The Adrian Loveridge Column – Automated Passport Kiosks and Sargassum Seaweed

Have we reached a crossroads or what the more sceptical may refer to as an almost insurmountable hurdle in our tourism development?

Returning on a near capacity Virgin Atlantic B747-400 from Gatwick last week, I was initially surprised that just before landing a member of the flight crew advised over the PA to try and get off the aircraft as soon as possible. It was explained a British Airways flight was landing right behind us and the hurry up was to to try and minimize the long queues in immigration. In fact, not only the British Airways B777-200 followed us but also an American Airlines B738.

By now, under not one but two Governments, we would have thought the millions of dollars spent on the Automated Passport Kiosks be fully operational for all arrivals. But no, over two years (November 2016) after installation they are restricted to a very few, seemingly just Barbadians and those with permanent status in Barbados.

Even before the British Airways plane had barely opened its doors the long line of Virgin passengers were already out the terminal door. If the other two aircraft had been close to full that would have meant up to almost 1,000 passengers (depending on model) would be standing in line, within seconds of arrival. Among them of course, many small children and elderly persons!

What seems amazing is that the carrier – in this case, Virgin Atlantic  fully understands the challenges our limited Immigration facilities pose.  Why are our own tourism officials and Government (s) appear not to be able or willing to correct the problem?

The naysayers will point out that this is not a situation unique to Barbados and delays will be experienced in other destinations like entry airports in the United States including Miami, Charlotte and New York. Other Caribbean territories have addressed this by implementing US pre-clearance in their own states but sadly, not so far, Barbados. Even where this had not been introduced, everyone has to stop and think for a moment that the United States in not a tourism dependent country and similarly, neither is the United Kingdom or Canada.

Staying with the ‘dependency’ issue, the Prime Minister, recently highlighted the existing and potential treat of Sargassum seaweed and is quoted as stating it could be ‘as devastating to national economies as a strong tropical storm or category 1 hurricane’. Few can argue with her conclusion, especially if you have witnessed the consequences as I recently did on the French West Indian island of St. Martin.

Our visitors largely comprehend the nature driven challenge, but need to know that we are seriously trying to cope with the problem, even on a localized basis. Some do not understand why our comparatively large ‘Defence Force (BDF)’ cannot be mobilized, at least in public areas,  where a positive even if temporary difference could be made.

Naturally, it is not what they are trained for but if this is really the threat that is portrayed by those in the highest office, doesn’t it make sense?

Emerging Crime Trend: Freedom of Movement Under the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas Needs to be Revised

Acting Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith suggests there is a cultural factor behind recent domestic mu

Acting Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith suggests there is a cultural factor behind recent domestic murders.

The revelation by the Acting Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith that there appears to be a “cultural factor” which threads recent domestic abuse cases is interesting if not surprising. We have to give credit to the police force that they have a sound basis for reaching the conclusion that the cause behind some recent domestic disputes is linked to non nationals. Of course many Bajans will be compelled to intervene in the interest of demonstrating ‘balance’ by suggesting the obvious,  that is, Bajans are equally committing crime and therefore why blame non nationals. Of course non nationals cannot be blamed for all the crime BUT it does not mean we should play ostrich if there is a trend which has emerged which will add to our crime woes and wider societal challenges. Comprehension is a wonderful thing.

A few years ago when BU led the national discussion about possible sociological repercussions as a consequence of the unbridled immigration policy practiced by the former BLP government under the guise of freedom of movement, we were ridiculed by many. Why is it the ideologues like Peter Wickham, Rickey Sigh, BLP opportunists and others have refused to this day to appreciate that our fragile economies which are mainly service based, owning limited resources to protect borders, an possessing undermanned police forces means that any system which allows the unskilled and ignorant to move about freely across the Caribbean must be carefully ‘managed’? Instead they label such concerns by shouting xenophobia. Have we become do intellectually impotent not to understand that issues will emerge from having unchallenged freedom of movement?

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Notes From a Native Son: An Open Door Immigration Policy Can Also be Letting in Trojan Horses

Hal Austin

Hal Austin

The recent showdown in Southern Algeria with Jihadist militants has shown once more that globalisation is not just an economic phenomenon, but once that crosses religious, ethnic, cultural and other social conflicts… Globalisation is more so about the movements of people, of the shift of world-leading thinkers and artistes – and the super-rich – to places that previous generations could only think of.

However, this mass movement of people is not just the smooth shift that most liberals would have us believe. It is also about Samuel Huntingdon’s Clash of Civilisation theory. Although heavily criticised, at least on one point Huntington was right: the more we become globalised on a macro level, the more conflicts there are – and will be – at a micro level.

Recently at a diner party of a small group of Barbadians, men and women, all of whom came to Britain in the late 1950s and 60s, one woman, who came as a young teenager in the 1960s, said that she had a perception that racial conflict in Britain was getting much worse. It was an incredibly perceptive observation. This is also my experience, as someone who had actually seen in shop windows in Kensal Rise in North West London advertisements for rooms saying: No blacks, no Irish, no dogs.

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Racism or Anti-immigrant Sentiment, It Is All The Same!

A few weeks ago Sir Roy Trotman set off a wild debate in the country with his ‘Egyptian Jew’ comment directed at Jacob Hassid, the CEO of Diamond International (DI). The unnecessary taut served to bring to the fore the latent racial tension which continues to seethe below the surface of Barbados society. I

n response to the comment by Sir Roy the CEO of DI raised the ‘fearing for the limb of he and family’. Bear in mind Barbados has demonstrated that it is one of the most tolerant – some say docile – countries in the world.

After watching the following videos of Jews openly and vehemently demonstrating against immigrants, particularly African, one is left to wonder.

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Government's "New" Old Policy

Caswell Franklyn, Head of Unity Workers Union

It is becoming very painful to watch the Stuart Administration govern this country. As a proud and loyal Barbadian who put country first, it hurts when my Government continually foul up and blunder. It is obvious to me if no one else that they had a plan to capture the Government in 2008, but thereafter they had no plan to govern and their every action is showing it. Consequently, they lunge from one ill-conceived policy decision to the next.

I was on time to hear Senator Darcy Boyce announce some initiatives in the Senate that were designed to attract high net worth persons to relocate to Barbados. I could not believe my ears when he detailed the specifics, so I waited for media reports to verify. On the back page of the Wednesday, June 20, 2012 edition of the Nation, under the headline, OK TO INVEST, my disappointment and embarrassment for this Government were confirmed.

From what I heard and read, it would appear that Government was merely repackaging some aspects of the existing Immigration Act and proudly trumpeting them as new. Whoever advised the Government should have read the Immigration Act. According to the Minister’s announcement, persons would now be entitled to stay in Barbados on special entry permits if they satisfy certain criteria and they are either: parents of citizens of Barbados; retirees with means to support themselves; or investors. These new measures have already formed part of the laws of Barbados and have been so since the 1970s, specifically, they can be found at section 6 of the Immigration Act which states, in part:

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I Swear that I Will Be Faithful and Bear True Allegiance to the Queen

Caswell Franklyn, Head of Unity Workers Union

It never ceases to amaze me, the amount of time and energy the Government puts into trivial pursuits. The country is hurtling from one crisis to the next while Government seems to be fiddling while our economic Rome is burning.

