Free Movement Of Persons In Caricom

Submitted by the Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy

caricomHeads of Government re-affirmed the goal of free movement of persons as expressed in Article 45 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas and that free movement is an essential element of the CSME, but given the current global economic and financial crisis, its full implementation at this point in time will be challenging for some Member States;

They recognised that, notwithstanding challenges from time to time, the free movement of graduates, artistes, media workers, musicians, sportspersons, teachers, nurses, holders of associate degrees and artisans with a Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) has generally been implemented satisfactorily.

Heads of Government also re-affirmed that migration is a human right though circumscribed by national law.

Heads of Government further recognised that in the spirit of the Revised Treaty and the requisites of international law, all migrants should be accorded humane treatment.

Heads of Government agreed that the schedule of free movement of persons within the Single Market would be reviewed at the CSME Convocation to be convened in October with a view to advising on the timetable for full free movement.

They also agreed that household domestics who have obtained a Caribbean Vocational Qualification or equivalent qualification will be allowed to move with effect from 1 January 2010.

Heads of Government further agreed on the importance of training and sensitising Immigration Officers on the implementation of the Region’s approach to free movement and hassle free travel.

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No Comments on “Free Movement Of Persons In Caricom”

  1. Jay July 6, 2009 at 7:19 PM #

    The Prime Minister who who implements full free movement into Barbados will not have a Job,plain & simple.If no one understands this sentiment then they will feel the wrath of the voters plain & simple.

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  2. y. paris July 6, 2009 at 7:46 PM #

    Why was there so much concern about deportation of illegal immigrants from barbados. This problem is a nuisance which is affecting not only barbados but all the economically better off islands. Why is it, that the largest number if illegals are guyanese? Why can’t Ragdeo provide his people with jobs? How much can each island absorb? Isn’t it the responsbility of each country to provide sustainable environments for their citizens? It seems to me that Ragdeo is exporting his people throughout the region on purpose. He can’t hide his ineptness and incompetence behind freedom of movement. I believe that if unchecked immigration policies continue it is a recipe for disaster, social unrest and upheaval the likes of which we have never seen in the region. Caricom is Carigone. Enough is enough!

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  3. Jay July 6, 2009 at 7:50 PM #

    I forgot to mention the Minister of Immigration,Arni Walters has finally given his 2 cents on the immigration matter including freemovement.

    http://www.sflcn.com/story.php?id=6705

    ” Minister of State, Labour and Immigration, Sen. Arni Walters

    However, he stressed that the island’s small land mass, in conjunction with an increase in the illegal immigrant population, posed severe challenges in the provision of social services, including education, health, housing and employment.

    In some cases, the Minister pointed out that these critical services were “bursting at the seams”, in an effort to provide adequate care for nationals and non-nationals alike.

    Through the amnesty, he indicated that, Government was seeking to “get a handle on these numbers” in an effort to better rationalise local resources, so those who qualify are able to benefit properly.

    “We are hearing stories which we don’t want to…in terms of, for example, slum housing conditions. If you are going to provide facilities for your guests or visitors, they must have the same level of comfort that Barbadians would be entitled to. There should not be any discrimination, either in terms of the social services or employment…that is not the type of regime we would wish to have in place,” the immigration Minister asserted.

    The amnesty offers undocumented CARICOM nationals who entered Barbados prior to December 31, 2005 and have remained undocumented for eight years or more, that is, before January 1, 1998, the opportunity to come into the immigration Department and have their status regularised.

    Persons also have to show evidence of employment, proof that they have been living here for the stipulated period proof of any dependents and that they pose no security risk.

    Following the qualifying period, “those CARICOM nationals without lawful permission to remain in the island will be removed.

    According to Senator Walters: “That is a specific group of persons we have identified at the moment, those before 1998… One would suspect that any person coming in after 1999 would have arrived here on a work permit, as a visitor and had the appropriate extensions or as a CARICOM skilled national. If you are documented, then there is no problem. If you are undocumented and you’ve made a deliberate decision that you will hide away, we will have to take the appropriate action.”

    The Labour Minister also maintained that Government’s new immigration policy for undocumented CARICOM nationals was not contrary to the provisions for the free movement of persons as set out under the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).

    He observed that these provisions allowed for certain categories of workers to travel throughout the region, including musicians, university graduates, media workers and artisans, among others.

    Senator Walters said these persons would have the requisite national or Caribbean vocational qualifications and the relevant documentation.

    However, he pointed out that some persons travelled to Barbados on a particular work permit, yet sought to move into a different area of employment. This, he declared, posed a serious problem for the authorities.

    “If an employer applies for a work permit for someone, that individual cannot change employers. That work permit is for a particular type of employment. You cannot come here on a work permit for a carpenter and move from firm A to firm B and call yourself a mason…The moment you move from that employer to become a mason, that work permit is invalid,” he noted.

    Senator Walters reiterated that Barbados remained committed to the free movement of persons under the CSME, in accordance with the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, stressing that Government’s new immigration policy was not intended to ostracise or target any group of CARICOM nationals.

    However, he contended, Barbados must still maintain an adequate level of security in the face of rising crime and related border security issues.

    “You can’t have a situation where someone gets off an aircraft at the airport or a vessel in the port, and upon serious investigation shows that he does not have a penny to his name, or he has given a fictitious name…
    “…There’s no point coming here believing you can circumvent the process and get access to social services, such as housing, when there is a waiting list of some 15 to 20, 000 persons already, or go on welfare when there are other persons who require those services,” Senator Walters stated.

    This is according to Minister of State, Labour and Immigration, Senator Arni Walters, who has added to the comments made earlier this week by Prime Minister David Thompson at the beginning of the 30th Meeting of the Conference of CARICOM Heads in Georgetown, Guyana.

    “There should not be any fear that if they turn up during an amnesty period that anybody in the Immigration Department is going to hold them and seek to send them back. That would go against the purpose of the amnesty,” he explained.

    Speaking to the Barbados Government Information Service (BGIS), the Senator said the Government was not inhumane or uncaring to the needs of this group of persons.

    However, he stressed that the island’s small land mass, in conjunction with an increase in the illegal immigrant population, posed severe challenges in the provision of social services, including education, health, housing and employment.

    In some cases, the Minister pointed out that these critical services were “bursting at the seams”, in an effort to provide adequate care for nationals and non-nationals alike.

    Through the amnesty, he indicated that, Government was seeking to “get a handle on these numbers” in an effort to better rationalise local resources, so those who qualify are able to benefit properly.

    “We are hearing stories which we don’t want to…in terms of, for example, slum housing conditions. If you are going to provide facilities for your guests or visitors, they must have the same level of comfort that Barbadians would be entitled to. There should not be any discrimination, either in terms of the social services or employment…that is not the type of regime we would wish to have in place,” the immigration Minister asserted.

    The amnesty offers undocumented CARICOM nationals who entered Barbados prior to December 31, 2005 and have remained undocumented for eight years or more, that is, before January 1, 1998, the opportunity to come into the immigration Department and have their status regularised.

    Persons also have to show evidence of employment, proof that they have been living here for the stipulated period proof of any dependents and that they pose no security risk.

    Following the qualifying period, “those CARICOM nationals without lawful permission to remain in the island will be removed.

