Monthly Archives: May 2015

New Moke in production – but will higher crime rates and Bajan gangs kill sales of open vehicles?

The Moke is in production again – this time in China – and the new version remains true to the concept launched by Austin way back in 1964. The car was originally a military version of the famous Austin Mini and was loved by tourists all over the world’s tropical zones. This time it will also have electric and auto-transmission versions.

Can the new Moke reclaim its glory days when happy tourists securely roamed Bajan roads in open vehicles with nary a thought of crime or robbery?

Or will the Boscobel Toll Gang and other Bajan criminal gangs kill sales?

8 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Barbados Transportation, Crime & Law, Police

Loveridge: After unprecedented government concessions to Sandals, the company pays only lip service to Bajan agricultural suppliers.

Sandals' Butch Stewart doesn't look like he's starving to death.

Sandals’ Butch Stewart doesn’t look like he’s starving, but little of what he and his resort guests eat is Bajan.

“What must be clear to Government, is that after granting the unprecedented unilateral concessions to Sandals (which almost two years later not a single other hotel on Barbados has been able to obtain), Sandals must do more than give lip service to supporting our agricultural sector.”

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

First let me declare my absolute and total support for those advocating the use and consumption of more locally produced items especially by our tourism industry.

When the head of the Barbados Agricultural Society recently boasted that Sandals Barbados were purchasing 1,000 lbs of local produce each week, no-one thought to question him as to what this actually means. In all fairness to James Paul, he stated that they were trying to increase this amount, but let’s look at the current figures.

If the hotel is full that is a capacity of 580 guests each night who have every meal and snack included in the cost. This equates to a volume of just 4 ounces per person per day.

And that is before any allowance is made for the quoted 600 staff and management taking meals on the property.

The United States is currently the largest market for Sandals and the average American, according to internet informed information, is 36.6 years of age, is 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighs 190 lbs if male, or 5 feet 4 inches and 164 lbs if female. Again based on averages each American consumes nearly 5.5 lbs of food per day or a short ton per annum.

Over a year this includes 29 lbs of French Fries, 23 lbs of pizza, 24 lbs of ice cream, 53 gallons of soda, 24 lbs of artificial sweetener and a staggering 2,736 lbs of sodium, which is 47 per cent above the recommended medical limit. All of which add up to 2,700 calories daily.

The question should also be asked, is the average Sandals guest likely to consume more or less than they do at home than on a fully all-inclusive vacation?

In reality then the 4 ounces of ‘local produce’ represents less than 4 per cent of consumables used daily, therefore a proverbial drop in the ocean. 
Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under Agriculture, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy

Do Islamic State jihadists have any dodgy Vincentian passports?

St Vincent Banana Republic

Vincentian passport scandal and Jihad dangers

by Peter Binose, Madrid.

Did they find everyone who had been issued a dodgy Vincentian passport that allowed them to change their name without declaring their previous name? Did they get back every dodgy passport issued?

We don’t know, and may never know exactly what went on with our passports.

The batch of unissued dodgy passports were said to have been burnt and destroyed, once they were destroyed it became impossible to audit the numbers burnt against the number acquired by the government, were any missing and how many were actually claimed to be officially issued? Were any unofficially issued? With the passports burnt we will never know. The evidence has been destroyed.

There are lots of Cubans here in SVG, about 300 immigrants who have residency and work permits, who are able to work and have jobs that Vincentians should have, and they are not part of the 300 working at the Argyle Airport. Some Cubans have been given honoree citizenship, why? You must ask PM Gonsalves that question, also ask him if any of them were issued with those dodgy passports that allowed them to enter the US and Canada as Vincentian citizens with no reference to their previous citizenship and birthplace in Cuba? Is that possible? Is that a true case scenario? We have seen Iranians who are said to have Vincentian citizenship, were any Iranians issued with those same dodgy passports?   If any of that went on, how do we know that passports have not been issued to members of ISIS, allowing them to enter the US and Canada undetected.

“The burning of those passports was little less than a criminal act;

it’s no wonder that Canada withdrew the right for Vincentians to enter Canada without a Visa.”