The recent ceremony for the swearing in of 120 new citizens of Barbados is one such unnecessary waste of time and effort which serves no practical or even sensible purpose. All we have achieved is to demonstrate that we are a nation of copiers by parroting what takes place in the USA, but to what end.

I could understand if Barbados were a republic and new citizens were required to swear allegiance to this country. However, that is not the case: those who were sworn in would have been required to swear allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen. My understanding is that most of the persons who were sworn in were already Commonwealth citizens who already carry the burden of allegiance to a foreign monarch. In some cases those who were sworn in were already citizens of countries who have Queen Elizabeth as their head of state and as such were already loyal subjects of the Queen. Other than copying the US, what has the Government achieved with the elaborate ceremony?

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Barbados Under Attack From Jamaican Drug Mules

The much publicized Myrie Affair occurred in April this year. By all accounts Barbados came out of the affair with a bloody nose if we are to judge by the comments made by all and sundry. Despite the vitriol spouted from both sides Barbadians, Jamaicans and onlookers are none the wiser what actually happened to Shanique Myrie when she attempted to cross the border of Barbados. She alleges that she was inappropriately searched by local officials, a charge which was denied. In the absence of substantive evidence who does one believe?

What was evident from the episode is that the Jamaican media and political directorate were in cahoots to ensure Jamaican Myrie’s story was propagated and propagandized. To be expected we had the so-called regionalists like Peter Wickham, Rickey Singh, David Commissiong et al who abandoned the need to be patriotic and gleefully jumped across to the other side of the debate.

BU does not intend to paper over any indiscretions made by Barbadian agencies if any did occur at all in the Myrie incident. Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart’s offer for Myrie to return to Barbados to facilitate meaningful investigation remains unaccepted after several months. The haste with which Jamaicans and others across the region used the opportunity to exposed a latent dislike for Barbados cannot be ignored. Some in local media and elsewhere would want Barbadians to ignore the obvious and not rock the CSME boat. It always has to be Barbados to turn the other cheek!

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It Is Time Barbados Tells Some People In Caricom To Go To Hell!

Right Excellent Errol Walton Barrow

Hopefully the Myrie issue will be fully investigated and the matter put to bed, although we doubt it! It seems passing strange that Jamaica and Guyana should be the countries complaining about treatment meted out at our border. These two regional countries represent the largest land masses in the English speaking Caribbean. In a sensible world regional labour flows should be in the other direction. Not to forget St. Vincent which has also been making negative noises directed at Barbados. St. Vincent like Jamaica has become a major source of drugs entering Barbados.

It is worthy of discussion that both Jamaica and Guyana have resorted to exporting labour of late to the tiny islands of the Eastern Caribbean. It appears to be a consequence of the harsh economic times being experienced by the respective economies, or is it? Casual observation detects that a large body of unskilled labour has been entering Barbados from these two countries. The argument which is given by the apologists is that our agricultural sector has been the beneficiary of a Guyanese presence, so what it the point?  The Barbados Workers Union has given its blessing to a registry or some enrolled system being implemented to regulate labour to this sector. The solution has always been a simple one!

In the case of Jamaica we could explain the apprehension demonstrated at our border by stating that there is probably no country in the world which does not feel and act similarly. We all know why. BU does not condone actions by our officials which would seek to dehumanize anyone. There is a legitimate reason for Barbadians to fear the consequences of an influx of Jamaicans into Barbados. Our court and prison are already providing ample evidence that we are correct in our fear. Also Barbadians have become very aware that our red light activity has become saturated by Jamaican and Guyanese personnel. Last week Barbados Police were involved in two major drug busts where Jamaicans and Guyanese figured prominently.

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Barbados Has A Right To Protect Its Border – The Shanique Myrie Case

Harry Husbands, Parliamentary Secretary for immigration

Today’s Jamaica Observer highlights a story which alleges that a  Shanique Myrie was “subjected to two demeaning cavity searches by a female immigration officer who continuously spewed venom about Jamaicans.” Immediately the question came to mind, how could the immigration officer have performed the cavity search in a manner that was not demeaning? The incident has provoked the elusive Parliamentary Secretary responsible for immigration Harry Husbands to respond to the story. It appears the lady was not allowed into Barbados for a legitimate reason.

Those of us who have travelled the world are aware of the limitless authority immigration and custom officials appear to possess. Individuals who are compliant with the law usually have nothing to fear. If we accept the position of the government conveyed by Husbands, Shanique Myrie was ‘pulled’ for a legitimate reason. All of those who are shouting for murder should remember Jamaica is a destination where drug mules originate in abundance. It is no excuse to profile people to the extent they are victimized or dehumanized,  however simple logic says Barbados must protect its borders. If an immigration officer is found to be overzealous in carrying out their duty, there is a process to seek redress. The Jamaica Observer’s article is therefore alarmist, sensational and smacks of  Jingoism.

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Almond Resort Inc Should Be Asked WHY By Barbadians

Click image to read expanded version

Can anyone explain why a hotel operating in Barbados in the year of our Lord 2011 would believe they need to apply for work permits for the positions of Director of Food and Beverage, Executive Assistant Manager and Director of Hotel Operations? The question is being asked against the background of a nation whose number one business has been tourism.

BU has come to the conclusion that the practice of issuing work permits by the Chief Immigration Officer is a routine matter. Now that the hullabaloo has abated regarding how immigration matters were being dealt with in Barbados under the previous government, things have quietly returned to a business as usual culture.

Can the Chief Immigration Officer explain why the positions above and others we have seen in the local media in recent weeks are being entertained?

What is so special about the jobs advertised by Almond?

Are Barbadians objecting to work permits being issued?

Is the Chief Immigration Officer obligated to make public disclosures on how work permit processing is done?

Let the record show BU objects to the above positions being filled by Almond Resort Inc.

The Insidious Creep Of Connections In Barbados And How They Can Be Used To Undermine The Rights Of Ordinary Citizens

Submitted by Yardbroom


I was fascinated but yet discomforted, by a story on another Blog, about “allegations” of rudeness by an immigration officer, to a young lady on her return to Barbados.  The story in summary, is that the young lady on arrival at Grantley Adams Airport from America was spoken to rudely – she said without justification – by an immigration officer.

The essential feature of her story being, that she was asked to wait in a room, until certain investigations the officer thought necessary were made.  After some time had elapsed, she refused to do so, and a verbal confrontation ensued.  The “allegation” is that in this exchange she was rudely spoken to.

If I accept that on her recall of the confrontation, there is a prima facie reason for complaint to the authorities to investigate the matter,  it would therefore be necessary to hear the immigration officer’s side of the story.  What was particularly alarming, was this young lady “allegedly” – and I have her word for that- solicited a telephone call to be made through her connections, to the Attorney General on her behalf and a complaint was made.  The tenure of her report indicated that the Attorney General sprung into action on her behalf.

