Group Title: Caribbean today (Miami, Fla.)
Title: Caribbean today
Full Citation
Permanent Link:
 Material Information
Title: Caribbean today
Uniform Title: Caribbean today (Miami, Fla.)
Physical Description: v. : ill. ; 38 cm.
Language: English
Publisher: Caribbean Pub. Services
Place of Publication: Miami Fl
Miami Fl
Publication Date: January 2007
Copyright Date: 2010
Frequency: monthly
Subject: Economic conditions -- Periodicals -- Caribbean Area   ( lcsh )
Politics and government -- Periodicals -- Caribbean Area   ( lcsh )
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
Additional Physical Form: Also available by subscription via the World Wide Web.
Dates or Sequential Designation: Began in 1989.
General Note: Description based on: Vol. 10, no. 3, published in 1999; title from cover.
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Bibliographic ID: UF00099285
Volume ID: VID00013
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 40985415


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St. Lucia's
new Prime
Minister Sir
has select-
ed a mix of
old and new
faces to
make up the
Cabinet following his party's
election victory last month,
page 4.

Caribbean-born teenager
Jermaine Bridgmohan, right,
has become the latest riding
sensation, following his
brother Shaun's footsteps into
thoroughbred racing,
page 19.

News .......................................2...
Local ................................. ........6...
Feature .....................................7...


- Trinidad and Tobago's Andre
Neverson has become the United
States Marshal Service's most
wanted criminal from the
Caribbean, page 2.

Viewpoint ............................... 9 Books .....................................14
Food/Health........................... 11 Arts/Entertainment ................15
Tourism/Travel .................... 12 Business ...............................17

Sport .......................................19
Region ...................................21
Politics ...................................22

O Tel: (305) 238-2868
Vol. 18 No. 2 Jamaica: 654-7782

W e

c 0 V

e r



T&T's Neverson is lone Caribbean

national on U.S. 'Most Wanted' list

February decision

on 'Grenada 13'

NEW YORK A Trinidadian
remains the lone Caribbean
national on the United States
Marshals "15 Most Wanted" list.
The U.S. Marshals said
that Andre Neverson, 39, is
wanted, since 2002, for the
fatal shooting of his ex-girl-
friend and sister in New York.
"Andre Neverson has a
history of violence and numer-
ous prior convictions," said
Bob Finan, assistant director
and head of the U.S. Marshals
Service Criminal Division.
"He must be brought to jus-
Finan said Neverson has
been on the run since alleged-
ly abducting and killing his
Trinidadian ex-girlfriend,
whose body was found in a
parking lot in Brooklyn, on
July 10, 2002, two days after
she was reported missing. He
also said Neverson allegedly
shot his sister dead in her
Brooklyn apartment on July 8.
Finan said Neverson, who was
on parole violation in New
York State, is also wanted for
re-entering the U.S., from
Trinidad, illegally.
The U.S. Marshals Service
also reported that on Nov. 6,
2002, the fugitive, armed with
a handgun, allegedly entered
the home of another ex-girl-
friend in an attempt to visit
his daughter. The woman's

brother interrupted the unan-
nounced visit, and Neverson
fled with no further incident.
The New York City Police
Department searched the area
for the felon, but never locat-
ed him.

He said Neverson speaks
several languages, and uses
several disguises and aliases,
such as "Andre Humphrey",
"Andre HL ndi rn "Troy
and "Troy
Hfk ind rn a l i
According to
the U.S.
Service, "the
fugitive is a
Neverson black male,
who was born
in Trinidad and Tobago May
5, 1964. He is about six-feet
two-inches tall and weighs
approximately 240 pounds.
He has brown eyes, black
hair and a muscular build.
Investigators believe the want-
ed man is computer literate.
"His criminal history
includes one conviction for
assault, two for weapons
offenses and one for attempt-
ed murder. He served nearly
five years in the custody of

correctional authorities in
New York for prior convic-
tions, and was deported July
7, 2000, as an aggravated
felon. He illegally re-entered
the United States in
September 2000 by using a
false Jamaican passport", the
agency added.

The U.S. Marshals Service
describe Neverson as "6 feet,
2 inches tall, and at one time
weighed 240 lbs. Neverson is
bald and has a scar on his
forehead. Neverson may dis-
guise his appearance by wear-
ing a wig and is known to
carry a firearm. Neverson
may be thinner than noted in
his wanted poster (240
pounds) and may work as a
bouncer at a night club.
NL \ L r,,, 1 may be buying
and selling cars," the agency
added. "He was seen at a car
auction in Trinidad. He was
also big into music and dee
jaying. His company was
DTROY Productions. He also
bounced at Caribe-themed
clubs in Brooklyn. He is a
ladies man and apparently has
the gift of gab. The women
are usually professional type,
nurses, teachers etc. His father
and mother still reside in

Judicial Committee of the
Privy Council has reserved
judgment until next month in
the appeal brought by "the
Grenada 13" who were con-
victed for the murders of
Grenada Prime Minister
Maurice Bishop and 11
others during the 1983
After three days of
hearing last month,
President Lord Bingham
said the board needed time
to arrive at a decision.
Lawyers argued for the
release of Bernard Coard
and 12 others for their
roles in the execution of Bi-
Bishop and members of his
government on Oct. 19,
1983. Bishop and others were
killed during an internal battle
among members of the
People's Revolutionary
Government in St. George's.
The appeal was heard
before Lords Bingham,
Hoffmann, Carswell, Brown,
and Chief Justice Lord Phillips.
The appellants were
Coard, Callistus Bernard,
Lester Redhead, Christopher
Stroude, Hudson Austin,
Liam James, Leon Cornwall,
John Anthony Ventour, Dave
Bartholomew, Ewart Layne,
Colville McBarnett, Selwyn

Strachan and Cecil Prime.
The appeal was heard days
after three others involved in
the 1983 coup Andy Mitchell,
Vincent Joseph, and Cosmos
Richardson were freed after
spending their court imposed

jail sentences. Coard and the
others argued, should they not
be released, they were entitled
to be re-sentenced in Grenada.
They are also argued that
the governor general's imposi-
tion of an order that they be
detained for the rest of their
natural lives was unconstitu-
tional. They contend that it
was a breach of the rules of
natural justice to impose a life
sentence without allowing
them an opportunity to make

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January 2007



n e WS

ST. GEORGE'S Grenada,
CMC The Grenada govern-
ment says it will not bow to
pressures from an internation-
al oil explorer to settle a suit
against Energy Minister
Gregory Bowen out of court.
In a letter sent to Prime
Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell
dated Dec. 14, Jack Grynbery,
chairman of RSM Production
Corporation, said he was
seeking the prime minister's
support "to facilitate a
resolution to the ongoing
disagreement between the
Government of Grenada
and RSM Production
Corporation". The Grenada
government had entered into
an oil exploration agreement
with Grynbery in 1996, and in
the letter wrote of an interna-
tional oil and gas company as
a potential partner with con-
trolling interest in the RSM
Grenada Production License.

Mix of old and
CASTRIES, St. Lucia, CMC -
Prime Minister Sir John
Compton has named a 12-mem-
ber Cabinet that was sworn into
office last month promising to
deal effectively with the socio-
economic problems confronting
St. Lucia.
In addition, Sir John has also
named four junior ministers.
Sir John's United Workers
Party (UWP) won the Dec. 11
general elections by defeating the
St. Lucia Labour Party of former
Prime Minister Dr. Kenny
Anthony by an 11 to six margin.
Sir John said that the crime

He said that if the Mitchell
administration agrees to the
new proposals "RSM will
undertake to
end both the
arbitration in
front of the
Centre for
Settlement of
Disputes and
Bowen the court
action filed in
the United Sates District
"Furthermore I would
then arrange for a full public
apology to Minister B, .n .

The suit in the New York
court accuses Bowen of
attempting to exact "signifi-
cant bribe payments from
RSM and Grynberg in order
for them to do business in

Grenada". It also accused
Bowen of obstructing, harass-
ing and intimidating "RSM
and Grynberg in their efforts
to explore, develop and pro-
duce Grenada's oil and natu-
ral gas rL mIuriL .
But Bowen has dismissed
the accusations saying that he
had never met or held any dis-
cussions with Grynberg.
During the recent budget
presentation, Bowen spoke at
length on the matter stating
and referred to a recent inci-
dent involving Grynberg one
of Grenada's trade ambassa-
dors in New York, Michael
Melnick. Bowen said that the
Mitchell government would
not settle the matter out of
court and was also not pre-
pared to sit idly by and allow
the island's reputation to be

new make up St. Lucia's Cabinet

situation had become a top pri-
ority for his new administration
and that he had chosen Dr.
Keith Mondesir to head the
Home Affairs and National
Security Ministry.
He created a new Ministry
of Housing and Urban
Renewal, coupled with Local
Government, and has handed
the portfolio to attorney
Richard Frederick, another first
time government minister.
Sir John also spoke of the
challenge ahead in the field of
tourism and the need to appoint
someone who had the knowl-

edge and experience to guide
the country in a vital area of the
economy. Hotelier Allen
Chastanet was named tourism
Sir John also lauded the
appointment of former public
servant Ausbert d'Auvergne
to head the Ministry of
Economic Planning, National
Development and the Public
Other appointments
announced by Sir John, who
will hold the finance ministry,
are: Leonard Spider Montoute,
minister of social transforma-

dan corson's so-

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Popular Jamaican actor
and writer Charles
Hyatt died in Florida

York City Council has hon-
ored the first Haitian
American to be elevated by
the Roman Catholic Church
to the post of bishop.
In a statement, the council
described Bishop Guy A.
Sansaricq as a m uriL of
immense pride in the city's
immigrant community, partic-
ularly, Haitians Americans".
"I want to congratulate
Bishop Sansaricq and applaud
his long commitment of serv-
ice to our community," said
Councilmember Leroy
Comrie, who presented the
proclamation to Bishop
"I represent a large com-
munity of Haitian Americans
who are immensely proud of
the achievements of his holi-
"I want to convey their
sentiments here in the city
council and join them in cele-

Brooklyn, but he has family in
Trinidad and St. Vincent.
"Due to his past criminal
history and the nature of his
alleged crimes, he is consid-
ered armed and dangerous,
the agency stated. He also is
wanted by the U.S. Bureau of
Immigration and Customs
Enforcement, Division of
Parole for New York State

on Jan. 1 after battling can-
cer. He was 75.
The Kingston-born
Hyatt appeared many
times in Jamaica's pan-
tomimes and other stage
and screen productions
in the Caribbean island
and overseas, including
"Busha Bluebeard",
"BLJd\\rd "Old Story
Time", "Two Can Play"
and "Smile Orange".
"Uncle Charlie" also
hosted the radio pro-
gram "It's Charlie's
Time" in Jamaica.
Hyatt is survived by
four children, grandchil-
dren, great-grandchildren
and his wife Marjorie.

rating the success of a reli-
gious leader whom is a ster-
ling example of the immigrant


contribution to our city and
Bishop Sansaricq, 72,
who studied in Canada, was
ordained as bishop on Aug.
22, and also serves as the aux-
iliary bishop of the Brooklyn

and the New York Police
U.S. law enforcement offi-
cers are asking anyone with
information about Neverson's
movements or whereabouts to
contact the U.S. Marshals at

Compiled from multiple
sources, including CMC and
U.S. Marshals Service.

Grenada to defend suit in U.S. court

January 2007

Charles Hyatt, Jamaican

actor, dies in Florida

New York City Council

honors Haitian bishop

T&T's Neverson is lone Caribbean

national on U.S. 'Most Wanted' list


January 2007


n e WS

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LO c n


Photograph by Derrick A. Scott
Jamaica's Minister of Labor and Social Security Derrick Kellier, left, greets 85-year-old Hazel Morris, one of the first persons to be
employed in the Jamaica Central Labor Organization's (JCLO) overseas work program. Kellier and Morris met at the JCLO's annu-
al awards luncheon last month in Washington D.C., United States, to honor long serving members of the JCLO. Deanna Cantu
was honored for 37 years; Yvonne Dixon for 34 years; Grace Brown, 25 years; and Ambassador Richard Pierce, five years. The
minister gave the keynote address at the function, explaining that the provision of overseas work for the people of the Caribbean
is vital to the region's economies, societies and quality of life of the people.

Jamaica's consulate in Miami

announces new passport rules

Effective this month
there will be several
changes in office
procedures at the Consulate
General of Jamaica in Miami.
The lobby will now open
to the public from 9 a.m. to
noon, Mondays to Fridays.
The fees for passport renewal
will be increased to $105 for
adults and $75 for children
under age 18 years. The cost
of replacing passports is $185
for adults and $125 for chil-
The information was
made public in a press release

issued last month. According
to the release issued by the
consulate, the general fees
include mailing cost
for all applications,
whether by mail or
for those submitted
at the window. All
processed passports
will now be mailed
to passport appli-

Meanwhile, processing
time for all applications
remains at six weeks for win-

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of Interestingtrades 305-444-9461

dow applications and eight
weeks for those mailed to the
The consulate
will no
issue tem-
(EC), as
these will
no longer be
accepted by the United States'
Department of Homeland
Security (DHS) from persons
entering the U.S.
The new ruling by them
DHS coincides with the new
immigration law, known as the
Western Hemisphere Travel
Initiative, which goes into
effect on Jan. 23. That law
states that all traveling U.S.
citizens and residents must
be in possession of a valid
Meanwhile, Jamaica'so
Consul General, Ricardow
Allicock has urged all v
Jamaicans, Americans and
other nationals wishing to
travel abroad to have a valid
passport prior to departing
the U.S.
The office of the con-
sulate is located in downtown
Miami at the Ingraham

Suite 842. Persons can con-
tact the office at 305-374-8431.

Visiting rights

'IMMIGRATION for spouses of

f KORNER U.S. residents

QUESTION: I am a Caribbean
national living and working in
the Cayman Islands. I have
been engaged to my baby
father, an American citizen for
over five years and we lived
together while he was in
Jamaica. We have a four-year-
old daughter together and have
known each other for over 15
years. He wants us to get mar-
ried now, but I only need to be
able to visit him or be able to
accompany him on trips to his
home in the U.S. on occasions,
because I am working in the
Cayman Islands, and my daugh-
ter is going to school in
Jamaica. I want to marry him
very much but do I have to live
in the U.S.?

