Banana Republic indeed!

| 12/12/2016 | 70 Comments

Cayman News ServiceSweet Pea writes: I am shocked to read in the newspaper that the beach vendor issue has still not been brought under control, and existing laws and regulations are being ignored as usual – not just by those who break them, but also by those who are meant to uphold them. Typical approach by a spineless government, which has become the norm in Cayman, no matter which party is holding the reins: Ignore the problem or try to find a solution that pacifies a few, rather than realizing the dangerous precedents that are being set and looking out for what is in the best interest of the entire nation.

Besides those vendors spoiling the peace and tranquility we once had on our beaches, it is scary as hell to think that anyone can start-up a business on crown property, lending jet skis, provide snorkeling trips and god knows what else. If there is no control over businesses being run on crown land, clearly there are no standards or enforcement regarding safety measures or the need for the owners and staff of water tour operators to have CPR and First Aid training. The same goes for those vendors who sell food on the beaches illegally – who is controlling and enforcing certain safety measures regarding proper food storing and handling or hygiene standards if government can’t even enforce the laws to keep them off the beaches? Scary!

The next step will be for some folks to peddle all kind of goods “made in China” on the beach, ever annoying the tourists and residents who have come to our beaches to sunbathe and relax. There are already some walking the beaches selling “ice cold coconut water” from their bags.

So my question is, where and when will the line be drawn and where will all of this stop? Does government not think that by allowing some to get away with this, soon more will follow? Are we going to allow 20 vendors, 50, or a 100 and more? Can I put a BBQ on the high water mark and sell burgers and hot dogs to anyone I want? How about a flea market on the beach? I fold out my blanket and sell some of my used goods. Soon there will be another 10, then 20 more. An easy sanity test to see whether something makes sense or not is to ask, would it still be ok if everyone starts doing it? I am sure you get the picture…

We are only a few steps away from having fenced off beach areas where hotels and condominium complexes will guard their residents and guests to ensure they can enjoy the beach in peace and quiet. If you don’t believe so, you are kidding yourself. People who invest thousands for a vacation staying beachfront, or people who invest millions for living beachfront will soon get fed up with this circus and demand that they will be safeguarded from pesky vendors and a circus-like atmosphere. Then what?

I used to get offended when people referred to the Cayman Islands as a banana republic but this is what we seem to have become. Cayman seems to be determined to become just like every other Caribbean island as quickly as possible. Nice!

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Let’s talk illegal beach vendors one has been doing well from kayaks along the 7 mb for a long time how much rental has he paid then onto beach next to the launching ramp in south sound. Look at the beach by white sands condos who is there running their dive businesses is there rental being paid who used to run their dive businesses from the same public beach and who has moved to get the space by the north west point launching ramp now that what we call OUR GOVERNMENT. Are they paying rental there now. Let’s talk about a public debate on this matter.

  2. Anonymous says:

    What government doesn’t seem to realize is by not addressing the situation they are pretty much agreeable to quasi gang culture and lawlessness. I’m surprised we haven’t heard of vendor squabbles stemmed by who’s encroaching on who’s turf yet but can’t imagine it’s been all flowers and free ice cream. By all measures it seems should I want to set up shop I should go right ahead and once badded my way with my soldato’s through any resistance, claim some turf of my own and ditch all usually required requesettes for operating a business. Heck once in there, I’ll go all out, – if anyone else wants a piece of the action they’ll have to come see me first with of course a fee for monthly protection. Racketeering…? – nah, just feeding my family who won’t go to public beach anymore until they become made into the business.

  3. John Lin says:

    Why on earth are these the only businesses in the Cayman Islands that don’t pay rent?
    The beach space they occupy is highly valuable.

    I don’t know how much they charge to rent a chair for a day because I avoid going near the public beach now. But let’s say it’s $10 per day. Beach chairs can be bought for about $100. So after TEN DAYS you’ve got your investment back and then it’s all profit.

    Let’s say you own 20 chairs and are collecting $200 per day, that’s about $73,000 a year. With no rent or other overhead.

    And they should NEVER be allowed to take up the front part of the beach.

