Author Archives: David

Emancipation Message

Submitted by the Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC)
“Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last!” (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.)

“Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last!” (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.)

The GTUC shares with the world and more so Guyanese the celebration of 1st August which 180th years ago brought an end to chattel slavery in the British Empire. Full emancipation came four years later after the slaves served a four-year period of amelioration (1838). Freedom in its present form is a continuous process of education, putting in place systems, and safeguarding same in order that people and society can be rid of the shackles of that era in whatever form it appears today. One does not have to be physically enchained to be mentally enslaved. The mind is a powerful tool and weapon and when it remains shackled to messages of non-achievements, worthlessness and inferiority, there is no need for physical chains to enslave, oppress and marginalise.

Our African ancestors were brought to the so-called New World against their wishes and through sweat, blood and tears-despite the whips reigning down on their bodies- they contributed significantly in laying the foundation and topography for this land. They built a system of dikes and drainage canals, seawalls and roads network, constructed buildings and factories, laboured in the sugar and cotton estates, planted rice, fruits, ground provisions and other crops with their hands.

Our forebears fought against the oppressive system, with some giving their lives for the cause that led to chattel freedom, indentureship, internal self-government, independence and republican status. It is because of them we have a constitution of our own and laws to protect us from marginalisation and discrimination from any individual, group or system. They have fought the good fight for equality and dignity grounded in the belief that all men and women are capable of acting toward each other in a spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood. This ideal was institutionalised in the 1948 United Nations Human Rights Declaration.

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Crop Over & Carnival – What is Caribbean Culture? What Does it Mean? Where Are We Going?

Submitted by Pachamama
... festivals in the Caribbean hold any particular excitement any more...

… festivals in the Caribbean hold any particular excitement any more…

We are working with a few ideas.

The people who seem to know, like to consider a culture as the beliefs, enactments, values, mores, stories and maybe traditions of a people. We always talk about the dead-endedness of the political and economic cultures in the Caribbean but it is also difficult to measure any higher level of vibrancy in any other aspects of the general ‘culture’. This is true from Trinidad to Barbados, as we will argue, if we are permitted to use Carnival and Crop Over as metrics.

The project to create a new Caribbean identity is no more visible in Jamaica than it is in St. Lucia and it is doubtful how festivals contribute. The radio call-in programs seemed to have served their purpose of absorbing critical public expression, as a release valve, like these festivals, but not much more. The market share of church attendees maybe more and more consolidating into a business organizational revivalist camp. They take their orders from elsewhere. In all this, it is difficult to reconcile the visionary, even hopeful, articulations by eminent Caribbean statesmen/women of yesterday, people like CLR James, Lloyd Best, the Great George Lamming, William Demas, Derrick Walcott, Rex Nettleford, Michael Manley and others, with what is happening today. Thankfully, none of these could have sung the praises of the queen and accept a knighthood.

Maybe it is a function of age but none of the carnival festivals in the Caribbean hold any particular excitement any more, seem chronically staid, represent a ‘monotony of a sameness’ year after year, unable to transform themselves far less their societies, but pass for the most popular cultural expressions still. And we seem not to be able to break out of this downward spiral. Disconnected from the visions which our leading sons and daughters held for us. We can no longer see the wisdom of writing another social commentary, as a calypsonian.

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Animal Abuse

Submitted by islandgal246
The life of many dogs in Barbados

The life of many dogs in Barbados

Created by John Linghst, to be delivered to: Midwest City Police Chief – Brandon Clabes,

Corey Marion Harrison moved out of his apartment since June 19 but left something behind.  He left his two dogs locked in a cage without any food or water and without bothering to tell the apartment supervisor anything about this.  After the dogs were found they were released to Midwest City Animal Welfare to be taken care of.  These dogs were found in an advanced shape of starvation and dehydration. Just a little longer and there might have been nothing left to do.  As a dog lover I ask you to sign and share this petition and urge the authorities to prosecute this man for abandoning the animals in the hands of fate!

This happened in the USA recently  and  was posted on FB and this was the response.

FB user…..This happens even in Barbados in Maxwell Hill, Christ Church. Only a few weeks ago my family sought help for 2 beautiful dogs left by its owner as he and his mother moved into a new apartment. The dogs were badly dehydrated and starved.

