Mia Mottley Refuses to Dance the “Sandals Shuffle”

Afra Raymond unpacks the Sandals matter in his recent blogpost , Property Matters – Sandals Shuffle, AGAIN – David, Afra Raymond

“…we are running a Country, not a Company…”
—Mia Mottley QC MP, Barbados PM – from her inaugural budget Wednesday, 20 March 2019

This title occurred to me due to the quiet backsliding of the main supporters of the Tobago Sandals project. This is the kind of situation where people thought they were operating safely in the dark, until someone suddenly opens the door and turns on the lights. The emergence of Sandals’ recent skirmishes have also reminded me of a shuffle.

Those shameless promoters told the public repeatedly about how satisfactory the existing arrangements were for State-owned hotels and went on to explain the special benefits of Sandals and so on and so forth. The steady exposure of the rickety arrangements for the existing hotels and the publication of the Tobago Sandals MoU have combined to end the scheme. Sunlight is really the best disinfectant.

The decisive point here, in terms of the important issue of Caribbean Leadership Standards, is that our current political administration agreed to make tax/duty/work permit concessions to Sandals for that Tobago project which the State was funding. In all the other Sandals projects and their various issues about concessions, about which we are hearing so much, those hotels were built by Sandals. In Tobago, our Treasury was going to fund the entire resort and yet our politicians were intending to grant concessions, facilitate transfer-pricing and allow Sandals free choice in respect of goods and services. No wonder those Sandals officials were smiling the whole time. I tell you.

Please note that this kind of deal is not found anywhere else on the planet. That is for those supporters who want to chat about how Sandals transformed here or there. Here is the only country in which we were going to pay for the entire resort. Under the terms of that MoU Sandals was putting no money at risk. None.

None of the former defenders of Tobago Sandals seem ready, willing or able to defend their proposals, now that the actual agreed intentions have been disclosed. We are yet to hear any T&T leader even hint at repudiating any of the detrimental terms agreed in that Tobago Sandals MoU.

That position is quite different from that of the Barbados PM Mia Mottley QC who in delivering her first budget on Wednesday 20th March 2019 spoke strongly against Sandals proposals to obtain certain guarantees which would have prevented them from being taxed any differently for a term of 40 years. PM Mottley was clear in rejecting the Sandals proposals as being inimical to the stability of their country, and diluting the role of Parliament in establishing taxes. ‘…we are running a country, not a company‘ was a striking phrase used by PM Mottley, one for us to remember.


Read full blog post –

Property Matters – Sandals Shuffle

Graphic credit: Afra Raymond

125 thoughts on “Mia Mottley Refuses to Dance the “Sandals Shuffle”


  2. Follow the law on Hyatt
    Article by
    Barbados Today
    Published on
    April 2, 2019

    Government’s plans to expand the layout of the proposed Hyatt hotel will not face any opposition from social activist David Comissiong once it is properly and lawfully done.

    Speaking to Barbados TODAY on Government’s new proposal, Comissiong said he would have no issue once the proper procedures were followed. He explained though, that Government would now have to make a new application as the building plans were being changed.

    “If it is that there is a proposal to make a new application for new permission to construct a different type of hotel, no longer a 15-storey hotel but a hotel of a different configuration, then that new application or proposal has to go through the legal procedure; that is it has to be subjected to an EIA inclusive of the holding of townhall meetings where I and other members of the Barbadian public could receive information, ask questions and make objections if we feel so inclined to do so,” Comissiong, the Ambassador to CARICOM said.

    Prime Minister Mia Mottley recently announced that Government was against the previous plan of having the Hyatt built on two spots in Bridgetown. Instead, she revealed that the US$100 million hotel would now be constructed on three lots after
    Government’s compulsory acquisition of nearby property.

    On March 2017, Comissiong filed for a judicial review of the permissions granted by then Prime Minister Freundel Stuart to Hyatt developer Mark Maloney for the construction of the hotel based on a perceived failure by Maloney to carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) at the construction site.

    He also questioned the impact the proposed 15-storey hotel would have on the area, which has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.

    Stuart filed a counter-claim but Justice Sonia Richards ruled that Comissiong did in fact have the right to challenge Stuart’s decision.

    “All we have to do in Barbados is to follow the law, that’s all we have to do. If there is a new application and it is taken through the correct process of an EIA, we would all have the opportunity to pose the probing questions about whether it will do damage to Barbados’ UNESCO World Heritage site designation, whether it will do physical damage to the beach, whether it will do sociological damage to Barbadians’ access to that particular beach. We would have an opportunity to ventilate all of these issues,” Comissiong added.

    The social activist said he was not yet aware of any new application which had been made by Government.

  3. We will wait to see how the Cahill proposal is integrated into the Mia Mottley WTE plan for the country. We should be reasonably certain given Mottley’s resistance to plasma gasification and the lack of transparency surrounding Cahill, Qunatum will have to amend the Cahill plan.

  4. Mottley keep throwing up the Hyatt as what seems to be another smoke and mirror strategy
    If Mia thinks that HYatt would engage her in new plans she needs to think about finding other investors who have time to engage in her political poppycock
    BTW i wonder hiw much concession the new owners received for the delapidated flee bag Caribee Hotel

    • HYATT is the hotel management company signed on to manage the hotel. It is Maloney’s company responsible for the development,/construction Vision.

  5. I am certain that Hyatt submitted plans to Maloney as to how they would like the Hyatt constructed
    The Hyatt brand if one take a close look at the builings are similar in Height
    Mottley plan would not be in similarity to all of Hyatts world wide and might even cost Hyatt more

    • You know this how? You saw the amended plan?

      Was it you who posted to the blog that Hyatt decided to bypass Barbados and go to another island?

  6. I wonder where ManyPussy gone fish?

    She really ent doing she job pun BU

    She want firing doah

    A big article in de paper bout David Come Sing A Song and she miss um?

    “…Government’s plans to expand the layout of the proposed Hyatt hotel will not face any opposition from social activist David Comissiong once it is properly and lawfully done. Speaking to Barbados TODAY on Government’s new proposal, Comissiong said he would have no issue once the proper procedures were followed…”

  7. Oh dear, I should have posted dat when I typed dat

    ManyPussy beat muh to it


  8. “The Government intends to free up regulations for Barbadians to dip into more than $11 billion of their savings and invest it as equity in entrepreneurs.
    Prime Minister Mia Mottley said a part of her administration’s growth strategy was to “mobilise domestic savings” and support the spread of ownership of assets to all citizens.

    Barbadians hold more than $9 billion on commercial bank accounts and approximately $2 billion in credit unions.”

    My advice to Barbadians. Make sure you always have enough ” savings ” to pay for emergency or unforeseen MEDICAL TREATMENT.

  9. No i did not post that comment however as of now the only ones talking about the possible potential for Hyatt coming to barbados is Mia
    The fact remains that on the Hyatt website no statements are being issued as to Yea
    In the meanwhile Mia operatives pushed the Hyatt story as if it is a forgone conclusion
    The possibility however will remain mute now that Mia has alternatives plans for the construction which most likely will be rejected by Hyatt.

  10. PDYR congratulations your TURD party was officially launched last night compliments of Mariposa
    Hope u liked your attire

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