Be like Cuba

Comissiong proposes a different approach to crime prevention

More police, more courts, more judges and more firepower will not arrest Barbados’ spiralling crime problem, and neither can the country look to the political directorate for answers, social activist and attorney-at-law David Comissiong has advised.

Instead, he proposed, the authorities should focus on prevention to tackle the scourge.

“If we try to cure the crime situation through more police, more military equipment for police, more magistrates, more courts, more judges, more prisons, it will bankrupt, overwhelm and destroy this society . . . . We simply would not have enough material resources to solve the problem through that kind of methodology,” he said today at a press briefing hosted by the September 3rd Foundation at the Clement Payne Centre, cautioning that the current strategy of searching for a cure was likely to backfire.

“We have to deal with problems like this through prevention rather than cure.”

Suggesting that the island was in a “profound and deeply rooted crisis”, the outspoken activist said there was more behind the upsurge in gun violence than meets the eye.

He blamed the vexing problem, which has sparked a strong outcry from the public for Government to do more, on a “civilization crisis”.

“The crime that we are experiencing is a symptom of the fact that our social, political, cultural, psychological trajectory as a nation is wrong. More and more, we have drifted into a way of thinking and feeling that says it is just about me and my family and if I and my family are ok, then to hell with the rest.

“We have drifted into a way of thinking and feeling where a person is respected and recognized not on the basis of their basic humanity but on the basis of the size of the car that they drive or which gated community they live in or whether they are part of the ‘in group,’” Comissiong said.

Noting that the crisis was also manifesting itself in neighbouring Caribbean countries, including St Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and The Bahamas, Comissiong pointed out that the crime scourge was not a factor in Cuba where the value system was far different.

“In that society, there are no homeless or vagrants because that society has put a premium on Cuban solidarity. Every human being is entitled to be housed, to be fed, to be clothed, to be educated . . . . It is not a society where we have the ‘haves and have nots’, where we have the social winners and the social losers,” he contended.

Comissiong was adamant that the solution did not reside with politicians, as he took issue with Member of Parliament for St Michael West Central James Paul for pouring doubt on recent revelations from Acting Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith that as many as 14 gangs existed in the Black Rock community, a trouble spot in the constituency that Paul represents.

“If we are serious, shouldn’t the parliamentary representatives for that area immediately secure a meeting with the commissioner to find out the details, so that they can go on to intervene in some constructive way?

“Serious leaders would be meeting and putting heads together and coming up with concrete interventions. Go in, take the professionals who can engage in counselling, offer work study programmes, offer job opportunities to the young people who might be employed, find ways of pulling those young people away from the attraction of drug selling and other forms of criminal activity,” he stressed.

Against this backdrop, Comissiong stressed that Barbadians had to take action themselves and suggested they start with the education system.

Lamenting that too many children were leaving school after 12 years dejected and dysfunctional, he called for a major overhaul and urged key sectors to team up to correct the problems.

“We have to pool our resources. We have to be guided by a spirit that says we care for each other . . . . No student is allowed to fall through the cracks. And I am suggesting that the fundamental mobilization can take place around the primary and secondary schools,” he said.

“It will call for new relations between the teachers’ union and the principals of the schools; . . . between the PTA association and the old scholars working with the school principals and the teachers and the unions and reaching out to us [the public].”

54 Responses to Be like Cuba

  1. Wayne Spooner
    Wayne Spooner September 2, 2017 at 3:32 am

    This idiot.

    • Gillian Skeete
      Gillian Skeete September 2, 2017 at 7:18 am

      Yep he is lol

    • leroy September 3, 2017 at 11:48 am

      A wise man takes wise advice even if given by a fool.

      I want you to reply to what is said and not the man and lets have a discussion.

  2. Saga Boy September 2, 2017 at 3:40 am

    I support the call for crime to be at the same level as that in Cubs but Pray tell me how will we make the transition from our current state to one similar to Cuba where the average person makes less than USD$50 per month; workers cannot March for an increase in pay or improved terms and conditions; one car per family; where electricity and water is likely to be less than 10 dol per month?? Nothing short of a violent revolution will make this possible. Is Commission going to take away the current wealth of the people? What is his proposed methodology to make this all possible?

    • bajans September 2, 2017 at 7:36 pm

      However, do you know that Cubans, as far as I know, still do not pay rent, have free school, medicals, prescriptions, etc.? Last time I was there the salaries were $50 a week. Every work place has a free daycare for babies and infants. An elementary school is located in every block of highrises so children do not travel from home to school. There is lots going on in Cuba you will only find out by going there.

