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Connect 2014 – the most important event for Barbados tourism industry

“While all the figures are not yet a matter of public record, nearly every other Caribbean country is recording tourism growth of up to 18.6 per cent for the first six months of 2014.

Barbados currently lies eighteenth in terms of numbers with no significant improvement at all.”

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

For three days later this week one of the most important travel trade events takes place, called Connect 2014. It is estimated that around 97 tour operators representing 74 companies from the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Continental Europe and the Caribbean will attend. Courting their crucial business and hoping to positively influence choices around 125 local hoteliers and ancillary service providers will also be taking part.

 Along with a number of other industry interests including the Barbados Food Wine and Rum Festival and Bushy Park, the Barbados Tourism Authority (or perhaps I should now refer to the new name, BTM Inc) have been kind enough to invite me to make a presentation on our re-DISCOVER initiative.

 With so many destinations to choose from, often at substantially lower cost, it is in my humble opinion that we must collectively make every possible effort to get across that Barbados can offer value-for-money by providing a greater selection of more affordable options.

For us, the perfect scenario is to persuade the tour operators to place our website address on their client’s final documentation, whether in print or electronically. That way the consumer can plan ahead, budget for their out-of-pocket expenses which helps maximise the potential for participating restaurants.  Continue reading

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A real Barbadian international business success story: Automotive Art promotes training in Barbados to attract new USA business!

Automotive Art Barbados training

Need an automotive paint system in the USA? Come to Barbados for training… in January.

Our own Bajan automotive paint supplier is leveraging their Barbados training centre to sell product throughout the USA. I love it!

by Robert

Please pardon me while I reminisce for a bit…

A long time ago my father advised that if I wanted to become a professional pilot as he was, I should first become a certified aircraft mechanic. (Certain folks will cringe at the word “mechanic” and want the word changed to “technician” or “maintenance engineer” depending if they live in America or Europe. Noted, but I’m old school and will continue to say “mechanic”. I also hold DC-3 & 727 type-ratings – master certifying mechanic and command pilot -, so put that in your tonic and gin too.)

My father knew that pilots come and go according to the ups and downs of the airline industry, and that a medical down-check can leave a professional pilot begging in the streets. He wanted me to have a valuable skill to fall back on, and I’m grateful I listened to him. My career as a professional pilot lasted only 7 years, and I made little money compared with my 20 years crawling on my back underneath aircraft with rivet gun or wrench in hand.

My father also told me that there was nothing quicker and easier than a new coat of paint to increase the value of a used aircraft, boat or car.

Young men should pay careful attention to that statement because it is true: There is nothing quicker and easier than a new coat of paint to increase the value of a used aircraft, boat or car.   Continue reading

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The real reason greedy Bajan political elites want to dump the Westminster parliamentary system

Even the Captain of a floating wreck lives better off than the crew!

Even the Captain of a floating wreck lives better off than the crew!

submitted by Not Michael Carrington

“Rare indeed is a Barbados Cabinet Minister without a bank account in New York, London, the Caymans or Zurich.”

Every few months we hear rumbling from our esteemed political elites that the Westminster parliamentary system is somehow “obsolete” or that it no longer fits a modern society.

Speaker of Parliament Michael Carrington recently said the Westminster system “pits Government and Opposition inexorably against each other in aggressive, contentious and oftimes seemingly unnecessary confrontation.”

Mr. Carrington has it only half right. The two parties often go at it aggressively and unnecessarily, but not because of the Westminster system – it is because they feel the need to put on a show for the electorate to create the illusion that something is happening. The politicians certainly can’t have the public judging them solely upon actual accomplishments because, well, that just wouldn’t do. This would happen no matter what political system Barbados chose. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Corruption, Freedom Of Information, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption, Uncategorized

Secret Harlequin Resort legal documents ‘found on London train’ – here they are!

Harlequin Fraud Office

Dear Barbados Free Press,

We were just coming of a train just outside London and we found a box of documents relating to “Due Diligence” of a company or companies called Harlequin, they appear to be developing resorts in the Caribbean so we feel this is probably a good place to show what we found, especially for anyone out there who might be interested in investing in Harlequin.

There are many files to upload so please bear with us.

This is a 70 page redacted interim intelligence report from Regulatory Legal Solicitors, it makes for pretty grim reading, we did not redact it, the documents are exactly as we found them on the train.

This is an interesting witness statement from Jim Baker contained in the due diligence documents apparently left on the train, by a guy who resembled Simon Terry, but it was dark so we could not be sure.

Seems to be a lot of people suing Dave and Carol Ames in the Courts in the UK, wonder why this was in the Due Diligence, Seems like Jim is saying that Harlequin are worth nothing.

