Welcome

Dennis Jones is a Jamaican-born international economist, who has lived most of the time in the UK and USA, and latterly in Guinea, west Africa. He moved back to the Caribbean in 2007. This blog contains his observations on life on this small eastern Caribbean island, as well as views on life and issues on a broader landscape, especially the Caribbean and Africa.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Interesting return to Barbados

I came back to Barbados on April 23, after 2 weeks in Jamaica. I saw Barbados differently, thanks to the distance and merely reading about events in the island, rather than seeing and hearing about some of them. I asked some of my Jamaican friends about Barbados, and they universally have some harsh words about "Little England", a description that comes out frequently. They question whether Bajans have moved away from being colonized, especially in how they view white people (see previous blog).

One thing I have noticed about Barbados, is that it is well marketed. Its tourism opportunities are well presented, and although I think there is no comparison with a large, diverse island like Jamaica, Barbados has an image that is more welcoming, and offers relative safety that may be hard to beat. The reality is more complex, as I see and hear in the local media. Strange things happen here (and I don't mean the story of the beheaded body that was reported recently). I saw this first hand when I returned to GAIA.
A young man started to complain about another man (not in uniform or with visible badge) handling his bag; it was not clear that the latter was any kind of security official. The young man summoned other airport officials to come to his assistance, and then the rest was bizarre. No uniformed officials came forward. The young man started yelling to be left alone, and was then bundled by the man about whom he was complaining into the men's bathroom near the baggage belt and one could hear some thumping and yelling. No identifiable officials intervened. None of the baggage handlers reacted. None of the arriving passengers (many visiting cricket fans) did more than observe. What was that all about?

I have travelled a lot, to almost every continent, and I have never witnessed anything like this. I don't expect to read anything about this incident, so I wonder what "dark" activity this incident relates to. I'd love to think that all is rosy, but I have my worries.

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