    According to Senator Walters: “That is a specific group of persons we have identified at the moment, those before 1998… One would suspect that any person coming in after 1999 would have arrived here on a work permit, as a visitor and had the appropriate extensions or as a CARICOM skilled national. If you are documented, then there is no problem. If you are undocumented and you’ve made a deliberate decision that you will hide away, we will have to take the appropriate action.”

    The Labour Minister also maintained that Government’s new immigration policy for undocumented CARICOM nationals was not contrary to the provisions for the free movement of persons as set out under the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).

    He observed that these provisions allowed for certain categories of workers to travel throughout the region, including musicians, university graduates, media workers and artisans, among others.

    Senator Walters said these persons would have the requisite national or Caribbean vocational qualifications and the relevant documentation.

    However, he pointed out that some persons travelled to Barbados on a particular work permit, yet sought to move into a different area of employment. This, he declared, posed a serious problem for the authorities.

    “If an employer applies for a work permit for someone, that individual cannot change employers. That work permit is for a particular type of employment. You cannot come here on a work permit for a carpenter and move from firm A to firm B and call yourself a mason…The moment you move from that employer to become a mason, that work permit is invalid,” he noted.

    Senator Walters reiterated that Barbados remained committed to the free movement of persons under the CSME, in accordance with the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, stressing that Government’s new immigration policy was not intended to ostracise or target any group of CARICOM nationals.

    However, he contended, Barbados must still maintain an adequate level of security in the face of rising crime and related border security issues.

    “You can’t have a situation where someone gets off an aircraft at the airport or a vessel in the port, and upon serious investigation shows that he does not have a penny to his name, or he has given a fictitious name…

    “…There’s no point coming here believing you can circumvent the process and get access to social services, such as housing, when there is a waiting list of some 15 to 20, 000 persons already, or go on welfare when there are other persons who require those services,” Senator Walters stated. “

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  4. David July 6, 2009 at 8:00 PM #

    Dumb question, we have a bunch of islands with the exception of Trinidad which carry high debt burdens. These economies are therefore hamstrung to do any major reordering of their respective economies to build capacity, grow GDP etc. How can these islands allowing freedom of movement going to contribute in any major way to these islands breaking the debt trap?

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  5. R.H. Carr July 6, 2009 at 8:02 PM #

    This is a speech by the late Forbes Burnham.

    INTEGRATE OR PERISH

    Forbes Burnham

    Perhaps I will be forgiven for reminding even this gathering that the Caribbean can no longer, like the proverbial ostrich, hide its head in our beautiful sandy beaches and ignore the trends and impelling forces of change in the world economic order. Either we weld ourselves into a regional grouping serving primarily Caribbean needs, or lacking a common positive policy, have our various territories and nations drawn hither and thither into, and by, other large groupings where the peculiar problems of’ the Caribbean are lost and where we become the objects of neo-colonialist exploitation, and achieve the pitiable status of international mendicants.

    Hunger and poverty are not relieved by philosophical pratings, or academic outpourings.

    No one can deny the need for action. It is that need which is itself the rationale and raison d’etre of this conference. Today, we are where we were yesterday; precisely through our inability to concert and our incapacity to yield the form for the substance; precisely because we have failed to match words with action.

    Our problems differ only in degree, not in kind. All our economies exhibit an unhealthy ratio of foreign trade to national economic activity. Less than 3 per cent of our total trade represents intra-Caribbean trade. The other 97 per cent of that total trade is dangerously concentrated on commodities and products controlled from outside the region, like sugar, bauxite, bananas, to take three of the biggest earners.

    We all have the persistent menace of unemployment ranging from 10 per cent to 20 per cent. Emigration outlets outside of the Caribbean, in spite of high moral posturings, are closed to us. Ours is one of the highest birth rates in the world. The pressure is building up and unless we plan and act, the lid will soon be blown off the Caribbean society with dangerous and world-shaking results.

    Ours is a common problem of capital deficiency, of shortages in the professional and technological fields and of the ineligibility of nationally important social projects for international finance. In some cases, over the past decade, in spite of a few flashes of hope and achievement, our economy in this region has been stagnating and in some quarters there have even been signs of slippage. Let us to our own selves be true. These are the facts. This is the naked truth. Either we integrate, or we perish, unwept, unhonoured.

    A perfect solution to, or institution for, integration cannot be hoped for.

    We cannot expect to start off with some ideal or perfect arrangement. Neither can we hope to be so prescient of the future as to be able to determine all the consequences and difficulties of integration. We can and must, of course, try to analyse and anticipate as best we can from available data, what the effects of integration may be and can be made to be, but it would be folly par excellence to wait for perfect foresight.

    Complete integration will take some time and will involve a number of complex decisions at the highest levels but it cannot arise fullblown merely because decisive political agreements have been achieved. In practice, arrangements will have to proceed step by step and their success will be dependent upon the research and analyses of experts and officials like those present here this morning. And that is why it has been decided that this conference should be the precursor of the one of heads of governments in October, in Bridgetown.

    Doctors Brewster and Thomas in their study have posited the need for a regional integration policy body to give continuous direction to the integration progress: I would add in the same way as the Central American Free Trade Area established the Central American Committee in 1952 only that we shall have to move with even greater despatch and speed. In our context Brewster and Thomas have designated the body as a regional commission. The name may or may not be acceptable to you and your governments but the name is unimportant. What is of vital importance is the institution, its terms of reference and scope of activity. There can be no doubt that it cannot function without a secretariat, that it must have access to or be responsible for an institute of applied research which can mobilize a wide range of professional skills – a sine qua non which has been referred to as ‘the fourth and final factor in the process of integration’.

    Heavy demands will be made on skills and expertise especially in the fields of development administration where at the individual territorial levels there is a shortage. Obviously, provision will have to be made for advanced training and applied development technology.

    Finally, a key institution, perhaps around which all other supporting institutions should revolve, is a regional development bank. An important part of this conference’s duty, therefore, will be to give consideration to the recommendations for the creation of a regional bank made by the U.N.D.P. team. In view of the unanimously strong support reported within the Commonwealth Caribbean, it is to be hoped that your deliberations will hasten the rapid implementation of the proposals for this institution.

    One of the positive advantages of integration is that it enhances the international stature of the region: it increases its bargaining power vis-a-vis the world. There are those who prescribe O.A.S. status as a short-term solution to our problems – and I emphasise short-term: there are others who propose an involvement in the Latin American Common Market which is to be established in 1985 (1 hope that these proponents are not suggesting that we wait that long to take action as between ourselves), but whatever arrangements may be come to, our ability to get proper and favourable terms will be dependent upon our acting as one group rather than a number of little specks in the Caribbean Sea. It is for you the technicians to analyze, evaluate and advise on the various propositions. It is for you to propose new formulae.

    Guyanese in common with other West Indians expect from this conference action and tangible results. We take this question of integration seriously and do not look upon this conference as the occasion for an exercise in debating skills of which we have a surfeit in the Caribbean. As I have said before and in other places, Guyana is willing to place its not inconsiderable natural and other resources at the disposal of the region as a whole. Our hinterland is not a mere showcase for the passing admiration of curious anthropologists, archaeologists and tourists but a vast place to be peopled and developed. With whom better can we share our resources than with our neighbours, our brothers, our sisters? With whom do we already share a common historical experience?

    [Excerpts from a Speech to the conference of Officials of the Commonwealth Caribbean Territories, Guyana, 1967]

    (Late Forbes Burnham was former Executive President of Guyana).