Now it has been announced that the Europeans are about to sign an agreement with some Caribbean countries, that includes SVG. The agreement is called the ‘Schengen Visa Waiver Agreement’ it allows our nationals to enter and travel freely through European Union States. Has anyone told the Europeans about the dodgy passport past and how we are now required to have a Visa to enter Canada? Has anyone told the Europeans that our women are so badly beaten and ritually raped, that when they get to Europe many will be claiming asylum? In 2010, our women ranked 8th in the world for refugee claims to Canada. Has anyone told the EU that the US identified an Iranian special agent as a Vincentian duel citizen? An Iranian who has been laundering billions of dollars for the Iranian government, in doing so circumventing the US sanctions. Because by not telling the Europeans it’s like withholding evidence, it’s like telling the worst possible lie. You can be sure it will come back and bite us in the bum. I am therefore honor bound to send a copy of this letter to the EU tonight.  Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Corruption, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Jim Lynch: Open Letter To The Majority Shareholders Of LIAT

LIAT Airlines Crash

“LIAT’s total passenger load (= income, revenue) in the last year was half what it was the year before – yet the expenses remain the same or even greater, considering the constant arrival/delivery of new airplanes.”

by James Lynch, former LIAT pilot

by James Lynch, former LIAT Captain

Since before 2012 I have repeatedly heard of calls by the current majority shareholders of LIAT, through Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent, to take up more shares or to simply contribute towards the airline’s losses.

Gentlemen, I can reveal to the Press that you know my own name well by now, it has been before you literally hundreds of times both privately through letters, emails, faxes, text messages, and recently in public in the Press.

For almost a decade I have been trying to communicate with you mostly for just one reason, and that is to take the politics and non-competence in aviation out of eastern Caribbean aviation, whether that is at the Civil Aviation Department (or Civil Aviation Authority) level or at the airline level (meaning LIAT).

Example:

Barbados is ICAO Category Two for very simple reasons – incompetence, lack of proper regulations and lack of oversight. With a little more interest, Barbados could be Category One, but for the last decade nobody has been interested.

Last time the FAA visited to conduct an evaluation, when they left they told the Civil Aviation people it was so bad that they ought not to bother to call for the next evaluation for at least another ten years.

But for some five decades LIAT has been abused as much as your own taxpayers for no good reason. Board after Board, management after management continue to be politically appointed buffoons – whether they are your “friends” or not – who know little or nothing about aviation (which is NOT the same as tourism) and continue to lose money and market share to the point where the airline is now on the brink of the precipice.

And you need not respond that this is not the case, because if all were well you would not be out in public demanding that other governments join you in throwing money at the existing form of LIAT to keep it alive.

Since at least 2012 Dr. Kenny Anthony has told you, in public, that his country’s taxpayers would not be supporting LIAT’s excesses, and that if you wanted St. Lucia at the airline’s table you had to make major changes in its oversight (Board) and management.

Nothing has changed, yet now here you are again making the same demands. And in the process you are also trying to rope a brand new Prime Minister into the fold before he can catch his breath after the election. Shame!  Continue reading

5 Comments

Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Transportation

Talk, talk, talk. Does anybody really do anything with new economic and tourism ideas?

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) was kind enough to invite me and a large number of representatives from both the private and public sector to a half day discussion forum last week.

To quote their own documentation the objective was to ‘Maximise Bridgetown’s economic and cultural activity’ by leveraging ‘existing institutions (tangible and intangible) and infrastructure (historic buildings and public spaces)’ by garnering ‘support from the local business sector to diversity night-time (after 6 pm) economic and cultural activities’.

Creative suggestions from the attending group flowed like flood water but towards the end of the main session there was one sobering observation by a member of the assembly. He mentioned that he had not heard more than one new idea over the last twenty years.

And that is where the reality kicks in. As a country we do not lack the vision or identifying practical projects. Where we seem to fail dismally is the implementation.

The same person suggested that we needed a fulfillment ‘Czar’ and that comment is probably the one which will stay with me for the longest time out of the entire four hour duration. Whether any administration has the ‘intestinal fortitude’ to make this happen without giving the job to yet another political crony, I seriously doubt, but we can perhaps live in hope.  Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy

Queen’s Counsel and former Barbados ‘most wanted suspect’ wins CIBC First Caribbean contest!

