Assassination Fears Of Obama Stop Bookies From Paying Out

Two of Australia’s largest bookmakers are refusing to pay out on bets that Barack Obama would win the U.S. presidential election, citing fears he could be assassinated before his inauguration, a report said Saturday.

The two bookmakers, Sportsbet and Centrebet, told the Sydney Morning Herald they would not pay out on the bets until the first African-American U.S. president takes office in January.

A spokesman for Centrebet told the paper it was a matter of policy.

The Herald said its story was prompted by a punter who said a senior official at Sportsbet had refused to pay out on a bet citing assassination fears.

Sportsbet chief executive Matt Tripp denied this was the company’s main concern.

“God forbid he has a stroke or gets hit by a bus,” Tripp told the paper. “I love the bloke. I want to pay out on him. I think he is good for America and good for the world.”

Bullet-proof screens were put up on stage when Obama made his victory speech to jubilant supporters in a Chicago park.

Two white supremacist skinheads were arrested in the U.S. state of Tennessee in October over plans shoot Obama, although the plot appeared unsophisticated.

Irish bookmaker Paddy Power was so sure of the election outcome that it paid out Obama-backers in October.

Other Australian bookmakers have paid out on Obama’s victory, the Herald said.

Source: Reuters Africa

Barack Obama 44th And First Black President Of United States Of America

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

Martin Luther King – I Have A Dream Speech – address at March on Washington August 28, 1963

 

 President Barack Obama & Family

“I’m asking you to believe. Not just in my ability to bring about real change in Washington…I’m asking you to believe in yours.”

 

Nothing happens before its time.

Not with Jesse Jackson in 1992.

Nor Al Sharpton in 2004.

One hundred & forty three years after the abolition of slavery in America and forty five years after Martin Luther famous ‘I Have A Dream’ speech, blacks worldwide whether glue to a tv, radio or internet, witnessed a historic moment when a not well known person two years ago, emerged and became not only the first African-America leader of a major political party but immortalized himself into history books today by becoming the first black man to win the highest office of a superpower in this modern era.

President elect Obama electrified Americans voters, frightened and frustrated with two unfinished wars and two recessions that change is possible on a ‘Change’ and ‘Yes We Can’ campaign. The electricity extended worldwide also for those dismayed with Bush foreign policies and even those who recognised the significance of such a historic moment in their lifetime.

Of course, let’s not forget Michelle Obama will be the first African-American first lady in the White House.

Change has certainly come.

Sarah Palin Received Prank Call From ‘President Sarkozy’ And Had Not A Clue

From  the Huffington Post

The AP reports that a Quebec comedy duo, posing as French President Sarkozy, have successfully prank called Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin has unwittingly taken a prank call from a Canadian comedian posing as French President Nicolas Sarkozy and told him she make a good president in eight years. The Republican vice presidential nominee discussed politics, the perils of hunting with Vice President Dick Cheney and Sarkozy’s “beautiful wife”, in the telephone call released Saturday.

When the caller told Palin she would make a good president, she laughed and replied: “Maybe in eight years.”

Not only has the dear lady answered the phone as ‘Sarah’ instead as Governor [Sarah] Palin [did the idea that the 'French President' was calling her went straight to her head that she forgot about protocol?] but she actually agreed with the imposter during the phone exchange on a possible hunting trip, that killing animals and taking away a life, is so fun!

Good grief!

     Click here for prank call

Below a transcript available for those who may find some of the audio difficult to comprehend.

Pentagon Advisors – Next President May Face International Crisis

The next president is likely to face a major international crisis within his first nine months in office, according to a senior group of business advisers to the defense secretary.

Accordingly, the Defense Business Board says the new administration should set a goal to win Senate confirmation of key Pentagon posts in the first 30 days of the inauguration, in order to have a full team in place to deal with such a contingency.

Michael Bayer, chairman of the Defense Business Board and veteran Pentagon consultant, this week called for the next administration to move quickly to avoid encountering civilian leadership vacuums that often accompany political transitions.

“Prepare for a likely first 270 days crisis,” Bayer warns in an Oct. 23 briefing. “Too many presidents were ill prepared for this.”

FULL STORY

Peace In Great Lakes Region Tops Obama Agenda

Uganda is at the top of US presidential candidate Barack Obama’s African agenda, a top aide has said.

