Tag Archives: CARICOM

Will the demise of LIAT Airlines bring down CARICOM too? Do you remember “one from ten is zero”?

Liat Airline

Our old friend Jim Lynch has been following the news that Barbados wants to pull out of LIAT Airlines and establish a national carrier. You can follow the story at CRANe – The Caribbean Regional Aviation Network.

That got us thinking… you remember the old CARICOM cry “one from ten is zero”?

LIAT isn’t CARICOM, but it is perhaps the most visible expression of Barbados’ commitment to the organization.

If LIAT falls, does it harm CARICOM?

Proposal for Barbados to Quit LIAT

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, March 28 2015 – Caribbean News Service (CNS) has obtained a document titled “Proposal for the Establishment of a Barbados Air Carrier.”

The document, allegedly authored at the senior management level of LIAT, points to Barbados, LIAT’s majority shareholder, planning to quit airline

The document proposes that a Barbados air carrier be established with its own Air Operators Certificate (AOC) and Route Licensing Authorisation. The new company would effectively replace the majority of existing LIAT services throughout the region and would seek to develop new markets.

An approach, methodology and structure for the establishment of the new Barbados air carrier were detailed in the document.

It said a traditional approach to fleet planning in a startup airline with a projected requirement of 10 aircraft would be to launch initially with two to three aircraft and a limited route network and build thereafter incrementally over a period of 18 months to the final fleet number. The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has funded, via shareholder governments, LIAT’s wholly owned ATR -42 aircraft.

The plan calls for the title of those aircraft to be passed on to the Barbados Government either through shareholder agreement or through CDB taking charge of the aircraft and reassigning them.

… finish reading CNS article Proposal for Barbados to Quit LIAT


Filed under Aviation, Barbados, CARICOM

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

Shanique Myrie ‘finger rape’ case shows CARICOM doesn’t really exist now – and probably never will

Barbados drug search

Caribbean Court of Justice considers the Shanique Myrie case

Sir Ronald Sanders has written an excellent article about the state of CARICOM when subjected to the cold light of what happened to Shanique Myrie. Well worth your time…

Since the establishment of CARICOM in 1973, tens of thousands of CARICOM nationals have travelled in its member states with no difficulty. However, a significant number have complained of discrimination by immigration officials at the point of entry of several Caribbean countries – some, even when they are travelling on Canadian, US and European Union passports.

All of this has raised questions about the value and relevance of CARICOM to the citizens of its 15 member countries. Indeed, these events have created resentment and an inclination to dismiss CARICOM as nothing but a government ‘talking shop’. The governments themselves have not done enough to address the problem, which if a solution is not found, will undermine the worth of CARICOM to many of its citizens.

from Bajan Reporter’s Eyeing the case before the Caribbean Court of Justice by Sir Ronald Sanders

Further Reading about Shanique Myrie

BFP, March 24, 2011 – Jamaican women welcome in Barbados if they submit to a finger up their vagina?


Filed under Barbados, CARICOM, Human Rights, Jamaica

REDjet debacle shows CARICOM is a sham

“What has been dished out to RedJet is shameful. I bow my head in that shame. I truly now know that CARICOM is but a sham and obviously just a ploy for Heads of our nations to get together and feed their egos.”

by Rosemary Parkinson

The reception that RedJet has received from our so-called- unified-by-CARICOM governments has been to say the least based on protectionism for LIAT and Caribbean Airlines. RedJet were doomed to fail if Caricom Heads did not put the necessary openings in place. The Barbados government was also a tad unhurried in getting RedJet the necessary support and I am not talking investment. There was no need at the time for this – those behind RedJet saw a niche, did their homework and were well-prepared to give the people a low-cost airline. This is where I smell a rat because these businessmen would not have gone through with their plans had they not been given certain assurances…by certain people…or at least that is my belief. I could be wrong, this could be an assumption.

We the people, however, embraced RedJet, welcoming this opportunity for the Caribbean region to be more integrated. Vendors could now move back and forth and make a living. Artistes from all areas of the creative arts had an opportunity to truly know our neighbours and earn extra dollars. Families and friends could now travel easily. Regional tourism had been finally given the push it required. Regional business at all levels could now afford visits to their partners rather than just telephone meetings. Most importantly RedJet gave an opportunity for food and goods to be moved between the islands – a huge plus for us the people as we sought to reduce our import bills from the north.

RedJet was people friendly and had one and only one vision…to give the people (I said the people) of the Caribbean an airline that cared cost-wise. Naturally making ends meet and profit would have also been a priority. But digging out the eyes of their own people was not. Continue reading


Filed under Aviation, Barbados, CARICOM

How one policy change will cause a worldwide explosion of Caribbean culture and commerce

The Proposal: All Cable Networks must Carry all Caribbean Television Stations as part of its Basic Package.

by Baba Elombe

“The ultimate goal of this proposal is to prepare us for entry into the lucrative world markets with our distinctive culture.”