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Multiculturalism: Maelstrom And A Collision Of Cultures Or A Possible Cohesion Of Separate Ethnic Identities

Submitted by Yardbroom


German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Angela Merkel the German Chancellor recently said: ” Multiculturalism has “failed utterly” in Germany, she further elaborated. . . ” we kidded ourselves for a while that they – immigrants – wouldn’t stay, but that’s not the reality”.  If Angela Merkel’s views are in tune with her electorate’s, it demonstrates that it was never Germany’s intention for immigrants to take up permanent residence in their country.

A case is often made of the economic benefits immigrants bring to their host country; but economic integration of immigrants does not nullify the separate requirement, inherent in some immigrant’s religion, which appears if only on the surface, to them not fully participating in activities or practices, which have made the host country economically successful.

In Europe attitudes have hardened in recent years towards immigrants, this has been caused by the perception, that some of the Muslim faith, have not as vociferously as thought prudent distanced themselves from terrorist sympathies.  It is so obvious that “all Muslims” are not sympathetic to terrorists that it is not worth saying.  However, in the early years of terrorist activity in Europe “some” Muslims sought to justify such activity by the West’s involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan and their failure to solve the Palestinian problem, by putting economic pressure on Israel.

It is difficult for the inhabitants of countries like the UK, to understand how groups of young Muslims, born in the UK, could openly state that their sons/daughters serving in places like Iraq and Afghanistan deserve to be killed.  This is challenging for UK residents to accept, particularly when the young Muslims live in the same town and may even be their neighbours.

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Barbadians Await Promised Immigration, Integrity, Freedom Of Information Legislation

Freundel Stuart, Attorney General

The recent CADRES poll commissioned by the Nation newspaper has generated the usual debate, especially given the peculiar circumstance created by the Prime Minister’s illness.  At the top of the discussion for many Barbadians has been the insensitivity of the part of the poll which dealt with identifying a successor for Prime Minister David Thompson. BU is on record to admitting not being a fan of political polls. In our opinion political polls can act as opinion shapers.

Disappointing in the current discourse when assessing the government’s performance to date has been its inability to rollout several pieces of legislation – Freedom of Information, Integrity Legislation and the New Immigration Act. Barbadians who followed the last political campaign may recall that the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) built key messages around delivering the mentioned pieces of legislation as a matter of priority on assuming office. Although Attorney General Fruendel Stuart has been heard to promise that the legislation will be forthcoming soon, there is a feeling that delivery has been long in coming.

BU continues to be concerned especially in the case of the New Immigration Act. The Town Hall meetings which were held to discussed the Green Paper exposed a loose immigration structure which needs to be fixed pronto. The business of preserving our national security should be a priority for a sovereign nation in the current climate of rampant cross-border crime. Bear in mind tourism is our business.

Why does the Attorney General need so much time to draft the amendment to the Act? If one is to measure the work rate/productivity coming out of the Attorney General’s Office by the number of items brought to be debated in parliament – seems they have not* been busy campers!

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Quality Of Bajan Life Must Not Be Compromised At The Altar Of CSME And Freedom Of Movement


The Immigration Debate has abated because of a combination of a stagnant economy, Barbadians loudly voicing dissatisfaction at the open door immigration policy practiced by the former government and a new government whose politics is built on a hybrid ideology of socialism cum populism.

In October 2009 the government disseminated a Green Paper on Immigration which sought to stimulate discussion on these issues which drive our immigration policies and which are critical to both national security and national development. It is anticipated that on conclusion of this extensive dialogue the White Paper will therefore reflect Government’s position on this important issue in addition to the views of the people.

True to its word the government of Barbados facilitated feedback from the public by staging town hall meetings, receiving letters and emails etc. Prime Minister David Thompson promised at the final town hall meeting in March 2010 that  in a matter of a few months, a white paper setting out a new immigration policy will be completed. The last time we checked about two weeks ago our parliament had not received any notification the White Paper on Immigration was ready for debate. It is interesting to note because of the illness of David Thompson Fruendel Stuart has been appointed acting Prime Prime Minister, he is on record declaring that Barbados is not ready to become the warehouse for unskilled workers in the Caribbean. He is now in a position to drive the amendment to the Immigration Law to give meat to his pronouncement.

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Barbadians Warned To Safeguard Barbados Against The Ethnic Invasion

Submitted by JN (as a comment)

Sir Garry Sobers

I don’t normally write on blogs but after reading some of these comments I had to intervene because I feel the same way!!!

I  am a young Trini man and I can tell you that you should get rid of those Indo-Guyanese and Indo-Trinis before they try to dominate your country! They work in stages and it must be said they don’t and never will like black people. Bajans you must understand this so don’t be fooled by their smiles and stuff…that’s how it started in TNT all throughout the 70s, 80s and 90s, they smiled and befriended black Trinis because we had control of the economy and government and then after the UNC was given two seats by the NAR (because of ANR Robinson’s hatred for the PNM) they got power and that’s when TNT went into racial tensions…for the first time the rest of the population saw their true colours they would call black people niggers almost constantly, saying is “we time now!” and stuff like that the population was really shocked that they were so racists after all they were so nice and cool before 1995…but after reading books about race relations and politics in TNT I discovered that Indo-Caribbean people hate black people and are very resentful of us because our culture dominates…calypso, steelband, music etc and they always felt slighted they call the “fear of creolization (aka becoming assimilated into black culture) So they smiled and laughed with us until they established themselves.

Then they started the cleansing process, Panday fired Manning’s wife who had a high post job in the government I think…they put themselves in the important areas to gain control of the economy….this is a warning to you Barbados if you see them doing this be very very afraid and get them out!! They fired all the blacks in areas of health, medicine, education, business and law and placed their own kind….and over the years the Indians would employ only Indians and not blacks…I remembered they even took black children off the list for colleges in common entrance and put their own it was horrible! and it was easy for them just look at the surnames if its Indian leave it if not delete…health they made sure the heads were Indians so that the newly graduated blacks would be denied from getting jobs and passing exams to start practicing..same thing occurred in law…and the worse was education UWI became completed Indian dominated and lecturers would boldly discriminate against blacks however thanks to the current PNM tertiary education for all now there are a sizeable amount of blacks and other black students from the Caribbean.

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Town Hall Meetings To Discuss Green Paper On Immigration

Reproduced from BGIS Website

Government is moving swiftly to ensure that the public is fully apprised of the contents of its Green Paper on Immigration.

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Hindus In Barbados Show Insensitivity

hinduToday’s Nation newspaper in what history may record as a tipping point in the national conversation on race  relations in Barbados published a story titled,  Hindus want to spread the word. The opening paragraph of the article summarized the gist of the message;  HINDUS IN BARBADOS want to spread their religion and customs throughout the country to the point of convincing Government to grant national holidays for the observance of Hindu festivals. BU would have warned Barbadians for the past three years that this day would come.  To quote BU family member Jay, I want to say emphatically that this “Guyana society” must be absolutely nuts to try something like this.If you want your “observance” why not go where it is already recognized……in Guyana.It makes me wonder if this is being done on purpose to hurt the image of Barbados & to have a more conciliatory Government.Just like what has happen currently in Australia.They can already observe the day,why is a “national holiday required” ?

