Tag Archives: Barbados Wikileaks

Patrick Hoyos comes out in support of Peter Wickham, a WikiLeaks victim

Peter Wickham: An insider trapped by his job, torn by conscience

by Nevermind Kurt

Patrick Hoyos wrote an opinion piece at the Broad Street Journal that basically says Peter Wickham didn’t talk about anything hardly at all to the US Embassy, and if he did it wasn’t about any subject that everyone didn’t already know about. Hoyos also says that journalists should be very careful talking to foreign governments.

Hoyos is right on one count: it’s going to be a long time before journalists or anyone else talk freely with any government representative ever again. Journalists and others have always talked to diplomats for a variety of reasons: status, to further a personal or group agenda, to exchange information in the hopes of inside tips or simply for the scotch and steak.

“You can buy a ten-hour voice recorder built into a pen for a couple of hundred dollars at Amazon.com. The Americans probably hand them out like candy to their Embassy personnel.”

Shocking? Hardly…

Everybody knew that the conversations were reported and in this day probably secretly recorded – but they talked anyway and it was all fun and games until WikiLeaks. Now everybody is SHOCKED! SHOCKED I TELL YOU! that the US Embassy personnel actually prepare intelligence reports and conversation summaries and ship them home to Washington. Imagine that!

Don’t you think that Barbados diplomats file a few reports themselves out of New York, Beijing and London?

How far back do such diplomatic dealings go? Read your bible and go back from there to the cavemen. Embassy personnel submit reports on cocktail party conversations, chance meetings and private briefings. Always have, always will. Why the shock?

I think that Peter Wickham probably said exactly what the US Embassy reports attribute to him and I wouldn’t be surprised if tape recordings exist – not that any US diplomat will ever admit to them. You can buy a ten-hour voice recorder built into a pen for a couple of hundred dollars at Amazon.com. The Americans probably hand them out like candy to their Embassy personnel. If you were in the business of meeting with people and filing reports, why wouldn’t you always have one in your pocket? Get dressed in the morning, put on the watch and put the wallet and voice recording pen in the pocket – just like that.

Damage Control Strategy for everybody: Let’s all pretend it doesn’t matter

Patrick Hoyos is in damage-repair mode for his old friend Wickham and I won’t blame him for that, but the cow pies dropped by Hoyos and Wickham are pretty stinky indeed.

I want to point out that Wickham is reported to have relayed quite a bit of insider information to the US Embassy personnel and many of Wickham’s big revelations were NOT in the public knowledge at the time. Hoyos and Wickham himself conveniently ignore this.

Take, for instance, the May 22, 2008 cable where Wickham is reported as saying “In the last election the Chinese gave money to both of the major parties in Barbados, in order to assure continued recognition…”

I never heard that before in private conversation and I never heard it from the Barbadian news media. How about you?

Where did Wickham get that information? As a political insider, mover and shaker he probably received information directly from credible BLP and DLP sources. Of course the Chinese gave money to both parties, but Wickham spoke with an insider’s knowledge and authority.

Then we have the St. Vincent Unity Labour Party coming out in defense of Wickham – saying “We believe that Peter is being misrepresented in these matters…

What else did you expect politicians to say? “Leroy Paris bribed us with CLICO money just like Wickham said… and we flew in voters, fixed roofs and bought groceries to bribe the voters?”

No, the ULP had to say that Wickham was “misrepresented”, and then Hoyos followed up with his column saying everything was known by the public and it doesn’t matter anyway.

Nevermind blame – Let’s talk about the truth of what Wickham said or is alleged to have said

As Barbados Free Press reported in its Wickham-WikiLeaks articles, one of the big topics throughout the Wickham briefings was the unregulated foreign and domestic monies being poured into political campaigns in Barbados and throughout the Caribbean. Nobody gives big money for nothing. Leroy Parris and all the corrupt business people who fund politics with big money do so on a tit for tat basis.

