Beware the Other When They Come Bearing Gifts?

Submitted by Caleb Pilgrim


I would be remiss if I did not address in brief the issue of the Chinese mine manager in Rwanda sentenced to 20 years in prison for whipping local workers, Yahoo News, Michelle De Pacima, April 21, 2022.

Sharing the foregoing, which one might reasonably have thought unimaginable in 2022.

Of course, most if not all “aid” is tied aid.   However, the question remains what would/could have led this Chinese mine manager, Sun Shujun, to conclude that he could so act with impunity.  I am confident that this was not his first rodeo.   Ditto perhaps other Chinese “businessmen” in the mineral and some other sectors in Africa, and their business practices.    It is also worth noting in passing that a Rwandan man, Renzaho Alexis, was sentenced to 12 years  for his alleged role as an accomplice in the beatings.

But, was it not yesterday in Rwanda that during their civil war the Hutus described the Tutsis “as cockroaches” and practised Genocide and extermination on a grand scale?

Geopolitics and Spying on Friends (Satellites?)

Submitted by Kammie Holder

David, does our Defence Force still get computers from the Chinese and other foreign governments?

I remember in either 2016 or 2017 laptops were donated to our parliamentarians. Unfortunately, they were lapped up by our grateful  representatives with the most excitement like kids getting a candy treat.

My concern was expressed and I was assured by the IT person in parliament the laptops would be wiped, which was laughable. Thus, the question begs how secure is our IT infrastructure and what is the protocol on receiving computers from foreign governments by state agencies and government employees?

Something as simple as accessing the Accounts Department of a state enterprise can be a treasure trove. The person with lowest net pay if not of high moral persuasion can be an ideal target for bribery. Just another stupid weird silly concern. The below shows how naive some countries can be and how those who are compromised can destroy any semblance of an orderly society by their stupidity. #TrustAllSuspectAll

  • China denies claim its hacking African Union Headquarters (2018) 
  • African Union like sheep renew Huawei contract(2019)
  • China and AU denies hacking  of African Union Headquarters
  • Independent investigations reveal African Union board room and cameras are bugged

Fast forward to 2020. Some African leaders are compromised into sheep or risk exposure of their dirty dealings. The greatest treat to humanity, are humans who corrupted and compromised. Future of generations are destroyed and the present becomes chaotic and meagre

The Phartford Files: Aliens Among Us Part I

Submitted by Ironside

It was not my intention to start this short series with a reference to China. But after hearing that the government of Barbados intends to have the Chinese build a road or roads in St. Andrew, I decided it would be remiss of me not to awaken the public and hopefully this beleaguered government, to the evil it is embracing.

None of what I am going to say will make any sense if you keep reading/ viewing the same traditional media: CNN, FOX, MSNBC, Wall Street Journal (WSJ). For the most part, these prefer to dine at the table of domestic goings on and can’t get enough of Donald Trump’s Twitter menu. In some cases (WSJ) it has now been shown that some of these media outlets have actively aided and abet these benighted aliens in spewing their propaganda in the west. China got strategy; and lots of stealth!

No, what I am going to say about China won’t make any sense unless you spice up your media menu with the offerings of the ever growing new and “independent” media in America and across the world. Let me name a few NTD, China in Focus, Al Jazeera, WION (Gravitas).

I could pick over a dozen entry points for his expose. But let me start with the current and immediate.

Have you heard about the recent Hong Kong Security Law passed by China and the blow it dealt to democracy there? Why should anyone in Barbados care? Do you know that according to Article 38, anyone in the world who criticizes China – including anyone from the Caribbean – can now be apprehended if they visit Hong Kong or China and put into prison in China on the basis of that law? Do you know this?

Don’t take my word for it. Let’s start with news that is current as of today 10 August: the arrest of Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai.

Do the background checks and find out about the Hong Kong and the democracy movement there. I am not doing that research for you.

Let’s pause a sec. When we say “China” here, let it be clear that we mean the Chinese government a.k.a the CCP or Chinese Communist Party. Not the 1.4 billion Chinese people. Does CCP sound familiar? It sure as hell does! That is part of the unofficial name of the covid-19 virus, the “CCP Virus” so dubbed by yours truly, Donald J. Trump!

In case you want to go naïve on me, please be aware that Trump’s term is not just appropriate because the virus started in China; it is because the CCP deliberately deceived the world about the human-to-human transmission of the virus and still to this day refuses to let international pandemic researchers enter Wuhan, China (where the virus is purported to have started) to help determine the cause of the disease. That is another story for another time.

