Category Archives: Disaster

Daughters of the Niger Delta “The oil has spoiled everything for us…”

BFP has been invited to see this documentary on Saturday March 8th. We’ll let you know what we think. Here is a description from the film’s website:

Daughters of the Niger Delta
Documentary (55:30 min)

Daughters of the Niger Delta is an intimate film portrait of three everyday heroines who manage to make ends meet against all odds. As their personal stories unfold, we come to see that the widely ignored environmental pollution in their backyard is not the only human rights issue affecting their lives.

The Stories

The film radically differs from the usual media reports about oil outputs, conflict, and kidnapping. It gives a taste of everyday life in the Niger Delta through the eyes of three ordinary women: Hannah, Naomi & Rebecca. Their struggle to survive in the delta’s beautiful but pollution-marred wetlands confronts us with the human impact of corporate irresponsibility, gender injustice, and failing government service delivery.

The stories of Hannah, Naomi, and Rebecca are sobering as well as uplifting. They shed light on day-to-day injustices that we rarely hear about in the news. But they also highlight women’s strength and resilience. Despite the hardship affecting their lives, the filmed women are determined to give their children a better future. Women may be the best captains to navigate the Niger Delta out of its troubled waters – if only they were given the chance.

Women’s Voices

It’s time to listen to women’s voices. Their priorities are relevant not only for the Niger Delta, but also for other parts of Nigeria that currently are marred by violence and social unrest. Women’s experiences can enrich the policy discourse – if only we are willing to listen.

Film website: Daughters of the Niger Delta

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Filed under Africa, Disaster, Environment, Human Rights

Sandals 9 month closure another blow to Barbados economy and employment

Adrian Loveridge, tourism expert

Adrian Loveridge, tourism expert

So entirely contrary to all the heady rhetoric that the introduction of Sandals brand will drive additional airlift: in fact the exact opposite will happen from their closure on 1st April for major renovations.

At least until the re-opening slated for December 2014.

Quoting their own projected occupancy of an average of 85 per cent with a typical stay of 7 nights and two persons per room, that’s almost 500 lost airline seats per week or a mind boggling 16,000 plus by the end of this year.

Will this further destabilise the remaining carriers that continue to service Barbados and lead to yet more airlines cutting routes or reducing capacity? Tour operators, already unable to match demand with the high cost of doing business here, are considering switching flights to other destinations where they can glean a profit.

Once again citizens are left speculating whether our Government was aware and factored in the almost nine months closure with hundreds of hospitality employees being thrown on the unemployment pile, before granting unilateral extraordinary concessions to the Sandals group.

Perhaps they calculated the NIS and income tax contributions collected from local construction workers hired for refurbishment would more than make up for this. Because clearly, the state is not going to collect other taxes like VAT and import duties from Sandals as they have all been waived.  Most materials used will also be imported, so a substantial percentage of the estimated US$65 million project will simply re-export foreign exchange (FX).

Several other issues also have to be considered: The lost revenue to our Direct Tourism Services with included package components like golf green fees, catamaran, diving etc., let alone secondary spending that 16,000 plus extra visitors would have generated on submarine excursions, taxis, car rental attractions, activities and shopping. The list goes on and on. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Disaster, Economy

Adrian Loveridge looks at government spin on the disaster of Barbados Tourism

Sandals isn’t paying VAT to Barbados

Government has a 10 point Tourism plan? Really?

In four years the Government of Barbados hasn’t paid VAT refunds to Loveridge’s Peach and Quiet Hotel.

“Water is up by 62%. Electricity up by 70%…

What government in their right mind increases land taxes by 50% in a recession? Tell me!”

On the incredible tax and other concessions given to Sandals…

“Put it in simple terms. For my hotel to buy a 750ml bottle of Johnnie Walker Scotch would cost me sixty US dollars. Sandals are able to pay ten dollars.”

“Unilateral concessions to Sandals immediately destabilized the other 120 hotels on the islands, not to mention the condos, villas, apartments and guest houses. Completely destabilized the industry.”

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Disaster, Economy

Hey Buddy, can you spare Barbados a dime?