ANSWER: Your question is
rare, especially since so many
Caribbean and other immi-
grants yearn to marry a U.S.
citizen to settle in the U.S. and
earn immigration benefits,
says attorney Dolly Hassan.
But you can get married and
maintain visits without actual-
ly living in the U.S. You can
stay married that way, but
under U.S. immigration laws,
if he petitions for you and
your application is approved
for permanent residency, you
will be required to live in the
However, since you do not
wish for him to petition for
you, then you will not be
affected by that clause, added
Hassan, and the U.S. immigra-
tion would not be involved.
However, you'll need to simply
maintain a visitor's visa and
not overstay the time allotted
upon entry at the border.
Note also that should you
change your mind after the
marriage and wish to settle
fully with your spouse, he can
petition for you using the I-
130 form or also sponsor you

before hand as a fiance and
get married within 90 days of
you arriving in the country.
For the sponsorship after
marriage route, however, the
U.S. Immigration and
Naturalization Service must
approve your application and
the U.S. State Department
visa bulletin must also show
that a spouse immigrant visa is
Since you are outside the
U.S., when your visa petition
is approved, and when an
immigrant visa number
becomes available, you will be
notified to go to the local U.S.
consulate to complete the pro-
cessing for the visa. If you are
legally inside the U.S. when
your visa petition is approved,
and an immigrant visa number
becomes available, you may
use Form 1-485 to apply to
adjust to that of a lawful per-
manent resident, according to
the U.S. immigration laws.

This column, compiled by
Felicia Persaud, is created
especially for immigrants
concerned or unsure of issues
pertaining to the United
States immigration law. It
answers some of our readers'
frequently asked questions
and provides responses from
qualified immigration attor-
neys and advocates lobbying
for the U.S. immigration
Log on to www. immigra-
tionkornercom and submit
your questions. Personal
answers will not be provided
Answers provided are for infor-
mation purposes only, and does
not create attorney-client rela-
tionship, nor is it a substitute
for "legal advice", which can
only be given by a competent
attorney after reviewing all the
facts of the case.

Mix of old and new make up St. Lucia's Cabinet

tion, human services, youth and
sports; Rufus Bousquet, minis-
ter of external affairs, financial
services and broadcasting; and
Stephenson King, minister for
health and labor.
The Cabinet will also
include Ezekiel Joseph, minister
for agriculture and fisheries;
Guy Joseph, minister for com-
munications, works and trans-
port and public utilities; Arsen
James, minister for education
and culture; and Guy Mayers,
the former head of the private

sector grouping here, as the
minister for trade, industry and
The junior ministerial port-
folios will be held by Tessa
Mangal, in social transforma-
tion, women affairs, youth and
sports; Marcus Nicholas, minis-
ter in the Ministry of
Agriculture; Gaspard
Charlemagne, minister in the
Ministry of Education; and
Edmund Estephane, minister in
the Ministry of Trade, Industry
and Commerce.

January 2007


F nT U R 6

2006: The best and worst of times for the Caribbean


PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad,
CMC It was the best of times
and the worst of times.
It was a year of new begin-
nings as the much-anticipated
Caribbean community Single
(CSM) was
ushered into
being and it
was a year of
endings as
common sight
in regional
skies for over
60 years, Portia Simpson Miller
made prepa- became Jamaica's
rations for its first female prime
final descent minister.
at the end of
the year.
Environmentally, there
were no hurricanes or major
disasters to affect the lush land-
scape of the Caribbean. Nor
did Mother Nature vent her
wrath on the spanking new
infrastructure being developed
in the Caribbean to host the
International Cricket Council
World Cup 2007.

However, politically, things
were different with many polit-
ical winds of change blowing
across the region. As it did
more than 200 years ago, Haiti
led the political scene with a
return to democratic rule in
February; while in Jamaica,
P.J. Patterson changed the
landscape by resigning in
March after 14 years as prime
minister paving the way for the
Caribbean community (CARI-
COM) state to become the sec-
ond regional country after

Dominica, to be led by a
woman prime minister.
Guyana's President
Bharrat Jagdeo secured a
another term after general
elections, but towards the end,
his former CARICOM col-
league Dr. Kenny Anthony was
not as fortunate as Sir John
Compton defied the odds in St.
Lucia and at 82, became the
oldest person in the Caribbean
to be elected as prime minister.
"Age is not a factor here, I
am not here running for the
Olympics. Age is really in the
state of mind, I am giving my
experience and my intelligence
that God gave to me. I am not
going for a marathon, I am not
going for the Olympics," Sir
John told the Caribbean Media
Corporation (CMC) shortly
after his victory.
In the volcano-ravaged
island of Montserrat, John
Osborne was replaced as chief
minister by surgeon Dr. Lowell
Lewis, who said he was deter-
mined to have his coalition
tion stay its
term follow-
ing the May
31 general
elections in
the British
Lewis has Bharrat Jagdeo
the backing secured another term
of Osborne in Guyana.
as well as
another for-
mer chief minister, David
Brandt, who won a seat as an
Bermuda's new Premier
Ewart Brown took up office
in October after also ousting

incumbent Alex Scott as head
of the ruling Progressive
Labour Party (PLP), while in
Belize, Prime Minister Said
Musa's ruling Peoples United
Party (PUP) suffered a humili-
ating loss at
the Local
elections to
the main
Party (UDP).
By year-
end, there Dr. Ewart Brown
were calls for ousted Alex Scott in
fresh elec- Bermuda.
tions not only
in Bermuda,
but in Jamaica, where the
Opposition Jamaica Labour
Party (JLP) is seeking to make
Prime Minister Portia Simpson
Miller the island's shortest-
serving prime ministers since
Independence in 1962.
Her reversal is largely due
to a scandal over the accept-
ance by the People's National
Party (PNP) a $470,000 cam-
paign donation from a Dutch-
based commodities firm,
Trafigura Beeher BV that also
saw the resignation of the
Information Minister Colin
Campbell, who was also the
party's general secretary.
Calls for general elections
also echoed in Trinidad and
Tobago, where the incumbent
Peoples National Movement
(PNM) will most likely face a
challenge in 2007 from the
main Opposition United
National Congress (UNC) and
the newly formed Congress of
the People (COP), a break-
away faction of the UNC led
by former Central Bank gover-

nor, Winston Dookeran.
Prime Minister Owen
Arthur continued to toy with
the idea of seeking a new man-
date from the Barbados elec-
torate with his Barbados
Labour Party (BLP) holding
regular weekly public meetings.
For its part, the Opposition
Democratic Labour Party
(DLP), headed once more by
attorney David Thompson,
says it is ready to answer
Arthur's bluff.

The electoral victories
removed the dark cloud over
the region's politics that saw
the conviction of former
Trinidad and Tobago's Prime
Minister Basdeo Panday and
the historic assassination of a
government minister in
The much-heralded CSM,
a first component of the efforts
by the regional governments to
establish a Caribbean Single
Market and Economy (CSME)
that would allow for the free
movement of goods, skills,
labor and services across the
region, came into being in two
stages in 2006.
In January, Barbados,
Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago,
Belize, Suriname and Guyana,
signed the CSM agreement at a
ceremony at the Mona campus
of the University of West
Indies (UWI), while the sub-
regional Organization of
Eastern Caribbean States
(OECS) did so in July, after
receiving assurances that their
participation would not place
them at a further disadvantage
within the CARICOM group-
The regional governments

have also agreed on the estab-
lishment of a $250 million
Regional Development Fund
(RDF) to help disadvantaged
countries. However, with the
possible exception of oil-rich
Trinidad and Tobago,
Caribbean countries in 2006
struggled to maintain economic
growth. The situation was not
helped by
the rising
global prices r
for oil and (
even though
some region-
al states
sought to
take advan-
tage of the
PetroCaribe Basdeo Panday was
initiative convicted in Trinidad
provided by and Tobago.
the interna-
tional financial and lending
agencies were warning of low
to moderate growth for the

Furthermore, the region's
plight has not been made any
easier by the positions adopted
by other countries within the
World Trade Organization
(WTO) particularly as they
relate to the Caribb.rni' prod-
ucts and services, such as rum,
sugar and bananas. In addition,
the proposed Economic
Partnership Agreement (EPA)
with Europe provided yet
another area of concern for the
region in 2006, particularly as
the Caribbean negotiators have
insisted that the new accord
must go beyond a trading
arrangement and embrace gen-


Caribbean spearheads call for slavery reparation


KINGSTON, Jamaica Mike
Henry, a veteran Opposition
Member of Parliament, wants
his resolution calling for repa-
ration for the slave trade to be
taken up by other parliaments
throughout the Caribbean
community (CARICOM).
"That would be my dream
and my hope, because anything
done in isolation will not have
the same impact," said Henry,
in an interview with the
Caribbean Media Corporation
And, in an impassioned
appeal to "all my Caribbean
colleagues," Henry said it was
crucial to recognize the impor-
tance of forging a united posi-
tion on the matter bIn.,tuL, in
that way, we would be able to
overcome the obstacles that
relate to it, remembering that
the divide-and-rule strategy has
always been used to keep us
where we are."
The issue should be picked

up by individual parliaments
within CARICOM, and also by
the Assembly of Caribbean
Community Parliamentarians
(ACCP), Henry ,ui..Lss It
would, he contends, be an
appropriate issue on which to
mobilize and make AACP
more relevant.

Henry's reparations
resolution will be debated
by Jamaica's House of
Representatives this month,
ahead of the official com-
memoration in March of the
200th anniversary of the -.
abolition of the Trans-
Atlantic Slave Trade. It
calls, among other things, Imp
for the acceptance by all
members of the legislature that
reparation is due "to the coun-
tries of the displaced descen-
dants (of African slaves)".
The resolution calls, as
well, for a House committee to
be established to quantify the
reparation due; and for the rel-
evant nations to be called upon

to provide compensation "by
way of cash and/ or debt

ported slaves.

Dr. Peter Phillips, leader of
government business in the
House of Representatives, is
looking forward to the resolu-
tion being debated, describing
it as "an appropriate move."
According to Phillips,
"this issue cuts very close to
the bone for Jamaican and

Caribbean people; the histori-
cal catharsis is very necessary."
As for what form the
actions resulting from the
debate will take, Phillips told
CMC that this had not yet
been determined.
"How that debt is paid -
people will differ on the ques-
tion," Phillips said. "Some want
cash payment, some say an apol-
ogy will suffice. We will need to
examine it carefully, bearing in
mind that it
has resulted in
the retardation
of Africa's -
and that the
results live on
in today's con-
ditions of
poverty in the
Caribbean." Henry

Plans for debating the res-
olution, coincide with (British
Prime Minister) Tony Blair's
publicized expression of "deep
sorrow" about his country's

role in the slave trade, abol-
ished by an Act of Parliament
on March 25,
1807. While
this as a small
first step,
Henry is far
from satisfied
with Blair's

"Invariably, the Philips
races have been able to get away
with apologies and an escape of
the real costs to their pockets,
because, ultimately, money is what
they understand," he stressed.
Leading scholars in
Jamaica have also joined the
debate sparked by Tony Blair's
statement. Professor Verene
Shepherd, chairperson of the
Jamaica National Bicentenary
Committee, d,,. r ib-d the
statement as inadequate,
though an improvement on
previous positions taken by the

January 2007


66-, US, U iiiii3^ a

"Age is not
a factor here, I
am not here
running for
the Olympics"
82-year old
Sir John
Compton after
guiding his
United Workers Party (UWP)
to a stunning victory in St.

uine development.
It was a year of turbulence
for regional air carriers and at
the end of the year, the debt
ridden 60-year-old BWIA, the
Trinidad and Tobago national
carrier, was no more, making
way for a leaner Caribbean
Airlines that has also promised
better service on fewer routes.
The cash-strapped Leeward
Islands Air Transport (LIAT)
was still engaged in merger talks
with another regional airline,
Caribbean Star and the three
major Caribbean government
shareholders in LIAT said they
expected the new entity to
become operational early this
year. Health challenges
remained throughout the year
with the CJ(hbrlI1n, which ranks
behind Africa as having the
highest incidence of HIV infec-
tion in the world announced in
2006 that model legislation on
HIV was being developed and
could be completed by next year.
A malaria outbreak in
Jamaica was holding the atten-
tion of the authorities towards
the end of the year, and some
Caribbean governments
announced measures to limit
its spread. In
a year when
Court of
Justice sat for
its first major
appeal, shock
waves spread
across the
Owen Arthur offered region when
a new mandate in Trinidad and
Barbados. Tobago's
Chief Justice Satnarine Sharma
became the first sitting head of
the judiciary to face a criminal
"The bottom line is that
there is in Trinidad and Tobago,
as I have said before, a principle
of equality before the law. We
subscribe to it, we live by it,"
said Attorney General John
Jeremie said of the charge.
After several attempts to
prevent his arrest, including a
challenge before the London-
based Privy Council, Sharma
was slapped with a charge of
seeking to pervert the course of
public justice. The charge arose

Lucia's general elections last

* "The result was a shock. It
was clearly different from the
polls" Dr.
whose ruling
St. Lucia
Labour Party
lost the recent
general elec-
tions despite
pre-ballot polls projecting the
SLP as a clear favorite for a


third term in office.

"It is an
unnatural situ-
ation to have
between two
which are 90
miles away
from each
other" St. Vincent and the
Grenadines Prime Minister
Ralph Gonsalves last month
predicting that the decades old
trade embargo by the United
States on Cuba will soon

be resolved.

* "I really
can't feel my
legs. This is
- 18-year-old
born singer
expressing her
joy after winning three major
honors at the Billboard Music
Awards last month in the
United States.

* "If you help the people at

2006: The best and worst of times for the Caribbean

out of his alleged role in the
trial of Basdeo Panday, who had
been sentenced to two years
imprisonment after he was
found guilty in a Magistrate's
Court of knowingly failing to
declare his London bank
account to the Integrity
Commission for the years 1997,
1998, and 1999. Panday has
since appealed the conviction.
But Panday was not the
only politician in Trinidad to
have ran afoul of the law.
Several former members of his
Cabinet are still before the
courts on charges arising out of
the Piarco Airport rehabilita-
tion project and in 2006, two
government ministers, and pos-
sibly a third, in the Patrick
Manning administration were
facing criminal charges on mat-
ters not related to the airport.

