Check Out the Real Situation…

Nero Rome Fiddling

There is the popular expression credited to Sir Winston Churchill ‘never let a good crisis go to waste’. It is believed Churchill’s reference had to do with an alliance formed after World War II between himself (UK), Stalin (Soviet Union) and Roosevelt (USA) which resulted in the formation of the United Nations. It is possible that out of chaos can come order to quote another.

It is ironic the world is again witnessing a crisis that if left unchecked could escalate to nuclear war. The battle between Russia – successor to the Soviet Union – and the Ukraine – former member of the Soviet Union – is another indictment of mankind. What cannot be denied is that the conflict will continue to negatively impact the global economy because Russia and Ukraine are major suppliers of wheat, oil and other commodities. There is also the collateral effect of speculators who influence price in the global financial markets.

What an epoch unfolding!

The conflict in Eastern Europe lest we forget is occurring at a time the global community is waging another ‘battle’ against the Covid 19 pandemic. It is a time we are reminded by members of the nonsecular fraternity that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in heavenly places” – Ephesians 6:12. To pragmatists the opportunity to create opportunities arising from crises is the goal while others remain anchored to being idealistic with perennial talk of end times. Truth be told for the blogmaster’s life and parents before this has been the refrain – soon come. 

Conscious of the need to promote in the Community the highest level of efficiency in the production of goods and services especially with a view to maximising foreign exchange earnings on the basis of international competitiveness, attaining food security, achieving structural diversification and improving the standard of living of their peoples;

RTOC

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine hopefully will galvanize a lazy political class to focus on food security for the region. Even if it is at the eleventh hour. Ever since the Treaty of Chaguaramas was established members have failed to exploit the resources of the region for collective benefit of citizens. The approach by leaders of CARICOM has been to feed inflated egos by luxuriating in the high offices of the land. Citizens of the region must hold themselves accountable by raising the decibel level on a dissenting voice, be as passionate to protest as is presently being demonstrated because of the Russia/Ukraine conflict. 

The same can be hoped for regarding if we have learned from the Covid 19 pandemic. Are we satisfied our businesses have re-engineered storefronts to efficiently deliver products and services to the public if the pandemic escalates or another emerges? What about the public service – what is the status of the project to make it fit for purpose? Should another pandemic or event occur that requires a shutdown to face to face service, does it mean a large number of public servants sent home to suck indefinitely from the nipples of taxpayers? 

It is two years and counting since the Covid 19 pandemic started and eight years the Russia/Ukraine conflict has been in the making with fighting in the Donbas regions. Are our leaders fiddling while CARICOM is burning?

49 comments

  • “Check Out the Real Situation…” sang Bob the dread lock rasta
    “Nation war against nation. Where did it all begin? When will it end? Well, it seems like: total destruction the only solution And there ain’t no use: no one can stop them now.”

    I am not much of a believer of those end times revelations or an immaculate conception as written in the bible
    I am still waiting for the beginning of life of equality and truths and rights with a level playing field as God intended
    and will respond with “When one door is closed, don’t you know that many more are open'” from Coming In From the Cold

    Like

  • Caricom concern about Europe, Haiti
    WAR IN EUROPE and the challenges facing Haiti are major concerns for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
    Both issues were raised yesterday by the new chairman of CARICOM Belize Prime Minister John Briceno and his predecessor Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne during the official opening of the 33rd Inter-Sessional Meeting of Heads in San Pedro, Belize.
    “As we meet Russia has invaded Ukraine. This is a flagrant violation of international law. We condemn in the strongest terms this unjustified invasion. There must be an immediate cessation of hostilities and immediate and unilateral withdrawal of all Russian troops from Ukraine,” Briceno said.
    “We call for all to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law. The uncertainties that exist are proof positive that multilateral cooperation and support are indispensable to effectively countering the immense challenges we face.”
    Browne said “all around us, very dangerous and volatile changes, threaten to overwhelm the international order, as we have come to know it”.
    “As I speak, the guns of war are once again roaring in Europe in a military confrontation, that could bring two, nuclear-armed world powers into open conflict. The implications of this development for world peace and security are almost too frightening to contemplate,” he warned.
    “This trend towards danger and volatility across many spheres in international affairs, has characterised the past six months of my chairmanship, and I fully expect it to continue.”
    Regarding Haiti, Briceno said the situation there “is of despair for all of us”.
    “We have devoted significant time over the past year in considering how the Community can best support Haiti in grappling with a multitude of crises on top of which is now a constitutional crisis.
    We do not have any easy or quick fixes,” he said. “But what we know for sure, is that the Community will continue to walk alongside Haiti; we will continue to offer our support, solidarity and cooperation; and we will continue to advocate for an international response that is commensurate with the needs of Haiti.”
    Browne, who recalled the tragic assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise, and the damage caused by an earthquake and Tropical Storm Grace, said Haiti was among CARICOM’s
    list of priorities.
    “We need to work with Haiti in helping to resolve the deteriorating political situation in the country and the deepening public anxiety over citizen security,” he said.
    “Our Community has been engaged with Haiti at the highest political level, and has offered to assist in crafting a Haitian-led solution to the present crisis, that will garner the support of all the political forces in Haiti, as well as the international community.
    “Citizen security and political legitimacy, are what Haiti needs most at this time, and without these vital elements Haiti’s economic and social prospects will remain grim.
    “I am hoping that our Community can be the bridge to the UN and other major organisations of the international community, to bring these needed elements to Haiti, as well as, a strong measure of humanitarian assistance, rigorously applied,” Browne added. (SC)