Nobody gives a quarter million dollars to a political campaign without an agenda. Five hundred dollars, even a few thousand can be contributed because you believe in a candidate or a party – sure – but a hundred thousand dollars cash or fifty thousand dollars of biz jet services? That kind of “donation” expects and requires a payback from the elected politicians.

Peter Wickham: An insider trapped by his job, torn by conscience

I think I understand both Peter Wickhams. The first is, as Patrick Hoyos observes, the quintessential political insider: “In regional polling, there is just no organisation that can match Peter Wickhamʼs CADRES. I mean that sincerely, and I am sure his professional services will remain in high demand on the basis of their quality, despite the leaking of those embassy communications.”

The second Peter Wickham is another man with a conscience who knows that the vast amount of foreign and corporate monies flowing into our political parties have corrupted democracy, stolen from the people, and caused our elected representatives to stash money away in Switzerland as they vote contrary to national interests.

Peter Wickham is part of that system. His funds from political parties are supplied by those who have corrupted the system and undermined democracy.

One Peter Wickham took the political party’s dirty money – while the other Peter Wickham under pangs of conscience told the US Embassy officials about it. The CBC sacked Wickham because he betrayed the established system.

Wickham is no better or worse than any other Bajan who knows what’s going on, but still takes the dirty money, promises of jobs and other perks from the DLP or BLP in exchange for their vote and vocal support.

Campaign funding laws are long overdue, but as Doctor Duguid said in a moment of truthfulness: Bajan politicians will never pass that kind of legislation. More’s the pity.

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Was Barbados denied DVD Region 1 Status because of Police Corruption?

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

Barbados Police Intellectual Property investigator took $56,500 in bribes while US Embassy wondered why no enforcement!

WikiLeaks US Embassy Cable: Barbados Police Sergeant Paul Vaughan “limited success” stopping pirated DVDs, Intellectual Property

Two years before corrupt Sergeant Paul Vaughan of the Barbados Police Copyright Infringement Unit was arrested and charged with taking bribes to allow a counterfeit DVD “pirate” to operate, a US Embassy cable lamented the fact that he and the Barbados Police were unsuccessful in stopping the blatant copying of intellectual property like movie and music DVDs.

“Although he appears committed to his work, Vaughan has had limited success stopping IPR violators. Local music is often available only in pirated form and video store employees blatantly copy tapes behind the counter during working hours. Hopefully, the USPTO training will encourage Vaughan in his fight to better enforce IPR in Barbados.”

February 3, 2006 WikiLeaks US Embassy Cable:  06BRIDGETOWN232 (full text at end of post)

The frustration of US Ambassador Mary Kramer is plain throughout the February 3, 2006 cable. It looks like it never occurred to her that the reason why no enforcement was happening was that the DVD pirates were paying off the very police officer in charge of copyright violations!

Almost two years later on November 13, 2007 another US Embassy cable repeated the frustration…

“the government needs to improve its enforcement of the anti-piracy laws. For example, shops openly sell and rent pirated CDs, videos, and DVDs.”

07BRIDGETOWN1420

BRIDGETOWN SUBMISSION FOR THE OPERATION OF THE CARIBBEAN BASIN ECONOMIC RECOVERY ACT REPORT

Sgt. Paul Vaughan arrested, charges later dropped by friend

Then in September 2008 the news broke that Sgt. Vaughan had been arrested and charged with with corruptly accepting $56,500 in bribes between December 1, 2004 and April 30, 2007 from Evadney Cindy Bushell in return for protecting her from prosecution for selling pirated DVDs.

Please note the very specific amount of bribe money that was said to have been paid over several years. They didn’t pull that figure from a hat, you know.

As we predicted at the time, Charles Leacock, our corrupt Director of Public Prosecutions later withdrew all charges against his friend Paul Vaughan and that was the end of that. An insider source even told us ahead of time that the charges would be dropped when things quieted down. (See our MUST-READ STORIES here, here and here).