Now…

CIBC First Caribbean Barbados Contest

2013…

Mark Goodridge named Queen's Counsel Barbados

Mark Goodridge named Queen’s Counsel Barbados

2006…

Mark Goodridge mugshot

Mark Goodridge mugshot

Barbados Lawyer Wanted For Beating Of Teen – Thoughts Of Racial Tension, White Privilege & Black Attitudes

Customer heading off to Miami thanks to CIBC FirstCaribbean

Bridgetown, Barbados, May 15, 2015The Barbados grand prize winner in CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank’s recent “Give More, Get More” promotion is looking forward to enjoying a trip for two to Miami.

Mark Goodridge, 62, was presented with his prize recently at the bank’s Warrens branch. Recalling how he reacted to news of the win, Mr. Goodridge said, “I was very shocked because I never expected to win, to tell you the truth. I did know there was a competition but I didn’t know what the prizes were.”

The long-standing customer said that he finds the bank’s credit card products easy to use. “They are also accepted wherever you go, which is a big plus.”

Mr. Goodridge, an attorney-at-law, isn’t sure when he will take his trip to Miami but said that he and his wife were looking forward to visiting three grandchildren there. Along with the trip for two, Mr. Goodridge also received hotel accommodation and US$500 spending money. He thanked CIBC FirstCaribbean for the “courtesies it had extended over the years.”

20 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Culture & Race Issues

Loveridge: New JetBlue Barbados flight brings opportunity and hope

jetblue barbados

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

The double positive whammy for our tourism sector last week was the number of English cricket supporters who came for the Kensington staging of the test series and the announcement by JetBlue that it was introducing a once weekly, Saturday seasonal flight non-stop from Boston.

From the first flight commencing on 7th November it could easily add another near 4,000 American arrival numbers until the service initially halts on 30th April next year.

It also gives us another incredible gateway from a market that many know could witness significant increases over the next few years. While the 48 square miles that make up the actual city of Boston only boasts a population of around 646,000 inhabitants, within the area known as Greater Boston live some 4.5 million people, making it the country’s tenth largest metropolitan density.

At first, concern may be expressed about a single flight per week, but you should remember the Americans generally have shorter holidays and many of those are crammed between two weekends, so a Saturday departure is perfect. Often overlooked are also the physiological flight times, departing Boston at 7.45am with a scheduled arrival time of 1.30pm, allowing most visitors time to journey from the airport to accommodation, check-in, unpack and possibly sea bathe before dark.  Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Barbados Police to arrange truce between two gangs – giving criminal leaders status, recognition and power.

barbados-police.jpg

Our police should be dismantling the gang leadership, not giving them status.

by Passin Thru

I read in the Nation that the police are brokering a meeting between the leaders of two rival gangs, to arrange a ‘truce’.

This is a huge mistake by the Royal Barbados Police Force.

The gangs are fighting over criminal profits and turf, areas of influence and gang status in the community. Any truce would have to involve establishing geographical boundaries for gang activities. After all, it’s a turf fight about criminal profits. What are the police thinking?

Are the police going to broker a deal where gang members stay in one are to work their crimes, and not interfere with the next gang’s turf?

This is a huge mistake that gives status to gang leaders and gangs, and unfortunately shows how impotent the police have become in the face of a crime wave the likes of which this island has never seen before. Guns, Guns Guns and our police strategy is to assist gangs to carve up territories? This is INSANE!

Our police should be causing havoc in the gangs, arresting the leaders and making criminals fear extra police attention that gang membership brings. Our police should be dismantling the gang leadership, not giving them status.

From the Nation…

AFFECTING A TRUCE between the leaders of two gangs is high on the agenda for community policing.

Head of the Chapman Lane and New Orleans Mobile Unit Sergeant Jamal Mohan said the two men are known to have a major influence on the youth of the area. Mohan was speaking earlier today at the launch of the second phase of the Reading and Learning in Harmony programme which is being done in conjunction with the Pan-American International Insurance Corporation. He said the truce would redound to making the community safer. (YB)

Nation: Police want truce between gang leaders

12 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Police

Peter Binose: Mendacious Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves

PM Ralph Gonsalves

PM Ralph Gonsalves

Whilst talking with an old friend in Dublin recently we were discussing Prime Minister Gonsalves.

For this letter I will describe my friend as Paddy. That’s not his name, nothing like his name, but will hide his persona from any collective spite that may just be gathered against him after this little tête-à-tête.