How is it possible that we are here? Begging the EU, begging China, begging anyone to help us keep the lights on and the water flowing?

Leadership – that’s what got us into this mess, and the same leadership says it can take us out of the mess: but only if we beg and borrow…

BRIDGETOWN—The European Union says it is willing to provide Bds$100 million to Barbados in grant funding. A statement issued following talks between Barbados and EU delegations, noted that the funds would become available once certain macro-economic and public finance criteria were fully met. It said Bds$65 million could become available to Barbados this year. The European Union last year released Bds$28 million for the Barbados Human Resource Development Programme, while another Bds$15 million was provided through the Barbados Renewable Energy Programme, all in the form of non-reimbursable grants. The EU delegation was led by Ambassador Mikael Barfod, while Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Chris Sinckler led the Barbados team. “The EU would like you to know that it could assist Barbados in leaving the present crisis behind,” Barfod told Sinckler.

Guardian Media

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Disaster, Economy

REPORT: Dangerous hotel tap water at Sochi Olympics.

danger olympics water

“Do not use on your face because it contains something very dangerous.”

Fear of Muslim terrorism permeates the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi Russia.

Today’s on the edge report comes from a Chicago Tribune reporter who turned on the tap in her hotel and poured a nice glass of the above.

One has to wonder how the contestants will be able to concentrate when everything must be processed through a filter of ‘It might be Muslim terrorism’.

In Sochi, Russia, Don’t Touch The Water

CHICAGO (CBS) — We all know how the old saying goes when you travel: “Don’t drink the water.”

Well in Sochi, Russia, you had better not TOUCH the water, either.

When Chicago Tribune reporter Stacy St. Clair, who is covering the Winter Olympics for the newspaper, arrived at her hotel, she was informed that there was a problem with the water and it had been shut off.

Then hotel staff delivered an ominous warning: “Do not use on your face because it contains something very dangerous.”

Her tweet about the situation has gone viral.

… read the rest at CBS Chicago

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Family loses 3 jobs – exposes nepotism, cronyism at National Housing Corporation?

Barbados Jobs

But then I started to think “How can it be that a couple and their adult son are all hired into juicy NHC jobs all within the same time period 5 or 6 years ago?”

Barbados government lay-offs start to hurt

by passin thru

A little human interest piece in The Nation initially invoked my sympathy where three family members in the same household lost their jobs at NHC on the same day.

The house income instantly went from $7,000 a month to nothing. We can feel for these folks. $7,000 a month sounds like a lot of money, but in a house with three adults and two other children, there is not much left over once everyone is fed, clothed, sheltered and transported to work and schools.

“I don’t have a job. I owe the credit union. I owe the bank. I owe for the stuff in here and I have my son to support. What am I going to do?” said the woman, and I do feel sorry for her.

But then I read further and started to think “How can it be that a couple and their adult son are all hired into juicy NHC jobs all within the same time period 5 or 6 years ago?”

It could be luck, I suppose, that they all applied for NHC jobs and each was hired. Could be, I suppose.

But I know my Barbados too well. I know how things work around here.

This layoff of an entire family should be news and discussion for more reason than they are on the breadline.

There is another story here, and I don’t think that the island news media will cover it or ask the right questions.

Something to think about!

Read The Nation article here, but we have to print it all because you just know how that paper changes history!

Family Loses Jobs

ON FRIDAY MORNING, Hallam Gittens, his girlfriend Andria Brathwaite and stepson Kishmar Brathwaite were sitting on a monthly income of about $7 000 amongst them.

That sum was stripped down to zero in a matter of hours, through no fault of their own.  Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Disaster, Economy

Peter Binose: Harlequin shows ignorance of Flood Plain disasters – or they are not being forthright

Ricky Small cries for his dear wife Joselle, who was taken by the raging waters at Buccament Bay Resort.

Ricky Small cries for his dear wife Joselle, who was taken by the raging waters at Buccament Bay Resort.

How often does a ‘Hundred Year Event’ happen?

by Peter Binose

According to Harlequin’s Solicitors, it only happens once in a hundred years.

