they walk and that is exactly what has happened.

“How bad is the financial situation really when the government puts the whole 2015 cotton crop at risk because they can’t pay workers their 40 cents a pound that has been owing to them for a year?”

The newspapers and television are full of cotton stories with politicians, Agricultural Ministry officials and industry spokespeople hyping the value to the economy and the doubling of fields planted over last year but hardly anyone is talking about the growing sense of danger – some say verging on panic – that is spreading throughout the cotton community.  Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under Agriculture, Barbados, Cotton, Economy

Afra Raymond questions the motivations of Trinidad & Tobago’s Integrity Commission

Integrity Trinidad

Shocking behaviours by those entrusted to investigate corruption

by Afra Raymond

by Afra Raymond

This column sets out my reasons for seriously questioning the motivation and priorities of the Integrity Commission. Despite my doubts as to the way in which successive Commissions have operated the Integrity in Public Life Act (IPLA), I have continued to offer suggestions as to how their work could be made more effective.

The continuing Code of Silence on the CL Financial bailout, the sharp attack, from many quarters, on our substantial national institutions and the very doubtful history of the Integrity Commission are clear signs that the Public Interest needs to be safeguarded with utmost vigilance at this time.

In relation to the Commission’s history, we need to note the shocking details unearthed during Dr Keith Rowley’s litigation against them. The Commission had made certain findings without giving Rowley the opportunity to respond, as recommended by its advisers and in 2009 the High Court made an historic finding that…

“…The Court declares that the Integrity Commission has acted in bad faith in relation to Dr. Rowley and is guilty of the tort of misfeasance in public office…”

At Para 45 (i) of the 2009 ruling –

“…The Court does not accept the Integrity Commission’s explanation as to why it wrote to the Honourable Prime Minister on the 19th October, 2004, to ascertain whether an inquiry was to be undertaken and if so, the names of the persons to man the enquiry and their terms of reference. The Court notes that the Integrity Commission is an independent constitutional body which ought to act independently pursuant to its constitutional and statutory powers and duties…”

The entire Commission resigned immediately as a result of that High Court ruling.

… continue reading this article at Afra Raymond’s blog Integrity Reflections

3 Comments

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

Discover Card to partner with Barbados

Discover Barbados

Innovation pays off for re-Discover programme

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

I am frequently surprised and occasionally humbled by some of the people who read this column. Out of the blue a couple of weeks ago, I had a call from a senior executive of the Illinois based third largest credit card issuer in the United States, with a quoted 47 million card holders.

He had been following some of our tourism initiatives and wanted to see how we could ‘partner’ to help increase their brand awareness and acceptance on Barbados.

Of all our major markets the United States has, for the last decade, been one of the most challenging. Until the 2014 figures are published the industry at large can only speculate about any real recovery last year.

But what we do know though is that 2013 recorded the lowest number (120,584) of long stay American visitors over the past 11 years.

So clearly, there is work to be done and I am sure with the recent restructuring that has taken place, we will start to witness increased numbers in the not to distance future; especially if we wish to sustain any added airlift.

So what is finally being negotiated with DISCOVER is a win-win scenario that will hopefully achieve their objectives, while at the same time help to raise our destination visibility in US market, again at minimal cost.

With help from the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc (BTMI) the new branded re-DISCOVER DISCOVER lunch and dinner voucher will be mainly distributed from the BTMI office in the arrivals hall of Grantley Adams International Airport. As we know, the vast majority of passengers have to pass this office after clearing immigration, baggage collection and before clearing customs. This will be critical in the possible success of the promotion.   Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Venezuela Declares Right to fly Warplanes over sovereign Caribbean Islands

Venezuela Air Force Sukhoi

by Peter Binose

In a speech on national television, Venezuela’s president Maduro reports that the air defense areas of the country have been expanded beyond the Windward Islands all the way up to St Maarten. President Nicolas Maduro, said that his country has the right to defend itself in the skies above the Dutch Antilles.