By some strange coincidence, the corrupt Barbados news media seems to have removed all news of Vaughan’s bribery charges from the internet. What a surprise!

As to the result of the DVD Piracy charges against the shopkeeper, Evadney Cindy Bushell, well – we can’t find any record of those charges anywhere. Again, what a surprise!

Commissioner of Police Dottin remains silent amidst the stench of corruption

We can’t find anything to indicate what happened to Bushell’s DVD Piracy charges, so we’ll speculate that the charges were dropped in a tit-for-tat deal so Sgt. Vaughan could be set free too. That’s justice in Barbados for you… you’re okay if you have an ace up your sleeve – but it doesn’t look good to the rest of the world. If that’s not the way it happened, perhaps Commission of Police Dottin can finally explain to the public what did happen. (We’ll print his response unedited right here. We’re waiting, Sir!)

Corruption has consequences: Barbados wanted a change to DVD Zone 1 – DENIED

Barbados DVD players are “officially” set to Zone 4 (Mexico, Central America, Caribbean, South America, New Zealand, Australia, Papua New Guinea and much of Oceania) but let’s face it, most homes have a Zone 1 player.

According to a WikiLeaks cable, Stuart Mottley led a group to Washington to ask for a change to Zone 1 (USA, Canada, Bermuda). The request was obviously denied and we have to wonder…

Was Barbados denied DVD Zone 1 Status because of corruption by Sergeant Paul Vaughan and the Barbados Police Copyright Infringement Unit?

“According to Vaughan, Stuart Mottley, brother of Barbados Attorney General Mia Mottley, led a group of Barbadians to Washington to lobby the MPAA for Barbados to be in Region 1 for DVD sales (same as the U.S.) instead of Region 4 (Latin America). (Note: To protect Hollywood’s system of varying theatrical release dates by country, DVD players and disks are restricted by geographical region. A movie that is out on DVD in the U.S. may have just been released in movie theaters in Europe. Ensuring that DVDs only function in their intended region helps movie studios maximize profits and avoid a situation where a new movie is simultaneously in the theater and available on DVD. End Note.) According to an American who owns a movie theater in Barbados, most people on the island own Region 1 DVD players so restricting DVD imports to Region 4 limits the legitimate DVD sales market.”

… from the WikiLeaks US Embassy Cable February 3, 2006 WikiLeaks  06BRIDGETOWN232

Full cable published below. >>>>>> Continue reading

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BREAKING HERE FIRST: More Peter Wickham CADRES secret US Embassy briefings

WikiLeaks reveal Peter Wickham in private briefings with US Embassy Political Officers, diplomats FOR YEARS

Feb 3, 2006, US Ambassador Mary Kramer: “Wickham has met periodically with Emboffs over the past several years to offer his views on a variety of issues.”

Sept 22, 2006, US Ambassador Mary Kramer: “Wickham… a credible source.”

Sept 22, 2006, US Ambassador Mary Kramer: “In a recent meeting with PolOff, Wickham assessed the current political situation in Barbados as generally favorable to the DLP.”

Nov 17, 2006, US Ambassador Mary Ourisman: “Peter Wickham, political scientist, pollster, and consultant to the SLP, said in a private conversation with PolOff (Political Officer) on September 15 “

May 22, 2008, US Ambassador Mary Ourisman: “In the last election the Chinese gave money to both of the major parties in Barbados, in order to assure continued recognition, (Wickham) added.”

Will Peter Wickham now ‘revise’ his previous Press Statement?

Sacked CBC Journalist Peter Wickham issued a CADRES Press Statement in response to our September 3, 2001 Exclusive story: BREAKING HERE FIRST: CBC sacks Peter Wickham over secret corruption briefings to US Ambassador.

In that CADRES Press Statement, Mr. Wickham issued a Clintonesque slippery denial – saying he never met privately with US Ambassador Mary Kramer.