Now let’s do the CCP virus math to date: 19,998,817 cases, 734,753 deaths worldwide as today 10 August:

That’s the human toll.

What about the economic and social toll? Economies shattered, small businesses wiped out, families torn apart. The jury is still out on this because second and third waves of the virus are being experienced in some countries.

What about Barbados? circa 29,000 people have lost their jobs; over 70 million paid out in unemployment benefits to date (See the article: on this blog).

Who is to blame? The Chinese Communist Party. If you lost a loved one in this pandemic blame the CCP. If you lost your job because of the pandemic, blame the CCP.

Over 100 countries have ganged up to demand reparations from China. Yet Barbados and other Caribbean countries are going cap in hand to China for loans which they will probably not be able to repay, like other countries in Africa. For the CCP this is no problem! Once access to something strategic they want is part of the collateral, for example, a port, natural resource or a strategic location, no problem!

Have you noticed that government controlled media in Barbados never reported any of the more interesting international debates on the CCP virus? Now you know why. Barbados and a string of Caribbean governments have bought into the CCPs grand Trojan horse scheme to control the economy of the world. It is called the Belt and Road Initiative, compliments of Xia Jinping, President of the CCP. It is the Kool Aid served by China and this BLP Government is about to drink deeply from the jug of the CCP. So they can’t talk, less they strangle (or be strangled!).

If you want to know how many Caribbean governments have drunk of the cup of the CCP’s iniquitous scheme, read our own Caribbean media: .

I am not going to attempt to reproduce the vast amount of material available on the CCP. Do the research yourself. Here’s a starter kit.

My call to action is for the Opposition. Get the Government disclose the terms of the agreement with the CCP. Everything is a state secret in China. Not so here. As flawed as it is, we still practice democracy. I hope!

A Matter of Principle; Not Money

The People’s Republic of China has imposed a new national security law for Hong Kong, provided for by Article 23 of the Basic Law, criminalizing sedition, collusion with foreign powers, subversion and terrorism – all run-of-the-mill contrived offenses used by autocracies. It is important to note that our Western conception of terrorism does not fully align with the Chinese. For them, terrorism can include “damaging public transport”, as has happened in the Hong Kong Democracy Protests. Note too that these offenses are attended by a maximum life sentence. The Beijing-backed Hong Kong Chief Executive has the power to appoint judges to hear cases related to this law, dangerously damaging the separation of powers fabric left by the British in 1997. Most importantly, those “convicted” in sham trials will be disbarred from public office, as recent elections have seen an influx of pro-democracy activists. This is one of the most decisive steps yet by the PRC to fully bring Hong Kong into its autocratic orbit.

While this gross violations of democratic norms, human rights, and the tacit agreement between the British and Chinese at the time of Handover, is taking place, no less a place than the United Nations Human Rights Council, would overwhelmingly support China’s “right to govern its internal affairs”. They have seemed to forget that just a few weeks ago many of those same nations, for very good reason, supported a resolution condemning systemic racism against persons of African descent. Rising to the George Floyd moment is certainly commendable, but the question must be asked as to why is it acceptable to comment on the internal affairs of the United States but not China. Both nations have unacceptable challenges, and both need to be called out for them.

Ultimately, 70 nations supported the new security law at the UNHRC. Among these were the typical characters, i.e. dictatorships and autocracies, such as North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Venezuela and Russia. More worrying however were the other supporters. They were mostly developing nations in Africa, and even three CARICOM member states (Dominica, Antigua and Suriname). These states are beneficiaries of one of the most brilliant debt traps in colonial history – the multi-trillion dollar Belt and Road Initiative. I do not attend foreign policy meetings in any of these nations, and so cannot speak definitively to what has motivated their positions. However, it is undoubtable that this looks like developing nations “selling out” to wealthy geopolitical benefactors. That is deeply regrettable.

Barbados must be wary of the ostensibly benevolent Chinese. Our foreign policy has always been guided by Barrow’s philosophy “friends of all; satellites of none”. We receive aid and assistance from the United States and American-dominated institutions, Canada and EU nations and institutions. In spite of that, we still have an independent streak in UN votes, voting against the US in a number of key votes, much to the dismay of the Americans. The Chinese are not interested in such a relationship. The BRI is said to be a quid pro quo arrangement. If only that was it. Unfortunately for developing nations, the BRI is “something for something less”. In other words, you give up so much more than you will ever get. According to France 24, “Sri Lanka turned over a deep-sea port to China for 99-years after it was unable to repay loans. Pakistan needs an international bailout. And Montenegro has had to make difficult choices after taking on crushing Chinese debt to pay a Chinese company to build a new highway.”