In recent days we have seen an escalation in the immigration rhetoric from David Commisiong and Norman Faria. Now we have this article published by the Nation which touches the prevailing sensitivity linked to the immigration Indo Guyanese issue. It is no secret that there is a group who has tag teamed to lobby the interest of others at the expense of what  the majority of Barbadians want. Does it matter that Barbados has a Black host population of over 80% which has been exemplary in charting the course of this country in our post independence period? We survey other countries blessed with more resources than us but who continue to be mired in economic, political and religious strife.

It is eerie the path which Barbados is beginning to embark. It seems like only yesterday when a similar conversation started in Trinidad. If we were to scan Trinidad’s Public Holidays for 2010 we note there is a Spiritual Baptist Liberation Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Indian Arrival Day, Corpus Christi, Id al Fitr (End of Ramadan), Divali (Hindu Festival of Light), Christmas Day and Christmas Day. The Trinidad and Tobago population mix is weighted more towards 50:50 Blacks and others. To this day T&T continues to be challenged by the multi-racial composition of its population. Barbados has the opportunity to define the type of society it wants based on the experience of others. Why should we rush knowingly into a situation when the evidence is available to provide a heads-up?

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The Caricom Immigration Mess

Chairman of Caricom and President of Guyana Bharat Jagdeo

Barbados has received a lot of licks from many quarters on the immigration issue. Come January 1, 2010 the much discussed amnesty will expire and illegal immigrants residing in Barbados before January 1, 1998 who have not processed an application will be deported. A recent poll by CADRES indicated Barbadians across the political spectrum were supportive of government’s new immigration policy. The Auditor General of Barbados confirmed the fears of many Barbadians that the system of managing people flows in and out of Barbados is inefficient.

One of the disappointments since the Barbados government rolled out its Green Paper on immigration has been the lack of serious feedback by stakeholders in civil society and ordinary Barbadians. It was embarrassing to listen to a callin program on Voice of Barbados yesterday (27 December 2009) when leading voices in Barbados asked if they had read the Green Paper on immigration admitted they had not.

Immigration matters continue to occupy many countries around the world especially those countries labelled as magnet countries. In all the emotion which has been attached to the issue of Barbados immigration, many of the players in the debate admit a managed immigration policy is a must; BU’s position all along.

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Count The Cost!

You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for,that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.

Dr. Adrian Rogers, 1931

Yesterday the Nation newspaper featured a story on the frontpage Baby John Doe. The essence of the story, to highlight the plight of a mother who is has been unable to register her baby, eight months now and counting. At the core of the problem is the fact the mother is an illegal immigrant, for over TWENTY TWO years and has become a statistic in the government’s new immigration policy. BU admits it is a good human interest story and we hope a solution is found to ensure the child and her mother are removed from the inhumane position they currently find themselves.

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Government Makes Backroom Deal With David Commisong On The Amnesty

Senator Arni Walters - Minister of State responsible for Immigration

Barbadians were informed through a People’s Empowerment Party propaganda piece in the Nation newspaper recently that the government has agreed to a modification to the amnesty conditions announced earlier this year. It is possible BU missed the official release from government on the change or was it a backroom deal made with a group calling itself  the Coalition For A Humane Amnesty?

We should remember the gist of the amnesty arrangement is any migrant residing in Barbados from before January 1, 1998 is eligible to apply. Recent reports suggest several migrants have been flooding the police department responsible for issuing police certificates of character. This administrative bump should be dealt with quickly to avoid the predictable shouts which are sure to come from Guyana Consul Norman Faria and Rickey Singh.

This recent development of government slinking behind the backs of Barbadians to negotiate and agree to new amnesty terms with David Commisong’s group leaves a bad taste in the mouth. BU is hopeful the PEP has gotten it wrong in the column.

Read the full article:

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Who Will Show Barbadians The WAY?


Right Excellent Errol Walton Barrow

Once upon a time some of our leaders had the idea to come together and by pooling resources our region might benefit. The thrust of the leadership of what eventually evolved to CARICOM came from the Big Four, Trinidad, Jamaica, Guyana and Barbados. BU has often ruminated how Barbados was regarded as one of the Big Four. If we judge by size, Trinidad and Tobago is 1980 square miles (including Tobago), Guyana is 76,000 square miles and Jamaica is 4181 square miles. Embarrassingly Barbados is plotted at 166 square miles.

Barbados of the Big Four is not blessed with any significant natural resources. Using a strategy of educating its people successive governments have empowered its people to exploit what limited opportunities exist in a very competitive world. Our legacy of good governance is a matter of record.

It is instructive 40 plus years hence independence to review the scorecard of the Big Four. Jamaica has done a good job of mismanaging its economy. In the 70s when then Prime Minister Michael Manley’s economic policies failed and he was forced to seek the IMF. Although there was a lift in the 80s it is yet to regain the momentum pre-1972.

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Improving Border Security

Senator Arni Walters - FP Nation News

Senator Arni Walters - FP Nation News

Minister Arni Walters who is responsible for immigration has clarified the current fingerprinting operation at the airport as a pilot. He further shed light by indicating it is not mandatory to participate. Based on the hue and cry by Barbadians in recent days we are therefore forced to ask what is the problem?

In the absence of proper communication from Senator Walter’s ministry, the public has been left to speculate where is the government going with this fingerprinting pilot! It is evident the current concerns being presented by Barbadians can be linked to the lack of proper communication by government on the matter.

The Opposition some may say have capitalized on the blunder to make political mileage. The honeymoon period for the Thompson government is over and it must be prepared to respond to legitimate criticism from the Opposition. Within two weeks the government in our opinion has made two obvious blunders, the other is the late delivery of invitations to the Opposition to attend the Ryan Brathwaite Tribute.

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Oh No Sonny!

Shridath Surendranath "Sonny" Ramphal

Shridath Surendranath "Sonny" Ramphal

The comment by Shridath ‘Sonny’ Ramphal a couple months ago when he used the term ‘intimations of ethnic cleansing’ in a speech referring to Barbados’ new immigration policy has not rested well with Barbadians, perhaps to many surprisingly so. Barbadians from all strata of society continue to show amazement that a man of his background would have used such inflammatory language in the prevailing climate. The fact he based his comment on a Nation newspaper editorial makes it all the more mind-boggling.

The Nation newspaper carried a report today citing Ramphal as rejecting the interpretation being applied to his now infamous reference to ethnic cleansing. Interesting to note Ramphal in the report refused to deliver an unqualified apology to Barbadians. Ramphal’s response to the strident criticism after he made the injudicious remark would have come two months later. The delay is most regrettable and only served to further inflame the sensitivity of Bajans. Of interest also is the fact he has come public a couple weeks after Rickey intimated in his weekly column that Ramphal would ignore public calls to address the matter.