Crime continued unabated
in the Caribbean during 2006, as
like Trinidad and Tobago and
Jamaica, Guyana and indeed
the entire Caribbean continued
to be haunted by rising criminal
activities particularly murder.
Antigua and Barbuda, for
example, announced a series of
measures including a mobile-
armed task force, the searching
of vehicles at nights and tighter
control of the air and seaports
in a bid to deal with the crime
situation on the island. While
Jamaica led the region with the
number of homicides in 2006,
the region was stunned by the
assassination of Guyana's
Agriculture Minister
Satyadeow "Sash" Sawh, as
well as the murder of several
media workers and the
unprecedented level of killings
linked to armed groups in
The country's crime situa-
tion was further compounded
by the disappearance of a num-
ber of Russian-made AK-47
rifles from the Guyana
Defence Force and used in
many killings. Caribbean gov-
ernments continued to point an
accusing finger at the "return-
ing criminal deportees" from
the United States for the
upsurge in crime, even though
Washington maintained there
was no proof linking its policy
of returning criminals to the

Haiti still in need of a
heavy dose of foreign direct
investment to boost its ailing
economy, continued to reel
under the pressure of crime,
particularly kidnapping, where

armed gangs were now using
that activity to secure funds
from wealthy and in some
cases, not too wealthy families.
The Trinidad and Tobago gov-
ernment reported a drastic
decline in kidnapping during
the year, but the Opposition

Caribbean spearheads call for

slavery reparation

British government. Shepherd,
professor of social history at
the University of the West
Indies (Mona), in a statement
to the Jamaican media, noted
that the British prime minister
had i ,pp d short of apologiz-
ing for Britain"s role in the
trade in Africans and offering
to make amends."
Advancing an argument for
reparation, she recalled that "the
forced relocation of Africans to
the Americas and the productive
output of such Africans and
their descendants, helped to
transform the Atlantic into a
complex trading area, turning it
into the center of the interna-
tional iiin m) Furthermore,
she asserted, "without enslaved
Africans and the trans-Atlantic
trade, the potential economic
value of the Americas could
never have been achieved."
Professor Rex Nettleford,
vice chancellor emeritus of the
University of the West Indies, in
his own statement on the mat-
ter, made a number of uI_._-.-
tions as to how Blair and the
British government could com-
pensate the people of the West
Indies, "the longest colonized
piece of real estate." A princi-
pal means of reparation, he
said, could be a significant
monetary contribution towards
"widening the provision of terti-
ary education and training in
the West Indies to equip the
descendants of the slaves to
meet the challenges of this
new century and beyond."
Education, he noted, had pro-
vided an escape out of endemic
poverty for many descendants
of African slaves in the West
Indies, but stressed that too
many still had not achieved this.
Accordingly, the renowned
scholar wants the British gov-
ernment, "with its high regard

for the benefits which education
can bring to all societies," to
make "a substantial contribu-
tion to education in the region."
It's a suggestion that finds
favor with Henry, the sponsor
of the reparation resolution in
Jamaica's Parliament, as "one
of several approaches to com-
pensating our people for the
deprivations suffered during
slavery and the slave trade."

Jamaica led the way in
convincing the United Nations
General Assembly to mandate
member states to commemo-
rate the abolition of the Slave
Trade on Mar. 25, 2007. Some
160 countries, including former
colonial powers the United
Kingdom, France, Belgium and
the Netherlands, as well as all
African states, supported the
resolution, adopted on Nov. 28.
The resolution was spearhead-
ed by Jamaica and tabled by
CARICOM countries, procur-
ing the agreement of the
General Assembly to designate
Mar. 25 as the International
Day for the Commemoration
of the 200th Anniversary of the
Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.
The resolution urged member
states to develop educational
programs to educate and incul-
cate in future generations, an
understanding of the lessons,
history and consequences of
slavery and the slave trade.
The General Assembly will
convene a special commemora-
tive meeting in remembrance of
the event on Mar. 26, 2007.
The Jamaica National
Bicentenary Committee is coor-
dinating several activities to
commemorate the anniversary.


the destina-
tion, you are a
pilgrim, other-
wise you're
merely a trav-
eler" Lelei
LeLaulu, pres-
ident of I
International, urging tourists
to assist the less fortunate in
the places they visit.

Compiled from CMC and
other sources.

and business groups say this
was due mainly to the forced
payment of extortion money
or "coward tax" to protect fam-
ilies from kidnappers.



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Opinions expressed by editors and
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January 2007



Last month, an American
television network ran a
feature about an
African man, well into his 80s,
who had enrolled in his vil-
lage's basic school.
The man, who never
attended school before, said
he wanted to learn because
there is much he wants to con-
tribute. Certainly he is not too
old to learn.. .or to try and
help out.
In the Caribbean, another
man in his 80s, was back in the
classroom too last month. The
course he enrolled in kind of
a refresher is running a gov-
Former Prime Minister
Sir John Compton was
returned to power in St. Lucia
by a significant majority, his
United Workers Party (UWP)
defeating Kenny Anthony and
the St. Lucia Labour Party's
bid for a third consecutive
term. And right off the bat the
82-year-old made it clear that
he knew his age would never
be a factor in the result.
"Age is really in the state
of mind," Compton declared.
"I am giving my experience
and my intelligence that God
gave to me. I am not going for
a marathon, I am not going
for the Olympics."

The election results show
that the voters understood
that message as well. What
they wanted was a new
start... even if it is being led by
an old hat. Compton has been
around awhile. He guided St.
Lucians into associated state-
hood. In the late 1970s he was
their leader when the island
claimed Independence from
Ten years ago, Sir John,
at a nice ripe age usually
reserved for retirees, stepped
down as St. Lucia's prime min-
ister. Since then, other power-
ful figures in the Caribbean
have left political leadership,
including former prime minis-
ters of Jamaica P.J. Patterson
and Edward Seaga. New
blood is running through their
political landscape, including
Jamaica's first woman prime
minister, as they get more
comfy on the sidelines.
However, UWP followers
were plunged into a dark
political patch after Compton
left, losing heavily in the elec-
tions of 1997 and 2001. So this
time around they summoned
Sir John. At 82, he has deliv-
ered their prize.
Among the interesting
notes from St. Lucia's general
elections is that an estimated 60
percent of some 135,958 elec-
tors turned out to vote. Not bad,
but not great either. Refreshing

is that both major parties con-
ceded that the elections were
generally clean and fair.

But election campaign
funding, one issue which was
raised during the St. Lucia
campaign, still remains a bug-
bear after the polls have
closed. With the steady influx
of illegal drug money into the
Caribbean, the region has
always been the target of
speculation that the powerful
drug barons pull more than
enough strings at election
time. That is not a comfort-
able situation to live with. In
some countries of the region,
Jamaica for example, the issue
of campaign funding reform
has come up for recent
Meanwhile, St. Lucia's
recent elections have not
escaped the probing eyes
of outside observers.
Immediately after the Dec. 11
polls, an Organization of
American States (OAS) team,
which observed the elections,
publicly called for "cross party
accord on campaign financ-
ing" to further enhance demo-
cratic rule in the Caribbean
state. The OAS admitted that
campaigning in the Caribbean
had become "increasingly
. \ ~P'L 1\ L but pushed for the
accord to promote "trans-
parency and accountability" in
the region's democracies.

Sir John, with a clean
slate and a fresh mandate, has
a chance to move his country
in the right direction on this
issue. The problem of dirty
money scattered across
Caribbean elections did not
arise after he left St. Lucia's
top job the first time. The old
hat has been around long
enough to watch the scourge
hatch and grow. Now he is at
the helm again. Whether he
likes the Olympic theme or
not, St. Lucians have again
handed him the leadership
baton. His job is to run with it
and win the positive changes
that the people demand.
And that is the advantage
for Sir John. While the
African man was entering the
classroom for the first time,
Compton has been there
before. He is not some wet-
foot youngster learning the
ropes of St. Lucia and
Caribbean politics. He may
have some catching up to do,
but he must also be held to
the highest level of accounta-
bility; maybe even higher than
anyone else before him.
Class, is now officially in

Gordon Williams is Caribbean
Today's managing editor.

V I W p o i n T

Old people really get a
raw deal, and not until
you've reached their
age can you really appreciate
their trials, tribulations and
lack of titillation.
The subject of old people
and sex is a vexing one are
they getting it, are they enjoy-
ing it, should they be partici-
pating?! Old in this case being
people over 70 years or so, I
would imagine.
The Lord did give us
three score and 10 years. He
didn't say to score up until the
last day. Now, what in heav-
en's name is someone over 70
doing having sex? At that age
shouldn't they put down those
activities and take up the
Bible and join church or
Did I say join church?
Let's take that back, for that's
where the sex seems to be, the
way those deacons and elders
are carrying on with the young
flock. "Leave sex to young
people," at least that's what
some people tend to think.
After all, no one really thinks
of people up in age, say 75 or
even 80 or over, having sex.
Now close your eyes and
mentally conjure up that pic-
ture. But as unappealing as it
may look, they do, and have
every right to.

We were all conditioned
to believe that sex is only for
the young. After all, most of
the magazines, movies, books,
commercials and porno stuff,
show young, youthful, well
sculpted, muscular men, plus
shapely, sexy, curvy female
bodies, wrapped up, entwined,
cleaving unto each other in
the throes of passion. Never
ever will we see geriatrics, old
and wrinkled, wrapped in a
lovers' embrace.
Can you imagine a porno
movie showing that? No way.
So, as a result, our image of
sex is only between young peo-
ple. But old people do it too.
Many experts speak of
older couples not necessarily

having a
need for 'real
sex', but
more having
a desire to
cuddle and
caress with a
need to feel
wanted. They
also say that TONY
in many cases ROBINSON
the sex act
wasn't even
consummated, just the lovey
dovey stuff.
Well, I say an emphatic
no, as my studies and old
friends have proven other-
wise. That may hold true for
old women, but old men in
Jamaica don't just want lovey
dovey, touchy feel, caressing,
hand holding only crap. They
want the real deal, the raw
basic animal-humping-sweaty-
head-banging-sweaty-sex that
they used to have in their
lusty youth. And that's why
Viagra was invented, so that
dirty old men could get down
and dirty.
To prove my point, with
the advent of Viagra, many old
men simply got up and left
their wives after they finally
got it up. Even more, many old
men, now on Viagra are con-
tracting all sorts of venereal

m wwwcaribb* e antoda 7*comI

diseases and bringing it home
to their unsuspecting hapless
wives. This includes HIV/
AIDS, which hardly bothers
some old cowboys who say,
"AIDS take all of 10 years to
kill you, I am 75, do the math,
what do I care...I am having
the time of my life."

So much for cuddling and
touchy feely only for old peo-
ple. The men want the real
thing. Just check and see who
watches porno movies, visit
go-go clubs, chase schoolgirls,
buy prostitutes. A significant
majority are old men who give
God thanks, but thank Viagra
even more. And whereas old
men are having sex, they
aren't having it with old
women either, and in many
cases it's not their fault, but
they're merely victims of bio-
logical circumstances, and
here's why. You take a man of
75 years, perhaps suffering
from erectile dysfunction or
weakened, limp, half mast and
put him with a woman of 70
and see what happens. But
voila, take that same old man
and put him with a young
nymphet and see the raging


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January 2007


V I e W P 0 I N T

Racial fairness again on trial in America

WASHINGTON Affirmative
action is on trial at the United
States Supreme Court. Judging
by the chilly reception that five
of the nine justices gave it dur-
ing oral arguments recently, the
only question left is how far the
court will go in overruling racial
preferences as a constitutional
way to reme-
dy the histori-
cal damage
done by racial
I do not
use the P-
word lightly. I
have publicly
debated for- A
University of PAGE
regent Ward
Connerly and others who use
the word p ili h 1' to
denounce any effort by govern-
ment to remedy the historical
problems of race by taking race
into account.
I have defended affirmative
action when employed in the
judicious way that past conser-
vative Supreme Courts have
allowed it: "narrowly applied"
with "strict scrutiny" when there
is a "compelling state interest".

But, the Louisville and
Seattle public school student
assignment plans now before the
court offer troubling examples
of the overreaching "reverse dis-
crimination" that affirmative
action foes rail against. For
those with long memories, the
case of Joshua McDonald is par-
ticularly poignant. Joshua is a
white Louisville student who
was assigned to a kindergarten
that was a 90-minute bus ride
away, past a closer school which
Jefferson County school officials
said already had enough white
students that year.
That's painfully ironic.
Linda Brown, a black third grad-
er in Topeka, Kansas, was forced

to take a long bus ride to school
every day past a closer neighbor-
hood school that did not admit
blacks. The landmark 1954
Brown vs. Board of Education
school desegregation decision
bears her father's name. Where
have we Americans come, we
must ask ourselves, when the
decision to help black kids like
Linda Brown who were turned
away from schoolhouses in the
name of segregation is used to
turn Joshua McDonald away in
the name of desegregation?
Worse, as Bill Cosby force-
fully told civil rights leaders at
the 50th anniversary of the
Brown decision, what have we
gained when the past half-cen-
tury of desegregation has failed
to close the academic achieve-
ment gap between blacks and
Latinos on one side and whites
and Asians on the other?

Some of my fellow African
Americans were offended by
Cosby's candor but he spoke the
truth. Close the grade and test
score gap and the affirmative
action debate ends.
Unfortunately, we too often
have seen school desegregation
lead to further divisions in
which black and Latino students
are tracked into lower-perform-
ing classes and white and Asian
students tracked toward college.
That problem is bigger than
Diversity is a virtue, but we
need to focus on educating all
kids regardless of the racial
makeup in classrooms. That's
going to take more than march-
es, pickets and "Save Brown"
chants, as we saw outside the
Supreme Court building. It's
going to take a massive effort as
focused and relentless as the
civil rights revolution that
Brown ignited.
Again, history offers
important lessons. The 1971
case of Swann vs. Charlotte-
Mecklenburg Board of

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Education in North Carolina
upheld the busing of students as
an appropriate remedy for the
problem of racial imbalance.
But its impact was watered
down three years later. That's
when the Supreme Court
barred forced busing across
school district lines in the
Milliken vs. Bradley decision,
which only served to accelerate
white flight to the suburbs.