High-minded idealism sometimes does not always collide with economic reality and that is a fact which I readily recognize. However, while states are confined by the strictures of reality, ordinary citizenry are free of those constraints and therefore we must always be aware of and always sound our voices loudly at the clear and present danger which the rising geopolitical fortunes of the People’s Republic of China poses to freedom and democracy everywhere. The lives of Hong Kongers matter. Democracy matters!

Coronavirus Outbreak – Is Barbados Becoming a Satellite of China?

This submission is timely with the Coronavirus in China. Nine million Chines in one region have been asked to evacuate. How worried should Barbados be about the virus? The blogmaster exercised license by inserting ‘Coronavirus’ in the title.
David, blogmaster

Submitted from and email addressee ‘is time to wake up’.

Today I listen to BBC and its report on the horrific conditions of Muslims in China who in large numbers are kidnapped , tortured and having their human rights violated.  I did an online investigation and talked to the few Chinese I know, to see if it is true. All reports independent of the oppressive government indicate that the government run Nazi type totalitarian concentration camps are true.  The Chinese in Barbados refuse to talk publically for fear of retribution but some outside of Barbados are talking up.  The current government of China does not want a society that is inclusive and have independent thought. Caribbean governments and people who benefit financially from the Chinese government turn a blind eye to the violation of human rights.

China’s Communist party is intensifying religious persecution as Christianity’s popularity grows. A new state translation of the Bible will establish a ‘correct understanding’ of the text. While China hasn’t established concentration camps for Christians as it has done for Muslims, it has harassed Christian congregations, closed and destroyed churches.

A previous Guyanese Ambassador to China secretly held Christian services in his embassy in Beijing. Do your own investigation in Guyana!  The Barbados previous ambassador to China in Beijing, had issue with the lack of rights to worship in the Christian faith as well as the smog in Beijing but he strongly coerced (ordered) by the Chinese to be the Barbadian Ambassador.  He did not want to be there.  Is Barbados a “Satellite of none” as Right Honorable Errol Barrow said  or  just willing to turn the blind eye to atrocities and doing anything for handouts. Do your own investigation in Barbados!



China Authorities Suppress Incident of the Plague

China mobilizes people all over the world the Caribbean as part of a hegemonist geopolitical strategy. The story enclosed exposes how authorities in China attempted to coverup an occurrence of one of the most infectious diseases known to mankind.

Thanks Kammie Holder for bringing to the blogmaster’s attention.

The Real Reason to Panic About China’s Plague Outbreak

It’s not the disease that’s worrisome—it’s the Chinese government’s response to it.

A H7N9 bird flu patient is treated in a hospital in Wuhan, in central China's Hubei province, on Feb 12, 2017.

A H7N9 bird flu patient is treated in a hospital in Wuhan, in central China’s Hubei province, on Feb 12, 2017. STR/AFP via Getty Images

The Chinese government’s response to this month’s outbreak of plague has been marked by temerity and some fear, which history suggests is entirely appropriate. But not all fear is the same, and Beijing seems to be afraid of the wrong things. Rather than being concerned about the germs and their spread, the government seems mostly motivated by a desire to manage public reaction about the disease. Those efforts, however, have failed—and the public’s response is now veering toward a sort of plague-inspired panic that’s not at all justified by the facts.

On Nov. 3, Li Jifeng, a doctor at Beijing Chaoyang Hospital, the capital’s key infectious diseases treatment and quarantine center, attended to a middle-aged man who was struggling to breathe and his wife, who was also running a high fever and likewise gasping for air. The couple had been ailing for at least 10 days by the time Li saw them. They had initially sought care some 250 miles north of China’s capital in Inner Mongolia, a frigid cold region that straddles the borders of China, Mongolia, and North Korea, before being sent to Beijing for observation.

So far, so good, for China’s response. More ominous, however, was what happened next. Li’s WeChat social media posting describing the couple was quickly deleted. Meanwhile, the government officially informed the World Health Organization (WHO) about the cases, as it was required to do, but only on Nov. 13—after they were already reported by journalists around the world.

If the goal was to avoid stirring panic at home, the effect may have been the opposite. In the absence of clarifying, calming information from their government, Chinese people have been venting fear and concern on Weibo and other social media platforms. Their fear may be fueled by the role played by Chaoyang Hospital, which Beijing residents remember well from the 2003 SARS epidemic, when the authorities hid victims of that epidemic in the hospital, denying for weeks that the virus had even reached Beijing.