Hey! Nobody ever said Wickham met privately with the US Ambassador, so why was that the subject of his press statement?

An anonymous reader thought they knew the reason and contributed Wickham’s Sticky Wicket – CADRES Press Statement wiggles and wobbles. The BFP reader noted some flaws and holes in Mr. Wickham’s explanation and denial.

Barbados Free Press crew finds more WikiLeak Secret Briefings!

Your BFP team spent the last 24 hours finding more WikiLeaks US Embassy cables naming Peter Wickham as the source in private briefings with US diplomats and US government personnel.

We’re still working away and there’s probably more left to find, but for now we present you with excerpts from what we have so far and the WikiLeaks links where we found the documents.

We’d like to hear from our readers, but our first impression is that Mr. Wickham has some explaining to do considering his Press Statement.

Now… be gentle folks. Like when President Clinton said “I did not have sexual relations with that woman…”, he really meant that moistening cigars in that way didn’t count as “sexual relations”. (Somehow I don’t think Shona would buy that line from me!)

We wonder… what did Peter Wickham really mean when he issued that CADRES Press Statement? Maybe he just meant to say that he never had sexual relations with the US Ambassador. Yes, that must have been what he meant! 🙂

WikiLeaks US Embassy Cables 2006 to 2008. Source: Peter Wickham >>>> Continue reading

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US Embassy Sources: Prime Minister David Thompson was offered CL Financial Board Seat

– Confidential Embassy Cable discusses David Thompson / Leroy Parris conflicts of interest

– “Economic ties between CLF and the PM also reportedly included an offer of a board seat, according to Embassy sources.”

– Who are the confidential “Embassy sources” ???

US Ambassador Brent Hardt: “Collapse of Trinidad’s CL Financial Group Ripples Across The Pond To Barbados”

CLICO's lawyer, David Thompson, helped build the house of cards.

Thanks to WikiLeaks, Barbadians now know another reason why Prime Minister David Thompson and the DLP Government protected Leroy Parris, refused to place a Judicial Manager for CLICO and did not implement Integrity Legislation.

Bajans always knew the whole CLICO-CL Financial / Leroy Parris / David Thompson / DLP connection stank to high heaven, but it is still tremendously saddening to see more evidence that the Thompson/Stuart DLP’s commitment to Integrity and Conflict of Interest laws during 2007 Election Campaign was all a pack of lies.

I am saddened. I wanted to believe David Thompson, Freundel Stuart and the DLP.

Who the hell do I vote for next time?

DLP Integrity Promise was all a pack of lies…

“Thompson’s close personal ties to the head of CLICO and his professional role as chief legal counsel for CLF prior to taking office in January, 2008, have made him vulnerable to opposition charges of conflict of interest in the management of this crisis. Economic ties between CLF and the PM also reportedly included an offer of a board seat, according to Embassy sources. With ties this close it is little wonder that Mottley has held three press conferences in the last three weeks seeking to pin the blame for any fallout from the CLF collapse on the PM. The fact that Mottley,s tactics forced the PM to so quickly mount a televised response shows the danger that the collapse of CLICO poses to him personally.”

… from the March 4, 2009 US Embassy Cable: WikiLeaks 09BRIDGETOWN144

Read the full WikiLeaks US Embassy cable at the above link or here>>>>> Continue reading

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Wickham’s Sticky Wicket – CADRES Press Statement wiggles and wobbles

“Peter Wickham’s CADRES Press Statement wiggles all over the place and for me raises far more questions than it answers.”

“…if the “Emboffs” (US Embassy personnel) took copious notes and had their tape recorders rolling over “several years” of meetings, Mr. Wickham might find the truth to be very inconvenient.”

submitted by “Sticky Wicket” as a comment via anonymous proxy.

