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Barbados Underground

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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The Chinese Are Coming!

Adrian Loveridge - Hotel Owner

Its easy to understand why so many people get carried away in the flood to try and ensure that ‘we’ get our share of the the outbound Chinese tourism market. You only have to read some of the headlines like:

‘The Chinese are coming. By their millions. As tourists. And it will change our economy in ways that we cannot even imagine’ according to Tim Hughes a director of Australian based, Value Capital Management.

‘Chinese outbound luxury tourism in growing by more than 25 per cent each year’ and in 2011, 60 million Chinese tourists will travel abroad and spend more than US$50 billion’. source: China Elite Focus website.

The World Tourism Organisation predicts that “China will have 100 million outbound travellers and become the world’s largest source of outbound travel in the world in 2020’.

In 2010 the US State Department of Commerce declared that ‘the average Chinese tourist spends US$7,000 per stay, more than any other nationality’.

I could go on, and on, but if only a small percentage of these predictions and statistics are, or become factual, its a market we cannot afford to ignore.

Our biggest challenge of course is geography.

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Jamaican Research Prostate Cancer Breakthrough Reinforces The Importance Of A National Culture Of Entrepreneurship

Jamaican Ball Moss

In September this year Bajan blogger Green Antilles reported that Jamaican scientist Professor Henry Lowe was invited to make a special presentation at the Eighth Annual Congress of International Drug Discovery Science and Technology (IDDST) in Beijing, China.  Professor Lowe’s presentation was based on “research work on Jamaican medicinal plants, particularly his recent work with Tillandsia recurvata, otherwise called ball moss, which has demonstrated potent anti-cancer activities during testing.” This week, just three months later, Professor Lowe announced to the world that “he had developed a formula that can reduce and eliminate prostate cancer, the number one cause of cancer deaths among males” and that  “he has forged a partnership with the largest nutraceutical company in China, which will distribute the formula in that Asian country.”

Medical research has long indicated that there is a higher incidence of contracting prostate cancer among men of African descent. A prominent Barbadian urologist has been quoted as saying, “In this part of the world (Caribbean), not only is prostate cancer the number one solid organ cancer in men, but it is the number one cancer killer in men”. Data collection on the penetration of the disease in Barbados appears to be sketchy but there is enough to suggest it is high in Barbados.

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Did China Really Hijack Internet Traffic For 18 Minutes?


The Internet is buzzing today with the unbelievable story, “China “hijacked” 15 per cent of the world’s internet traffic for 18 minutes earlier this year, including highly sensitive email exchanges between senior US government and military figures, a report to the US Congress said.”

If the above is true the US government should be very concerned about the ‘value’ of the information intercepted. The report in today’s The Telegraph hints at the possibility of China testing a cyberweapon to be used to disrupt Internet traffic from foreign servers. It is no secret the Chinese government maintains a tight rein on Chinese access to the Internet. Despite heavy censorship by the Chinese government the world’s largest search engine Google agreed to enter the market. This decision by Google to compromise on a policy of non-censorship by collaborating with the Chinese to ban some search-engine terms demonstrates the influence of China on the world stage.

If it is true China is developing a cyberweapon it would be seen by some as a leveller given USA’s military advantage. We recall the inability of the world’s most important countries to force China to reflect a more equitable/realistic price of its currency should convince doubters it is a country which will not be intimidated. Barbados as a member of the global community should have some interest in how this story develops. The blurring of national boundaries since the birth of the Internet has exposed the most tiny of countries to the vulnerability caused by the geopolitical machinations unfolding.

If China should have a weapon capable of what it is being accused of, what is to say other countries don’t already have the capability?

China Takes The #2 Spot From Japan, USA Next – What Are The Implications For Barbados In The Ongoing Sino-Western ‘War’?