Amid the growing panic about the plague, the irony is that it far outstrips the real risks. Despite its devastating impact on human history, Yersinia pestis need not inspire fear or death in 2019. That it still causes the latter in the age of antibiotics is proof of public health and political failures, not to the inherent virulence of the microbe. That it causes the former is mostly due to misunderstandings about the relevant history.

There have been three great plague pandemics in human history caused by the bacterium Y. pestis, spreading from Siberia and Mongolia, across Asia, and into Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. The first began in A.D. 541 within the Roman Empire, lasted two centuries, and was dubbed the Justinianic Plague. The second, the Black Death, spread from Asia into Italy in 1346 and persisted for 400 years, infecting most of the European population with such devastating outcome—50 million people died on a continent then inhabited by 80 million—that for centuries historians referred to it as the Great Mortality. The third pandemic began in the 1850s in China, spreading across Asia with such ferocity that India, alone, lost 20 million people.

Since the invention of antibiotics, the threat of a fourth pneumonic plague pandemic has dissipated, but the microbe continues to evoke profound public fear. For example, in 1994 I was in the Gujarat epicenter of a pneumonic plague epidemic in India, where the actual numbers of laboratory-confirmed infections were relatively small. But panic sparked a national hysteria in which every cough and fever seen from the Himalayas to the beaches of Goa were diagnosed as plague, filling hospital beds nationwide, causing a run on antibiotics, and spawning dark conspiracy theories about Pakistani, American, and Russian bioterrorism.

From 2010 to 2015, there were 3,248 plague cases reported worldwide, with 584 deaths. Those numbers jumped with the Madagascar outbreaks in 2017 and 2018. Tragically, modern plague epidemics too often go unrecognized, and individuals are left untreated until Y. pestis has so devastated the human body that antibiotics cannot reverse the damage to the lungs, kidneys, and cardiovascular system. Then, according to WHO, fatality rates are between 30 and 100 percent, with blood (septicemia) and pneumonic cases having the highest death rates. Which of the three forms of plague an individual will experience—bubonic, pneumonic, or septicemic—is usually determined by how the person was initially infected. The milder bubonic form is usually the result of bites from Y. pestis-carrying fleas. More dangerous pneumonic plague is inhaled, typically from the coughs of another infected person, and swiftly spreads inside the lungs to cause life-threatening pneumonia. And the very rare septicemic form, which is almost always fatal when untreated, occurs when plague bacteria enter the bloodstream, sometimes through an opening in the skin, rapidly spreading throughout the body.

Since 1990, the African island nation of Madagascar has suffered bubonic and pneumonic plague outbreaks every year, occurring seasonally between late August and March, with an annual average of 200 cases, about a quarter of which prove fatal. In 2017, the so-called “black year,” Madagascar recorded more than 2,400 cases, with 200 deaths, despite the bacteria’s vulnerability to antibiotics. The seasonality of the disease in Madagascar is likely linked to surges in the island’s rat population during heavy rains. Some scientists think that plague’s life cycle in rodents and fleas will be affected by climate change, leading to increased outbreaks amid global warming, but the picture is complex and heavily debated.

The bacteria are endemic across much of Mongolia and the former Soviet countries in central Asia. As part of Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward, more than 1.5 billion rats were killed in huge peasant campaigns in hopes of eradicating plague. During the mid-20th century, the Soviets conducted hundreds of programs, employing tens of thousands of people in hopes of eliminating the rodents and fleas that carry Y. pestis—all without lasting success.

In late April, a Mongolian couple contracted plague near Ulgii, not far from the Russian border, after eating the raw meat of an infected marmot—a squirrel-like animal that burrows in the steppes. A quarantine was put in place after the couple’s deaths, when lab results confirmed the couple had the plague, and nearly 150 people were isolated or quarantined, including airplane passengers arriving from the region in Ulaanbaatar, the country’s capital. The couple, according to local health authorities, died of multiple organ failure caused by septicemic plague.

Russia for decades has claimed invention of a successful plague vaccine, but it has never been available to the rest of the world, and its efficacy is dubious, according to Paul Mead, the chief of the Bacterial Diseases Branch of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Fort Collins, Colorado. Several antibiotics are very effective in lieu of a vaccine, taken to prevent infection—chiefly, doxycycline and fluoroquinolones. The drugs very successfully treat infection if they are administered within the first hours after infection. It is also easy to prevent person-to-person transmission of Y. pestis with hand-washing and use of basic face masks. But without these inexpensive measures in place—low-cost prophylactic antibiotics, hand hygiene, and masking—the bacteria can be very contagious with proximity to a coughing victim of pneumonic plague.

