Category Archives: Grenada

Why weren’t charges laid in attack upon Barbados Immigration Officer?

walter maloney Barbados

We might be wrong here, folks. We HOPE that we are wrong.

BUT… we have two people telling us that a foreigner punched out a Bajan Immigration officer at the airport …. and that management backed away and laid no charges. The Immigration officer is still on sick leave but no charges were laid.

WTF?

Yes. Exactly.

President of the National Union of Public Workers Walter Maloney confirmed much of the story at a symposium at Workplace Violence Awareness Day.

So what is the story? Let’s hear it!

above: Walter “lots of excuses” Maloney; President of the National Union of Public Punching Bags.

Go figure… Immigration officer attacked 

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Filed under Barbados, Blogging, Business, Environment, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Grenada, Immigration

Sandals deal a bad deal

beaches by sandals

A fabulous read at Groundation Grenada…

… considering the DLP government gave the same sort of outrageous concessions to Sandals Barbados.

“To lay, with one hand, the power of the government on the property of the citizen and with the other to bestow it upon favored individuals to aid private enterprises and build up private fortunes is none the less a robbery…” ~ Samuel Miller

In an act screaming of blunderbuss and willful myopia, last weekend, the Government of Grenada saw it fit to award a multi-million dollar private enterprise (Sandals Resort International) a multiple tax break….

In layman’s terms (because taxation jargon is notoriously opaque) this means that Sandals pays zero taxes on all profits it makes in Grenada. For thirty years.

It certainly isn’t our intention to belittle an investment of $100 million US dollars (or rather far less, as earlier explained) in these tight economic times. Even with the promise of an additional 200 jobs raising rising to a headcount of 400 based on Sandals’ press release.

Still the forbearance on the revenues given a waiver in this deal strikes as way too much given for way too little.

Must we always genuflect before these gods of “foreign investment”? Without a doubt, with some ingenuity, creativity and imagination, our own local manufacturing and agro industries could be supported in a similar fashion to create much more than 200 jobs, and without requiring such deep tax cuts.

This decision is also a foolish one because it belies our naïve and amateur approach to marketing and foreign investment and our inability to recognise that our country is a partner, not a charity.

… a few sentences culled from a brilliant article at Groundation Grenada: Deal or No Deal: Grenada-Sandals Partnership Debunked

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy, Grenada

How Sir Ronald Sanders swayed Caribbean support for Britain during the Falklands War

caricom-barbados-ronald-sanders.jpgSue Onslow of the University of London interviewed Sir Ronald Sanders as part of the Commonwealth Oral History Project. The entire interview available to read online at Commonwealth Oral Histories, or you can download the PDF at the bottom of this post.

Sir Ronald was a diplomat starting in the 1980’s and was part of the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group reporting in 2011. The first Eminent Persons Group included Barbados future Governor General, Dame Nita Barrow, who famously dressed in African garb to sneak into Soweto in South Africa and also met with Nelson Mandella in jail.

The interview covers a wide range of topics where Sir Ronald gives the perspective of someone right in the middle of the chaos that is international politics. Topics include South Africa (people, politics and apartheid), the US invasion of Grenada, the Falklands War and stories and opinions about famous people including then Barbados Prime Minister Tom Adams and lessor public figures like Reagan and Castro. 😉

It’s a good read for anyone interested in history or politics.

Here’s a passage about how the Caribbean had decided to side with Argentina in the Falklands, but then Sir Ronald decided to convince the leaders that our collective interests favoured the UK…   Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, CARICOM, Culture & Race Issues, Grenada, Human Rights, Politics

S. Brian Samuel on Sandals in Grenada “I know where a few skeletons are buried…”

beaches by sandals

In view of the recent Barbados Sandals/Beaches deal, we travel to Grenada where S. Brian Samuel presents…

A Case Study of Hotel Investment in Grenada

S-Brian-Samuel Barbados Sandals

by S. Brian Samuel

1. Introduction

I recently published an article entitled “Attracting Foreign Investment to Grenada” in which I noted some of the pitfalls to investing in Grenada. In the article I briefly mentioned the case of LaSource resort, to illustrate the use of fiscal incentives as a way of securing the Sandals chain investment in Grenada.

On reflection, the story of La Source is worthy of a deeper look. The LaSource saga, for indeed it is a saga; with ups, downs and plot twists worthy of any soap opera; is a classic illustration of what that can go right — and wrong — with hotel investments in small Caribbean islands. I guess I am qualified to write the story; for I was there from before the beginning; until after the end.

2. Before the Beginning

In 1990 I was working in Barbados for the Caribbean Project Development Facility, an offshoot of the World Bank. My job was to raise financing for Caribbean businesses, and one of my earliest (successful!) projects was La Source hotel in Grenada, which was being promoted by a local developer called Leon Taylor.

The first time I met Taylor, he wasn’t in a particularly good mood, as he had become frustrated from having to deal with the financing agencies, one of them being the agency I worked for. He fixed his good eye on me and growled “What the f___ do you want?” or words to that effect! But things went steadily upwards from there, and I ultimately ended up raising US$15 million for LaSource, in debt and equity financing from a consortium of development banks. That in itself was a long and winding road; including one memorable day when I finally cornered Leon into going over the final Business Plan for the resort, line by painstaking line – under a coconut tree on Sandy Island, during Carriacou Regatta!