They said that the World Bank are sending a report in which Christmas floods will be described as a hundred year flood.

Obviously Harlequin do not know what a ’100 year flood’ actually means.

We need to be aware of a 1 in 100 year event does not mean the probabilities will only happen once in every hundred years. It actually means that it is an event that will happen once in every 100 big cloud bursts or storms. If you had a hundred of those in a day, there are probabilities that such flooding will occur. If it happens in a week, then once a week, if it happens in a year once a year etc. In fact what it means there is a 1% probability of it happening. See here.

There is approximately a 63.4% chance of one or more 100-year floods occurring in any 100-year period.

That means folks, 63 floods in a hundred years, more than one every two years.

“That Buccament Bay Resort is built in a flood plain is a physical fact. There can be no debate.”

Flood years for Buccament   Continue reading

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Filed under Consumer Issues, Disaster

Top-Heavy death traps: 18 casualties as another minibus overturns – “5 critical, 4 severe”

Barbados Bus Accidents

Barbados Bus Accident Injury

(Photos courtesy of Nation News & Barbados Today)

“Our minibuses are badly designed. They are difficult to control and are far too unstable for a vehicle transporting our loved ones.”

Another minibus driver loses control – “5 critical, 4 severe”

Can the Barbados government deny the truth any longer? Our minibuses are poorly engineered, top-heavy death traps that are inherently unstable even when only half full.

How many more similar accidents do we need to see before we do something to correct the problem? How many more dead and injured will it require?

37 injured in Minibus tip-over in 2012

37 injured in Minibus tip-over in 2012

“Another day, another horrific traffic accident with lives, faces and families ruined.

You’re looking at an overturned minibus on Pinders Bottom Main Road in St. George. Thirty seven people hurt with 5 critically injured.”

From the March 15, 2012 BFP story Another mass casualty bus accident: 37 injured, 5 critical

The minibuses are involved in way too many tip-overs, but even when they stay on their wheels they sway badly and the drivers often struggle to maintain control. You see it happening! How often have you seen minibuses veer over the road center? It’s an everyday happening and so common that drivers know to keep an eye on an oncoming minibus and move over a little bit just in case something happens.

How many minibus accidents are caused by the poor handling, even if the bus doesn’t tip over? I’d bet there are plenty. Yes, speed and recklessness are factors as is poor maintenance – but speed and maintenance alone cannot account for the slaughter. There is something wrong with the buses.

In aviation, there comes a time when you have to stop blaming the pilots and start blaming a bad airplane. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Disaster

Barbados government pretends to start billion dollar waste to energy plant with not a dollar to pay for it.

Courtesy of The Nation

Courtesy of The Nation

Environment Minister Lowe’s ground breaking ceremony nothing to do with reality

by passin thru

Let me get this straight: Bajans are supposed to believe that the Sanitation Service Authority is forging ahead with a billion dollar project list including a new office building ($32 million), waste to energy plant ($680 million), a leachate treatment plant ($42 million), landfill gas to energy plant ($10 million), solar power field ($120 million), wind power field ($24 million) and a mechanical workshop ($11 million).

All of this on borrowed money on the heads of our children and Lord knows how many other future generations.

This, at the same time that we don’t have money to replace/repair 84 buses that sit idle stripped for parts. We don’t have money to pave roads that are falling apart for ten years. No money to hire 100 ‘missing’ police officers. No money to fix a hundred water main leaks.

And we’re making 3,000 government workers redundant and taking the social unrest because there is nothing else to be done. Our tourism industry is shrinking when other countries are growing and building new resorts. Our hotels ‘feature’ a million empty beds a year, an average age approaching 30 years and I’d hate to hear the stats on the average age of the furnishing and mattresses.

No money for a sick, falling down hospital, no money to pay the hospital suppliers and employees on time – a big crisis every payday. Other government projects sit half finished, no work going on. Layoffs coming at the UWI too.

We had to withdraw our international bond issue because there aren’t any more fools left to ‘invest’ in a national retirement scheme that has as 80% of its ‘assets’ – the debt to itself. The government is so desperate for revenue that tax people are warning defaulters that they are coming to seize 10 year old vehicles and worker’s tools if they don’t pay up – and the people have nothing except their trucks and their tools.