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  6. The Observer July 6, 2009 at 11:06 PM #

    The Guyana government policy of exporting persons to where ever they can get money to send back home is an entrenched “economic“ policy and try as they might no CARICOM government alone can stop it from happening. Barbados could try to move heaven and earth to implement a manage migration policy but this will not do much to solve the problem. A new passport under a new name is usually not that difficult to obtain when a civil servant is being paid US$250 a month salary to process passports.
    A developed and well educated Guyana has significant implications for the political landscape. Just imagine all those CARICOM immigrants moving to Guyana in search of employment and investment opportunities…who do you think they will be voting for? Which party benefits most from a largely uneducated Indian population working in the agricultural sector? Will well educated Indians continue to religiously and solely vote for a party because of its symbol on a ballot? Do you think the PPP does not know that a developed Guyana has significant adverse implications for their electoral success?
    Economic citizen exportation coupled with international donor begging is the major strategy for development in Guyana. The PPP does not seem to have any interest in fully developing any economic sector that is not led by the Indian community. All those natural resources will have to sit idle and underdeveloped for years to come. Continued emphasis on agriculture (sugar and rice) will be the sole focus of this government cause that’s where the uneducated Indian community and principal PPP supporters are located.

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  7. The Scout July 7, 2009 at 2:08 AM #

    The more I read about this New Heads of Government treaty or whatever, the more sick in the stomach i get. Mr P.M my advice to you is come back to the people, tell us what is going on. I fear that there might be some civil unrest in Barbados within the next month or two and it is going to be BAD

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  8. concerned bajan July 7, 2009 at 2:10 AM #

    Barbadians will soon have to run from their own island. Mark my words. Errol Barrow said it. The liberals and socialists are running Caricom and CSME. We need Tom Adams and Eugenia Charles again.

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  9. The Scout July 7, 2009 at 2:24 AM #

    Mac Fingall wroye a tune someyears ago entitle “2009′, no radio station is bold enough to play it now and it is not ban

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  10. David July 7, 2009 at 3:54 AM #

    Commenters need to remember Bajans work through the region, it is not a one way street.

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  11. Ecoanalyst July 7, 2009 at 3:57 AM #

    Hello Scout..’
    I heard that this calypso by Mac Fingall was written in the late 1980’s. It was a look, by him, into the future whereby Indians controlled Barbados…. from the taxi cab at the airport to the offices… I think that was the theme of that calypso written some 20 years ago… am I correct?

    I have never heard the calypso, but I did hear Faria mentioning it in a speech.. He even quoted a verse.

    Do you have a copy of the lyrics to share with us? … or point us to where we could access them. Thanks

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  12. The Scout July 7, 2009 at 6:29 AM #

    Ecoanalyst
    It was a calypso that was predicting that in 2009 Barbados would be controlled by Indians, we would have a indian P.M, indian flag and anthem, etc. I vaguely remember the lyrics but totally forgot the tune. The song was considered a comic social commontary song but its relevance is such that not one radio station is bold enough to play it today.

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  13. Well, Well, Well! July 7, 2009 at 6:40 AM #

    If you want to know what Jagdeo of Guyana and Gonsalves of St. Vincent have in common – other than their hatred of David Thompson, fuelled by jealousy and envy over how well run Barbados is – read the St. Maarten Daily Herald, in which Jagdeo’s first wife has described the abuse she suffered from him. Gonsalves and Jagdeo.

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  14. Veritas July 7, 2009 at 6:58 AM #

    Scout, you are over-doing it.

    If David Thompson did not take decisive action in the first place this issue would never have come to light. And there would be no unrest.

    When last did Barbados have unrest?

    Barbados is not an island unto itself. And I agree with the PM 100% in maintaining his national policy but committing himself to CARICOM. That was the Errol Barrow formula and it worked.

    Like

  15. David July 7, 2009 at 7:11 AM #

    BU agrees with Veritas. As long as Barbados remains committed to Caricom the Thompson government must walk the tight rope. What this immigration episode has exposed is a deep weakness in the regional movement which because of Thompson’s action has been brought to the fore

    Two concerns we have: 1) Does the majority of Barbadians feel we should remain committed to Caricom especially given the reaction of many prominent regionalists et al? 2) Barbados unlike many others in Caricom has met most if not all of its obligations and has not been cherry picking.

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  16. The Scout July 7, 2009 at 7:47 AM #

    Veritas/ David
    When My P.M left for the conference, when he held the press conference in Guyana, even though I suspected a softening in his policy, I was very supportive of him and even deemed him as a matured broad-shouldered politician, however, his signing of that agreement is like a cow giving good milk and then kicking it over. I don’t think my P.M is like that and he knows it too. He also knows that I’m outspoken and I call a spade a spade. I was by a shop a few nights ago and we were talking about the beauty of the hinderland in Guyana. A guyanese in the crowd asked me when last I was there, I told him not for a while. He then told me next time he’s going down, I should go with him, since no bajans are welcomed in Guyana unless with a guyanese. Who tell he say so, a big noise broke out and some unhealthy remarks were made by both guyanese and bajans present. The troubles between the two is near the surface and it just takes a spark to ignite it. This is not the first time recently where a fracus almost broke out over a silly remark. Last week, I indo-guyanese told a bajan guy that he(guynese) got more say in Barbados than he(bajan) because bajans only got talk. Again big noise brek out. When poeple get in their ivory towers and don’t mix with the everyday people then your idea of what is happening is clouded. I challenge anyone to do a survey ( not peter wicker) and get the feeling at the average bajan.

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  17. The Scout July 7, 2009 at 7:59 AM #

    The last time one was done on this subject, according to Peter, was in 2005. Much has happened since then,many many guyanese especially, has entered Barbados for and after World Cup, Governments have changed, illegals are much more vocal and most importantly, the global crisis is really kicking in and there are many worried bajans. I know of a family of three, all were working, now only one is, the others out of work. I know of a very experienced project manager who has tried to get into Four Seasons after he had completed a multi-million project and was refused at the expense of chinese and guyanese. I can go on and on but the lava is boiling, it will soon spill over. When this guyanese thing first started, I predicted that the problems we’re facing now were going to happen; I was told then that I’m over-reacting. to me it is like a movie that I’m watching for the second time. I can predict what will come next. I said then and I’m saying it now, I have a plan “B”.

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  18. The Scout July 7, 2009 at 8:03 AM #

    Nothing that happens now will surprise me, just that I will be disappointed. I think it is time I take the leading role in “the sound of silence.” Mr P.M my last words on this matter is simply, you’re are our LAST hope, PLEASE don’t disappoint me and by extension, the good true citizens of this country.

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  19. The Scout July 7, 2009 at 8:53 AM #

    My Prime Minister is reported to have signed an agreement to allow these nanies and maids and their family into Barbados as from 1st. Jan 2010. There have been Town Hall meetings in Barbados on a number of issues no way as important as this one is PLEASE MR THompson, organise some meetings where you can get the feel of bajans before you commit us to something that will burn our offspring in the future.

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  20. Adrian Hinds July 7, 2009 at 9:24 AM #

    The words of a former and dead Leader of a country that he led down the path of the socialist experiment to failure from which it is still to recover. What utility could such comments have for us? It was 1967 Burnham delivered that speech then as it still is today Guyana continues to make promises about it’s natural resources, while it continues beg, take, and now demand from all and sundry.