Submitted by People’s Democratic Congress (PDC)

A migrant worker picks up a bottle of water during a break from his work near a construction site at Beijing’s Central Business District Monday, Aug. 16, 2010. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)

While many people on here on BU blog on much trivia and whilst many citizens in Barbados itself talk and engage in much foolishness and crap, and are systematically being sidetracked by many Eurocentric Westernized into doing so, we in the PDC, and we suppose some others too in Barbados, are presently  learning that the Chinese have just overtaken the Japanese as the world’s second biggest economy in terms of GDP, and are on course, according to a few talking heads in this western hemisphere,  to overtake the  Americans – who are presently the world’s biggest economy – in the next 3 0r so decades ( See Link)

However, the fact that the Chinese were at some points in the past bound to overtake the Japanese eventually, would have been seen from the time of their (the Chinese’s) implementation of particular state capitalist industrialist  ideologies, principles and programs during the time in which such statist trends and events were categorized under the rubric as The Great Leap Forward – in the post World War II era under the Late Great Mao Zedong (1893 – 1976);  from the time they would have implemented market capitalist imperialist industrialist ideologies, principles and programs that fell within the embrace of the introduction of greater Western market style reforms to a Chinese economy that hitherto was centrally planned,  in 1978 under the paramount leadership of Deng Xiaoping (1904 – 1997) – and which were thus seen to be centered around the building on the positives that had been ushered in in the period of the Great Leap Forward – which though too had its own fundamental problems; and from the time they would have executed more of the same capitalist freemarket ideologies, principles and programs that would have inevitably led to profound increases in the strong holds that both Chinese and Western Capitalism have had on the Chinese economy, since the emergence of Jiang Zemin ( 1926 – ) as the paramount leader of China in the aftermath of the Tiananmen Square protests crackdown in 1989, and right up to this juncture with the present paramount Chinese leader Hu Jintao (1942 –).

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A Clash Of Currencies

In his first public lecture from the other side former Prime Minister Owen Arthur poked a little fun at his profession by suggesting that if the best economists were brought together they would struggle to reach consensus on anything. The current financial crisis continues to tax the ability of governments around the world. The complexity of the problem suggests there is no silver bullet to be found. Evidence of the hard truth can be witnessed in Barbados by listening to the Avi Persauds, Don Marshalls, Owen Arthurs et al. Sometimes we need to be reminded that economics is not an exact science and all of our solutions may not necessarily be found inside the bowels of that profession.

In the USA and beyond there is an interesting debate which has engulfed the news space. In an earlier blog BU referred to the fact that the US government will announced on the 15 April 2010 its position on whether it views China as a ‘currency manipulator’.  By law, US [SIC] Treasury must issue a report identifying nations that “manipulate the rate of exchange between their currency and the United States dollar for purposes of preventing effective balance of payments adjustments or gaining unfair competitive advantage in international trade. As that date approaches several perspectives on the issue have started to emerge from leading economists in the USA. Leading the debate is Paul Krugman who to put it bluntly has issued a call for the US government to get more aggressive with China.

At the root of the China US problem has been the perennial belief by the US authorities that China has been manipulating its currency by selling the renminbi (Chinese Currency) and buying foreign currencies to keep the renminbi  weak. Why would China want to encourage such a position? China with the help of the USA has become a major exporter, the Made in China stamp has become a global brand. The position of strength which China has found itself in recent years has assured that it has been able to accumulate a huge trade surplus with the rest of the world. Over the years it has invested over a third of its foreign reserves in mainly US government securities. The global crisis which had its genesis on Wall Street has seen the destruction of 40% of wealth in the USA. Of concern to the Chinese is the threat to the US dollar which if allowed to fall will have  a negative impact on the trillions of dollars invested by the Chinese in the US markets. The US government’s willingness to print money on demand to keep its economy afloat adds to the crisis of confidence in the US dollar.

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Sir Lloyd Sandiford Goes To China

Barbados Ambassador to China, former Prime Minister Sir Lloyd Sandiford (left), chatting with China's Vice-Premier Hui Liangyu after yesterday's signing ceremony. (Picture by Nation Newspaper)

Barbados Ambassador to China, former Prime Minister Sir Lloyd Sandiford (left), chatting with China's Vice-Premier Hui Liangyu after yesterday's signing ceremony. (Picture by Nation Newspaper)

It is unusual for a former Prime Minister to be appointed Ambassador to a foreign country. It is a first for Barbados! Sir Lloyd Sandiford’s appointment as Ambassador to China can be viewed from several angles, the one which appears worthy is the emergence of China as the global economic power and the need to hedge our foreign policy. To have a former Prime Minister stationed in China acting in the interest of Barbados at this juncture of geopolitics creates the opportunity for Barbados to ride potential economic opportunities.