Ambassador Howard Wolpe said Obama is concerned about the suffering of children caught in the conflict in northern Uganda.

His revelation comes less than 10 days when America elects its 46th president.

Wolpe, a former top envoy in the Clinton administration, said one of Obama’s top priorities, if he won the election, would focus on peace in the Great Lakes region.

The Democratic nominee, Wolpe added, was likely to maintain the current US foreign policy of engaging “very actively in a diplomatic way.”

Wolpe was Clinton’s special envoy to the Great Lakes region that included Burundi, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, the DR Congo and Zimbabwe between 1996 and 2001.

In an interview with The New Vision in Washington, the ambassador added that Obama was concerned about the LRA war and the insecurity in northern Uganda.

FULL STORY

Rapid European Banks Bailouts Another US Bank Goes Under As Financial Crisis Further Spreads

European governments had to step in with a flurry of major bank bailouts from Iceland to Germany as fear and turmoil from the U.S. credit crisis spread through the financial system.

Even as U.S. lawmakers were preparing to vote on a massive $700 billion (€490 billion) rescue of their own banks, [$US700b Bailout Deal Voted Down] the governments of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg took partial control late Sunday of struggling bank Fortis NV, while Britain seized control of mortgage lender Bradford & Bingley early today.

Germany organized a credit lifeline for blue-chip commercial real estate lender Hypo Real Estate Holding AG, while Iceland’s government took over Glitnir bank, the country’s third largest.

The rapid-fire European bailouts were quickly followed by news that U.S. financial giant Citigroup Inc. was acquring the banking operations of troubled Wachovia Corp., the latest U.S. financial institution to fail or be sold. Citigroup will absorb losses of up to $42 billion in a government-facilitated takeover.

European shares fell heavily and money markets remained frozen with banks refusing to lend to each other for all but the shortest periods.

“All banks are having difficulty with long term loans and short term financing. It’s difficult to say which could be affected,” said UniCredit economist Alexander Koch in Munich. “Despite the rescue packages in the U.S. (and Europe) that doesn’t fully correct the problem. I see the problem flowing until late next year,” he added.

FULL STORY

Another US Bank Collapses – Biggest In US History

As the debate over a US$700-billion bank bail-out rages on in Washington, one of the largest US banks – Washington Mutual Inc. -has collapsed under the weight of its enormous bad bets on the mortgage market.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation seized WaMu yesterday, and then sold the thrift’s banking assets to JPMorgan Chase & Co. for US$1.9 billion ($2.28 billion).

Seattle-based WaMu, which was founded in 1889, is the largest bank to fail by far in America’s history. Its US$307 billion ($368 billion) in assets eclipse those of Continental Illinois National Bank, which failed in 1984 with US$40 billion in assets; adjusted for 2008 dollars, its assets totalled US$67.7 billion ($81.2 billion). IndyMac, seized in July, had US$32 billion ($38.4 billion) in assets.

One positive is that the sale of WaMu’s assets to JPMorgan Chase prevents the thrift’s collapse from depleting the FDIC’s insurance fund. But that detail is likely to give only marginal solace to Americans facing tighter lending and watching their stock portfolios plunge in the wake of the nation’s most momentous financial crisis since the Great Depression.

FULL STORY

Tough Times Ahead For Barbados Due To US Financial Turmoil

    The Barbados economy is expected to feel the effects of the turbulence in the United States financial markets later, rather than sooner.

Central Bank Governor Dr Marion Williams said yesterday that while the situation is unlikely to have a significant impact on Barbados immediately, “as the US economy slows or goes into recession as it copes with these difficulties, the result could be a slowdown in the growth of the Barbados economy going forward”.

She added that recession in the United Kingdom and European economies would also impact adversely on the country’s tourism prospects and investment inflows. But she was optimistic that the Barbados economy could withstand the effects of the turmoil.

“The Barbados financial system should remain sound although there may be some loss in value – realised and unrealised – on US dollar fixed income securities held by financial institutions, including the Central Bank, as securities’ prices in the US markets tumble,” Dr Williams said.

And even as the US government seeks to provide a US$700 billion bailout for American businesses in financial crisis, the Central Bank Governor said that could also have an impact on the Barbados economy.