Yours very truly,

Anonymous!

Editor’s Note

Okay, okay… we’re a little behind on things. Might have had a couple of lost nights in the tradition of Dick Van Dyke. (Loved him in Mary Poppins, nevermind the worst phony cockney accent in film history!) The “found on London train” comments and documents were all sent using one of those anonymous proxies, so we really have no way to tell who sent them to us or from what country.

We’ll upload the documents when we can below. We’ll do a few now and get to the rest in the morning right here…

Continue reading

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Will Barbados Show Andy Garcia’s Cuba Movie “The Lost City” ?

The_Lost_City_Cuba_Garcia.jpg

Last weekend, our new writer Clive had a wee bit too much rum – and he started to talk about Cuba and what he has seen and heard during his many months living, studying and working in that country. Poverty, oppression, fear… and the whispered locations of graves that are secretly passed from generation to generation.

Why are the graves' locations whispered from grandfather to son to grandson? Because they contain the bodies of those murdered in the night by the Castro brothers, Che and some other monsters who still rule over Cubans. Some of the graves are decades old, and some are much newer. The communists have lost the institutional memory of where the bodies are buried – but as with Russia, the families remember.

A Great Digging Will Commence In Cuba

When the Castro brothers and others are gone, a great digging will commence in Cuba – as families seek to recover the bodies of their loved ones. Until that time, the Barbados Free Press will occasionally remind Bajans of what Fidel Castro is really all about, and why Barbados and our Prime Minister should not climb into bed with despots like Castro.

In memory of the murdered, the jailed and the oppressed – we are setting aside today to write about Cuba.

Will Barbados Show Andy Garcia's Cuba Movie "The Lost City" ?

Andy Garcia's new movie about Che, Castro and the Cuban Revolution, "The Lost City", is effectively being banned in many Central, South American and Caribbean venues. The movie, which Garcia describes as "a labour of love for 20 years", shows Fidel Castro and Che Guevara as communists who murdered Cuban civilians in order to impose their iron rule upon Cuba.

Gosh, what's so controversial about that? That is the truth, isn't it?

Apparently, there are many on the left who would prefer to remember Che and the Castro brothers as "heroic revolutionaries" – rather than men who personally put pistols to the heads of innocent men, women and children in front of their families.

Perhaps you think that is an exaggeration? We invite you to do some reading and viewing of old photos here or here. (WARNING – Graphic, not for the queezy.)

Will Barbados Show "The Lost City" ?

Given the close relationship between Castro and Barbados Prime Minister Owen Arthur, we would be surprised if "The Lost City" ever makes it to public venues in Barbados. After all, Castro and PM Arthur are The Best of Friends

Castro_Owen_Arthur_Gay1.JPG

Paul Berman of Slate Magazine wrote a brilliant piece two years ago – "The Cult of Che". Here are some passages, but you must read the whole article at Slate

The cult of Ernesto Che Guevara is an episode in the moral callousness of our time. Che was a totalitarian. He achieved nothing but disaster… Che presided over the Cuban Revolution's first firing squads. He founded Cuba's "labor camp" system—the system that was eventually employed to incarcerate gays, dissidents, and AIDS victims.

To get himself killed, and to get a lot of other people killed, was central to Che's imagination. In the famous essay in which he issued his ringing call for "two, three, many Vietnams," he also spoke about martyrdom and managed to compose a number of chilling phrases: "Hatred as an element of struggle; unbending hatred for the enemy, which pushes a human being beyond his natural limitations, making him into an effective, violent, selective, and cold-blooded killing machine. This is what our soldiers must become …"— and so on…

…Che was an enemy of freedom, and yet he has been erected into a symbol of freedom. He helped establish an unjust social system in Cuba and has been erected into a symbol of social justice….

…The modern-day cult of Che blinds us not just to the past but also to the present. Right now a tremendous social struggle is taking place in Cuba. Dissident liberals have demanded fundamental human rights, and the dictatorship has rounded up all but one or two of the dissident leaders and sentenced them to many years in prison. Among those imprisoned leaders is an important Cuban poet and journalist, Raúl Rivero, who is serving a 20-year sentence. In the last couple of years the dissident movement has sprung up in yet another form in Cuba, as a campaign to establish independent libraries, free of state control; and state repression has fallen on this campaign, too…

I wonder if people who stand up to cheer a hagiography of Che Guevara, as the Sundance audience did, will ever give a damn about the oppressed people of Cuba—will ever lift a finger on behalf of the Cuban liberals and dissidents. It's easy in the world of film to make a movie about Che, but who among that cheering audience is going to make a movie about Raúl Rivero?