Lowering the risks, however, requires transparency on the part of public health authorities. China’s National Health Commission has assured WHO, according to an agency spokesperson, that a robust effort is underway to find and monitor all individuals who have been in contact with the Beijing couple, both in Inner Mongolia and during their travel to Beijing. The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, modeled closely after the U.S. CDC, has indeed proved skilled in disease surveillance. But given the Chinese government’s public health history—covering up the 2003 SARS epidemic even as it traveled to 30 other nations, denying the spread of the dangerous H5N1 influenza in the country for years, and stifling social media accounts of outbreaks—a fair amount of caution and skepticism is merited.

Laurie Garrett is a former senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations and a Pulitzer Prize winning science writer.

Altruistic China?

The following article is reproduced from the Canadian press at the request of Money Brain. Is China as altruistic as some would have us believe?

Across the globe, especially in the great motherland Africa, there are horror stories being recorded about this new marauding. What insights are there to be learned by impoverished states of the Caribbean? Besides fueling our greed for ‘things’ what other factors determine regional foreign policy with China?

-David, blogmaster

When it comes to defending Canada from the menace posed by the People’s Republic of China, it is now a matter of public record, and should be a matter of some embarrassment to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, if not shame, that the course his government embarked upon almost four years ago was dangerously naive, if not recklessly thoughtless.

It’s a tragedy that it took the Chinese Ministry of State Security’s kidnapping of former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and cultural entrepreneur Michael Spavor to prove that the Beijing regime was not the “win-win, golden decade” friend and trade partner Trudeau had incessantly harped about. Robert Schellenberg, dubiously convicted on drug-smuggling charges in the first place, had his 15-year jail sentence upgraded to a cell on death row. Canada’s canola exporters are stuck with $2.7 billion in export contracts that Beijing has ripped up. Threats of further punishment hang in the air.

It’s all because Canada detained Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou last December on a U.S. Justice Department extradition warrant. Meng is sought by the U.S. to face charges of fraud and dodging sanctions on Iran. Beijing needed to throw somebody up against a wall and slap him around, so President Xi Jinping chose Justin Trudeau.

Beijing’s complex campaigns of subversion, threats, influence-buying, bullying and espionage in Canada stretch back much farther than last December, of course. So does the sleazy tendency of Canadian politicians to look the other way, or rush to Beijing’s defence whenever anyone in the intelligence community publicly notices the obvious, or throw the director of the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service under the bus for pointing it out.

Beijing needed to throw somebody up against a wall and slap him around, so President Xi Jinping chose Justin Trudeau.

When CSIS director Richard Fadden had the temerity to point out nearly a decade ago that there were provincial cabinet ministers and other elected officials in Canada who had fallen under Beijing’s general influence, several Liberal and NDP MPs demanded his resignation.

hen-CSIS director Richard Fadden testifying at the House Public Safety committee in 2010. ANDRE FORGET / QMI

So it was refreshing to see that Tuesday’s first-ever annual report from the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP) made no bones about it. China is a threat to Canada’s national security, the committee found.

Terrorism, espionage and foreign influence, cyber threats, major organized crime and weapons of mass destruction were all listed in the NSICOP report among the top threats to Canada. China figures in the report’s findings under espionage and foreign influence, and under cyber threats as well.

Russia is right up there, too, and although the report is redacted in several places, other unnamed governments were reported to be busy with the same dirty work. But it was the novelty of China being singled out for once, in a high-level federal government intelligence report, that’s worth noticing. Usually, Ottawa lets China get away with anything.

“China is known globally for its efforts to influence Chinese communities and the politics of other countries. The Chinese government has a number of official organizations that try to influence Chinese communities and politicians to adopt pro-China positions, most prominently the United Front Work Department,” the report states, referring directly to Fadden’s whistleblowing in 2010.

The report also notes a 2017 warning from David Mulroney, a former ambassador to China, about Beijing’s influence-peddling efforts in Canada. To get what it wants, Beijing mobilizes student groups, diaspora groups, “and people who have an economic stake in China, to work behind the scenes.” The report also notes the unsavoury business of lavish political donations on offer from Chinese businessmen with close links to China’s Communist Party leadership.

China is known globally for its efforts to influence Chinese communities and the politics of other countries

Report by the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians

Two years ago, the Financial Times obtained the United Front Work Department’s training manual, which boasts about the electoral successes of 10 pro-Beijing politicians in Ontario. “We should aim to work with those individuals and groups that are at a relatively high level, operate within the mainstream of society and have prospects for advancement,” the manual states.

t was all smiles back then: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China on Dec. 5, 2017. SEAN KILPATRICK / THE CANADIAN PRESS

The reason for the public’s relative inattention to influence-and-espionage threats posed by such foreign powers as China and Russia is that the federal government tends to avoid addressing the issue publicly. “As it stands now, an interested Canadian would have to search a number of government websites to understand the most significant threats to Canada,” the committee found.