    • Anonymous says:

      Can I come down from the cold , and now snowy US to walk 7MB for the winter and sell some trinkets? I won’t have a work permit, but I will be happy, warm and be working to pay for my hotel bill ( and a few drinks). I will probably be gone by May. Please advice.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Born and raised going to public beach my whole life, now, cause I’m white, I’m approached as if I’m a cruise ship passenger by work permit holding Jamaicans. WTF?

    • Anonymous says:

      Hey fool get used to it as it is the paint job. The new wave is to go after all people of light color. Want to do a breakdown on traffic offences, crime, problems overall? The person who beat up the police officer at the traffic stop. Come on people you are letting this ghetto attitude affect this whole country.

    • Anonymous says:

      The minister of tourism has got to step in here and preserve Cayman’s reputation as a destination where tourists are not pestered….Please Moses take control of the right for all visitors to the beach having the right to quiet enjoyment.

    • Anonymous says:

      Good point, how many of these freeloading, tranquility ruining, pests are even Caymanian?

  5. Anon says:

    Public beach is now Ghetto beach. I hate going there seeing all these hustlers and racks of chairs crowding the place. They’ve taken the beach over and the tourism arm of government is just letting it happen. Imagine if Smith’s Cove beach became commercialized just the same. Ridiculous.

    • Anonymous says:

      And Mr Dart & Mr Boates will make sure we have safe proper beaches. Get that access open on Boggy Sound Road please Mr. Boates.

      • Anonymous says:

        Mr Boates who is apparently so concerned about Cayman, should get down to Smiths Cove and scrub clean the graffiti on the road.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Well, as we have seen by recent election outcomes in other countries, people are fed up with Governments trying to be politically correct and ignoring issues. It all will come to a boiling point and people running for election will have to decide whether they want votes from a few families who think for some reason laws don’t apply to them, or do they want votes from those families who are fed up with the lawless society that has been created and who are wishing for peace and order to be returned to these Islands?

  7. Anonymous says:

    First of all. Who are you to judge anyone trying to make a decent living? Second of all, the cost of living in Cayman is so darn high, no one can’t even afford to live there anymore! Our government has turned iCayman into a tax Haven for the Rich and Powerful. Whether you don’t like to hear the truth or not, they have sold us out to the Devil. The only sense you made in your statement in which I agreed with you is the part where you stated that food regulations should be enforced. So, until you walk a mile in these people’s shoes, until you can get CUC high outrageous bills to go down, until you can get government to put our Caymanians back to work, until you can get government to stop selling out all of our beach land to foreigners and most of all make the cost of living go down, then you can come with judging others, but no matter what, you’re still not God!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      So it’s ok to make a living while breaking the law and hundreds or thousands of other beach goers have to suffer the effects of someone trying to earn a living?

      What if I want to set up a night club in my garage, music blaring all night, drunken obnoxious guests leaving my establishment, cars parking along the road, blocking everyone else’s driveway. Hey, I just want to earn a living right, so nobody should have a problem with that!

      • Tuna says:

        You don’t like it jump on the same f@ckn plane you came here on every caribbean country had beach vendors you cracker! CAYMAN for CAYMANIANS!

      • Anonymous says:

        Sound like Walkers Road by Cayman Prep every damn day from 2:30 to 3:15.

    • SSM345 says:

      7:31, earn a living legally like the rest of us.

    • Anonymous says:

      I pay those high bills as well my friend. But I do so with dollars earned legally.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Maybe if the fathers paid maintenance when they should have, then these ‘vendors’ would have gotten the education they should have when they were young. Similar if the fathers were involved, not just fleeting in and out of the child’s life, then they would not have ended up in jail.

    Equally these vendors have options to register and make legal their trade. Lobby the government, but equally show that you are providing something which makes Cayman proud.

    • Anonymous says:

      At least they’re not digging up the beach.

    • Anonymous says:

      How exactly does the maintenance coincide with the education?

      Have you been around some of these “moms”? Geez, I think some of these Dads just bailed out from the shear nonsense these drama-mamas bring to the table. Might be helpful to address the instigator, not the reaction.

      And, cue dislikes and abusive comments…

      • Anonymous says:


      • Anonymous says:

        Bailing out means they are avoiding their responsibility and keeping the child with the drama mama instead of being around the child to show level headed behavior exists.

        Common knowledge is that the fathers do not want responsibility and rather complain. Then you can’t blame the drama mama for taking care of the child on her own without any reliable consistent support.