A very sticky wicket, indeed, for Mr. Wickham, for there are several things about his press statement that sound wiggly and don’t sound square at all at all, starting with his last sentence:

“I have already contacted a representative at the US Embassy and discussed my concerns extensively with her and she has advised that they cannot discuss the contents of these documents since there is no certainty that the documents are authentic.”

Mr. Wickham states that the US Embassy said they cannot discuss the contents of these documents (the Wikileak US Embassy cable dated February 3, 2006 that is the subject of the controversy.) because “there is no certainty that the documents are authentic.”

That sounds like either the Embassy is not forthright, or Mr. Wickham. I’ll take Wickham at his word that this is what the Embassy told him but Mr. Wickham would know that this statement by the Embassy is untrue. The Embassy would have an original of the cable. They sent it! The cable has a reference number.

The Embassy could instantly compare their original cable and the one released by Wikileaks and printed at BFP. Instantly.

Mr. Wickham is no dummy. He knows the Embassy could verify the accuracy of the WikiLeaks cable instantly, so why is Mr. Wickham talking foolishness “there is no certainty that the documents are authentic.” ???

Governments all over the world are commenting on WikiLeaked documents that concern them and not one of the WikiLeaked documents has been said to be false or changed by WikiLeaks or WikiLeaks source.

Foolishness for Mr. Wickham to repeat “there is no certainty that the documents are authentic.” as if he or anyone else accepts that as a valid reason for the US Embassy to not comment. Foolishness for Mr. Wickham to imply that there is some doubt that the WikiLeaks cable is an accurate copy of what Ambassador Kramer sent.

The second statement that doesn’t sound square is:

“Specifically, I can state categorically, that I have NEVER met privately with former US Ambassador Mary Kramer, who is alleged to be the author of this cable.”

Nowhere in the WikiLeaked cable does it say that Mr. Wickham met “privately” with Ambassador Kramer. Is this a straw man put up by Mr. Wickham as a proof that Ambassador Kramer’s report is false? Mr. Wickham could have met with the Ambassador in the company of other Embassy personnel, or the information could have come to Ambassador Kramer through other Embassy personnel who Mr. Wickham briefed.

Mr. Wickham states that he recalls Ambassador Kramer meeting with ten journalists, but he does not “categorically” state this was the ONLY time he met her. Read his Press Statement again. Mr. Wickham’s Press Statement has lots of wiggle room in it in many places. Read it again.

The WikiLeaks cable states that Mr. Wickham met with “Emboffs” (Embassy Officers, Officials, Operatives?) “over the past several years to offer his views on a variety of issues.”

That is “Emboffs” as in PLURAL. More than one. It could mean two. It could mean “MANY” over the “several years.”

Mr. Wickham would know how many different Emboffs he met with, who, where, when and how frequently “over the past several years”, but he seizes on Ambassador Kramer without explaining the “Emboff” meetings at all. He doesn’t deny meeting with the “Emboffs”. Instead, Wickham ignores this inconvenient information and, like a magician doing a trick, says “Look at this bright shiny Ambassador in my hand”, hoping that the audience will concentrate on Mary Kramer and forget about his years of meetings with “Emboffs”.

I presume that each of these “Emboffs” would have written an account of the conversations with Mr. Wickham. That is the standard practice of Embassy personnel from anywhere. Read a Tom Clancy novel or Ambassador Kramer’s own book to confirm that!

Ambassador Kramer quotes what she says are Peter Wickham’s exact words…

“When you have been cussed out by Ralph you have really been cussed at,” said Wickham.

“Vincentian ganja is a big thing” in the Caribbean, said Wickham…

Ambassador Kramer also makes general statements such as…

“Wickham believes the ruling party flew about 400 people to St. Vincent from the U.S. for the recent election.”

“According to Wickham, the largest amount of money came from Leroy Parris, Chairman of CLICO Holdings Limited, a Barbados-based insurance and real estate company.”