    • leroy September 3, 2017 at 11:50 am

      You miss the point entirely, we emulate the good in others, thats all he is saying and we should start with education and not prisons.

  3. Jennifer September 2, 2017 at 3:46 am

    We need full reversal from the plantation way of thinking. The education is the starter. But if the wrong element is targeted you are still wasting time. We need as a people to truly love OUR OWN. The church is another MAJOR stumbling block to this people as it keeps pulling this people DOWN into that pit, when it should be digging out them out. (I know you love the trend and social aspect) but there is no reward for that. We have been kept as slaves (both mental and physical) and weapons off our own destruction for nearly 400 yrs. Shocking. It is amazing how one can drive many miles and keep on returning to the same spot.

    • clint September 2, 2017 at 9:13 am

      I couldn’t agree with you more. However, the question would be how does our people get a reversal of the plantation thinking when they have so been programmed to not seek truth/knowledge but live a lie that has been carried out and continues to be carried out by institutions such as the church. Our people need to start seeking the TRUTH. A good starting point would be the history of the church.

      • Jennifer September 2, 2017 at 10:13 am

        @Clint – Bagged. For this people to investigate the history of the church and those EUROPEAN HOLIDAYS ATTACHED will be a big, big, problem for them because they were thought not to read or like reading on that plantation. All the information is out there. It will also mean CHANGE with they are not willing to do but like the feel good factors. They will be more busy sending pictures of the demised of their own people and face booking etc. The MAJORITY of our people do not want to be rescued and will prefer to keep themselves and their children in servitude. Go to school, work hard, and learn well and come out and go into their establishments for crumbs.

  4. Veroniva Boyce
    Veroniva Boyce September 2, 2017 at 4:33 am

    Be like BIM bring back the Old Traditions. Respect, Pride, Morals like it used to be.

    • Richard Johnston September 2, 2017 at 6:51 am

      Why didn’t I think of that?

    • Dana Jemmott
      Dana Jemmott September 2, 2017 at 7:02 am

      Not to mention the Lord’s prayer and religious education

  5. Bradg September 2, 2017 at 5:55 am

    I think its disingenuous to use Cuba as a reference. It’s a totally different political and cultural landscape. This is a country where people flee half naked in boats to escape poverty and political oppression, in the thousands! Where the people don’t have a voice and the freedoms we enjoy. I’m not saying Cuba is all bad,but it too has its fair share of problems like the rest.
    I agree more police, military, judges etc is not a good long term strategy and by itself will not solve the problem. It requires a mix of prescriptions. But in the short term we do need more judges Police etc to arrest this situation. We didn’t get here was a long but progressive march to this destination.

  6. Tony Webster September 2, 2017 at 6:06 am

    President Raul is in the process of sending home 500,000 government employees, so they might have the “opportunity” of becoming self-employed- and to enjoy (very limited) personal business activities ( li’l canteens, barbers, bakeries, and so on) When shall the scales fall from your eyes, Mr.Commissiong? How’s about going to North Korea, for a full-throated version of Communist Doctrine.You could perhaps give the little fat, mad, guy…a few tips on how to become a little more human? Take Rodman and a new basket-ball with you…or Ralphie …you DO recall “Scientific Socialism”, don’t you?

    • Tee White September 2, 2017 at 7:41 am

      How long have you lived in Cuba or the DPRK? Are your views based on your personal experience or just the racist anti-communst propaganda put out by the likes of the BBC, CNN and the others?

  7. Sebastian Da Costa
    Sebastian Da Costa September 2, 2017 at 6:10 am

    Is he Cuban

  8. Keisha King
    Keisha King September 2, 2017 at 6:23 am

    he should go and live in Cuba

  9. Richard Braithwaite
    Richard Braithwaite September 2, 2017 at 6:47 am

    Let’s get back to basics !
    Let’s give back the ” powers ” of discipline to schools …! Education is a must….!
    No education job….only option is to drift into crime !..! You must leave school …employable ..!

  10. Richard Johnston September 2, 2017 at 6:50 am

    Add rehabilitation. The United States has 5% of the world’s population and 25% of it’s prisoners, the reasons being that sentencing guidelines are inflexible and become less so under the new administration, and also that there are no effective programs for rehabilitation. How many times do you hear “Put him in jail and throw away the key.” Barbados does not want to go down that road.

    • leroy September 3, 2017 at 12:06 pm

      Lots of for profit prisons in usa

  11. Peter Foster
    Peter Foster September 2, 2017 at 7:00 am

    A commie

  12. Claire Battershield
    Claire Battershield September 2, 2017 at 7:05 am

    Be like Barbados. Do what we know worked for us before.