He follows both the printed news and the online news very carefully regarding Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. As a child his parents were posted in SVG and he has holidayed there a thousand times since becoming a man. He loves our little country and has fond memories of us as a people, our verdant island and the beauty of the white sanded Grenadine pearl necklace of islands.

The discussion that started with old times eventually got around to what is happening today. He is so disappointed in what he reads about the political situation under the leadership of Dr Gonsalves and his Unity Labour Party.   Continue reading

8 Comments

Filed under Politics, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

49 years of Independence: 49 reasons to strike…

Barbados_Flag125.jpg

49 years of Independence: 49 reasons to strike…

by John Bajan
•    Late payment to mothers of child support money
•    Inability to get Four season start
•    Poor bus service
•    Lowest sugar crop first time ever
•    Poor road conditions
•    Speaker of the house issue
•    Laying off of public workers
•    Raping of the NIS
•    No solution to CLICO
•    No charges to CLICO directors   Continue reading

7 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Politics

Loveridge: A competitive world means businesses must perform or fail

monkey-business-barbados.jpg

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

From a tourism perspective and many other sectors, it is almost impossible to comprehend how so many businesses seem to think they can trade to an optimal degree without maintaining a fully functioning and up-to-date website and/or Facebook page.

Also surprising is the number of local companies who take to the air via radio or in print with ‘ads’ promoting new products, but have simply not thought through any potential consumer response, especially in terms of disseminating details like price, sizes, varieties and availability.

Do they realistically think that possible buyers are going waste time trying to extract the details in a protracted phone call and that’s assuming that the person on the other end actually knows anything about the item(s)?

Of course there are notable exceptions, but certainly in my experience, frequently emails are not either answered at all, or days go by without a timely response.

In case some have not noticed our world has become increasingly more competitive and many ‘buyers’ simply will not wait for prolonged periods, when often they have responsive alternatives a simple click away.  Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business & Banking

Barbados featured in Louisa Leontiades’ new book ‘Queen of the Limbo’

Barbados Louisa Leontiades

Will Polyamorous British author tell any Barbados tales out of school?

Today BFP heard from our old friend, author and HuffPost / Salon writer Louisa Leontiades that her next book is hitting the stores in November and, surprise surprise, this time the setting is Sam Lord’s Castle in the not too distant past.

Sam_Lords_Castle_Fire

Sam Lord’s Castle hasn’t been so hot since the night it burned to the ground. ‘Queen of the Limbo’ will heat de place up again!

Knowing how rumours fly about Louisa writing real people into her books with only the thinnest of camouflage, we think that more than a few folks on this rock might have a certain curiosity about ‘Queen of the Limbo’. We will!

Well… this should be fun.

Cliverton

Louisa’s Amazon sales are here.

3 Comments

Filed under Art, Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Island Life

Anna Druzhinina murder: Barbados killer appeals 21 year sentence May 5, 2015

Anna Druzhinina Murder

Terrath Persaud should have been hung. It’s what he did to Anna.

On May 5, the Court of Appeals of Barbados (in the new High Court building) will hear the appeal of Teerath Persaud for the length of his sentence for manslaughter of Anna Druzhinina.  It took family friend, Amy Beam two years (and a new Registrar of the Court) to obtain the transcripts from the trials of the two murderers (McCollin and Persaud) of Anna Druzhinina; a popular and loved 16-year-old Russian girl who lived in Barbados and was hanged in her home November 8, 2008.

Appeals are heard by 3 judges, including the Chief Justice.  Court opens at 9AM and is open to the public.  Beam wrote about the murder of her friend, Anna Druzhinina, in 2013, after the manslaughter trial of Teerath Persaud was completed and he was sentenced to 21 years of which he has now served six-and-a-half years.

Counting one year as actually only 9 months for “good behavior,” Persaud could be eligible for release in under 10 years.

BFP published the story written by Dr. Amy L. Beam in 3 parts in 2013:

Barbados murder of Russian teen Anna Druzhinina: Censorship and Travesty of Justice

The Barbados Nation News also published the story which is no longer online, but the cache is still available here: Death’s Load

5 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Police

LIAT: There’s only two basic choices…

LIAT late

by Iain Edghill

As I see it, there are only 2 choices facing LIAT and its government shareholders. Either it has to be deemed an “essential service” and continue to be subsidized despite the operational inefficiencies inherent in its structure; or, it has to be fully privatized, de-politicized, and forced to be self-sustaining.