Left with dwindling num-
bers of white students, urban dis-
tricts were left to do what they
should have done all along:
improve their schools to lure the
middle-class back. Except the
cities mostly improved a few
showcase "magnet" schools
and left the rest to get by the
best they could.
When Charlotte-Mecklenburg
took that route, it closed the
achievement gap in reading
and math well enough to be
recognized by the Council of
the Great City Schools as one of
four top urban districts. Alas, it
also was sued successfully by
white parents whose children
had been turned away by the
magnets of their choice.
Students in Charlotte-
Mecklenburg's schools have con-
tinued to perform well across
racial lines. Yet, in the absence of
desegregation plans, enrollment
by race has followed the racial
patterns of neighborhoods. A
similar pattern is expected to fol-
low nationwide if the Supremes
overturn Seattle and Louisville's
desegregation plans.
Either way, it would not be
the end of Brown vs. Board,
despite the alarms sounded by
some civil rights leaders. Blacks
will not be returned to the back
of the bus or to the "colored"
waiting rooms and water foun-
tains that humiliated my family
and me in my youth. Instead,
we could be motivated, as some
school districts already have
been, to move to the next

rational step for our liberation:
the integration of low-income,
low-achieving students into a
higher-achieving future. It will
take more than a bus for us to
make that trip.

bull unleashed.
Walk softly and carry a
big stick is the mantra of the
lusty old man, plus Viagra in
the back pocket can't hurt
either. The fact is, young
women are the old man's
Viagra, as men being visual
creatures, are turned on more
by a young body, than by an
old one. If this were not true,
then go-go dancers would be
70 years old and over. If this
were not so, call girls would be
recruited from the old folks
home. If this were not true,
old men would leave their
wives and take up with an
even older woman, or have an
older mistress on the side.

Now the consequence of
the old man dealing with the
young girl may be dire, as after
a while he may not be able to
manage, and she in turn may
seek a younger man, closer to
her age. But the fact is, the
desire for sex with the young
girl is powerful in the old man.
Also, he better have
money, as no young girl will
be taking up with any broke
pocket old man. When you
check out those Internet
scams, where young girls are
lured into sexploits, in most
cases they are victims to old
grey back men. Right now in
the U.S. there is a huge cam-
paign to crack down on this
practice, and just a few
months ago a high ranking
U.S. official was caught in a
sting operation as he solicited

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a 14-year-old girl online.
So anyone who thinks that old
people aren't having sex had
better think again.. .but just ask
who they are having sex with.
Just as a sidebar, there is
now a growing trend of beauti-
ful female teachers in the U.S.
having sex with their students.
One was even a former beauty
queen. So slightly older women
have needs for younger folk
But I pity the poor old
woman, for while the old
crusty grey back man, souped
up on Viagra or Cialis, can
have all the sex that he wants,
poor granny isn't getting any
of the action. Let's face it, let's
be real, would you troll the
corridors of the Golden Age
Home looking for a lay? I'm
not being unkind, but that's
the way it is. Most of the ladies
on display in red light districts
are pretty tempting, but some
in the back streets down, close
to the docks, are over the hill,
weather beaten, and seen bet-
ter days and better lays. They
are the old ladies of the night,
ageing dowagers who must
have been on the reserve team
in the dark light district. They
are as old as dirt, and no won-
der they are on the back alleys
near the canal in the shadows
and not on the front page.
Naturally those go for less
than half price, closing down
sale price even. But even so,
they get few takers. And little
wonder, as chances are, even
the most virile man would
have been a complete flop
with them. So much for old
women and sex, such is their
Now, I'm sure that there
are old loving couples still
indulging, who may even
refute my claims saying: "We
may be old, but we're not
cold." I'm happy for them.
But I guarantee, put a young
girl beside that old man and
watch him transform, and I'm
sure that the old lady would
prefer a younger firm bodied
stud too, if he would have her.
What I do know is that old
folks need love too, but unfor-
tunately, the word dirty pre-
cedes a lusty old man, and per-
haps for good reason, as dirty
old men are having lots of fun.
But they aren't having it with
old women who also need love
too. Why no dirty old women?
Now that needs exploring.

seidol@hotmail. corn

Old folks need love too

ARTS LINE: 1.800.249.ARTS www. browa r a rg/'rts

January 2007

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Black currants: a tasty alternative to fish oil SANTA'S SURPRISE


QUESTION: I have heard
that fish oil is good for heart
health, but when I eat fish, my
throat starts to close and I'm
certain that I'm allergic to
seafood. Will fish oil supple-
ments create this allergic reac-
tion as well? What do you

ANSWER: If your reaction is
that severe, then avoid sup-
plementation with fish oils.
You are right though, the
essential fatty acids (EFA)
found in fish oils are good for
the heart, and that's what
most people have heard
about. But EFAs are good for
many conditions.
There is research to sup-
port the ability of EFAs to
boost mood, improve choles-
terol ratios, protect our brain
and memory, relieve joint
pain, improve digestion, ease
constipation, fight infections
and smooth out wrinkles.

If you'd like to take
EFAs, but you are allergic to
fish or don't want to use an
animal-derived product, then
consider black currant oil as
an option. Black currants con-
tain a lot gamma linoleic acid,
which provides powerful anti-

inflammatory substances when
taken in normal dosages.
Don't overdo anything, though

Black currants

- not even good stuff.
Black currants are little
fruits that provide EFAs that
are particularly helpful in
reducing inflammation, espe-
cially in gals. What comes to
mind here is all that breast
tenderness that women get
right before their period, and
other PMS problems in gener-
al. Taking even one gelcap a
day of this supplement (1,000
mg) can make a considerable
difference in your overall
Black currant products are
also found as jams and teas.
Since they're fruit rather than
fish-derived, you can make
tastier things out of them.
While we're on the sub-
ject of PMS, you could add

vitamin B6 (about 50 mg
daily), magnesium (about 100
mg daily) and Vitamin E
(about 400 mg daily) and real-
ly see some terrific cramp-
reducing and mood-boosting

Black currants have as
many powerful antioxidants as
blueberries, maybe more.
They also have more Vitamin
C than oranges, plus they con-
tain anthocyanins the plant
pigment that provides anti-
cancer protection because it
fights free radicals.
So just because you can't
take fish oils doesn't mean that
you can't get a good source of
EFAs. You can also look at
other oils, such as evening
primrose oil and borage oil.
Did you know? If you are
allergic to peaches, plums,
cherries or apricots, then you
could also be allergic to
almonds? They all belong to
the same family.

Suzy Cohen is a registered
pharmacist. To contact her,

2006 Dear Pharmacist,
inc. Distributed by Tribune
Media Services, Inc.

Ackee returns to the U.S. after year-long ban

The United States has
lifted its ban on ackee
imports and Jamaica's
national fruit, a tasty delicacy

AcKee disn

from the Caribbean island, is
again back on store shelves
after being sorely missed by
the diaspora for over a year.
According to
a recent report from
the Associated
Press, "Jamaica has
.. resumed shipments
of its beloved
national fruit to the
United States,
where fears of a
toxin that can occur
naturally in the red-
skinned ackee
$9 prompted the gov-
t ernment to order
them off store
shelves (in 2005)".
S Well over 100
cases of ackee left

Jamaica's capital Kingston
early last month for Florida.
The U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA), which
issued the original recalls,
approved the resumption of
imports under new screening
procedures that began in
November, the news agency
reported. Only firms that have
shown themselves capable of
keeping the toxin under con-
trol will be allowed to export
the fruit to the United States,
said FDA spokesman Michael

The popular fruit, which

contains edible pods, pro-
duces a compound known as
hypoglycin that can reach
dangerous levels when it is
picked too early and is not
ripe. The toxin can cause a
drop in blood sugar and vom-
iting, and, in rare cases, con-
vulsions, coma and death. The
recall affected fruit sold in
Massachusetts, Connecticut
and New York.
The Associated Press
reported that the FDA said it
will establish with the
Jamaican government com-
mon standards to better regu-
late ackee sales in the U.S.
Jamaica's Agriculture

Minister Roger Clarke said
the country's standards
bureau sent teams to ackee
processing plants across the
Caribbean island to ensure
screening procedures are up
to date, the A.P. reported.
Ackee trees are native
to West Africa, and many
believe they came to Jamaica
aboard slave ships. Sauteed
like a vegetable, the golden
flesh of the ackee resembles
scrambled eggs. Ackee mixed
with dried and salted codfish,
once a staple of slaves, is now
Jamaica's national dish.

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January 2007



. .iiiiii3^ a

Region expects growth,

despite challenging 2006

St. Lucia wins top

Caribbean destination

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados -
The Caribbean Hotel
Association (CHA) has
described 2006 as a challenging
year for the region's bread and
butter tourism industry, but
said most countries should end
the year with some growth.
"I think that it is safe to
say that for the Caribbean the
summer (last) year was a bit
of a difficult period. There
was a general slow down in
the area. I think some coun-
tries are still maintaining some
growth," CHA President
Peter Odle told the Caribbean
Media Corporation.
Using Barbados as an
example, Odle said the coun-
try was "on target to hit the
four percent growth which
had been projected at the start
of the year. I think that possi-
bly it might exceed it by a
couple of decimal points."

The CHA president said a
combination of factors, both
internal and external, impact-
ed negatively on Caribbean
tourism last year.

"One of the problems in
recent times is that we have
had a lot of hurricanes in the
region so we are finding that
period, for example, middle
of August, end of August,
September, October, people
are tending to shy away from
the region a little bit because
that late period is associated

with hurricanes.
"We have had the situation
where there was (World Cup
soccer) in Europe this year and
that attracted a number of peo-
ple going to Germany and that
affected us around that time as

Plviir!-5tih State
'UNI '1 R7%

well," he said.
He added that countries
in Asia affected by the tsuna-
mi two years ago have been
coming back into the market
and this has had an impact on
the industry in the Caribbean.

However, Odle still
expected most regional desti-
nations to record growth this
year even though he admitted
that there were some concerns
ahead of next year's Cricket
World Cup.
"March is one area where
we still have some concerns,
but there are a number of ini-
tiatives in the market place to
try to move the March num-
"We think that is a direct
result of people thinking that
cricket is in March and
April...the traditional people
who come in that period tend
to shy away somewhat because
they are not necessarily com-
ing for the cricket," he said.


CASTRIES, St. Lucia, CMC -
St. Lucia has been recognized
as the top Caribbean destina-
tion in the 2006 annual Travel
Weekly Readers' Choice
The St. Lucia Tourist
Board stated last month that
the award recipients were cho-
sen by Travel Weekly readers,
a collection of agents, industry
marketing executives and
chief executive officers of the
world's largest travel compa-
nies throughout North
These travel industry
leaders visited the Travel
Weekly website and voted to
select just 12 resorts and 103
suppliers as finalists in this
year's Readers' Choice
Awards competition.
Called the "Emerald Ilk
for its majestic mountains,
lush rainforest and secluded

LIAT, Carit

to merge
CMC Barbados Prime
Minister Owen Arthur says
regional airlines Caribbean
Star and Leeward Islands Air
Transport (LIAT) will merge
on Feb. 1.
The Barbados govern-
ment is one of three major
shareholder governments in
LIAT, with the other two
being Antigua and Barbuda

and St. Vincent and the
The Feb. 1 start-up date
was announced at the end of
a negotiating session late last
month led by Arthur and Sir
Allen Stanford, the Caribbean
Star owner. While Antigua
was present at the mLL in-'
Arthur said that the decision
taken had to be put to St.
Vincent and the Grenadines
and the other shareholders for
full approval. He said that the
airlines would begin operating
immediately as though the
merger was in place, replacing
the current practice of intense
competition with intense co-
"A commercial agreement

waterfalls, St. Lucia was
chosen out of a pool of five
Caribbean destinations,
including Aruba, Dominican
Republic, Jamaica, and the
United States Virgin Islands.
Lorine Charles St. Jules,
director of marketing North
America, accepted the award
on behalf of St. Lucia.
"St. Lucia's wild and
exquisite beauty, hospitable
culture and vast tourism offer-
ings are truly remarkable,"
she said. "We are thrilled that
the readers of Travel Weekly
have recognized St. Lucia as
the leading destination in the
The award was
announced at a function
at the Pierre Hotel in New
York last month and will be
featured in the Jan. 15 issue
of Travel Weekly.

)bean Star

on Feb. 1
will be put in place to utterly
change the schedules that the
airlines now operate, to
rationalize them and to be
better able to use the airlift
capacity," Arthur said.
"It will manifest itself in
the airlines being able to use
less aircraft than they're
presently using, to provide a
more rational service, and that
will come into effect from
early February."
Arthur said that the merg-
er would be completed within
three to four months of the
initial Feb. 1 start up date,
adding that the rights of work-

Caribbean Star

ers would be protected once
the merger had taken place.

Sir Allen said that the
merger makes perfect sense.
He also said it would benefit
the traveling public and the
two airlines.
"At the end of the day the
Caribbean travelling public is
going to benefit tremendously
out of this," Sir Allen said.
"In this the process, it's

all during the Miami-Dade Public Library System's
EoamG fffiBsoo

Join Reggae Historian Herbie Miller as he presides
over an afternoon of art, music and discussion
on Saturday, January 20,2:00 5:00 p.m.

A traveling exhibit that presents social history
through Jamaican art and music.

EquatRlhts, Album byPoteTosh,Year
Released. 1977 Cover Design Andy Erigle
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State Usiverslty

Main Library
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For information about these and other Black History Month programs, visit

January 2007


0 U R I S M / T R n V IE t

Air Jamaica picks up slack in Barbados / T RAV

Air Jamaica picks up slack in Barbados

CMC Regional carrier Air
Jamaica will fill the void created
by Caribbean Airlines' decision
to drop non-stop direct flights
between Barbados
and New York,
according to tourism
Minister of
Tourism Noel Lynch
said that with the
Caribbean Airways -
Trinidad and Tobago's new
national airline to replace
BWIA deciding to cease direct
flights on the
New York
route from
this month,
Air Jamaica
would pick up
the slack by
office daily
flights effec-
tive Jan.10.
Lynch Lynch
admitted that
tourism officials and hoteliers
here were worried about the
possible impact Caribbean
Airways' decision to cease non-
strop flights into and out of JFK
airport could have on the U.S.
tourism market, which
remained an important one
for the island's main foreign


exchange earning sector.

Campbell Rudder, Air
Jamaica's regional director for

the northeast U.S., said the
Jamaica government-owned air-
line was confident that the route
would be sustainable based on
the considerable interest shown
in the service through advanced
bookings and strong response
from agents.
"What it does for Barbados
is that you now have 14 weekly
non-stop flights seven in and
seven out. It also allows you
that ability to tap into the U.S.
markets, another six or seven
cities within the U.S., bringing
tourism into the market,"
Rudder added.
He said the service would
also benefit other Eastern
Caribbean countries as it would
go on to St. Lucia four days a
week and Grenada on the other
three days.