Marijuana growers have considerable influence in St. Vincent, where they are not necessarily considered undesirables but can be quite prominent people, according to Wickham. He thinks there is some truth to the rumors that that certain individuals tied to the drug trade provided funding to Gonsalves’s ULP…

The word for word quotes and certainty of Ambassador Kramer’s report makes one wonder if there were some hidden tape recorders rolling at these “Emboff” meetings held “over the past several years”, doesn’t it?

Mr. Wickham states he “sought legal advice on my options regarding these allegations”. One hopes that if he did not say what is alleged and quoted in Ambassador Kramer’s report, that the truth may come forth.

However, if the “Emboffs” took copious notes and had their tape recorders rolling over “several years” of meetings, Mr. Wickham might find the truth to be very inconvenient.

The Ambassador’s report was from 2006. How many “Emboff” meetings has Mr. Wickham attended since 2006? What did he say to US Diplomats since 2006 that we don’t know about?

Peter Wickham’s CADRES Press Statement wiggles all over the place and for me raises far more questions than it answers.

It is a bit of a “sticky wicket” for Mr. Wickham, isn’t it?

Further Reading

BFP: BREAKING HERE FIRST: CBC sacks Peter Wickham over secret corruption briefings to US Ambassador

BFP: Peter Wickham CADRES Press Statement

The Dominican: Wickham reveal details of corruption in DLP government to US Diplomats

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Peter Wickham CADRES Press Statement

CADRES PRESS STATEMENT

It has come to my attention that a “wikileaks” Cable which is currently being circulated and quoted in different electronic media has identified me (Peter W. Wickham) as the source of information which formed the basis of several improper allegations that were made regarding two current and one former Caribbean Prime Minister. I consider this a most disturbing turn of events which presents me, along with these gentlemen in a negative light and appears to be based largely on information that I have no knowledge of and never conveyed to the Ambassador Kramer.

Specifically, I can state categorically, that I have NEVER met privately with former US Ambassador Mary Kramer, who is alleged to be the author of this cable. I do recall her entertaining about ten journalists, along with myself in 2006 and at this meeting I made reference to an OAS Document that I co-authored entitled “From Grassroots to the Airwaves” which is in the public domain and makes general remarks about Caribbean political party financing concerns that I am well-known to have. I however did not, at that meeting or at any other time, discuss the intimate details of any specific campaign or concerns about any leader with Ambassador Kramer as is being suggested in the commentary on the cable, because I am not privy to such information.

It would also be misleading to suggest that I was a campaign advisor to either PMs Skeritt, Gonsalves or Anthony and that I knew of “backroom deals” sources of financing or any quid pro quo which is also being suggested. These are aspects of the campaign that I neither have nor ever had any knowledge of and therefore could not possibly have spoken to. I have therefore sought legal advice on my options regarding these allegations which can impact negatively on my professional reputation.

I have already contacted a representative at the US Embassy and discussed my concerns extensively with her and she has advised that they cannot discuss the contents of these documents since there is no certainty that the documents are authentic.

Peter W. Wickham

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US Ambassador to Barbados, 2006: Owen Arthur’s sugar decision “defies logic and sours prudent budget”

“Instead of pouring more money into sugar, the Government of Barbados would be better served letting the industry die a peaceful death, as St. Kitts did in 2005.”

“This massive investment in the sugar industry defies logic and sours an otherwise prudent budget.”

“Sugar is so intrinsic to their national identity, however, that Barbadian taxpayers apparently support this fiscal profligacy.”

Mary Kramer, US Ambassador to Barbados, January 27, 2006

WikiLeaks just released a massive new treasure trove of US Embassy Bridgetown previously secret cables.

We’re looking at many of them in our article WikiLeaks: Massive release of Barbados US Embassy documents. You can help too by going to WikiLeaks Embassy Bridgetown page and digging in!

But we’re going to post this cable on its own because it makes for very interesting reading.