    I aint biting or buying.

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  21. Themis July 7, 2009 at 9:32 AM #

    Does anyone else notice that Scout is always in the company of Guyanese… (or a QC) …in a shop?

    Like

  22. Ecoanalyst July 7, 2009 at 11:01 AM #

    Looks like “Business as usual” … More of the same from the Caricom buffoons.

    I think our PM has misread the mood of the peoples of the Barbados…. now we have maids and nannies as a “free movement” category. he should not have signed on to it. Do like Antigua and Belize… who said they want another five years to clear up their migration mess before extending categories.

    Nothing will change! The stresses within the Region in relation to free movement will continue…..

    Like

  23. David July 7, 2009 at 12:25 PM #

    There is no Black and White on this issue. If we are committed to CSME we will have to manage our obligation under the Treaty of Chaguaramus. If we don’t want to go that route we have to make the hard decisions.

    Like

  24. The Scout July 7, 2009 at 12:34 PM #

    Themis
    I live in a very nice house on a very large lot but this is all material. The fact is, I was born in a village to a proud , honest and poor family. However, I have worked hard to have what I have achieved but I will always be among the average to lower status persons in this country. I spend time every month in the little village I was born and raised in. Themis, if you have a problem with that, too bad. Also, I never mentioned that I spoke to a Q.C in a shop but if I did I see nothing wrong with that either. Some people who had to go to some of these village shops to buy “a half of a quarter cake of blue soap” to get their cloths washed, now pass these shops and scorn at them. This is one of the problems in this society that I can’t deal with. The former P.M called them negrocrats.

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  25. Adrian Hinds July 7, 2009 at 1:12 PM #

    Did I hear Elombe attempt to equate the Jamaican Indics with Guyanese Indics? In so doing did he say that the Jamaica Indics integrated into the dominant grouping?

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  26. West Indian July 7, 2009 at 3:57 PM #

    When Bush wanted to secure support for the invasion of Iraq and the murder of its leader he claimed that he had evidence to prove that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

    Years later, hundreds of innocent people dead, and the USA economy in shambles, not a single weapon of mass was found.

    The USA earned the prestigious position as the most hated country in the world under Bush.

    In Barbados the DLP, in an effort to gain support for their hate policy to glens this country of Guyanees said that there were over 30,000 undocumented Guyanees living here.

    After raiding fifteen homes, stopping and pulling people off buses and job sites, only 99 persons were deported.

    I am waiting to see where the other 2,901 Guyanees will be pulled from. In fact where in Barbados could they be hiding?

    The white lie will come back to hunt this country.

    While Barbadians are focusing on the Guyanees issue look at what is happening.

    ** Page 6 of Nation Newspaper for Friday, July 3, 2009. Headline reads, “More eating at Salvation Army”. So while we are running about hunting down Guyanees more bajans are going hungry and have to eat at shelters.

    ** The little pensioner who paid $30.00 in water now has to pay $48.00 and they cannot take their bills to the Welfare Department now because Welfare’s vote has been cut by $7 million. This increase completely wipes out the increase in pension given to the pensioners in the PM’s first budget.

    ** A number of our small shopkeepers, whose businesses came out of that dark period in 1991 when they were sent home by the same DLP by the same Thompson as Minister of Finance, had their liquor licence increased from $375.00 to a whopping $1,000.00.

    ** Land tax has increased, road tax, gas prices, food items up by 18%, our lone Hospital in disarray and the general mood in the country is hopeless.

    Foreign reserves falling, direct investment zero, tourism arrivals on the decline, Government’s tax take in serious decline, investor confidence is gone and international credit rating has diminished.

    All these things and more in just a year and a half, can you imagine what will happen in another year? I’ll wait to see what happens when the DLP get out the other 2,901 Guyanees and see if this sad state of affair improves for the sake of all Barbadians, even the fools who voted for them.

    Like

  27. West Indian July 7, 2009 at 4:00 PM #

    In my fourth paragraph the word should be “cleansing”.

    Like

  28. Jay July 7, 2009 at 4:35 PM #

    @West Indian

    Why didn’t the BLP give a referendum on CSME to Barbados citizens instead of passing it in Parliament ?

    Like

  29. Anonymous July 7, 2009 at 5:16 PM #

    Elombe disappointed me big time.

    Sounds like he is playing family politics on this issue.

    Instead of defending barbadians who have opened their doors for years to the lucians,vincys,trinis,jamaicans,guyanese and others from across the caribbean – he was on radio today talking about barbadians are being seen as being anti caribbean people.

    Well correct them elombe,for goodness sake man.

    Guyanese are the people who have created this situation where barbados is being given a bad name,and bajans feel over whelmed by the sheer numbers of immigrants in their small space.

    Before the influx of guyanese,especially the indo guyanese, we lived happily together with our other caribbean brothers and sisters,now this is what we have come to.

    Like

  30. Anonjam July 7, 2009 at 8:47 PM #

    In so doing did he say that the Jamaica Indics integrated into the dominant grouping?

    ————————

    I have actually noticed that too. There is actually a significant indian population in Jamaica (definitely not as much as Trinidad or Guyana). But have integrated very well in Jamaica from what I have observed.

    Like

  31. A one July 7, 2009 at 8:53 PM #

    Elombe and blp smell blood. I call on all patriots to disappoint them traitors.

    Like

  32. David July 8, 2009 at 7:03 AM #

    One of the tiniest islands in the Caribbean will not be joining the CSME.

    Like

  33. The Scout July 8, 2009 at 8:10 AM #

    I was told Elombe was on VOB yesterday making out a case for an open market immigration. Maybe, Mia is offering him a position when the illegals vote for the BLP. However, no matter which party wins the next elections, I suggest all these people he and Mia wants to bring in should read my posting dated 7th July on the conditions under which these people will be admitted.

    Like

  34. David July 8, 2009 at 8:38 AM #

    Elombe’s position has been consistent over the years ie. the Caribbean must become one space where the national citizen morphs into a Caribbean citizen. Didn’t Elombe walkout of VOB studio sometime back when he had an on-air disagreement with Mia?

    Like

  35. West Indian July 8, 2009 at 9:50 AM #

    Jay, if a referendum on CSME was needed then it should have been the DLP who should have secured it. In case you are not aware the CSME was part of the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas that was signed into being at the Grand Anse Conference by Sandiford.

    Of course no body in Barbados new that Sandiford had signed us on to the new treaty until years later. It was discovered by the Arthur administration when he attended his first Head of Government meeting. So much for accountability and transparency as practiced and executed by the DLP.

    It is truly a pity Jay that everyday DLP operatives are on this blog lambasting CSME and the outstanding work done by the BLP and yet none of you are aware that it was the Sandiford administration that negotiated it and all the protocols, including the protocol on freedom of movement and the rest.

    I contend that since the death of Barrow the DLP has shown itself a lost bunch. They have set up straw men only to knock them down. They have announced policies then denied them and the confusion goes on.

    Like

  36. Ecoanalyst July 8, 2009 at 12:01 PM #

    Let us stop making this a political football that aims at revising history and making the BLP blameless for the present situation…. It is not a question of political blame BLP vs DLP, but rather the political parties reflecting the majority will of the people. We still have to decide whether CSME is good for Barbados, notwithstanding the statements of the politicians over the years .