Prime Minister David Thompson at party conference on the weekend,for the first time addressed the Ramphal statement. Here is a snippet from his address:

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CADRES Poll Gives Prime Minister Thompson’s Government A Passing Grade

Prime Minister of Barbados Hon David Thompson

Prime Minister Hon David Thompson

Leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley

Opposition Leader Mia Mottley

It is no secret BU disagrees with Peter Wickham’s position on how Barbados should manage immigration.  It comes therefore as no surprise the CADRES poll registered that Barbadians has a healthy concern regarding matters of immigration and support Prime Minister Thompson’s approach so far to arresting the problem.

The second issue which will command heavy discussion are the numbers which gives Prime Minister David Thompson a passing grade when compared to leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley. What is intriguing is the dominant support which former Prime Minister Owen Arthur still has at the national and within the Barbados Labour Party.

The outcome of the CADRES poll comes as no surprise to BU and validates many of our blogs on the issues. Of course employment and the high cost of living become high priority items for Bajans for two reasons, a) the DLP made campaign promises to respond to these two issues b) the prevailing global economic conditions which has negatively impacted Barbados’ own performance.

Here are the links to the documents for the BU family to form its conclusions.

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Our Starting Positions: Does Reflexivity Matter? A Response To Lindsay Holder's CBA

George Brathwaite,PhD Candidate (International Politics)

Submitted by George Brathwaite, PhD Candidate (International Politics)

Leading critical theorist in international relations, Robert Cox, believes that “theory is always for someone and for some purpose. All theories have a perspective. Perspectives derive from a position in time and space, specifically social and political time and space” (1981, 128). There is no doubt that the sentiment expressed by Cox is a challenge for academics to be open on their biases. This may be achieved through recourse to the application of reflexivity.

Reflexivity may be generally defined as an “awareness of the ways in which the researcher as an individual with a particular social identity and background has an impact on the research process” (Robson 2002 quoted in McGhee et al. 2007, 335). Knowledge provided through reflexivity is integral to explanation due to “limits of objectivity and the provisional nature of knowledge” (Alvesson et al. 2008, 481). Despite there is likelihood that personal values, attributes, and “our biases and perspectives influence interpretation” (Weston et al. 2001, 384) and can bolster insight, the imputing of a researcher into the process ascribes both limitations and advantages over outcomes and explanations (Finlay 2002, 215).

There are some researchers that are riveted in their antecedent outlook. These often propose that reflexivity presents narcissistic and solipsistic abundance into explanations. I do not share such a view and hence it is integral to my critique of LH’s article to alert readers to the fact that I write from the position of being a proud Barbadian and Caribbean citizen. I am inclined to be pro-integrationist, and I am keenly in favour of the fair and equal treatment of people.

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Lindsay Holder Responds To Comments On Cost-Benefit Analysis Article

Lindsay Holder, Economist

Submitted by Lindsay Holder, Economist

The eagerly awaited rebuttal to queries raised by Lindsay Holder’s Barbados – A Cost Benefit Analysis of Immigration has been submitted. Here is the link to the PDF document titled Comments on Cost-Benefit Analysis Article.

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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Lindsay Holder Continues His Pursuit…

Lindsay Holder, Economist

Submitted by Lindsay Holder, Economist

The following articles were submitted to the local press for publication.

  • Open Letter to Compton Bourne
  • Barbados – A Cost Benefit Analysis of Immigration
  • Response to Peter Wickham Feebles Response
  • Bharrat Jagdeo Throwing Stones At Barbados From His Glass House

    Jamaican Harvey Anderson is thankful to his ‘Good Samaritan’ Philippa Pearson.

    Jamaican Harvey Anderson is thankful to his ‘Good Samaritan’ Philippa Pearson/Kaieteur Newspaper.

    The immigration matter has gone off the boil in recent days. Barbadians maybe waiting on Prime Minister David Thompson to provide an update on the effectiveness of the controversial amnesty scheduled to expire end of year.

    One of the most disappointing aspects of the immigration debate sparked by the amnesty has been the vitriolic commentary delivered by Caribbean citizens who should know better. Among those we have academic Professor Norman Girvan who in an interview with a Jamaica radio station used the word ‘Gestapo’ to describe the action of the Barbados government when rounding up illegal immigrants. On the same program Videographer Annalee Davis agreed with the provocative term spewed by Girvan. Soon to follow was former Secretary General of the Commonwealth Shridath Ramphal  who went one step further by referring to the Barbados government actions towards illegal Caricom immigrants as using intimations of ethnic cleansing. He subsequently retreated when he explained he made the statement based on a Nation newspaper report. If we wanted to we could cite several other examples from Prime Minister Ralph Gonzales of St. Vincent, David Commisiong who has been exposed using a fork tongue, Head of the Caribbean Development Bank Compton Bourne a Guyanese tossed his two cents into the pot at the risk of compromising his position which convention regards to be independent, we had many other examples.

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    Guyana Government Is The Biggest Violator Of Guyanese Human Rights, Not Barbados

    Submitted by Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID)

    President of Guyana Bharat Jagdeo

    President of Guyana Bharat Jagdeo

    BROOKLYN, NEW YORK: Guyana’s President, Bharrat Jagdeo, in his address to the 30th Meeting of Caricom Heads of Government, which began in Guyana yesterday, appealed for the rights of Guyanese to respected by Barbadian Immigration authorities. But Jagdeo himself is not getting a pass from the New York based Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID). The Institute is demanding that Jagdeo heeds his own words.

    CGID President, Rickford Burke, said Friday that although he agrees in principle with the Guyanese leader, Jagdeo has no honor on the subject of human rights and must be heed his own counsel. Burke added that “Barbados is not the chief abuser of the human rights of Guyanese – the Jagdeo government is. The lack of respect the Guyana government demonstrates for its own citizens and its mediocre, despotic governance, invite the mistreatment of Guyanese in the region,” Burke observed.”

    On May 5, 2009 Barbados Prime Minister, David Thompson, implemented a controversial new immigration policy of deporting undocumented Caricom nationals who entered Barbados after December 2005. Since then, immigration officials have conducted early morning raids on the homes of suspected undocumented Caricom nationals, and have “deported” or “removed” them from Barbados. Guyanese constitute the largest immigrant block in Barbados. Over eighty percent of the Barbados deportees have been Guyanese.

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    The Fear Of The Growing Ethnic Factor, Real or Imagined?

    Submitted by Yakubu

    ethnicityWhile we must be a tolerant society, Bajans must understand that Hindu immigrants, with their high fertility rates, and their dislike of miscegenation with the Negro, have already destroyed the social cohesion of two Caribbean territories–Guyana and Trinidad. Now they are invading Barbados.

    We will have no-one but ourselves to blame if we are unable to defend our island from the upheavals that have occurred elsewhere–and not just in the Caribbean. In Fiji, society has been fractured by Indian immigration. In East Africa, there have been decades of turmoil, although Uganda chose to bite the bullet and deport much of its Indian population when they rejected the government’s efforts to integrate them into African society.