And we’re supposed to seriously believe that the government is in ‘final negotiations with investors’ who are prepared to ‘loan’ a billion dollars to a country is on the verge of a currency devaluation that will shake its societal foundations to the core?

What a sick cruel joke.

Madness.

Read the lies for yourselves…

New Home for SSA

A WIND, gas and solar energy programme earmarked for Vaucluse, St Thomas, could involve investments of nearly $1 billion. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Disaster, Economy

Former Hindu Credit Union president Harry Harnarine pays the price for failure

“Harnarine said his biggest concern is that if he is declared bankrupt although he may soon successfully attain his law degree, he would be unable to practice.

During the recently concluded enquiry into the failure of HCU several depositors who were unable to withdraw funds from the institution blamed Harnarine personally for the death of family members.”

Harry Harnarine wants to be lawyer!

Harry Harnarine wants to be lawyer!

The failure of the Hindu Credit Union destroyed lives, pensions, families and businesses.

And when we say that HCU destroyed lives, we mean exactly that. Distraught people killed themselves because they trusted Harry Harnarnie with everything they had, and Harnarine and his cohorts betrayed that trust.

Now we see that what goes around comes around.

The T&T High Court says that Harry Harnarnie owes Afra Raymond $868,000…

… and Harnarnie doesn’t have that kind of cash lying around.

Or so he says.

* quote from Trinidad Express Final straw to kill me

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Filed under Business & Banking, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Disaster, Economy, Offshore Investments

Peter Boos lays out the disaster of our Barbados economy. Uses the ‘unrest’ word.

  sinking ship barbados flag DLP

Barbados is Sinking

There is no room for hubris, arrogance, false pride and ignorance …

“Government’s chronic crises of excessive debt, high fiscal deficits, falling foreign exchange reserves and overstaffed and outdated institutions for delivering public services are only a part of the deeper problem.”

by Peter N. Boos FCA

Recent events and public pronouncements both locally and internationally have confirmed the very poor state of the Barbados Economy.

Government’s chronic crises of excessive debt, high fiscal deficits, falling foreign exchange reserves and overstaffed and outdated institutions for delivering public services are only a part of the deeper problem.

This is not a crisis like any we have ever experienced and it requires a response like nothing we have done before.

Waiting for recovery is not an option. Many countries already have strong growing economies. In Barbados all of our productive sectors are under-performing.

Barbados is in a deep structural vortex and it will take great leadership, courage, new thinking and teamwork to dig us out a step at a time and build a strong sustainable economy.

This crisis has been in the making for many years.

Whilst spending less is critical, our fiscal and monetary deficits are symptomatic of the many underlying weaknesses that retard growth and investment.

Our limited export sectors, our outdated education system, the dysfunctional Legal Justice System, our poor labour productivity, pitiful business facilitation, lack of private sector innovation, absence of good leadership and management skills are all areas needing significant improvement.

“Cutting costs by laying off people will not fix the problems and create a competitive economy. It could in fact do the opposite if the result is social unrest.”

Increasing taxes will create further corruption, unemployment, business failures, mortgage defaults and bankruptcies.

For those same reasons a devaluation will cause pain with little gain and will deliver a severe blow to our ‘national brand’.

The Barbados reputation for conservative, prudent, financial management has been decimated. Lost reputations are difficult to recover. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Disaster, Economy

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

Mega Cruise Ships: Disaster risks for the Caribbean

Carnival Triumph Disaster

Carnival Triumph – Yet another cruise ship drifts helplessly

by Robert MacLellan for Barbados Free Press

In considering risk assessment for Caribbean nations in relation to cruise ship emergencies, let’s do the math…

Nearly sixty percent of the world’s cruise ship fleet is in the Caribbean from November to March each year. Over forty per cent of the world’s cruise ship fleet is owned by Carnival Corporation (Carnival, Costa, Cunard, Princess, P&O, Holland America, Seabourne, Aida and Ibero cruise lines). At least four major incidents have occurred in the last twenty-seven months on that company’s ships alone.