    The key issue is how rapid immigration will affect the voting patterns of the country if immigrants are allowed to vote. The party encouraging immigration stands to benefit if there is not a backlash by the majority. That fact may have lost the BLP many votes last year.

    Last year 12% of the Barbados registered voters were immigrants. In Antigua’s last elections 24% of the voters were immigrants. For this reason the issue of immigrant voting rights and their effect on national elections if=s of paramount importance in both of these islands.

    CSME as theorized means one country, one economic space, one currency; one Central Bank one economic policy; many countries with reduced control over economic and social policies. The eight OECS countries have the most developed structure in this regard… Maybe that is why Trinidad wants to join them.

    To my thinking the CSME as now drafted and implemented, will never become a reality as countries will cherry pick the things they like and ignore the rest. Therefore opening the borders to unrestricted immigration will ensure drastic changes in the country’s politics and social stability, that most Barbadians will not like.

    The solution is to get out of the CSME “pipe dream” goals of full integration, especially as they relate to free movement. Make decisions that are in the best interest of the country and its long term stability and establish the bi-lateral trade/economic arrangements that make sense.

    Stop the talking and the posturing . The vested interests promoting the CSME mirage are protecting their own jobs. We have been rehashing the same ides for over 50 years. Let us get real and support the things that work for Barbados, and the future stability of the country economically, culturally, and politically.

    Like

  37. Sargeant July 8, 2009 at 12:03 PM #

    Calling LIB! Calling LIB! LIB where are you? I know you read the British newspapers so I don’t think that this story would have escaped your attention. But looka what the Kiwis (not Maoris) did to their kith and kin. Somehow I don’t think that Gordon Brown gwine fulminate at the NZ Prime Minister like the leader of a certain South American country.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/newzealand/5753544/British-expats-forced-from-New-Zealand.html

    Like

  38. Adrian Hinds July 8, 2009 at 12:19 PM #

    Sargeant;
    LIB response will likely highlight his concern with British coming to Barbados, and will also contrast the response of New Zealand employers to that of Barbadian employers. Two points he tried to develop. The article however strenghtens Barbados approach. Not that anymore is needed as all countries are relooking their liberal immigration policies in these tought and uncertain economic times.

    Like

  39. David July 8, 2009 at 12:43 PM #

    @Ecoanalyst

    Did you read Peter Wickham’s feeble response to Lindsay Arthur today? When compare your reasoning to his it becomes lacking. It is about engaging this matter of CSME in a cogent and pragmatic manner as oppose to staying married to the ideology like Wickham. Some hard questions need to be asked and answered but instead Wickham offers the response that public opinion normally does not change at the same speed as that political.

    The bottomline, Wickham is willing to support a position based on old data with a disregard to the uniqueness of the CSME situation ie Guyana’s impoverished state, the awakening by more and more Barbadians given the current immigration conversation and the perceived threat to a stable socio-political environment. Mr. Wickham this matter too serious to be anchored in suppositions and expired shelf data.

    Like

  40. Adrian Hinds July 8, 2009 at 1:27 PM #

    David;
    Peter cannot get beyond his two articles titled Accident by birth. He may have forgotten that he was taken to task by a fellow academic out of trinidad who had not read the articles but sought to dismiss them and him anyway.

    Sargeant not only New Zealand. Obama sees the utility of clamping down on immigration.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124706543524711805.html#printMode

    So me must move on from the economic and social reasons that clearly necessitates Barbados having a Manage migration policy and join Jay, Ecoanalyst, and others who are questioning the usefulness of CSME for Barbados. What makes the Caricom countries “one”? What substantiates this “Oneness” that Shridath spoke of?

    Like

  41. The Scout July 8, 2009 at 1:52 PM #

    This issue of trying to force the immigration gates wide open, has a greater focus than what we’re looking at. With ALBA influencing more of these Caricom/CSME members to join in this Chevez agreement, Barbados will be forced to become a member by the mass migration or just break off our Caricom arraignment. As it looks, we are being forced into a situation that we are not intersted in. Only today, I read whereGonsalves is asking Jagdeo to change the constitytion of Guyana that would allow him to run for Presidency again, just like Chavez did. This seems to be a ploy between Gonsalves and Jagdeo, with the support of Chevez to pull the entire region over to ALBA and ultimately a anti-american way of doing business. Barbados is now the main target in focus; a diplomatic invasion is what we are heading for.

    Like

  42. Ecoanalyst July 8, 2009 at 2:25 PM #

    @ David
    I have read all of Peter Wickham’s articles and I must say that he refuses to answer the really hard questions. I no longer hold him in high esteem. The professors and the academics and the Sir Shridath’s around us have a vested interest in this monstrosity.. it gives some meaning to their wasteful existences .. making speeches that never result in positive outcomes.

    Peter Wickham and many others depend on Caricom/CSME for a living. Many of the arguments for this regional arrangement no longer hold in a globalized world of completely free markets, and with the WTO as watchdog. One has to ask… What is this arrangement REALLY giving us? Let us see the statistics and measure the benefits. If it disappears tomorrow… what will be lose????

    My answer is … NOT VERY MUCH…. and maybe we would gain as the overhead costs of Caricom will end. The costs for this tall shop have been very high. Maybe our prices may be reduces through real free trade as the restrictive trade practices of Caricom are removed.

    When I speak on these subjects I speak not as a Barbadian, as I am not. I try to be objective and look at the history, economics and politics of this region in a dispassionate manner. … and especially into the LONG RUN IMPLICATIONS of certain decisions.

    Thanks for the opportunity!

    Like

  43. Adrian Hinds July 8, 2009 at 3:15 PM #

    Indeed Ecoanylist. let us delve into this Caricom/CSME thing.

    David we may need to devote a new thread to this or have an existing one that specifically deals with Caricom/CSME, dust off and bought to the fore again.

    Caricom: What are the tangible benefits Barbados has achieved since 1972 when……..

    Commonwealth Caribbean leaders at the Seventh Heads of Government Conference decided to transform the Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA) into a Common Market and establish the Caribbean Community, of which the Common Market would be an integral part.

    The signing of the Treaty establishing the Caribbean Community, Chaguaramas, 4th July 1973, was a defining moment in the history of the Commonwealth Caribbean. Although a free-trade area had been established, CARIFTA did not provide for the free movement of labour and capital, or the coordination of agricultural, industrial and foreign policies.

    The objectives of the Community, identified in Article 6 of the Revised Treaty, are: to improve standards of living and work; the full employment of labour and other factors of production; accelerated, coordinated and sustained economic development and convergence; expansion of trade and economic relations with third States; enhanced levels of international competitiveness; organisation for increased production and productivity; achievement of a greater measure of economic leverage and effectiveness of Member States in dealing with third States, groups of States and entities of any description and the enhanced co-ordination of Member States’ foreign and foreign economic policies and enhanced functional co-operation.

    The Revised Treaty

    In 1989, when the Heads of Government made the decision to transform the Common Market into a single market and economy in which factors move freely as a basis for internationally competitive production of goods and provision of services, it was also decided that for the transformation to take place, the Treaty would have to be revised.

    In 1992, following the adoption of the report of the West Indian Commission, an Inter-governmental Task Force was established, to work on the revision of the Treaty.

