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Showing posts from April, 2013

Role of Central Bank

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We are not a bit surprised that former Governor of the Central Bank, Sir Courtney Blackman is blaming both the Barbados Labour Party and the Democratic Labour Party for the current financial woes. We are also not surprised, that the current Governor, Dr. DeLisle Worrell, is saying that the existing financial sector stymies or does not support innovation and creative enterprises. In layman’s terms it really means, that those citizens with start up enterprises, cannot get them financed. These two statements show beyond a shadow of doubt that the current crisis, is not going to be abated by the noise coming from the apologists of the government and opposition. When stripped of their diplomatic sheets, they convey a bankruptcy rampant in both of these political dinosaurs (BLP and DLP). The simple truth is that both parties have paid nothing but lip service to creating a new entrepreneurial class and have bogged themselves down in economic models that are no longer relevant. We are left wit…

Caribbean Must Avoid Corruption

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Mr. Jack Warner is not a perfect man but his addiction to money and power makes him much more imperfect than he needs to be.  We are not going to rejoice at his perils. Quite frankly, we did not call for his resignation out of hatred for the gentleman but out of concern for our region. Small, essentially poor and economically vulnerable islands cannot accommodate the Jack Warners of the world. The reason why he became a hero to many was simply because, of our laid back culture, we sometimes lose sight of the dangers inherent in corruption and the ripple effect such activity will have on future generations. We need folk heroes but not Jack Warners. One of the tragedies of our Caribbean Nation is the undeniable fact that there is a rampant cynicism engulfing our politics. In the last elections in Barbados, we heard of voters willingly selling their vote to the highest bidder. We recall, that during the last elections in Trinidad and Tobago, Jack Warner’s access to money and the largess d…

Friday Comment:The Jack Warner Affair

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by Carlton Heywood
The "Straight talk" narrative delivered by the Challenged Power house of the Jack Warner enterprise, is a regurgitation of a corrupted message, in the guise of FIFA driven methodology.  Examine the inventory of various strategies as disclosed in his assertions of blame, notwithstanding that he employed the corrupted tactics of leveraging positions of trust, to accumulate power and pride, normative drivers accrued by those first world and third world trustees,at whom Mr. Warner, is now taking a racial swipe.  But he showed a command and grasp, of methodology and mindset to be a "dealer and player" at the "high stakes chips" which nurtured the cultivated structures.  Has the UNC, intelligentsia, and enlightened other political players, detected Mr. Warner's hand and game plan, resulting in MR Warner's, changed gambit? 
Carlton Heywood is a commentator on Caribbean Current Affairs.

Human Rights Stains

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BY TONY BEST, IN NEW YORK | MON, APRIL 22, 2013 - 12:09 AM Violence against women, discrimination against gays and lesbians and child abuse and prostitution were blots on Barbados’ human rights record last year, according to an American State Department report. Added to that list was the “occasional” use of excessive force by Bajan police officers who the report also accused of “engaging in such unprofessional conduct” as intimidating or beating suspects to extract confessions or in one case demanding sexual favours or money from four foreign women who had accepted an offer of a safe ride to their home. On the other side of the human rights ledger, the State Department told Congress that the country’s lone prison which was built six years ago to accommodate 1 250 inmates had only 1 054 at the end of last year, 39 of them were women. Prisoners, it said, were allowed “reasonable” access to visitors but cited reports of lawyers being obstructed by police when visiting their clients in p…

Unions Under Threat

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“For some time, we have warned that the trade union movement in Barbados was being marginalized. The coziness with employers brought about by the so-called Social Partnership, has long been a cause of concern to the Mahogany Coconut Group. The frequent love fests of the employers’ representatives and the union bosses were brilliant public relations stunts designed to fool those who don’t understand the treachery inherent in such exercises.”Mahogany Coconut Blog 1/11/2013. “ BWU General Secretary, Sir Roy Trotman  said more specifically, his union’s decision to cut ties with CTUSAB was simply put , in an effort to prevent a deliberate effort to marginalize the Barbados Workers Union…………….He explained that this meant his organization would not have a voice at the Social partnership.”  Barbados Today, 19/04/2013. We are not in the business of saying: We told you so. At the same time, we must state that the rumblings in the so-called Social Partnership have been rampant for some time. Howev…

White Collar Thieves

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‘WHITE COLLAR THIEVES’ Concacaf integrity committee probe reveals Warner, Blazer committed fraud in football By Mark Bassant Senior CCN Investigative Journalist in Panama CityStory Created: Apr 19, 2013 at 10:27 PM ECT Story Updated: Apr 19, 2013 at 11:16 PM ECT  National Security Minister Jack Warner has been found to have committed fraud through which he enriched himself in his dealings in international football.  The finding by the Integrity Committee of Concacaf has come on the heels of a series of exclusive stories on Warner’s financial wheeling and dealings by head of the Express investigative desk, Camini Marajh. Head of Concacaf’s integrity committee, Sir David Simmons, yesterday revealed the underhanded dealings and fraud committed by Warner,  former FIFA vice-president and Concacaf president, in his handling of the affairs of the regional football body.  Simmons, a former Barbados chief justice, disclosed that Warner and Chuck Blazer, former general secretary of Concacaf, “w…