  13. Tee White September 2, 2017 at 7:29 am

    Spewing anti-communist propaganda that you’ve picked up from the BBC, CNN and the other news outlets of global white supremacy is not going to help us address this serious problem of gun crime that we are experiencing. The fact of the matter is that David’s analysis is accurate. These young people are not born as violent criminals and so we have to ask ourselves what is happening in our country that by the time they get into their late teens and early twenties, some of them have become a menace to society. If we don’t address the root causes and put more care in our society, all the police, judges, military equipment and hanging won’t make the slightest difference.

    • Jennifer September 2, 2017 at 9:22 am

      @Tee white -well said. ANYTHING to LIBERATE this people will become a problem to many, including the blindly, ignorant oppressed and the oppressor also. And all of this military combined police tactic is a harbinger. But it will not matter because the planes and arrows will be fighting that much bigger “event”.

  14. Alex Alleyne September 2, 2017 at 7:31 am

    I rather the Philippines……..straight up , no chaser.

  15. Michael Crichlow
    Michael Crichlow September 2, 2017 at 7:37 am

    Every idiot, that thinks by putting on traditional ancestral garb makes him some sort Revolutionary are just educated twits..To evoke Cuba as some sort of template for Barbados is ludicrously conceive ..Barbados my home and native land…get back to square one”respect is due even to a damm dog” stop the dogmatic behaviour in Educational Institutions and more parental guidance , please!!

  16. Dan Napier
    Dan Napier September 2, 2017 at 7:41 am

    Is it Cuba poverty level

  17. Jus me September 2, 2017 at 7:46 am

    ha ha ha
    The car in the junk yard ever since,en yuh all,talkin about
    Yuh cant see, wheels gone,engine mash up,
    Body totally rotten.
    Barbados been junked by all and sundry by dem in Positions
    Bled dry.
    Milked till blood come.

    Like we all blindfold trying to catch a falling knife.

    You like the leading Lemming,shouting back up at dem still rushing over the edge of the cliff.

    We as a country,is in Total destruct mode.

  18. BIGSKY September 2, 2017 at 7:47 am

    I agree with you Sir,unless we address the issue of the majority of Government wealth going to the already wealthy whilst the people who really need it can’t get any, this will be the result.Here is whats wrong,The haves getting large salaries and allowances to cover everything whilst the have not gets one tenth of the haves salary with light bill,water bill,phone bill,rent,mortgage,children,foodstuff and all else.

  19. Jus me September 2, 2017 at 7:55 am

    Here is why we Fornicated.

    As a people we educated and trained,to do as we told.
    Stuffed full of religion.Just as the final coupe de grace,to desolve any real,constructive thoughts we may have.
    Its all Gods will!!
    Say Garbage,voice a contrary opinion

  20. Jus me September 2, 2017 at 7:58 am

    And see your fate.
    False respectabilty is ingrained
    Tough innit.
    Black to the bone.

  21. Saga Boy September 2, 2017 at 8:05 am

    @Tee White. How would we suggest we be transofrmed to a cuban lifestyle? Give me the steps.

  22. Basil Bradshaw
    Basil Bradshaw September 2, 2017 at 8:14 am

    this is the mind of a trini in space you are a sick mind david go bag your hyead

  23. Brett Blades
    Brett Blades September 2, 2017 at 8:26 am

    You guys fall into the journalist trap of reading a heading and letting it be the story. When I read the headline I was at a loss. Then I read the story. All he’s saying is to look at the Cuban model. Not adopt it in totality but look at its merits. Don’t be guided by a snippet or misleading title. Read to decipher your own gist. Not saying that what he’s suggesting is right but rather saying the title doesn’t adequately represent his views in full.

  24. Rawle Spooner
    Rawle Spooner September 2, 2017 at 8:28 am

    Listen he makes some very good points but not so good points,so simple run with the good points and forget about bad points.

  25. Tee White September 2, 2017 at 8:39 am

    @Saga Boy. The issue is not one of transforming into a Cuban lifestyle. Cuba is Cuba with its own history and path of development. What we need to do is find a path of development for our country, which is based on our own particular history and which for the first time empowers our people to take control of our lives and build a more humane society from the ruins of slavery and colonialism that we have inherited. The first step is to get Bajans of all persuasions to begin to discuss all our country’s problems on a serious basis and to try to work out together solutions that favour the majority. Those of us who unite around this vision will then have to work out together each step we have to take to realise this vision. There are no pre-set formulas.