        Now if it is the case that one or both parents are neglectful, then report them and have the child removed to be placed in a better situation.

        Provide a solution for each complaint. There is nothing productive about complaining with no suggestions on how to fix.

      • Anonymous says:

        Because children need guidance. Because children need structure and boundaries. Because children grow into adults. Because children without such parental guidance tend to be selfish, directionless, and burdens to society. Because selfish directionless idiots bother tourists on the beach. It is ‘There – For’ Logic 101, at even the crappiest junior college.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Enforcing laws costs wotes.

    • Anonymous says:

      yup, but so does not enforcing them. I am for one are sick and tired of Governments turning a blind eye……….So my vote will go to someone who is determined to restore some order………

  10. Anonymous says:

    If you have ever been to Bali, Indonesia, you’ll know what Cayman beaches will look like soon, unless our spineless government decides to grow some…courage. Vendors constantly harassing beach goers with goods for sales, offering drinks, etc. It ruins the experience for any tourist. Sad to see that’s how Cayman has become. Let’s hope new faces step-up to the plate at the coming election, and voters have the wisdom to put them in government. Cayman NEEDS a change.

    • SSM345 says:

      Jamaica is a much closer example, if you haven’t been there, I can assure you going to the beach is hell in terms of harassment.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Mt trashmore, trashing the beach, trashing the silience with bass booomin, trashing safety with high crime, trashin the streets with dirt bikes, trashing my once loved morning jog because some trash is going to run me over. I’d say Jamaica soon come to Cayman, but I tink we already know its already here.

    • Anonymous says:

      Like it or not, the culture of Jamaica, the little good and the bad is here but not one MLA or prospective candidate will speak up against it because they have been so foolish about claiming one of their ancestors from 8 generations ago came from Jamaica plus good voting base, people who need jobs!

      If Caymanians and so-called ‘paper’-Jamaican now Caymanians, don’t stand up against bringing the negative actions here we all suffer.

      But they think Cayman can sustain what Jamaica (with more natural resources, more natural beauty, more land, more people) couldn’t do and they want to come here or some think importing poverty or creating imported competition for professional jobs/businesses left by the other expats is going to help their own people? Very sorry for future of Cayman and Caymanians, but the expats who want to stay here are also too greedy and think they’ll survive long enough to make their money and leave

      • Anonymous says:

        Spot on, from a very concerned Caymanian with young children wondering what world they are going to grow up in and what opportunities, or not, will exist on our island.

      • Anonymous says:

        All of you are full of shit an very ignorant to the fact,every watersports company licenced or not has to work off of crown property,on the beach side of every hotel or condo lies the same property but I bet you all can’t spread your towel there n enjoy the beach without being told to leave By a security guard who doesn’t speak much English public beach is the least of you all concern the vendors do nothing more than protect n provide for the tourist even cleaning up after them providing life guard duties n much much more,so I say to you all, GO FLY A KITE

    • Anonymous says:

      All tourists hate being harassed like they are in Jamaica, and that is why they come here. Now we are allowing our special tourist product to be poisoned by yet another Jamaican import.
      Get rid of this disease before it gets out of control.

  12. Sunrise says:

    I do not agree with uncontrollable entrepreneurs, you have to be able as a governing body to regulate all businesses on Island. I thought that is what the Department of Commerce and Investments were doing. I thought they had a training course for these folks, which included CPR. Now, why train these folks, which the majority are Caymanians, then say screw off, you can’t operate here. Instead of always just beating a child for misbehaving, why not teach them to act correctly. Why are there no suggestions, as to how this can be improved. I would rather see people employed being able to pay their bills, than unemployed committing crimes!! In the future instead of just condemning, put forth a solution also.

    • Anonymous says:

      The vendors can go to DCI and apply for licences. Then they can go to the govt to request approval to provide a service on the beach.

      I personally do not want them there. So I hope they are all removed. The beach looks tacky and cheap with them there. Cayman is supposed to be a high end destination. Vendors in the manner they are presenting themselves are not giving that image.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Its called a third world destination. People come from the first world to see people living in poverty selling crafts on the beach That is what Cayman is, embrace the island jungle lifestyle and live in peace with those that have not. Nobody is fooling anybody, the tourists realize the dictators and rulers have it all, its no different than anywhere else in the world.