    A single labour market for the Caribbean will, over a historical period, lead to the political, social and cultural subordination of the Negro in the entire eastern Caribbean. Our politicians, businessmen and academics must be persuaded to abandon this ruinous project.

    Is There More To Unchecked Migration Than Meets The Eye?

    Hartley Henry - DLP Political Strategist

    Hartley Henry - DLP Political Strategist

    Sorry, but once again I shall defer dealing with the now contentious issue of immigration and more importantly migration, as it relates to the enunciated policies of this Democratic Labour Party administration.

    I suspect that when the dust has settled and all the facts have come to light, the person who will be credited for having broached the critical point worthy of focus in this entire debate, will be businessman, Ralph “Bizzy” Williams. He apparently saw through the shenanigans and alluded to the real issue about which Barbadians should be fearful.

    I seem to believe that sooner, rather than later, the real sinister plot of those who contrived and facilitated mass, unchecked migration in Barbados will be uncovered. Timing is critical to everything and I somehow believe that there will be ample evidence, when the time comes, to prove the absence of naivety and the existence of a plot to “teach Bajan voters a lesson”.

    I will say no more at this stage. What I will do, however, is share two recent experiences, in sister Caribbean states, upon which Barbadian voters should ponder.

    Recently in the Cayman Islands, there was a change of government. An administration elected four years ago, with more than 65 per cent of the popular vote, went under to the party it defeated back then; losing critical support in its key voting district. Political scientists will attribute that loss to the impact of the current economic decline, disconnect of elected Members from their constituents, misplaced policy and project priorities and such like.

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    Rickford Burke President Of the Caribbean Guyana Institute For Democracy Clears The Air

    Submitted by Rickford Burke, The Guyanese-American President of the New York based Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID)

    Submitted by Rickford Burke, The Guyanese-American President of the New York based Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID)

    I shall be happy if my letter can receive due prominence on your blog. I have read some of the comments on your blog, in response to statements attributed to me in a press release issued yesterday by CGID’s Director of Communications, Jevon Suralie. First let me remind all that I respect and will advocate for the sovereignty of Barbados as well as its right to conceptualize and enact any domestic policy its elected government chooses.

    I agree that the immigration and other laws of Barbados MUST be respected and that violators of the law should be brought to justice. However, I also believe that domestic laws, such as immigration regulations, in any Caricom country, must be congruent with the spirit and intent of Caricom, and must be enforced equitably and fairly, and that people’s human and other rights must be respected and NOT abridged. Individuals must be treated humanly and with human dignity, in keeping with internationally accepted norms and values.

    As I said in the CGID statement, “We agree that everyone must abide by the law and that anyone who commits crimes must be brought to justice. However, this must be within the framework of the rule of law and international norms of civil rights and fundamental fairness. We also agree that immigration policy throughout the region needs to be rationalized. In this context, unilateral, singular and uncoordinated action by one government is counterproductive to a harmonized regional policy approach that would be compatible with deeper integration, which we all seek.”

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    Pursuing The Immigration Matter

    Submitted by Lindsay Holder
    Lindsay Holder, former Chairman of the BAMC

    Lindsay Holder

    The following articles were submitted to the local press for publication. To date, three of these articles have been published.  There are status statements at the end of those articles that have been published.

    Responsibility, Fairness And The Media In Reporting The Guyanese Illegal Immigrants Issue In Barbados

    Submitted by Yardbroom
    Roxanne Gibbs - Executive Editor Nation Newspaper

    Roxanne Gibbs - Executive Editor Nation Newspaper

    PNCR leader Robert Corbin is denying holding talks with party executive Dr Aubrey Armstrong

    Dr Aubrey Armstrong

    Recent lurid details of a female illegal Guyanese immigrant being apprehended, was disseminated by a major Barbados news outlet.  The allegations if true are worthy of investigation by the relevant authorities.  However, the article was so lacking in person details, it was impossible to identify anyone because of the anonymity given.

    It is necessary that anonymity is afforded in certain cases, to protect sources from retribution even ridicule, but the level of fairness we are justifiably eager to give illegal immigrants, must also be given to the relevant immigration authorities, the Barbados Government and the citizens of Barbados on whom such allegations can have a negative impact.

    If the personnel involved in the allegation cannot be identified, how can appropriate action be taken by the relevant authorities?  Unless there is some dissemination of information the alleged unfairness cannot be properly challenged and rectified.

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    How Can It Help Barbados If Its Interests And Prosperity Are DEGRADED To Benefit Other CARICOM Countries?

    Submitted by Yardbroom

    The Great MigrationI am not against CARICOM if it is possible to achieve its main purpose which I understand to be: …”promote economic integration and cooperation among its members, to ensure that the benefits of integration are equitably shared, and to promote foreign policy”… I find it difficult to accept that with regard to illegal immigration, any benefits of integration are equitably shared.  There are no benefits in this area – certainly not for Barbados – but the burden is being shouldered by little Barbados, and for its efforts to cope with a difficult situation it is being vilified by a cohort, some not Barbadian but who reside in Barbados.

    Many of personal choice have made Barbados their home, now they seek to criticise all things Barbadian…we are indeed a tolerant people.  I sometimes wonder if they hate the fact that they have had – regardless of the circumstances – to come to this little rock to reside in peace and relative tranquility, surely that is not the fault of Barbadians.

    A vibrant few who earn a living by the pen and other media forms; buoyed up by kindred academics seem reluctant to proffer any advice to Prime Minister Barat Jagdeo of Guyana despite being natives of that country.  They are always “mute” in their diligent examination of Guyanese politics, but wax loquacious on Barbados talk programmes and the pen is always at hand to criticise our Government.

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    Response To Lindsay Holder’s Immigration Exposition


    Submitted by George Brathwaite, PhD Candidate (International Politics)/On The Map

    I do not intend to be lengthy in this critique to Mr. Lindsay Holder’s contribution in the Advocate newspaper of 14-15 June 2009 . I am well aware that each of us brings our biases to any project. I also believe that one ought to be sufficiently reflexive and admit to pertinent antecedents that may have an impact on the ways in which arguments are framed, analysed, and disseminated. My position is that of a Caribbean researcher who has been widely influenced by the shapers of postcolonial discourses and by the architects of Caribbean regional integration. Moreover, I have been exposed to a way of life and a thinking that suggests I should love my neighbour as I love myself.

    A meandering diatribe that was published in the Sunday Advocate of 14 June 2009, and continued in the Monday edition of the Advocate and which is authored by Lindsay Holder served little in clearing away misunderstandings on ‘immigration policies and the status of immigrants’, if to do so was his primary intent. In this lengthy polemic, Mr. Holder appears more to be attempting to resolve his personal sentiments and advance his patriotic stance in favour of Barbados, than examine the “current issues that provoke discussion,” or provide a basis for managed migration. With all of the many complexities that surround the issue of immigration and more particularly, Barbados’ response to ‘unacceptably high’ numbers of undocumented CARICOM immigrants, Mr. Holder proceeded to exhibit a forlorn dismissal of facts and empirical data.

