Tag Archives: Royal Caribbean Cruise Haiti

Anti-Obama Tea Party cruise conceals Haiti destination as “Hispaniola”

UPDATED: September 16, 2010

Since we first published this article over five months ago, World Net Daily has continued to mislead its readers and “Tea Party at Sea” attendees as to the true destination of the cruise. The word “Haiti” is still not mentioned in the WND.com adverts about the cruise – despite this article and our email to Joseph Farah of World Net Daily back in April. In our email (below) we asked Mr. Farah to tell his Tea Party folks the truth so they might be moved to help the Haitian people.

Nope, Mr. Farah kept silent.

Poor show, Mr. Farah. Frankly, we expected much better from you and WND.com.

And… the Wall Street Journal read our article and then published their take on the story on September 15, 2010 without mentioning BFP or our plea for WND to assist the Haitian people.

Poor show, Wall Street Journal. We know you visited Barbados Free Press during your research several days before you published your article.

Mr. Farah and World Net Daily responded to the Wall Street Journal article but not to ours or our email.

Ho hum. At least CNN, USA Today and many other news organisations have mentioned Barbados Free Press when they use our material or ideas.

World Net Daily: Wall Street Journal: Boycott Haiti

Wall Street Journal: Tea Party Goes to Haiti

Original article first published April 6, 2010…

Will World Net Daily WND.com tell the truth about cruise destination and Royal Caribbean’s exploitation of Haitians?

The right-wing conservative website World Net Daily (wnd.com) is holding a “Tea Party at Sea” cruise this September that features a host of anti-Obama speakers and seminars.

Tea Partiers (is that a real word?) are invited to “Enlist Now!” to sail on the Royal Caribbean ship Liberty of the Seas and to “…be on board with the most freedom-embracing and liberty-loving navy at sea: the WND Navy and the Tea Party at Sea!”

Joseph Farah

World Net Daily supporters, editor Joseph Farah and other “birthers” are engaged in an ongoing campaign to discredit President Barack Obama and his political and social agenda. One of their tactics is their claim that the man Americans elected to the White House in November 2008 does not meet the US Constitutional qualifications to be President.

Well, okay – if people want to waste so much time, energy and money pursuing that doomed-to-fail agenda, that is their right. God knows one of the things we really admire about the USA is the protection of freedom of speech – which is quite contrary to the situation in Barbados where the truth is no defense against the defamation lawsuits, threats and job loss that Bajans often suffer if they are effective in criticizing the political and business elites.

But while WND.com World Net Daily claims to be in search of the truth, they are not telling the truth about where their Tea Party at Sea cruise is heading. The Tea Partiers will be frolicking on a beach in Haiti – protected from the starving Haitian children by layers of barbed wire and shotgun-toting guards. Continue reading


Filed under Barbados, Building Collapse, Corruption, Disaster, Haiti, Human Rights

Maritime Lawyer Jim Walker comments on the pathetic failure of Royal Caribbean to help Haiti

Royal Caribbean’s Haitian response called “A Sick Joke”

Our article Royal Caribbean passengers frolic in Haiti as the screams from the rubble continue touched a few raw nerves, but BFP isn’t the only blog questioning the cruise industry’s failure to respond with their full might to the mass deaths still happening in Haiti. As a matter of interest, a Google search reveals dozens if not over a hundred critical articles out there so far.

Maritime lawyer Jim Walker runs Cruise Law News blog out of his Miami law office where he specializes in representing crew members and passengers who have been injured, assaulted or otherwise had a bad experience with the cruise line industry.

Mr. Walker is naturally much more knowledgeable about the cruise industry than we are, and even if he is normally on the opposite side of the industry, when you read his articles, you’ll pay attention. Here are some samples from his article Royal Caribbean “Returns” to its Trademarked, Private Fantasy Island of Labadee® – While Haiti Suffers.