Venezuela is already a bully of the seas claiming areas that it does not own, now it appears they are trying to bully the airspace.

We have to remember how PM Ralph Gonsalves supported Venezuela’s sea grab of Bird Island. Just what kind of betrayal was that?

The yellow area shows the Venezuelan Economic space, with the effect of Aves Island/Rock.

The yellow area shows the Venezuelan Economic space, with the effect of Aves Island/Rock.

Under the International Law Of The Sea Aves Island is classified as a rock which does not get the 200mile economic zone, however Venezuela hasn’t signed the UNLOS treaty. This rock effectively removes a significantly removes most of the OECS’ economic zone.

… from Notes from the Margin article How Venezuela Controls the Caribbean Sea

“St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said the OECS had accepted Venezuela’s sovereignty over Bird Island and that he would not allow anyone to dictate whether or not he should put pressure on the Government of Venezuela in relation to the issue”. Speaking at a press conference at the Caricom secretariat, Gonsalves said, “Nobody is going to tell me which questions are important.”

When public support for this type of Venezuelan communist regime wanes at home they try and turn public attention from local matters to the international theatre.   Continue reading

7 Comments

Filed under Aviation, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Venezuela

Sales persons are liable for Harlequin pension losses!

Harlequin Resort

Oh boy!

“Financial advisers who recommended clients switch their pensions into self-invested schemes heavily exposed to investments being marketed by embattled overseas property group Harlequin are legally liable for losses, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme confirmed…”

… from the Financial Times article Advisers are liable for Harlequin pension transfer losses

Yup…

Do them. Do them all. Lead them away in handcuffs and beat them on the way to jail.

Lives ruined. Pensions devoured.

Barbados politicians played a pivotal role as enablers for David Ames and his gang. Do them all.

439 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption, Real Estate

CLICO INSURANCE: THE PERFECT CRIME

Sheri Veronica says…

“CLICO has become the poster child for all that is wrong in Barbados. The people know that elite wrongdoers are well protected – they have the protection of the police and the government.

The stench of corruption and the grandstanding of sanctimonious, arrogant, lawless and contemptuous elite engulf the people. Citizens are arming themselves, shooting at police and committing more grievous crimes. With millions of dollars stolen and no real hope of its recovery, approximately 20,000 seniors are at risk of poverty. And finally, as has been alluded to above, hardly ever are elites incarcerated in BARBADOS.”

All we at BFP can add to that is… Amen, sister! Amen.

4 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

WestJet’s Valentine’s Day proposals a huge hit. Kudos to Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

Kudos to the recently revitalised national marketing organisation renamed the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., for facilitating the production of a series of videos where the airline WestJet partners with the chain store Michael Hill Jewellery and a number of Barbadian tourism interests to highlight two couples who become engaged on our island.

At the time of submitting this column already well over 1 million people had watched the three videos and this number will rise substantially over the next few days. Add the media coverage by print, television, radio and other shared social media and realistically millions of people will be exposed to Barbados as a desirable destination. Timing of course, can be everything, and the fact that WestJet posted the videos just before Valentine’s Day can be no coincidence.

To reinforce the positive effect the airline rolled out a supportive seat sale to Barbados which required booking by 14th February, but for travel up to 24 June 2015.

When preparing for the filming, a few cleverly conceived twists were applied and to quote WestJet’s Manager of Communitity Investment, Sponsorship and Experiential Marketing (what an incredible job title), Corey Evans, revealed that ‘girls thought they were auditioning to appear on a new WestJet commercial that we were shooting in Barbados, and had no idea what was going to happen’.   Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Does Leroy Parris of CLICO infamy have anything to do with Welches Insurance Agent Inc. ?

Editor’s note: Remember folks… this is an anonymous blog so don’t take anything for true without a little salt and lots of questions. We received this anonymously and have no way to check the information.