  26. jrsmith September 2, 2017 at 9:01 am

    Thats our problem we keep stepping over our real issues which can be put right if we can find the right people to manage (Barbados LTD),…….. Our problems our politicians is in over they heads , they have backed our people into a corner with no escape they do what they like, when they like no accountability to the black masses…………………………
    Why the white folk dont ever have to really challenge the government , why the big ups are so comfortable because they are all living protected assured lives …………… We should be like this should be like that , we should do like ours do as if we cant do or think for ourselves, we are bajans and thats who we should be barbados for us…………………………….
    As a little island , we are so fortunate to start at a level most parts
    the world would envy, we are losing it all…………………..
    Bajans must stop wasting they votes , in other words think be fore they vote, this disastrous party vote has destroyed our country, ………………………..We have a government who have the worlds longest things to do list , thats 9 years of nothing done ….
    Again , I will say ,we must guard our selves against our politicians our we will sink much deeper in the mire…………….
    We should be able to remove them from office as easy as they were installed ….we need an act of parliament to do so, the (Accountability Act 2017 ) ….. just think of this party returning to government we will all go mad ……………………………………….

    • Jennifer September 2, 2017 at 9:44 am

      @jrsmith – oh yes, backed our people into a corner with NO ESCAPE. Bang on. These people love this capitalist society with the minority in full control of the majority, getting THEIR education and working for pittance while our politicians keep pacifying them with rum and sardines (cheaper by the dozen). Any true INDEPENDANCE must be FOUGHT for. They love that uneven balancing of the scales while scales remain on their eyeballs.

  27. Tony Webster September 2, 2017 at 9:11 am

    @Tee White: very thin soup , Sir! Just answer Saga Boy’s simple question?

    You might even go to Cuba, to get a full Monty look at what passes for ” normal life” there. If you do go, I’ll go to D.P.R. K. ( or even Zimbabwe), so as to see for myself, hummuch BBC and CNN, et al…have published indeed distorted news of life in such havens of democratic humanity. You also could get your head examined ( for free) in Cuba, if you think the average Bajan is not aware of the pathetic efforts at painting a few patches of blue over such disintegrating communist relics.

    • Tee White September 2, 2017 at 1:16 pm

      @Tony Webster: I did answer Saga Boy’s question and he hasn’t responded so I’m not sure if you have appointed yourself as his spokesperson. I will take your failure to answer my question as confirmation that you have never lived in either Cuba or the DPRK and so your views on these countries have been formed under the influence of racist and anti-communist propaganda from the likes of the BBC, CNN and the other news outlets of global white supremacy. I’m sure you would also acknowledge that you speak for yourself and have never been given a mandate to speak for the ‘average Bajan’.

  28. Richard Braithwaite
    Richard Braithwaite September 2, 2017 at 9:12 am

    Veroniva Boyce ….!
    You said right …!
    Governmental involvement ..! Is needed !
    They ” sleepwalking “..!

  29. Castro September 2, 2017 at 9:32 am

    @Bret Blaldes….you’re the only one here that seem intelligent enough to decipher the article.

  30. Donild Trimp September 2, 2017 at 11:21 am

    @Bradg —- “This is a country where people flee half naked in boats to escape poverty and political oppression, in the thousands!”

    I see you are one of those who allows western propaganda to overpower you.

    Some of the happiest people in the world are Cubans living in Cuba.

    I can walk the streets of Havana at 1.00am without fear of being mugged.

    Try doing that in Barbados?

  31. charjoy September 2, 2017 at 11:29 am

    @brett blades I was thinking just like you. People too fast to condemn the man. Prejudices always trumps good ojbective thinking. At least he takes action, when last have any of you armchair analysts done anything to make a substantive contribution? talk talk talk criticise…gotta stop this sh— Comissiong is not the enemy, so just stop it. Still behaving like slaves…..damn foolishness

  32. Ossie Moore September 2, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    Be like Cuba ! Si , me gusta mucho Cuba , café y ron Cubano , el malecon en la habana , salsa y las mujeres bonitas.

  33. Ossie Moore September 2, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    I agree with you charjoy , black bajans are always too fast to condemn anyone who speaks negatively about Barbados ( a 3rd. world island that has now become a sh*t hole ).