The photos are supplied by Royal Caribbean through Mr. Walker. Royal Caribbean probably intended that the photos would be evidence of their worthy response, but we at Barbados Free Press find them totally pathetic…

“In the last few days, Royal Caribbean has made a big deal talking about offloading pallets of food for Haiti. Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas sailed with only 60 cases of food and water  last Friday according to the Royal Caribbean President’s “Nation of Why Not?” blog. That’s just four pallets. The blog has some photographs of the few pallets from the Independence of the Seas – four pallets of flour, tomato sauce, can goods, and water bottles. Four pallets? 

Considering that on a typical seven-day cruise Labadee – Haiti – Royal Caribbean “Private Destination”the cruise ship’s passengers consume over 100,000 pounds of food and 12,000 gallons of alcohol over the course of over a hundred thousand meals- the photograph of the meager provisions sitting on the dock dwarfed by the huge Independence of the Seas seems like a sick joke.”

“Now a million dollars is a lot of money to me and probably anyone reading this article, but it is peanuts for a cruise line like Royal Caribbean.

Royal Caribbean collects around $6,000,000,000 (billion) a year.  And because it registered its business in Liberia and its cruise ships fly the foreign flags of Liberia or the Bahamas, it pays $0 in federal Income taxes. $0.

Why only a million dollars?  That will accomplish little. Even Royal Caribbean’s competitor Carnival promised to send $5 million to Haiti, and it has no relationship with Haiti.  The $6 a passenger deal which Royal Caribbean struck with the leaders of Haiti rips the Haitian people off.  $6 to go into a 260 acre private paradise?  Well established ports in Alaska collect $50 a passenger in head taxes just to step off of the cruise ship.”

Royal Caribbean tosses a few coins to the native swimmers.

“The executives at Royal Caribbean know how to make a hard bargain with Caribbean islands which have little economic bargaining power. CEO Richard Fain cut a deal where for only $6 a passenger (paid by the passenger), Haiti turned over a 260 acre tropical waterfront paradise of Haitian sovereign land for Royal Caribbean to consider it “private property” bearing the trademarked name “Labadee®.” Yes, that’s right.  This is a name that Royal Caribbean trademarked as a variation of the French slave owner Marquis de La’Badie who settled in Haiti in the 1600’s.

Many years ago an article revealed the hypocrisy of this whole endeavor.  Entitled “Fantasy Island:  Royal Carribean Parcels Off a Piece of Haiti,” the article explained that Royal Caribbean began docking in Haiti in January 1986 after the ruthless dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier leased the land to Royal Caribbean.  He thereafter fled to France and the country turned into chaos for the next decade.”

… read the entire article at Jim Walker’s Cruise Law News: Royal Caribbean “Returns” to its Trademarked, Private Fantasy Island of Labadee® – While Haiti Suffers.


Filed under Barbados, Building Collapse, Disaster, Haiti

Royal Caribbean passengers frolic in Haiti as the screams from the rubble continue

Caribbean Cruise Ship Fleet could save Haitian lives or entertain tourists out of Miami. What did they choose? You guessed it!

Labadee Beach, Haiti

Passengers from the Royal Caribbean cruise ships Independence of the Seas and Navigator of the Seas continue to enjoy themselves at the “five pristine beaches” leased from the Haitian government.

No need to worry about the tourists being bothered by those pesky injured and starving Haitians because the Royal Caribbean beaches are surrounded by 12 foot high fences and armed guards.

Two people pulled from the rubble and brought to the Haiti Rescue clinic Sunday, January 17, 2010. (Click the photo to visit the Haiti Rescue Center blog by missionaries Licia & Enoch Betor.)

And the screams from the rubble? No problem there either: the happy tink of steel pan covers any moans or pleas to help my son who has to have is leg amputated. I guess the fences are far enough from the beaches that the overweight retired whales sunning themselves and downing rum drinks with little bamboo umbrellas won’t see the barbed wire and shotgun toting guards.