“Over the longer term and into 2009, given the size of the bailout by the US government, we can expect larger US fiscal deficits, possibly a further depreciation in the US dollar and a likelihood of a longer US recession than was anticipated. The likelihood of a global slowdown also becomes greater. The international credit markets are likely to be hesitant to lend for a while until markets settle,” she said.

FULL STORY

Oil Price Jumps $25 In A Day Now $120/Barrel Gold $900/Ounce

 

 

The price of crude oil today is not made according to any traditional relation of supply to demand. It’s controlled by an elaborate financial market system as well as by the four major Anglo-American oil companies. As much as 60% of today’s crude oil price is pure speculation driven by large trader banks and hedge funds. It has nothing to do with the convenient myths of Peak Oil. It has to do with control of oil and its price. How?

 ‘Perhaps 60% Of Today’s Oil Price Is Pure Speculation’

Fadel Gheit, senior energy analyst for Oppenheimer & Co., said “people are seeing the bailout [$700b] today as the fleecing of America. They are expecting the dollar to sink even more, and there is no place for the investment money to go except back into commodities and oil.”

Gheit added that the market was back to being driven by something other than traditional forces, at least in the short run. “This is not oil responding to supply and demand fundamentals,” he said.

Oil Price Posts Largest-ever One -Day Gain

Is it fair that businessmen who fail in neighborhood stores have to close shop and often sell their homes, while Wall Street titans are spared the consequences of monumental stupidity and greed?

An Amnesty For Stupidity

“You had regulators sitting back as loans were being made with no documentation … predatory lenders taking advantage of the  situation – that’s how this all unfolded. It’s not a mystery,” Dodd [Democrat chair - senate banking committee] said.

US Congress Leaders Attack Bail-Out

Party’s Over As Financial Terrorism Takes Over Wall Street

The Crash of 2008, which is now wiping out trillions of dollars of our people’s wealth, is, like the Crash of 1929, likely to mark the end of one era and the onset of another.

The new era will see a more sober and much diminished America. The “Omnipower” and “Indispensable Nation” we heard about in all the hubris and braggadocio following our Cold War victory is history. Seizing on the crisis, the left says we are witnessing the failure of market economics, a failure of conservatism.

This is nonsense. What we are witnessing is the collapse of Gordon Gecko (”Greed Is Good!”) capitalism. What we are witnessing is what happens to a prodigal nation that ignores history, and forgets and abandons the philosophy and principles that made it great. A true conservative cherishes prudence and believes in fiscal responsibility, balanced budgets and a self-reliant republic. He believes in saving for retirement and a rainy day, in deferred gratification, in not buying on credit what you cannot afford, in living within your means.

Is that really what got Wall Street and us into this mess — that we followed too religiously the gospel of Robert Taft and Russell Kirk?

“Government must save us!” cries the left, as ever. Yet, who got us into this mess if not the government — the Fed with its easy money, Bush with his profligate spending, and Congress and the SEC by liberating Wall Street and failing to step in and stop the drunken orgy?

For years, we Americans have spent more than we earned. We save nothing. Credit card debt, consumer debt, auto debt, mortgage debt, corporate debt — all are at record levels. And with pensions and savings being wiped out, much of that debt will never be repaid. Our standard of living is inevitably going to fall. For foreigners will not forever buy our bonds or lend us more money if they rightly fear that they will be paid back, if at all, in cheaper dollars.

We are going to have to learn to live again without our means.

The party’s over

Up through World War II, we followed the Hamiltonian idea that America must remain economically independent of the world in order to remain politically independent.

But this generation decided that was yesterday’s bromide and we must march bravely forward into a Global Economy, where we all depend on one another. American companies morphed into “global companies” and moved plants and factories to Mexico, Asia, China and India, and we began buying more cheaply from abroad what we used to make at home: shoes, clothes, bikes, cars, radios, TVs, planes, computers. As the trade deficits began inexorably to rise to 6 percent of GDP, we began vast borrowing from abroad to continue buying from abroad. Read more of this post

Federal Reserve New Role – Sugar Daddy

Andrew Horowitz over at moneycentral.mns.com  writes an interesting article on the new role of the Federal Government.  

Calling them a sugar daddy, he isn’t to keen on the Fed’s bailing out large failing corporations at the expense of taxpayers because of bad financial decisions and risking investments. For a money manager I am surprised Mr Horowitz lumps the Federal Reserve as the US government when the former is a distinct separate entity from the US government controlling the monetary system. No wonder taxpayers monies are used to bail out these companies. Americans are tax heavily enough! There’s enough dough coming in!