In recent months there has been a growing spate of negativism across the region emanating in a large part from our lack of knowledge about the others that we share this Caribbean space with. Most of the time hear-say dominates public opinion and the rapidity with which it takes place makes it impossible to have reasonable conversations.

We are therefore asking heads of Governments to commit to the involvement of Caribbean people in the conversation by making it mandatory for all cable networks to carry all CARICOM television stations as part of the basic package that is offered to Caribbean households.

It will cost governments nothing to implement this policy.

It is purely an administrative decision for the Broadcast Commissions to implement this policy as a priority. If stations do not wish to participate it is up to them but the networks must make room for them as a matter of our policy of regional development. Stations in each territory must have the same rights as citizens to travel where ever they desire within the region. Journalists are free to work in any of the CARICOM member states, yet their abilities and strengths are hidden and is only available to the local market.

More importantly, our intellectual and mental space is dominated by USA, Canadian, British, German, French, Chinese, Indian, Latin American, and Mid- Eastern perspectives. For example, when a number of university educated and professional young people visited Jamaica and was taken around various neighborhoods in Kingston, they expressed surprise at the quality of the housing they saw. When asked why they were surprised, they pointed out that their knowledge of Jamaica was based on music videos. Continue reading


Filed under Barbados, Caribbean Media, CARICOM, Culture & Race Issues, Freedom Of The Press

PBS Communications Inc. Blog: Reliance upon Privy Council “Niggardly” (!!!)

“Mind you, this is not to say that the CCJ is the only real alternative. In fact, the jingoistic politics that have made CARICOM such a dysfunctional laughing stock actually militate against member states turning to this regional court as a replacement for the Privy Council.

Accordingly, we may find that the only viable alternative is for each CARICOM country to simply establish its own Supreme Court. To be sure, this would be an ironic default outcome; after all, a judiciary with a final court of appeal at its apex is a hallmark of any independent nation.

In any case, it is immature, irresponsible and, frankly, niggardly for Caribbean leaders to have relied all these years on our former colonial master to fulfill this essential function of our national self-determination.”

…Lawyer Anthony L. Hall writing at Petal Barclay-Smith’s blog

Anthony Hall proposes nothing less than full surrender to an oligarchy

Petal Barclay-Smith

Petal Barclay-Smith

Washington lawyer and Turks & Caicos ex-pat Anthony L. Hall is letting fly over at Petal Barclay-Smith’s blog about the failure of CARICOM states to establish a Supreme Court or courts.

If Mr. Hall uses the word “niggardly” to attract attention, well, he has ours. I don’t care what the origin of the word was. I don’t care what the proper use of the word is – in the real world it makes the hairs on the back of my neck start to tingle and it works its way right around the top to my eyebrows and then for just a moment I want to punch somebody in the face. Then it passes.

A writer can do something a little outrageous and keep the audience thinking about the main point, or upset the readers and cause them to lose focus on what the writer wants to communicate. We have that problem around here ourselves all the time so we understand about coming a little too close to the line.

But, “Niggardly”???

Really, Mr. Hall…

Now as to Mr. Hall’s conclusion that perhaps Barbados and other CARICOM states should each establish their own Supreme Court…

Is Mr. Hall on the planet earth?

Has he been in Washington so damned long that he has forgotten what it’s like on these small island nations when a small group of people wield all power? Good Lord!

Chief Justice Simmons - Career Politician Is No Independent Judge!

Chief Justice Simmons - Career Politician Is No Independent Judge!

In Barbados we have a Chief Justice who was first a lawyer and businessman, then a politician, then a Cabinet Minister, Acting Prime Minister and Attorney General – who then took a few weeks off and was appointed as the highest judge in the land!

Chief Justice David Simmons and Prime Minister Owen Arthur who appointed him didn’t care about even the appearance of judicial independence. It was a consolidation of raw political power the likes of which set Bajan democracy back four decades.

And that is exactly what citizens of Barbados could expect if our tiny country of fewer than 300,000 people established a Supreme Court. It’s bad enough now trying to get a fair shake in the courts, but if there was no higher authority to turn to outside of Barbados this country would be nothing more than a dictatorship of a select group of insiders (which we are close enough to already.)

Mr. Hall should give his head a shake.

Agree or disagree with Mr. Hall, you can tell him what you think at…

PBS Communications Inc. Blog: No more Privy Council; take care of your own judicial mess!


Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

A First In The History Of The Americas: Dominica Issues Diplomatic Passport To Indigenous Kalinago-Carib Leader

In a move that was widely hailed as a stunning breakthrough in the equitable treatment of Indigenous peoples – and being of great historical significance, the small Independent Caribbean State of Dominica (not to be confused with the Dominican Republic) – has accorded the democratically elected leader of it’s indigenous Kalinago-Carib community, Chief Charles Williams, with a Diplomatic passport.

“This is the first time in the history of the Americas that ANY State has EVER recognized a leader of its indigenous peoples in such an official capacity.”