Two potential disasters for Barbados and other small Caribbean countries

Let’s consider just two of many potential Caribbean disaster scenarios, based on the fact that three of Carnival Corporation’s cruise ships have each drifted helplessly for approximately ninety miles. If a ship leaving or returning to the busy cruise home port in Barbados loses all propulsion and steerage-way when west of that island, wind and current might very likely make it drift the ninety miles to the wild and rocky east coast of St Lucia – with huge risk to human life, to the marine environment and to the country’s tourism based economy. If a ship leaving or returning to the principal Caribbean cruise home port in Puerto Rico experiences the same situation when south-west of Anguilla and St Maarten, a ninety mile drift could take it to the pristine but dangerous reefs of the Virgin Islands.

Unlikely disasters? No – very possible based on recent events. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Disaster

Barbados not immune from the coming storm

Barbados_Flag125.jpg

The Greek experience: terrifying for ordinary people

Can you feel it? Can you see how Europe’s troubles will touch Barbados in a big way?

It doesn’t take a fortune teller to predict the future in Barbados and the rest of the Caribbean. We’ve counted on tourism and offshore banking and excluded manufacturing and hi-tech industries and services. Agriculture is in ruins with sugar a liability not an asset to the economy. We have failed as a region and as a country to embrace energy creation and conserving technologies to any meaningful extent.

Our leaders counted on the same old same old ability to sell our version of the sun, sea and sand that everyone else is pushing at much lower prices. Our tourism plant is old and many of the new projects are stalled or dead in this economy. We have no savings. We spent everything and more during the good years. Our leaders for the last 15 years are bailing out for Canada, Europe and the USA and taking their families with them. In most cases the children have already been educated over and away.

So what can the ordinary folk do? We’ve said it time and time again:

1/ Shun debt. Shun expenses. Live as frugally as you can.

2/ Work hard, save what you can.

3/ Look after family and friends as you are able because you might need their help someday.

4/ Learn to grow food, repair your own car, maintain your home.

It’s coming folks. Can you feel it?

20 Facts About The Collapse Of Europe That Everyone Should Know

Submitted by Tyler Durden

The economic implosion of Europe is accelerating. Even while the mainstream media continues to proclaim that the financial crisis in Europe has been “averted”, the economic statistics that are coming out of Europe just continue to get worse.

Manufacturing activity in Europe has been contracting month after month, the unemployment rate in the eurozone has hit yet another brand new record high, and the official unemployment rates in both Greece and Spain are now much higher than the peak unemployment rate in the United States during the Great Depression of the 1930s. The economic situation in Europe is far worse than it was a year ago, and it is going to continue to get worse as austerity continues to take a huge toll on the economies of the eurozone.

It would be hard to understate how bad things have gotten – particularly in southern Europe. The truth is that most of southern Europe is experiencing a full-blown economic depression right now. Sadly, most Americans are paying very little attention to what is going on across the Atlantic. But they should be watching, because this is what happens when nations accumulate too much debt. The United States has the biggest debt burden of all, and eventually what is happening over in Spain, France, Italy, Portugal and Greece is going to happen over here as well.

The following are 20 facts about the collapse of Europe that everyone should know…

  1. 10 Months: Manufacturing activity in both France and Germany has contracted for 10 months in a row.
  2. 11.8 Percent: The unemployment rate in the eurozone has now risen to 11.8 percent – a brand new all-time high.
  3. 17 Months: In November, Italy experienced the sharpest decline in retail sales that it had experienced in 17 months.
  4. 20 Months: Manufacturing activity in Spain has contracted for 20 months in a row.
  5. 20 Percent: It is estimated that bad loans now make up approximately 20 percent of all domestic loans in the Greek banking system at this point.
  6. 22 Percent: A whopping 22 percent of the entire population of Ireland lives in jobless households.
  7. 26 Percent: The unemployment rate in Greece is now 26 percent. A year ago it was only 18.9 percent.
  8. 26.6 Percent: The unemployment rate in Spain has risen to an astounding 26.6 percent.
  9. 27.0 Percent: The unemployment rate for workers under the age of 25 in Cyprus. Back in 2008, this number was well below 10 percent.
  10. 28 Percent: Sales of French-made vehicles in November were down 28 percent compared to a year earlier. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Disaster, Economy

Lawsuit in Arch Cot cave-in deaths

Codrington family survivors seek justice

Five years after five sleeping members of the Codrington family were buried alive when their home collapsed into a known cave, lawyer David Comissiong has announced his intentions to sue the negligent parties on behalf of the surviving family members.