    Surely any well-reasoned analysis would at least make an attempt to provide relevant statistical data that can substantiate arguments being advanced. Mr. Holder prefers to follow the position of the Government of Barbados by relying on “casual observation” on which to determine that “the level of undocumented immigration is unacceptably high.” The sentiments in that statement alone appear to be sullied by bigotry: even if one could make a distinction based on race or ethnicity, how does one come to the conclusion that persons observed at any one point in time and place are undocumented CARICOM immigrants? Isn’t there an ‘Indo-population’ in Barbados originating from Trinidad and Tobago and also from the Asian continent?

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    Is Barbados Being Sold Down The River By The Media and Opposition Party On The Immigration Issue?

    Leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley

    Leader of the Opposition Barbados Labour Party Mia Mottley

    Mr. Harold Hoyte is a founding member of the Nation Group and is President and Editor-in-Chief of The Nation Publishing Company in Barbados.

    Harold Hoyte Editor Emeritus of The Nation Publishing Company

    Lindsay Holder, former Chairman of the BAMC

    Lindsay Holder is a former Chairman of the Barbados Agricultural Management Company Limited

    Over the last couple years BU has articulated, we hope dispassionately, on the issue of the open immigration policy which was practiced by the previous government. At no time have we supported xenophobic behaviour or bigotry in the ensuing discourse. We have simply held a position that while Barbados should be committed to its obligations under the Treaty of Chaguaramus, it does not mean that our borders should be assaulted by all and sundry seeking the proverbial streets lined with gold at the expense of the vision which Barbadians have held-up for itself through the years. BU readers can do a search using the keyword ‘immigration’ to access the many blogs posted on this subject.

    The conspiracy which has emerged across the region to spin a false position in response to Prime Minister David Thompson’s Ministerial Statement after he announced an amnesty for CARICOM nationals, has been blatant and symptomatic of a political and social immaturity.

    Any interested observer of regional affairs would conclude that the issue of immigration is a topical one. Since the announcement by Thompson of the amnesty the issue has become accentuated. In the Advocate Newspaper of 14 June 2009 a Mr. Lindsay Holder was as clear as anyone can be in elucidating on the immigration issue which Barbados and the region is currently battling, he did so without the use of jargon, fuzzy logic, ideological or jingoistic biases. We highly commend the Advocate Newspaper for giving voice to this important issue which is being manipulated by politicians, academics, Fourth Estate and prominent and other influential persons in Barbados and across the region.

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    The Immigration Issue Exposes The Divide Between The Academics And The PEOPLE

    Norman Girvan, Research Fellow at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine

    Norman Girvan, Research Fellow at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine

    Prime Minister David Thompson’s new immigration policy which addresses the vexing issue of undocumented CARICOM workers living in Barbados takes effect from today albeit a national holiday. The policy comes not too soon for many Barbadians who with their eyes see the problem for what it is, an open door immigration policy practiced by the previous government which was not sustainable. The woefully inadequate management information system at the Immigration Department to track people traffic across our borders has since been acknowledged by the Auditor General in his report  for period 2008-2009. Those who oppose the Thompson policy point to the the issues of historical linkages between Barbados, Guyana and the other Caribbean islands, betraying the spirit of the Treaty of Chaguaramas, the tone of the Thompson government as a leader in the CSME movement and among other issues.

    Interestingly enough the issue of respective Caribbean island governments having cause to focus on more tightly regulating immigration laws has been a hot topic in recent weeks if anyone is to peruse the regional newspapers. Guyana is battling with illegal immigrants from Brazil and China, Jamaica, Dominica Republic and the Bahamas continue to deal with the influx of Haitians, Antigua and Trinidad like Barbados has been at the end of a large inflow of Guyanese and so it continues across the Caribbean. It makes us wonder why Barbados continues to attract the bulk of the dissenting commentary since announcing a new policy to deal with the problem.

    A corollary to the immigration debate has been the perspectives of many of those in academia with a secondary observation, the position of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP).

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    Logic And Reason Required

    Hartley Henry - DLP Political Strategist

    Hartley Henry - DLP Political Strategist

    There is considerable merit in the observation by Prime Minister David Thompson that many of the visitors Barbados is depending upon to visit its shores are themselves victims of the current global economic downturn. Politicians often times speak in the abstract about real situations that affect national outcomes. I do not wish to be partisan, but I smile when persons speak of a decline in tourism activity without referencing the convulsions taking place in some of our primary source markets.

    For example, while the Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Mia Mottley, during her reply to the budget, was apportioning blame to the new DLP administration for a fall in tourism numbers, streaming across the bottom of the television screen, which at the time was tuned to CNN, were news alerts of three corporate giants in the United States laying off in excess of 17 000 workers, all in a single day. Last week I counted 83 000 similar victims, and that is only from the clips that I viewed while sitting before my television.

    Curiously, I Googled ‘job losses in the United States’ and it was heart rending to discover that last month, April, 2009 to be exact, a whopping 611 000 persons lost their jobs in the United States. This has nothing to do with the more than 270 000 that were placed on the breadline by companies in the United Kingdom. Last Thursday alone, 15, 000 were sent home from British Telecom. In the United States, since the recession began in December, 2007, a mere 17 months ago, 5.7 million jobs have been lost.

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    Bajans Say Yes!

    Submitted by Bajans ain’t foolish

    prideofbarbadosPeople like Anojam think that the average Bajan is not too bright to see through their subterfuge.They start by telling you – oh we are in agreement that you can’t allow everyone in, but what about the declining population,or what about those xenophobic comments we hear on the airwaves and see in the newspapers.

    Well to those persons I respond this way:

    Were it not for this Barbados Underground blog,the issue of the negative impact of the deluge of Guyanese, Vincentians, Jamaicans, English,whoever would have been silenced because of the policies of said Roxanne Gibbs – Guyanese born editor of the Nation newspaper and one Vic Fernandes Guyanese born CEO of Starcom Network.

    Of course they were aided and abetted by their usual stooges in the likes of Peter Wickham, Mia Mottley, Owen Arthur, Dale Marshall, Rawle Eastmond and the other BLP politicians, Mike Browne -the producer of the call in shows at Starcom, Olutuye Walrond formerly of CBC to name a few.

    History has taught us that all during our years of oppression and struggle – during the slavery years and afterwards – there has always been members of the community of descendants of African people who have always acted as stooges and pimps and sold out their brothers and sisters,while the other races understood the need to unite as one – during times of crisis and national significance.

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    Time To Rally Around Prime Minister David Thompson

    Rickey Singh

    Rickey Singh

    Prime Minister David Thompson promised when he assumed office that he would established a Cabinet sub-committee to investigate the Immigration problem which was visibly evident in Barbados.  In keeping with his promise he issued a Ministerial Statement last week which focused on a new policy to tackle the problem. The issue of immigration is one being battled all over the world, Barbados no exception. Since issuing the statement all hell has broken lose with the most pointed yet covert attack coming from Prime Minister of St. Vincent Ralph Gonzales who elected to issue his own Ministerial Statement in response.