    Source: Nation

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  • Medicinal cannabis hope
    AS BARBADOS STEPS OUT of the strictures of COVID-19 with renewed hope of halted businesses rediscovering their footing, equal hope has emerged from a fledgling industry that stands to bring major returns, once properly and equitably facilitated.
    We speak of the medicinal cannabis industry, which was grasped with both hands by legislators and potential investors in 2019 but, like most other sectors, has been stalled by the global pandemic. It was therefore welcome news when Minister of Agriculture and Food and Nutritional Security Indar Weir announced last week that the first set of licences would be issued for entities seeking to cultivate the drug that has already made its impact in other jurisdictions.
    Investment
    With nearly a dozen licence applicants, this is by no means a small development since it is an industry that demands heavy investment and its returns are expected to be similarly rewarding.
    Thankfully, Barbados moved in time to get the local industry on a solid legal footing by debating and passing the Medicinal Cannabis Bill three years ago, when thoughts of cyber and nuclear wars were swirling around in citizens’ minds more so than a health crisis that would eventually shut down movement, gatherings and business.
    Subsidies
    At the dawn of some semblance of a return to pre-COVID-19 normalcy, it is hoped that this new industry will help to bring Barbados back from the economic doldrums after having been hit for two years where it hurt most: tourism.
    It is also hoped that no effort will be spared by the authorities to ensure that Barbadians, despite their lack of investment wherewithal to lead the medicinal cannabis industry, will be given the relevant subsidies in order to play major roles, whether those roles be in further study of the drug, packaging or distribution.
    Just as importantly, priority should be given to Barbadian workers in terms of the actual planting, harvesting and transporting of the product.
    No Barbadian of the 21st century wants to see a repeat of the sugar industry, where the main returns were reserved for those of fairer hue, deeper pockets and more distant lands.
    So much economic disenfranchisement occurred in that industry that its effects are still being felt in the spectre of poverty that haunts some descendants of those who toiled the most but reaped very little, while Great Britain became an industrial powerhouse undergirded by sugar, and its landowning “lords” accumulated vast wealth from regional plantations.
    New company
    Today we hold the Government to its current promises, including the enabling of participants in the cannabis industry by the Farmers’ Empowerment and Enfranchisement Drive (FEED) and the establishment of a new company owned solely by Barbadians.
    Furthermore, the medicinal cannabis legislation – which was not only debated by elected Members of Parliament but benefited from the input of stakeholders in the Rastafari and other movements – has the assurance of 100 per cent Barbadian ownership enshrined in it.
    So as the blanket of COVID-19 continues to be removed, let us walk into a new day with well-deserved economic hope.

    Source: Nation

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  • BIDC head makes import plea
    GOVERNMENT IS TARGETING hundreds of millions of dollars in additional export earnings for Barbados, but there is a need for the private sector to get on board and end its current reliance on imported goods.
    Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC) chief executive officer Mark Hill outlined this mission on Monday during the Estimates Debate in the House of Assembly.
    Hill said that Barbados, for example, had the potential to earn US$250 million from the export of green hydrogen, wood pellets and activated carbon, and the same amount from medical export opportunities in the life sciences sector that was being developed.
    He also told the House that there were plans to capitalise on earnings from the traditional areas of food processing, fashion designers and furniture manufacturing.
    However, Hill said there was a need for more Barbadian companies to transition from being importers to earning the country more foreign exchange through exports.
    Food science centre
    BIDC, which is now trading as Export Barbados, is a department of the Ministry of Innovation Science and Technology, which was the latest head to be debated.
    The CEO said his organisation was establshing an international food sciences centre that would “help our small business people . . . export”.
    Regarding the production of wood pellets, he said the Guyana visit facilitated an agreement where material from that country’s sawmills “will be shipped back to Barbados and we will be producing a high-quality wood pellet that would be going into the European market”.
    He added: “And then layered on top of that is the life sciences. . . . We expect to see new medical export opportunities coming to also augment what we are doing going forward and that is another US$250 million that is coming in the pipeline.
    Launching company
    “Our minister should soon be launching one of our first life science companies that is coming to the table and we expect this sector to grow extremely rapidly especially when we develop and deploy the science park as well.”
    “So we are not shooting in the dark. We have specific targets, we have pathways and strategies that we are following, but the strategie are designed to meet at the entrepreneurial level so regardless of the size of your company we are going to help you to export,” he said.
    Hill said Barbados’ private sector needed to focus more on exports.
    He elaborated: “Our private sector has a habit of focusing only on imports, so when we talk about entrepreneurship much of that discussion is about cultivating importers and those importers tap our [foreign] reserves and . . . [had] $3 billion last year in imports but only $300 million [in exports] went out.” (SC)