  14. The Enforcer says:

    Ghetto ass beach. Daily harassment of tourists and locals alike. No wotes for those who choose to ignore the issue. Lock them all up!

  15. Anonymous says:

    thank you for nothing ppm……
    sad to say that mac will likely do even less with this issue…..

  16. Anonymous says:

    caymanians are their own worst enemy….public beach is a disgrace….. very sad to see what has happened to one of caymans true treasures……

    • Doh says:

      Dart happened.

      • Jotnar says:

        I know he is a popular scapegoat, but please explain how Dart is responsible for unlicenced vendors on the public beach. Do you think the position would be any different if West bay Road was still open? The only thing I can think of is that in improving the car parking he has made the public beach more accessible and a bigger number of users for these people to target, but that’s about it.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Why should I have to pay for a T&B, rent, liability and health insurance as well as pension, when these vendors can just break the law with impunity? And those of us who do the right thing, in tourism face competition from those with far lower overheads. It really ticks me off when I hear a tourist say, “they were selling Caymanite on the beach for half that.” Of course they were, they have no overhead.

    Once again, the honest are penalized and the dishonest rewarded.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why as the election is on the horizon fella and who in there right mind wants to upset a voter. Now that’s Progressive!

  18. Anonymous says:

    By and large, what you refer to as far as flouting various laws, whether it be the beach vendors topic of this discussion , dirt bike riders tossing wheelies ( recent discussion ) add your law being broken here in space provided :” ______________ ” , is not special to just Cayman , but somewhat the way most places tend to be in the Caribbean & surrounding neighboring nations . It is what attracted many to such places ,including Cayman. It happens to be what attracted me to Cayman . But modern times are catching up with olden times here , how do you strike the balance ? I somewhat agree with the above poster ” lo Cal ” , who writes about opportunity & income for some of these vendors in their own country. For a moment , put yourselves in their shoes for a day. They are not stealing, they are for the most part pleasant people to deal with & they are providing a tourism service on the beach. What remains is the ‘Law’ issue to be resolved that allows them to work, but in such a way to accommodate various interests in the area, not the least of which is annoyed beach goers & condo owners. Do the fishermen & fisher-women that sell snapper on the beach cove near Mary Street possess a T.B.L to clean & sell fish from the plywood cutting tables located there ? Is there a deep drop Snapper fish category for a vendor to get such a license , provided by the D.C.I to clean & sell fish ? I didn’t think there was .

    • Anonymous says:

      It would come under a retail licence. As they are selling a good.

    • Doh says:

      Fishermen are not subject to T&B laws you ignorant dolt.

      • Anonymous says:

        I am not the poster, but I did not know fisherman do not need a T&B. So maybe that is a loophole unknown to the masses. And why don’t they need one? What makes selling fish more Caymanian the selling whatever? If I sell thatch work, or heavy cake is that also exempt? That is old school as well.

        • Anonymous says:

          Heavy cake, thatch, fish etc for sale are all under retail. Every individual that is selling a product or service requires a trade and business licence.

          • Anonymous says:

            Thank you for the clarification, it only seems reasonable that it would be so. But logic is often lacking here.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Is anyone surprised by this? Typical of the attitude of the public and public sector. If the rules are designed to protect/benefit Caymanians, they should never be enforced against Caymanians.

  20. Anonymous says:

    And it is getting the same at the Old Bath House/Governor’s House site. All kinds of commercial activities, Additionally, there is no concern for residents just swimming there, with the kayak tours just beaching recklessly amongst swimmers (while also taking up the beach space). And the swim area roped buoys have been removed (or moved to in front of the condo next door), presumably officially, further reducing the safety considerations (though many commercial operators did not pay these any mind).

  21. PPM Donkeys! says:

    So I wonder what would. Happen if I didn’t pay all licenses to government for my business? I would be shut down and fined in a second.
    I can agree, these people are trying to make a dollar but abide by the law. In fact I’m fore warning the government right now. I’m going to head down there trip over one of these vendors properties breaking a leg and take government to court for my injuries as i bet none of these persons have insurance. Hey anyone in, I’ll be down there tomorrow around noon! Oh and I won’t be paying any of my fees this year!