Whereas it may not be either feasible or financially practical for other States with multiple Indigenous leaders of multiple Indigenous communities to follow Dominica’s noble example, there are at least two other Caribbean States that immediately come to mind such as Trinidad and Tobago – and St. Vincent and the Grenadines (both with singular Indigenous ethnic groups and leadership structures) that can very easily afford to do likewise; it only requires the political will to do so by the honorable Prime Ministers’ Patrick Manning (of Trinidad and Tobago) and Ralph Gonzalves (of St. Vincent and the Grenadines).

At today’s session Colombia’s OAS Ambassador mentioned the fact that his country was the ONLY member state of the OAS that allows the leaders of  indigenous peoples to participate directly in their parliament, other countries only allow indigenous peoples to participate through a recognized political party.

The Ambassador of Colombia also glanced around the table where State representatives are seated and highlighted the sad fact that “There are many Caribbean States in the OAS, over one third of membership to be precise, but NONE are attending these sessions on the Draft American Declaration – and this is having a negative impact on the efforts to achieve consensus.”

For the record, the delegation of the Republic of Guyana was again the ONLY OAS member state representative from CARICOM that is making an effort to be in attendance and constructively participate in the current 11th session.

As a Barbadian by birth of Guyanese Arawak descent I feel proud to see the Guyana Mission at the table, but deeply embarrassed by the COMPLETE ABSENCE of every other Caribbean island state (not to mention Belize and Suriname with sizeable Indigenous populations) at these sessions.
Every day my fellow indigenous representatives ask me why the Caribbean countries are so indifferent and unconcerned about Indigenous rights – and I can only shrug my shoulders and say “I have no idea myself.”

I am hereby beseeching the Guyana Mission, Grenada’s former Ambassador Denneth Modeste, and Dominica’s United Nations Ambassador Crispin Gregoire – to invite their fellow CARICOM colleagues based here at the OAs Missions to make an effort to attend the final day of this session (from 10am-4pm with a 1-2pm lunch break) on Friday December 12th 2008 – so that we can end this 11th session on a truly positive note.

Damon Corrie
Reporting to Barbados Free Press from OAS Headquarters
Washington DC, United States of America.


Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, History, Human Rights, Politics, Race

Film Maker Annalee Davis Publishes Letter To Barbardos Advocate Editor – And She Does It Here At BFP


Letter to the Editor,

I am responding to an anonymous letter appearing on page three of the December 4th Advocate newspaper and captioned on the cover page “Know your place here, Rickey Singh!”

annalee-davis-barbados-filmI am curious why the Advocate would give such visibility to an anonymous article seeking to silence a prominent journalist.

The question that comes to mind is this – what racial, residential or political qualifications are required for any person to have a legitimate place?

The title of the article suggests that Mr. Singh is out of place here in Barbados.

I would like to remind this author without a name, that Mr. Singh is a CARICOM national, honored with a doctorate for his outstanding contributions as a journalist, a past President of the Caribbean Association of Media Workers, a former editor of Caribbean Contact as well as the author of a weekly column at the Nation newspaper for twenty-four years.

Mr. Singh does not need my defense nor do I have a personal relationship with him.  I know him because of his published words.

The unknown writer suggests that Mr. Singh should  “be respectful of the rules of this island …..and avoid becoming involved in anti-social behaviour.”  Is Mr. Singh’s commitment to his twenty-four year column an example of anti-social behaviour?

The writer without a name should be well aware that the Caribbean has been pursuing a regional integration project since 1973, and there is every reason why CARICOM nationals can legitimately voice their opinions and raise issues in any Caribbean country.

In addition, the writer goes on, “out of a sense of gratitude the media worker would repay this island’s generosity by finding something good to say about it.”  But where was the Barbados governments’ generosity in 1983 when his work permit was withdrawn because he dared to speak out against the Grenada invasion?

The writer without a name goes on to ask if Mr. Singh thinks he has a right to “use the Nation newspaper to criticize” the current administration and warns that you “do not bite the hand that feeds you”.

Click the image to read the Barbados Advocate story "Know Your Place Here!" at Ian Bourne's Bajan Reporter blog.

Click the image to read the Barbados Advocate story "Know Your Place Here!" at Ian Bourne's Bajan Reporter blog.

These are bold statements from a cowardly author.  How does the writer without a name determine who has a legitimate place in this country or this region?  Do you need to be a member of a political party, or particular race, or particular religion to have a legitimate place?

The writer ends by saying that attacks on the Government “must not cause officials to back away from enforcing the existing regulations.”  If so, the reverse is equally true.  Attacks like this anonymous one, should not cause journalists to put down their pens, singers to silence their voices or artists to stop reflecting on our lived realities.

I know Mr. Singh’s place.  He is not “hiding behind Press freedom to sow the seeds of social unrest” as the author without a name has hidden behind a safe veil of anonymity.  To the contrary, Mr. Singh owns his points of views and has refused to be silenced by the fear or the harsh reality of being put ‘out of place’ by anyone.

Annalee Davis


(BFP note: Annalee Davis is the creator of the film “On The Map”. Her blog is here)


Filed under Barbados