“For some threats, such as terrorism, information is readily available and regularly updated . … For other threats, such as organized crime or interference in Canadian politics, information is often limited, scattered among different sources or incomplete. The committee believes that Canadians would be equally well served if more information about threats were readily available.”

That information is available, of course. It just hasn’t been coming from the federal government. In his just-published book, Claws of the Panda: Beijing’s Campaign of Influence and Intimidation in Canada, veteran foreign-affairs reporter Jonathan Manthorpe painstakingly enumerates the breadth and scope of the United Front Work Department’s organizations in Canada, and Beijing’s intimate links throughout Canada’s business class. Manthorpe relied solely on the public record, showing that Beijing’s strong-arming, its inducements and its subtle and not-so-subtle intimidation have been carried out in plain sight for years.

Last year, a coalition of diaspora groups led by Amnesty International provided CSIS with an exhaustive account of Beijing’s intensive campaign of bullying, threats and harassment targeting Canadian diaspora organizations devoted to Chinese democracy, the Falun Gong spiritual movement, Tibetan sovereignty, and the Uighurs. A Muslim ethnic minority in Xinjiang, the Uighur people are currently being subjected to an overwhelming tyranny of concentration camps, religious persecution, “re-education,” family separation and round-the-clock, pervasive surveillance. “Canada has become a battleground on which the Chinese Communist Party seeks to terrorize, humiliate and neuter its opponents,” says Manthorpe.

Canada has become a battleground on which the Chinese Communist Party seeks to terrorize, humiliate and neuter its opponents

Authur Jonathan Manthorpe

That kind of subversion usually occurs behind the scenes. But for years, Confucius Institutes have operated openly in dozens of Canadian universities, colleges and high schools. “In most cases,” Manthorpe contends, “they are espionage outstations for Chinese embassies and consulates through which they control Chinese students, gather information on perceived enemies and intimidate dissidents.”

Because its mandate covers more than a dozen institutions and agencies, NSICOP — first proposed 15 years ago, but only now getting off the ground — had a lot of ground to cover. More than half of the report’s 121 pages are devoted to a review of the intelligence functions of the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces. But it’s subversion by foreign governments that seems to have caught the Parliamentary committee’s attention — CSIS told NSICOP the foreign-influence threat is becoming more acute, and countering it will call for “a more significant response” in the coming years.

With that in mind, the committee is already working on a followup review of the mandate, priority and resources Ottawa provides Canada’s intelligence community to monitor and counter the foreign-influence threat. The committee’s report is expected to be released before the October federal election, but it won’t be focused on the foreign cyber threats Ottawa is already preparing to monitor and expose during the election campaign.

“We’re going to outline the primary-threat actors, we’re going to be examining the threat those actors pose to our institutions and, to a certain extent, our ethno-cultural communities,” NSICOP chair David McGuinty told reporters in Ottawa on Tuesday. “We’re working feverishly to get it done.”

About time, too.

Terry Glavin is an author and journalist


The Grenville Phillips Column – Why Morality is Important

Grenville Phillips II, Leader of Solutions Barbados

Barbados is a small independent island, with a vulnerable open economy, in one of the most hazard prone regions on Earth.  We need a benefactor – someone who can support us in challenging times.

We were taught to accept the Queen as our benefactor, but she did not help us when we went through our last financial crisis in 1991.  Our politicians appear to have accepted that China is a better fit.  We are already indebted to China.  Given the reckless way in which our politicians, from both established parties, have borrowed in the past, it is foreseen that our debts to China will soon become unsustainable – we will not be able to afford to repay them.  What then?

Our financial professionals and business persons are recommending that we accept the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as our benefactor.  However, The IMF is an option if Barbados has the misfortune of electing the undisciplined politicians of the BLP or DLP.  They have both brought us to the brink of economic ruin.  However, the IMF will be no benefactor to Barbados.

Guyana’s IMF experience is instructive.  Within one year, of the Guyanese people were surrendered to the IMF by their irresponsible politicians, Guyana had fallen from being one of the richest Caribbean countries to one of the poorest.  Guyana’s politicians oversaw: a 70% devaluation of the dollar, doubling of income tax rates, a lack of supplies and maintenance parts, reduced social services, mass emigration of professionals, and 75% of the population in poverty.