 

Sources For This Article

Relapsed Catholic "Andy Garcia's anti-Che The Lost City"
Libertas "Andy Garcia's The Lost City"
State Magazine "The Cult of Che"

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Network Problems – We’re Working On It

Hi folks

This is Matt your network guru. Our apologies for the performance issues (slow loading, hangs). Please be patient with us as we update the server array.

I PROMISE that everything will be better in a couple of days.

The Details…

Hey guys, I just wanted to apologize for the slowdown and system errors the past week or so. I'm on it constantly and the problems have been incredibly annoying.

We've been quiet for a few weeks because all development effort has been heads down on preparing for this new transition. We're creating a perfect mirror of our entire infrastructure in a new datacenter in Boston to replicate what we currently have going in London. Basically what we're going for is redundancy at a very high level. The problem is no matter how much money you spend on hardware, switches, and all the hundreds of other things that keep everything running you can really only be certain of one thing — that it'll fail at some point, most likely when you least expect it.

We had originally planned for this new hardware to come online more than a month ago, which would have prevented the errors we've all been experiencing, but it has taken longer than expected. This is my fault and I'm sorry for not getting things moving sooner.

By creating this first mirror, we're trying to eliminate as many things that could fail as possible, so in theory if London fell into the ocean we could still keep the site running without any problems and slowdowns.

We're in the very final stages of bringing the new systems online, just waiting the last few bits of configuration to come online. As we're more than doubling the servers we're using, it should address all performance issues and help us prevent any for a long time to come. This means we can get back to doing things we love. Thanks for your patience, we'll have things back to normal as soon as possible.

Matt & the guys.

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Blogging Around Barbados – Pollution Closes School, Fishing Spin, Cricket, Swan Street Fights, Money Love and Skin Colour

A few things happening around the web today…

Louis Lynch School Closed By Government

The controversial Louis Lynch Secondary School at Whitepark Road, St. Michael, will be closed for the next term and the students relocated from next Tuesday.

The Barbados government announced today that emissions from the nearby Tropical Laundries have forced the education ministry to close the school premises for the upcoming trinity term.

Unfortunately, Barbados appears to have no enforceable laws dealing with the release or disposal of industrial chemicals. The battle to have Louis Lynch School closed has been raging for over a year. For those interested in some background, here is a Google Search for "Louis Lynch Secondary School" + "environment" OR "chemical".

Women & Love Expectations: Lighter Skin Colour, Cash, Cash & More Cash

The girls are all chatting it up over at Campfyah's blog It's All Good. The big discussion is about women trying to find a man and failing when they set their standards too high.

What do the girls want? Heh heh…. Never mind the love – just make it cash, cash and yet more cash. Some girls (very surprisingly) want a man with lighter skin for reasons they explain…

Take a friend of mine for example. A nice, well educated woman with the right assets in the right places for West Indian men and most men in general. My friend is unattached and guess some of the reasons why? First she wants a fella with the lighter complexion because she thinks that they treat women better than those of the darker complexions…go figure. So any dark skin brother that makes advances at her are dismissed simply because of the color of his skin.

That kind of racist nonsense from black girls makes me wonder just how poisoned the well has become.

Fishing Dispute Spin

Both the Trinidad & Tobago and Barbados governments are spinning the decision of the Arbitral Tribunal at the International Dispute Resolution Centre in The Hague like crazy. The Nation covers it here, while the Trinidad & Tobago Express declares victory here.

Our friend Tightscenes at BIM Today Blog has an interesting perspective. He says that no matter what happens – even if a Bajan fisherfolk was arrested for fishing in disputed waters, the two nations are so close that the same fisherfolk would be right back in Trinidad & Tobago to party or carry cargo. Tightscenes just might have a point.

Swan Street Vendors Return – But Conflict Brewing

Shona's brother (who drives taxi) says there have been night-time fist fights in the last week as some original Swan Street vendors attempted to move back into their original spots. Vendors had been removed by the police in a misplaced effort to "clean up" the street, but the police then got bored and let new vendors move in.

The police couldn't have been more successful in promoting conflict on the street if they had planned it that way.

My Barbados Blog has an interesting post on the Swan Street vendor's dispute, including some background and photos.

New Barbados Cricket Info Website

A new website with the push of the Barbados Tourism Authority. Looks good. Cric Info Barbados also has an excellent section about some of our most famous cricket players. A few bad boys there too. One can get away with murder when the nation loves your bat.

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Culture & Race Issues, Environment, Island Life, Politics & Corruption, Uncategorized