The worry point for Barbados as we develop a closer relationship with China is the issue of trade-off. Barbados has developed a decent relationship with China over the years. In the last 25 years Chinese money and labour has supported several projects in Barbados, Queens College, Garfield Sobers Gymnasium, Salvation Army Headquarters, completion of the problematic NHC building in Warrens to name a few.  If we are not mistaken China has made money available to the Caribbean Development to fund a few projects.

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The Chinese Have Legal Title So What's The Problem?

Submitted by makiala iyoka ashanti


With much pain and desperation to do something about it, I read of the plight of the descendants of slaves who most likely were of the same clan who laboured and slaved without pay to built Maxwell Plantation fortune that has been sold to foreigners namely Chinese, with the results of the slaves descendants being ordered off the land by the court. The article printed in this Friday 5th June Nation News went on to state that a two floored house half half way done would be demolished and all the Bajan lady labour wasted with no mention of compensation or alternative provision.

Also other locals would no longer have backyards and the young carer of the 88 year old land owner cut off from her. WHERE IS THE HUMAN RIGHTS? It is a burning shame that just a few years after Owen Arthur while in England for the Slavery Bicentenary made a bold statement to the British Government to ‘Give back something to the slaves children’ that right in our faces in Barbados a ex slave plantation has sold land passed down from a generation of slaves to the present generation.

I am appealing to political activists like the people of the People Democratic Congress, The People Empowerment Party and Human Rights Lawyers and Pan Africanist as well as the Barbados Justice Committee to support these victims of recolonization by researching and offering them advice to appeal against the court order to buy time for proper legal research and seek out if they can be further representation. I see the defendant is quite young and may be unaware of other legal defences he may be able to depend on, for example, what about prescribed rights to the land where as one can claim these rights after living on land and not being charged rent for a given time, or what about the Government Tenantry Act whereby the government was to subscribe to the reduced cost of plantation land that slaves descendants lived on for generations. New political parties like the two new ones that contested the last general election,( since it seem that both sides of government have taken turns in selling us out to the Chinese and all ) I am calling on you to offer your support to these victims, who, most of the time have to surrender without the right legal advice not aware of their rights and suffocated by excess legal fees.

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The Chinese Spoiler Proposes New World Currency

world_powerBU received an email from an anonymous mailer yesterday which highlights the barring of the Dalai Lama from attending a peace conference in South Africa. The Dalai Lama is recognize as the Head of State of Tibet and its spiritual leader. Since the middle of the twentieth century the Tibetan people have been displaced from their lands by the powerful rampaging Chinese.

The growing China influence in the world has not gone unnoticed among those who monitor world affairs. The refusal by South Africa to disallow the entry of Dalai Lama illustrates the rising influence which China has spawned on Africa and elsewhere. We have blogged our observations before. The insatiable demand caused by China’s massive economy forces the government to identify sustainable supplies of raw material.

Coincidental with the news about the Dalia Lama there has been another interesting development which involves China. Within recent days news reports emanating from China has been the growing concern regarding the ‘safeness’ of its US investments. The concern has been driven by the current global financial crisis. USA appetite for printing of money and the creation of a double digit trillion dollar deficit has the potential to devalue the US dollar. Continue reading

PetroCaribe:The Cat & Mouse Game

300px-hugo_chavez_in_brazil-1861.jpegFormer Minister of Social Transformation Hamilton Lashley was quoted in the media from his contribution to the current Estimates Debate, that against the backdrop of rising oil prices, Barbados should accept the President Chevez sponsored PetroCaribe deal. Funny that we can’t seem to remember Mr. Lashley shouting so loudly on this matter when he was on the government side. If we are being too harsh on the sitting member from St. Michael, we apologize.

There has been a lot of debate about the PetroCaribe offer from President Chevez of Venezuela to his Caribbean and Latin American neighbours. At the end of it all Barbados under the former Arthur government excused itself from the arrangement. Interestingly however, Dominican Republic (DR), Jamaica and Dominica have signed on. Remember that DR is now part of Cariforum which is the Caribbean group thrashing-out an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU). It is no surprise that Cuba and Nicaragua are also PetroCaribe members.