Named in the lawsuit are the Attorney General, the Town Planning Department, apartment building owner Peter Cox, Mahy Ridley Hazzard Engineers Limited, Lemuel Rawlins (original land owner) and Dr. Jerry Emtage, who was constructing a building behind the apartment where the Codringtons died. (Nation News: Arch Cot Suit)

Civil Cases often take 20+ years in Barbados courts

In January of 2012 we predicted that an Arch Cot civil case would be at least 22 years in the Barbados Courts. We didn’t pull that figure from a hat, you know. 22 years is a reasonable estimate based upon the size of the case and the known and proven non-performance of the Barbados Justice system and island lawyers who will be opposing Mr. Comissiong.

See Arch Cot Justice will be delayed another 20 years

BFP will continue to follow the Arch Cot Disaster story

Cover-up: AG Marshall said nobody was to blame

Barbados Free Press followed the story from the early morning of August 26, 2007 and joined the Codrington family survivors in shaming the government into calling an inquest. This was after then Barbados Attorney General Dale Marshall actually announced the results of his ‘investigation’ a mere six days after the disaster by concluding that nobody was to blame.

“It could have happened to anyone” said then-Attorney General Dale Marshall before the bodies had even been pulled from the rubble.

Yes, of course it could have happened to anyone in Barbados with people like Dale Marshall in positions of power and authority – who are part of and responsible for the corrupt public institutions that issued the building permits and failed in their duty to protect innocent citizens.

It was Barbados Free Press that first published the work of noted Professor Hans G. Machel, who said right out that the deaths were caused by “gross negligence”

“The five Codringtons were murdered just as surely as if someone had put a gun to their heads and pulled the trigger – especially in the crimes that were committed when the ticking-time-bomb of a house was built upon a known cave.”

from BFP’s March 17, 2009 article Expert: Arch Cot Cave-In Victims May Have Been Killed By Wrong Decisions, Actions and Inaction By Barbados Emergency Officials

When Barbados newspapers and electronic news media refused to publish Professor Machel’s letter to Prime Minister David Thompson, Barbados Free Press published the story of how witnesses lived in fear because they know how things go ‘pon de rock…. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Building Collapse, Corruption, Disaster

Campus Trendz deaths: What criminals allowed bars on the windows, no fire exits?

“The criminals threw the firebombs, but it was an irresponsible government, building owner and shop owner that made the firebombs inescapable death.”

Six died at Campus Trendz because there was no fire exit

by WSD

For the last few days the papers and the television focused upon the growing violence in our society as Barbados remembered the six young women burned to death two years ago at Campus Trendz store. That is natural because everybody knows somebody who lost a friend or a sister on that day.

The man who threw the firebomb is put away in jail for six life terms. No one knows what happened to his accomplice and speculation is that the court and government are waiting for the anniversary to pass before he is given a light sentence as part of the negotiated court deals that saw no trial.

The government authorities are happy with the press coverage because the focus is on the criminals who robbed and threw the firebomb, and not upon the other criminals who allowed our loved ones to work and shop in commercial buildings with bars on the windows and no fire exits.

The press does not discuss the fact that our six sisters died because our government, the building owner and the shop owner gambled these lives away. Nobody in government thought these women’s lives were important enough to pass a building code and laws that make fire exits mandatory. That is still true to this day.

The government, the building owner and the shop owner bet that no spark, no short circuit, no forgotten cooker would set an accidental fire. They bet others’ lives and the women lost.

Memories of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire – New York 1911

On March 25, 1911 the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory caught on fire in New York City. One hundred forty six workers lost their lives when they could not escape because the managers had locked the stairwells and fire exit doors to prevent thefts. The building owners were charged with manslaughter, but were not convicted because the prosecution could not prove they knew the fire exits were locked.