Dominica launches

new travel website

T he National Development
Corporation in Dominica
has officially launched its
new website, www.discoverdo-
The site is dedicated to
providing comprehensive
information about Dominica
as a premier eco-tourism and
adventure travel destination.
Enhancements to the origi-
nal website include interactive
maps, streaming video, down-
loadable screensavers and
E-cards. It also has a live
The new website features
a range of information about
the island, including what to
see and do, where to stay,
places to eat, a calendar of
events, and a features section
that highlights packages, and
the island's latest news.

"Dominica is continuing to
grow as both a premier eco-

tourism and adventure travel
destination, and our online
presence will reflect that posi-
tion," Yvor Nassief, minister of
tourism, industry and private
sector relations for Dominica,
said in a recent press release.
"The website will be used
as a tool to assist in building
continued awareness of the
destination and we believe its
design and new features will
effectively differentiate us
from some of our primary
Dominica is also home to
the last remaining "L i l m1 n111 of
the indigenous peoples of the
Caribbean Carib Indians.
For more information
on Dominica, contact the
Dominica Tourist Office in
New York at 888.645.5637; or
visit Dominica's official web-
site at www.discoverdomini-

LIAT, Caribbean Star to merge on Feb. 1

been somewhat painful over
the past few years fighting
each other, and now coming
together makes all the sense
in the world. Our only goal is
to provide a safe, affordable
and consistently reliable air
transport link between the

islands and I'm just proud to
be part of this process today."
LIAT and Caribbean Star
have been exploring the possi-
bility of a merger for months
now. Both sides began official
talks in October.




TimL m ~,


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January 2007



- u scrbes..


A light-hearted multi-cultural romp, s'il vous plait



The first thing that struck
me about this book was
the long list of French
names in the front of the book
(names of characters in the
book), male and female, and
all quite similar. I had a feel-
ing on viewing this list of
"JJII, and NljriL," that I
would be in for a bit of sar-
casm and humor. I was not
A light-hearted romp
about the author and her
French husband "Pee-erre"
(that's mangled French for
Pierre), "Sex, C'ILm.L and
French Fries" encapsulates
the adventures and misadven-
tures of the couple, although
the author, Carine Fabius,
insists it is not a biography -
well sort of?
The story revolves around
art, French attitudes about
food or, better yet, cuisine,
love and relationships, hence
the title. Let me explain:
C' ILL. is a French obsession;
the choices are maddening, as
is the unending selection of
wines, another obligatory part
of any meal. Of course, every-

ma fetl Mm afi m PMm
one knows that sex and
romance is a natural part of
the French charm. But, how
does French fries fit into this
equation? Well, the couple is
in the United States after all,
and Pee-erre has to deal with
typical American "unfrench-

A hilarious look at life
through the eyes of a native of
a once French colony Haiti
- readers become guests at the
dinner table with francopho-
nes and Americans who can't
stand the French, are privy to
private encounters with the
author and her very French
husband, and eventually learn
the art of getting a "word in
d dgL%\\ IL when conversing
with a Frenchman.
Hooray for multi-cultural
relationships, Fabius seems to

be saying. As exciting, stimu-
lating, and frustrating as it
may be, the author puts it all
in perspective. Through all the
guffaws, the ups and downs,
the misunderstandings, the
love and intimacy, we learn
the keys to deciphering
French attitudes, style and
"Sex, C'IIL. and French
Fries" takes us on a joyful ride
through California, Hawaii,
Morocco, and the lives of a
seemingly mismatched couple
who couldn't be more perfect
for each other.






It is easy to imagine a com-
pilation music album as a
collection of the best of
the best hit after hit pressed
on to a single disc.

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Associate Pastor

The read is a cultural edu-
cation too we learn much
about French tastes and tradi-
tion. For example, it was their
unyielding and revolutionary
spirit that resulted in the most
generous leisure time the
French, and I dare say most
Europeans, still enjoy today.
"The average secretary in
France has five weeks paid
vacation," Pee-erre boasts.
Vive le France!
Reading "Sex, CI'hI..
and French Fries" is like tak-
ing a long holiday through
France. Without perfect
French we stumble our way
through, but are well educated

But many times it's just
not so. It can be a combina-
tion of works bound to a com-
mon theme that tells a single
story or even the same story
being told in different ways.
"Iron Balloons Hit
Fiction From Jamaica's
Calabash Writer's Workshop"
is more like a basket of tropi-
cal fruits. The fruits are short
stories by 11 different authors
- an anthology of sorts. Some
stories are tastier than others.
But all must be tasty to some-
one... at some point.
That is the same reason
people buy compilation
albums. Sometimes they see
the one sweet cherry in the
basket, but they have to take
the whole package just to get
a chance to sample it. And if
they are lucky, they still get a
chance to enjoy the other
fruits as well.

The best part about "Iron
Balloons" is the Caribbean
flavor of the stories that is so
sweet, if its juice drips down
your arm you'll lick it up, even
in public, like you would a
Bombay mango. Jamaica and
its champion music reggae
rings throughout, but the title
does not make a believer out
of me. How can these writers
still be "Iron Balloons", still

in the ways of the mysterious
French. And, even if we think
they are rude or incorrigible,
we come home with a feeling
of satiety, because we have
learned to appreciate a culture
so unlike our own, it becomes
a refreshing difference.
Give me "French" fries
s'il vous plait.

Press, Los Angeles, California,

Dawn A. Davis is a freelance
writer for Caribbean Today.

trying to bus' out into main-
stream publishing and... make
it? Impossible. The talent is
too rich.
Colin Channer, who edits
the book and is one of the
better known authors among
the anthology's chosen 11, hits
the mark square on when he
says in his introduction that
the book "knows how to
,dtLiuL The lust begins early,
with Marlon James's "The
Last Jamaican Lion". His
main character Maximilian
Morrison may have lost politi-
cal power, and possibly his
mind, but the story never
loses its way. It is captivating
and spunky, moving at a pace
that poor Maxi inevitably cre-
ates, but finds so frustrating to
keep up with.
"Iron Balloons" wants
everyone to see that Caribbean
authors, like their reggae music
counterparts, are not at all
short on talent and ideas. It's
all fiction, but you believe in
them. It's Jamaican flavor
served in 11 easy to digest
doses. If Channer, who has
earned recognition for out-
standing works such as
"Waiting In Vain", tells you
"ah suh it guh" in his story
"How to Beat a Child the
Right and Proper Way", then
"a suh it guh wid yaad people".
Stories from "Iron
Balloons" come mainly out of
the Calabash International
Literary Festival in Jamaica,
which offers exposure to peo-
ple who want to write. They
have great stories to tell. And
given the right opportunities,
they just have to bus' out and
soar. The anthology says they
already have.


Gordon Williams is Caribbean
Today's managing editor.

'Iron Balloons' take off and soar

January 2007


........... .....

Jamaican actor lands role

in new television drama

Caribbean spirit ushers Boston

into the New Year

NEW YORK Jamaican play-
wright and actor David Heron
has landed a role in the new
drama series "Ya Ma Afrika",
scheduled to have its world
network premiere next month.
Set in New York City, "Ya
Ma Afrika" follows the per-
sonal and professional lives of
four ambitious and attractive
young African women sharing
an apartment in Brooklyn. As
they try to forge a better life
for liL msIn,\ S in their adopted
homeland, they encounter
numerous obstacles and chal-
lenges ranging from immigra-
tion issues to romance to vari-
ous family crises.
The half hour drama series is
scheduled to air on the interna-
tional cable channel 3A Telesud,
which is beamed to viewers
throughout Africa and Europe
and is seen in the United States
on The Dish Network.

Heron plays the role of
Marcus Leslie, an advertising
agency employee and co-work-
er to one of the four principal
"He's employed to the
same ad agency as Thandi, one
of the four roommates who

hails from South Africa,"
Heron says.
"They are good friends,
and he's married, but he has
also has a bit of an eye, so
there are sev-
eral compro-
mising situa-
tions in which
he gets him-
self as the
series goes
It is
Heron's first
Heron recurring role
in a television
series and he is eagerly antici-
pating the challenge.
"Marcus is Jamaican born
and has been living in New
York for many years, but like
the four lead characters, he
still identifies strongly with his
homeland...I'm hoping to
inject a real 'yard' vibe into
him to add to the show's diver-
sity and appeal, and hopefully,
keep Jamaica firmly in focus
and on the map," he said.

Ironically enough, Heron
had originally auditioned for


Caribbean arts and craft

festival to expand in 2007

ROAD TOWN, Tortola,
British Virgin Islands The
Caribbean Artisan Network
and the British Virgin Islands
Chamber of Commerce and
Hotel Association (BVIC-
CHA) will host the largest
artisan festival of its kind in
the British Virgin Islands from
Mar. 10-17.
The Caribbean Arts and
Craft Festival will move to
key locations around the BVI,
from three days of showcasing
art, pottery and outdoor
sculpture on the yachting
anchorage at Trellis Bay on
Beef Island to venues in Road
Town, Cane Garden Bay,
Virgin Gorda and, for the first
time, Jost Van Dyke.
The festival offers artisans
throughout the Caribbean an
opportunity to display, sell
and demonstrate their crafts.
At last year's event, 12 differ-
ent countries participated,
attracting more than 50 of the
region's top artisans to
NjI iu rL Little Secrets".

The Caribbean Artisan
Network is a four-year-old
regional organization dedicat-
ed to the promotion and
preservation of Caribbean arts

and crafts. By creating links
between artisans, the network
strengthens the production of
traditional and innovative
Caribbean crafts though edu-
cational workshops, marketing
initiatives and skill preserva-
tion efforts.
The network is dedicated
to increasing the commercial
viability of crafts and help
preserve the Caribbean's cul-
tural identity.
The BVICCHA is the
largest civil society organiza-
tion in the BVI. With more
than 250 members, BVIC-
CHA represents the business
community and hotel sector
both locally and international-
ly. Some of its key community
projects include the Spring
Regatta, BUYBVI Trade
Show, Junior Achievement,
Right Start programs, and the
culinary program.

For more information
about the Caribbean Arts and
Craft Festival, contact
Aragorn Dick-Read at dread- or
Also, visit www. caribbeanar- for updates.

The city of Boston in the
United States rode a
wave of Caribbean spir-
it into the New Year.
Jamaican artist Lucilda
Dassardo-Cooper created the
image that residents from the
city, located in the state of
Massachusetts in the northeast
U.S., chose to celebrate as
they brought in 2007.
First Night Boston Inc.
used a detail from "Cosmic
Dancer", a 1991 painting by
Dassardo-Cooper, to adorn
advertisements, posters, bill-
boards and the buttons sold
for admission to the perform-
ances and exhibits that were
scheduled for the city's cele-
bration on New Year's Eve,
Dec. 31, 2006.
The buttons showed a
Hindu god dancing on one
foot inside a circle whose
edges appear to be in flames.
The"Dancing Shiva", or
Nataraj, is an iconic image of
Hinduism, the dominant reli-
gion in India. The other side
of the painting in blue tones
shows a hummingbird that
seems to be standing still in
mid-air, but whose wings are
vibrating faster than the
human eye can see.

"Lucilda's 'Cosmic
Dancer' was an easy choice
for us," said Joyce Linehan,
public relations director for
First Night Boston.
"In addition to examining

Lucilda Dassardo-Cooper stands next to a poster used for
incorporates her painting titled "Cosmic Dancer".

and depicting issues around
creation and the elements,
which have always been
important components of our
event, the image is very fes-
tive, and lends itself well to
the idea of celebrating the
Other Bostonians wel-
comed the use of Caribbean
culture to highlight the festivi-
"There is a large
Caribbean community in
Boston," State Representative
Haitian-born Linda Dorcena
Forry told Caribbean Today.
"It is great when you have
other cultures displaying their
Linehan explained that
Boston represents home for

many from different back-
grounds, and Dassardo-
Cooper represents that ele-
ment of Caribbean flavor.
"It's sort fo indicative of
the life journey of many
Bostonians," she told
Caribbean Today. "Lucilda
talks a lot about her works
being influenced by the colors
of the Caribbean."

Dassardo-Cooper, who is
of Indian and Afro Caribbean
descent, was born in Jamaica
and immigrated to the U.S.
as a teenager. She graduated
from Dorchester High School
and Massachusetts College of
Art, and lives in the Port

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January 2007


Bolton joins star lineup for Air J Jazz and Blues Festival

Grammy award-winning
singer Michael Bolton
is set to perform for the
first time ever in Jamaica at the
2007 Air Jamaica Jazz and
Blues Festival set for Jan. 23-27
in Montego Bay.
Jamaica was Bolton's vaca-
tion spot of choice for years.
He even learned to snorkel
and received his water sport's
certification in the beautiful
Caribbean country. But despite
invitations from several pro-
moters, a performance never
But this month the singer,
who has sold over 53 million
records worldwide, will grace a
Jamaican stage in Montego
Bay. He dJL. rib 1 the event as
"a land mark moment because
it is the tenth anniversary" of
the festival.
Bolton has promised the
audience ,>Imi great surpris-
es," adding that he expects
to deliver hits like "Soul

another role when he first met
with the producers in October.
"I was up for the role of a
cop who becomes a kind of
knight in shining armor for one
of the four girls," Heron
explained. "But the producers
called me back and said they
were going to create a totally
new character for me, based on
what I'd done in the audition...
And now it's developed into a
larger role than the one I'd
originally gone in for.. .That
was really flattering."
Heron joins an internation-
al cast including Miss Universe


Provider", "How Am I
Suppose to Live without You"
"with some variations" to
make them "feel fresh." He
will also add the big band
sound and some swing.