    Even at one point Comissiong sounded like the average typical bajan , going in to denial and using the comparison factor by saying that :

    ” that the crisis was also manifesting itself in neighbouring Caribbean countries, including St Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and The Bahamas ”

    The typical bajans . . . cannot accept responsibility for their own actions and problems without dragging St Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica , The Bahamas and Guyana into the muck “

  34. Thunder September 2, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    Barbados has to pay because there is too much injustice, and it is the poor whose cries are not being heard,times are very hard, and they are some who are still getting richer,while the poor is getting poorer, some people have no where to turn.
    Steps must be taken to help the poor, and to also speak to the masses, to see what are the issues affecting them.

  35. Bradg September 2, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    @Donild trimp. Reading is an art my friend. Please do some practicing. You can find happy people all over the world, including Cuba. Nobody said you cant find happy people there. But if you think Cubans dont flee in the thousands on little rafts from Cuba you are living on another planet. Ever been to Miami????

  36. Donild Trimp September 2, 2017 at 10:12 pm

    @Bradg –
    Everything to know about Cuba is already known so entertaining a debate about Cuba at this time is unnecessary.

    Below is a little history lesson for you.

    Most Cuban exiles in the United States are both legally and self-described political refugees. This status allows them different treatment under U.S. immigration statutes than immigrants who are not categorized as political refugees.

    The first wave occurred after the Cuban Revolution of 1959 led by Fidel Castro.

    Many refugees came with the idea that the new government would not last long, and their stay in the U.S. was temporary. Homes, cars, and other properties in Cuba were left with family, friends, and relatives, who would take care of them until the Castro regime would fall, however, this was promptly stopped by the Castro government, with the forced confiscation of all properties belonging to anyone leaving the country.

    The CIA had spread rumors of a project by the communist government, to remove the parents’ custody of their children to indoctrinate them.

    Consequently, between November 1960 and October 1962, over 14,000 children were sent to the U.S. by their parents in Operation Peter Pan.

    Their parents sent them into the U.S in order to keep them from communist indoctrination, with many boys being sent to avoid getting drafted into the Cuban armed forces, and girls being put into the greatly politized Alphabetization Campaign.

  37. YOGI NI September 3, 2017 at 3:41 am

    David I’ve not agree with anything you said in a long time, but this is a very good article that those in power can pay some attention to. We need all hands and ideas on deck if we are to combat the crime situation in Barbados.

  38. Bradg September 3, 2017 at 6:16 am

    @Donild Trimp. This is old news my friend. Sadly you have the missed point……….

  39. Keen Observer September 3, 2017 at 8:31 am

    Cuba what. Cuba system was a type of slavery. Freedom of speech is important to human dignity. Commsiong could not be critical of the Cuban government in any way neither could he take to court the Cuban government. He does the Cuban people a disservice by pretending that Cuban have it so good.

  40. Sheron Inniss September 3, 2017 at 8:58 am

    I don’t want Barbados to be like Cuba. I want us to teach our children their true history; all of it; so they can move forward positively. Teach them to fish and we are on solid ground. Teach them when to lead and when to follow. Teach them when it is better to walk away. Teach them the importance of following their dreams and not others; not even their parents dreams for them, or else they will be unhappy for life. Teach them values – honesty, integrity, respect for self and others, that they can make mistakes but that is not the end…..

    I would have to write a thesis.

  41. Tony Waterman September 3, 2017 at 10:42 pm

    @Bradg!!!!! I don’t want to say that you don’t know about what you are Talking, or even if you were around when it Happened (Castro’s Triumphant entry into Havana) that alone started the Rush out of Cuba to Miami just 90 Miles away, Castro had not even as yet made any Changes,These People fleeing Cuba, were not doung so because castro had done them anything, they were the “ELITE” of Cuba who were getting RICH on the Backs of the Cuban People, MOSTLY the BLACK Cubans who were at that time the Hewers of Wood and the Drawers of Water in Cuba, and worked Long and Hard for Pittances under the Dictatorial Government of Fulgencia Batista, The PAWN of the CIA.
    Castro’s Edict that ALL Cubans were the Same and should be treated as such, did NOT sit well with the Followers of Batista, they though that Castro would take away their Riches, so they took off to Miami anyway they could.

    Can anyone tell me how Freundel Stewart’s Attack on Owen Arthur, and MIa Mottly can Help us to rid the Island of Barbados of Guns and Drugs and the Crimes that are associated with those two things, and also, how does adding, T&T, Jamaica, Cuba to this problem, our problem, is of any help.
    Doing that is what got us here in the first place, because the Powers that be kept saying to us “OH!!! we Are NOT as bad as T&T, and Jamaica so we are OK, now we know for sure that there was no truthnto that, we are now up S***it Creek without any Paddle.


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