    Between 1993 and 2000, the Inter-Governmental Task Force (IGTF) which was composed of representatives of all Member States, produced nine Protocols, for the purpose of amending the Treaty. These nine Protocols were later combined to create a new version of the Treaty, called formally, The Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas Establishing the Caribbean Community, including the CARICOM Single Market and Economy.

    Allowances have been made for the subsequent inclusion in the Revised Treaty, by way of additional Protocols, new issues such as e-commerce, government procurement, trade in goods from free zones, free circulation of goods, and the rights contingent on the free movement of persons.

    Like

  44. The Scout July 8, 2009 at 4:00 PM #

    Isn’t it also posible that Chevez, Jagdeo, Gonsalves and to a lesser degree St.Lucia are trying to usurp or rather take over the Caricom concept. I am watching this ALBA agreement closely and the persons who are pushing this matter

    Like

  45. David July 8, 2009 at 4:12 PM #

    @AH

    How about if we take one of Ecoanalyst comments and post?

    Like

  46. Adrian Hinds July 8, 2009 at 4:18 PM #

    @David:

    That should do.

    Thanks

    Like

  47. Ecoanalyst July 8, 2009 at 4:53 PM #

    The Politics of Migration and Guyanese in Barbados

    This commentary was written by me a month ago but not published before. It highlights some of the points I made in my previous entry, but also expands on them

    Barbados’ new “Managed Migration “ policy does not break Caricom or CSME rules, relating to illegal immigration. The new (2008) DLP government says illegal immigration is detrimental to their country’s economic, social and cultural stability. Their new “Amnesty”, allows only those in Barbados before 1998 need apply, and must satisfy certain requirements. Most illegal persons would not qualify and will have to leave the country.

    In Barbados, the two major parties BLP and DLP are evenly matched, and a few votes could be the difference in an election. The tacit support for open immigration by the former government – Owen Arthur’s BLP – was viewed as political by the DLP as people usually support the party that helped them emigrate or ignored their illegal status before they became legal. The DLP understands this dynamic and therefore was against the BLP policies and lax enforcement of immigration laws. Most Barbadians support their new Government’s on this matter.

    In the last Barbadian elections (2008), almost 4,000 legally resident Guyanese registered to vote, along with thousands of other legal regional voters. There were also thousands of illegal immigrants who could not vote. The DLP fears, not unfounded, is that the illegal immigrants or “undocumented” would vote BLP if and when they got “status”, thus making it increasingly difficult for them in future elections. The DLP anti-immigrant election theme, especially against Guyanese, the largest immigrant group, was evident in that election campaign. However, the DLP won because of perceived mismanagement by the BLP, rather than only the immigration issue.

    Barbados has a population of about 260,000. There could be 10,000 illegal Guyanese in Barbados, most for less than five years. There could also be another 20,000 Guyanese who are legal residents or on work permits. Barbadians agree that Guyana and Barbados have had a history of mutual migration since colonial times, and that these people had common ancestral and cultural similarities. President Burnham and Hoyte and many famous Guyanese have had Barbadian ancestors. The same is true for Barbadians – Barbados’ P.M. Thompson had Guyanese grandparents. Many Afro Guyanese could prove their connectivity with Barbados. Now, most of the legal and illegal immigrants to Barbados are Indo-Guyanese, without the previous historical and cultural links. There is a fear by some Barbadians, that these “new immigrant Guyanese” voting as a bloc, could hold the “balance of power” in a future election – a real possibility as the two major parties are about equal in their voter support.

    Most importantly, Barbadians do not like the racial politics, drug culture, and crime in Guyana, and do not want it transplanted to Barbados. They also believe that the political and economic problems in Guyana are the source of the massive influx of mostly Indo-Guyanese into Barbados. They believe that Indo-Guyanese support the PPP government there that reportedly denies equal opportunity to Afro-Guyanese. They therefore ask why are they coming to Barbados to enjoy the benefits of a well-run Afro-managed society, mainly to send their money back to Guyana. They believe that they should stay home and rebuild Guyana so that it becomes an attractive place for all Guyanese, achieving its full potential, and also attracting people from the Caribbean as it did in the past.

    Interestingly, some even accuse the Guyana government of tacitly promoting emigration, thus reducing the demands and social stress on their government, while encouraging the remitting of funds to prop up the weak Guyana economy – (over US$500M in 2007). Some have even asked: “How would the Guyana government feel if 10% of its population of 750,000 (75,000), were suddenly new immigrants from the region, able to eventually vote in their elections? Would that not completely change the voting patterns of their nation?” It must be remembered that the PPP, won the 2006 elections with only 54% of the votes, so this could be a valid argument.

    Another argument made is that while the Guyana government is attacking the Barbados’ immigration policies, they are somehow keeping Guyana undeveloped, so that even with all its land and potential, very few overseas Guyanese – much less Caribbean people – see it as a viable place re-migrate or emigrate to. It is even said that the PPP government in Guyana would never actively promote regional Caribbean immigration into Guyana, as their country’s racial politics could be disrupted. If that is the case, they say: Why attack Barbados, where an estimated 10% (30,000) of its population are illegal immigrants from the Region, many unable to fit economically, socially and culturally into their society.

    It is quite possible that other territories, like Antigua, where immigration can affect their politics and economics, especially in these difficult economic times, may follow Barbados in revising the immigration laws. Is this the end of the CSME free movement idea that was supposed to become a reality?

    – Ecoanalyst – June 12, 2009

    Like

  48. Adrian Hinds July 8, 2009 at 9:16 PM #

    TRINIDAD POSTPONE LOCAL ELECTIONS:

    Local Government elections postponed
    News Articles – Regional
    Written by CMC
    Sunday, 05 July 2009 20:51
    PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) – The main opposition United National Congress (UNC) Sunday criticised plans by the Patrick Manning government to postpone Local Government elections for the fourth time since 2003 saying it is an erosion of democracy in Trinidad & Tobago.

    The government has already laid in Parliament, the Municipal Corporations (Amendment) Bill 2007 that would give effect to plans to postpone the elections as part of the Local Government reform initiative.

    The Bill, as well as the Local Government Bill 2009, will be debated in Parliament on Monday.

    The Municipal Corporation Bill states, “the term of office of each councillor shall continue for 12 months from the date of expiry of the existing term of office, as though each councillor has been elected for an additional period of one year.”

    Chief executive officers and other employees of municipal corporations are to be appointed on contract, according to the planned legislation. They would be appointed by the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Local Government, subject to the approval of the minister.

    Opposition Leader, Basdeo Panday said he is convinced that the government is “afraid” of calling the local polls.

    Like

  49. Adrian Hinds July 8, 2009 at 9:22 PM #

    How do you view this Trini development, Panday’s opinon, why, and Manning’s sudden Initiative To Unify The Eastern Caribbean?

    Here is a perspective:
    —————————————-
    We can safely assume that the urgency and suddenness of the recent Trinidad and Tobago movement towards a political union involving St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Grenada didn’t come about because of any epiphany on the truths of regional integration. Up until last week when they initialed an agreement for political and economic union with the above mentioned states Trinidad was largely still of the mindset that killed the last federation nearly fifty years ago declaring “1 from 10 = 0,” namely that the smaller islands of the eastern Caribbean were Mendicants – not the sort company for an oil-rich state like Trinidad & Tobago. We know that from the way they treated Barbados over the fishing/maritime boundary dispute. To this day they have not concluded a fishing agreement with Barbados its so-called Caricom and potential CSME partner even though the matter was dragged before international courts. Clearly, Trinidad does not see Barbados nor any of the islands of the eastern Caribbean as equals, and consequently do not deserve that respect.