You can read the Guardian article yourself and see where Royal Caribbean is saying that 40 pallets of food were dropped off (or maybe “are going to be”) – but many are sickened at the decision by Royal Caribbean to continue with business as usual.

Oh sure, Royal Caribbean did the big press release saying they are going to donate US$1 million and each ship that visits Haiti will drop off a few pallets of beans and rice – a few deck chairs. Whatever they can spare without disrupting the party too much. Considering what they could do, the size of the company and the resources at their disposal it’s much like tossing some coins over the side to watch the happy darkies dive and surface with de big smile for to get de shiny coin.

You think that’s too harsh? Do a little online research about the capabilities of Royal Caribbean and then apply it to the entire industry.

Coins over the side for the happy darkies.

Caribbean Cruise Industry fails to answer the call of humanity

There are only two entities that had the ability to deliver major quantities of food, water, medical supplies and shelter to the Haitian people during the first week of the disaster: The United States military and the Caribbean Cruise Ship industry.

President Obama waved his hand and the might of the United States headed for Haiti. American Special forces teams secured the airport within hours of the earthquake and the airplanes started to arrive shortly thereafter. The US Navy and their helicopters started to arrive before sun-up the next day and a carrier group arrived on day 2.

Say what you will about history, the past US abuses in Haiti, and the concerns of the pundits (but not those trapped in the wreckage) that the US has just invaded again: the bloody Yanks are coming through in Haiti like nobody else can. Donating money is all well and fine, but thousands more will be dead before the money can do any good at all. Those people need supplies and feet on the ground now and the USA has come through in a big way.

Yes, other organisations are loading airplanes and sending them too. The Canadians are on the ground and more are going to arrive tomorrow. The Jamaican military are there or soon will be.

Now consider the cruise ship industry.

The Port of Miami is the world’s largest cruise ship port and it is not unusual to see seven to ten cruises departing in a single day. Royal Caribbean alone operates six super liners from Miami that I can find and they have the infrastructure and personnel in place to stock these ships with military efficiency. (Royal Caribbean operates 42 ships total and owns 25% of the worldwide cruise ship travel market. They are huge.)

Now think about this: On January 22, 2010, the Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas will depart Miami and again head to Labadee Haiti for fun on the beach.

Adam Goldstein, CEO Royal Caribbean - Doing just enough in Haiti to sound good on his blog - Decided that tourists were more important than using the full resources of his company to save more Haitians

Adam Goldstein, CEO Royal Caribbean - Doing just enough in Haiti to sound good on his blog - Decided that tourists were more important than using the full resources of his company to save more Haitians

Will God damn Royal Caribbean & the cruise ship industry?

Here’s what should be done:

The CEO of Royal Caribbean, Adam Goldstein, should order that the January 22 cruise is canceled. Refund the 2,500 passengers or send them to Orlando Disney World or anywhere.

Royal Caribbean should coordinate with the US military who seem to be in charge. Load the Jewel of the Seas with everything it can carry. Ask for medical volunteers from Miami. You’ll get lots. Take the ship full of food, water and medical supplies to the people of Haiti. Anchor it offshore and do what you can for a few days then head back for more, or perhaps fill it full of children and feed and care for them. Think “floating orphanage” or “floating hotel” for the rescue workers.

Anything but depositing more tourists on the beach. Anything but continuing to cruise the Caribbean and Panama Canal with tourists instead of devoting the entire might of the largest cruise ship company in the Caribbean to saving lives now.

Will God damn Royal Caribbean and the rest of the cruise ship industry? I don’t know, but I do. No no doubt the people on the other side of the barbed wire and shotguns at Labadee will too.

Further Reading

Personal Blog of Royal Caribbean CEO Adam Goldstein (Hmmm…. no comments on the guest post yet. Maybe the people of the Caribbean can say a few words to Mr. Goldstein and John Weis, Associate Vice President, Private Destinations, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.)


Filed under Barbados, Building Collapse, Disaster