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Sports Program Not Up to Scratch

Wayne Cadogan

Wayne Cadogan

Once again the National Sports Body and Barbados government continue to make a mockery of sports in Barbados and the tax payers especially in the face of these hard economic times that the country is currently going through. I am referring to the large contingent of 104 athletes and 34 four officials who are attending the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Once again a large contingent of officials are accompanying a sporting team going overseas to represent the country, this has been the norm for all my years being involved in sports and as a avid sports supporter. This is nothing that started in recent years; I can recall from as far back as in the mid 60’s a contingent of 3 athletes and 13 officials going to Puerto Rico to compete and where the athletes never saw any of the officials until they boarded the plane to return to Barbados. In this current situation, you have one official to every eight athletes. The problem is that when some of these officials return that they cannot and do not make any contribution to the development of sports on their return. Once a certain sports administrator told me that they have seen the world at the expense of the taxpayers and I guess that, that is why people cut each other throats to get on board the various sporting organizations in Barbados!

There are countries that have world class athletes who do not send such large contingent of officials and athletes to meets, but only those that have a chance to medal. For years Barbados have been sending athletes to meets who cannot get past the first round the various sporting bodies are just interested in numbers to justify the number of officials that usually accompany the teams. Barbados just sent 4 hurdlers to the Common Wealth Games when only 3 athletes are allowed to compete in any event.

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Reality Check

Originally posted on AfraRaymond.com:

Dr. Bhoendradatt Tewarie

Dr. Bhoendradatt Tewarie

After a flurry of attempted explanations from the Minister of Planning & Sustainable Development, Dr. Bhoe Tewarie, as to the real meaning of the High Court’s 14 July ruling on the Invader’s Bay matter, the State has now appealed that ruling and applied for expedited hearing of the matter while having the judgment stayed.

What that means is that the State is asking the Court to agree an extension of the Stay of Execution until the appeal is decided, so that the requested information could be withheld while the case is being heard.  Presumably, the State has asked for a speedy hearing so as to avoid any impression of them encouraging needless delay in this matter of high public concern.

This article will focus on the three critical findings in the judgment.  I will be examining Dr. Tewarie’s statement to Parliament on Friday 18 July, alongside the…

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The Arthur Objective

Leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley (l) Owen Arthur MP (r)

Leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley (l) Owen Arthur MP (r)

The public statement by Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler that he is willing to endorse former Prime Minister Owen Arthur serving on an advisory committee of government has come as a surprise to BU. His statement comes a couple days after Prime Minister Freundel Stuart made a similar statement. It is clear there is some public relations being done to smoothed or welcome Arthur’s entry into the DLP’s universe, a naked grab for a man who is widely regarded as one of the best economists in the region. The vast experience Arthur has accumulated leading Barbados for 14 years has positioned him as a priceless resource for an under resourced DLP Cabinet struggling to manage a contracting economy.

Until recently Arthur was the focal point of relentless attacks from the government that bordered on tactless and tasteless in the Lower House. Arthur may have contributed to the venomous attacks by his repeated references to a porakey parliament.  BU believes the angst the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) side holds (held) for Arthur is derived from him having been the face of a successful Barbados Labour Party (BLP) for close to fifteen years. His extended tenure gave the DLP a long time in the wilderness to all but self-destruct. If Arthur had not allowed the Mascoll factor to muddy the issue for the electorate in 2007  many believe Arthur would have served another term. He was mercilessly lampooned in all areas of the media which a generous general election budget supported. An attack on Arthur that resonated with the public effectively decapitated the the BLP figurehead and shorten his coat tail.  The DLP flawlessly executed the strategy to demonize Arthur in the last general election and Stuart was the beneficiary. Unfortunately the economic challenge that faced Barbados was a secondary message.

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Strasbourg rules again: no human right to same-sex marriage

Originally posted on Catholic Voices Comment:

echr1There is no human right to a same-sex marriage, human rights law does not require countries to “grant access to marriage to same-sex couples”, and the state acts lawfully in seeking to defend the traditional understanding of marriage as between a man and a woman, according to a ruling by Europe’s highest human-rights court last week.