If it is true, it is news. If it’s not true, it was sent by some anonymous mischief troublemaker…

submitted by anonymous…

I would like for somebody to tell me how it is that Faye Wharton-Parris wife of CLICO Ex boss Leroy Parris has so boldly displayed on the door next to her business Premier Event Services Inc @ Welches Plaza a sign with the name Welches Insurance.

Are people so blind or is it that they don’t know of this newly formed insurance Company? I know for a fact that it is belongs to them. The PARRISES making jokes at us and turning some Bajans into parros because they can’t get their investments back.

Name    WELCHES INSURANCE AGENT INC.
Number    37958
Category    Company
Date registered / Incorporated    2014-02-18

5 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Corruption, Offshore Investments

Secret Withdrawal Of Bribery Charges Against Barbados Cop Stinks Of Corruption At The Highest Levels

charles-leacock-barbados murder

Director of Public Prosecutions Charles Leacock has been in the news again lately – so we’ve revisited this past story of his corruption and unethical behaviours like using the police to threaten and extort a woman who owed him a private debt – and then withdrawing corruption charges against his same police friend.

Unlike the mainstream Barbados news media, the blogs don’t let unresolved news stories fade away. We’ll keep bringing this back into memory until this place cleans itself up… and until our corrupt DPP resigns.

I love my Barbados – but I hate the corrupt and incestuous cartel that seems to run everything.

Barbados Free Press

Unholy Alliance: Sergeant Paul Vaughan (left) & Charles Leacock - Barbados Director Of Public Prosecutions

Barbados News Media Remains Silent

On September 16, 2008, Barbados Police Sergeant Paul Emmanuel Vaughn (sometimes spelled Paul Vaughan) was charged with corruptly accepting $56,500 in bribes between December 1, 2004 and April 30, 2007 from Evadney Cindy Bushell in return for protecting her from prosecution for selling pirated DVDs.

We said at the time that the Director of Public Prosecutions Charles Leacock would eventually withdraw the criminal charges against his old friend, Sergeant Vaughn, because the two corrupt public employees had previously been involved together in the Ronja Juman scandal. In short, Charles Leacock had Sergeant Vaughn and his goon squad arrest Ronja Juman in the middle of the night and subject the terrified woman to a vaginal search – over back rent she owed Charles Leacock. There was no way the DPP was going to continue the prosecution of a man who was his friend and a co-conspirator…

View original post 380 more words

9 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Police

Connections: American tourists, Super Bowl advertising and QR codes on Barbados rum bottles

Mount-Gay-Rum-Barbados

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

Ecuador recently went into history by becoming the first foreign country to take a thirty second television commercial which was aired during the recent Super Bowl at a quoted cost of US$3.8 million to reach an estimated 112 million television audience.

As first thought, any comparison between a country boasting a land mass of 109,484 square miles and a population of 15 million people with tiny Barbados seems almost totally illogical, but then look again.

Ecuador welcomed a record 1,500,241 overseas visitors last year up until 22nd December according to the website of their own Ministerio de Tourismo. Of that number the second largest market, the United States, supplied 16.6 per cent of the overall number which was 14 per cent up on the previous year, amounting to 232,868.

Colombia, its northern neighbour, produced the single biggest number, 23.8 per cent or 333,197 persons.

Sadly while Barbados Statistical Service posts critical information so late, it was almost impossible to compare our 2014 Barbados arrival figures with that of Ecuador for the same year. Up until last Tuesday the most recent posting covered the month of September, with October and November only being added in the first week of February.

So let’s look at 2013, where Barbados welcomed 120,584 American long stay visitors which represented over 50 per cent of the US numbers who travelled to Ecuador. Despite the initial geological and demographic disparity, their tourism planners were able to persuade the Government of Ecuador to splash out a staggering BDS$7.6 million, apparently for a single shot 30 second ‘ad’…  Continue reading

5 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Bushy Park – Truth and Concerns

NBC Brian Williams Lied

Editor’s Note: We received this post anonymously, and like anything you read here at BFP or in the mainstream press you should keep your mind open and at the same time remember that BFP is an anonymous website. The blogs are still the wild west when it comes to accuracy… it might be true, it might not be.