    In all seriousness, Government you are a damm joke and the idiot PPM just gave you a raise. Sh…….t!

  22. Anonymous says:

    I love this government attitude towards the illegal beach vendors, it means I don’t really need a work permit or residents card to stay here. YeeeHaaa!!!

  23. Anonymous says:

    Just like other employment issues that Government turns a blind eye to.

  24. lo-cal says:

    its a good point but here is something else to consider.

    These “Vendors” selling things on the beach are not stealing from anyone. They are trying to make a living in their home island as best they can. Some have police records and some do not have any qualification to secure a private sector job so what exactly do you propose they do? everyone is crying out to government to fix this and fix that but the core issue is that private sector stopped hiring locals displacing a segment of the community that would otherwise be working. Go to any shop in town, any supper market, any fast food place or any restaurant and see how many locals work there.

    Before you get to the they don’t want to work argument, consider this. Would you work for a salary that does not afford you to live decently in your country? $1k per month sound like lot according to postings on this site but we all know that 1$k is worthless in this economy. When you do get a raise it is usually 0.50 cents at a time.

    Instead of pressing the issue of people trying to make a living why not deal with the core problem of businesses hiring slave labor to maximize profit. You can name anyone of the local prominent business families in Cayman and you will see they don’t hire locals. 30K permits and counting. I guess you will say these are all accountants!

    Create a section of the beach where tourist can purchase goods if they want to and provide training and guidelines of what can and cant be done. Staff it with one RCIP officer for enforcement.

    • Anonymous says:

      whose fault is it that they have a police record and no qualification of any kind? This is even more disturbing for the beachgoers- being around ex-convicts of all types.
      NOBODY wants to purchase goods on the beach.

      • Lo-cal says:

        So what do they do. Stick their heads in the sand and wait to die?

        • Anonymous says:

          If they are healthy individuals they might want to get some skills and education, that is where your government MUST step in and pay for that and provide supplemental income while one is being educated.
          So demand that from CIG.
          The beach is PUBLIC, not yours to make money off it.

    • Anonymous says:

      They can apply for a trade and business licence. They can make more than 1000 a month by getting a job somewhere. Or more than one. I personally have more than one job. There is no shame in earning your keep.

      The same expats that work at the supermarkets and shops make more than 1000 a month. They work hard. They do not live above their means. Maybe tighten the belt for a few years and save.

      You provided all excuses and no solutions.

      If all of them are ex cons and have minimal education. Their past does not define their future. Community college can help them. Lots of govt help for locals to attend school.

      • Anonymous says:

        5:10 You are very naive. They do this work because they make a lot more money than $1,000 per month. They are trying to feed their families and that’s fair enough but to think they would just stop making money so they can attend school? You must be mad.

        • Anonymous says:

          Drug dealers make a lot more money than $1,000 per month. They are trying to feed their families and that’s fair enough but to think they would just stop making money so they can attend school? You must be mad.
          See how you sound 8:50…

      • lo-cal says:

        $1k in the Phillipines is not the same as $1k in Cayman. I also provided a solution which is to create a section of the beach maybe at the parking lot. Enforce it with the RCIP as one should be at the beach anyway.

        If you keep pushing these people out of society to the point that they cant feed themselves then you will really need to move. When the baby is crying for food and they have no income it becomes by any means necessary! I don’t think anyone wants that.

        I also do not hear any complaint about other people playing loud music on the beach. Only the ones from Jam and Cayman. What about the Canadians and the likes, they do the same.

    • Anonymous says:

      But they are breaking the law!!!! They can’t just randomly pick and chose which laws and regulations apply and which not. Where will it stop? If you create a section for vendors, you know just as well that soon someone is going to set up outside that section, and then the next one and then the next one.

      It needs to stop!

  25. Anonymous says:

    Very sad state of affairs. I no longer take my kids to public beach given it is a complete gong show with chairs now taking up all of the “public space”. The smell of gas/fumes from jet skis etc. As a 25 year resident it makes me sad when I think of quiet Sundays at public beach in days gone by.

    As we all know Cayman legislators are great are coming up with laws but have no interest in enforcement. Where to start, traffic laws, selling cars on side of the road, planning laws, littering, noise bylaws, parking and the list goes on.

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