Solutions Barbados has published the only non-austerity plan, that has been verified to reverse all of the previous downgrades and return Barbados to investment grade within one year.  Therefore, we have not yet run out of good options.

If Barbadians have the misfortune of selecting the IMF directed extreme austerity promised by others, then they will find that the IMF is not the benefactor they were convinced that they were, but it will be too late for all of us.  To whom should our politicians then surrender Barbados after they have wasted our resources?  To the Queen, the Chinese, or the IMF?

Perhaps we should remember the words of those who survived with far less resources and more hardship than we ever had.  The wisdom of our fore-parents is recorded in our Constitution.

“Now, therefore, the people of Barbados proclaim that they are a sovereign nation founded upon principles that acknowledge the supremacy of God, the dignity of the human person, their unshakeable faith in fundamental human rights and freedoms, and the position of the family in a society of free men and free institutions;  affirm their belief that men and institutions remain free only when freedom is founded upon respect for moral and spiritual values and the rule of law;”

Perhaps we need to be reminded that our benefactor is God, and He gives wisdom which can be applied to our knowledge in order to provide creative and productive results.  However, God has conditions for His help.

“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:1-2)

It is in all of our best interests if those whom we elect to represent all of us cultivate a relationship with God.  Irresponsible living does not facilitate that.  This is why morality is crucial to managing public affairs, especially when a nation has run out of all good options.

Solutions Barbados currently has 25 expert candidates with approximately 20 years of management experience.  They celebrate our human achievements, participate in the growth of our institutions, and acknowledge the supremacy of God alone.

Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer and the founder of Solutions Barbados.  He can be reached at

China and Caribbean Offshore INTEREST

Xi Jinping and Wen Jiabao: relatives appear on the list.

Xi Jinping and Wen Jiabao: relatives appear on the list.

Files shed light on nearly 22,000 tax haven clients from Hong Kong and mainland China.

Note: A Chinese version of this story is available here

Close relatives of China’s top leaders have held secretive offshore companies in tax havens that helped shroud the Communist elite’s wealth, a leaked cache of documents reveals.

The confidential files include details of a real estate company co-owned by current President Xi Jinping’s brother-in-law and British Virgin Islands companies set up by former Premier Wen Jiabao’s son and also by his son-in-law.

Read more:Leaked Records Reveal Offshore Holdings of China’s Elite

Notes From a Native Son: A Bit of Fragrance Clings to the Hand that Gives Flowers (An Old Chinese saying)

Hal Austin

Hal Austin

Recently a senior minister in the DLP government went on record praising the Chinese government for a paltry loan of Bds$16m – about US48m, or about £5.5m. She praised the Chinese for this ‘generous’ government to government loan and, quite clearly, from her genuflection, would have done anything the Chinese asked to get her hand on the money. It is not the first time this government and this particular minister have set about embarrassing the people of Barbados with their cap in hand approach to the Chinese.

Sometime ago they also went, this time an entourage of over a dozen people, on a begging trip to China and on their wish list was the refurbishment of the former Empire Cinema as a cultural centre. As per their bilateral policies, the Chinese indeed promised to fund a cultural centre, but on virgin land; they were not prepared to refurbish an existing building. Of course, we all knew this from the way they vandalised the Eyrie when building the community college, leaving the Eyrie grand house to collapse, while they embarked on savaging the paddocks. The Chinese also have form in these so-called deals, part of which is an estimated cost of the project (similar to the US and British giving ‘grants’), then rounding up the total as the sum total of the so-called account grant. Chinese deals do not include creating jobs for local people; they bring workers 10,000 miles to work in the Caribbean, often they bring their own materials and tools, with the workers camping on the sites with very little interaction with local people.

In Grenada in 2007, they offered to build the new cricket pavilion in time for the Cricket World Cup, but on condition that the 250 workers were granted permission to stay on and settle in Grenada. This is a problem that future generations of Grenadians will have to deal with. The big question now is what exactly is in the fine print of the so-called government to government deal that Barbados has struck with the Chinese? Does it include allowing more Chinese workers to settle in Barbados?

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Regional Turbulence!

Adrian Loveridge - Owner of Peach & Quiet Hotel

Adrian Loveridge – Owner of Peach & Quiet Hotel

Over the last few weeks I have been trying to understand the logic behind the collection of decisions made by the Board and senior management of LIAT (1974) Ltd, the consequences of which has been to create an unprecedented operational debacle. Even the CEO was describing the situation with emotive words like the ‘perfect storm’ and ‘meltdown’. While I admire Captain Brunton’s attempts to explain the circumstances behind the cause of what can only be called a state of chaos, there are still many questions that remain unanswered.