    It is doubtful too that it has anything to do with the PetroCaribe agreements these smaller nations have signed with Venezuela, and/or Trinidad with moving to protect its traditional oil markets. The fact of the matter is that Trinidad for decades has been getting out of the oil business simply because it just does not have the oil reserves to be a significant player in the market anymore, and certainly not enough to compete with Venezuela on that score. Besides, with Caricom and CSME the region already had the mechanisms in place to protect Trinidad’s dominant role in the region in oil. It was these mechanisms that former Prime Minister of Barbados Owen Arthur appealed to when his government refused to join the PetroCaribe initiative.

    So, what could it be that is driving Trinidad into union with mini-states it does not like? In a word – demographics. Nothing happens in Trinidad outside of the prism of its race-based politics. It is sad but it is true. After several recent elections some of which were lost to the Indo-based parties, and some narrowly won, including the most recent, because the Indo-based parties were split, the traditionally Afro-based party – the PNM – has finally come to the conclusion that the only way to maintain its dominance in the future is to get more people of African descent in the polling booths. And, the only way to do that in a country that has a sizeable and growing Indo-Trinidadian majority already is to tap into the votes of the neighboring Afro-centric islands. There is no mystery to this initiative – Patrick Manning woke up one day, took a look at the Guyana situation, and did the Maths; if you add the ¾ million blacks in the eastern Caribbean (including Barbados) to the ½ million already in Trinidad & Tobago, there is no way Indians would ever rule Trinidad & Tobago again.

    Admittedly, this is a very cynical scenario, but look at the man at the helm – a man who is now being described as a “dictator” in his own country by some of the people who were closest to him for decades in and out of government. But, of course, all the blame is not Patrick Manning’s, you have also the sorry situation of small states in the eastern Caribbean that are basically on the take, you give – they take. How else can you describe a socialist firebrand of the ‘70s and ‘80s like Vincentian Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonzales maintaining relations with Taiwan at the expense of the Peoples Republic of China in this day and age? And, it gets worse all up and down the island chain. They are all on the take and Patrick Manning is exploiting it in this cynical maneuver that will destroy Caricom and the regional integration movement for the next fifty years. To it’s credit, the new Barbados government has decided to sit on the sidelines and watch, at least for now. They must not have forgotten how Trinidad’s last elected dictator, Eric Williams, unceremoniously kicked one of its national heroes, Grantley Adams, out of Chagaramas and Port of Spain when his perceived usefulness to them was over.

    http://breadfruittreelime.blogspot.com/2008/08/whats-behind-trinidads-sudden.html

    Like

  50. Babsie July 12, 2009 at 11:08 AM #

    Hello BU, I hope you will publish this for me. I am a retired Barbadian-born school teacher, who lived in the UK for many years. My dream was always to return to Barbados and when my father died he left his lovely little chattel house, with half acre of land in St. Lucy for me and my sister, Joan (not her real name).

    Well, Joan, who also lived in England, visited Barbados from time to time (my last visit before returning to live was in 1989, not long after that beloved gentleman, Mr. Errol Barrow died).

    Joan and I discussed returning to Barbados after dad died a few years ago, and Joan shook here head vehemently and said, “Not me, Babsie (not my real name), Owen Arthur mash up Barbados, you should see the west coast and south coast now, with little access to beaches, and no windows to the sea. Then, he allowed thousands of acres of agricultural land to be dub-divided for building. Worse still, he opened the gates wide for Guyanese and other CARICOM nationals to come into Barbados and take over the place with drugs, violence and crime. Isn’t that why we running from England? Aren’t we running from East Indian muslims who got plans to murder us all – white English, black English, Chinese, and all Christians? Not me, Babsie, you could go home to Bim. We both got British passports, and I going to BVI, which is still under British rule.

    I had to laugh and I teased her and said, “But nuff of them Pakistani muslims got British passports too, who tell you them ain’t going to BVI too?”

    So we sat down and thrashed out different ideas, we even had Spain in mind, but still Barbados was calling me home. Joan went to BVI and I came home.

    In 2008 we had general elections, and glory hallelujah! Young Mr. Thompson and the Dems won. I was happy. I even wrote to Joan and said, “Girl, that dreamboat Thompson win the elections, so come home. He has promised to institute Integrity Legislation, plus he has plans for managed migration, to stop all the illegal immigrants flooding into Barbados and treating us like we are strangers – thanks to Owen Arthur.” Joan said no, she staying right were she is.

    Well, she was right to do so, and I will shortly be joining her. I have never been so disappointed in anyone in my life as I am right now with David Thompson. How could he let those two dictators – Jagdeo and Ralph Gonsalves – browbeat him like that over the immigration issue? Is he a wimp, or what? He must know that Bajans are VERY angry about the thousands of illegal Guyanese hiding out in Barbados. He is lucky that Bajans are such tolerant people. But how long will this tolerance last? People are angry because Thompson went back on his word and now even domestics and nannies will be flooding into Barbados with their spouses and children. What kind of madness is that? What’s more, we haven’t heard one more word about integrity legislation – that gone through the eddoes too.

    I wish my people luck and God speed, but I getting out of here like hell. This will be no place to live in a few years from now.

    Goodbye …

    Like

  51. Babsie's attorney July 12, 2009 at 11:53 AM #

    Babsie,

    The land surveyor told me that Town Planning has approved the subdivision of the land and as soon as you can get your cousin Myrtle off the land we can complete the sale to Mrs Sunita Mahabir and Mr Munesh Beharrysingh. In fact, Mr Beharrysingh has deposited the money for the portion of the land in St.Lucy that he is interested in. We will hopefully close the deal by August. Please provide a forwarding address so that our office can contact you.

    Like

  52. mash up & buy back July 12, 2009 at 1:26 PM #

    Babsie

    You may be interested in this perspective from Antigua.

    national interest
    Opinion – Letter
    Written by Walter Samuels
    Sunday, 05 July 2009 22:51
    Dear Editor:

    I write in response to the article entitled ALP accuses UPP of being political with immigration issue and aver the following:

    It is breathtaking that the deputy leader from the opposition party takes the view that the current administration seeks revenge on foreign nationals who voted Antigua Labour Party (ALP). Government worldwide has taken tough measures to control immigration. I am wondering why the deputy leader from ALP party would think that Antigua should operate differently.

    The former administration (ALP) committed Antigua and Barbuda to CSME without a referendum and as a consequence, we have seen a huge influx of Guyanese and Jamaicans flooding our shores. I am of the opinion that while ALP was in government, they deliberately took a soft, soft approach with immigrants namely Jamaicans and Guyanese; because they knew that the time was coming where they could no longer rely on the votes of Antiguans.

    The people of Antigua and Barbuda have demonstrated through the electorate boxes our lack of distrust and confidence with the hierarchy of the ALP with handling our national security, which includes immigration. Clearly, Antigua would be exposed to be a destabilising country if ALP was returned to government.