FULL STORY

Barbados Safe For Now – Standard & Poors

Barbados Government and those in the financial sector can breath easy, at least for now.

That’s because the local economy will likely feel no immediate  burn from Monday’s financial meltdown on Wall Street in the United States (US) .

In fact, a leading analyst of respected rating agency Standard & Poors (S&P) believes the upside of the ongoing economic turmoil in the US, which saw finance giants Merrill Lynch agreeing to sell itself to Bank of America for US$50 billion and Lehman Brothers filing for bankruptcy, could be lower oil prices and reduced inflation for Barbados.

S&P’s Director of Sovereign Ratings, Richard Francis, shared this view with the Barbados Advocate yesterday when quizzed on the likely impact current events on Wall Street would have in Barbados.

There is no immediate impact as far as we can tell on Barbados, Francis said.

We will have to wait and see what the impact the turmoil will have on the overall US economy, if any. S&P’s current baseline scenario calls for a shallow but long recession that began in December 2007 and lasts 15 months ending in March 2009, he said, noting this forecast represented only two quarters of negative growth through the upcoming fourth quarter of this year going into the first quarter of next year.

We have not changed the forecast. This will have an impact on tourism. We currently forecast two per cent growth for Barbados in both 2008 and 2009, according to him.

American finance experts said the humbling moves involving Merrill and Lehman had reshaped the landscape of American finance, marking the latest chapter in a tumultuous year in which once-proud financial institutions have been brought to their knees as a result of hundreds of billions of dollars in losses because of bad mortgage finance and real estate investments.

It was also pointed out that even as the fates of Lehman and Merrill hung in the balance, another crisis loomed as the insurance giant American International Group was also on the brink of financial problems. Rocked by losses stemming from the credit crisis, AIG has sought a US$40 billion lifeline from the US Federal Reserve, without which the company may have only days to survive.

Yesterday as the Federal Reserve announced it was not cutting interest rates in response to the crisis, Francis said the financial challenges could eventually turn out to be a positive in terms of oil prices and inflation. The up side for Barbados could be lower oil prices which would signal somewhat lower inflation and lower oil exports, which would aid the current account deficit and balance of payments pressures. It would also help consumers, he noted.

Wall Street In Turmoil, World Markets In Crisis, All Is Still Fine & Dandy[Bush]

Asian stock markets plunged Friday in the wake of a sell-off on Wall Street

amid mounting concerns about a slumping U.S. economy and its impact on global growth

Photo credit – Canada Dot Com

Global stock markets tumbled Tuesday amid growing fears of a global financial crisis as investors reacted to the demise of two of Wall Street’s biggest names, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch.

The storied New York investment bank [Lehman Brothers], crippled by $60 billion in soured real-estate holdings, was unable to find an investment partner to throw it a lifeline despite a flurry of last-minute negotiations over the weekend.

Investors were further shaken by the equally stunning news that Merrill Lynch, one of the world’s most famous brokerages, sought to avoid a similar fate with a $50 billion transaction to become part of Bank of America Corp.

The crisis appeared to be far from over. American Insurance Group, the world’s largest insurer, was fighting for its survival after downgrades from major credit rating firms, adding pressure to AIG as it seeks billions of dollars to strengthen its balance sheet.

Seichi Miura, strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Securities in Tokyo, said already weak investor sentiment has been badly shaken by Lehman. He predicted extremely volatile markets ahead.

“The market just hasn’t been able to shake off an overall downward trend,” he said.

FULL STORY

Brazil, Argentina To Eliminate US Dollar

US Dollar - Money - Economy    As the US dollar continues its slide against other world currencies and the banking and financial sectors weight in on the stock markets in the global economy, two of our South American neighbours have made the decision to stop using the US dollar in bilateral trade.

From Times of India

The presidents of Brazil and Argentina signed an agreement Monday to stop using the dollar in bilateral trade, but it will be up to traders to decide if they want to end use of the U.S. currency.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Argentina’s Cristina Fernandez hope the measure will smooth trade transactions between the two nations _ which are forecast to top US$30 billion this year.

But it is unclear how many exporters and importers will decide to do away with the dollar when the measure takes effect in early October.