Bolton will join a line-up
of some of music's best jazz, R
& B, country, blues and reggae
performers, including Kenny
Rogers, Christopher Cross, jazz
instrumentalist Roy Ayers,
trumpeter Chuck Mangione,
Pieces of a Dream, ABBA -
The Tribute, blues icon Robert

1999, Mpule Kwelagobe of
Botswana; runway model
Soulemayne Sy Sylvane, origi-
nally from the Ivory Coast;
and U.S. radio personality
Omekongo, who is of
Congolese descent.
African filmmaker Thato
Mwaso, also from Botswana,
serves as writer and director
for the series, which is execu-
tive produced by Cameroonian
born Else Bollanga.
"It's an exciting opportuni-
ty for me to be part of a truly
international production team
that includes personnel from
all over the diaspora, including
Cameroon, Botwsana, Kenya,

Cray, Jamaican pianist Monty
Alexander, Russell Tompkins
Jr., and The New Stylistics,
Anthony Hamilton, as well as

NDTC dance
r he National Dance
Theatre Company of
Jamaica (NDTC) will give
a one-night only benefit show
next month in South Florida.
The dance troupe will per-
form at 8 p.m. Feb.10, at the
Broward Center for the
Performing Arts, Amaturo
Theater in Fort Lauderdale.
The performance is being
staged by Jamaica Awareness,
Inc., under the auspices of the
Jamaican Consulate General.
Proceeds from the show will
benefit the development of the
Jamaican diaspora movement in
the southern United States.
Formed in 1962 and under
the artistic direction of co-
founder Rex Nettleford, NDTC

Nigeria, the USA and Haiti,"
Heron added. "It gives the
production a really cosmopoli-
tan outlook and will give view-
ers around the world a totally
different perspective on the
lives of Africans and other
people of color living in the big
Heron also revealed that
the producers are in negotia-
tions to have the show broad-
cast throughout the West
Indies, including Jamaica,


Caribbean spirit ushers Boston into the New Year

Norfolk section of Dorchester.
She maintains studios in
Rockland, Massachusetts and
Jamaica. Dassardo-Cooper
said she was happy with
Boston's choice.
"I am proud to present
my interpretation of a famous

image from another culture to
Boston residents," she said.
As part of First Night, she
exhibited her art at the Hynes
Auditorium in Boston on
Dec. 31.
First Night Boston, which
usually attracts more than a
million revelers, was estab-
lished in 1976 by artists who

wanted to create an alterna-
tive to traditional celebrations
on New Year's Eve. Since then
more than 200 communities
around the world have adopt-
ed the model.
Photograph by Elise



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"the Art of RL,..,L featuring For more information, visit
r._._.,L 'dJiklJIl stars Freddie
McGregor, Wayne Wonder,
Sanchez and Shaggy.

rs to perform in South Florida
of Jamaica Awareness's
"Caribbean Dance Celebration
Series", which will is scheduled
to continue in April with a
presentation of other dance
troupes from the region.
Sponsors of next month's per-
formance include Air Jamaica,
Jamaica National, Riddims
Marketing, Miami-Dade
has given performances in the County Department of
Caribbean, Canada, Mexico, Cultural Affairs, National
Caribbeanezuela Mexicormany, Endowment for the Arts, and
Venezuela, Britain, Germany, News/Talk 1080 AM WTPS.
Australia and the Soviet Union. News/k 1080 AM WPS.
The 45-member company is For more information, call
made up of dancers, singers and 305-891-2944 or 786-348-2594 or
musicians. online at
The NDTC's benefit per-
formance represents the launch

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January 2007

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New Year's resolutions for businesses require change

Tips to help boost operations in 2007

Millions are resolving to
change their lives for
the better in the New
Year. Why not take this time to
do the same for your business?
A few simple moves can
help businesses of all sizes
churn greater profits, says
Samuel Kerch, chartered public
accountant and controller for
Symmetry Software.
"The New Year is the per-
fect time to make any needed
changes in daily operations," he
said. "Many individuals are
vowing to make changes in their
personal lives, so new plans on
the business side are a natural
progression on this theme."
Kerch offers five tips for
making the best of 2007:

* Reevaluate your business
plan When was the last time
you revamped your business
plan? Companies that thrive
on innovation need to continu-
ally reevaluate the plan. A
five-year-old plan contains
ideas that are five years old; in
this era of innovation, that can
be an eternity.
Some items to consider:


n most cases, a non-United
States citizen who is con-
templating a permanent
move to the U.S. will likely
meet with U.S. tax counsel
prior thereto in order to obtain
an understanding of the com-
plex and far-reaching U.S. tax
In its simplest terms, a
non-U.S. citizen can be classi-
fied as a U.S. income tax resi-
dent alien in one of two ways,
i.e., by obtaining U.S. immigra-
tion lawful permanent resident
alien so-called "green card"
status or by spending a certain
number of days in the U.S.
during a three-year period.
This second test, known as
the Substantial Presence Test
(SPT), is a three-year weighted
average percentage test. It is
somewhat complex, contains
numerous special rules and
exceptions, and any individual
currently spending time in the
U.S. or contemplating a more
permanent move to the U.S.
should make certain that he or
she understands each aspect of
the SPT as a failure to do so
can prove extremely costly and

An extremely important
provision amongst the many

has your customer base
changed or should it? Can
you be more profitable and
efficient by changing the num-
ber or types of employees you

No monkey business, considering changes is
good plan.

have? What are your short
and long term goals and how
will you achieve them?

* Streamline payroll -
Whether a company has five
employees or 5,000 employees,
streamlining payroll operations
can be beneficial to both the
employer and the employee.
Don't keep large files with hun-

dreds of blank tax forms. You
run the risk of providing
employees with outdated infor-
To remedy this, download
current tax forms on
an as-needed basis.
\ Companies in the
United States needing
tax withholding forms
can download them as
needed for free at
www.StateW4. conm.
.A Additional software is
available at
that enables employers
to completely auto-
mate the payroll
process, eliminating
often a outdated forms and
all-too-common entry
Employees can be certain
their withholding forms have
been filled out correctly, and the
data can be uploaded to the
company payroll system with a
few mouse clicks.

* Clean house Is your
office drowning in paper? Not
only is the mess confusing, a
long paper trail is also a secu-

Then plan accordingly
resident alien provisions is the his family to live, the right
determination of the individ- school for his children, the
ual's residency starting date. right church or synagogue for
Solely for the purpose of his and his family's religious
administrative ease, and not needs, the right parks, clubs,
with the intention of explaining shopping and other facilities,
etc., and "T" does so
-03 while still maintaining all
2003 I", of his everyday contacts
-' 2 03- .... and connections in his
o home country.
200311il -1 After finding the "per-
fecti tplf "T" returns to
I.2W 1 his home country and
2003 11 / later comes to Florida
-- -again sometime in July,
.. and from the date of his
arrival through Dec. 31,
2007, "T" and his family
herein every aspect of the resi- spend 180 days in the U.S.
dent alien definition, assume "T's" FLACO employment
the following: "T", a non-U.S. opportunity will run through
citizen/non-green card holder Dec. 31, 2010 as both he and
who will begin spending more TECHCO believe that by then,
significant time in the U.S. FLACO will be ready for an
in 2007, has been offered initial public offering and "T"
the opportunity from his can return to TECHCO in the
Caribbean technology compa- Caribbean.
ny (TECHCO) to become Suppose further that "T"
the chief executive officer of originally purchased shares in
TECHCO's new Florida start- TECHCO when it was a start-
up subsidiary or affiliate up company, which shares
(FLACO). "T" has never pre- cost him $100,000 but that
viously spent more than a week said shares are now worth
at the most in the U.S. on a $5,100,000. In Mar. 2007, "T",
yearly basis. "T" accepts the in contemplation of his move
Florida employment opportu- to the U.S., sells his TECHCO
nity, he visits Florida from Jan. shares and realizes a gain of $5
5-12 (eight days) in order to million.

find the right place for him and


rity risk. Payroll forms, invoic-
es, employee verification docu-
ments, deposit slips and time
cards all pose liability risks if
they fall into the wrong hands.
Companies of all sizes are now
adopting document manage-
ment systems that allow the
company to "go paperless".
This helps larger companies
keep track of thousands of

sheets of paper that may have
otherwise been sent to off-site
storage. Recalling those files
is costly and time consuming.
In addition, employers can
control access to digitized doc-
uments by limiting permission
for viewing or changes to spe-
cific users. This is especially

IMF praises Dominica

on economic program

ROSEAU, Dominica, CMC -
The International Monetary
Fund (IMF) has undertaken a
last review of the performance
of the Dominica economy
praising the Roosevelt Skerrit
administration for the success-
ful implementation of a three
year Poverty Reduction and
Growth Facility (PRGF)
arrangement, according to an
official statement released
The statement, issued at
the end of last month, gave no
details as to when the review
was conducted, but it quoted
Murilo Portugal, the IMF's
deputy managing director as
saying that Dominican author-
ities have "continued to
implement their economic
program successfully, and
macroeconomic performance
has strengthened further.
"Economic activity is
expanding strongly in almost
all sectors, with buoyant
domestic demand and indica-
tions of a rebound in private
sector confidence. Progress
has also been made with struc-
tural r. h mrn .

Portugal also commended
the Skerrit administration for
the progress being made in
some critical areas.
"Key reforms in the eco-
nomic program are the recent
amendments to the Electricity
Supply Act and related legisla-
tion and the approval of meas-
ures to eliminate the unfunded
liability of the Dominica Social
Security (DSS) and to
strengthen the AID Bank".
The IMF also stressed the
importance of further struc-
tural measures that would
help bolster private sector-led
growth. These include amend-
ments to the Finance
Administration Act, approval
of the Financial Services Unit
Act and reform of the
Dominica Export Import
Agency (DEXIA).
"Significant progress has
been made recently in debt
restructuring, and the authori-
ties are making good-faith

efforts to reach collaborative
restructuring agreements with
their remaining creditors," the
Washington-based financial
institution said.

Prime Minister Skerrit
announced in 2006 that
Dominicans would decide
whether his administration
would continue to engage
the IMF that came to the
island's assistance following
the collapse of the economy.
But leader of the minority
Opposition People's Democratic
Movement (PDM) William
Riviere said that the IMF pro-
gram has not worked and that
many of the economic meas-
ures were not beneficial to the
"We need to be reminded
of these conditionalities; the
four percent levy, the freeze in
public sector hiring and the
five percent cut in public sec-


tor salary," Rivieere said.
"The increase in sales tax on
consumer items, the outsourc-
ing and the imposition of
Value Added Tax, have not
been worth it.
"The IMF during the four
years of its existence in our
country has not brought a
higher standard of living to
the greater number of our
people," he said, adding
Dominicans have had enough
of the "IMF medicine."

Contemplating U.S. tax residency

January 2007






Former West Indies cricket great Courtney Walsh, left, stands in front of a Jamaica Tourist Board poster of himself bowling while
sharing a conversation with Janice Allen, JTB's destinations manager, center, and Dr. Basil K. Bryan, consul general of Jamaica, dur-
ing a media lunch hosted by the Ruder Finn Agency last month in New York. Walsh is part of the JTB's campaign to promote Cricket
World Cup 2007. Jamaica will host warm-up games, group matches and a semi-final during the CWC tournament, which begins in
March, and is expected to attract thousands of visitors and millions of dollars to the island and the rest of the Caribbean.

New Year's resolutions for businesses require change


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Files with confidential client or

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employee information need to
be shredded.

* Implement/Refine your ESS
system A new study by
America's SAP (Systems,
Application and Products in
Data Processing) Application
Users' Group found companies
with Employee Self-Service
(ESS) systems have human
resource transaction costs that
are 26 percent lower than those
that don't. ESS enables
employees to view and update
their own payroll and personal
information, taking the mid-
dleman role out of the human
resources department, increas-
ing productivity and driving
down costs.

* Upgrade technology If you
are comfortable dancing to the
beat of a Walkman and think
Windows 98 is as good as it
gets, your clients and/or
employees may disagree.
Evading the wave of technolo-
gy can severely limit a busi-
ness's capability to expand in
the future, both in terms of
staff and revenue.
While keeping pace with
rapid advancements may seem
impossible, small changes can
yield big results. Upgrade fre-
quently-used software, down-
load software security patches
and invest in comprehensive
virus protection and network
firewalls. Outdated software
directly affects worker produc-
tivity You should also make
efforts to keep your company
web site updated with current
information and professional

- Symmetry Software

CDB offers financial help

to debt-ridden Belize

The Belize government, which
recently received a financial
ease from some of its credi-
tors, is getting further financial
assistance from the Caribbean
Development Bank, the CDB
has announced.
The Barbados-based bank
said it had approved a $25
million loan to help govern-
ment close the fiscal and
external financing gaps over
the short to medium term,
while it continued to imple-
ment corrective measures.
"These measures include
restructuring its debt, reform-
ing its tax regime and strength-
ening its fiscal management
capacity. The loan is part of a
broader strategy to enable the
government to improve its
ability to undertake critical
investments in social and eco-
nomic infrastructure in order
to achieve its growth and

poverty reduction objectives,"
the bank said.

Additionally, the regional
financial institution said it also
approved a $12.6 million loan
to the Belize government to
assist it in upgrading the
Placencia Road from a gravel
road to a paved all-weather
road to assist in government's
thrust to promote the Placencia
Peninsula as a tourist destina-
Recently, a number of
regional and international
financial institutions agreed to
participate in Belize's debt
exchange proposal and unani-
mously agreed to accept a new
United States dollar denomi-
nated bond in exchange for a
substantial portion of the coun-
try's outstanding debt to them.


Suppose further that "T's"
gain is not subject to income
tax in his own country (it may
or may not be and that is a
question for foreign counsel,
but this supposition is made
solely for illustrative purposes).
Assuming, as I have, that prior
to 2007 "T" has never spent
more than a few days a year in
the U.S., and assuming "T"
does not have a "green card"
when he comes to the U.S. in
2007, his status as an resident
alien versus a U.S. income tax
nonresident alien will be deter-
mined under the SPT.
For SPT and resident alien
purposes, "T" will have spent
188 days in the U.S. in 2007;
however, if T can prove that he
maintained closer connections
to, and a tax home in, his
Caribbean home country dur-
ing the eight days he spent in
Florida in Jan. 2007, "T's" resi-
dency starting date would be
the first day in July and his $5
million gain from the March
sale of his TECHCO shares
would be U.S. income tax-free!
As oftentimes occurs,
sometime on or close to April
15, 2008 (the due date for "T's"
2007 U.S. individual income tax
return, Form 1040), "T" will
visit a certified public account-
ant (CPA) in order to timely
file his return. Among the
data "T" will likely provide to
the CPA will be documentation
reflecting the sale of "T's"
Caribbean company shares and
because "T" will be an resident
alient for 2007 as a result of his

meeting the SPT (i.e., in this
case, "T" will have spent more
than 182 days in the U.S. in
2007 which is one way, but not
the only way, "T" may be found
to have met the SPT), and if
"T" and the CPA are not aware
of the residency starting date
rules and the special de minimis
rule which in "T's" case would
exclude his initial visit in
January for residency starting
date purposes, he will likely be
advised to pay the U.S. 15 per-
cent long-term capital gains tax
on his $5 million gain from the
sale of those shares!
The above illustration
reflects only one of many fine
points which must be under-
stood by any non-U.S.
citizen/non-"green card" hold-
er spending time in the U.S. or
contemplating spending time in
the U.S. as, by merely review-
ing the illustration above, by
simply "missing" one of many
complex provisions, "T's" cost
would be $750,000!
In the event "T" may be
subject to tax in his home
country on the gain from his
sale of the TECHCO shares,
he must make certain that both
his Caribbean tax advisors and
his U.S. tax advisors properly
coordinate any credits he may
be entitled to. "T" should not
assume anything, and instead
should make sure he is proper-
ly counseled in advance.

