Ricardo Blackman’s Caribbean Headlines News Dec.5th

By Ricardo Blackman | CDN Barbados

Dateline Bridgetown, BARBADOS:

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has been asked to take down the controversial statue of Lord Nelson in the heart of Bridgetown.   The formal request for the removal of the monument, which has occupied a prime position in the City since 1813, is contained in a resolution presented to CARICOM Heads of Government by the CARICIOM Reparations Commission, headed by prominent historian and academic, Professor Hilary Beckles.  Stuart is Chairman of the CARICOM Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee on Reparations for Native Genocide and Slavery.

The fate of the Barbados National Terminal Company Ltd (BNTCL) appears to be dangling in wind with government noticeably silent in the aftermath of the Fair Trading Commission’s (FTC) ruling on the proposed sale to the Kyffin Simpson-led Sol Group.  When contacted for comment on the matter, Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, with responsibility for energy, Senator Darcy Boyce, issued a very terse remark. “When we wish to say something, we will say something and if and when we wish to say something, we will issue a formal statement on it.  At this stage, I am not saying anything on it” Boyce told Barbados Today in the wake of last week’s FTC ruling that the deal could only go ahead if certain conditions were met.

The Barbados Water Authority (BWA) is seeking outside help to deal with the ongoing sewage issues along the South Coast.  However, manager of the waste water division, Patricia Inniss, said the help would not be in personnel but rather in equipment.  “We have the expertise here but not the technology.  We are currently working on bringing that in” she said.  This as the problems with the South Coast Sewerage System appear to be going from bad to worse.

The threat of being fired was seemingly not enough to motivate the leaders of Barbados’ top statutory corporations to attend an ISO 9001 town hall meeting, put on by the fledgling Solutions Barbados last Wednesday.  Party officials were greeted with an empty hall when they turned up at the Combermere School to present the latest quality management system standard of the Geneva, Switzerland-based International Standards Organisation.  It was just four days prior that the leader of the two year old political party, Grenville Phillips 11 had told those attending the party’s public launch in Independence Square that ISO 9001 “can solve most if not all of our nation’s management issues.”

Shareholders in the West India Biscuit Company (WIBISCO) are smiling all the way to the bank but most of the glee is in Trinidad and Tobago.  That’s because shares in the Gills Road, Bridgetown biscuit manufacturer are amongst the highest paying on the local stock exchange, but the biggest beneficiaries are Trinidadians.  In the company’s recently-published consolidated financial statement for the year ending August 31, 2017, WIBISCO paid total dividends for the year of $.80 per share which is on par with 2016, making it among the few high-yielding equities on the Barbados Stock Exchange.  WIBISCO, which was formed in 1850, is, however, still to top the whopping $2.05 per share it paid out in 2013.

Dateline Kingston, JAMAICA:

Jamaican attorney, Franz Parke, who was recently sworn in as a Court of Appeal Judge in Belize amid controversy, has resigned.  The Office of the Prime Minister in Belize, in a release to the media, said his decision to reign immediately is an effort to spare the court any exposure that a trial on the issue of his tenure would create.  Belizean media reports in October said the leader of the Opposition People’s United Party, Johnny Briceno, filed a claim to have the Belize Supreme Court declare Parke’s appointment null and void on the basis that it violates the Belize Constitution – the highest law of the, land.  The opposition to Parke, the reports suggest, comes from two standpoints – his qualifications and his past.  Reports have surfaced that suggest that Parke has very limited knowledge of Caribbean law, although he has been an attorney in the United States for over two decades.

A Jamaican man living in Britain for 52 years, has been threatened with deportation in what’s being described as the latest instance of heavy-handed treatment by the Home Office. According to UK media reports, 60 year old Anthony Bryan arrived in Britain when he was eight and has lived in the country ever since, going to primary and secondary schools, working and paying his taxes as a painter and decorator, and helping to bring up his children and seven grandchildren.  Despite that, he was sent to an immigration detention centre and booked by Home Office staff on a flight back to Jamaica, where he hasn’t returned since leaving.  However, a last-minute intervention by an immigration lawyer resulted in his missing the flight, and he was released from the detention centre.  It was also reported that his situation remains uncertain and he’s been left dumbfounded by his treatment by the Home Office.

Dateline Nassau, THE BAHAMAS:

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis has admitted that he has made mistakes and that sometimes he has been wrong, but told congregants of Cavalry Deliverance Church that his season “is not yet over”.  Minnis said that although he has had many tough days and sleepless nights as Prime Minister, it has not been in vain.  “Since May, I have had a new vantage point that allowed me to see more in depth, the challenges and problems, as well as the opportunities and possibilities of our country” he said during the fifth anniversary of Bishop-elect James Newry and Elder Queenie Newry.

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