The judgement (PDF here) handed down by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) at Strasbourg both reiterates and reinforces a previous 2012 ruling which made clear that same-sex couples did not have a human right to enter marriage. Strasbourg’s consistent view is noteworthy because it has a clear remit to uphold anti-discrimination and human rights laws, and vigorously pursues the rights of gay among other minority groups.

Last week’s ruling is the final stage of a case first brought in Finland, where, uniquely in Scandinavia, there is no same-sex marriage (SSM) law, but where gay…

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Young Democrats Launch Education Grant

The following shared as a public service communication – Barbados Underground

Date: Sun, 27 Jul 2014 18:28:29 -0500

Young Democrats offering shollarships

Young Democrats offering tuition scholarships

Subject: Young Dems Educational Grant Programme Application Form and Poster
From:
youngdemocratsbarbados@****l.com

To: Dear Comrades,

On Thursday 17th  August, 2014, the Young Democrats lunched it’s Educational Grant Program. The Young Dems launch this initiative to target students in need of assistance to meet their financial requirements as they enter their respective educational institutions. This program came as a result of the noticeable number of students who are unable to pay their fees or even afford the necessities for school. Therefore, the aim of this program is to provide some students with educational grants to pay for their economic costs.

If you or anyone you know need assistance with funding for school, apply for the Young Dems Educational Grant Today!

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Barbados Can Generate More Tourists from the USA by Subsidizing Travel

Adrian Loveridge - Hotelier

Adrian Loveridge – Hotelier

While still a month away, September presents one of the most challenging times of the year from a tourism perspective, especially from our second largest market, the United States. With three flights daily, two from Miami, and one from New York, unless the scheduled aircraft equipment is changed that amounts to a total seat capacity of 16,680 in and out for the entire 30 days.

September 2013 recorded the second lowest US long stay visitor arrivals (6,198) for the last eight years, with only 2012 performing worse. Even if you factor in those travelling who are not counted in the landed passenger statistics, you begin to get an idea of the problem. Clearly this massive over-capacity or underutilisation is not good, either for the airlines or destination, as there is no profit in an empty seat or vacant room.

Is there anything ‘we’ can do? For many years I have tried to advocate the opportunities that frequent flyer programmes offer. From 7th September until 14th November American Airlines lower their mileage requirement to 25,000 for a return economy ticket from almost any city they service in Continental North America to Barbados. Of particular interest, due to excellent connection times are cities like Houston and Chicago where published round trip normal fares to Barbados would be at least US$789 and $673 respectively. Using miles only the add-on taxes are payable which amount to less than US$60 return.

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EXCEPTIONALISM – We Are All PALESTINIANS

Submitted by Pachamama
Destruction of Gaza

Destruction of Gaza

As we enter week four (4) of the barbaric slaughter of the sacred Palestinian people a simultaneous and larger war against the peoples of the world pursues apace. Indeed, the savage decades old war against the Palestinians comes within the context and at the height of an American imperial exceptionalism that has had no ‘moral minimum’. This war of aggression against the Palestinians is no different than the wars against economically disadvantaged peoples of the South. It is a  war even against Russia and all of Europe because there must never be another exception to this new and staggering American exceptionalism. It is an exceptionalism that aims to do something no other empire has considered – to have no end, almost Messianic. And nothing, nobody, nowhere is outside its sphere of interests. Its current central focus is Russia but China is to soon follow. The war on Gaza sees the Palestinian people facing the onslaught of the Zionist agents of this vicious American exceptionalism.

We are all Palestinians when, as Caribbean peoples, we are devastated by engineered economic conditions as characterized by booms and busts. The economic wars we are facing is no less criminal in nature than the brutality inflicted on innocent women and children in the open air prison called Gaza. This brutality of capitalism, as war, has reach such a normalization that we have been numbed to the growing billions still living beyond the poverty line, starving, unable to find potable water, lacking basic medicines, denied quality education, shelter and healthy food, even in ‘developed’ countries. These are still happening in a world where the number of billionaires is increasing exponentially. For these are the accepted and acceptable conditions of the Palestinians people and billions more throughout the world who are Palestinians today and have always been Palestinians.

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