Michael Rosenberg is a share-
holder with the Coral Gables
law firm of Packman,
Neuwahl & Rosenberg and
can be reached at 305-665

Contemplating U.S. tax residency

status? Then plan accordingly

January 2007



J amaican teenager
Jermaine Bridgmohan
established himself as the
star of the recent "Tropical at
Calder" thoroughbred race
meeting in Florida, riding
more 100 winners to shatter
the record for the fall event in
his first season in the saddle.
Bridgmohan, who began
riding professionally in August,
scored his first win at Calder in
the opening week of the
month. He dominated the 60-
day "Tropical at Calder" meet-
ing, which ended on Jan. 2, and
has become one of the hottest
young riders in the U.S.
Bridgmohan's record-set-
ting accomplishment at Calder
was achieved in just 48 days,
when he rode his 85th winner.
The previous record, estab-
lished by Panamanian Cornelio
Velasquez in 2002-2003, was
reached on the last day of the
then 53-day meeting.

one who really stuck his neck
out for me when others
He also credited his older
brother Shaun, a jockey riding
in the United States. Shaun
Bridgmohan is a former

"I'm very proud of it," he
said. "I expected to do well,
but probably not so soon."

Bridgmohan said it is dif-
ficult getting established as a

.r h. bW I
Bridgmohan brothers Shaun, left, and Jermaine, are enjoying riding success in the U.S.

apprentice Eclipse Award

jockey, but his brother's inl

PRAISE winner, one of me highest ence nad opened some doo
Bridgmohan, 18, who awards in U.S. racing, and for him, while his own har
migrated from the Caribbean recently shared champion work had helped him main
island as a three-year-old, jockey honors at the Churchill that momentum. Now the
praised others from the region Downs fall meeting in Boyd Anderson High Scho
for his success, including his Kentucky. (Florida) graduate is look
family and Jamaican trainer Jermaine Bridgmohan, to make his "own mark" ii
Kirk Ziadie, the leading train- who turned down a scholar- the highly competitive gan
er "Tropical at Calder". ship to attend the University of thoroughbred racing. H
"The Jamaican trainers of Florida to pursue race rid- studies the game keenly, es
have helped me out a whole ing, said he did not expect to cially handicapping horses,
lot," Bridgmohan told have such early success, but "I try to apply the infc
Caribbean Today at the end was happy at the way his bud- (CONTINUED ON PAGE 20)
of last month. "(Ziadie) is the ding career has progressed.

Caribbean-born boxers clash again

for world cruiserweight title


For one, it will be a chance
to regain lost glory; for
the other, an opportunity
to mark his place among the
elite of the fight game.
But in March, when two
Caribbean-born boxers again
square off in the ring, they
will again decide who is the
world's best in the cruiser-
weight division.
The long awaited rematch
between Jamaican-born United
States resident O'Neil Bell and
Jean-Marc Mormeck from
Guadeloupe, has been set for
Mar. 17 in France, Mormeck's
adopted home. On the line is
Bell's World Boxing Association
(WBA) and World Boxing
Council (WBC) titles, both of
which he took from Mormeck
in Jan. 2006 in an epic bout in
New York. Bell knocked out
Mormeck in thelOth round, the
first time the Frenchman had
been stopped inside the dis-

Neither fighter has been

overly active since that night
in Madison Square Garden.
Mormeck, with a ring record
of 35 fights, 32 wins and three
losses, has had a single bout,
knocking out Sebastian Hill




failing to make a mandatory
defense, although he claimed
a medical problem prevented
him from doing so. But the
Jamaican is confident the lay-
off will not hurt him.

Bell will have to defend the championship belts he took from Mormeck in March.

last July. Except for sparring,
Bell, who has lost only once
in 28 fights, has not fought at
all. He was stripped of his
International Boxing
Federation (IBF) title for

"You leave it to the
degree of how the mind
works," he told Caribbean
Today late last month. "If you


PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad,
CMC Cuba stayed number
one in the Caribbean Football
Union (CFU) rankings for the
second month in a row when
FIFA issued its latest Coca
Cola world soccer rankings
last month.
After unseating Jamaica
as the top team in the region
in November and maintaining
their unbeaten run in Digicel
Caribbean Cup, the Cubans
kept their world ranking of
46th in the December ratings,
11 places above Jamaica.
Jamaica's Reggae Boyz,
who suffered a surprise elimi-
nation from the Digicel
Caribbean Cup and drew 1-1
with Peru in their latest inter-
national, climbed one place
up FIFA's world list to 57.
St. Vincent and the
Grenadines, which upset
Jamaica in the Digicel Cup in
September, retained third
place in the CFU, followed by
Trinidad and Tobago in an
unfamiliar position of fourth.

Trinidad and Tobago,
with a remarkable eight
Caribbean Cup titles in 12
years of the competition,
qualified for its first ever
World Cup finals tournament
- appearing in Germany last
year. The T&T Soca Warriors

had risen to number one in
the CFU for July, August and
September before being sur-
passed by Jamaica in October
and slipping further in subse-
quent months.
Barbados and the
Dominican Republic were
the bi-L_--I movers in the
CFU for the December rat-
ings. The Barbadians, who
toppled higher rated St.
Vincent and the Grenadines
while winning Group G of the
Digicel Cup's second round at
home with an unbeaten label,
moved three places up the
CFU list to number five. The
Barbadians also re-entered
FIFA's top 100 by moving 11
places up to 98th.

The Dominican Republic
was FIFA's bi---L,,I world
movers, leaping 23 places up to
136th. The DR beat Antigua
and Barbuda and lost to
Guadeloupe and Guyana in
the Digicel Cup Group H sec-
ond round, and their FIFA
jump earned them a four-place
hike on the CFU list to 11.
High-riding Guyana
climbed five places up FIFA's
list to 100, becoming the sixth
CFU team in the top 100
world teams.


Teen Jamaican jockey shines at Calder

Cubans stay on top

in Caribbean soccer

2007 Full Council Ml1 ling Calendar
Thursday, January 18, 2007
I hursda%, February 15, 2007
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Thursday, April 19. 2007
Thursday, May 17, 2007 Budget Workshop, 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.)
(Budget Workshop to be held at Hollywood Beach Culture & Conununity Center)
Thursday, June 21, 2007
(Tentative) Thursday, July 19, 2007
Thursday, August 16, 2007
(Tentative) Thursday, September 20, 2007
(Council Mhcling, 4:00pm)
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Thurd.ia, November 15, 21117
Thursday, December 20, 2007

Mtelen n'me subject to change. Please check our website calendar., for updated information.
Council meeting packet information will be posted on the website,, a few days before each meeting.
ripII ll ,i aii, da will be available at the meeting.
If yol, 1i; que.LI.Airh or need additional information, please contact
Amy Ricketts at 1954i 177-1675.
If you require any auxiliary aids for communication or other special
accommodations, please contact Evan Goldman at (954) 377-1000
at least one week in advance so that proper arrangements can be made.
Unless otherwise indicated, all meetings will be held at:
Place: 6301 NW 5th Way, Suite 3000, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309
Time: 9:00 a.m.
Contact Info: (954)377-1000;

January 2007


- u scrbes..

West Indies captain Brian
Lara is positive about his
team's build up for Cricket
World Cup (CWC) in March
in the Caribbean, despite the
regional team's failure to win
its latest series.
West Indies produced a
tame performance last month
and plunged to a seven-wicket
defeat against Pakistan in the
series-deciding fifth one-day
International (ODI) at the
Karachi National Stadium,
losing the series 3-1.
Lara was unhappy over
the loss and said even though
the team was without regular
players Ramnaresh Sarwan
and Dwayne Bravo, who
returned to the Caribbean and
missed the series, the remain-
ing players should have risen

mation as much as I can," he
said. "I do give credit to the
strategy I have going into to
the race."
Among Bridgmohan's

to a higher level of perform-
"We did not end on a very
good note.
We were :.
missing key
players and it
was important
that whichev-
er 11 we put
out on the
middle that
we gave of Lara
our best and
try to win the series," he said
after the game.

But Lara is reasonably
comfortable that the effort
was there from the players
and he is not worried that the
series result could be a psy-

goals is to ride in the
Kentucky Derby, like his
brother, and do one better by
winning the famous race. He
has no regrets about leaving
academic life behind for now.
"I feel I am in a good


Regional effort to border

controls for CWC 2007

chological setback heading
into the CWC.
"I think the guys did give
of their best," he said.
"It was tough and you
have to take into considera-
tion that we have been on the
road for a pretty long time.
Psychologically I think this is
not going to affect us in our
future one day games espe-
cially over the next four to
five months with the World
Cup coming up," Lara added.
Lara was generally happy
with their three-and-a-half
month tour of Asia and thinks
the team gave indicators it is
growing into a formidable
force for CWC 2007.

C aribbean governments
have received a list of
recommendations stem-
ming from the recent ICC
Cricket World Cup 2007
Security Workshop for Regional
Airline, Airport, Ground
Handling and Shipping Agents.
These action points, aimed
at improving and fine-tuning
airport and seaport operations
for this year's tournament, cov-
ered a number of areas includ-
ing: airport security, airline
security, immigration and cus-
toms support, red and green
customs line management, air-
port operational hours, disrup-
tive passengers and aircraft
arrivals and departures.
CWC's Visitor Experience
Manager Cliff Hamilton said the
distribution of the action plan,
via CARICOM, will allow for a
regional approach to many of
the security issues which arose
during the one-day InLL lini1
held in Trinidad and Tobago
by CWC's Airline, Air and
Seaports Task Force last month.
"We are trying to establish
common procedures for the
implementation of security
measures on airlines and at air-
ports and seaports during
Cricket World Cup so that
all the host venues will be
operating on the same level,"
Hamilton explained, adding
that the benefits of such actions
would be another fruitful lega-
cy of the event.

Some of the recommenda-

Cubans stay on

top in Caribbean


(Confederation of North,
Central American and
Caribbean Association
Football), ratings, Mexico
remain number one and 20th
in the world, while second-
rated United States retained
31st position in the world.
Cuba kept its number three
spot in CONCACAE
Meanwhile, five-time
World Cup champions Brazil
is still holding the premier
spot on FIFA's world list,
stalked by current World
Cup holders Italy, followed
by Argentina, with France
fourth, England fifth and
Germany sixth.

tions include: holding a meeting
with chartered airlines and
cruise lines to ascertain their
level of bookings for the seven-
week period of ICC Cricket
World Cup next March and
April; extending operational
hours of regional airports; the
appointment of persons to liaise
with travelers throughout the
host venues on security meas-
ures and requirements.
"There are other actions
which relate specifically to the
internal operational mecha-
nisms of airports and seaports
and how various functions
inter-connect. It will be
extremely important to get
these implemented across all
host venues during tournament
time so that travel can be facili-
tated as smoothly as possible,"
noted Hamilton.
The security workshop, he
added, was "very uI lul in
bringing together nearly 50
officials from several relevant
entities, such as the directors
of security for regional and
international carriers operating
in the region; chief executive
officers of ground-handling
companies; airline customer
service managers; directors of
airport security; comptrollers of
customs; regional aviation
authorities and officials from
CWC's Security Directorate.
Regional consular representa-
tives of the tournament's 16
participating nations were also

CFU rankings
(world ranking in brackets)
1. Cuba (46)
2. Jamaica (57)
3. St. Vincent and the
Grenadines (85)
4. Trinidad and Tobago (91)
5. Barbados (98)
6. Guyana (100)
7. Haiti (102)
8. Bermuda (107)
9. Suriname (122)
10. Antigua and Barbuda (132)
11. Dominican Republic (136)
12. St. Kitts and Nevis (143)
13. The Bahamas (146)
14. St. Lucia (160)
15. Grenada (163)
16. Turks and Caicos (169)
17. Netherlands Antilles (177)
18. Dominica (181)
19. Cayman Islands (189)
20. British Virgin Islands (190)
21. Puerto Rico (195)
22. Anguilla (196)
23. Aruba (198)
23. US Virgin Islands (198)
23. Montseratt (198)

position to improve and
develop," he said.

Gordon Williams is Caribbean
Today's managing editor.

Caribbean-born boxers clash again for cruiserweight title

keep your mind in the battle
you'll be O.K.
"The 14 months off, I'll be
double charged," he added.
"Even 10 times more dan-

Bell, who was scheduled
to intensify his training for the
Mormeck fight this month,
was expected to participate in
a tournament for heavy-
weights in early December.


Peter A. Webley,

But the "Superfighter" event
in Australia was postponed.
He claimed he has already
shrugged off that disappoint-
"I'm still here, recharged
my mind," said the man also
known as "Supernova".
"...The struggle continues."
Bell's management team
blamed the delay of the
rematch on American Don
King, who acquired the rights
to promote the fight. But the
Montego Bay-born boxer, who

currently lives in Atlanta, said
fight fans demanded the event
and he is eager to grasp the
"(The people) have the
greatest champion right in
front of their eyes and the sys-
tem is preventing him from
fighting," Bell said. "...I am
ready to shine."

Gordon Williams is Caribbean
Today's managing editor.

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we keep and the way we carry ourselves. If you
are going to a party or a formal function, don't you
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If we agree on that, then think of this. Why should it
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order to win customers, you should keep your com-
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well in...