First, let us go back to the choice of the new replacement aircraft. Why the ATR’s?

When the Bombardier Q400 is faster, offering quicker turnarounds (more flights per day), has a substantially greater range, which would allow the carrier to operate to some of the new routes mentioned and perhaps even more relevant, required limited pilot retraining. There may have been overwhelming reasons why the ATR planes where chosen over the Q400’s, but surely we are owed an explanation? If LIAT had a history of profitability and that for a large part of it’s lifetime had not relied on the grace and favour of the Caribbean taxpayers, it might be different. But with a quoted ‘accumulated deficit of EC$344 million (around US$127 million) at the end of 2012’, any hope of achieving stand-alone viability, in the foreseeable future, appears an almost impossible dream. Yet elected administrations have been persuaded to guarantee loans and leases, amounting to tens of millions of dollars. If these cannot be repaid, then we will be the ones saddled with the debts.

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Respecting National Boundaries

Submitted by Charles Knighton



About two years ago, after a long-standing, contentious and still unresolved dispute with Japan over certain islands and their surrounding waters, China redrew the map featured on its passport to include this disputed territory as part of China’s territorial ambit. Now Guatemala, after a long standing, contentious and still unresolved dispute with Belize over contested territory, has redrawn the map featured on its passport to include this disputed territory as part of Guatemala’s territorial ambit.

Which brings me to the long standing, contentious and still unresolved dispute between Barbados and Trinidad over fishing rights in contested Tobagonian waters. Hmmm.

Notes From a Native Son: This is the Year When Our Long-term Future Will be Decided

Hal Austin

Hal Austin

As we enter the dawn of a new year, all attention will be focused on the coming general election and, for some of us, the paucity of ideas battling for votes from a badly informed electorate. As things stand, it is largely a competition between tweedledee and tweedledum, although the recent injection of a broad, if under-articulated, idea of privatisation has raised its head.

However, even this glimpse of an ideological difference has been crowded out by the yahboo background noise of party humbug, rather than a rational discussion of the notion that firms owned by the private sector are in themselves inherently better managed and more efficient than those held by the public sector or social enterprises. Such closed mindedness also acts to shutdown debate, the arguments become irrelevant, as by definition people are either for or against the idea under discussion.

Now, as I have said here before, the world is entering a new phase in which the old economic assumptions are now redundant and the new global economic (and military) power will be centred in the early part of the 21st century in Asia and to some extent, Latin America. Therefore to understand what is taking place and the possible outcomes, one needs to read the runes carefully.  For a little island state, proud of its independence, careful observation is more important now than at any point in our history.

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The Barbados-China Connection: “A Word Of Caution”

Submitted by Austin

There is a lot of activity recently between Barbados and China being reported as a positive national development.  However the Bajan politicians brokering our relationship with China need to be “cautious” and look beyond the “clear” benefit of opening new markets to Bajan businesses to things “not so clear”.

There is a Barbados National Security component to the relationship being established China which needs to be carefully evaluated by folks that understand “China”.  China in recent years has focused diplomatic efforts on many African nations (having embassies in almost all) and now is focused on the Caribbean.

We need to ensure that at the “end of the day” whatever China is getting out of the Barbados-China relationship does not “adversely impact” the average bajan man or woman, noting China ability to product low cost goods which would drive cost down and make it hard for bajan small businesses, at a time we trying to promote small business development.  There is a real risk of killing key components of the Barbados small business community if this relationship is not carefully analysis from both near term and long range perspectives, the phase “ good from FAR but FAR from good” comes to mind”.

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Barbados Should Forget Chinese Tourists, The Key Is Adequate Airlift From Traditional Markets And Creating Local Value Packages!

Andrew Nehaul

What is this madness I continue to read regarding Chinese tourism and Barbados? We have not been able to get the marketing formula right regarding Caribbean, American, British or European tourism and here we go talking about Chinese tourism?

All tourism pundits will agree that the major hindrance to increasing tourism numbers is adequate airlift at reasonable prices.  I am saying nothing new when I repeat that to control our destiny we must control some of the seats from the major markets. For example, if our major Caribbean market is from Trinidad, then identify the weeks that they travel mostly and see that there are enough air seats at the right price to suffice them. Extend this to other weeks that might also create demand.  Using this formula we can adapt it to other markets.

Another hindrance is local prices.  Car hire, food, restaurant, services and attractions etc. All of them are suffering from lack of demand. How do we overcome this? By recreating a local value package which is distributed to all visitors and locals alike during a specific time.

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