It’s like this… blogs are the same as watching News Anchor Brian Williams on NBC News or Dan Rather at CBS: what they say might be true, or it might not be. Same same…

Bushy Park Truth and Concerns

by anonymous

After reading two articles in the press late last year regarding the new Bushy Park facility I think it is time that Barbadians hear the full truth about this development, my understanding is…

  1. The Government of Barbados and by extension the PEOPLE of Barbados own the land.
  2. Investors (SOME STILL TO BE IDENTIFIED) have erected buildings on said land presumably with a contract. Surely the details of said contract should be available to the public seeing that the land is owned by the TAXPAYERS of Barbados.
  3. Mr Stephen Lashley, Minister of Sport has confirmed that part of this contract stipulates that the facility shall be leased to other SPORTING organisations at a reasonable rate after discussion with the primary shareholder, that being Government.
  4. Who are the real investors in the new facility at Bushy Park?
  5. Why has PERMANENT branding been allowed, which prohibits competing entities from branding their products even if they sponsor an event there? Case in point – LIME is not allowed to advertise because DIGICEL is already there .
  6. Is Bushy Park Motor Sport Inc (BPMSI) a shareholder in the new development and if not what gives them the right to charge fees for the useage of the track?
  7. Is it true that the revenue from the Top Gear festival went directly to BPMSI?
  8. Is it true that there is a law suit pending with regard to the use of the RALLY CROSS name being used without permission at the said Top Gear event?
  9. Is it also true that a certain individual has threatened to dig up the track if his demands are not met?
  10. As majority owners at Bushy Park should Government not have a representative on the Board which administers the facility?

How is it possible for BPCI to employ and I assume PAY:

General Manager
Business Manager
Secretary
CEO which position was not advertised locally

… when they only had two events last year and only have one event planned for this year?

Barbadians need answers to these questions and more as it seems in today’s world MONEY does all the talking.

5 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Offshore Investments, Politics

40 years ago Barbados teenager Marcia Rollins went to England to become a nurse

Black Caribbean nurses made a huge difference in England’s National Health Service

Marcia Rollins is from Barbados. She always wanted to be a nurse but opportunities were limited on the island so when the UK needed new recruits she joined thousands of other Caribbean people and left for the ‘mother country’.

“It was always my dream to be a nurse. England was seen as the mother country and there were opportunities in England moreso than here in Barbados to do nursing.

I was terrified but full of hope for the future…

My plans were to go there and study nursing and get back to Barbados as fast as I could.”

Marcia was just 19 when she arrived in England and intended to return to Barbados soon after her training finished. She actually ended up spending 40 years in the NHS making a unique and valuable contribution as a Registered Nurse and gaining a diploma in health care. She retired in 2008 and moved back to Barbados.

“It was always my dream to be a nurse. England was seen as the mother country and there were opportunities in England moreso than here in Barbados to do nursing.

I was terrified by full of hope for the future…

My plans were to go there and study nursing and get back to Barbados as fast as I could.

You had things that weren’t very nice – Get back to the Jungle. Take your black hands off me. Things like that were said to you. To be quite honest, I didn’t let things like that bother me…”

Then I had a family… two small children and going back to Barbados was a far dream. I have no regrets. I consider England to be a University of Life.”

Read the entire story at Black Union Jack

Also from the same era, see BFP’s Bajan Ralph Straker passes in the UK – One of thousands recruited from the Caribbean by London Transport in the 1950s

 

4 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, History, Immigration, Race

The government we deserve…

sinking ship barbados flag DLP

Many of our politicians have fallen short of their promises, or have done great injury to their stewardship. In some cases, they have shown to be less than scrupulous in their management of our affairs. Yet we reward them with more time for embarrassment. Our only excuse, perhaps, is that within the context of our democracy there must be a Government –– good, bad or indifferent.