    The Guyanese are happy to accept employment as low wage migrant workers and commit crime in Antigua; while the Jamaicans are peddling drugs, passport fraudsters, and committing heinous crime – crime that we, Antiguans, are not accustomed to. I draw reference to one example, (but not limited to this case as an isolated incident), of a Jamaican who entered Antigua, managed to secure an Antiguan passport and travelled to the UK. This flagrant breach of security only came to light pursuant to a vigilant immigration officer in the UK. If the Jamaican fraudster was successful in his attempt to enter the UK, it is highly probable that at best he would have become an illegal immigrant and at worst he would have committed crime in the UK at the expense Antigua and Barbuda.

    On every occasion that an aircraft landed in Antigua from Jamaica, there is at least one drug mule on board. There is a danger that if Antigua does not take care and implement stricter immigration control, our means of economical survival will be greatly compromised more so than it has of recent years.

    United Progressive Party, like any reliable credible government, has a duty to protect and maintain the interests of the country. A practice that is clearly foreign to the opposition regime.

    The immigration services of Antigua and Barbuda do not do enough to protect our national interests as it is. I would like to see the immigration services being more thorough before granting immigration clearance to individuals who do not have a genuine interest for visiting Antigua and Barbuda.

    I would also like to see immigration officers apply the letter of the law with deporting illegal immigrants from our shores. The government (UPP) should consider imposing fines on employers and landlords who take on illegal immigrants.

    Like

  53. mash up & buy back July 12, 2009 at 8:08 PM #

    Jay you may be interested in this light of Barbados being included on the list for the schingen visa.

    Now this tells us why we cannot allow free movement of persons,or persons seeking to acquire barbados passports.

    Jamaicans have been moving to barbados in large numbers in recent times to work as cleaners,shop assistants,strip club workers etc.

    They are also turning up in large numbers with drugs.

    Barbados needs to look carefully at how the developed countries are looking at jamaicans,and ensure that our passports do not get into their hands.

    ————————————————–
    Blacklisted again! New travel law for Jamaicans
    Published: Sunday | July 12, 2009

    Janet Silvera, Senior Gleaner Writer
    WESTERN BUREAU:

    The luxury of spending 24 hours in a British airport en route to a third country visa free came to an abrupt end a few months ago, the British High Commission here has confirmed.

    Locals travelling through the United Kingdom (UK) to Germany, France or other European countries must now acquire an in-transit permit ahead of their trip.

    This new arrangement is in addition to the existing UK visa regime which began in 2003 in Jamaica. This regime had provided a visa-free concession for Jamaican nationals in transit within 24 hours through the UK.

    Having failed Britain’s new Visa Waiver Test earlier this year, Jamaicans are now the only people in the Caribbean who must obtain a direct airside transit visa (DATV) in order to connect to flights through the UK to onward destinations.

    A number of Jamaican travellers who are unaware of the change are being turned back at the Heathrow airport in London, airlines sources have told The Sunday Gleaner.

    Checks made with the British High Commission revealed that Jamaicans are considered a potential risk to England, in terms of illegal immigration, crime and security, falling in line with nations such as the war-torn Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Eastern Europe’s Albania, Latin-America’s Colombia and Ecuador and West Africa’s Ghana and Nigeria.

    Asia’s India and China are also on the list of Britain’s high-risk countries.

    More money

    As a result, if Jamaicans are travelling to Germany via England, they are now required to fork out $7,400 and follow the same requirements for every other type of visa at the Worldbridge Visa Application Centre in Kingston.

    The UK’s visa check now requires everyone to be fingerprinted, locking them to one identity, and checked against government watchlists. They are then screened and counted in and out of the UK using the UK Border Agency’s (UKAB) £1.2 billion electronic border system.

    In the meantime, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it is currently investigating the issue.

    “The ministry has not received any reports of Jamaicans without the requisite visa being returned, or of any airlines refusing to board in-transit visitors without such visas. However, we will be fully investigating the matter,” Communications Director Wilton Dyer told The Sunday Gleaner yesterday.

    Finding the development disquieting and very concerning, Opposition Spokesman on Foreign Affairs Anthony Hylton said it was disappointing to hear that the overwhelming majority of Jamaicans who are law-abiding citizens will now be subjected to further restrictions of the privilege to travel and access transit countries in this period of globalisation.

    He said a number of these people have to travel to work or vacation, yet the travel privileges are going in the wrong direction. He is urging the British to cooperate more with the Jamaican Government in isolating the wrongdoers rather than punishing law-abiding Jamaicans.

    “It’s contrary to what the country needs at this point of its development. We have to be even more concerned when we realise that our transport network passes either through the US or the UK to access the rest of the world. When you start to have a narrowing of access, the implications are quite far-reaching.”

    Sydian Brissett, communications manager at the British High Commission, said the UKBA found that 11 countries fell short of the required standard and, along with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, has worked closely to improve the passport and border control systems.

    “With the mitigation period over, it was decided visas checks would now be needed to stop fraudulent attempts to enter Britain from six of these countries,” said Brissett.

    Like

  54. Adrian Hinds July 13, 2009 at 1:54 PM #

    Jamaicans have been moving to barbados in large numbers in recent times to work as cleaners,shop assistants,strip club workers etc.
    ————————————————

    has LIB ever told us what he is doing for a living in Barbados? lol!

    disclaimer if not disclosure: I do cleaning and security in Boston.

    Like

  55. Jay July 16, 2009 at 4:27 AM #

    Mash up & buy back said:

    Jay you may be interested in this light of Barbados being included on the list for the schingen visa.

    Now this tells us why we cannot allow free movement of persons,or persons seeking to acquire barbados passports.

    Jamaicans have been moving to barbados in large numbers in recent times to work as cleaners,shop assistants,strip club workers etc.

    They are also turning up in large numbers with drugs.

    Barbados needs to look carefully at how the developed countries are looking at jamaicans,and ensure that our passports do not get into their hands.
    ———————————————

    The Antiguans have been realizing the same thing as some Jamaicans have been acquiring false Antiguan passports over there to travel to the UK,but it appears the UK Border Agency has noticed the trend & native Antiguans are furious about it internally hence why their Government is doing a “review” of their immigration rules.

    You’re right though we should look closely at not only Jamaicans but all nationals of the CSME project who do not have equal visa freedoms such us,The Antiguans & Kittians would be fine but the rest would have to be closely watched should they ever try to acquire a Bajan passport.I’m also not sure if a CSME approved national can even get Barbados citizenship eventually.

    The Schengen exempt status coupled with a US pre-clearance facility at Grantley Adams International would be extremely tempting for any migrant.The latter would basically allow US visa free access for Barbados citizens as long as they have a police certificate of character just like Bahamians & Bermudians.It is one of the many reasons why so many Haitian nationals try to reach the Bahamas.If the Thompson administration is serious about the immigration issue & want the pre-clearance facility he’ll have to seriously convince the US Government that the necessary security at Grantley adams is in place which I last heard they were upgrading.

    Like

  56. lholder July 19, 2009 at 10:50 AM #

    David,
    Please see my article in today’s (19th July) edition of the Barbados Advocate responding to Peter Wickham’s Nation Newspaper article of 8th July.

    Like

  57. David July 19, 2009 at 11:27 AM #

    Thanks, if you like email us a word file and we can post on BU for discussion. In the meantime BU has posted link within your comment.

    Like

  58. lholder July 19, 2009 at 12:05 PM #

    David,
    Will e-mail the article as a pdf file.

    Also, note that an article, ‘Barbados – A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Immigration’, I submitted to the Barbados Advocate will be appearing in the business section of tomorrow’s edition.

    Like

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