In all my 20 years at the World Bank, LaSource remains my all-time proudest project — and there were quite a few contenders. For a start it reconnected me to Grenada, my home I never knew; and that feeling carried over into a sense of pride in a job well done, when I stood side-by-side with Leon Taylor on the gala opening night of LaSource in December 1993. When I retired from the World Bank and returned home in 2008, I worked as Executive Director of LaSource from its reopening in February 2008 until October 2010. So I know where a few skeletons are buried.  Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy, Grenada

Peter Wickham: Push pollster? Fraudster? Grenada election tests Wickham’s credibility

Peter_Wickham CADRES

Commentary claims some are labeling Peter Wickham a ‘Push Pollster’

“A push poll is an interactive marketing technique, most commonly employed during political campaigning, in which an individual or organisation attempts to influence or alter the view of respondents under the guise of conducting a poll.

In a push poll, large numbers of respondents are contacted, and little or no effort is made to collect and analyze response data. Instead, the push poll is a form of telemarketing-based propaganda and rumour mongering, masquerading as a poll.

Push polls may rely on innuendo or knowledge gleaned from opposition research on an opponent. They are generally viewed as a form of negative campaigning. This tactic is commonly considered to undermine the democratic process as false or misleading information is provided about candidates.”

… from the New Today article Peter Wickham – Pollster or fraudster?

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Filed under Grenada, Politics

Cowardly Barbados Advocate fires another journalist to please a politician

Rawle Titus fired from Grenada Advocate

When Tourism Minister Noel Lynch threatened to withdraw all government advertising from the Barbados Advocate unless the paper fired columnist Adrian Loveridge, the editor and senior management said “Yes, Massa – whatever you want Massa” and dumped Loveridge.

Now those cowards at Fontabelle are at it again…

Grenada, Barbados: The Fallout over Journalist’s Firing

by Matthew Hunte

As another regional journalist pays the price for standing by his story, bloggers are wondering about the state of press freedom in the Caribbean. Rawle Titus -veteran journalist and president of the Media Workers Association of Grenada since 2008- was dismissed from his post as editor of the Grenada Advocate after he refused to retract or apologize for a front-page story in the March 9th edition of the newspaper headlined “Prime Minister Makes Fresh Moves.” (The Grenada Advocate is owned and published by the Advocate Publishers (2000) Inc, based in Fontabelle, St. Michael, Barbados.)

According to the story, leader of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and Prime Minister of Grenada, Tillman Thomas, held a caucus where candidates for the upcoming elections were selected, without informing senior members of the now fractious party.

Government press secretary (and former journalist) Richard Simon wrote to the management in Barbados twice, seeking a retraction for what were deemed to be inaccuracies. After the 2nd letter, Titus was dismissed by General Manager Sandra Clarke, effective March 30th, 2012.

According to the MWAG, the Advocate was pressured into firing Titus and added:

We have growing concerns about increasing incidents that will suggest that those guarantees are coming under attack. This latest incident follows a series of other developments we have been monitoring in the past.

… continue reading this post at GlobalVoices: Grenada, Barbados: The Fallout over Journalist’s Firing

Hat tip to journalist Gerard Best for the video of Rawle Titus

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Filed under Barbados, Freedom Of The Press, Grenada, News Media, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption

US Court hits Grenada government airport revenues

A lesson for Barbados and Al Barrack?

Grenada owed money to a bank in Taiwan and didn’t pay – so the bank sued in the USA and now all US airline revenues that would have been paid to Grenada’s airport are being paid into an escrow account in the USA. As a result, the airport is in deep financial trouble and the Grenadian government looks pathetic on the world stage. If the situation isn’t rectified PDQ, the travel and tour sellers will soon start to wonder if their clients will get stuck in the middle someday. When that thought starts to form, the travel industry will start to recommend other destinations until confidence returns. It might be happening already because we discovered the story through ETN Travel News.

There is a lesson here somewhere about what can happen when governments decide to not pay lawful debts. Globalism is more than a word, you know. Increasingly, creditors are successful seizing assets in other countries when stonewalled by governments and courts in the Caribbean and elsewhere.

For the last day and a bit we featured Why Al Barrack will never win against the Barbados Government: The Fix is In! at the top of the blog – telling the story of how the Barbados won’t pay a man even when faced with an order from the Barbados court.

One of our readers, millertheanunnaki, commented…

“I am willing to bet that if Barrack were to sell the debt to an overseas factor through a “big” British or American firm of lawyers this matter would be settled within weeks. If not a judgment to seize Government’s properties in London or New York would certainly be enforced unlike what prevails locally.”

There are certain government assets that can’t be seized overseas (Embassies, airplanes etc.) but the idea of seizing airline fees is a shocker. Can you imagine what would happen if some court in New York or London ordered airlines to pay all Grantley Adams airport fees to the court over the Al Barrack debt? How about port fees for cruise ships too?

Wuhloss! That would put the mongoose in with the chickens! If that happened you can bet the government would settle with Al Barrack right away – and that just shows how bankrupt our government is: both financially and morally.

Statement from St. George’s Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation

ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada – The St. George’s Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation is working with other government departments, particularly the Attorney General’s Chambers and the Ministry of Finance, to arrive at a solution to the current financial difficulties being experienced by the Grenada Airports Authority (GAA).

This situation arose as result of the EXIM Bank of Taiwan obtaining judgment against the government of Grenada for outstanding loans in a suit filed in the United States. The Taiwanese have made a claim for all monies owing to the government of Grenada and its agencies to be paid against the loan. Consequently, a request was made to airlines operating on the Grenada route to pay monies owed to the Grenada Airports Authority to the Taiwanese. Continue reading

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Ethics, Grenada, Offshore Investments