Both options are problematic. In these tough economic times, when governments are cash-strapped and are trying to figure out how to stretch their dwindling resources, many constituencies will argue that subsidizing a national airline should be very low on the priority list. Conversely, there are those who will argue, not without just cause, that LIAT is crucial to inter-island communications and commerce.

Has any study ever been done as to exactly how much LIAT contributes to the GDP of CARICOM? That is crucial to the discussion here. What would the economic impact be, in $$ terms, if LIAT were to disappear? Once that figure is empirically established, that could be used as the baseline for government subsidies, a quid-pro-quo, so to speak.

Perhaps the solution is a form of public-private sector partnership, with CARICOM governments providing a baseline subsidy, and the private-sector, with aviation professionals providing the operational expertise in running the airline, as Mr. Lynch correctly suggests, being the other half of the operational and financial equation.

One thing is for sure with regard to LIAT: the status-quo is both financially and operationally unfeasible.

4 Comments

Filed under Aviation, Barbados Tourism, Barbados Transportation, CARICOM

Why wasn’t the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association at the JetBlue – Sandals reception?

Journalist Ian Bourne

Journalist Ian Bourne

#barbados Wow, you live & learn, was at a #JetBlue reception at #Sandals – but found out I’m only good to cover it, not have dinner w/guests afterwards? #smh Coming to think of it, where was BHTA?

Ian Bourne – The Bajan Reporter

 

9 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Our Land – The Caroni case

In Trinidad just as in Barbados, public land seems to be the commodity most often seized upon by corrupt governments to bail out bad decisions and to line personal pockets. There are many schemes for making that magical transformation from public asset to private profit. Our friend Afra Raymond reports on yet another scheme…

AfraRaymond.net

Caroni (1975) Ltd, the loss-making sugar conglomerate which was also a State Enterprise, was closed on 1 August 2003. The Caroni estate has to be located within the wider context of our national Land Policy, if we are to make sense of what is happening.

“The now-defunct Caroni (1975) Limited includes lands the size of Tobago whose value has been under-stated and which now could fall prey to a land grab……The current Caroni Transformation Process is about converting national assets into private assets. In the main it is serving the interest of those who wish to generate private capital from public wealth stocks; for this reason the current process is exploitative and fraught with inequity.

“The historical model is being excruciatingly exacted on Caroni lands. The current transformation clones the historical model.” The Report criticised areas of the current restructuring process which echoed those of the exploitative historical model. It…

View original post 1,111 more words

1 Comment

Filed under Barbados

Ineptocracy – “A system of government, historically founded in Barbados and now widely available elsewhere…”

Ineptocracy Barbados

Ineptocracy

Every once in a while somebody hits it right out of the park…

This is not yet found in the  Oxford  dictionary, but I bet it will be in the next edition, so it was “Googled” and discovered to be a recently “coined” new word found on T-shirts on eBay:

Read what it says slowly, and just absorb the facts that are within the definition!

I love this word and believe that it will become a recognized English word – used frequently in Barbados if not in the rest if of the English speaking world.

Finally, a brand new word to describe our Future… Love it!

Ineptocracy

A system of government, historically founded in Barbados and now widely available elsewhere, where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Our thanks to Colin Beadon and Mike Frost from Trinidad, now living in Australia.

8 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Why buy auto insurance, if the police don’t enforce the law?

Barbados Road Accident

In 1995, Barbados had a total of 55,668 vehicles on the island, of which 42,821 were private cars. By 2005, only ten years later, the number of vehicles had doubled to 116,675 of which 94,496 were private as opposed to buses, taxis, zr’s etc.

How many vehicles do we have today in Barbados? We weren’t able to find any newer statistics than those above, but you can bet the number hasn’t gone down in the last ten years.

Now comes the shocker… about 20% of those vehicles are not insured. And that means that if you are involved in an accident, there’s a 20% chance that the other driver won’t have insurance to pay compensation for damages or injuries.

Former PM Owen $ Arthur was so fond of saying that Barbados is not an enforcement society, and he’s right.

But this lack of enforcement means that it is far easier in these difficult economic times to take a chance and drive without insurance.

Nation News: 20,000 vehicles without insurance

2 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Transportation, Police