Silva says it will reduce transaction costs for both exporters and importers, especially those operating on a smaller scale.

Alexandre Barros, an analyst with the Brasilia-based Early Warning political risk consultancy, says the dollar’s fall in the past year has prompted many nations to look for alternative currencies to use for trade.

Rihanna, Obama And Essence Magazine

Hey,hey hey. Two of the world’s most recognizable faces can be seen together. Home girl Rihanna is featured in this September edition of Essence, an African-America lifestyle, fashion and entertainment magazine. The Barbadian international star models fall fashion trends.Essence Magazine

Obama Invited To Barbados By PM Thompson

     Win, lose or draw, on November 2, 2008, US Presidential candidate Barack Obama, his wife Michelle and daughters Malia and Sasha, have been invited to Barbados to “chill out, very soon thereafter”.

Prime Minister David Thompson has asked the most influential African-American on Capitol Hill to convey the invitation to Obama, whose candidacy for the world’s top job was confirmed in spectacular fashion last Thursday evening.

In the presence of several leading members of the Democratic Party, including House Democratic Majority Leader, Steny Hower, PM Thompson asked Majority Whip James Clyburn of South Carolina to convey the special invitation to the Obamas “irrespective of the outcome”.

“For us in Barbados and the wider Caribbean, Barack Obama is already a winner. He is a hero for many and the Government and people of Barbados would be honoured to welcome the Obama family to our shores.

“Barbados has hosted presidents in the past, but Barack’s visit, with or without the Presidential seal, would be like no other,” Thompson said at a reception held in his honour in Denver, Colorado.

The Barbados leader was in the Mile High City to witness Obama’s official acceptance of the nomination. He watched the historic event from Clyburns suite at the packed to capacity Invesco Field, home to the Denver Broncos football team.

Back in Barbados yesterday for his Democratic Labour Party’s 53rd Annual Conference,Thompson told the Barbados Advocate that nationals here should not underestimate the value of such networking and the embrace of Barbados on such a historic and auspicious occasion.

“I am not one to gloat or beat my chest, but Barbados could not have paid for the exposure it received, not only to American and international media networks, but more importantly at this time, the access that it had to some of the most powerful lobbyists and decision makers in America. I was amazed by the genuine interest that such personalities displayed in Barbados,” Thompson said.

He indicated that the invitation to the Obamas would be extended through formal channels, particularly in light of the very warm reception extended to the Barbados leader by officials of the Obama Campaign.

“Diplomatic efforts through missions abroad are limited and limiting. More and more, countries such as Barbados and the islands of the Caribbean are going to have to turn to influential lobbyists, including networking on Capitol Hill, to have our concerns raised and interests represented. The days of merely sending a diplomatic note in the hope of being heard are long gone. Additionally, the US political system is quite different to ours. The role of Congress is different to our House. The President may have one agenda and the Congress may have another. That reality needs to be effectively understood and relations with Congressmen assume great importance,” Thompson added.

He said the formal and informal interface this past week with the top brass of the Democratic Party, as well as his talks with Representative Charles Rangel earlier this year, have put Barbados and the Caribbean in good stead for enhanced relations with the United States.

“We are not getting involved in the domestic politics of the United States. We could not influence the outcome of US elections, even if we wanted to. What we are saying, as a government and as a country, is that this is a historic period of world history and Barbados is grateful and fortunate to be at the table of potential opportunity,” the Barbados Leader explained.

Source – Barbados Advocate

 

Bombing Of Iran Imminent Part 2 – US Ready To STRIKE!

Translation: Attack On Iran Expect[ed Soon]

 

 

The biggest Newspaper in the Netherlands today devotes its front page to news that the Dutch intelligence agency has helped the CIA prepare for an air attack on Iran which it now believes is imminent.

AVID, Holland’s military intelligence service, has pulled back from operations it was carrying out inside Iran as it believes an American led attack will go ahead within weeks according to De Telegraaf’s sources.

The headline reads:

“AIVD is calling back spy because of US plans
ATTACK ON IRAN IMMINENT”

De Telegraaf reports that the decision has already been made by the U.S.
to attack Iran using unmanned aircraft. Potential targets are said to be nuclear facilities and military installations. The latter have been mapped by the CIA with the help of the Dutch secret service.