Hamilton Lashley should be careful what he is wishing for. We recently read a document that is highly recommended reading for Lashley.

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International Women's Day 2008

Today is a special day; it is International Women’s Day. It would be a very dumb man who would deny the importance of the woman to our existence. Never mind that today we live in a world that trivializes the existence of life. Procreation which is considered one of the most sacred acts of mankind, and one which can only be performed by a woman has now been relegated to Abortion Clinics which can now be visited on many street corners around the globe. What a sad state the homo-sapiens species have become. Back to the point of this blog! Barbados Underground congratulates all women for the strides they have made in the last twenty years. Gender equality is something we will always support even though we may differ with how some women apply interpretations!

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Of Concern To Barbadians

China’s Financial Meltdown

Your point is well taken about China, however one must remember and certainly consider that China now holds over $1 TRILLION dollars in debt based on US securities (in other words, they are financing a large part of the US accumulating debt.) It is true China has an aging population, so does the U.S.. But the U.S. also has massive legacy costs, namely Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. All of those programs will go bankrupt, the first being Medicare in probably no more than 15 years. The U.S. has gone from the largest creditor nation in history to the largest debtor nation, in approximately one generation. China indeed has problems in auto parts industry, but the U.S. is looking down the barrel of a financial meltdown of biblical proportions, the social programs and war costs are and will do us in. Now back to autos, Ford and GM are toast.

Source: Mutual Differences

Unfortunately, we don’t have any economists in the BU household but the quote above piqued our interest nevertheless. It is no secret that the Barbados dollar has been pegged to the US dollar for ‘eons’, and a significant portion of our imports does originate from the United States. We expect the adage ‘if the USA sneezes, countries like Barbados must catch a cold’ was born from this state of affairs. It seems to us that in recent times the foreign policy of the Owen Arthur administration has shifted significantly to a deepening of the longstanding relationship with China. Chinese involvement in the economy of Barbados has been the source of vigorous debate of late. We are beginning to wonder whether Prime Minister Owen Arthur has a similar view to the author above and the move to expand relations with China is a precursor to a bigger move to wean Barbados from its dependence to the US economy over time.


Historically United States of America has shown a willingness to use her military might to protect its status as the lone ‘Super Power’. As China continues to increase its economic dominance on the world stage, how will the USA respond?

Further questions for the BU family, including our friends from the University of the West Indies:

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Former Prime Minister Tony Blair Doing What Politicians Do Best…

China Condemns Tony Blair As A Golddigger Over $500,000 Fee For Three-hour Trip

Tony Blair arrives to give a speech in Hong Kong

(Andrew Ross/AFP/Getty Images) Mr Blair arrives to give a speech in Hong Kong on Monday

Tony Blair has come under attack from the Chinese media after he was allegedly paid $500,000 (£237,000) for a three-hour trip to a luxury Chinese housing estate. Chinese state press questioned whether the former Prime Minister was worth the bumper pay cheque for his whirlwind visit, and claimed that he produced little more than clichés. The controversial visit by Mr Blair to Dongguan in China’s southern province of Guangdong happened on Tuesday.

He stopped at a luxury villa compound built by Guangda Group, a property development company which sponsored his trip, and made a speech. On top of his payout the company also offered to give him one of the houses worth 38 million yuan (£2.4 million), the Guangzhou Daily reported, condemning the episode as an ostentatious show of extravagance.

Source: Times Online

An interest bit of information coming out of the Times Online today. Have a read because it surely gives an insight into what makes politicians tick…MONEY!!! Some might stretch the action of former Prime Minister Blair and say that he is being totally unethical by piggybacking on his legacy of the office of Prime Minister of England. Hell we might just label it as the product of a capitalist system of government. How we chose to describe it is downright distasteful. We think the comparison which our friends over at Barbados Free Press make all the time, when they refer to a recently retired politician being handed the reigns of Chief Justice as being inappropriate is very applicable.

So former Prime Minister has galloped off into the sunset and it appears from all reports that he needs help investing his new found wealth!