Caribbean At Crossroads

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The question concerning Caribbean governments is: Where do we go from here. Throughout our Caribbean Nation, the simple and glaring truth is that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. The gains made since the independence era of the 60’s and 70’s seem to have lost their relevance and we are slowing but surely in need of a progressive and passionate vision for our region. The old adage comes back to confront us: Where there is no vision, the people perish. Many once optimistic thinkers are apparently accepting or concluding that there is really no hope. They have been convinced by personal and political exercises and experiences that we will never escape our colonial past, and that the more things change the more they remain the same. The clich├ęs are numerous and the positions understood. We do not want to delude ourselves but we still believe that these islands thrown together by three hundred years of brutality/ slavery can and will survive. There is really no re…

Glenroy Straughn: A Tribute

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The passing of Comrade Glenroy Straughn, means that a bright light in our Caribbean Nation has been extinguished. To the Mahogany Coconut Group, Comrade Straughn was much more than a community activist; he was a freedom fighter and a resolute , unswerving defender of the poor and under privileged. His passing therefore leaves a perpetual void in national and regional affairs. Comrade Straughn,  as many have  noted, gave of himself to many causes and was a leading light in the radical and progressive politics of the late 60’s and 70’s. He was an active member of the then Black Nationalist movement that predicted many of the problems with which the current political managerial class is confronted.  We who remain committed to the eradication of elitist class base political direction, have citizens and comrades such as Comrade Straughan to thank for our enlightened views of society. We recall when Comrade Straughn was  assisting the beach vendors with their struggles to remain on the beach…

Disrespect of Women Reaches New Heights

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The behavior of a Queens Counsel toward a female judge, in Barbados, is another manifestation of the disrespect being displayed toward our women. According to published reports, the Queens Counsel demonstrated his displeasure with the judge by lifting his robe,backing the judge, bending over and inviting her to kiss a part of his anatomy. This single act reveals that disrespect for our women is now rampant at all social and educational levels. We will remain in the forefront of calling for our women to be respected but there is a bigger picture emerging here. Our Caribbean societies have always elevated some professions beyond godlike status. The medical and legal professions have been the chief beneficiaries of such adulation. While we have had the occasional professional problems with our doctors, we suggest that such incidents have been far from widespread. We can therefore, with some objectivity, concur that the medical professional has maintained high professional standards. Howev…

Mahogany Coconut: Five Years

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Seven years ago, a group of concerned Caribbean citizens, both at home and in the Diaspora, began to discuss several aspects of Caribbean life: politics, customs, gender rights, traditions, culture, literature and sports, were the main subjects. Emerging from this “gathering” as it was called was the Mahogany Coconut Think Tank and Watchdog Group. Unfortunately, after our formation, many members of the highly Internet based gathering, returned to their respective island homes, retired or simply became frustrated with economic, social and political events  in their adopted countries . Some also became vastly disappointed in the socio-political events unfolding in the Caribbean and decided to withdraw from serious discussion on many issues. However, the Mahogany Coconut Blog, first published in March 2008(3/10/08), was reactivated and many members and well wishers of the gathering began to refocus on issues in the Diaspora and at home.  We are therefore fortified that after     a very try…

Gays and Scouts

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The Mahogany Coconut Group stands firmly in support of Mr. Darcy Dear, of the United Gays and Lesbians Association of Barbados (UGLAB), in relation to the recent statements of Dr.Nigel Taylor, Chief Commissioner of the Barbados Boy Scouts’ Association. Dr.Taylor stated that the Boy Scouts’ Association of Barbados has a “closed door policy” in granting membership to openly gay men. The historical purpose and contribution of the boy scouts movement needs no repetition here. We cannot understand,  why at this time, the leaders of the movement in Barbados would want to make the inclusion of openly gay members an issue.  We do not believe that the charter of the movement was concerned with the sexual orientation of its members but more so with the good deeds they render to their fellow citizens. This alarming witch hunt needs to be strongly protested. Discrimination of all forms is to be forcibly opposed by all freedom loving citizens. There can be no compromise on this position. We complet…

Sir Kyffin and Guyana

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The traditional corporate sector, in the Caribbean and in Barbados in particular, is not known as risk takers. Quite frankly, we believe that the development of the region has been systematically hampered by this traditional corporate class which has deep roots in the retail trade and are often afraid to venture out of their comfort zones. This fear has led to the virtual paralysis of agriculture and has left the door wide open for foreign investors to reap benefits in industries such as manufacturing and tourism. Even in the area of sports and other leisure activities, this corporate group has often ignored investment opportunities. They preferred to invest in: private yacht clubs, polo and other activities, which have no real appeal to the masses. However, it would be dishonest to argue that their investments in horse racing have not brought employment opportunities for the working class. We have noted that the failure of the corporate elite to heavily invest in West Indies cricket,…