Ricardo Blackman’s Caribbean Headlines News Jan. 5th

By Ricardo Blackman – CDN Barbados

Dateline Bridgetown, BARBADOS:

The European Union (EU) has written to the Freundel Stuart administration providing what is believed to be an explanation of its decision to include Barbados on a December 5, 2017 list of 17 global tax havens.  However, it appears that the 28-member grouping has kept Barbados on the black list, despite government’s protests.  Minister of International Business, Donville Inniss, has confirmed that he received correspondence from the political and economic bloc in response to a letter he sent last month.  However, Inniss refused to disclose its contents and would only say that he would be signing another letter this week, “to respond to them regarding the question that Barbados be removed from whatever list they have.”

The Massy Group is seeking greater fortunes in countries like Guyana and Columbia as its company profits are under threat in its main money earners Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago.  At the end of Massy’s financial year, September 30,2017, the two key markets registered slight declines with revenue from Barbados’ operations falling from TT$2.97 Billion (BDS$990 Million) in 2016 to TT$2.90 Billion (BDS$968 Million) in 2017.

There is hope yet for the Barbados economy even at this late stage where it is on the brink of collapse, according to former governor of the Central Bank of Barbados, Dr. Delisle Worrell.  However, he warned that this “alternative future” can be obtained only if the authorities act decisively and do the right thing, some of which will be painful.  “As I write this in the last week of 2017, the outlook for the economy is dire” Worrell wrote in his latest economic newsletter :”2018 – The Outlook for The Barbados Economy” released this week.  “Even at this late date, an alternative future is attainable.  Firm, decisive and urgent action is needed to turn the economy around and set the country on the road to economic prosperity:” he added.

Dateline Port of Spain, TRINIDAD:

Opposition leader, Kamla Persad-Bissessar said the Opposition is willing to work with the government to ensure that the proposed candidate for the President, is a person who is impartial, will prevent excesses and abuses by the Executive and one who will ensure that “we adhere to our constitutional rights and remits.”

Dateline Nassau, THE BAHAMAS:

Ahead of CARICOM’s town hall meeting today to gauge public opinion on decriminalization of marijuana in The Bahamas, Leader of the Opposition, Philip “Brave” Davis said the time has come for the country to, at the very least, consider the benefits of medical marijuana.  Pressed for his views on what the national policy should be, Davis said “I am advised it has medical benefits by use and if it does have that, why should we not allow for persons who could seek relief from their illnesses to use it?”


Dateline Kingston, JAMAICA:

Telecoms company Cable and Wireless is facing a lawsuit filed by one of its shareholders who claims its parent company, Cable and Wireless UK, unlawfully transferred money out of Jamaica for its exclusive benefit.  Eric Jason Abrahams, who holds 60 million shares in Cable and Wireless Jamaica (CWJ) is requesting permission to bring what is known as a derivative action in a court in Florida, USA, in the name of and on behalf of CWJ against its parent company, as well as some of CWJ’s past, present and shadow directors.  He alleges they all acted in breach of their fiduciary duties for the sole benefit of the parent company.

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