China State Construction Involved In A Bridge Which Collapses In Vietnam~60 People Dead


BU readers know that we try to discuss international issues which we think may have some connection to what we are doing in Barbados. We read this story about a bridge collapsing in Vietnam and killing possibly 60 people. You may ask, why is this story of interest to BU? The bridge was being built by our friends China State Construction. Barbadians know that this same company is responsible for constructing several new buildings in Barbados over the years. We have no issue with China State Construction, but we have highlighted this incident because of the discussion Barbadians have been having about the quality of steel which is being imported from China to supply major building projects in Barbados. In a recent radio programme, we heard engineer Grenville Phillips III, expressing concern that the quality of steel being used to construct many buildings across Barbados is of the banned variety.  It was further confirmed that the steel which we import from T&T, and which it is alleged Mike Pemberton et al have imported from China, have questionable ductility and should be relegated to the building of roads and other similar structures.

We think that this is one of those stories which should encourage Barbadians to appreciate the importance of building standards.  


Barbados & Caribbean Governments Continue To Be Reactive In The face Of The Chinese Invasion: Where Is The Policy To Regulate The Large Influx Of Foreign Labor?~Here Comes Sir Roy Trotman Our Knight In Shining Armour

We have done several stories on the concern which we have with the ad hoc approach by the Barbados government regarding its lack of a policy towards immigrant labor. Of particular concern has been the inclination and ease which companies in Barbados have been allowed to bring Chinese and other labor into Barbados. It seems that the concerns of ordinary Barbadians which have been to a large degree ignored by government and other non governmental agencies are being responded to, but in a token way.

We wonder why?

Does it have something to do with the fact that the international media has picked up this story and our friend Sir Roy now realizes that there are some embarrassing times ahead if he stays mum on the issue? It is well documented that the Chinese are paid very low wages comparative to our Caribbean laborers. The interaction of Chinese and Guyanese recruitment in Barbados in recent years is starting to reflect in some social fall-out. Two days ago the Inter Press Service (IPS) did a feature on the growing problem of Chinese immigrant labor which Barbados and other Caribbean governments are experiencing. IPS quoted Sir Roy as saying:

Read Barbados Underground Feed

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China Says To The Caribbean, We Will Huff And We Will Puff And We Will Blow Your House Down

China World Bank report scandal

The Financial Times reports Chinese officials successfully pressured the World Bank to cut a third of a new report on pollution in China. The report finds about 750,000 people die prematurely in China annually due to pollution. The part that was cut noted that these premature deaths could incite “social unrest.”

The report, as it was initially published, is available here.

In a recent Harvard Business Review article, Elizabeth Economy discusses how pollution is nipping profits of Chinese companies.

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Seems of late that China cannot remain below the world’s radar, which is where we suspect that is where they prefer to be. In Barbados we have the issue of Chinese working in the country without the required immigration documents, there is the confusing political situation where St. Lucia accepted pieces of silver in the election campaign but had an about face when the Compton led party captured the government. It resulted in St. Lucia establishing diplomatic relations with Taiwan, which of course has rubbed China the wrong way. There is always the growing concern which Barbadians have had about the silently growing group of Chinese in Barbados. Along with the Guyanese they have been responsible of forcing the wages of artisans below subsistence levels in the opinion of Barbadian artisans. With the high cost of living Barbadians building homes have been taking advantage of the cheap labor by going underground. Often times the services of the Chinese and Guyanese are acquired informally. Earlier this month the story broke of Chinese factories exploiting child labor. The atrocities of human rights abuses can be listed on BU until tomorrow. The harsh reality is that the world continues as if these things are not happening.

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China's Foreign Policy~How Does It Coincide With Developing States Like Barbados?

‘[The Chinese] moved us away so we would not see what was going on. They were stealing our oil and they knew it.’
– Abraham Thonchol, a rebel-turned-pastor
Danna Harman
In Sudan, China Focuses on oil wells, not local needs~China has invested billions in oil facilities and pipelines, but not in much else, say Sudanese locals.
By Danna Harman | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor
REPORTERS ON THE JOB: Ms. Harman shares the story behind the story.

Li Haowei’s girlfriend gave him a silver ring when he left Liaoning, his home province in China, nine months ago. Before he boarded the flight to Sudan, Mr. Li had never even left Liaoning before. “You are so lucky,” his girlfriend said, then, enviously.