Consistently credible
For information, please call
305-238-2868, or fax 305-252-7843

Lara still upbeat West Indies will

be Cricket World Cup force

Teen Jamaican jockey shines at Calder

January 2007




A 'sleeping giant' still haunts Montserrat's paradise


BRADES, Montserrat -
There are really two sides to
Montserrat. One that's rather
charming and full of promise,
but the other side, which is
much better known, can be
quite frightening particularly
when it's venting.
For the moment, though,
things are relatively quiet. But
don't be fooled: this
is no gentle giant.
In fact, scientists
say the Soufriere
Hills Volcano could
erupt at any time.
As several dis-
placed residents
struggle to eke out
a new way of life,
scientists monitor-
ing Montserrat's
Soufriere Hills
Volcano say the
lava dome contin-

ues to grow at a
rapid rate and they
are advising resi-
dents to keep up
their precautions.
"It is rapid.
This dome at its full
volume of 125 mil-
lion has grown
since May 20 this
year. It's an average
growth rate of nine
cubic metres a sec-
"In terms of this
type of eruption it
certainly is a fast
growth rate. A sig- The Soufrier
nificant change, it's
certainly faster than
the growth rates we saw in the
last episode of dome growth,
which was 1999 to 2003.
"It's also a significant
change from the early stages
of the eruption the so-called
volcanic crisis when many
small domes grew, collapsed,

exploded," explained Dr.
Victoria Hart chief scientist of
the Montserrat Volcano

In 1995 the Soufriere Hills
Volcano roared to life after
350 years of lying dormant,
raining burning lava, ash and
massive boulders over a third
of this seven-mile by 11-mile

e Hills 'monster' erupts.

British dependency. It was an
eruption that shattered life as
most residents knew it, and
was followed by another erup-
tion which finished off what
the earlier eruption had left of
the then capital, Plymouth,
and sent nearly two-thirds of

the 12,000 residents fleeing to
Britain and other nearby
Caribbean countries.
Over the past 11 years
there have been several of
these explosive-type events,
which the remaining approxi-
mately 5,000 residents still
don't like, but have come to
"Well we made a choice
to stay here so whether it acts
up or not we have to
live with it," one of
these resilient resi-
dents told the
Caribbean Media
"The vol-
cano, people should
get along with it
cause see he hasn't
thrown off any real
activity to say harm
us...we don't pay
much mind cause
see we have scien-
tists to set off alarms
and we have a big
siren on top the hill
up there so we
should hear it," said
another resident.

The residents
say Montserrat is
still their island par-
adise even though
life is not as nice as
it used to be.
"We need to have
something to boost
the economy in
terms of construc-
tion. Some houses
have been put up
but there are still people who
are unemployed so we need to
find a means of employment
for those people," one resi-
dent said.
"The government gives
you money when the month
come to help you buy food

and get whatever you want
and so, but it still isn't enough
cause when you pay for light
bill what left if you don't save
it, if you don't know how to
save, dog better than you,"
another resident said.
There can be no going
back, so for the moment they

can only look out in the hope
that the giant that lurks close
by may finally go back to


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qualifications and experience.

In an attempt to address
the age old problem of
parents leaving Jamaican
hospitals without naming their
children, the Registrar
General's Department (RGD)
says it will issue free birth cer-
tificates for every child regis-
tered with a name at birth.
The EGC said the pro-
gram, which was scheduled to
begin on New Year's Day
2007, follows the public edu-
cation campaign launched by
the department aimed at
reaching more than 18,000
children who were not regis-
tered at birth and as a result
are without birth certificates.
Officials said that approx-
imately 7,000 children across
the island have still not been

registered under the "Name
the Child" project.
"This project sought to
name the 18,000 toddlers who
were registered without
names, the project ran from
September 11 to October 13
of this year and at its comple-
tion some 11,000 children
were named," said Dr. Sheila
Campbell-Forrester, acting
chief medical officer in the
Ministry of Health.

As part of the strategy to
ensure that the remaining
children are named, some
hospitals would be issuing
same-day birth certificates to
parents who register their
child with a name on Jan. 1.

However, children who are
not named within six weeks of
birth will not be issued with a
free birth certificate.
RGD's Chief Executive
Officer Dr. Patricia Holness
told reporters that if children
were named before leaving
the hospital this would make
it easier for the department to
process their birth certificates.
Meanwhile, the RGD said it
would publish and distribute a
booklet containing baby
names to all pre-natal clinics
and maternity centers.
Each year, Jamaica
records approximately 45,000

IQYes, s
for: IU
UO Paymr


end me 1 year (12 issues) of Caribbean Today
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Caribbuean ;Qay


Jamaica offers free birth certificates

January 2007


- u scrbes..

P 0 1 I T I C S

CMC A hemispheric body
has described 2006 as a good
year for Caribbean democra-
cies, but said the issue of elec-
tion campaign financing must
be addressed.
This assessment came
from Organisation of
American States (OAS)
Assistant Secretary General
Albert Ramdin, who said the
body was pleased with the
conduct of elections in Haiti,
Guyana and St. Lucia last
year, but believed that some
attention must be paid to the
contentious issue of campaign
"A lot of money has been
spent in the Caribbean cam-
paigns over the past year,"
Ramdin said. "There are
many questions raised with
regards to the source of those
"I don't want to pinpoint
in any particular case, but
there are many questions
raised and I believe it is some-
thing which should be dis-
cussed among CARICOM
(Caribbean community) lead-
ers as an issue of concern for
the future because this can
create a situation in which we
can get undesirable effects of

involvement of non political
play in the political process,"
he added.

The OAS official said
countries should move to
strengthen their electoral law,
and added that this was an
area in which his organization
was willing to assist.


"That assistance can be
provided. We intend to sug-
gest and work with the CARI-
COM Secretariat in organiz-
ing once again another meet-
ing of political representatives
to talk about these issues and
probably this time much more

focus on campaign financing
and political party financing,
so that hopefully we can get
an idea about where the
politicians in region would
want to go," he said.
Within recent times the
issue of campaign financing
emerged as a major issues in
some Caribbean countries,
especially in Jamaica, where
political parties are
expected to go to the
polls this year, and St.
Lucia where a new gov-
ernment was elected in
the Dec. 11 general
election. Last month,
former Prime Minister
Dr. Kenny Anthony
insisted that drug
money was used to
finance the last general
election campaign,
which resulted in defeat
for his St. Lucia Labour
Party (SLP).
"When you are prime
minister of a country
and you have responsibility
for national security there is
information that you receive,
and you will have to go to
your grave with some of that
information," Anthony said in
a Dec. 27 television interview.

ing Caribbean political scientist
here says the stepping down of
Fidel Castro, due to illness, as
head of the Cuban government
was the major political event in
the Caribbean for 2006.
Dr. Basil Wilson, the
Jamaican-born provost at John
Jay College of Criminal Justice
in Manhattan, said that "irre-
spective of the grave or un-
grave nature" of Castro's ill-
ness, "there is the likelihood
that the Fidel era has come to
an end in Cuba.
"The revolutionary baton
has been passed to his brother,
Raul Castro, but it will not
be too long before power is
passed to a younger generation
of party members," Dr. Wilson
said in a statement late last
"That changing of the
guard could set the stage for
the normalization of relations
with the United States and the
possibility of democratic elec-
tions," he added.

Wilson said it is astonish-
ing that the Cuban revolution
has survived 47 years despite
United States' economic boy-
cott and rLpLjILd attempts to

assassinate Fidel Castro."
He said the accomplish-
ments of the Cuban revolution,
under Castro's aegis, have been
substantive, despite "numerous
Wilson said even though
Castro has adhered to a strict

udsi U

ideological line of he has
always been mindful of the sur-
vival of the revolution and has
been willing to transcend
"Marxist-Leninist orthodoxy.
"Fidel Castro has stepped
off the world stage after almost
five decades," he said. "He has
been a larger than life figure.
"No political figure in the
Americas has triggered more
passion," he added.

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CASTRIES, St. Lucia, CMC -
John George Melvin Compton
took the oath of office as prime
minister of St. Lucia for a
record seventh time last month
after leading a rejuvenated
United Workers Party (UWP)
to victory in
general elec-
The vic-
tory at the
polls halted
the efforts of
the incum-
bent St.
Lucia Labour
Party (SLP)
for an
ed third /
straight term
in office and
in the Compton is hoisted on
process pro- party won the general
vided the
English-speaking Caribbean
with its oldest ever head of
The UWP won 11 of the
17 seats contested in the Dec.
11 elections.
Sir John, 82, who returned
to active politics last year fol-
lowing two convincing victories
by the SLP in the 1997 and
2001 general elections, has
promised a government of

inclusion and urged St. Lucians
to put behind them years of
political tribalism that was evi-
dent in the just ended election
"We must now harness our
scarce human and material

-AP photographs
to the shoulders of supporters after his UWP
elections in St. Lucia.

resources behind the common
national cause and engage the
energies of all St. Lucians in
the process of national devel-
opment," an emotional Sir
John said.

He said an immediate pri-
ority of his administration
would be to deal with the ris-
ing crime situation, and

warned that the fight would be
based on a zero-tolerance
"We will give the police a
free hand to do their duty with-
in the law, and establish an
independent Police Complaints
Commission to safeguard the
rights of the public," he said.
The veteran politician also
promised an end to the "day-
to-day" political interference
in the St. Lucia Police Service.
Sir John also promised
that a series of consultations
would be held with the church-
es and other stakeholders in a
bid to restore discipline in
schools and the halt the
decline in the moral and social
fabric of the society.
Sir John said his new
administration would put an
end to the financial misman-
agement and wastage of public
funds, which he said was one
of the hallmarks of the outgo-
ing government of Prime
Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony.
The new UWP govern-
ment, he said, would seek to
create at least 7,000 new jobs
in the tourism and information
technology sectors during the
five-year period.

OAS wants Caribbean to address

election campaign financing rules

Castro's departure tops

2006 political highlights

New government in St. Lucia;

'zero tolerance' on crime ~ P.M.


January 2007




The Western Hemisphere
Travel Initiative (WHTI) is
scheduled to take effect this
The WHTI requires all
those United States citizens
traveling by air to the
Caribbean to have a passport.
For information about
applying for a U.S. passport,
or call 800-ASK-USPS.

The Miami-Dade County
Public Schools and The
Education Fund have co-pub-
lished a free Parent Resource
Guide 2006-2007 for the public.

The 88-page guide, spon-
sored by global financial serv-
ices provider ING, gives par-
ents information they need to
know about their child's
school, curriculum and stu-
dent requirements.
The guide is printed in
three languages -English,
Spanish and Haitian creole.
Each school in the system will
receive additional copies for
use in parent-teacher meet-
The guide may also
be viewed online at www.educa-
tionfimdorg (under "Our
Publications") and www.dade- (under RI' t Lr ").
The 2006-2007 guide pro-
vides a wealth of information



including revised curriculum
requirements, test schedules,
immunization requirements,
student services, legal rights
and parental involvement.

The National Passport
Information Center (NPIC),
the United States Department
of State's single, centralized
public contact center for U.S.
passport information, is offer-
ing a toll free service and has
expanded its service availabili-
Persons with questions or
need status checks on pending
passport applications can call
1-877-487-2778. Customer
service representatives are
available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Monday through Friday,
excluding Federal holidays.
Automated information is
available 24 hours a day, seven
days a week.
For e-mail access, visit: Website of
passport and other interna-
tional travel information is
available at

The United States
Citizenship and Immigration
Services (USCIS) has
announced that aliens must
mail applications to renew or
replace permanent resident
cards, commonly known as
"Green Cards", directly to the

Los Angeles Lockbox.
The Lockbox is a process-
ing facility used by USCIS to
accelerate the collection of
applications and petitions.
The announced change allows
the agency to improve the
processing of Form 1-90
(Application to Replace
Permanent Resident Card) by
electronically capturing data
and images and by performing
fee receipting and depositing
from one central location,
rather than at the local district
office, service center, or appli-
cation support center (ASC).
Aliens filing a Form 1-90,
regardless of their state of res-
idence, must mail those appli-
cations with an application fee
of $185 and a biometrics fee
of $70 to one of the following
For U.S. Postal Service
(USPS) deliveries:
U.S. Citizenship and
Immigration Services, P.O.

Call for Bids or Proposals
For a listing of available Broward Community College (BCC)
open procurement solicitations visit: bids
or contact
BCC strongly encourages participation by minority and women-
owned business enterprises (MWBE firms)

Box 54870 Los Angeles, CA
Or for non-USPS deliver-
ies (e.g. private couriers):
U.S. Citizenship and
Immigration Services,
Attention: 1-90, 16420 Valley
View Ave., La Mirada, CA
Applicants should not
include initial evidence and
supporting documentation
when submitting the Form I-
90 to the Los Angeles
Applicants will receive a
notice for a biometrics pro-
cessing appointment at an
ASC and will submit their ini-
tial evidence during that
Applicants will receive
their biometrics appointment
in the mail.

Photograph by DerrickA Scott
Beryl Riley, center, Jamaica's honorary consul to Richmond, Virginia in the United
States, presents a gift to Richard White, one of many children who received presents
at the Association of Jamaicans in Richmond's (AJR) annual Christmas celebration
last month. Assisting Riley is Harvey Neyfville, right, a board member of AJR.

January 12, 2007 January 26, 2007

Commissioner Barbara J. Jordan has made $150,000 available through the Mom and Pop
Small Business Grant Program for FY 2006 2007 to be distributed to qualified small
businesses located in Miami-Dade County District 1 area only. Maximum amount per
business is $5,000. Home Based businesses are welcome to apply. Businesses awarded
funding two consecutive years must sit out one year.

District 1
Applications Available: at District Office
2780 NW 167thStreet
Contact: Shareeke Edmead

NANA, 180 NW 62nd Street
Contact: Ms. Lawanza Finney

Applications also available January 12, 2007
download at 01
or nanaflorg

An information workshop is
scheduled for 6:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, January 23,2007 at Barbara J. Jordan
North Dade Regional Library, located Miami-Dade County
2455 NW 183 Street, Miami, FL 33056 Commissioner District 1

All applications must be hand delivered and returned by 5 p.m.
Friday, January 26, 2007, at either location. For more information,
contact Ms. Lawanza Finney at (305) 756-0605 from 10 a.m. 4 p.m.

It is with pleasure that we pause from
our usual routine to say

for your friendship, goodwill and loyalty.
May the happiness and good cheer of the
Holiday Season be yours throughout the
New Year.

6o0111ecfiq$, t/ e (?ai 'q6eaf/


January 2007





e Apresents-
The Art of Mutic

January 25 -27, 2007
The Aqueduct on ose Hall
Montego Bay. Jamaica

Artists scheduled to appear:
* Earth Wind and Fire Michael Bolton Kenny Rogers
* Christopher Cross Roy Ayers ABBA-The Tribute NEWA
* Anthony Hamilton Monty Alexander Pieces of a Dream
* Russell Thompkins Jnr. and the new Stylistics plus many more..


Join us January 23-24
for intimate Jazz concerts
leading up to the big event.

up. QJm



I ___j

January 2007

- Am


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