In the case of the Barbados Government, the building owner and shop owner of Campus Trendz, the case is clear because there was no fire exit at all. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Disaster, History, Human Rights

Barbados signs environmental deal with one of the world’s worst offenders: China

“During the visit, Barbados Environment Minister Dr. Denis Lowe said he was aware of China’s commitment to good environmental governance and its concerns about climate change and other issues which occupied the consciousness of global planners.”

… from a Barbados Government press release (reprinted at the bottom of this post)

“China warns foreigners to stop monitoring its pollution. The Chinese government claims it’s making serious efforts to clean up pollution. But as this horrifying report shows, much of their ‘success’ has involved simply moving their toxic industries out of sight…

Untreated industrial waste is pumped directly into rivers… the water is used to irrigate crops.”

… from the new documentary film Cancer Villages – China

What exactly does Barbados hope to learn from China about managing the environment?

If you’re going to speak, at least speak the truth – better to just keep silent than to perpetuate a lie. At least that’s what I was always taught.

In recent years China has seen mass riots and violent government responses when the citizen-slaves stand up to stop the ongoing slaughter of humanity caused by their government’s callous and long term disregard for people and the environment.

All those low priced Chinese goods you purchase are low priced for a number of reasons: government & private slave labour camps, sweatshops, rampant pollution and the communist disdain for individual human rights and human life.

“I often wonder about folks 200 years ago who purchased cotton and sugar…

Did they care that slaves suffered to provide the products at a certain price?

Every Barbadian should ask their own heart…

“Should we be taking gifts and buying products from a Chinese Communist government that relies upon slavery as a vital part of the economy?”

… from the BFP article Citizen Journalist Beaten To Death By Chinese Government Officials – Filmed Waste Disposal Near Homes

To the communists, people are always a government resource – never individuals. Where the state is supreme and individuals exist only to serve the state, these kinds of environmental abuses and disasters are at their worst. (See China Hush: Amazing Pictures, Pollution in China)

Disposable people feed China’s industrial machine. This man paid the price for low-priced Chinese goods in Barbados.

In the eyes of the Barbados Government, China can do no wrong. Like a dog begging for a cookie, Barbados will do anything and say anything for China – just as long as we know we can pick up some scraps thrown our way. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, China, Disaster, Environment, Health, Human Rights

In memory of Darlens

N’ap Degaje Nou…

This roughly translates to, “We are making due with what we have.”

We’ve followed the work of Licia, Enoch, Charles, Lori, Anna and their fellow angels at the Real Hope for Haiti Rescue Center since the devastating January 12, 2010 earthquake. Two and a half years later and the nurses are still sleeping with the little ones so they aren’t alone when they die of malnutrition – too far gone to be saved when they arrive at the clinic.

Barbados, and to be fair the rest of the Caribbean, did little to nothing for Haiti before or since the earthquake. In the first few months afterwards when so many lives could have been saved, Health Minister Donville Inniss and Foreign Affairs Minister Maxine McClean basically said, “No stinkin’ Haitians aboard the good ship Barbados. Not a one. Let ‘em die.

And so the Haitian children continue to die, while the angels at the Rescue Center make do with what they have…

Darlens

I was lying in bed late at night, with one of the kids in my care sleeping next to me, as his crib and the extra child’s mattress in my room had two kids on IV and oxygen sleeping in them.  I had just come back from preparing a little girl for burial, and wanted to try to sleep for a couple hours.  It’s not often that I find myself getting emotional about sick or dying kids anymore, but this night was overwhelmingly tough.  I found myself closing my eyes trying to hold back the tears, praying that these kids’ suffering would just end.  I felt small hands grab onto my neck and shoulders as a child pulled his body closer to mine.  He put his hands on my cheeks and touched his nose to mine, holding himself there until we dozed off.  This is one of many memories that I have of an amazing little boy named Darlens…

… continue reading about Darlens at the Real Hope for Haiti blog

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Filed under Disaster, Haiti, Human Rights