Considering our current economic situation, Barbados Labour Party supporters will jump right on this cable as vindication for Owen Arthur’s financial expertise. Aside from the sugar criticism, Ambassador Kramer gives a glowing report of Prime Minister Owen Arthur.

I don’t know about you, but I think that Ambassador Kramer was correct about our sugar industry: we might as well throw money into the sea than to keep flogging that dead horse.

Some quotes and then the full cable after the break…

What US Ambassador Kramer thought of Owen S. Arthur and his January 16, 2006 budget

“1. (SBU) Summary:  Barbados Prime Minister Owen Arthur presented his government’s 2006 economic and financial policies in a January 16 speech to parliament.  PM Arthur pledged to lower energy costs, cut taxes, boost pensions, and prop up manufacturing.  Most of the budget seems practical and will not greatly increase the country’s debt (around 88.0 percent of GDP).  The only major imprudent expenditure is a US$150 million investment into the island’s unprofitable sugar industry.  End Summary.”

With the parliamentary opposition in disarray (septel), a confident PM Arthur announced tax cuts, incentives to reduce energy costs, increased government investment in the sugar industry, loosened foreign exchange controls, and investment incentives.”

“4. (U) Barbados has prudently kept its government spending in check over the past few years, and Arthur said the fiscal deficit for the 2005-2006 fiscal year (ending in March 2006) will likely be just 1.7 percent of GDP, less than the target of 2.5 percent of GDP.”

“7. (SBU) According to a senior Bajan official, PM Arthur, an economist by training, cloisters himself away from his officefor several weeks to focus on the national budget, even refusing to meet high level visitors.  (Note:  General Craddock of SOUTHCOM visited during Arthur’s budget preparations and the Prime Minister declined to meet with the General.  End Note.)

8. (SBU) At the Embassy’s Martin Luther King Jr. reception, Dr. Marion Williams, Governor of the Central Bank, hinted to EconOff that she did not agree with many of the Prime Minister’s measures to liberalize foreign exchange controls.”

“Wasting Money on Sugar
———————-

9. (U) PM Arthur announced plans for a US$150 million facility including a 30 megawatt power plant and sugar cane processing facilities…

… Even at 523.7 Euros/ton, Barbados loses money on every ton of sugar it exports.  According to Erskine Griffith, the Barbados Minister of Agriculture, the Barbados yield ratio of 21 tons of sugar per acre of sugar cane is, “the lowest of any sugar producing nation.”  Griffith went on to say that producers in Brazil get up to 80 tons per acre…

…(Note: Guyanese sugar products are also imported in large quantities
to produce “Barbadian” rum.  End Note.)  Barbados cannot protect its local sugar market from CARICOM competition, given the free movement of goods provisions of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy.  The government apparently will depend on nationalism to induce people to pay twice as much for local sugar as imported sugar…

11. (SBU) This massive investment in the sugar industry defies logic and sours an otherwise prudent budget.  The cost of producing sugar on a small island with high labor costs and limited mechanization is astronomically higher than in Brazil or other major sugar producers.  Barbados is probably
one of the least efficient sugar producers in the world and cannot compete within CARICOM, much less on the world market.”

“Instead of exporting bulk sugar to the European Union at inflated prices, Barbados will be selling its sugar domestically at inflated prices.  Sugar is so intrinsic to their national identity, however, that Barbadian taxpayers apparently support this fiscal profligacy.

12. (SBU) The true purpose of the US$150 million investment is not to protect the environment or to reduce energy costs, but to give sugar a future.  If Barbados were serious about protecting the environment and reducing its energy import bill, then the country could more cheaply accomplish both these goals by importing sugar cane ethanol from Brazil.

No matter what use for sugar cane Barbados comes up with, almost every other sugar producing country can grow it cheaper, harvest it cheaper, and process it cheaper.  Instead of pouring more money into sugar, the Government of Barbados would be better served letting the industry die a peaceful death, as St. Kitts did in 2005.  End Comment.”

FULL CABLE Continue reading

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