But how can we explain retaining any Government that seizes land compulsorily and breaches the law by refusing to pay for it? How can we contemplate returning the same Government to power that squanders more than $300 million on failed projects? How can we give succour to any leader who fails to discipline a parliamentary colleague brought to public shame by the highest court in the land?

How can we forgive any Government that has ravaged our agriculture sector? How can we forgive politicians who facilitate construction contracts without a bidding process? How can we be satisfied with leadership that doesn’t boast of achievements, but wallows in lofty verbosity, smug claims of not reading newspapers and punishing dissenters with laughter?

How can we not ask for accountability in situations where some politicians possess six high-end cars, obtained on Government salaries that are common knowledge in the Official Gazette? How can millions of dollars be spirited away from an insurance company and our Attorney General not demand a criminal investigation by the police? How can a state-appointed insurance supervisory body fail to carry out its mandate to the detriment of thousands of policyholders and no heads roll? How can an Auditor General annually expose instances of fraud and blatant theft and yet no one is held to account?

… read the entire editorial at Barbados Today – Getting the governance we deserve

7 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Government, Corruption, Government, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

After years of denial, Bajan Reporter Ian Bourne finally admits that Islam and the Koran makes Western society “more dangerous, less tolerant, less civilised and less free”

It has been four years since Ian Bourne fell into his own trap and posted a cartoon of Jesus giving the finger, but then wouldn’t post a cartoon of Mohammed giving the finger… and then Bourne took down the Jesus cartoon so he wouldn’t be seen as a hypocrite for insulting Jesus but not Mohammed.

For years Bourne criticised BFP for asking questions about how the Koran and Islam mandate killing of unbelievers and former Muslims, about the lesser status of women in Islam, about how the Koran says it takes four women to equal one man witness, about how Muslims should hate Jews, about how the Koran and Islam instruct slavery, rape and submission of non-Muslims.

And now Bajan Reporter publishes Pat Condell’s latest video Nothing to do with Islam.

Could it be that Ian has had an epiphany?

If so… good for Ian.

If not… pass me another Banks beer baby!

19 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Human Rights, Religion, Slavery

Stories and Memories: The shores of Lake Maracaibo

Lake Maracaibo Girl Memories

“It was difficult not to fall in love.”

Late night Idylls. The shores of Lake Maracaibo.

by Colin Leslie Beadon

There were things he had not wanted to write about for many years, thinking perhaps they were best weathered away by time. Yet time, as he had thought it might, could never deaden such memories. And so the years had slipped, and before his memory should fail, ….

Even the bodega music, had a life of its own, the late night music of the bodegas, which he loved still, the languid throb of boleros, or waltzing Castian, the bote, still cut into his being.

And the girls he danced with; the slap of their sandals, the soft almost urgent sound of their voices, as they sang, sweet-breathed, body pressed-swinging tightly- giving,… against him. And so the warm nights around Lake Maracaibo merged, the girls in your arms, sweating, into one.

True, he was near-exhausted after days and nights out on wells on the lake with little sleep; and so he and his Venezuela crew coming off lake, late, stopped off, at watering holes they referred to as ‘The Convents’ their walls being cluttered with sad-faced Mother Mary images, their lighting being ambiance-creating flickering candles.

And the girls gathering around, fascinating long black haired-sweeping young women, carefully dressed, with impeccable bodies, and manners, if you treated them as the ladies they deserved.

Those dark Latin eyes, their small sometimes inquisitive hands, the almost childlike smoothness of their skins, their natural unforced laughter; and what they would tell about the misfortune of their lives where they came from, Barranquilla, Cucuta, or Bogota; and what they could promise with their eyes.  Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Stories and Memories, Venezuela