“I was happy to go abroad and see the world,” says Li, an accountant for Petrodar, a multinational oil consortium. “But I did not know enough to know I did not want to come here.”Paloich is not a particularly welcoming place. The heat surrounds and suffocates you like a plastic bag. The dust in the dry season sticks to your eyelashes and fills your nostrils. Mosquitoes buzz in your ears relentlessly.

Full Article

BU came across this story tonight and thought it should interest Barbadians for obvious reasons. Our Prime Minister Owen Arthur has just returned from China where he was full of praise at the outcome of discussions to deepen cooperation between the two countries. The relationship between China and Barbados strikes back to the early 80’s when the Chinese built the Gymnasium, Queens College and the remodeling of the building which houses the Ministry of Education to name a few Chinese projects. Over the years the Chinese known for their military work ethic have created concern in the market as a result of selling their labor at below market wages and their clannish lifestyle on an island which is small and use to a village culture.

This story coming out of Sudan is of concerned because it paints a picture which meshes with those of many Barbadians in recent times. China is veracious consumer of oil which it uses to power its massive manufacturing enterprise which is used to flood the global market with cheap merchandise. The question to be asked is __what is it that they are seeking to take from Barbados?

Is There A Strategy To Manage The Impact Of Migration On The Socio-economic Landscape Of Barbados?

There are only two races on this planet—the intelligent and the stupid. John Fowles


It seemed to us here at BU that a question to be answered arising from our recent articles is how do Barbadians visualize our society changing in the coming months and years. On both BFP and BU we have had some solid discourse on the subject of immigration which in small part can be linked to the ongoing implementation of the Common Single Market and Economy (CSME), but we have also had some comments which border on what is not realistic. We sense that some Barbadians continue to feel some sense of disquiet on this issue as far as the current state of Barbados is concerned.

So all you Barbadians__ how do you see the village culture which Barbadians have become accustomed to, changing?

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Barbados Battles With The Vexing Issue Of Immigration

BU readers must know by now that one of the pillar issues which we continue to write about is immigration. It continues to be a thorny issue facing the WORLD. The debate about the unregulated influx of Guyanese,Chinese, African and Philippines and others into Barbados continue to be of concern to Barbadians from every walk of life.

What is the big deal about immigration in the Caribbean and specifically, Barbados? It has always been with us.

Immigration is nothing new, after the emancipation of slavery in the nineteenth century workers had to move around the Caribbean in search of employment. In the twentieth century labor shifted from the smaller less developed islands to work in the oil refineries in the Dutch and US dependencies i.e. Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles, let’s not forget Trinidad which attracted many Barbadians in their energy sector. After 1980 many of the islands shifted focus to tourism and the domestic labor required in the industry had to be farmed from and other places. Immigration is here to stay!

What has changed?

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China Continues To Abuse The Rights Of Their Citizens But For The World, Including Barbados It is Business As Usual

400 Chinese Fathers of Child Slaves Seek Help Online


Reuters, Wed Jun 13, 2007-

BEIJING (Reuters) – About 400 Chinese men whose children were sold to work as slaves at brickworks were seeking help online after risking their lives and spending all their savings in a mostly futile search, media reported on Wednesday.

At least 1,000 children, with the youngest 8, were kidnapped near train or bus stations in the central province of Henan and had been sold to work in northwestern Shanxi, the official People’s Daily said on its Web site (

Read More: Reuters Report

The matter of Chinese labour is topical at the moment and when we read this story it highlighted the double standards of our times. This is a story which clearly shows that economic considerations will over rule ALL. In Barbados there is the concurrent issue of 100 Chinese artisans working on the Four Seasons project at Black Rock. The response from the government so far has been to lie by the Reverend Joseph Atherley on whether work permits have been issued and whether Barbadian labour was ever an option.

We are sorry Minister Atherley we meant to say you have “messed-up” big time.

Again it causes us to choke that a man of the cloth would compromise on the basic teachings of the bible in the cause of politics. We also make the observation that Prime Minister Owen Arthur is currently in China, no doubt to curry favors. No wonder the social weave of our societies continue to plummet. The politicians of our times continue to make decisions making from the economic side of the spectrum only, forgetting that the social needs of any Nation must be attended.

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