    Prime Minister David Thompson although a rookie Prime Minister is a seasoned politician, and we are confident that he will make the right moves to protect the borders of Barbados and by extension the well being of the society which Barbadians have laboured to build in a post independence era.

    Prime Minister Patrick Manning had earlier requested a CARICOM Heads of Summit to discuss the global financial crisis but we

    Roxanne Gibbs - Executive Editor Nation Newspaper

    Roxanne Gibbs

    suspect that a lot of the time will be spent addressing the decision by the Barbados government to document immigrants. Already Prime Minister David Thompson can expect that Prime Minister Gonzalves et al will be frothing  at the mouth come Sunday in Trinidad to attack the government of Barbados’ decision to arrest the large number of undocumented workers in Barbados. It was yesterday we read Secretary General Edwin Carrington of CARICOM suggesting that the matter will be discussed. He was at pains to point out that member countries in CARICOM had a right to make decisions with respect to sovereignty but he was concerned with how they do it. This we consider to be a most inappropriate comment even before this matter has been discussed given the obvious inference to Barbados.

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    Report Concerns About Immigration Abuse In Barbados


    In the absence of the Gov’t listing those work permits issued, maybe a title in the blog could be Work Permits Issued, with contributors, anyone, entering places and positions where they know a work permit has been issued?

    This would ensure a publicly available database, albeit by bajans at large, who see positions being filled, especially those where bajans can do the work.

    Suggestion submitted by BU family member Sir Bentwood Dick – 10 May 2009

    Government Of Barbados Addresses The Illegal Immigrant Issue

    Prime Minister of Barbados Hon David Thompson

    Prime Minister of Barbados Hon David Thompson

    Prime Minister David Thompson issued a ministerial statement in parliament today regarding the immigration issue. For some time now it has been apparent to sensible Barbadians that the national security of Barbados had become breached given the large undocumented number of immigrants living in Barbados. It was an election campaign issue and on assuming office Prime Minister David Thompson appointed a sub-committee of Cabinet of which he was Chairman to investigate and make recommendations to government to relieve the problem.

    Barbados will deport illegal immigrants who do not seek to regularize their status under a new policy – see CANA Report.

    BU agrees with the measured and humane manner which the Thompson led government has approached this issue. While it is easy to lobby to deport all illegal immigrants, there is an understanding that many of the illegal immigrants have been living in Barbados for so long that it would be inhuman to uproot those people summarily.

    But here are a few BU concerns: Continue reading

    Guyanese Welcome In Barbados Says Union Head Sir Leroy Trotman

    Submitted by Guyana Consul Norman Faria

    Sir Roy Trotman - General Secretary of BWU

    Sir Roy Trotman - General Secretary of BWU

    The Consulate is deeply honoured and pleased to be once again assisting Guyanese workers to show friendship and solidarity with the Barbadian people and government in this most significant celebration of the struggles of working peoples around the world.

    This year’s participation of Guyanese one again comes against the backdrop of  democratic minded peoples, their organisations  and their governments, facing challenges following recent  financial and other economic downturns starting in  the US economy. The repercussions from this meltdown are already being felt, as reported, here in Barbados and other regional countries and worldwide.

    As is natural and historically worldwide,  the organisations of working peoples and their allies will support the just actions, including those of their governments and the private sector, to safeguard their interests and the hard fought for achievements  as a whole.

    Guyanese contract workers, those on work permits, are participating in the  annual May Day activity in Barbados once again. This is being done to symbolically show friendship and solidarity with the Bajan people and their government in these challenging times  .  By working together, we can achieve a  just and lasting solution to the reported difficulties. We can continue on the good road of progress and democracy traditionally found in Barbadian  society.

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    When Peter Wickham Weaves A Web

    Submitted by Yardbroom
    Peter Wickham

    Peter Wickham

    I can’t speak for Norman Faria, but I am inclined to believe that there is evidence of racial discrimination against Afros there [Guyana] at present, in the same way there was evidence of racial discrimination against Indos there during the Burnham – PNC era – Peter W Wickham April 12, 2009 at 6.25pm

    The BU family can succinctly address your core argument.  You agree that there is evidence of discrimination “now” in Guyana against Afro Guyanese, which is exactly what Dr. Kean Gibson said, that there might have been discrimination against Indos during the Burnham-PNC era does not negate this “present truth”.

    Permit me to quote you again: My thesis is not that there is no discrimination, but that discrimination is not caused by the mere presence of large numbers of Indos and moreover that Indos are not genetically or culturally inclined to discriminate because of their Hindu beliefs.

    There are two core elements to your thesis: Continue reading

    Barbadians Continue To Wait On The Shake-up Promised At The Immigration Department

    illegal_aliensThere is an interesting parallel to what is happening in Barbados regarding illegal immigrant labour which is currently unravelling in the USA. There is a report just released that tens of thousands of jobs to be created by Obama’s stimulus package will go to illegal aliens.

    “Studies by two conservative think tanks estimate immigrants in the United States illegally could take 300,000 construction jobs, or 15% of the 2 million jobs that new taxpayer-financed projects are predicted to create – read full report

    It is interesting to note that this ridiculous state of  affairs is being blamed onfailing to require that employers certify legal immigration status of workers before hiring by using a Department of Homeland Security program called E-Verify. The program allows employers to check the validity of Social Security numbers provided by new hires. It is available to employers on a voluntary basis.”

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    The Illegal Immigration Problem In Barbados: A Time-Bomb Waiting To Explode

    timebombPrime Minister David Thompson has communicated to Barbadians that there will be a shake-up at the Immigration Department. For too long this agency which is mandated under our laws to protect our borders has been falling short. Barbadians have also been told that there is a sub-committee of cabinet briefed to submit a proposal on how to make our immigration policy more relevant. In our opinion the findings of this committee has become way overdue, more so in an environment currently characterized by a contracting economy with rising unemployment.

    Against the foregoing, we are puzzled by the word making the rounds that ex-soldier and former BLP candidate Jeffery Bostic has been identified as the person to head-up an improved Immigration Unit. If Bostic is indeed the man we would have to question his qualifications for the job.

    Despite our best effort we have been unable to confirm the accuracy of a Bostic appointment.

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    Financial Meltdown, Scapegoating And Guyanese Immigrant Options

    Submitted by Guyana Consul Norman Faria

    guyanese-souljahThere is much talk these days of the “Diaspora” and how they relate to their birthplace. These are Guyana and other CARICOM born people residing mainly in US, Canada and the UK…

    There is some balance. Their diplomatic and consular missions highlight the  contributions of a sterling few to their newly adopted homelands and mention of integration.  Heads of government and Ministers regularly visit . But the message is always sent: ” Don’t forget to keep sending home the money. It helps the economy”.

    There is a need  to go beyond the symbolic awards. How many of our people overseas really get involve in social work, community affairs and local and national politics  ? How “socially active”, or “civic minded” to use a more mainstream phrase, are we when we settle in the three main countries (and by extension other places like Barbados) ?

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