A portion of the article reads:

Good sources have declared to the Telegraaf that the AIVD has been operating in Iran for the last few years with the purpose of the infiltration and sabotage of the weapons industry of the Iranian republic.

The operations are said to have been “very successful” but have recently been put to a halt because of american plans for an air attack. Information regarding the AIVD operation has been shared with the CIA in recent years according to the sources.

Iran is probably working towards an atomic bomb and refuses to comply to western demands to stop enriching uranium. In june Israeli vice president Shaul Mofaz made the statement that an Israeli attack is inevitable if Iran continues its quest for atomic weapons.

Holland is a staunch ally of the U.S. government in the “war on terror”. Dutch troops have served on the front lines in both the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

The full article is online here.

Source – Infowars

A roughly translated version can also be found here.

Vladimir Putin: US Staged Georgian Conflict

In an interview with CNN, Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has stated that the Georgian-South Ossetian conflict may have been manufactured by the White House for domestic political reasons. Putin also says that preliminary reports show U.S. citizens may have been present in the combat zone.

“We have serious reason to believe that American citizens were right at the heart of the military action. This would have implications for American domestic policy.” Putin told CNN.

“If this is confirmed, then it raises the suspicion that someone in the US specially created this conflict to worsen the situation and create an advantage in the competitive struggle for one of the candidates for the post of president of the United States.” he continued.

“They needed a short, victorious war.”

“And if it didn’t work out, they could always put the blame on us, make us look like the enemy and against the background of this surge of patriotism, once more rally the country around a particular political force.” Putin explained.

In addition to the remarks broadcast by Russia Today, Putin charged that Americans on the ground in Georgia were “implementing orders” from their “leader” during the conflict.

“The fact is that US citizens were indeed in the area in conflict during the hostilities. It should be admitted that they would do so only following direct orders from their leaders,” Putin said.

“Therefore, they were acting in implementing those orders, doing as they were ordered, and the only one who can give such orders is their leader,” he added.

The comments come in the wake of news that a U.S. passport was found in a building in South Ossetia occupied by Georgian troops.

FULL STORY

Watch Video below

 

  

PM Thompson Drops In On Obama’s Convention In Denver

The only high-ranking Caribbean official invited

 

Barbados Prime Minister, David Thompson was among the estimated 85 000 persons on location last night for the historic crowning of Barack Obama as the Democratic Party’s Presidential Candidate.

Mr. Thompson arrived in Denver, Colorado on Wednesday evening as a guest of key operatives in the Obama campaign. His visit to the mile high city is believed to have been engineered by Political Advisor Hartley Henry who is rumoured to be a part of an international advisory team to the Obama campaign.

Henry has been in Denver for the past two weeks and is said to be working very closely with the messaging arm of the campaign.

Contacted last evening at the Invesco Field in Denver, where Obama delivered his historic acceptance speech, Henry confirmed that Prime Minister Thompson was in attendance and that he had a full day of meetings with some very high ranking senate and congressional officials.

Henry said: Prime Minister Thompson was the toast of a reception held in his honour. Though this was the busiest day of the convention, high ranking members of the Democratic Party dropped by for informal talks with the Prime Minister.Among those with whom the Barbados Leader met were Majority Whip James Clyburn, Charles Rangel, Harold Forde and a host of incumbent senators, prominent businessmen and lobbyists.

Issues discussed ranged from extension of the Caribbean Basin Initiative to Prime Minister Thompson’s request for tangible technical assistance to the region in the area of coastal security and drug interdiction. Several prominent US business executives also seized the opportunity to enquire of investment opportunities in Barbados. Among them billionaire property developer, Bob Johnson.

Mr. Thompson is believed to have been the only high ranking Caribbean official invited to witness the historic first embrace of an African-American as Presidential candidate for a leading political party.

Significantly, the Prime Minister witnessed the closing of the convention and national embrace of Barack Obama from the celebrity box which was set aside for close friends and relatives of the campaign leadership.

Source – Barbados Advocate

Bob Johnson Black Entertainment Television [BET] founder turned property developer became the first African- American billionaire when he sold BET media empire for $3b to media giant Viacom in 2000. In 2002 he became the first African-America to wholly own a professional sports team when he brought the NBA franchise in Charlotte. His real estate investment company RLJ lists revenues of $92m. An $8m 85-room four-start resort opens in 2009 in Liberia.