    Source: Nation

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  • Renewed call to go all-in on CSME
    COMPLETING KEY ASPECTS of Caribbean cooperation, including the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), must be paramount as the regional integration movement prepares to mark its golden anniversary in 2023.
    This was made clear yesterday by new Caribbean Community (CARICOM) chairman Belize Prime Minister John Briceno, his predecessor Antigua and Barbudan Prime Minister Gaston Browne, and CARICOM Secretary General Dr Carla Barnett.
    They were speaking in San Pedro, Belize, at the official opening of the 33rd Inter-Sessional Meeting of Heads, the first in-person meeting of Heads in about two years.
    Addressing officials, including Barbados Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, the three officials outlined a to-do list that included full implementation of the CSME and cooperation in a range of areas like health, crime and safety, tourism, food and nutrition security, trade, economic recovery climate change, and information technology.
    Briceno said while he was aware of the criticisms CARICOM faced, integration “is the instrument by which we have committed to advance our development and, quite frankly, for our small states, integration is really the only modality we have”.
    With CARICOM celebrating its 50th anniversary next year, he proposed “that during 2022 we embark on a journey of regional consultation so that we can mark the anniversary of the accord with the adoption of a repurposed, reimagined, revitalised accord that presents an irreversible prescription designed to achieve our region’s just objectives”.
    Central
    “Our recovery should be aligned to a new regional agenda that is centred around creating prosperity for our people.
    “We must continue, more intensely, to harness the resource endowments whilst building sustainability and resilience across our development interventions,” he said.
    “That would naturally include digital transformation, transformation of agri-food systems, and empowering the CSME to deliver on its objectives. A robust CSME is indispensable to building resilient economies; it is central to our economic recovery.”
    Browne said that with the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic now behind the region, climate change “remains the most significant existential threat facing all of humanity”.
    He said that in relation to this and other areas, including food and nutrition security, it was evident that CARICOM needed to “rely more and more on our own initiatives and our own resources”.
    (SC)

    Source: Nation

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  • Heads of Government to cover critical issues including pandemic and the attack on Ukraine

    Article by Barbados Today

    Published on
    March 2, 2022

    Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders began a two-day summit in Belize still grappling with the socio-economic impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the need to implement measures aimed at further deepening the regional integration process and concerns that the recent invasion of Ukraine by Russia could further stymie the development of the region.

    Belize Prime Minister, John Briceno, the CARICOM chairman, told the opening ceremony in the picturesque San Pedro region that the summit was taking place at a time when “unprecedented and existential challenges” coincide with citizens’ expectations for relief and prosperity.

    “The international climate is riddled with crises, conflicts and suffering. Every country, every region is managing, they say, unprecedented challenges, with, they say, inadequate sources. The global unraveling is occurring against the backdrop of what appears to be a new cold war.

    Briceno said that Russia had invaded Ukraine in what he described as a “flagrant violation of international law”.

    “We condemn in the strongest terms this unjustified invasion. There must be an immediate cessation of hostilities and immediate and unilateral withdrawal of all Russian troops from Ukraine. We call for all to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law.”

    He said that the uncertainties that exist are proof positive that multilateral cooperation and support are indispensable to effectively counter the immense challenges facing the region while at the same time having the responsibility of meeting the aspirations of Caribbean people for development, for improved standards of living and for opportunities.

    Prime Minister Briceno said that CARICOM countries are contending with the worst economic recession in modern history, noting that in 2020, countries registered double digit economic contraction, thousands of citizens were suddenly unemployed and remittances had dried up.

    “In Belize we estimate that the poverty rate has increased from 50 per cent in 2018 to 60 per cent in 2021, two thirds of all Belizeans are poor. That is clearly unacceptable. No doubt, similar circumstances obtain across the region.”

    He said the robust economic recovery that appeared to be at hand in first part of 2021 is now slowing and in August last year, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) projected that the Caribbean would grow by 4.1 per cent in 2021.

    However, by January this year, ECLAC had revised its projection to three per cent and a measly 1.2 per cent excluding Guyana.

    “For 2022, ECLAC has already revised downward its projections for the Caribbean from 7.8 per cent to 6.1 per cent. In addition to these circumstances, many of us are carrying unsustainable debt loads and have limited fiscal space to mount the necessary economic response. “

    Briceno said that only four CARICOM member states are participating in the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Debt Service Suspension Initiative and in 2020 only five member states, including Haiti, received concessional financing from the World Bank.

    “This is wrong. It is also unjust. While it is imperative that we continue to press our case, which is fair and just; we know from experience that the wheels of international cooperation grind slowly. We cannot afford to lose further ground; we cannot afford to lose our future.

    “Therefore, we must be more strategic and coordinated in our advocacy. We must demand an immediate reform of the international financial system. Demand urgent climate action, and immediate access to vaccines,” Prime Minister Briceno said. (BT/CMC)


    Source: Barbados Today

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  • @ David,

    US$100 million

    CARICOM Sustainability Agriculture Credit Facility will be offering up to $20 billion (US$100 million) in financing for the development of the agriculture sector.

    Like

  • Good news Hants. Let us hope we live to see it implemented.

    Like

  • @ David & Hants
    “Good news Hants. Let us hope we live to see it implemented.”
    ~~~~~~~
    What EXACTLY is the ‘good news’ David?
    Almost EVERY damn day we hear these politicians tossing around so-called solutions as ‘millions of dollars’ for some issue or the other…..
    What the hell does that mean?
    That they will then ‘hire numerous consultants who copy pages and pages of shiite documents and change the names and dates,… they then charge MILLIONS of dollars for the nonsense, …which then disappears in someones cabinet… and we are left even FURTHER on debt …while NOTHING USEFUL EVER HAPPENS.

    This is for example the STORY of our Water Authority.
    Do you remember all the shiite PROMISES made over the YEARS by the various ministers and the joker they have for a manager?
    Now, AFTER they spend MILLIONS to get water to St John…. the people in St Lucy now seeing HELL…

    How you and Hants can fall for such CRAP is beyond Bushie…

    Where are the DETAILED PLANS and strategies to produce the desired results?
    Who the Hell is taking RESPONSIBILITY for success or failure?
    Who is ACCOUNTING for every cent spent?
    How many times are incompetents allowed to FAIL…?

    SMSH …(shaking Bushies stinking head….)

    Like

  • @Bush Tea

    Your skepticism agrees with the blogmaster’s comment then? Will we see implementation in our lifetime. Again, we should not allow two crises to go to waste. Perhaps these lazy politicians who have been performing below par will finally rise to the occasion.

    Like

  • @ Bush Tea,

    What crap did I fall for ?

    All I did was show that it was US $100 million ( GUY $ 20 Billion )

    Like

  • @ Hants
    “What crap did I fall for ?”
    ~~~~~~
    Boss, …Bushie vex bout the damn politicians.!!
    So who do you & David want the bushman to cuss then? ..ac???!!

    That woman SHOTTING lately …. plus she ban the bushman from calling her name…
    (actually the REAL ac is on annual holiday and as always, the stand-in ups the ante… LOL)

    Like

  • @Bush Tea

    All of us have opinions even if they are not our own or move positions like branches in the wind. This is our problem, opinions seem to trump beliefs anchored to the philosophical.

    Like

  • Sign of the times. It is all about implementing measures to absorb the hits with minimum fallout/hurt.

    ‘Tough times ahead’
    Mia to lead Caricom economic recovery efforts
    PRIME MINISTER Mia Amor Mottley, who has been tasked with leading the CARICOM community’s economic recovery efforts, says Barbados and its CARICOM partners are facing tremendous difficulties and challenges emanating from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
    Regional Heads of Government concluded their 33rd CARICOM Inter-sessional Meeting yesterday evening in San Pedro, Belize, with an announcement that Mottley will chair an expanded CARICOM Economic Recovery And Transformation Sub-Committee.
    Mottley said: “The increase in energy prices is clearly going to be a major challenge for us, but [also]… freight costs and the supply chain. We also recognise that any efforts that we have to increase food production must be urgent because the increase in prices is likely for food as a result of the dominant role that both Russia and the Ukraine play in the production of both corn and soya,” she said.
    “So we hope that that subcommittee can meet in the upcoming weeks to further refine the kinds of proposals. We recognise equally that we have to continue engagement with the international financial institutions as well.”
    Mottley added: “We in the region have increased our debt largely as a result of us fighting this climate crisis. It has therefore left us less capable of absorbing the shocks with respect to this war in Ukraine than we might otherwise be.
    “It therefore is critical for us to raise with the international financial institutions and with the G20 countries the extent to which the climate crisis has literally derailed us from our development trajectory and in particular the pursuit and attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals.”
    CARICOM chairman Belize Prime Minister John Briceno also told the concluding press conference that with the Caribbean Public Health Agency cautioning that the COVID-19 pandemic remained a major threat to the region’s recovery, there would be a regional campaign to combat the disinformation that officials believed was discouraging COVID-19 vaccinations.
    However, a major concern, he said was the negative fallout from the ongoing war in Europe.
    “The recovery process also engaged our attention with the CARICOM Single Market and Economy identified as a major plank in that regard. We agreed to revive the CARICOM Economic Recovery and Transformation [Sub-Committee] Committee under the guidance of Prime Minister Mottley to serve as a clearing house for the many recommendations being tabled and to guide the economy recovery and transformation process
    in the Community,” Briceno said.
    “Representatives of the Caribbean Development Bank, CARICOM Development Fund and the CARICOM Commission On The Economy have now been included in the committee.
    “We agreed that there was need to focus on greater production integration to help advance the CSME and it was decided that the President of Suriname would be the lead Head…for industrial policy in the CARICOM quasi cabinet of Heads of Governments,” he added.
    During their deliberations CARICOM Heads agreed to plans presented by Guyana President Dr Irfaan Ali to accelerate plans to reduce the region’s food import bill by 25 per cent by 2025.
    Mottley said a related investment conference will be held in Guyana from May 19 to May 21 in an effort to raise the necessary funding to grow more food, including the production of poultry and other commodities including soya beans and corn. (SC)


    Source: Nation

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  • Interesting article but I remember from high school poli sci that the organization was called the League of Nations. United came long after.

    Like

  • NorthernObserver

    “We in the region have increased our debt largely as a result of us fighting this climate crisis”
    This is a perfect example of “positioning”. Take a negative, debt, and associate it to something with popular widespread ‘buy in’, in climate change.
    The majority of the current regional debt has little to do with climate change, but, the latter could be a major factor. Get on the bandwagon.

    Liked by 1 person

  • NorthernObserver

    On real situations….
    “Meanwhile, NIS chairman Leslie Haynes, Q.C. said he had heard of the appointment, but had not been officially informed.”
    How the RH could the NIS Board Chair have merely ‘heard’ of the appointment of Ms Kim Tudor as head of the NIS?

    Like

  • de pedantic Dribbler

    @Northern, all maguffy bosses operate on a ‘need to know basis’. Ours is one of the best ! 😎🤣

    Wasn’t Putin’s Intel Chief not officially informed of his boss’s intent to take over the sovereign state of Ukraine and found himself – just like Haynes – publicly ’embarrassed’ !

    The beauty of these things is that the maguffy’s sub-bosses all manage their bosses very, very carefully in order to ensure that they are not themselves taken-over or un-appointed… it’s an awesome game when all is said and done!

    Lata

    Like

  • @ Northern Observer March 3, 2022 11:37 AM
    (Quote):
    “We in the region have increased our debt largely as a result of us fighting this climate crisis”
    This is a perfect example of “positioning”. Take a negative, debt, and associate it to something with popular widespread ‘buy in’, in climate change.
    The majority of the current regional debt has little to do with climate change, but, the latter could be a major factor. Get on the bandwagon.
    (Unquote).
    ++++++++++++++++++++++

    Well spotted, “NO”!

    Yet this so-called visionary leader is talking about plans to exploit the very same imaginary hydrocarbons off the tourism-dependent atoll and which have been scientifically proven to be the major contributor to the hastening-up of the very same climate change.

    What would be the plan(s) to make use of the revenues earned from the exploitation of any pockets of crude oil off Barbados?

    Payback the IMF for the balance of payments support needed in coming years to pay the Chinese to feed the Bajan conspicuous consumption habits?

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  • Don’t forget about Bosstic and the vaccines.
    Modus Operandi

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  • The Barbados Police Service will be utilising breathalyser testing from April 1, more than two years after the supporting legislation came into effect
    Finally! Can’t understand why it took two years, was that enough time for people to dry out?
    There will be some surprises in who is caught in the net (maybe not) but some coppers might find a few brothers or two among the tipsy.
    The powers that be may have to establish a Liquor Court

    https://barbadostoday.bb/2022/03/04/police-pro-assures-officers-will-not-pull-over-drivers-willy-nilly/

    Like

  • (Quote):
    There will be some surprises in who is caught in the net (maybe not) but some coppers might find a few brothers or two among the tipsy.
    The powers that be may have to establish a Liquor Court
    (Unquote).
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Ordinary Bajan rum drinkers will have to buy high-end expensive vehicles or drive around in fictitious MP number plates to avoid being brought before that Liquor Court.

    This is a great fillip to the marijuana consumption business in Barbados.

    The sellers of alcoholic beverages must be hopping mad.

    Under the current legislation can the type of breathalyzers to be used detect cannabis in a driver’s bloodstream?

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  • @NO

    These are the types of issues we should be earnestly discussing, instead what is the preference? A reason the statement we deserve the governments elected.

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  • @Dee Word

    How is the analogy relevant?

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  • @Miller

    The decision probably signals a resignation by the government given our current financial state that we are out of options.

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  • Well govt can be well assured that revenue generating from this policy will flow like milk and honey

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  • @Sargeant

    According to the report it will not be random. Why not?

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  • @Miller

    The majority of drivers on the road the blogmaster will suggest are not drunk drivers. We have to be careful about generalizing.

    Like

  • This is a joke right?


    Some businesses will ‘cut prices’

    By Rachelle Agard
    rachelleagard@nationnews.com
    Companies in the Barbados Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCI) are mature enough to pass on any savings to consumers, says president Anthony Branker.
    He was reacting to Minister in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs Ryan Straughn’s recent announcement that Government was looking to implement a special arrangement with the private sector that could see a significant reduction in import duties and a drop in prices of certain commodities.
    Managing director of Goddard Enterprises Ltd, Anthony Ali, said last month that Government’s plan to help ease the cost of living would depend on the goodwill of businesses passing on the savings to consumers, something he was sceptical about.
    “I believe that a lot of [the benefit] will be kept within the businesses themselves and, therefore, the end consumer would not get the benefit that is intended,” he said then.
    Collective decision
    However, Branker told the
    Saturday Sun that when the pandemic first hit Barbados businesses under the BCCI came together and decided they would not increase any markups.
    “Where the cost of freight has been brought down by Government, if that is what they plan to do, if they do it, I am sure the business community that the chamber represents is responsible enough that we will use the same markccups that we were having before and pass on the savings to the consumers. We did it before at the start of COVID, and I believe they will be mature enough to make similar decisions to pass on the benefits to the consumers,” he said.
    He added that while there might be some businesses which would be inclined to keep the savings for themselves, having taken a financial hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, competitiveness in the market would drive the pricing down.
    “If there is an individual entity that decides they are not passing on the savings, I hope the Barbadian consumers are informed enough that they will make the right decisions to go where they can benefit from reduced prices. There is a Price Control Department, which has a mandate to monitor pricing of products in Barbados, so they can have a role in it too if they so deem that it is necessary,” the president said.
    Straughn had said Government was seeking to reduce the duties to reflect cost, insurance and freight (CIF) values of 2019, which in turn could lead to trickle-down benefits to the consumer. The average cost of a container in 2019 was US$2 500, depending on its origin. Due to disruptions caused by the pandemic, a shortage of containers arose and the cost jumped to US$15 000. Business people now have to bid in order to get goods shipped to a particular country, and in some instances bids went as high as US$20 000.
    However, Branker said there was no significant benefit for prices of goods coming out of CARICOM or the United States, but those from China, Asia, Brazil, Indonesia and Europe would see some.
    “There will be the expectation of a wide reduction in prices across the shelves, and I want to be able to manage the expectations of the public. The items we bring from CARICOM and a lot of the items that come out of the USA were not severely affected by the increases in freight. When the survey was done on where the significant price increase came from, there was no significant price increase out of the USA. If we adjust the freight cost in the calculation of duties, there will not be any significant savings there either,” he said.
    Abed’s warning
    Businessman Eddy Abed, a former BCCI president, warned that if there is an increase in the price of oil, freight rates will also increase.
    He said freight out of the Orient was somewhere in the region of 20 to 30 per cent of the final cost of the item imported to Barbados, which was compounded when duty and VAT were added.
    “If we could remove the amount of freight that it currently is and take it back to the 2018 value and calculate duties on that, immediately there should be savings of about seven to eight per cent. Obviously, this is dependent on what goes on in the world with the price of oil,” he said.
    “Oil is almost US$100 per barrel, and we’ve been warned by our freighting companies that that magical boundary when oil gets there, freight rates will go up even more. It is a fastmoving, very fluid situation, but definitely if we can reduce freight to the 2018 levels as have been suggested by Government and Customs, I can tell you in my area it will see a reduction of items at retail level.”

    Source: Nation

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  • NorthernObserver

    It is a joke. Largely because there are too many input components, all of which are moving higher.
    For the record I moved to 100% cash last week “just in case”.

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  • @NO
    Isn’t that market timing. Moving back in may be harder than you think
    Curious as to how you can move around so easily.

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  • NorthernObserver

    @TheO
    It is simple. I spent my life protecting against taxes (minimizing). Took me about 15 mins to sell, will take me a similar time to buy back in. I am self directed, I have no broker nor advisor.
    Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose? To me, the potential downside risks, in the hands of an unpredictable human, outweigh the potential gains. This is not my first rodeo 😂

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  • William Skinner

    @ David; et al
    How can we expect those who cannot govern properly in normal times, to govern any better in times of crisis?

    Like

  • “We are proposing that having had the Common Entrance for the last time this year, that is in 2022, we are proposing that the first set of students transitioning under the new structure will transition in September 2023. So, school year 2023/2024 is identified as the first year that the new structure comes into being,” Denny disclosed.

    She said the end of the controversial exams will also usher in a new structure in the island’s secondary schools, which will be aimed at providing better support to students who wish to thrive in a variety of areas outside the usual subjects.”

    Any of you well educated support this change ?

    Like

  • @ David March 5, 2022 6:39 AM
    “The majority of drivers on the road the blogmaster will suggest are not drunk drivers. We have to be careful about generalizing.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Quite true!

    And that’s because the majority of drivers do not drink alcohol in any unmanageable quantities.

    There have always been ‘adequate legislation to deal with those deemed driving under the influence of ???.

    What should be of more relevance today is whether the legislation (and the mechanisms to enforce such) is adequate enough to cover those driving under the influence of other intoxicating substances like marijuana, cocaine and mind-altering synthetics which are substances increasingly used by ‘modern’ Bajans instead of the old-fashioned booze.

    Like

  • @William

    We have to expect it, we have to advocate for it. We have to hold elected officials accountable.

    Like

  • $60m boost for solar power
    Barbados’ renewable energy sector is benefiting from major local investment, with green technology company CloudSolar Inc. in the process of investing about $60 million in solar power.
    With international oil prices now at their highest in about seven years, the company’s founder and chief executive officer Dominic De Freitas said there was an opportunity for Barbadian householders and businesses to secure a more sustainable energy supply.
    CloudSolar officials said the enterprise was the Caribbean’s first green technology company that allowed users to purchase solar panels digitally.
    “We enable our clients to invest in the solar industry, while removing all the barriers that come along with owning a physical solar PV system. Our well managed, sustainable and efficient solar PV portfolio generates solar energy that we pool together via our cloud platform and sell on behalf of our clients to the utility company,” they added.
    De Freitas said CloudSolar was set to invest about $60 million in the solar landscape over the next few years with a 20 megawatt solar pipeline of projects.
    “Over the last six years the company has built four megawatts of rooftop solar across ten sites around the island. We have also commissioned the largest single independent power producer to date, a whopping 1.28 megawatt plant in St John,” he said.
    “CloudSolar is the largest online community solar platform in Barbados. We facilitate investments
    in the solar industry for the benefit of all Barbadians.” (SC)


    Source: Nation

    Like

  • Caribbean thinkers
    Even though Caribbean history, culture, politics and educational systems have been developed and evolved to snuff out independent thinking, it is arguable that the independent, creative, innovative thinking still thrived and thrives in the region. This may be in spite of, or maybe in response to, the oppressive and repressive systems.
    Who needs to be more independent, creative and innovative than the man or woman who has to constantly be on the lookout to outmanoeuvre enslavers and colonisers? Our ancestors did not survive the most brutally sophisticated and most extensive system of human cruelty in recorded history simply because their backs were broad.
    Their minds had to be agile and strong as well.
    However, no matter how agile and strong bodies and minds are, after centuries of brutal bondage something has to break.
    Minds carry scars even when the corresponding bodies are smooth and clean. Spirits are broken even when the corresponding bodies are whole.
    Broken spirits and scarred minds run in family lines and are endemic in communities. Trauma is transferred from generation to generation. The first oppressor many Caribbean people meet is their mother or father. If not, it is the school teacher or priest.
    Have you ever talked to someone over 70 years of age about the kind of “disciplining” they received as children? The teacher/parent/priest was the right hand of God. And God in the Caribbean was created in the image and likeness of the slave master carrying a dog-hunter.
    And still we arose. Still we survived. And we are still here.
    The journey continues.
    But so does the oppression and repression. Not necessarily in forms as vulgar as the dog-hunter. But not necessarily less oppressive either. Maybe in some ways more so, because you may not even notice. Before COVID-19 hit, the Prime Minister’s top concerns on the international circuit were global warming and the colonially inspired global economic regime.
    Economic pressure
    As COVID-19 wanes the world is getting no cooler and the global economic regime no less colonial.
    The coloniser no longer has to walk with a dog-hunter. They can turn up the economic pressure by remote and watch you whip one another, thinking your neighbour is the cause of your discomfort. This is why we need real thinkers.
    Independent thinkers. Not thinkers whose thought
    is programmed by big media or social media. Not even thinkers who think that they are thinkers because their thought is textbook validated. Creative thinkers. Thinkers who can listen between the sound bites and read between the lines. Who can think thoughts they haven’t heard or seen before. Innovative thoughts. Because those creative thoughts must also be useful and actionable. But this is also not enough.
    The easiest thing for an independent, creative, innovative thinker from the Caribbean to do is to leave the Caribbean for greener pastures in the snow.
    And who can blame them? The next easiest thing for them to do is stay here and milk the Caribbean like a cow till its udders bleed.
    This is why we need independent, creative, innovative thinkers from within the Caribbean to have the Caribbean in them. They must think for, about and through the lens of the Caribbean.
    We have too many, too many thinkers in the Caribbean who feel like if they can’t live in Manhattan they will bring Manhattan to them.
    Adrian Green is a communications specialist. Email: Adriangreen14 @gmail.com


    Source: Nation

    Like

  • Civics must return to the classroom
    By Ezra Alleyne
    Face-to-face schooling has returned, and guess what? My young son Nathan and his classmates were eager to get back to face-to-face to discuss maths, grammar and politics.
    His social studies teacher and class teacher combined to permit the young students to watch the opening of Parliament. That electronic class gave reality to that aspect of the current affairs part of the curriculum Nathan claims to be a B and his major classmate for political discussion is a young lass who claims to be a D, and their friendly exchanges and discussions go back and forth.
    This experience tells me that Civics must return to the classroom since these nine-year-olds are more interested in their future than we think.
    The future political stability and the social cohesion of any democracy is enhanced when people, especially the youth, are informed and understand about their country’s governance! So I continue: It was good news to hear that the two of our former Prime Ministers, who are happily still alive among us, attended the funeral of the late Professor Donald George Blackman, attorney at law, sociologist and Pan-Africanist.
    I was reminded that five of our eight Prime Ministers are no longer with us.
    Three of them died while holding the stressful but prestigious office at the top of the greasy pole. Significantly, Sir Lloyd Sandiford and Mr Freundel Stuart were the two Prime Ministers whose time in office was plagued by very great political stresses. It is perhaps a compliment to the sturdy nature of these gentlemen.
    Like all political leaders, they have both been the butt of criticism but any sensible reflection would recognise that both these leaders were constrained by the events of their time.
    In my view, as Prime Ministers, they both contributed immensely to the political stability by holding the Democratic Labour Party together as a political institution at trying times.
    If I am right in that assessment, then Barbados is the better off for their contributions to the fabric of the two-party system.
    History will show, for example, that in his time in office Prime Minister Sandiford lost the support of nine of his parliamentarians. That is a significant loss of support, and without ascribing fault or blame to anyone, leaders cannot optimally perform without the cohesive support of their colleagues.
    There can be no denying Sandiford’s high-quality political skills. Any Prime Minister who could
    go to the country with an almost empty foreign exchange. Treasury in 1991 and win the election with a sizeable workable majority must be a politician of the highest class.
    Indeed, his political qualities are reflected in his deft handling of Dr Richie Haynes’ resignation from the Ministry of Finance and his assumption of that ministry at a time when “the rocks were up ahead”.
    If the 1991 General Election was Sandiford’s greatest triumph; then his speech of May 18, 1994, at a time when calm was descending on the island, must rank as one of the greatest errors of judgement of his career.
    That speech irritated some of his ex-ministers, who challenged its assertions, and the Barbados Labour Party exploited the open fractures by filing the no-confidence, motion and the rest is now history.
    That debacle in 1994 cast its long shadows on the immediate future of the Democratic Labour Party after Thompson’s death. It became necessary after the Eager Eleven to ensure that a second 1994 episode did not happen.
    In that respect, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart succeeded and won the 2013 election by the slimmest of margin.
    These matters may appear like ancient history to young students but Barbados did not get to this point without the sacrifices of many who chose to be politicians. We should appreciate those who took on the arduous tasks of leading the country in unexpected circumstances – like death.
    In teaching our youngsters about governance we should fairly recognise the work of both the major parties.
    Ezra Alleyne is an attorney is and a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly.

    Source: Nation

    Like

  • William Skinner

    @ David
    This is a lousy piece. Civics is not about the BLPDLP machinations. Ezra ought to just stop writing. He’s becoming more and more pathetic each week.
    Here he asks for civics to be reintroduced and then proceeds to dissect Sandiford’s mistakes;finds time to praise Stuart.
    Another repetitive load of BLPDLP hogwash.

    Like

  • @William

    The important thing is to be aware of the agenda being pushed. Some here like to read EA’s column.

    Like

  • Per capita working against us
    IT IS IRONIC that Barbados is now claiming poverty.
    Was it not just a few years ago that we were punching above our weight? Did we not claim that the only Caribbean country with a higher per capita income was The Bahamas, and that the average Barbadian per capita was more than US$2 000? Jamaicans pointed at us as the example to follow.
    But a few events have changed the picture radically. We have not yet recovered from the damage done to our economy by the mismanagement and overexposure of the 2008-2018 era. This has increased our borrowing beyond the capacity to repay even with the recalculation done in 2018. That we have landed in the hands of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) now makes us a pariah to the international banking community and allows the IMF to dictate to us as our only real source of external funding – except for, of
    course, China.
    We escaped the humbling of devaluation by protecting the value of our currency with international borrowings. However, that is only one aspect
    of our problem.
    Events
    Unfortunately, since 2018 we have been hit by a series of events. Our foreign exchange from tourism was devastated by the incapacity of foreign agents to remit hotel payments. We were hit by the expenses of the La Soufriere volcano eruption. Then a hurricane called
    Elsa
    destroyed our housing; and for the past two years COVID-19 has devastated us. The present administration has been dealing with the situation and every effort has been made to help those in need.
    Now other factors have materialised.
    World events have continued to affect us.
    Despite the efforts of our Prime Minister on the world stage nothing has been done in reducing the worldwide effects of the cost of vital material, medicine and food costs caused by events in far off places and lately by a threat of world war.
    So no wonder there is pressure on the per capita income on the average Barbadian and a cry for help. This is a serious matter because it strikes at the earning capacity and the ability to redistribute the income by the country among its citizens and hence the per capita is reduced and the cost of survival made difficult.
    Thus there is the fear and reality of poverty.
    Faith
    Some say that our czars will come up with bright ideas. But that calls for faith. I am not so sure about that. It is not going to relieve the situation in a hurry.
    The other path is to rely on the IMF to dole out help as it feels fit.
    Now the IMF seems to be saying that some of our assistance to pensioners and other people has been too generous. Surely this
    is an inference to our per
    capita income.
    It will take time for us to increase earnings from tourism by building new hotels and increasing our room space. Even so, we have had the experience of putting our eggs in one
    basket.
    There is also the 15 per cent minimum tax to be charged to offshore business compliments of the United States.
    This carries the danger of us losing, in a huge way, previous foreign
    exchange.
    China may be offering us possible manufacturing foreign exchange earnings. That has implications, the extent of which are not
    clear.
    As the squeeze comes to the economy and our options are limited, our poverty level will increase. Barbadians have gotten accustomed to living with the things that a high per capita brings, especially when it comes to imports.
    That there is the fear of poverty or that we need to cut our coats to our means will be the challenge for the near future.
    In any case, the reality which the IMF strictures are imposing will bite.
    While we scramble to find alternate foreign exchange income to adjust to the impending poverty classification, our political [class] will be highly challenged to glorify the 30-0.
    But, that is not all.
    We are manufacturing new problems like the composition and sitting of the Senate and the legitimacy of parliamentary operations.
    We claim that we are friends of all and satellites of none, and since our declaration of republic status, there is no protection from a world super power in case there is a bully.
    So why send messages and get involved in big people business? There are problems on both sides.
    We are only getting arguments against Vladimir Putin.
    Harry Russell is a banker. Email quijote70 @gmail.com

    Source: Nation

    Like

  • More than 50,000 pages of historical documents digitised
    Article by Barbados Today
    Published on
    March 6, 2022

    Since the start of its digitisation project in 2020, the Archives Department has digitised more than 50,000 pages of historical documents dating back as far as 1635.

    Chief Archivist, Ingrid Thompson, made this disclosure during an interview with the Barbados Government Information Service, following a meeting last Thursday at the Archives Department.

    Representatives from Abergower Ltd, a United Kingdom based company specialising in the digisation of records, were on island for a six-day digitisation pilot project that included training staff of the Digitisation Unit at the Archives Department in the most efficient methodologies to maximise output.

    They, along with representatives from the British High Commission and the Central Bank of Barbados, got a first-hand look at the Digitisation project which is funded by the High Commission.

    Thompson stated that she was pleased with the progress of the project and the interest being generated as a result of it, both locally and internationally.

    “I am satisfied because I have a very keen team of young persons who are really interested. And I’m pleased that it’s helping them to understand Barbadian history, because…they actually read the documents in order to create the necessary metadata. They were able to give me their perspective on historical events”

    She continued: “So, it’s two-fold, not only the technical part of it, but really bringing young people together to engage with our records and be aware of our history.”

    Meanwhile, British High Commissioner Scott Furssedonn-Wood in a brief statement later in the evening said: “Remembering and understanding our past is vitally important. His Royal Highness Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales saw first-hand the impressive work of Barbados’ Archives Department when he visited Barbados in November [2021]. We are pleased to be supporting this project run by the British company Abergower which, in addition to enabling the digitisation of some of the Archives’ records, will provide advice, options and lessons learned so that Barbados can effectively preserve its records for future generations.” (BGIS)

    Source: Barbados Today

    Like

  • Harry Wilson is punching above his weight
    The commentary tells a sorrowful state of affairs as to where this rock is presently and where the rock will be heading in the future
    There is no way that Barbadian households can survive the onslaught of poverty
    At present govt can control the messages sent
    But the realities are there for all to see
    Getting better would be the headlines told by govt soldiers and media elites
    While some barbadians asked the question of ” getting better where”
    While others suffer in silence
    No economy that placed it’s eggs in a one nest basket can survive the constant melt downs of global economic pressure
    Oil prices going upward would eventually take it’s toll on households struggling to make ends meet
    Along with govt placing pressure on people’s meagre incomes to pay back govt local.and international debt

    Like

  • Bushie will translate Harry Russel’s piece in simple terms. so that we are ALL clear.

    Unless the Lord builds the house,
    those who build it labor in vain.
    Unless the Lord watches over the city,
    the watchman stays awake in vain.
    It is in vain that you rise up early
    and go late to rest,
    eating the bread of anxious toil;
    for he gives to his beloved sleep.

    For those who STILL don’t get it, or who hate the Bible’s take….or who cannot sleep
    Wunna could get a World-rated ‘Supreme Leader’ with all the impressive big talk…
    Wunna could borrow all the money from the IMF, China, and even Guyana…
    Wunna could get all hands on deck or many hands to make light work..
    Wunna could get 100% Covid vaccinated… and double boosted…

    BUT unless the LORD has been the architect and builder…
    We ass is STILL grass….

    Like

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