Sources – allbusiness.com, usatoday.com, chf international

PM David Thompson: “Barbadians Feel Good About A Black Man Running For President Of United States” Examining Obama And McCain Polices For The Caribbean

       

While Barack Obama, the likely Democratic presidential nominee, appears to be the rage across the Caribbean, some analysts express concerns about how his policies would affect the region. And, although John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, generates less attention in the Democratic-leaning Caribbean, some observers say his support of free trade and his policy experience could be better for the islands.

Still other analysts see the Caribbean as a low priority for each and express little optimism that either will produce radical change.

Neither McCain nor Obama has ”expressed serious positions on the Caribbean, with the exception of Cuba, where there is a difference between the two candidates,” said Rupert Lewis, a political-science expert at the University of the West Indies (Mona) in Jamaica

Peter Hakim, president of the Washington think-tank Inter-American Dialogue, said he believes the lack of focus by either candidate on the region is a hint of what’s to come regardless of who wins in November.

”Americans right now are very insecure about their future. They are unhappy with the effects of globalization. There is not a great deal of interest in having the United States really engage in overseas these days,” Hakim said.

Others say it will be hard to ignore the Caribbean or Latin America, especially when so many nationals are registered U.S. voters. Brian Meeks, director of the Center for Caribbean Thought at the UWI, said that while many in the Caribbean are ”fascinated with the fact that there is a black candidate with a credible chance of becoming president,” leaders are not looking closely at either Obama’s or McCain’s policies.

”I don’t think they are approaching it in a hard-nosed realist way,” Meeks said, ‘which is to say `What is in it for the Caribbean? What is in it for Latin America and to what extent Obama, or for that matter McCain, will be addressing our concerns?’ ”

Caribbean leaders have increasingly complained of neglect following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks as U.S. foreign policy shifted to other parts of the world. The region as a bloc opposed the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. In 2004, the Caribbean Community demanded an international investigation in the Feb. 29 ouster of Haiti’s democratically elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

Relations in the past year have warmed under President Bush, but they point out that he — unlike his predecessor Bill Clinton — has yet to set foot in Haiti or the English-speaking Caribbean. Clearly, Obama’s race has captured the imagination of many in the Caribbean.

”The idea of having a black man or a man of mixed race running for the president of the United States is very historic and important,” Barbados Prime Minister David Thompson told The Miami Herald.

“Barbadians feel good about that.”

And George Lamming, a Barbados-born novelist and intellectual, adds: “The planet has been ruled by white power for 500 years, and you have the overwhelming majority of the world’s population [as] nonwhite people. It’s not only black people down here.”

But symbolism isn’t good enough, critics of U.S. policy say, when leaders consider the challenges facing a region wrestling with crime and economic troubles.

”The United States has defaulted in the last decade in having any meaningful aid relations with the Caribbean, and that is where Venezuela has stepped in and has provided that,” Meeks said. “How does Obama view that? What are the prospects for that kind of mutually beneficial relations?”

Both McCain and Obama speak of a shift in policy. McCain supports expanding trade with the Caribbean basin, while Obama is much more restrictive on trade preferences.

”It seems to me that from an economic and foreign policy point of view, Obama may be more destructive to Trinidad and Tobago interests specifically, and Caribbean interests more generally, than a Category 5 hurricane,” said Anthony Wilson, editor in chief of the Trinidad Guardian newspaper.

Obama’s position on trade ”has the potential to cast thousands of workers into unemployment throughout the region,” Wilson said in an e-mail to The Miami Herald. “From the perspective of foreign relations, [John] McCain would be much better for Caribbean economies than Obama.”

While Obama’s support for wiping out poor countries’ debt is welcomed, his push to tighten regulations of offshore banking jurisdictions have riled others. He currently is sponsoring the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act, legislation that targets tax havens. The bill lists Antigua and 14 other Caribbean jurisdictions among those countries singled out for increased scrutiny.

”I put that down to his lack of information,” said St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, a critic of the legislation but an admirer of Obama.“Once he is properly informed — he would see that these islands, which are among the closest friends of the American people — he would not do anything knowingly for them to suffer.”

While McCain and Obama have spoken of a need to address transnational crime in the region, neither has given any indication that the U.S. policy of deporting criminals will change.

Adapted from Miami Herald

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 90 other followers

%d bloggers like this: