Group Title: Caribbean today (Miami, Fla.)
Title: Caribbean today
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00099285/00019
 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: October 2007
Copyright Date: 2010
Frequency: monthly
regular
 Subjects
Subject: Economic conditions -- Periodicals -- Caribbean Area   ( lcsh )
Politics and government -- Periodicals -- Caribbean Area   ( lcsh )
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
 Notes
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: VID00019
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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9 IOCTOB3ER 2007

c O i^f oo-cnm nooWr

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c o v e r


y o u r % o r I d


V./


Vol. 18


PRESORTED
STANDARD
S U.S. POSTAGE
PAID
MIAMI, FL
PERMIT NO. 7315
0 \Tel: (305) 238-2868
1-800-605-7516
editor@caribbeantoday.com
ct ads@bellsouth.net
No. 11 Jamaica: 654-7282


I TH MULI AW RD-WNNIN NEW MAG ZIN


Under a pol-
Sannounced
hiig last month,
d New York
State
Democratic
Governor
Eliot Spitzer
says he will issue driver's
licenses to Caribbean and
other immigrants without
regard to immigration status,
page 2.

Jamaica's
Veronica
Campbell
overcame a
serious leg
injury to
again prove
she's one of
the best ever
athletes
from the
Caribbean,
shining at the recent IAAF
World Championships of
Athletics, page 11.


Congress-
woman
Yvette D.
Clarke, who
is backed by
"A a strong
Caribbean
immigrant
constituency
in New York,
is urging
United States
President George W. Bush to
pull U.S. troops out of Iraq and
send them back home to their
families, page 19.


ALLOUT
Despite frenzied efforts to get passports
Sfor United States citizens, and belated
protests by Caribbean tourism
organizations, the mandatory
passport re-entry requirement
went into effect this year.
Did it help or hurt the
lucrative flow of U.S.
visitors to the
rilean?, page 15.


Man on a

mission k ,


~ Caribbean-born
engineer Glenn Chin
heads a NASA team
that will deliver
'Harmony' to outer
space and expand
international access
there, page 2.


INSIDE
News.................... 2 Local ................... 14 Politics ................. 18 Sport ................... 22
Viewpoint................ 9 Tourism/Travel .......... 15 Region .......... .....20 Cargo & Freight.......... 23
Health .................. 13 Business ................ 17 Arts/Entertainment ....... 21 Feature ................. 25


W e


I





CARIBBEAN TODAY


n e WS


Jamaican heads NASA team on space station expansion project


GORDON WILLIAMS
W hen the "Di,.<,\,Lr\%
space shuttle heads
into space this
month it will carry a special
package 'gift-wrapped' by
a Jamaican-born engineer
and his team at National
Aeronautics and Space
Administration (NASA) in
the United States.
Glenn Chin is NASA mis-
sion manager charged with
delivering a Node 2 module
called "Harmony" that will
expand the docking area at the
International Space Station to
accommodate other space pro-
grams.
Chin heads a multi-disci-
plined team of 30 to 40 engi-
neers and technicians at
NASA which is involved in
the testing, integration and
assembly processes that will
make "Harmony" ready for
launch inside "Di,, \L r\ ,
cargo bay on the morning of


Oct. 23. Once installed at the
space station, "Harmony" will
serve as a port for space pro-
grams from China and a com-
bined 13 European countries.
"Harmony is a module
with six docking ports where
modules can
dock to make
the station
bigger,"
explained the -
43-year-old
Chin, who
attended high
schools in
Jamaica and Chin
the U.S. and
college at the
University of Miami, where
he earned a degree in
mechanical engineering.
"It's like a six entrance
hallway that you can add
rooms to... It's actually the
gateway to the international
partners."
That "hallway" or central
building block is 24 feet long
and 15 feet wide. It weighs


31,500 pounds.

SIMPLE TASK
It was built in Italy, with
fine-tuning at NASA's
Kennedy Space Center in
Florida, where Chin and
his team are based. He
was involved in the early
design and construction of
"Harmony" as part of a spe-
cial team, which offered
NASA insight into the pro-
ject's progress. That required
him to travel to Torino
between 1998 and 2000. Other
work assignments temporarily
took Chin away from the
"Harmony" project, but he
would later return as mission
manager. His task is simple:
get "Harmony" ready for
launch and make sure it
works once it gets into space.
But Chin is confident it
will. Discovery's transporta-
tion of "Harmony" this
month, also called "STS-120",
is not the only mission Chin
has been involved with at
NASA. He has been in charge


The space shuttle "Discovery" will trans-
port "Harmony" to the International
Space Station.

of 16, four of which he has
seen through to their launch.
However, despite acknowl-
edging a familiarity with the
procedures required for the
task, Chin said the different
types of "payload" he is
required to deliver in proper
working order keeps the chal-
lenge interesting.
"It's pretty routine," he


said. "The processes are pret-
ty much the same. But the dif-
ferences in hardware for each
mission is unique. Each hard-
ware is unique."
So is his background.
Chin is one of a handful of
Caribbean nationals working
at the Kennedy Space Center,
which employs some 18,000
workers. He is proud of his
heritage and credits his back-
ground for much of his suc-
cess in the U.S.
"That's huge for me," he
said. "As a Jamaican I've
always been a hard worker,
persistent. When I came to the
States I realized the opportu-
nities here and went after it.
"I have enough savvy to
know you can reach for your
dreams in this country."
For the married father of
a son, his dreams extend to
outer space.

Gordon Williams is Caribbean
Today's managing editor.
0


Now getting here can be
almost as relaxing as a day
on one of our secluded beaches.


=11a


NEW
change
New Y
Govern
will iss
Caribb
grants
gration
Th
adopted
the pre
admini
Pataki.
Th
made i
sible, f
immigr
license


N.Y. reverses driver's license policy
YORK Under a policy Vehicles (DMV) will accept a
announced on Sept. 21, current foreign passport as
ork State Democratic proof of identity without also
nor Eliot Spitzer says he requiring a valid year-long visa
ue driver's licenses to or other evidence of legal
ean and other immi- immigration.
without regard to immi- Spitzer said the policy,
status. which does not require legisla-
e change reverses rules tive approval, will be phased
d four years ago under in starting in December and
-vious Republican will be tied to new anti-fraud
station of George E. measures. Those measures will
Spitzer include authentication of for-
at administration had eign passports and the use of
t difficult, if not impos- not prove their legal status. photo comparison technology
or tens of thousands of Under the new rules to ensure that no driver has


rants to obtain driver's
s because they could


announced by Spitzer, the
state's Department of Motor


(CONTINUED ON PAGE 4)


'I.


- -~- -


Getting to Barbados just became much easier. With Air Jamaica flights
from Fort Lauderdale, you'll arrive ready to relax and enjoy all we have
to offer from pristine beaches to five-star dining to championship golf.
So now it's almost as easy to get here as it is to be here.


New non-stop service from Fort Lauderdale.
* Time Out at the Gap from $619 per person
* 3 nights minimum
* Valid Travel: September 1-December 14, 2007
* Includes round-trip airfare on Air Jamaica from
Fort Lauderdale, on-island airport transfers, hotel
accommodations, hotel taxes & service charges.


Fri/Sat/Sun Flight #96
Depart Fort Lauderdale: 9:40 AM
Arrive Barbados: 1:00 PM
Fri/Sat/Sun Flight #97
Depart Barbados: 1:50 PM
Arrive Fort Lauderdale: 5:30 PM
Schedules subject to change.


For more information, visit www.airjamaicavacations.com or call 1.800.LOVEBIRD.
*Prices are per person based on dojbi- "..:up i-.-, rn-.i;d ek travel or lowest combination possible in
economy class on Air Jamaica from Ft l.,rj'-lr- ,-rp i.r,- 1-December 14, 2007. Savings are reflected
in prc,'.'- l.. IJU. t:-.J r. A ,* l' '.I : ., : .. j i 'j; ..JJ 1,. lI Jl .l,.A, *".IIIj CL.I.I. f,' .'...--'h J rI .lI,. j3/V
and -ali- ;i3":.:-- 1. i -I lu & icre- 'i-. :.a .i-.M l-r'e ,,. :;c li.1 ,r-j, la e- 1, I -.: ,I* uJi 1.: i'' C- r iF r:..,1
are -,3 l',:,ar l ,", J e ..,',.'ll l p;, lm e.-,r : rF :.- aOr l c t l2 .',. liT. : -r. I, ;- i .i p -|:. I-.,:l c r .d
with r.i3i [1 E rn.- ,l r .c 'tA:rI 'E7r I rr -.:jro 1- ':1 I V,3":] I-- : u l, 1 ,l 'l :: l fJ
per r .-f -a erl :. 3 :3 I,.I. n.;ll --. ,r, |ri:,. .,i j; a33 ,: .,I r..:l ,- l r,_.:,r- l ..r.Ir :le3 rjl,_ _-,-,_ ir/
by resort and travel dates. Prices are capacity controlled & based on the lowest available airfare. Prices
and promotions are accurate at the time of printing and subject to availability, changes, cancellations and
restrictions. Not valid for groups. CST #200921820.


Miami-Dade cop with Jamaican links

wounded in shootout with suspect


woman with strong
Jamaican ties was
among four Miami-
Dade County police officers
shot last month in the line of
duty after they tried to stop a
man who was reportedly driv-
ing recklessly in South Florida.
Officer Jody Wright, 31, a
two-year veteran of the force,
was hospitalized after being
shot in the leg, reportedly by
Shawn Labeet, a 25-year-old
resident of Margate, who the
police later said they killed in
a shootout at a condominium
complex in Pembroke Pines.
Jose Somohano, 37, who
joined the Miami-Dade police
in 2003, died from shots the
police said were fired by
Labeet. Officers Tomas
Tundidor, 37, and Christopher
Carlin, 34, were also wounded.
Family members of Wright


flew in from Kingston, Jamaica
following the incident. Her
father Dennis Dalley said doc-
tors at Miami's Ryder Trauma
Center, Jackson Memorial
Hospital, told him that his
daughter suffered a gunshot
wound to her knee-cap area,
which "literally wrecked a num-
ber of bones." She is expected
to undergo several surgeries,
including reconstruction.
Dalley said Wright was
saddened by the death of her
friend and colleague Somohano.
However, he added that he was
grateful that she had survived
the shooting.
"Thank God's she's alive,"
he told reporters.

ENCOUNTER
According to the police,
the four officers were part of a
burglary surveillance detail


assigned on Sept. 13 near an
apartment complex in Miami-
Dade. The police said they
trailed Labeet, driving a red
Buick LaSabre, to his home
after they noticed he had
been driving fast. Once there,
Labeet reportedly fled and was
chased by the cops. Gunfire
was exchanged and the officers
were shot. Labeet reportedly
took his girlfriend's car and left
the area. Tips led police to the
condominium in Pembroke
Pines where they said Labeet
was killed in a shootout.
According to Dalley,
Wright was never scared of the
possible dangers associated
with her line of work.
"(She said) 'what is to be
will be'," Dalley explained.
"'I'm not afraid. I can't go out
there being afraid.'"
0


October 2007


lwww.caribbeantoday.com 11




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CARIBBEAN TODAY

n e WS


U.S. lists CARICOM countries


among major drug transit states


WASHINGTON United
States President George W.
Bush has listed three Caribbean
community (CARICOM)
states among 20 worldwide as
being major drug transit or illic-
it drug-producing countries.
The list, which was sched-
uled to be submitted to the
U.S. Congress, then published
in the U.S. Federal Register,
identified The Bahamas, Haiti
and Jamaica among those
countries.
The Dominican Republic,
as well as Venezuela, which
has close ties with some
CARICOM states, were also
listed.
Others on the Majors List
are: Bolivia, Brazil, Burma,
Colombia, Ecuador,
Guatemala, India, Laos,
Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan,
Panama, Paraguay, and Peru.


Caribbean

least
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados,
CMC A new survey by the
international watchdog institu-
tion, Transparency International
(TI), has listed Barbados, St.
Lucia and St. Vincent and the
Grenadines as among the least
corrupt countries in the world.
In a survey of 180 coun-
tries, the global coalition listed
the countries at number 23, 24
and 30 respectively and said the
low perception of corruption
among public officials in these
islands was only bettered by
countries in the developed
world were vibrant non govern-
mental institutions kept a close
watch on public officials.
Other Caribbean communi-
ty (CARICOM) countries
ranked in the survey were
Dominica at number 36, with a
score of 5.6 out of 10, followed
by Suriname at number 72 with
a score of 3.5, Grenada and
Trinidad and Tobago at 79 and
a score of 3.4, Jamaica scoring
3.3 at position 84, Belize at 99
with a score of 3.0 and Guyana


John Muss


"A country's presence on
the Majors List is not neces-
sarily an adverse reflection of
its government's counter-nar-
cotics efforts or level of coop-
eration with the United


States," Bush said in a White
House statement.
"One of the reasons that

countries nam

corrupt in the i
at 123 with a score of 2.6.
Haiti, at 177 and a score of
1.6, was listed in the category of
countries where corruption was
perceived to be rampant.

POSITIVE STEPS
The agency, whose surveys
are heavily used by the interna-
tional community, credited
Dominica, Suriname and Belize
as taking positive measures to
significantly improve their rat-
ings in the corruption index. It
said there was a clear correla-
tion between poverty and cor-
ruption with the divide in per-
ceived levels of corruption in
rich and poor countries remain-
ing as sharp as ever.
"Despite some gains, cor-
ruption remains an enormous
drain on resources solely needed
for education, health and infra-
structure," said Transparency
International Chairman
Huguette Labelle.
"Low scoring countries
need to take these results seri-
ously and act now to strengthen


major drug transit or illicit
drug-producing countries are
placed on the list is the combi-
nation of geographical, com-
mercial, and economic factors
that allow drugs to transit or
be produced, despite the con-
cerned government's most
assiduous enforcement meas-
ures," he added.
But while The Bahamas,
Haiti and Jamaica are on the
"Majors List", the U.S. presi-
dent said Burma and
Venezuela have failed
"demonstrably" during the
past year to "adhere to their
obligations under international
counter-narcotics agreements.
"However, the president
determined to maintain U.S.
programs that aid Venezuela's
democratic institutions", the
statement said.


ed among

world
accountability in public institu-
tions, but action from high scor-
ing countries is just as impor-
tant, particularly in cracking
down on corruption activity in
the private sector."
TI said fighting corruption
was a global issue which
required global action, but said
developing countries needed to
use aid money to strengthen
their governance institutions and
develop string poverty reduction
programs.
"Governments must intro-
duce anti-money laundering meas-
ures to eradicate safe havens for
stolen assets", it stated.
"Leading banking centers
should explore the develop-
ment of uniform expedited pro-
cedures for the identification,
freezing and repatriation of the
proceeds of corruption".
The agency said its survey
was based on 14 expert opinion
surveys.
0


October 2007


Trinidadian man falsely accused

of child rape sues N.Y. for $10M


NEW YORK A Trinidadian
man falsely accused of raping
an eight-year-old schoolgirl in
Brooklyn has filed a $10 mil-
lion lawsuit against the City
of New York.
Francis Evelyn, 58, a cus-
todian at a Brooklyn school
where the girl said she was
raped, said five months after
his face was broadcast world-
wide as an accused child
rapist, he can't sleep well nor
function properly. He said he
filed the lawsuit against the
city for ruining his life by
believing a troubled child with
a history of fabricating stories.
"Before, I walked the
street happy-go-lucky," he
told reporters.
"Now, you see the eyes,"
he added. "People you don't
know, approach you.
"You don't know what
they're coming with," he con-
tinued. "It could be bad. I'm
scared like hell of being out


Canada worried

of illegal Haitia
ONTARIO, CMC Canadian
authorities say they have been
overwhelmed lately by scores of
illegal Haitian and other immi-
grants from the United States
seeking asylum in Canada.
They said that the undocu-


mented
immigrants
bring forms
allegedly sold
to them, for
up to US$400
each, by a
Haitian
group in
Florida with Francis
the under-
standing that
the documents would entitle
them to stay in Canada.
Officials said the arrivals
began early last month fueled
by the notion that Canada
would grant them asylum.


(C

'(

c
c
ti
a
b
g
a
n
ii
cc
e
p

(I
S


there!"
Evelyn was cleaning the
halls of Public School 91 in the
Wingate section of Brooklyn
on Mar. 19, just as he had
done for nearly 20 years, when
cops dragged him out in hand-
cuffs. The girl claimed that for
weeks he repeatedly molested
her in a basement bathroom.
The school's respected
principal, Solomon Long, was
suspended for failing to report
other allegations by the girl,
which he believed to be
unfounded. Long was later
reinstated.

JAILED
Evelyn was paraded
before television cameras and
spent two days at Rikers Island
jail before prosecutors rushed
to a judge to drop the charges.
The child, who also
wrongly accused her father of
rape, had no signs of physical
(CONTINUED ON PAGE 5)

.d over influx

n immigrants
They said the journey was first
MupLLlLJd by the Jerusalem
Haitian Community Center in
Naples, which promoted
"Information required for
Canadian Refugee Status
Application" on its website.
Canadian officials said that
over 200 illegal immigrants,
who also included Mexicans,
turned up in Windsor, after
crossing the border from
Detroit. Officials and refugee
advocates said thousands more
may be on their way.
Eddie Francis, the mayor of
Windsor, said he has faxed a let-
ter to Canadian federal authori-
ties seeking financial help.
"I empathize with the
challenges, but we don't have
the ability to manage this. We
have never seen anything like
this," he added.
0


N.Y. reverses driver's license policy...
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2) to the immigration agency that is
nore than one license. now part of the U.S. Homeland
Security Department.
COMMON SENSE' New York's move goes
Spitzer said the new poli- against the national trend. Many
y is a "common sense states, prodded by demands to
change" that will improve crack down on identity fraud,
traffic safety and lower insur- have added requirements that
nce costs for all New Yorkers effectively prevent illegal immi-
y ensuring that more immi- grants from obtaining driver's
rants have valid licenses and licenses. All but eight states now
uto insurance. He said giving require drivers to prove legal
nore Caribbean and other status to obtain driver's licenses,
immigrants verifiable identifi- and those eight Hawaii,
ation will also enhance law Maine, Maryland, Michigan,
enforcement by bringing peo- New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and
le out of the shadows. Washington have come
"The DMV is not the INS under pressure to add such a
Immigration and Naturalisation requirement.
service, Spitzer said, alluding


U


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CARIBBEAN TODAY


U.S. Senate revives bill offering legal status

to Caribbean students


WASHINGTON The United
States Senate last month
revived a bill that would offer
legal status to Caribbean and
other students who have grad-
uated from high school here
but are in the country illegally.
The move was made after
the first effort to advance a
piece of broad immigration
legislation failed in June.
Senator Richard J. Durbin,
the Illinois Democrat who is an
author of the student measure,
said that he would try to offer
it as an amendment to the mili-
tary authorization bill under
debate in the Senate.
The measure would pro-
vide a path to permanent legal
status for illegal Caribbean stu-
dents who came to the U.S.
before they were 16 years old,
graduated from high school in
"good standing" and agreed to
serve in the military or attend
college for at least two years.
Both supporters and opponents
of the measure said it would
serve as a test on whether legis-


Durbin


lation giving legal status to ille-
gal immigrants can pass
Congress this year, in light of
the strong opposition from con-
servative voters who defeated
the larger bill.
Opponents rejected that
bill as an amnesty that would
reward Caribbean immigrants
who broke the law.

'NARROWLY TAILORED'
Speaking on the Senate


floor, Durbin dL,,rib d his
measure as "narrowly tailored"
and said it would help resolve
"a very serious recruitment cri-
sis" for the military.
Supporters, who called the
measure the Dream Act, said it
could pass the Senate because it
is intended to benefit young peo-
ple who grow up in the U.S. and
are illegal immigrants as a result
of decisions by their parents.
In coordinated action, high
school and college students
who support the Senate meas-
ure staged iL., i-mi" and vis-
ited lawmakers' offices on
Sept. 19 in Florida, Idaho, New
York, Oregon and Wisconsin.
Twenty illegal immigrant
students from California went
to Washington to lobby for the
bill, dressed in white coats and
business suits to signify the
medical and legal careers they
hope to pursue. They held a
news conference offering only
their first names.
0


U.S. backs Jamaica's new government


United States President
George W. Bush has
renewed his country's
commitment to strengthening
relations with Jamaica.
Last month, the president
telephoned new Prime
Minister Bruce Golding to
congratulate him on his elec-
tion win and assured Golding
of the continuation of ongo-
ing programs of U.S. assis-
tance and collaboration.
Golding conveyed the


appreciation of the Jamaican
government and people for
the longstanding positive rela-
tionship that both countries
have shared and noted that his
administration would work to
further improve U.S.-Jamaica
cooperation at the bilateral
and multilateral levels.
Both leaders have com-
mitted to exploring new areas
of mutual interest where
cooperation will result in
greater levels of development
and prosperity for the people


of Jamaica and the U.S.

- Edited from JIS. Goldi
takes office and calls for
politics of cooperation in
Jamaica, while
pledging to intro-
duce measures to
stamp out corrup-
tion and rising crime
and drive economic
growth in the coun-
try, see page 18


Trinidadian man falsely accused of child rape...


(CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4)
assault, and initially iden-
tified her alleged assailant
as bald and white. Evelyn
is black.
Evelyn said cops
grilled him for hours, lying
about fake DNA tests to
try to force a confession,
and offering to cut him a
short prison term instead
of life if he admitted guilt.
Thrown into a jail cell
with seasoned criminals,
Evelyn said he stood with
his back to a wall all night,
praying, as fellow inmates
greeted each other and
unabashedly used an open
toilet.
He said he was strip-
searched and left to sleep
on a bare mattress in a
filthy cell wearing only a
Ii1,up r, ', and paraded
past inmates who
screamed, "Hey, Pops!
You raped my sister! I'm


going to cut your throat!
Don't let me catch you in
the shower! We gonna
shank you!"
Evelyn said when he
was finally freed, a cursing
correction officer refused
to give back $84 cash he
had handed over, then
released him with a $4
MetroCard to take the
subway home.

STUNNED
He said when he
returned to Brooklyn, he
saw his face displayed on
front pages of newspapers.
"I was stunned," he
said, disclosing that he
walked for miles with his
head under his shirt.
"I didn't want any-
body to recognize me,"
said Evelyn.
"I can't go out on the
street without having to
answer questions," he


said, >n people said,
'Hey, you're the guy who
raped the eight-year-old.' I
said, 'I never raped
nobody!'"
Evelyn said though he
can return to work at the
school, whenever he pass-
es near the building, he
trembles. He said he has
been living off vacation
time and 57 sick days.
"I had two more years
to retire," he said.
"After you work all
that time, all that sacrifice,
it comes to this?" Evelyn
said.
"I want to get over
this," he added. "I don't
want those charges just to
be sealed. I want it to be
washed away. I want an
apology. Come on. Clear
my name!"
0


ng
new
t


Grenada-born ex-judge freed

from jail in child support case


NEW YORK, CMC A
Grenadian-born former New
York State Supreme Court
judge has been freed after
spending four months in jail for
failing to pay $250,000 in back
child support.
Reynold Mason was freed
Sept. 19 after his ex-wife,
Guyanese Tessa Abrams Mason,
agreed to accept $30,000.
"I am not making any
comment whatsoever," Mason
told reporters outside
Manhattan Supreme Court.
Mason, who was kicked
off the bench in 2003 and had
subsequently worked as a
real estate agent in Atlanta,
Georgia, had told Justice Joan
Lobis that he was "dead
broke" and could not come up
with $250,000 in court-ordered,
delinquent child support pay-
ments to Abrams Mason for
their three children, ages 17,
15, and nine.
"I don't feel victory,"
Abrams Mason said. "I feel
tired."

LONG FIGHT
She said she fought for
four years to get her ex-hus-
band to support their three
children.
"We shouldn't get tired,"
she said. "We shouldn't settle


for less. But I ci ikd because
I'm desperate."
Manhattan Supreme Court
Justice Joan Lobis had initially
ordered Mason to pay $75,000
and commit to a payment plan
to leave jail. But Mason said he
could not raise even $30,000.
Abrams Mason said she
compromised because she
needed the money to buy
school clothes, pay college
application fees for their eldest
daughter, and pay higher rent
because they faced eviction.
Mason said he had only made
$68,000 in 2005 and 2006, com-
pared to $136,700 annually
when he sat on the bench, and
that he was borrowing from
relatives to get by. He said he
declared bankruptcy in order
to survive, but Justice Lobis
threw him in jail in May after
he failed to pay child support
for four years.
Abrams Mason, who man-
aged her ex-husband's 1994
campaign to get him elected to
Brooklyn Civil Court then the
Supreme Court, was instru-
mental in getting him kicked
off the bench when she submit-
ted evidence of alleged ethics
violations to the New York
State Commission on Judicial
Conduct.
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CARIBBEAN TODAY


U.S. considers compensation

for Antigua in gaming dispute


ST. JOHN'S, Antigua, CMC -
The United States is consider-
ing providing a compensation
package to Antigua and
Barbuda and other countries
following Washington's deci-
sion to withdraw its gaming
services commitment under
the General Agreement on
Tariffs and Services (GATS).
A statement by the
Barbados-based Caribbean
Regional Negotiating Machinery
(CRNM) said that Sept. 22 had
been the deadline for completion
of compensation negotiations.
"Failing these negotiations
with the eight countries seek-
ing compensation namely
Japan, the European Union,
Antigua, Costa Rica, India,
Australia, Macao and Canada
- by the deadline, the matter
would have to be referred to
arbitration.
"The package offer is not
likely to surpass the U.S. Doha
Round revised services offer.
While this package may not be
considered generous compen-
sation, some countries may be
more inclined to work with the
offer as a starting point for
negotiations especially if it is
'sweetened' by other market
access opportunities", the
CRNM stated.
It noted that in the case of
Antigua "with its limited
export range, there may be lit-
tle room for negotiation of


alternative market access con-
cessions with the U.S. if this
offer is rejected by Antigua.
"Antigua is still within its
rights under the World Trade
Organization Dispute
Settlement Understanding to
pursue compensation or trade
sanctions given that, technical-
ly speaking, the U.S. is still not
in compliance with the WTO
ruling in favor of Antigua and
will continue to be in that state
until compensation and or
arbitration is settled regarding
their removal of their GATS
commitments relating to online
gaming".

DEMAND
Antigua has already indicat-
ed that it was seeking millions of
dollars in compensation and it
has also expressed a desire to
base sanctions on the suspension
of TRIPS obligations and com-
munications services obligations
under the GATS.
However, in recent devel-
opments, the Motion Picture
Association of America
(MPAA) has called upon the
U.S. government to suspend
preferences offered to Antigua
under the U.S.-Caribbean
Trade Partnership Agreement
(CBTPA) and the Caribbean
Basin Economic Recovery Act
(CBERA), which together are

(CONTINUED ON PAGE 7)


UNITED NATIONS The
United Nations says while the
Caribbean and Latin America
have made some progress in
the global fight in reducing
poverty, the region still falls
behind much of the world in
this pursuit.
The U.N. said in a state-
ment that besides sub-Saharan
Africa, inequality remains
highest in the Caribbean and
Latin America, with about 205
million people living in pover-
ty. It said 79 million live in
extreme poverty in which they
cannot cover their basic
dietary needs.
"Countries of the region
face some daunting challenges
growing out of the region's fail-
ure to make substantial inroads
against poverty", stated the


report on the Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs).
The MDGs are part of a
Millennium Declaration,
signed in 2000 by leaders of
189 countries, which set 2015
as the year for achieving signif-
icant advances in, among other
things, primary education, gen-
der equality, child mortality
rates and environmental sus-
tainability.
The report stated that the
Caribbean and Latin America
are not moving fast enough to
reduce extreme poverty and
hunger, noting that the income
gap between the rich and the
poor has expanded although
there has been some progress
in some areas.
0


Scredits peacekeepers for aiti's stability


Preval credits peacekeepers for Haiti's stability


UNITED NATIONS, CMC -
President Rend Preval has
credited the United Nations
Stabilization Mission in his
country (MINUSTAH) with
promoting stability on his
impoverished Caribbean com-
munity (CARICOM) nation.
Addressing the United
Nations General Assembly
late last month, Preval, noted
that Haiti is "all too frequent-
ly on the U.N.'s agenda
because of its problems of
insecurity and political unrest.
"I am speaking on behalf
of a country that somewhat
hasty analysis describes as a
'failed state'," he said, noting
that "Haiti is on the way to
bidding farewell to that state
slowly, patiently yet with
determination."
Preval said organized
armed gangs that had
wreaked violence on the
population have been disman-
tled and there were no longer
"no-go" zones that were too
dangerous to enter. He said
inflation had dipped below 10
percent, while gross domestic
product (GDP) is up after 10
years of decline.
The Haitian leader said
peace is an "essential condi-
tion" that enables the coun-
try's political forces to "put an
end to their endless quarrels."

'TIMELY' MOVE
In anticipating a one-year


extension of MINUSTAH,
Preval said this move would
be "quite timely" and served
as a reminder that gains in


Preval


Haiti, including victory over
insecurity, the holding of
democratic elections,
improved governance and a
strengthened judicial system,
were made possible "in large
part due to the efforts under-
taken by the UN force in the
country."
The Haitian president
said though his administration
is "young, inexperienced and
ill-equipped," it has been
u in the battle against insecuri-
ty." He lauded MINUSTAH
for providing the necessary
support in restoring security
to the impoverished French-
speaking Caribbean country.


Preval said Haitians con-
tinue to see the presence of
foreign armed forces on their
soil as a "wound with respect
to their national sovereignty,"
noting, however, that "in
practical terms, this is the
only formula that is realistic
and available at this time that
enables Haitians to restore
freedom and live in peace."
He said it was up to the
Haitian people to benefit
from the "period of calm,
regroup and reconsider the
future with a positive vision,
while the country strengthens
its cohesion, modernizes its
judicial system and improves
its ability to take action in
favor of economic recovery
and sustainable develop-
ment."



m o n


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Mailing Address: P.O. Box 6010
Miami, FL 33116-6010.
Telephone: (305) 238-2868
(305) 253-6029 Fax: (305) 252-7843
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E-mail: editor@caribbeantoday.com
Send ads to: ctads@bellsouth.net
Vol. 18, Number 11 OCT. 2007

PETER AWEBLEY
Publisher

GORDON WILLIAMS
Managing Editor

SABRINA FENNELL
Graphic Artist

DOROTHY CHIN
Account Executive
SUNDAY SELLERS
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E-mail: tom@cmsworldmedia.com
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(876) 925-5640
P.O. Box 127, ( .... ni ,"'
Kingston 8, Jamaica
Opinions expressed by editors and
writers are not necessarily those of the
publisher.
Caribbean Today, an independent
news magazine, is published every month
by Caribbean Publishing & Services, Inc.
Subscription rates are: US$20 per year
(Bulk); 1st Class $35 per year.
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UNITED NATIONS The
United Nations Children
Educational Fund (UNICEF)
says new figures show solid
progress on child survival,
including a decline in the
annual number of under-five
deaths, in the Caribbean and
Latin America.
UNICEF said the decline
comes amid a record global
low in which child deaths have
fallen below 10 million per
year to 9.7 million, down from
almost 13 million in 1990.
"This is an historic moment,"
said UNICEF executive director
Ann M. Veneman.
M IrL children are sur-
viving today than ever
before," she added.
"Now, we must build on
this public health success to
push for the achievement of
the Millennium Development
Goals."
UNICEF said rapid
declines in under-five mortality
have been seen in the Caribbean
and Latin America, among
other regions.
"The Latin American and
Caribbean region is on track


to achieve the child mortality
Millennium Development
Goal, with 27 deaths on aver-
age for every 1,000 live births,
compared to 55 per thousand
in 1990", the statement said.

PROGRESS
UNICEF attributed much
of the progress to "wide-
spread adoption of basic
health interventions, such as
early and exclusive breast
f, di n1_- measles immuniza-
tion, Vitamin A supplementa-
tion and the use of insecti-
cide-treated bed nets to pre-
vent malaria".
"The new figures show
that progress is possible if we
act with renewed urgency to
scale-up interventions that
have proven successful,"
Veneman said.
In addition, she said there
is unprecedented support for
global health, with increased
funding and expanding part-
nerships, including with gov-
ernments, the private sector,
international foundations and
civil society.


Poverty, hunger keep

Caribbean behind ~ U.N.


Rapid decline in Caribbean

child deaths ~ UNICEF


Caribbean Today is requesting that, effective immediately, all editorial corre-
spondence be e-mailed to editor@caribbeantoday.com. We appreciate your
co-operation. In addition, the deadline for submitting articles to be consid-
ered for publication is the 20th of the month preceding the month of publica-
tion. For example, the deadline for articles for Caribbean Today's November
2007 edition must be received no later than October 20, 2007.


October 2007





CARIBBEAN TODAY

n e WS


T&T's RM. laments 'dangerous U.S. funds Tsunami warning system for Caribbean


imbalances'


NELSON A. KING

NEW YORK Trinidad and
Tobago's Prime Minister
Patrick Manning has lament-
ed the "dangerous imbal-
j.n i, of globalization.
In an hour-long address at
the Medgar Evers College in
Brooklyn, where he received
an honorary doctor of laws
degree from one of New
York's predominantly black
colleges last month, Manning
said the current economic
paradigm, "anchored in glob-
alization, notwithstanding its
obvious benefits, in terms of
productivity, has already cre-
ated dangerous imbalances in
and among countries.
"In the midst of tremen-
dous wealth that is being cre-
ated, the gulf between rich
and poor continues to widen.
"The gross domestic
product of the 40 poorest
nations is less that the wealth
of three richest nations in the
world," he added.
Manning said that over 50
percent of the world's popula-
tion lives on less than $2 a
day in a world economy that
generates in excess of $50 tril-
lion annually.

'UNACCEPTABLE'
He said the result of "this
totally, unacceptable situation
is mass poverty, spawning the
myriad problems of hunger,
malnutrition, disease, home-
lessness, illiteracy and child
labor," adding that over eight
million people die annually
hL_.Ju1L they are simply too
poor to stay alive."
The Trinidad and Tobago


I


U.S. considers compensation for Antigua...


(CONTINUED FROM PAGE 6)
known as the Caribbean Basin
Initiative (CBI), if Antigua
pursues these sanctions.
CRNM said that MPAA is
basing its argument on the
grounds that "suspension of
TRIPS obligations would
infringe the eligibility criteria
for CBI benefits.
"The association has cited
an eligibility criteria which
states that CBERA denies
beneficiary status to a country
that has nationalized, expropri-
ated or otherwise seized own-
ership or control of property
owned by U.S. citizens or has
taken steps to repudiate or
nullify intellectual property.
"Further reference was
made to the CBTPA criterion
that requires that countries
meet CBERA criteria in intel-
lectual property rights (IPR)
pr lM said that "in as far
CRNM said that "in as far


as Antigua continues to bene-
fit from CBI preferences
through WTO waiver, the pro-
posed action of retaliation may
be completely permissible
under international trade law.
"It should be further
noted that U.S. recourse in this
case has also been empowered
by the recent agreement
between CARICOM and the
U.S. to extend the CBI prefer-
ential agreement.
"This decision to extend
CBI was the most appropriate
course of action for CARI-
COM (Caribbean community)
at that time. However, this
potential threat of U.S. retalia-
tion, compromises the political,
negotiating and legal manoeu-
vrability of Antigua.
"In the end, the options
available to Antigua in this
case are f,\\t stated the
CRNM.
0


"As part of that effort,
the U.S. government provided
US$37.5 million in related
support to the Caribbean and
Atlantic regions including the
installation of seismic moni-
toring stations in throughout
the region."
The station, which is


of globalization
prime minister said that the
world's industrial powers con-
tinue to "create the breeding
ground for the level of disaf-
fection and desperation that
produces criminal activity
within and across borders."
Manning said other con-
sequences include illegal
migration; the "pernicious"
trade in illegal drugs and
arms; and "the delusion of an
ideological solution, which is
fuelling a terrorism with a
ferociousness, perhaps,
unprecedented in human his-
tory."
Manning said failure of
the "model" in many develop-
ing countries has given rise to
"an adventurism and left-wing
governments, particularly in
Latin America.
"Additionally, competi-
tion, the struggle to survive
and the push to produce con-
tinue to take a most disas-
trous toll on the environment,
to the point where the very
survival of human civilization
on this planet is thrL iiL nd,"
he said.
Manning said the
"Washington consensus,"
which ihrh/a trade and
production facing the private
sector, has "clearly not worked
for the benefit of all humanity."
Brooklyn Borough
President Marty Markowitz,
who, in jest, considers himself
a "Trini J\\% presented
Manning with a small replica
of the Brooklyn Bridge and a
proclamation, declaring Sept.
26, 2007, "Patrick Manning
Day in Brooklyn".
0


BRIDGETOWN, Barbados,
CMC The United States is
providing just under half a
million dollars towards the
establishment of a Tsunami
and Coastal Hazards Warning
System (TCHWS) for the
Caribbean community
(CARICOM).
Washington, through the
United States Agency for
International Development/
Office of Foreign Disaster
Assistance, on Sept. 26 signed a
two-year agreement with the
Caribbean Disaster Emergency
Response Agency (CDERA)
as part of the initiative.
Officials said the $475,200
grant would help in empower-
ing coastal communities in the
Caribbean to prepare for and
respond to tsunamis and
coastal hazards.
"This assistance comple-
ments the multi-million dollar
U.S. government support for
the creation of the Indian
Ocean Tsunami Warning
System in the wake of the
Indian Ocean Tsunami of
December 26, 2004," said U.S.
Ambassador to Barbados and
the Eastern Caribbean Mary
Ourisman, who signed the
accord.

Antigua's

action on
NEW YORK Antigua and
Barbuda's Prime Minister
Baldwin Spencer has called
for collaborative action in
adapting measures to deal
with climate change.
"It would be no exaggera-
tion to say that our collabora-
tive action in this area holds
the key to future of entire
countries and communities
around the globe," Spencer
said during a round table dis-
cussion at a high-level summit
of the United Nations
General Assembly last month.
Spencer told colleagues
and other delegates that
financing effective measures
and mechanisms for climate
change would be one of the


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prepare coastal communities
for action to be taken when a
warning issued.
"We have provided the
technological infrastructure
and we are now providing our
people with the knowledge and
skills to respond effectively to
such dangers," said CDERA
Chairman Dale Marshall, who
is also the Barbados minister
of home affairs.
"Often we think of the
region as one which is only
prone to certain types of nat-
ural hazards hurricanes,
tropical storms and floods -
we tend to forget that there
are other natural hazards such
as earthquakes and tsunamis
which though less frequent,
can be much more greater in
magnitude and can cause sig-
nificantly higher loss of
human life."
The two-year project will
be executed by CDERA in
conjunction with the Seismic
Research Unit of the University
of the West Indies (UWI), the
National Meteorological
Offices and the Coastal Zone
Management Agencies in
CDERA participating states.



aborative

measures
for dealing with climate
change," Spencer said.
The prime minister noted
that financing mechanisms,
like the Global Environment
Facility (GEF), should priori-
tize the implementation of
projects as opposed to writing
reports and other consultation
exercises.
In looking ahead to the
Climate Change Summit in
Bali, Indonesia later this year,
the Antiguan leader said
future generations will look
back to the Bali negotiations
and judge the global commu-
nity in terms of its response to
the issue of financing for
adaptation.
0


Ourisman


located in Barbados, became
operational in Oct. 2006.

OBJECTIVE
The primary objective of
the TCHWS project is to sup-
port the establishment of an
effective end-to-end Tsunami
warning system at the region-
al and national levels, and to
undertake public education
and awareness campaigns to

s RM. wants coil

climate change
defining chal-
lenges before
U.N. in the
upcoming
decade.
"It's one
thing to set up
a fund, but
another for
the monies to Spencer
reach projects
that make an impact in the
country. The latter is not hap-
pening enough to make a dif-
ference.
"Simply put, if we are to
implement national climate
change action plans, it requires
money, technical assistance
and training and educating our
own local people on strategies





CARIBBEAN TODAY


w 11b y PAnIC HERITAGE mOnTlT

~ A Caribbean Today feature


Every year, between
September and October,
Hispanics celebrate
their history, culture and
achievements.
It is a time when the
United States commemorates
the traditions of its residents
who trace their roots to Spain,
Mexico and the Spanish-
speaking nations of Central
America, South America and
the Caribbean.
Sept. 15 was chosen as
the starting point of the
celebration because it is
the anniversary of the
Independence of five Latin
American countries: Costa
Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala,
Honduras and Nicaragua. In
addition, Mexico declared its
Independence on Sept. 16 and
Chile on Sept. 18.
The month-long celebra-
tion includes educational
events and activities to raise
awareness about issues affect-
ing Hispanic Americans in the
U.S. In honor of "Hispanic
Heritage Month", the U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers,
Jacksonville District, brought
information about restoration
of Florida's Miami-Dade and
Broward counties.


A child at the John F. Kennedy Library in Hialeah, Florida enjoys the interactive CERP
kiosk after a Flamenco performance during "Hispanic Heritage" celebrations.


The Corps participated
in local events organized by
public libraries. Last month
they installed kiosks that
described the Comprehensive
Everglades Restoration Plan
(CERP), and provided infor-
mation about how the plan
will affect the lives of South
Floridians and how everyone
has the opportunity to
become involved in saving the


Everglades.
The kiosks included
images of the Everglades and
pertinent ecological facts
translated into Spanish.
Accompanying children's but-
tons and print materials for
adults and younger readers
were also provided.
0


Miami libraries to present art, cooking, entertainment


Hispanics in U.S. celebrate heritage


The Miami-Dade Public
Library System will
commemorate Hispanic
Heritage Month with a series
of programs and exhibitions at
branches throughout the
Miami-Dade County in South
Florida.
Beginning Oct. 2, library
visitors will be treated to
author presentations, folkloric
performances, cooking
demonstrations, children's
programs, and art exhibitions.
There will also be presen-
tations exploring the history
of dance, including the salsa
and mambo.

MDC offers
MIAMI In commemoration
of Hispanic Heritage Month,
Miami Dade College will
present an array of free
events, such as art exhibits,
lectures, film screenings, com-
edy shows and dance classes
throughout October at each
of MDC's eight campuses in
South Florida.
Contact the following
campuses for information
about events scheduled there:
* Hialeah Campus, 1780 W.
49th St., 305-237-8700
* Homestead Campus, 500


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In addition, photojournal-
ist Randi Sidman-Moore
explores the joining of cul-
tures in "Lox with Black
Beans and Rice: A portrait of
Cuban-Jewish life"; children's
author Katie Sciurba, shares
her inspiration for writing
"Oye CL ,l' a novel dedicat-
ed to the legendary Celia
Cruz, and the "Colorin
Colorado" puppet theater will
present tales from Mexico.
All events are free and
open to the public. For more
information, call 305-375-2665
or visit www.mdpls.org.


free events
College Terr., 305-237-5555.
InterAmerican Campus,
627 S.W. 27th Ave.,
305-237-6000
Kendall Campus, 11011
S.W. 104th St., 305-237-2000.
Medical Center Campus,
950 N.W. 20th St.,
305-237-4000
North Campus, 11380 N.W.
27th Ave., 305-237-1000.
West Campus, 3800 N.W.
115th Ave., 305-237-8000.
Wolfson Campus, 300 N.E.
Second Ave., 305-237-3131.
0


October 2007





CARIBBEAN TODAY


V I E W P 0 I N


We black Americans
seem to need a
major event or out-
rage every so often to revive
our mass energies in ways
that remind of us the 1960s
civil rights
movement.
In the
1980s we had
mass arrests
at the South
African
embassy to
protest
apartheid. In
the 1990s CLARENCE
there was the PAGE
Million Man
March to
redeem black fatherhood and
proper role modeling. In 2007
we have the "Jena 6".
Thousands flowed by the
busload into tiny Jena,
Louisiana, last month. They
came to march on behalf of
six black youths who were
originally charged with
attempted murder for alleged-
ly beating up a white youth
last December at the local
high school in what many
describe as a schoolyard fight.
The "Jena 6" case actual-
ly began months earlier when
three nooses appeared in a
tree at the high school. That
was one day after black stu-
dents defied a school tradition
that designated the tree to be
a whites-only gathering spot.
The school principal expelled
three white students for hang-
ing the nooses, but the school
superintendent reduced the
expulsions to a few days of
suspension.
Tensions grew as various
interracial fights, attacks and
angry confrontations, mostly
off-campus, in later weeks
resulted in young white males
receiving slaps on the wrist, at
most, while young blacks
received school expulsions or
criminal charges.
It was the local district
attorney's decision to charge
six black students with
attempted second-degree
murder, while white students
had gone free for other
attacks, that touched off the
national uproar. The white
student who was beaten
allegedly taunted blacks with
racial slurs and was a friend
of the students who had hung
the nooses. He was treated
and released after a few hours
in a local hospital.

EXCESS
I don't make light of
anyone's beating, but the
attempted murder charge was
an excess wretched enough to
be a virtual invitation to the
Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al


Sharpton, who enthusiastical-
ly accepted, leading the march
with Martin Luther King III.
Suddenly little Jena
became a symbol in many
minds of every injustice or
racial grievance, real or per-
ceived, that black folks have
endured in recent years, from
the aftermath of Hurricane
Katrina to the gross dispari-
ties between federal sentences
for crack and powder cocaine.
The "Jena 6" put real
names and faces to Justice
Department statistics that
show African American men
to be three times more likely
than white men to face jail
once they have been arrested.
The bi-__L,,I disparity is
among men convicted of
aggravated assault, according
to the National Urban
League's annual State of
Black America report. It
found that black men are sen-
tenced to an average of 48
months in jail almost one-
third longer than the average
sentence received by white
men.
But now that the crowds
have gone home and Jena is
once again a quiet little oil
and lumber town, will the big
march have lasting signifi-
cance, like the movement that
helped end apartheid and free
Nelson Mandela? Or will it be
like the Million Man March: a
stirring memory and a great
applause line for political
speeches, but not much fol-
low-through?

BAD COVERAGE
It was the bad fortune of
the "Jena 6" demonstrators
that they had to share the
spotlight with another media
eruption, the latest misadven-
tures of O.J. Simpson.
Charged with armed robbery
in Las Vegas for allegedly try-
ing to steal memorabilia from
his own glory days, Simpson
needed no help from bloggers
or talk shows to get wall-to-
wall coverage.
Simpson returned to T.V.
screens like a cheap sequel to
a movie you'd rather forget.
He reminds us of one of
America's most racially divid-
ed moments. Simpson's
acquittal of double homicide
charges gave white Americans
a shock that their black
friends, neighbors and
coworkers have been long
acquainted with, the chilling
sense of denied justice.
And for black Americans
with an eye for bitter irony,
Simpson's acquittal showed a
strange form of progress, at
best: America had progressed
enough to let a rich black
(CONTINUED ON PAGE 10)


Injustice is bigger


than 'Jena 6'


omen loving women
is as old as time
itself, but it never
seemed to get the abhorrence
as men loving men.
Anyway, these women got
the name lesbian from
Lesbos, which is a Greek
island in the Aegean Sea.
History has more than
implied that the inhabitants
there, especially the followers
of the poetess Sappho, were
all into free love between
each other.
The fact is though, they
also dealt with men, but the
women loving women part
seemed to dominate. The fact
is also, anyone who lives on
the isle of Lesbos is a lesbian,
just as how people who live in
Jamaica are Jamaicans and so
on. But in this context, and
the accepted one, is that
female homosexuals are
called lesbians.
Way back in my youth,
before I knew what all this
same sex thing was about, I
naively thought that boys
liked girls and that was that.
The thought of men with men
or women with women just
never crossed my innocent
mind. So, in my wooing days I
approached this very attrac-
tive young foreign lady and
started to give her my best
lyrics.
"Don't even bother with
those sweet words, they won't
work on me, because I'm a
lesbian," she said.
"Well, I'm Jamaican, but
pray tell, what is a lesbian?" I
innocently queried.
"A lesbian is a woman
who enjoys the company of
women, loves to touch, caress,
fondle, kiss and make love to
women all the time," was her
reply.

TAKE-OFF
This phenomenon seems
to be taking off pretty big in
our parts, or perhaps they're
just creeping out of the closet.
More and more we see reports
in the press, and even recently
there was this huge feature on


being raised.
Not so with males though,
as no way would society allow
two young males to do the
things that I just described. So
from early, girls are exposed
to same gender contact and
affection, and sleep over
slumber parties are the rage
among young teenage girls. Is
it any wonder that many of
them graduate to become full-
fledged lesbians, or am I tak-
ing the narrow view? To com-
pound it, women are able to
mask their sexual leanings,
after all.
"We're only roommates."
Curiously, many of the
lesbians that I know very well,
confessed to me that they had
suffered some sort of sexual
abuse while young, usually
from a family member.

RESTRICTIONS
The only time men are
allowed to show any form of
affection towards each other
is during sports, especially
football when a goal is scored.
Then you will see players run
down each other, jump on one
another, pile on and hug and
kiss each other like they're in
a Turkish bathhouse. Even
the spectators in the stands
will join in, clapping and hug-
ging total strangers, just

(CONTINUED ON PAGE 10)


how many
prominent
schools have
fallen prey to
this type of
sexuality.
Locker
rooms aren't
what they
used to be, TONY
and no longer ROBINSON
are only
randy
teenage boys predators for
our daughters. Now you also
have to be careful of the girl
next door. She could very well
be your future daughter in
law.
But it's bound to happen,
what with cable TV showing
how 'natural' it is for women
to love women. Have you
watched The L Word? Plus
even male magazines perpetu-
ate this by having women in
bed pleasuring each other.
That's a big turn on for
men, but apart from that,
society has always accepted
little girls being affectionate
towards each other. Girls are
allowed to hold hands, hug
each other, groom each other,
touch, comb each other's hair,
and even sleep together in the
same bed. We think nothing
of it, and it's as natural as a
walk in the park. Why, even
female roommates are preva-
lent, without any eyebrows


T


Girls on girls, what a thing!


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I n T


* "If we can't
work together to
build the country,
we are going to -
spend a lot of _
energy, and we
are going to find
that we are get-
ting nowhere fast" Bruce
Golding last month issuing a
call for national unity days
before being sworn in as
Jamaica's new prime minister.


* "We are going
to watch every
move they make,
every step they
take, every
where they go,
everything they
do" Jamaica's
former Prime Minister Portia
Simpson Miller last month out-
lining the watchdog role of the
People's National Party as the
country's Opposition to the
newly elected government.

* "I am delighted that Sir John
died as a prime minister like an
old solider with his boots on.
He retired from government


undefeated,
returned by pop-
ular demand and
left the scenes
for the last time
again undefeat-
ed" former St.
Vincent Prime
Minister Sir James Mitchell
commenting on the death of Sir
John Compton, prime minister
of St. Lucia and his cousin.

* "He was an outstanding
leader in that he represented
the spirit and the whole poten-
tial of St. Lucia and the
Caribbean" former Antigua
and Barbuda Prime Minister


Lester Bird
ide l, mii, the late
Sir John
Compton as one
of the region's
greatest integra-
tionist.

* "Today I proved to the world
that Asafa is back" Jamaican
sprinter Asafa Powell, who dis-
appointed at the
IAAF World
( IIUtt au JI 'l /I'%
of Athletics, con-
firms he is still -
the world's fastest
human after
smashing his own


world record for the 100 meters
last month in Italy.

* "We will arrest
you. I make it
plain" Prime
Minister Dr.
Ralph Gonsalves
warning fisher-
men from neigh-
boring countries
last month that they would be
ill-advised to venture into
Vincentian waters to fish.

Compiled from CMC and other
sources.
0


Injustice is bigger than 'Jena 6'


(CONTINUED FROM PAGE 9)
man buy his way out of
accountability in the way once


reserved for rich white men.
But that's not a good
enough standard of justice for


a great people or a great
country. As demonstrated by
the Rev. Al Sharpton's fiasco


with Tawana Brawley or the
recent bogus Duke University
rape case, unequal justice
doesn't always tilt against
black folks or Latinos. We
simply have been statistically
more vulnerable to it.
In this increasingly diverse
country, Americans should not
have to spend another century
playing one-downs-manship,
competing to see whose race
or ethnic group can be the
most victimized.


The best legacy for the
"Jena 6" march would be a
new movement, dedicated this
time to the reduction and
elimination of unequal justice
wherever it appears. I don't
care who leads it, but it
shouldn't be for blacks only.

2007 Clarence Page.
Distributed by Tribune Media
Services, Inc.
0


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(CONTINUED FROM PAGE 9)
because a goal was scored.
After the match and out
of the stadium though, it's
back to normal, and not even
male pillion riders on bike
backs are allowed to hold on
to the rider for security. Not
so with women, who can
exhibit all the affection they
want, without being called les-
bians, even if they are.
There are many reasons
why women turn to other
women for more than com-
panionship. For one, there's
more affection, and women
do love affection. Left to a
woman she would have affec-
tion all night with a little sex
at the end to top it off. Left to
a man he would have sex all
night, with a little affection at
the beginning just to appease
her. That's why foreplay is
such a big issue between the
sexes, with women crying that
it's never enough and men
saying that women want too
much.
Frankly, the man could
very well do without it. But
aha, that's where the lesbians
come in. They can go at this
foreplay affection thing for
hours, bringing untold pleas-
ure to each other. Few men, if
any, can match that, or would
want to. Remember the old
saying, that men fake affec-
tion to get sex, while women
fake sex to get affection. With
lesbians there is no faking,
just the real deal, and no man
can compete.


As a result, many women,
tired of the insensitivity and
impatience of their men, turn
instead to the gentler softer
approach of other women.

CONFUSED
Some are confused, and
miss the hard male body and
often backslide, but eventual-
ly they return to the feminine
fold and experience the
untold pleasures of girls on
girls. And don't think that all
lesbians are dykes too, who
love to wear men's clothes
and boots. Many are beauti-
ful, sultry, soft sexy women
who turn many male heads.
That's another thing, men
don't seem to mind the fact
that women are lesbians. Just
recently I was in the presence
of two of my lesbian friends,
two absolutely gorgeous
women, and just the thought
of what they did behind
closed doors started to turn
me on. This is perpetuated in
books, magazines, movies,
TV. series, where women lov-
ing women is accepted and
actually proves to be a stimu-
lant to men.
Like it or not, it's a grow-
ing trend, and if you can't
beat them, you had better join
them. Perhaps more men
should become lesbian-like in
their lovemaking with their
women.
Girls on girls, what a thing.

seidol@hotmail.com



V I P 0


I


October 2007


lwww.caribbeantoday.com 11


Arm -
cbet*-Ia l


=









VIEu W PO I NT



Carlb* e.,at of a champion: Jamaica's Veronica

C rl Campbell strikes gold on the track


Jamaica's Veronica Campbell
overcame a serious leg injury to
again prove she's one of the best
ever athletes from the Caribbean.
Recently she talked to Caribbean
Today's Managing Editor Gordon
Williams about her medal win-
ning performances at the recent
IAAF World C ahnipionships of
Athletics in Osaka, Japan, includ-
ing gold in the 100 meters and sil-
ver in the 200 meters and 4x100
meters relay. The following is an
edited version of that interview:

QUESTION: You're coming off
the World Championships.
How're you feeling now, not
just physically, but mentally and
spiritually as well?
A: I'm feeling great. I think I
achieved a lot at the World
Championships and I'm pleased
with the way I performed. All
the hard work I put in paid off.
So I'm very grateful.

Q: Coming off the injury, were
the World Championships like a
shot at redemption for you, to
re-establish yourself?
A: Not really. I was hurt last
year and I accept that. And I
worked hard to get myself
back to full form. I was very
determined at the World
Championships. I was very
confident that I would do well
because training was going on
really good. I was just pleased,
just taking each round with con-
fidence.

Q: You had the misfortune of
having your coach (American
Lance Brauman) not around,
incarcerated. What sort of rela-
tionship did you have with the
coach and how did his absence
from your training, personally,
affect your preparations going
into the games?
A: Despite the fact that our
coach was absent, my main aim
was to stay focused. I was very
determined. He (Brauman) left
us with all our programs and
our workouts that we had to do.
So I could follow the proce-
dures, the workouts, and just
stay focused. And I just worked
towards my goal.

Q: Is he still your coach and is
he still going to be your coach?
A: As for now I think I'll stick
with the program I've been
doing for a while. It's worked
well for me and I think the best
thing to stick with what I know,
what has worked well for me,
not to try something new during
the Olympic year (2008).

Q: Your fiance, Omar Brown,
was at the World Championships
helping as coach. How did that
work out? And what were the
advantages and disadvantages, if
any, to that arrangement?
A: That went well. Omar did
very well. (She laughs.) He


played a really good role
as a coach at the World
Championships. He made sure I
did everything I needed to do
to go through each round. He
was very supportive. It was fun
working with Omar. It wasn't
any problem. Everything went
well and I just thank God that
he was able to help me focus on
the World Championships.

Q: Seeing as you have a person-
al relationship with him, does it
make any difference when he is
acting as your coach?
A: I know how to separate per-
sonal stuff from business. So it
was no problem at all.

Q: The 100 meters final, that
was possibly the closest finish
of all times, or one of the clos-
est...Were there any added
expectations seeing that
Jamaica expected a gold medal
from Asafa Powell and that did-
n't happen, and now it was your
turn?
A: I was not pressured at all. I
know what I went to the World
Championships to accomplish
and that was to win. So I stayed
focused, stayed positive, stayed
confident and took it each
round by round.

Q: When you started the race,
you had to play catch-up. What
were your thoughts coming out
of the blocks and say halfway
through the race?
A: I don't remember the entire
race, but when I got out of my
drive phase I realized that I was
not in the front and I realized
that I had some catching up to
do. But I've learnt to be patient
and that helped me to run a
very good race and come out
on top.

Q: You're saying that your
experience helped pull you
through what was probably not
the best start?
A: Right, and mistakes that I've
made before; to have learned
from those. And I was able to
maintain my composure and
execute the race despite having
a not-so-good...start. I think the
problem in that race was not so
much my start, but it was my
execution for the first 30
(meters).

Q: But you did not panic?
A: No, I did not panic. If I'd
panicked, then that's not a good
thing. If you panic then you
cannot execute well. You get
out of your drive phase too
quick and you screw the entire
race up. So patience is the best
thing when it comes to 100
meters if you don't get a good
start.

Q: There's a lot of talk about
that, about your mental tough-
ness. How important is that to


you in terms of your make-up
as an athlete?
A: It is very important. On top
of the physical, you've got to be
mentally strong... You can be
physically fast or strong, but if
you are not strong in the head
then you can mess everything
up. So mental preparation,
being strong, being positive, is
very important to me as an ath-
lete.

Q: Is there any special way you
go about preparing yourself
mentally to compete, especially
in these big meets?
A: I think one part, you've got
to have confidence in your
training. You've got to have
confidence in yourself. You just
have to believe that you put in
the work and you can achieve
whatever you want, because the
mind is so powerful. As long as
you work hard and just focus on
you. It's all about you in the
race. It's not about all the com-
petitors. It's just about you and
your lane. Just know what
you've got to do and stay confi-
dent.

Q: Do you feel the weight of
expectations as Jamaica's lead-
ing gold medal hope at major
games now?
A: Not really. I'm just trying to
maximize everything; my poten-
tial and my career. So whenever
I go on the track I'm just mak-
ing sure that I do whatever it


takes to compete to the
best of my ability. I don't
really feel any pressure
because when you try to
pressure yourself that can
mess everything up. You've -
just got to focus on what
you've got to do and that
will take care of everything,
all the expectations and
everything. I try not to let
pressure get to me. I just
work on what I have to get --
done.
Cam
Q: You wake up in the
morning thinking you're the
fastest woman in the world?
A: (She laughs.)

Q: Has it dawned on you yet?
A: Ah, I'd rather skip that
question. (She laughs.) I'm
blessed. I feel well accom-
plished. I feel I've accomplished
a lot.

Q: What specifically do you
believe you have to work on?
A: Right now, I think my last 50
(meters), especially in that race
(200) is the main thing I need to
work on because I think I exe-
cuted well (in Osaka), but I was
not pleased with the last 50
(meters) of that race.

Q: Your fastest time is 22.05
seconds. American Allyson
Felix ran 21.81 to win. Is that
beyond you or within your
reach?


ipbell trying to stay ahead of the pack.

A: (She laughs.) I wouldn't say
it's beyond me. To say it's
beyond me that would be nega-
tive thinking and that doesn't
get us anywhere. I know I have
the ability, the potential to do
very well... But I definitely
know that 22.05 is not my best.

Q: The Osaka schedule was
tough. Does that give you any
second thoughts about attempt-
ing the double (100 and 200) in
Beijing (China) at the 2008
Olympic Games?
A: That is too early to deter-
mine whether I will double at
Beijing. It all depends on the
way my training goes. With that
in mind, I'll be the defending
champion in the 200 meters at
the Olympics and then I hope
to do very well in the 100
meters. Right now I am not
sure, but it's a possibility.
0


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October 2007


CARIBBEAN TODAY





CARIBBEAN TODAY


Street Fair:
Nov. 9 11


air International
presents


Amiri Baraka


Edwidge Danticat


Tananarive Due


Chris Abani


Margaret Joanne Hyppolite
Cezair-Thompson


Stories and Issues of the African Diaspora


Chris Abani
Song for Night
Opal Adis
/ Name Me Name: Lola
Preston L Allen
All or Nothing
Amiri Baraka
Tales of the Out & the Gone
Jane Bryce
Chameleon & Other Stories
Margaret
Cezair-Thompson
The Pirate's Daughter
Adrian Castro
Wise Fish: Tales in 6/8 Time
Edwidge Danticat
Brother, I'm Dying


Tananarive Due and
Steven Barnes
Casanegra. A Tennyson
Hardwick Novel
Joanne Hyppolite
Ola Shakes It Up
Oonya Kempadoo
Tide Running
Eddie Levert Sr. and
Lyah Beth LeFlore
I Got Your Back: A Father
and Son Keep It Real About
Love, Fatherhood, Family
and Friendship
R. Donahue Peebles
The Peebles Principles:
Tales and Tactics from
an Entrepreneur's Life of
Winning Deals, Succeeding


in Business, and Creating a
Fortune from Scratch
Victoria Rowell
The Women Who Raised
Me: A Memoir
Geoffrey Philp
Grandpa Sydney's
Anancy Stories
Marina
Salandy-Brown
Caribbean Dispatches:
Beyond the Tourist Dream
Carolyn Quick Tillery
Southern Homecoming
Traditions: Recipes and
Remembrances

And Many More...


Eight days of readings and discussions, including a Street Fair presenting 300 authors; book-
sellers and publishers; kids' book authors at Children's Alley; and the International Pavilions,
celebrating cultural diversity and the richness of language.


Miami Dade
S Miaomi Dade College
SCollege Wolfin C:tmpu.s
Miami Book Fair International is a premier program of the
Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College


For more information:
www.miamibookfair.com
or 305-237-3258
Miami Dade College, Wolfson Campus, Downtown Miami, Florida


Author
presentations:
Nov. 4 11


October 2007





CARIBBEAN TODAY


....a I T a9


Caribbean spending millions to fight

non-communicable disease threat


PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad,
CMC Caribbean countries
are spending millions of dol-
lars treating non-communica-
ble diseases that will continue
to present a major challenge
to the region if steps are not
taken to address the situation,
according to Prime Minister
Patrick Manning.
Addressing a regional
news conference ahead of a
one-day special Caribbean
community(CARICOM)
Summit on Health last month,
Manning said that chronic non-
communicable diseases were
responsible for many deaths in
the Caribbean. He said that
the economic burden of treat-
ing diseases such as diabetes
and hypertension would be in
the vicinity of $496.7 million.
Manning said that region-
al governments had been pre-
sented with the findings of a
CARICOM Commission for
Health and Development dur-
ing their summit in St. Kitts
last year, adding that the
report had highlighted that
non-communicable disease


had become "a major chal-
lenge on our hands."

NO QUICK FIX
Chairman of the
Commission, Sir George
Alleyne told journalists that
there is no quick remedy to
reducing the burden of non-
communica-
ble diseases
in the
Caribbean.
S He said the
region has
reached this
tk stage after
"JC~IdL, of
exposure to
risk factors
Manning and their cor-
rection will
take some time."
The risk factors identified
by the commission include
high blood pressure, obesity,
smoking, inappropriate diet
and lack of physical activity.
Manning said the cost to
Caribbean governments, as
well as the social implications
were sufficient and necessary


justifications for the summit
and that the regional leaders
had shown an intention to
"embark on preventive
action." He said that his
administration had already
taken steps towards dealing
with the
spread of
non-commu-
nicable dis-
eases mak-
ing refer-
ences to the
national
symposium
on health as
well as
increasing Alleyne
taxes on
alcohol and tobacco products
in the 2007 national budget.
"These items have been
identified as major contributors
to high mortality rates caused
by non-communicable diseases
in this country as well as the
Caribbean and other parts of
the world," Manning said.
More on page 27.


BASSETERRE, St. Kitts,
CMC The University of
Medicine and Health Sciences
of St. Kitts (UMHSS), capa-
ble of accommodating 1,200
students, will begin operations
here in January next year.
An agreement to charter
and establish the university
has been signed between
Prime Minister Dr. Denzil L.
Douglas and Dr. Robert Ross
of the United States, a gov-
ernment statement said.
It said that under the
agreement, government will
grant the university, subject
to accreditation by the
Accreditation Board, "the


charter for a school of medi-
cine with the right to confer
the degree of doctor of medi-
cine and other appropriate
degrees, including without
limitation, post-graduate
degrees to holders of the doc-
tor of medicine degree.
"The government also
grants the university the right
to establish a pre-medical
division with the right to con-
fer appropriate degrees,
including without limitation,
the degree of physicians assis-
tant, and to engage in all nec-
essary and appropriate activi-
ties that are direct or inciden-
tal to the operation of a


school of medicine and or
such other schools, provided
that the holding of the charter
shall be subject to the univer-
sity continuing to be accredit-
ed by the Accreditation
Board", statid the agreement.
Under the agreement, the
Joseph N. France General
Hospital and other public
health care facilities would be
available to the UMHSS for
the training of physicians for
an annual fee. It also said that
UHMSS would "continuously"
provide two scholarships to
nationals covering the cost of
tuition, books and equipment.
0


KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC
- Jamaica has regained its
malaria free status following
a turbulent period earlier this
year, which saw scores of
people contracting the mos-
quito-borne disease.
The Ministry of Health
said last month that there
have been no new confirmed
cases for the past three
months. The last reported
case occurred on June 19.
Dr. Eva Lewis Fuller,
director of health promotion
and protection in the min-
istry, said the three-month
period had been critical, as it
indicated that the ministry
had hbr, ki n the back" of
the disease. She said this
was done by interrupting the
transmission through various
strategies, which included
active searches and a beefed


up vector control program.
Persons traveling to
Jamaica are no longer
required to take anti-malaria
prophylaxis. The Centre for


4Wr


Malaria-carrying mosquito


Disease Control in the
United States, as well as the
World Health Organization,
had recommended the drug.
0


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October 2007





CARIBBEAN TODAY


LO c n A


Young pilot given top Jamaican honors


T urism Minister Edmund
Bartlett has proposed con-
ferring the title of ambas-
sador for tourism for Jamaica to
pilot Barrington Irving following
his successful historic solo flight
around the world.
During last month's World
Flight Adventure Gala, held in
Captain Irving's honor at the
Florida Memorial University in
the United States, the Jamaican
minister announced that this
honor was in addition to the
Jamaica national honor, Order
of Distinction (O.D.) Rank of
Commander, to be conferred
on the Jamaican-born pilot at
King's House in the Caribbean
nation.
In praising the young aviator,
Bartlett told almost 400 wellwish-
ers attending the gala that Irving


had now joined the ranks of
many other deserving Jamaicans
who had accomplished notable
areas of ingenuity.

'INSPIRATION'
Irving, a 23-year-old senior
majoring in aerospace at
Florida Memorial University,
used his single engine plane
called "Inspiration" to fly
around the world, making him
the first black and the youngest
aviator to achieve the feat.
On June 23, Irving com-
pleted his mission, which took
97 days, carrying him more
than 26,000 miles and across
many countries since he took
off from Miami in March.
Earlier this year, during
Jamaica's 45th Independence
celebrations, Irving and his
family were guests of the


Jamaican
govern-
ment dur-
ing a four-
day visit to
the island.
Born in
Kingston,
Irving was
raised in
Miami
Gardens,
and has


Irving


been using
his successful mission to
encourage young people to
resist negative influences and
work towards their dream.
Irving also established an
aviation learning center, at
the Opa-Locka Airport in
South Florida.
0


Jamaica's first lady commissions 'Lunch for Literacy'


NEW YORK Jamaica's
early childhood and primary
education programs are soon
to benefit from a feeding pro-
gram to be commissioned by
First Lady Lorna Golding.
Speaking with reporters
in New York last month,
Golding, wife of Prime
Minister Bruce Golding, said
she will be introducing a
"Lunch for Literacy" program
to benefit Jamaican students,
especially at the early child-
hood and primary levels.
She was among scores of
first ladies from around the
world at the launch of the
global health and literacy ini-
tiative by Laura Bush, wife of
United States President
George W. Bush, held at the
Pierpont Morgan Library
and Museum, in midtown
Manhattan.
"This was a very informa-


Jamaica's First Lady Lorna Golding
attending a global health and literacy
initiative in New York last month
tive meeting. I knew always
that literacy goes with health.
When you have bad health,


you are not able to read and
when you can read, you're
sure to enjoy much better
health," Mrs. Golding said.
Noting that, "you cannot
learn unless you are well fed,"
Mrs. Golding said that the
lunch for learning project
would provide a proper nutri-
tion program for the target
groups through well equipped
canteens in a presentable envi-
ronment for dining, "and a
child would be motivated to
come to school because the
menu was going to be a good
one today."
Training for the chefs for
the feeding program will be
provided by the HEART
Institute.

- JIS
0


AION U.S. wants resident
IMMIGRATIONaliens to turn in old

V KORNER 'green cards'


Question: Should I replace my
"green card" even though it
has no expiration date?

Answer: Yes you should, offi-
cials of the United States
Citizenship and Immigration
Services (USCIS) say. The
agency is proposing a new rule
that would terminate "green
.ard, or permanent residency
documents that have no expira-
tion dates, according to a recent
notice in the Federal Register.
If the rule becomes final, it
would enable USCIS to update
cardholder information, con-
duct background checks, and
electronically store applicants'
biometric information. The new
card will be a modem version
with greater security, be more
tamper-resistant, and will have
an expiration date requiring
that the card be periodically
renewed.
The rule proposes to
require permanent residents
with Permanent Resident
Cards ("green .i rd, ) without
expiration dates and who have
not already applied for new
cards with an expiration date
to apply during a 120-day filing
period that would be estab-
lished by a final rulemaking.
The "green card" holder
can get a new "card" by filing
Form 1-90, along with the filing
and biometric fees. Currently,
the total cost is $370 and
includes the filing fee of $290
for the 1-90 and an $80 biomet-
ric fee for photographs and fin-
gerprints.
Applicants can e-file on
the USCIS website using the
form, but they will receive a
notice to appear in person at a


USCIS facility for photographs
and fingerprints.

PURPOSE
Permanent Resident Cards
(Forms 1-551) are issued to
permanent residents to serve as
evidence of immigration status,
registration, identity and
employment authorization.
They also serve as entry docu-
ments upon return from trips
outside of the U.S.
Officials of the USCIS
insist that a card that is too old,
with out-of-date photographs,
cannot effectively serve these
purposes. And, they added:
"Replacement of the outstand-
ing permanent resident cards
without expiration dates is crit-
ical to the national security
mission of USCIS".
Since August 1989,
Permanent Resident Cards
have been issued with a 10-year
validity period, at which point
the cardholder is required to
apply to renew the card. Prior
to August 1989, "green .ird, '
were issued with no expiration
date and these are the immi-
grants the USCIS is targeting.
They Climl.ic the number is
around 750,000 nationally.
Meanwhile, officials also
encourage eligible residents to
consider applying for natural-
ization as well.
The answers provided here are for
information purposes only, and
do not create an attorney-client
relationship, nor are they a sub-
stitute for legal advice which can
only be given by a competent
attorney after reviewing all the
facts of the case.
0


Rains pepper 'Jamaican Jerk Festival', but fail to dampen its spice, spirit


FITZGERALD SMITH
T orrential rains shortened
its duration, but could
not dilute the spice and
spirit of the sixth "Jamaican
Jerk T 1l ,i al held in South
Florida last month.
Despite the early finish,
the annual festival, which pro-
motes the traditional
Caribbean method of "jerk"
seasoning food ranging from
meat, seafood, desserts and
vegetables, still managed to
serve up a winner in its "Jerk
Cook-Off" and provide a feast
of entertainment for the thou-
sands who showed up at
Markham Park in Sunrise on
Sept. 23.
First time entrants "The
Dental Pli.L a team led by
Jamaican-born South Florida
dentist Dr. Sharon Jefferson
won the "jerk" cook-off and


the coveted
"Dutch Pot" -
trophy, plus a
cash prize.
According to Dr.
Jefferson, who
declined to
reveal her secret
winning recipe,
her team did its *
homework and
was confident of
success.
"We knew ..
who we were
going up
against," the elat- Variety is the spi
ed winner told ent plates of food
Caribbean
Today. "And even if we didn't
win, we were going to come out
looking good."

DROVES
The festival, a production
of Riddims Marketing and


_ a-7 I


Photograph by Dreamy Riley
ce of life. It also helped to spice up the differ-
d at this year's "Jamaican Jerk Festival".
Jamaica Awareness Inc. and
presented by Air Jamaica,
attracted dozens of vendors.
Droves of adults and children
lined up throughout the day to
get their hands and mouths on
the various jerk treats, includ-


ing jerk chicken, fish, yam,
shrimp, and even ice cream.
Several local and interna-
tional restaurants and busi-
nesses turned out to compete.
The jerk feast was accompa-
nied by entertainment featur-
ing cultural dancers, folk
singers, poetry readings and a
musical treat by Byron Lee
and the Dragonnaires. Other
activities, which made the
event a success, included domi-
noes, cricket and netball com-
petitions, wine tasting and
games for the children.
"The overall turnout for
the event was excellent and we
are happy," said "Eddy"
Edwards, chief executive offi-
cer of Riddims Marketing.

CUT SHORT
However, Edwards
explained that the rains, which
came later in the day, curtailed


the event and prevented one
of the main performers from
going onstage.
"The park had to be
closed prematurely because
of rain and Alison Hinds, who
was scheduled to perform,
could not," he said.
Rain or shine, the jerk
pits and grills are expected
to light up again next year
for another festival, said
Edwards. Caribbean patrons are
already looking forward to it.
"With the upset among
South Florida chefs, I think
I will have to compete next
year," said Dr. Jefferson with
relish. "But the underdogs will
forever be prepared."

Fitzgerald Smith is a freelance
writer for Caribbean Today.
0


October 2007


lwww.caribbeantoday.com 11


I





CARIBBEAN TODAY


ELEANOR M. WILSON

In spite of belated protests
mounted by Caribbean
tourism organizations, the
much-maligned Western
Hemisphere Travel Initiative
(WHTI) went into effect last
January. Its
mandatory
passport
requirement
for re-entry
into the
United States
resulted in a
five percent
Smith decrease in
U.S. visitors
across the region January
through April.
This issue has been a hot
topic at Caribbean confer-
ences for months now.
However, not everyone is
blaming the WHTI for the
decline. When
approached,
Caribbean
tourism offi-
cials and
executives in
the industry ?
responded
with thought
provoking Forstmayr
observations
and opinions on the down-
ward spiral.
The Bahamas, so close to
the U.S. east coast for con-
venient getaways, has felt the
pinch. Arrivals decreased 11.7
percent the first four months
of 2007 against the same peri-
od in 2006, in spite of an
aggressive campaign by the
Nassau/Paradise Island
Promotion Board that reim-
bursed passport fees to more
than 8,000 visitors. On the
bright side, length of stays
increased from 6.4 to 6.6
nights and hotel revenue post-
ed a 0.3 percent gain.
Jamaica suffered a 13 per-
cent decrease in U.S. stayover
arrivals January through
April, a particularly bad blow
now that there are 1,200 more
rooms to fill than were avail-
able in 2006. During January
to April last year, arrivals
increased 16.9 percent.
Basil Smith, director of
tourism for Jamaica, com-
mented: "Cruise ship book-
ings are also down, although
cruise passengers are not
required to produce passports
on re-entering the United
States until June, 2009.
Destinations exempt from the
new rule (USVI and Puerto
Rico) are showing decreases
as well. I think this indicates
that other factors are in play
here, such as a declining U.S.
economy."


The U.S. Virgin Islands
hotel occupancy does show a
6.5 percent drop in U.S.
guests January through March
against that period in 2006.
While popular
St. Thomas
slumped, St.
Croix visitors
increased 9.4
percent, with
a 23 percent
jump occur-
ring during
the second Issa
quarter. Was
that due to an existing island
promotion, off-season rates,
or visitors switching their
usual Caribbean destinations
to one where no passport was
needed?

OFF TARGET
Some target markets have
been hit worse than others by
the regulation and application
backlog. John Lynch, execu-
tive vice president of sales
worldwide for Sandals
Resorts, estimated that the
Caribbean overall would lose
-10 percent of its business in
the first half of 2007. He said
the high cost of passports is
especially impacting the fami-
ly and mass markets pack-
age tours and students on
spring break. Sandals caters
strongly to honeymooners,
who traditionally celebrate
the momentous occasion with
a trip abroad.
One sure industry sign of
'traveler angst' is advance
bookings occurring closer and
closer to departure dates.
"This was our first red
flag last fall," said Mike
Norton, former vice president
for sales at Air Jamaica
Vacations who is now at
Sandals Resorts. "People
aren't as sure about spending
their money. So the visitor
slowdown becomes an econo-
my issue as well."
Norton also had a ques-
tion: When those massive
backlogged applications are
finally filled, will regular
Caribbean visitors return to
the region, or go to Europe or
Asia now that they have the
entry document that has
always been required there?
The luxury market seems to
remain constant through wars,
recessions and passport
dilemmas.
"My guests at Round Hill
Resort are seasoned travelers
who already have passports,"
Josef Forstmayr observed, "so
we're not experiencing any
significant occupancy
change."
He did express concern
that the U.S. accounts for 70
percent of Caribbean visitors,


"...a huge market we cannot
afford to lose. We all need to
take a much more aggressive
approach to overcome this
passport obstacle, and the
joint Caribbean Hotel
Association/Caribbean
Tourism Organization is
working toward that goal."

PROMOTION
SuperClubs didn't wait
for those organizations to
pave the way. At first
announcement, the marketing
division correctly perceived
the WHTI as a huge problem
and initiated its own promo-
tion to circumvent the issue.
When guests book "Passport
Included" for a minimum four
nights, documented new or
renewed passport costs are
deducted from the all-inclu-
sive package rate. At $97 for
adults, $82 for children and
$67 for renewals, a family of
four reaps an impressive
reward.
As of
Sept. 9,
approximately
6,000
SuperClubs
guests had
taken advan-
tage of this Perez
promotion.
The latest
Oct. 31, 2007 expiration date
is now undergoing quarterly
review. According to
Chairman John Issa, it will
probably be extended again
for at least two months, cov-
ering travel through Dec.
2008.
"We are proud of this
success," said Issa. "Not only
have we helped travelers
obtain passports, but during
the first month of the initia-
tive, bookings increased 15
percent at our six Jamaican
properties, while all around
us, Caribbean hotel occupan-
cy levels were dropping signif-
icantly."
Hoteliers were hesitant to
predict what kind of winter
season they're facing. That
late booking syndrome is still
in effect. Esmeralda Perez,
marketing director for Puerto
Rico Hotel & Tourism
Association, where passports
are not required but numbers
are down, reported that it is
too early to forecast for
leisure properties.
"...But I can tell you that
Puerto Rico is looking at a
very healthy group and corpo-
rate booking chart," he said.
"This is an excellent indicator
that the season will be good."

MIXED BAG
A random sample of U.S.
Virgin Islands hoteliers


targets'


"The Next Generation:
Learning From The Past,
Preparing For The Future"
will be the theme of the 30th
annual Caribbean Tourism
Conference (CTC) to be held
this month in Puerto Rico.
The business meetings
will be held Oct. 19-21 and
the conference sessions Oct.
21-24.
For the third year in a
row, conference participants
will earn continuing educa-
tion credits through George
Washington University for
attending the CTC master
classes. Master classes
involve in-depth study of top-
ics affecting the tourism
industry using case studies
and best practices. They are
designed for travel agents as
well as general delegates.
Other scheduled program
highlights include hotel and
site inspections for travel
agents, destination spotlight
presentations for agents, spe-
cialized workshops, and the
Cond6 Nast Traveler "My
Caribbean Essay CIIIL I
and the Travel + Leisure
"Youth Congress".

TOURS
In addition, there will be
guided product tours for del-
egates, media activities pre-


BRIDGETOWN, Barbados,
CMC St. Vincent and the
Grenadine's tourism sector
pumped over EC$350 million
($131 million) into that
Eastern Caribbean country's
economy last year, an official
has disclosed.
Minister of Tourism
Vincent Beache said the sector
accounted for more than 60
percent of the country's gross
domestic product in 2006 and
after a sluggish performance in
the early part of this year,
should end 2007 in an even
better financial position.
"We have a slight decline
in stay over which is something
I don't like to see," Beache,
who was in Barbados last
month as part of a regional
tourism thrust, told the
Caribbean Media Corporation.
"We also have a slight decline
in same day visitors which is
expected because of the high
airfares.
"In our yachting sector,
which is always our bii,-LI,
sector, we are up about 14 to
15 percent approximately so
that as usual is a big strength


US. vTheCUaR I S M / T R AVIE

U.S. visitor arrivals in the Caribbean dip Caribbea


sented by the host venue and
other Caribbean Tourism
Organization (CTO) member
countries, and awards events
- including the "Fifth
Annual Travel Writer and
Photographer Awards" and
the "Third Annual Creativity
in Travel Awards" for travel
agents.
A series of business
meetings involving ministers
and commissioners of
tourism, the board of direc-
tors and various CTO com-
mittees will precede the con-
ference beginning on Oct. 19,
with the conference opening
keynote address taking place
on Oct. 21.
The conference is the
Caribbean region's premier
caucus of tourism decision-
makers and an important
event on the calendar of
tourism practitioners and
individuals doing business
with the Caribbean.
This year, CTO expects
to host over 600 tourism
industry officials representing
Caribbean governments,
hotels, airlines, cruise lines,
travel agents, tour operators,
strategic partners and media
representatives from around
the world.
0


for us, but
we also
need to
look at our I
cruise ship
passengers
that have
been up
and contin-
ue to rise.
"As a Beache
"As a
matter of
fact for this upcoming season
we are on point to have the
bionwl season we ever had so
things are on the up and up in
tourism in St Vincent and the
Grenadines."

COMMON THRUST
He identified the need for
a common Caribbean market-
ing thrust where the region
could be offered as a common
destination.
"It is time we realize that
we are really not in competi-
tion with each other, that
every other country in the
world wants the tourism dol-
lar and they are going for it,"
Beache said.
(CONTINUED ON PAGE16)


n tourism confab


Next Generation'


as passport re-entry requirement takes toll


St. Vincent's tourism sector

making contribution ~ minister


October 2007





CARIBBEAN TODAY


TOURISM BRIEFS


* Delta flies weekly to
Bonaire
Tourism Corporation Bonaire has
announced that beginning Feb. 9,
2008 Delta Air Lines will launch a
weekly non-stop flight from its
Atlanta hub to Bonaire.
Delta Air Lines flight 371 will
depart Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta
International Airport Saturdays at
10 a.m. arriving at Bonaire's
Flamingo International Airport at
3:10 p.m. The return flight 370
will depart Bonaire Saturdays at
4:15 p.m. arriving in Atlanta at
7:55 p.m.
* ...and St. Kitts too
The St. Kitts Tourism Authority has
announced that Delta Air Lines will
commence a new non-stop flight
from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta
International Airport to St. Kitts, the
first time the airline will offer serv-


ice to this Caribbean island.
The flight will operate once a
week on Saturdays, beginning on
Feb. 16, 2008. Delta's flight 373
will depart Atlanta at 11:15 a.m.
and arrive at St. Kitts's Robert L.
Bradshaw International Airport at
4:05 p.m. The return flight 372
will depart St. Kitts at 4:55 p.m.
and arrive in Atlanta at 8:05 p.m.

* Hyatt to open in Port of
Spain
In December, Hyatt Regency will
open its newest hotel in Port of
Spain, Trinidad.
The 428-room hotel will be
located in the heart of Trinidad and
Tobago's capital city and financial
epicenter.
Compiled from several
sources.
0


(CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15)
"When you go to Europe
you can get one package that
will carry you to France,
Spain, Italy, Portugal and yet
their countries are a lot far-
ther apart than we are in the
Caribbean yet within the
Caribbean we don't have one
package that can carry you
to Barbados, St. Vincent, St.


CAN WE TALK?


Peter A. Webley,
Publisher


Lucia and Grenada.
"Not one package is there
and one of the things about
travelers and potential travel-
ers is that they love nothing
better than when they return
home they could say that they
visited more than one country
on that trip," he added.
0


RAWLE TITUS

ST. GEORGE'S, Grenada,
CMC A United States diplo-
mat says there is no evidence
that new travel regulations
announced recently by
Washington were affecting the
tourism industry in the
Caribbean.
Washington said that U.S.
citizens traveling to the
Caribbean had to be in posses-
sion of a valid passport in
order to re-enter the country.
The Western Hemisphere
Travel Initiative (WHTI) first
came into effect in January,
but was relaxed to accommo-
date travelers whose passport
applications were taking
longer than expected in light
of the high demand for the
travel document.
But the move by the U.S.
was criticized by tourism offi-


Most of us try to attract other people by the friends
we keep and the way we carry ourselves. If you
are going to a party or a formal function, don't you
dress well? We all want to promote a favorable
impression of ourselves to other people we meet
and talk to.
If we agree on that, then think of this. Why should it
be any different for your business? If you want to
project a favorable image of your company, in
order to win customers, you should keep your com-
pany with good friends and... dress your company
well in...


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


cials in the Caribbean who
said that the move would seri-
ously damage the industry that
provides employment for a
significant amount of people
and is a major revenue earner.
However, Karen Jo Mclsaac,
charge d'affaires at the U.S.
embassy here, said the author-
ities have not seen any notice-
able decline in visitor arrivals
ahead of the Oct. 1 implemen-
tation date of the new meas-
ures.
"You will have to ask the
immigration authorities for the
actual numbers of people
going in and out, but we have
not really seen a decrease as
far as I can tell," Mclsaac
told the Caribbean Media
Corporation (CMC).
"There are a large number
of American visitors and
Grenada particularly does not
focus on the U.S. and so a
larger number of your tourists
are still coming from Europe
and other areas but it has not
appeared to have the kind of


effect that was feared," the
U.S. diplomat said.

POSSIBLY LOSS
A study, conducted by the
World Travel and Tourism
Council (WTTC), on behalf of
the Caribbean Hotel Association
(CHA), found that the region
stands to lose an estimated
US$2.6 billion in earnings and
more than 188,000 jobs at risk.
"And we are not hearing
the kind of complaints that we
heard before the rule went into
effect in January that it was
going to destroy the tourism
sector. I don't think it did,"
said the U.S. charge d'affaires.
"People continue to come
especially because again a
number of the other islands
have always required U.S.
visitors to have passports.
Grenada was the one that did-
n't so that was where I sort of
expected a difference but it
does not seem to have had a
negative impact," she added.
0


U.S. visitor arrivals in the Caribbean dip...


(CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15)
revealed a brisk February/
March, but Li_-,in_-i Christmas
holiday bookings so far, which
they attribute more to higher
airfares imposed for that peri-
od. Issa had no doubts.
"SuperClubs' winter is
looking very strong, with solid
bookings through the season,"
he said. "Our upscale Grand
Lido properties always do
very well in winter, and the
high accolades lavished on
recently renovated Breezes
Runaway Bay are generating
new business plus returning
guests."


The temporary use of
passport applications as re-
entry documents was sched-
uled to expire on Sept. 30,
now that the summer rush has
subsided and the backlog is
supposedly under control. Yet
unless there is a last-minute
renewal of that format,
U.S./Caribbean visitor arrival
statistics for the next six
months should turn up some
revealing percentages.

Eleanor M. Wilson is a free-
lance writer for Caribbean
Today.
0


POINT OF DIVERSITY


Jamaica Tourist Board's Regional Director Clive Taffe points out Jamaica's diverse offerings to some 80 travel agents from major
markets in the United States during a recent mini-tourism trade show at the Half Moon Conference Centre in Montego Bay,
Jamaica. The four-day event was organized by the Jamaica Tourist Board and the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association JHTA),
with support from Air Jamaica. Looking on from the head table are JTB's Marketing Representative Wayne Sterling and JTHA's
First Vice President Evelyn Smith.


St. Vincent's tourism sector making

contribution ~ minister


U.S. diplomat denies negative fallout of WHTI


Call for Bids or Proposals
For a listing of available Broward Community College (BCC)
open procurement solicitations visit:
www.broward.edu/purchasing/bids
or contact
954-201-7455
BCC strongly encourages participation by minority and women-
owned business enterprises (MWBE firms)


October 2007


........... ..... -
www.caribbeantoday.com 0 U R i S M / T R n V i E t












U.S. call centers expand rapidly in Caribbean


NEW YORK A number of
American corporations say
call centers in the Caribbean
are rapidly expanding in the
face of low-cost customer
service in the region.
The corporations say
declining communication
costs, warm hospitality, and
better relations with United
States customers have also
contributed to call center
expansion in the region.
"The islands all seem to
be really positive as opposed
to the surly attitudes you have
in some of the other places,"
said Robert Goodwin, manag-
er of AOL, a unit of the
Dulles, Virginia-based Time
Warner Inc., which has a call
center in St. Lucia.
"It's cheery weather, it's
cheery people," he added in a
statement issued here.
Goodwin said while AOL
still uses call centers in Asia
and other countries, the
Caribbean has been more
competitive, noting that sev-
eral regional governments
have been offering tax and
other incentives to attract
more companies. AOL said
Jamaica, for instance, offers
"free zone" status that per-
mits owners to send home 100


WASHINGTON, CMC In
the face of less supportive
external conditions, a top
International Monetary Fund
(IMF) official has called on
regional countries to build on
the gains they have made
since the 1970s.
Speaking on the topic,
"The Global Outlook:
Implications for Latin
America and the Caribbean",
John Lipsky, the IMF's first
deputy managing director,
told the 40th annual meeting
at the American Association
of the Chambers of
Commerce in Latin America
(AACCLA) that "this is the
time to underscore the impor-


NEW YORK A Jamaican
has become the first Caribbean
national to head the oldest
minority trade association in
the United States.
Maria Kong, who resides
in Florida, was elected presi-
dent of the 35,000-member
National Association of Real
Estate Brokers (NAREB) at
its 60th annual conference in
New York City.
Kong also became only
the second woman to lead the
trade association.


- ~ !. .. . . . .


- w


Caribbean call centers are now a big attraction.


percent of their earnings that
are earned tax-free.

GLOBAL NUCLEUS
Industry experts said
Jamaica is one of the leading
call centers in the Caribbean,
with about 14,000 employees,
making the region a new
global nucleus for call centers.
Barbados, Trinidad, and
Dominica have also devel-


oped call centers dedicated to
customer service.
Philip Cohen, an industry
consultant, said while the
region has taken a relatively
small share of the call market,
it is significant for its relative-
ly small population.
"You put a call center with
100 people in Barbados, and
that's a God's gift," he said.
"With 100 people in


tance of good fundamentals."
He identified three areas
in which he said much can be
accomplished: investment and
productivity;
fiscal policy;
and financial
market devel-
S opment.
"The region's
recent growth,
while strong
relative to its
Lipsky own history,
still lags other
developing
regions," Lipsky said.
Nhr \1 r, faster growth
is a necessary condition in
order to make more meaning-


Her election comes at a
time when African Americans
and other minorities are los-
ing their homes to foreclosure
at an alarming rate.
"As real estate profession-
als, we have an obligation to
keep the dream of homeown-
ership alive," said Kong, who
owns the Lauderhill, Florida-
based firm, Markon Realty
and Management Company.
"Seven-hundred homes
owned by African-Americans
in foreclosure status is unac-


ful reductions in poverty."

By necessity, Lipsky said
this will have to be achieved
through a combination of
increased investment and
faster productivity growth.
But he said additional
progress is possible, noting
that the region's productivity
growth from 1990-2006 was
some two percentage points
per year slower than that of
emerging Asia over the same
period.
He said investment ratios
in the Caribbean and Latin
America are also "substantial-
ly 1: 1\\ l r than the developing
country average by some


ceptable and erodes the frag-
ile stability of our communi-
ties," she added.

NATIONAL CAMPAIGN
She said during her two-
year reign she would embark
on among other things, a
major national marketing
campaign to brand the name
of NAREB, significantly
increase the membership base
and forge new partnerships to
increase opportunities for
members.


India, you can't
even see it," he
added.
David Kreiss,
the Atlanta,
Georgia-based
owner of KM2, a
I collections and
call-center firm
that holds the
AOL contract in
St. Lucia, said he
has opened a
new call center
in Barbados and
is planning on
further expand-
ing once more
fiber optic cables
are installed.
Philip Peters,
chief executive
of Coral Gables,
Photograph by Reuters Florida-based
Zagada Markets,
said Caribbean
call centers have increased
from 11,300 in 2002 to 55,000
today, generating $2.5 billion
in economic gain. He lauded
the region for its high-quality
service.
"They have a history of
troubleshooting with
Americans without getting
upset," he said.


six percentage points of the
Gross Domestic Product
(GDP).
But the IMF official said
there have been encouraging
recent developments in
increasing and diversifying
trade in the region. He said
regional fiscal policy improve-
ments have been notable
recently, including increased
primary surpluses.
But Lipsky said more
needs to be done to reduce
the dependence of public rev-
enues on commodities, noting
that current spending also
seems to be taking prece-
dence over public investment.
0


Founded in 1947,
NAREB, which has 84 chap-
ters throughout the U.S.,
seeks to "address the need to
secure the right to equal
housing opportunities regard-
less of race, creed, or color,"
Kong said.
iniiL its inception,
NAREB has consistently
advocated for and supported
legislation to ensure fair hous-
ing for all Americans," she
added.
0


Business

links key

to CSME

GEORGETOWN, Guyana,
CMC Investment and col-
laboration between private
sector agencies in the
Caribbean community
(CARICOM) is pivotal in
making the dream and goal of
the Caribbean Single Market
and Economy (CSME) a real-
ity, says a senior regional par-
liamentarian.
Barbados Deputy Prime
Minister Mia Mottley told a
gathering of business people
here that there were opportu-
nities for expansion of trade
in all CARICOM countries
and that those opportunities
should be carefully sought
out using partnership to
ensure their success.
"The fact that we have
worked together within the
Caribbean community to
establish a single market last
year in less than 20
years...and the fact that we
continue to work towards the
beginning of the framework
for a single economy next
year is also indicative of the
commitment we have to
working with each other," she
said late last month.
The minister of economic
affairs and development, who
led a Barbados investment
delegation to Georgetown,
said Guyana was ripe for
investment from other mem-
ber CARICOM countries.
"We are cognizant that
even though Guyana has had
its economic difficulties we
have every confidence that
this country has the resources
and capacity to, with its peo-
ple, to lift those of us from
the rest of the Caribbean
community simply by using
the scale of resources, the
scale of expertise and the
commitment to be able to
want to do it," she said.
The minister said Guyana
had food and renewable ener-
gy potential that could be
realized using resources from
the other Caribbean coun-
tries.
"Agriculture is one of the
key areas that is a low hang-
ing fruit," she said, noting
that the region needed to
move to new production
measures to boost production
in the agriculture sector.
Over 30 Barbadian busi-
nessmen visited Georgetown
last month as part of the
trade mission.
0


Build on gains of 1970s, IMF tells Caribbean


Jamaican heads oldest U.S. minority trade grouping


October 2007


CARIBBEAN TODAY


Nww.caribbeantoday.com





CARIBBEAN TODAY


PO I T I C S


U.S. seeks closer relationship

with Muslim groups in Caribbean


BRIDGETOWN, Barbados,
CMC Muslim leaders from
several Caribbean islands last
month attended a ceremony
hosted by the United States
aimed at improving relations
and "cementing ties of friend-
ship".
A statement issued by the
U.S. Embassy here said that
Ambassador Mary Ourisman
hosted an "Iftaar banquet"
for the Muslim leaders from
Antigua and Barbuda,
Barbados, St. Lucia and
St. Kitts and Nevis.
"One of our country's
greatest strengths is the diver-
sity and richness of our many
religious traditions: Christians,
Jews, Muslims, Hindus,
Buddhists, people of many
faiths, and even some of no
religious affiliation at all live
together peacefully and in a


climate of mutual respect,"
the ambassador said.
"On this special evening
we recognize our Muslim
friends in the Eastern
Caribbean. We celebrate the
millions of Muslims we are
proud to call American citi-
zens. We honor the many
Islamic nations that America
is proud to call friends. And
we renew the ties of friend-
ship that should bind all who
trace their faith back to God's
call on Abraham."

'SPECIAL'
The statement quoted the
secretary of the Barbados
Muslim Association (BMA)
Sulieman Bulbulia as saying
that the event was a "special
and significant gLiLurL and
marked a "defining moment
in the establishment of what


we hope will be a mutually
beneficial relationship
between your embassy and
us".
Bulbulia said events like
the Iftaar g< a long way in
building a climate of trust,
cordial relations and correct-
ing feelings of antagonism
and mistrust.
"While we may not agree
with all the policies and pro-
grams of the American gov-
ernment and while there are
some who will use these dis-
agreements to promote a the-
ory of a clash of civilizations,
cultures and faiths, tonight by
our gathering we promote
instead a dialogue among civi-
lizations, cultures and faiths
based upon mutual respect
and tolerance," he added.
0


P.M. Golding makes unity call

as he takes office in Jamaica


KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC -
Orrett Bruce Golding took
office as Jamaica's eighth
prime minister on Sept. 11,
pleading with his predecessor
to join hands in a new politics
of cooperation, while pledging
to introduce measures to
stamp out corruption and ris-
ing crime and drive economic
growth in the country.
The 59-year-old leader
said the Sept. 3 general elec-
tions, in which his Jamaica
Labour Party (JLP) ended 18
years in Opposition when it
secured a narrow victory over
the Portia Simpson Miller-led
People's National Party
(PNP), demonstrated the
need for a paradigm shift
from competitive politics into
nation-building initiatives in
governance.
"In our two pairs of
hands (he told Simpson Miller
who was seated in the audi-
ence) rest so much of the
hopes of the people of
Jamaica. We have a choice.
Those hands can engage in
hand-to-hand combat or we
can join those hands together
to build a nation that is
strong, just, peaceful and


Golding takes the oath of office.


prosperous. I want to sit down
with you, Portia.
"Let's talk about Jamaica.
Let's talk about the dream
that I believe we share for a
Jamaica whose people are at
peace with each other, where
equality and justice reign
supreme, where every child
can go to a good school and
every adult to a decent job,
where everyone might not be
rich, but no one has to be
poor," he said.

ANTI-GARRISON
Speaking after taking the
oath of office before Governor


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General Professor
Kenneth Hall and
in the presence of
thousands of people
on the grounds of
King's House the
governor general's
official residence -
the new prime min-
ister said the garri-
son-type politics
which characterized
political life here
should be a thing of
the past.
"We must
retire the culture
where one set of
Jamaicans speak of 'the gov-
ernment dem' as if it were a
hostile, alien force. I want to
see a new order in which all
the people will regard the
government, no matter which
party forms it, as 'our govern-
ment'," the prime minister
said.
Pledging that he would be
the chief servant of the peo-
ple, Golding said within the
first 100 days of his adminis-
tration, policy initiatives
would be developed to point
the way towards how govern-
ment could protect the rights
of the people; reduce crime;
create an educated, produc-
tive workforce and attract
investments that could pro-
vide "real jobs." He said poli-
cy papers would also be creat-
ed to improve transparency
and accountability in govern-
ment while eliminating cor-
ruption; move towards a
strong Parliament and more
effective political representa-

(CONTINUED ON PAGE 19)


PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad,
CMC Prime Minister Patrick
Manning has announced Nov.
5 as the date for general elec-
tions in Trinidad and Tobago.
In a brief statement to
Parliament on Sept. 28,
Manning said that Nomination
Day is Oct. 22.
This will be the first time
that Trinidadians will vote for a
41-member Parliament. In the


CASTRIES, St. Lucia Sir
John Compton, St. Lucia's
I ,I IIL r of the Nation", died
early last month at age 82,
plunging the country he led for
over 30 years into two weeks
of mourning declared by the
government in his honor.
Acting Prime Minister
Stephenson King was sworn
in on Sept. 9 as the island's
new prime minister.
Sir John became the
country's first prime minister
after leading St. Lucia to
political Independence in
Feb. 1979. He led the country
from 1964-1979, 1982-1996
and from Dec. 2006.
He served as chief minis-
ter, premier and prime minis-
ter at various periods. He
returned from political retire-
ment to lead his United


last 36-member Parliament, the
People's National Movement
(PNM) controlled 20 seats with
the remainder going to the
United National Congress and
the minority Congress of the
People (COP), a breakaway
faction of the UNC.

T&T ready to vote, page 25.
0


Compton
Workers Party (UWP) to a
stunning victory in last
December's general elections.

NO 'MARATHON'
However, when Sir John
led the UWP back into the
corridors of power in
December, he made it clear
(CONTINUED ON PAGE 19)


Ex-ruling party official wins

Opposition primary in Antigua


ST. JOHN'S, Antigua, CMC -
A former member of the
ruling United Progressive
Party (UPP) has gained the
Opposition Antigua Labour
Party's (ALP) backing as the
party sets about choosing can-
didates to contest the next
general elections in Antigua
and Barbuda.
ALP officials confirmed
that Dean Jonas had secured 148
of the 314 ballots cast last month
to select the candidate for the St.
George's constituency.
Jonas defeated attorney
Alincia Williams Grant, who
received 105 votes, while busi-
nessman Kendall Samuel got
62 votes.
He later told the
Caribbean Media Corporation
(CMC) that he was confident
of defeating the incumbent Dr.
Jacqui Quinn-Leandro in the
polls scheduled for 2009.
"I've really worked hard to
gain the confidence of the peo-
ple of St. George's," he said.
Though Quinn-Leandro
opted not to comment on the
ALP candidate's statement,
she said she welcomed the
challenge.
"The people of my con-
stituency will decide who can


best represent their interest,
who can best champion their
cause, who can best mediate
on their behalf," she said.
"I think that democracy is
alive and well in the country. I
really think that the people of
St. George's will have to
decide. We have a very healthy
democracy in Antigua and
Barbuda and I certainly wel-
come any challenge it doesn't
matter who it is," she added.
Jonas had served as UPP
public relations officer until he
left the party in 2004.
"I grew up in the Antigua
Labour Party. I left the Antigua
Labour Party to join the UPP
because like many young per-
sons in Antigua who grew up in
Antigua, I saw one party in
power for the past 30 years and
many of us simply wanted a
change in government," he said.
"Yes I did, in fact, leave
and join the UPP simply
because I wanted a change.
There were many young per-
sons like myself who just
wanted to see something dif-
ferent different but better -
but what we got was different
and worse."
0


T&T general elections Nov. 5


Sir John Compton, St. Lucia's


'Father of the Nation', is dead


October 2007


lwww.caribbeantoday.com 11





CARIBBEAN TODAY


P 0 L I T


I c S


Congresswoman Clarke lashes Bush's Iraq war plan


FITZGERALD SMITH

C congresswoman Yvette D.
Cl.rrkL, who is backed by
strong Caribbean immi-
grant constituency in New York,
is urging United States President
George W. Bush to pull U.S.
troops out of Iraq and send them
back home to their families.
Clarke, whose parents are
Jamaican, said in an address to
the media last month shortly
after the president's Sept. 13
nationally broadcast speech to
Americans, that the Bush
administration seems too
focused on the war in Iraq
and should pay more attention
to the issues of the nation.
"Clearly, this administra-
tion favors spending our hard-
earned money on sending
Americans into a hot desert
and harms way than on build-
ing a stronger country at
home," said Clarke, who repre-
sents the llth Congressional
District in Brooklyn.
"There are 37 million
Americans living below the
poverty line. Six million chil-
dren across America do not
have health care, including
384,000 children in the State of
New York yet, just weeks ago,
when Democrats in Congress
passed programs that would
have cost only a fraction of the
president's war request to help
fight poverty and to guarantee
health insurance for children,
the president ilirLLk niLd to
veto these bills, claiming they
are too expensive. Now the
president is requesting an addi-


tional $50 billion from the
American people to continue
staying-the-course in this war,"
Clarke added.

NEGATIVE RESPONSE
The prLid k ius highly antic-
ipated speech incited negative
responses from Democratic
leaders and U.S. Senate hope-
fuls alike, all expressing their
dissatisfaction with the presi-
dent's plan to continue pursuits
in the war-torn Middle Eastern
country. This
plan, he noted,
is the result of
a successful
strategy imple- '
mented some
months ago, d
which allowed
U.S. troops to
maximize al
efforts and Clarke
further
progress.
"Eight months ago we
adopted a new strategy to meet
that objective, including a surge
in U.S. forces that reached full
strength in June," Bush
explained. "(Last month),
General David Petraeus and
Ambassador Ryan Crocker tes-
tified before Congress about
how that strategy is improving."
According to the presi-
dent, because of this strategy
the situation in Iraq is improv-
ing and the U.S. stands current
with its goal of securing the
Iraqi population; a goal which
he also says will eventually
require less U.S. forces.
"It will soon be possible to


bring home an Army combat
brigade, for a total force
reduction of 5,700 troops by
Christmas," he added.
"And...by July, we will be able
to reduce our troop levels in
Iraq from 20 combat brigades
to 15."

TURMOIL
However, Clarke added
that although reports indicate
improvements in Iraq, particu-
larly in the Anbar province,
the majority of the country
remains in turmoil.
"For Iraqis, the cost of the
war has meant great suffering,"
the congresswoman said. "The
president began the war under
the premise of helping the peo-
ple of Iraq, but after all this time,
they remain in great trauma."
According to her, recent
reports have also indicated that
actions taken by the Bush admin-
istration to restore order to
Iraq have made little difference.
Additionally, she said, there have
been at least 27,564 Iraqi deaths
due violence because of the war,
raising the question of whether or
not the was was doing more harm
than good.
"All of the lives, time, and
money invested on the war,
and the Iraqi government has
earned what would be a dis-
mally failing grade in any class-
room," she said.

Fitzgerald Smith is a freelance
writer for Caribbean Today.


Jamaica names 18-member Cabinet


KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC Prime
Minister Bruce Golding named an 18-
member Cabinet.
Following is the full Cabinet:
* Prime Minister, Minister of Planning,
Development and Defense Bruce
Golding
* Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of
Foreign Affairs and Trade Dr. Kenneth
Baugh
* Minister of Finance and the Public
Service Audley Shaw
* Minister of National Security Derrick
Smith
* Attorney-General and Minister of
Justice Dorothy Lightbourne
* Minister of Industry and Commerce -
Karl Samuda
* Minister of Education Andrew
Holness
* Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett


* Minister of Agriculture Christopher
Tufton
* Minister of Energy, Mining and
Telecommunications Clive Mullings
* Minister of Water and Housing Dr.
Horace Chang
* Minister of Labour and Social Security -
Pearnel Charles
* Minister of Transport and Works -
Michael Henry
* Minister of Health and Environment -
Rudyard Spencer
* Minister of Information, Culture, Youth
and Sports Olivia Grange
* Minister in the Office of the Prime
Minister James Robertson
* Minister in the Ministry of Finance and
the Public Service Don Wehby
* Minister in the Ministry of Finance and
the Public Service Dwight Nelson


P.M. Golding makes unity call


(CONTINUED FROM PAGE 18)
tion and eliminate unneces-
sary bureaucracy and waste
of public resources.
"I ask the Jamaican peo-
ple to appreciate that the
commitment we intend to
honor during the first 100
days are, of necessity, those
which do not require a signif-
icant outlay of government
expenditure," Golding said.
"The financial constraints
and fiscal challenges that we
face are well known and the
medium and long term solu-
tions will have to be pursued
over time," he said.
However, the new prime
minister sought to assure the
nation that even in the face of


the challenges that his gov-
ernment would face, it intend-
ed to honor campaign com-
mitments to abolish the pay-
ment of school tuition fees
and fees at public hospitals.
Concerning the vexed issue of
corruption, Golding pledged
to make a difference by
implementing stiff penalties
for violators. He also noted
that the government would
introduce whistleblower legis-
lation to protect persons who
provided information on
wrongdoing on the part of
public officials and would also
review the libel and slander
laws of the country.
0


P.M. King rejects call for early general elections in St. Lucia


CASTRIES, St. Lucia, CMC -
Prime Minister Stephenson
King has ruled out the possibil-
ity of early general elections to
obtain his own mandate from
the people of St. Lucia.
King, who was sworn in as
prime minister recently follow-
ing the Sept. 7 death of Sir
John Compton, made this posi-
tion clear as the country pre-
pares for a by-election in the
Micoud North constituency
that was represented by the
late prime minister.
Speaking prior to leaving
the island to address the
United Nations General
Assembly last month, King


King being sworn in as prime minister.
said the current mandate of
the government is still fresh,


and early general elections is
not anywhere on the cards.
Instead, he said the focus of
his administration is on doing
the job it was elected to do.
"The mission of the gov-
ernment is to ensure that we
implement the vision of Sir
John as we move on with the
business of the country," King
told reporters
"In terms of the timing of
a general election that is far
from my mind, what is on my
mind now, is to fulfill the
promises that were made in
the last general election."
0


Sir John Compton, St. Lucia's 'Father of the Nation', is dead


(CONTINUED FROM PAGE 18)
that he was not there for a
"marathon." Sir John was off
the job since May when he suf-
fered a series of small strokes
and handed over day-to-day
running of the government to
King. It was reported that he
was also battling other compli-
cations, such as diabetes, and a
long-standing heart condition.


The decision to go with
King as head of the government
was agreed to by all 10 elected
members of the ruling UWP.
Early last month doctors
in Martinique, where Sir John
had been airlifted for medical
treatment, determined that
there was nothing more med-
ically they could do to improve
his condition, leading to the


decision to return him home
on Sept. 5. He died on Sept. 7.
A state funeral was held
for the late leader last month.
Sir John leaves to mourn
his wife Lady Compton and
five children.

Compiled from CMC reports.
0


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October 2007





CARIBBEAN TODAY


REGION


Ex-Surinamese military dictator

among 25 to be tried for killings


PARAMARIBO, Suriname,
CMC The highly anticipated
trial of 25 people implicated
in the Dec. 1982 extrajudicial
killing of 15 political oppo-
nents of the then military
regime is to start on Nov. 30,
sources close to process here
have revealed.
"I can confirm that the
Military Court has decided to
start the 8 December Trial on
Friday November 30," said
spokesperson, Marjory
Sanches.
Surviving relatives and
human rights organizations, in
a first response, voiced relief
with the announcement of the
trial date.
On Dec. 8, 1982, 15 politi-
cal opponents of the military
junta, led by than army com-
mander Desi Bouterse, were
tortured and ultimately exe-
cuted by military officers.
Amongst the victims were
union leaders, journalists,


scholars, lawyers and universi-
ty professors.

APOLOGY
In 2000 the Court of
Justice ordered the prosecutor
general to start a criminal
investigation into the extraju-
dicial killings after relatives
put forward a request in order
to block the limitation to pros-
ecute the case. In June a court
handed down a ruling order-
ing the prosecution of 10 sus-
pects who were fighting a
legal battle to be taken off the
list of suspects in relation to
the extrajudicial killings. In
March the former military dic-
tator publicly apologized to
the surviving relatives of dead.
"I am apologizing to all
the surviving relatives," said
Bouterse at a meeting with
youth to mark the 27th
anniversary of his successful
1980 coup.
The former army chief


had also
called for
amnesty for
the alleged
suspects in
the extrajudi-
cial killings
which led to
an interna- Bouterse
tional boy-
cott of his
administration and a with-
drawal of military support
from the United States and
the Netherlands.
Bouterse said the entire
Surinamese community
should be part in seeking the
truth of that "dark chapter in
Suriname's history." The for-
mer dictator said he wanted
to tell the young people his
side of the story since, accord-
ing to him, representations of
the events back then by politi-
cal opponents were false.
0^


T&T's attorney general refuses to testify


PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad,
CMC A tribunal set up to
investigate allegations of wrong
doing against embattled Chief
Justice Satnarine Sharma failed
to hear testimony from Attorney
General John Jeremie as well as
two top business executives who
have all been implicated for their
alleged role in the efforts to
remove the head of the Trinidad
and Tobago judiciary from
office.
The three-member tribu-
nal headed by retired Privy
Council Judge Lord Mustill, as
well as St. Lucian jurist Sir
Vincent Floissac and Jamaican
Dennis Morrison, had invited
Jeremie to make an appear-
ance before them on the
penultimate day of the public
hearings late last month.
President George Maxwell
Richards had suspended Sharma
from his duties on June 13, 2007
until the hearing and determina-
tion of the impeachment pro-
ceedings.
Sharma had been accused


by Chief
Magistrate
Sherman
McNicolls of
trying to
influence his
decision in
the case
against for-
mer Prime


[k
1/.


Minister Basdeo Panday,
who was on three charges of
failing to declare a London
bank account to the Integrity
Commission for three years
while he was head of govern-
ment in 1997, 1998 and 1999.
McNicholls found Panday
guilty of the charges.

LETTER
Senior Counsel Douglas
Mendes, who is representing
Jeremie, submitted a letter to
the secretary of the tribunal
along with a statement, dated
July 28, 2006 that the attorney
general gave to High Court
Judge Humphrey Stollmeyer.
Justice Stollymeyer had been


appointed by the Judicial and
Legal Service Commission to
investigate a land transaction
deal involving McNicolls. In
the letter Jeremie said he
"refer to the observation
made by the chairman of the
tribunal that an imputation
has been made by counsel for
the chief justice that the attor-
ney general has been a willing
and active participant and
possibly the instigator of a
cynical plot to wreck the trial
of Mr. Panday".
The attorney general said
there was no truth to these
allegations and that he found
no evidence of alleged con-
spiracies and as a result could
not assist the tribunal other
than to refer to statements he
previously made. But Queen
Counsel Geoffrey Robertson,
who is leading Sharma's
defense, said that it would be
in the best interest of the
attorney general to testify and
exlain his role in the matter.


Jamaica vows to handle abuse allegations against cops


KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC -
Prime Minister Bruce Golding
has called for the establish-
ment of a single independent
body that will investigate all
cases of abuse and unlawful
conduct by members of the
security forces in Jamaica.
Golding met with Attorney
General Dorothy Lightbourne,
as well as the solicitor general,
the chief parliamentary counsel
and officials from the Ministry
of Justice, to discuss the issue in
light of the increased number


of allegations of abuse and
unlawful conduct against mem-
bers of the security forces by
the public.
A statement issued here on
Sept. 22 said that Golding has
called for a report is to be sub-
mitted to him outlining the
legal and administrative steps
required to establish the
authority.
"This report will take
into account the existence and
respective roles of the Police
Public Complaints Authority, the


Civilian Oversight Authority, the
Bureau of Special Investigations
and the Office of Professional
responsibilities and recommend
appropriate changes," Golding
said.
"The government will
do everything possible to
strengthen and support the
police in combating crime and
in the lawful execution of their
duties. However this cannot be
at the expense of the constitu-
tional rights of the people."
0^


ST GEORGE'S, Grenada,
CMC The Bahamas has
been ranked as the richest
country in the Caribbean
by a Canadian website -
Aneki.com.
The site, which derives
its information from numer-
ous sources, including United
Nations agencies and the
United States' Central
Intelligence Agency's World
Factbook, ranked The
Bahamas at number one with
a $21,300 per capital Gross
Domestic Product (GDP).
Trinidad and Tobago was
ranked as the second richest
with a GDP of $19,700, a
position which would usually
have been held by Barbados,
which now ranks at number
three with a GDP of $18,200.
Aneki.com ranks Antigua
and Barbuda as fourth, with a
GDP of $10,900; St. Kitts and
Nevis, fifth with a GDP of
$8,200; Dominican Republic,
sixth with a GDP of $8,000;
St. Lucia, seventh, with a
GDP of $4,800; Jamaica,
eight, with GDP of $4,600;


country's first
HAMILTON, Bermuda, CMC
- Government has announced
that former Opposition Leader
Dame Lois Browne Evans
will become the country's first
National Hero and the May 24
Bermuda Day holiday will be
renamed National Heroes Day.
The new combined court
and police building in Hamilton
is also to be named after Dame
Lois, who died earlier this year,
government said.
A bronze statue or bust in
the likeness of Dame Lois will
also be erected at the new
building, according to Minister
of Community and Cultural
Affairs Wayne Perinchief.
In a press release, Premier
Ewart Brown said: "Dame
Lois long believed there was a
need to instill national pride in
our people. I share that belief,
and in a very strong way this
government has made Dame
Lois' wish come true.
"She would have never
chosen herself for this sort of
adulation. I'm proud we could
do it for her because she did so
much for all of Bermuda."

FIRST LADY
Dame Lois was Bermuda's
first female barrister, Bermuda's
first female attorney general,
and the first woman to become
Opposition leader in a British
Commonwealth country when
she became leader of the now
ruling Progressive Labour Party
(PLP) in 1968. She served as


Cuba, ninth with GDP of
$3,900; and Grenada, 10th
with a GDP of $3,900.

EXEMPTIONS
Under its ranking,
Guyana and Suriname, which
are Caribbean community
(CARICOM) countries, were
put with the South American
states, placing sixth and ninth
respectively.
In the category of
richest countries in the world,
Luxembourg came in first
with $68,800 per capital GDP.
Equatorial Guinea, United
Arab Emirates, Norway,
Ireland, United States,
Andorra, Iceland, Denmark
and Austria followed in
descending order on the list.
The sites also put heart
disease as the leading cause of
death; cancer as second; respi-
ratory infections and lung dis-
ease as third and fourth; and
HIV/AIDS as fifth. Traffic
accidents were ranked at
number 10.
0


National Hero
leader until 1972 and again
from 1976 to 1985. The PLP
won power for the first time in
1998.
Dame Lois died on May
29, shortly before her 80th
birthday, and was laid to rest at
the Anglican
C.il d Jral
during a spe-
cially called
national holi-
day on June 6.
More than
1,000 people
attended the
church serv- Dame Lois
ice.
Perinchief asked the public
for their suggestions on how
best to commemorate the life
of Dame Lois and her contribu-
tions to Bermuda back in July.
By Aug. 17, 101 submissions
had arrived at the Ministry of
Community and Cultural
Affairs. Among the most popu-
lar was a national public holi-
day in honor of Dame Lois and
naming the new court and
police building after Dame
Lois. Those recommendations
were accepted by Cabinet.
Perinchief said: "The pub-
lic response has been highly
gratifying in recognizing the
achievements of Dame Lois
and reflects the profound
respect for a Bermudian trail-
blazer who fought for honor
and justice."
0


The Bahamas is richest

in Caribbean ~ website


Bermuda names Dame Lois


October 2007


lwww.caribbeantoday.com 11





CARIBBEAN TODAY


'The Harder They Come' to highlight


Caribbean Int'l Film Fest Nov. 7-11


Special screening of
the classic Jamaican
film "The Harder
They Come" will be among
the highlights of the
Caribbean International Film
Festival next month in
Barbados.
The festival, scheduled
for Nov. 7-11, will parade fea-
ture-length and short films,
and music video entries from
the region and internationally.
"The Harder They
Come", credited with being
Jamaica's first feature film,
was written, produced and


at the festival. The screening
of the film will be accompa-
nied by a special screening
of "The Making of the
Harder They Come".
For more information
about the festival, the events,
industry accreditations as well
as volunteer and sponsorship
opportunities at the festival,
visit the official website:
www. caribbeaninternational-
filmfestival.com or email
info@caribbeaninternational-
filmfestival. com.
0


directed by the late Perry
Henzell, who will be honored


Winkler and 'Dog War' set for Miami book fair


GORDON WILLIAMS
Caribbean people still
remember him as the
man behind "The
Lunatic". Jamaican-born
author Anthony C. Winkler is
perfectly sane of course -
but his latest novel "Dog War"
is so funny, it borders on crazy.
So next month Winkler,
armed with his hilarious tale
of a Jamaican woman strug-
gling with her cultural and
religious beliefs, and the test-
ing times she faces with her
employer's dog, will be among
several authors from the
region expected to be present
at the Miami International
Book Fair from Nov. 4-11.
This year's fair will carry a
new feature, "the Translation
Market", dubbed as "a world
literature and translation sum-
mit". Yet it is the accomplish-
ments of authors like Winkler
that will give the fair and its
base in downtown Miami a
familiar Caribbean feel.
Winkler and others believe
the world is more ready than
ever to embrace Caribbean lit-
erary works.
"Yeah, I think there is a
greater ,p iiiii- he said.
It's been long overdue,
despite the region's shortcom-
ings.
"One of the things that
surprises me about the West
Indies is that we have two
Nobel Laureates in litera-
ture," Winkler explained. "I
think that's astounding when
you think of such small popu-
lations compared with some
of the bigger countries and
the poverty, and the lack of
facilities."

SUCCESS SIGNS
Yet Winkler seems to
have the answer for the
Caribbean's literary success.
Despite years of colonialism,
he explained, the region still
managed to wriggle free with


its own creative independ-
ence, unburdening itself from
the weight of expectations
originating elsewhere.
"I think it is the lack of a
strong literary tradition that


Photograph by Gordon Williams
Winkler relaxes in his Atlanta home.

gives us (in the Caribbean)
the freedom to experiment as
writers," said the 62-year-old
novelist and textbook writer.
"Because we don't have a
Shakespeare looking over
your shoulder. And you don't
have someone who is such a
wonderful example and you
can't cope."
Winkler's "Dog War", like
his other works such as "The
Lunatic", "The Painted
Canoe", "Going Home To
TLI.ih and "The Duppy",
reflects the Caribbean experi-
ence. It is about the region's
people and, although crafted
with every writer's goal to reach
the widest possible audience, it
is written with Caribbean peo-
ple in mind as well.
"The writer wants to
strike a universal note," he
said. "...We always want to
write to the widest possible
audience."
But, cut to the core,
Winkler is enjoying himself
with his writings, hoping that
the reader comes along for a
fun ride.
"No, I don't just write for
Jamaicans," he explained last
month from his home in an
Atlanta, Georgia suburb. "I


write mainly for Jamaicans
because I am Jamaican. But
really, when it comes down to
it, I write for myself. If I like
it, I figure somebody else will
like it."
"Dog War" will certainly
get many people's attention.
And Winkler is pleased that
more and more Caribbean peo-
ple are trying to write, especial-
ly Jamaicans, who he believes
are capable of excelling at any-
thing they attempt.
"One of the things I will
say about Jamaicans and
every field they get into, writ-
ing included," he explained,
"when they good, they good.
They really good."

Gordon Williams is Caribbean
Today's managing editor.



Putting pen to paper
The following Caribbean authors
(with some their works listed)
were also invited to the 2007
Miami International Book Fair:

Opal Palmer Adisa "I Name
Me Name: Lola" and "Until
Judgment Comes: Stories About
Jamaican Men"
Jane Bryce "Chameleon: Short
Stories" and "Caribbean Dispatches:
Beyond the Tourist Dream"
Oonya Kempadoo "Tide
Running"
Philip Nanton -"Caribbean
Dispatches: Beyond the Tourist
Dream"
Geoffrey Philp "Grandpa
Sydney's Anancy Stories"
Howard Pitterson "Spectre of
Seven"
Kim Robinson "Out of Order!"
Marina Salandy Brown
"Caribbean Dispatches: Beyond the
Tourist Dream"
Robert Edison Sandiford -
"Shouts from the Outfield:


ENTERTAINMENT BRIEFS


* Carnival hits Miami on
Oct. 7
The colorful and exciting culture of
the Caribbean will again be on
show in South Florida during the
23rd staging of the Miami Carnival
on Oct. 7.
The event, featuring costume
parades and live music bands, will
run from noon to 11 p.m. at
Bicentennial Park in downtown Miami
and the city is claiming that the fes-
tivities embody the unity of the
diverse cultures that it represents.
The event will kick off with a
parade of bands and costumes and
feature Caribbean and international
food, beverages and arts and
crafts. Top Caribbean performers
are scheduled for the event For
more information, call 305-653-
1877 or visit
www.MiamiCamival.net.

* Vincentian entertainers join
global campaign
Entertainers in St. Vincent and the
Grenadines last month joined
regional agriculturists and non gov-
ernmental organizations to support
a global move to halt the current


round of negotiations for Economic
Partnership Agreements between
African Caribbean and Pacific
States (ACP) and the European
Union (EU).
More than a dozen Vincentian
entertainers were scheduled to
perform at a five-hour concert,
organized by OXFAM, the Caribbean
Policy Development Centre (CPDC)
and the Windward Island Farmers
Association (WINFA), which is part
of the global "Stop EPA Day" activi-
ties organized to focus attention on
the EPA negotiations which must
be concluded by the Dec. 2007
deadline.

* Cuba, Suriname strengthen
cultural links
Suriname and Cuba have signed an
agreement, which government offi-
cials say will strengthen cultural
cooperation between the two coun-
tries. The pact will facilitate
exchange programs for artists and
technical personnel.

Compiled from CMC and other
sources.
0


'Space' dominates artist's

exhibition opening Oct. 11


For the first time in close
to a decade, art enthusi-
asts will get a chance to
see the works of the
Dominican Republic's Julio
Susana in the United States.
The painter, sculptor and
professor's last American exhib-
it was in Coral Gables in 1999.
He returns to that South
Florida city this month to unveil
his newest collection of paint-
ings at the Mila Hajjar Gallery.
The exhibition runs from
Oct. 11 through Nov. 8.
Earlier this year, Susana
exhibited "Colores de mi Tierra"
("Colors of My Land") at the
Secretaria de Estado de Cultura
in Santo Domingo. He's return-
ing to the U.S. with "Fiesta de
Colores TirplL,.,&I 1 I ,m l of
Tropical CG >1< r, ) at Mila Hajjar.

SPACE
The artist's most recent


works, about 30 paintings and
25 drawings, will be displayed,
including titled works
"Construction in ',p..L and
"Love in \pI. L .
"This work is innovative,
and very creative," the artist
said in a recent press release.
"It's figurative, incorporating
elements in space."
Susana, who dL I. r ib, his
work as "his imagination flour-
ishing in art," has enjoyed
favorable review from Latin
American critics. La Prensa
called his paintings "eloquent"
and "passionate", classifying
him as an "outstanding figure
of Dominican art."
Mila Hajjar Gallery is
located at 32 Giralda Ave.,
Coral Gables, FL 33134.
For more information,
visit www.juliosusana. com.


'Umbrella' covers

Rihanna with MTV

music awards
Barbadian-born singer Rihanna
used her hit single "Umbrella" to
snare two coveted honors at last
month's MTV Music Video Awards
in Las Vegas, United States.
"Umbrella", a collaboration
featuring American rapper Jay-Z,
won the coveted "Video of the
Year" award, plus "Monster Single
of the Year". Justin Timberlake
was the VMA's big winner, with
four trophies.


October 2007


mimplim- I ............... ........ Nq
n R T S / oE nTIE RTn i n m A"Totlp- www.caribbeantoday.com





CARIBBEAN TODAY


Jamaica's Powell breaks

100 meters world record


RIETI, Italy, CMC Jamaican
Asafa Powell majestically
smashed his own world 100-
meter record in a sizzling 9.74
seconds at the Rieti interna-
tional track and field meeting
last month.
Lined up against a moder-
ate field in only a qualifying
heat, Powell sped out of the
blocks and dominated the event,
slicing 0.03 seconds off the pre-
vious best of 9.77 seconds, which
he has run on three occasions.
Aided by a legal 1.7
meters-per-second following
wind, Powell finished ahead of
Gambia-born Saidy Ndure
Jaysuma and St. Kitts and
Nevis's former world champion
Kim Collins, who recorded
10.07 seconds and 10.14 sec-
onds, respectively.
The record was a mild
consolation for Powell's huge
disappointment just weeks
before at the llth IAAF World


Powell finishes his world record run.
Championships in Japan,
when he finished third behind
American Tyson Gay and
Derrick Atkins of The
Bahamas. But the big Jamaican
appeared re-energized by his
feat and embraced the moment.
"Today I proved to the
world that Asafa is back,"
Powell said after the race on
Sept 9.
0


S P 0 RT


Barbadian crowned English pro cricket's MVP


LONDON, Sep 24, CMC -
Ottis Gibson has won a major
award in Britain.
The former Barbados and
West Indies all-rounder has
been named the winner of
the inaugural Professional
Cricketers' Association Most
Valuable Player
award.
Gibson helped
Durham to secure
two major domes-
tic trophies with a H
number of match-
winning perform-
ances. The 38-year-
old gathered 723
runs and collected
116 wickets in all
competitions, but
he scored 578 runs
and snared 80
wickets including Gibson
10 for 47 against
Hampshire in the County
Championship proper. He also
won the man-of-the-match
award for his three for 24 -


Bajan racehorse connection hoping for Kentucky D
ETOBICOKE, Canada One rider," Casse said of
of Canada's leading trainers Husbands recently.
Mark Casse is hoping top Casse, whose stable is
Barbadian rider Patrick based at the Woodbine race-
Husbands lands success in a
major race in North America i


soon.
Casse, who is the number
one trainer for Barbados-
based Canadian businessman
Eugene Melnyk, has notched
up several major wins in
Canada with Husbands and
says he was eyeing the presti-
gious Kentucky Derby.
"I see us maybe possibly
winning the Kentucky Derby
and those things and nothing
would make me happier than
to have Mr. Husbands sitting
on top of him with the roses,"
Casse told CMC Sports.
Recently, Husbands guid-
ed Marchfield, a Melnyk-
owned, Casse-trained three-
year-old colt, to victory in the
Breeders' Stakes.
Melnyk, a prominent


Husbands after won of his many suc-
cesses in Canada.
racehorse owner in North
America, has developed a
trend of naming his horses
after communities in
Barbados.

'GREAT RIDER'
Husbands rode his first
Kentucky Derby last year,
getting the leg up aboard
Casse's Seaside Retreat, but
finished down the field.
"I don't think there's any-
body better. He's a great


Barbadian jockeys fight to the finish. Jono Jon
the rail with Essential Edge to beat Sealy Hill
by a neck in the CAN$351,600 Canadian Stak
Woodbine in Toronto.

track, said the current season
had gone well and was antici-
pating more success for
Melnyk and his connections.
"Right now we've been


also against Hampshire in
the limited-overs trophy final.
Gibson leapt well clear
of his nearest rivals the
Pakistani leg-spinners Mushtaq
Ahmed and Danish Kaneria -
as he also claimed the PCA
Bowling MVP award. Gibson
ended the season
with 735.97 points,
135.67 clear of
Mushtaq and 178.49
ahead of Kaneria.

REWARDING
"Certainly for
me, the last couple of
years spent coaching
has made a difference
to my approach to
the way I play now,"
Gibson told the BBC.
"Sometimes
you may search a life-
time for what you
might consider is perfection. If
I look back, this year has cer-
tainly been that way. It has
probably been a perfect season


lerby success
fortunate. Right now we are
leading again this year. Last
year we won the Sovereign
Award," Casse said.
"I hope to
-'! see Eugene
- win his first
Sovereign
Award as lead-
ing owner this
year and possi-
bly leading
breeder.
"That's big,
it's big for us to
be that (leading
breeder) in
Canada but I
nes gets up on think Eugene
with Husbands and myself and
kes last month at Laura Melnyk -
she's a big part
of it also I
hope to see us not just in
Canada but in all of North
America."
0


...Husbands claims Triple Crown after Sealy Hill wins appeal


ETOBICOKE, Canada, CMC
- Sealy Hill, the champion
three-year old filly, was rein-
stated the winner of the Bison
City Stakes, after the Ontario
Racing Commission upheld
the connections' appeal at a
hearing late last month.
Sealy Hill, with top
Barbadian jockey Patrick
Husbands aboard, was dis-
qualified after winning the
CAN$250 000 event on July 1
this year at the Woodbine
racetrack.
Stewards had ruled that
Sealy Hill, owned by the
Barbados-based Canadian


businessman Eugene Melnyk,
had impeded Quiet Jungle at
the eighth pole. The race was
awarded to Street Sounds
with Sealy Hill relegated to
third.
Husbands and Sealy Hill's
trainer, Mark Casse, appealed
the decision and arbitrators,
after hearing evidence from
Husbands on Sept. 26, over-
turned the stewards' decision.

TOP JOCK
The decision gave
Husbands a remarkable 18th
stakes win for the season, the
most by any jockey this sea-


son at Woodbine and handed
him the Triple Crown.
"I am happy and proud
about it. It was a hard blow to
Eugene and it was a hard
blow to myself and Mark
Casse who is also the trainer,"
Husbands told CMC Sports.
"This is the filly that was
the first to win the Triple
Crown. Last year I went close,
I won the first two legs of the
Triple Crown (but) I rode the
last leg and got beaten. So
now I got the chance to win
all three races and they took
away one from me which was
uncalled for.


"Everybody knows it was
tough being on the (witness)
stand and getting questioned
over and over but it turned
out in my favor."
Sealy Hill, named after a
small community in Barbados,
claimed the Triple Crown
after winning the $500 000
Woodbine Oaks on June 10
and claiming the final race,
the Wonder Where Stakes, on
July 28. The Ontario Racing
Commission said it would
release the reasons behind
their decision some time in
the future.
0


tor me.
"I've bowled well without
any pressure, and when I go on
the field I always try to make a
massive contribution to the
team. It's a team effort and
I've led the bowling attack this
year, which is what was
required."
The Most Valuable Player
award was launched by the
PCA this year to provide a
more reliable and accurate
means of assessing a player's
performance, rewarding each
run, wicket and catch.



'Soca Warriors' remain

on top in region's soccer
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Sep 19,
CMC -Trinidad and Tobago's "Soca
Warriors" remained on top of the
Caribbean Football Union's (CFU)
soccer rankings, collated from the
September rankings released by
soccer's world governing body FIFA
last month.
Below is the Caribbean listing,
with the world ranking in brackets:
1. Trinidad and Tobago (64)
2. Cuba (71)
3. Haiti (83)
4. Jamaica (96)
5. St Vincent & the Grenadines (97)
6. Guyana (103)
7. Barbados (109)
8. Antigua & Barbuda (131)
9. Bermuda (135)
10. Dominican Republic (139)
11. Suriname (143)
12. St Kitts & Nevis (146)
13. Grenada (162)
14. St Lucia (163)
15. Bahamas (168)
16. British Virgin Islands (179)
17. Turks & Caicos Islands (181)
18. Netherlands Antilles (182)
19. Dominica (186)
20. Cayman Islands (188)
21. Puerto Rico (195)
22. Anguilla (197)
23. U.S. Virgin Islands (200)
23. Montserrat (200)
23. Aruba (200)


SPORT BRIEFS
WICB, Stanford 20/20 strike
deal
The West Indies Cricket Board and the
Stanford 20/20 Board of Directors
have agreed to a five-year franchise
deal that will allow the Stanford 20/20
regional tournament to become part
of the WICB's annual cricket calendar
in the Caribbean, along with the one-
day and four-day tournaments.
Millionaire backs Grenada's
sailing fest
The millionaire who led Britain's
America's Cup challenge in 1983 is
backing Grenada's efforts to raise the
profile of its premier sailing festival.
Investor Peter Desavory has
agreed to a three-year contract with
festival organizers to be title sponsor
of the Grenada Sailing Festival
scheduled for Jan. 5-29, 2008.
Compiled from CMC and other
sources.
.0


October 2007









A nRGo n nD FREI cH wOTbenoac

~ A Caribbean Today advertising feature


Christmas rush is on for cargo shipping to the Caribbean


GORDON WILLIAMS
T e peak season for sending
goodies to the Caribbean
for Christmas is already
here.
According
to sources in
the cargo ship-
ping industry,
October unof-
ficially marks
the start-up
period for
thousands of
barrels and
other contain-
ers to be sent
to the region.
"Christmas
is the busiest
time,"
explained
Guyanese-bomrn
Brian Edun,
business devel-
opment manag-
er for
Laparkan
cargo shipping,
southeast
region, which
serves areas min Many more barrels I
the United sent off to the Carib
States ranging
from North Carolina, Georgia,
Texas, Louisiana and Florida.
Sources said the period
runs roughly from Oct. 1 to
Dec. 31, but they also advise
customers that if they want
their goods to reach in time for


the peak of the festive season,
they should make sure the con-
tainers are shipped no later
than the second week in
December. The high volume of


ike this one will be packed with goodies and
bean in time for Christmas.

shipments during the season
can lead to heavy delays at
ports across the region and
possible delays in delivery.
"A lot of the West Indians
leave everything for last,"
Edun said. "We ask them not


to ship later than two weeks
into December to avoid the
Christmas backlog."

BULK
Most deliveries to the
region take anywhere between
three days and two weeks. An
estimated 70 percent of the con-
tainers sent to the Caribbean
leave the U.S. between Oct. 1
and Dec. 31. And while most
countries in the region are
served directly by cargo ship-
ping agencies in the
U.S., three countries
attract the most vol- [ V
ume.


"The majority
goes between
Jamaica, Guyana and
Trinidad," said Edun,
"with Jamaica ahead."
The rising volume
of shipments to the
region over the years
has also led to
increased competition
among the shipping
agencies, with many
offering specials dur-
ing the busy season.
According to Edun,
Laparkan, for exam-
ple, is offering two
barrels of foodstuff,
worth $250 each, to
two lucky winners
selected each month
from those who ship
to Jamaica through
the company between


Standards officials seize container of

counterfeit goods in Grenada


ST. GEORGE'S, Grenada, CMC -
Government officials here say they have
seized a 40-foot container packed with
household supplies which violated the
island's labeling and advertising standards.
Grenada Bureau of Standard Director
Simeon Collins said the container, which
was shipped directly from China to
Grenada, had products that were extreme-
ly dangerous for human consumption.
"In recent times we have all become
aware of the dangers of these counterfeit
products and when our inspection officers
came across the container it was immedi-
ately decided to confiscate the goods," he
said late last month.
A large shipment of toothpaste was
among the goods, the official said.

FAKE
Collins said based on the guidelines
set out for identifying Chinese-produced
counterfeit toothpaste, inspectors at the
Port realized that the toothpaste in the
container was fake.
"The only English words on the label
were a website address and made in
Egypt, Uganda or South Africa and we
knew immediately that they were not good
for human use," he said.
He said there were also mosquito
coils, soap, nuts, raisins and preserved fruit
with no English written on the labels.


Collins said a decision was taken to
issue a warning letter to the importer who
said he was unaware of Grenada's impor-
tation rules and regulations.
"This is his first offense, so we did not
take a decision to stop him," Collins said.

DESTROYED
The Bureau of Standards official said
that the seized goods would be destroyed
in a form that would ensure that they did
not find they way back on the market.
"We will be
working with the
Grenada Solid
Waste Management
Authority to ensure
that all the goods are
totally destroyed," he
said, while explaining
that the bureau had
learnt from a recent
incident in which
some goods which An'
were buried found
their way back on the
market.
"We will do what
it takes to make sure We Mak
that they are not in a
condition for human Sea Cargo Air Cargo
use." 1-8


October and December. While
the promotion originally tied in
with this month's 10th anniver-
sary celebration of Laparkan's
business with Jamaica Trading
Services, a brokerage firm, it
was stretched further to capi-
talize on the seasonal rush.
"We decided to extend it
as a Christmas special," Edun
said.

BUSY BUYING
Caribbean people tradi-


tionally like to take advantage
of the Christmas rush as well.
Many travel from the region to
buy goods from popular U.S.
wholesalers like Costco, Sam's
Club and BJ's, which offer
good deals especially at certain
times of the year like the post-
Thanksgiving period.
Caribbean residents also take
advantage of special events in
the U.S. to visit the country
and shop for goods to be sent
(CONTINUED ON PAGE 24)


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October 2007


CARIBBEAN TODAY


I





CARIBBEAN TODAY


4


.vw^caibbdRyc R fGO A n D FREIG I T

~ A Caribbean Today advertising feature

Banana farmers raise shipping concerns Crowl


over new trade deal with Europe service


KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent,
CMC Regional banana
farmers have charged that
their concerns are not being
addressed in the current draft
of the new Economic
Partnership
Agreement (EPA)
to be implemented
by the European
Union from next
January.
Renwick Rose, ,
coordinator of the .,
Windward Islands
Farmers Association
(WINFA), told an
audience at a "Stop
EPA Day" rally .
here last month, that
the EPA draft being
presently negotiated
by regional govern-
ments missed the
critical issue of
developmental assis-
tance from the
Europeans. He said
developmental assis-
tance should be the
underpinning of any Cargo shippil
agreement negotiat-
ed on behalf of the region's
people.
"Secondly, they say that
regional integration is part of
it, we have proposed that you
can't have access to regional
markers when there is no
shipping between the islands,"
Rose said.
"We have to rely on the
banana boat if we want to
ship intra regionally and this
is not working out good. We
have proposed that, as part of
the EPA, there should be an
investment in a regional ship-
ping line withrefrigeration
facilities."

ASSISTANCE
The WINFA official said
regional farmers also needed
financial and technical assis-
tance in order to assist them
with developing the capacity
to take advantage of any trad-


(CONTINUED FROM PAGE 23)
home. Carnival is among the
main attractions.
Yet Christmas is not the
only time Caribbean people
ship goodies home. The period
just before school opens in the
region mainly August is
popular. Easter is another busy
period for shipping. They also
target special events in the
region like Cricket World
Cup 2007 to stock up on
goods via shipping.


ing opportunities that might
open up in Europe.
"Right now we in
WINFA, the farmers, have
been investing in a small joint
agro processing project, we


Meanwhile, Edun explained
that while the busiest season for
shipping to the Caribbean has
just kicked off, he has no doubt
it is already welcomed by the
people from the region.
"Families in the Caribbean
look forward to the stuff," he
said.

Gordon Williams is Caribbean
Today's managing editor.
0


He said he believed the
regions' best interest was not
represented in the current
draft and to foster the region's
development special and def-
erential treatment provision


I ,f I I j.-


ing between the islands need improvement.

are the registered Fair Trade
producers for banana, but we
want to have fair trade
smoothie, jams, juices and jel-
lies, but to meet European
standards there are certain
rigid standards," Rose told
the hundreds of farmers, rep-
resentatives of non govern-
mental organizations and
Vincentians gathered for the
event.
"We want the necessary
financial and technical assis-
tance to develop that capaci-
ty."
Christopher Sinckler of
the Caribbean Policy
Development Centre, who
also addressed the rally, said
there were a number of
"major issues to be resolved
and there are still some con-
cerns and questions whether
the regions are going to meet
that January 31st deadline."


must be written into an EPA
agreement.
European Union trade
negotiators said last month
that they were not IL,.In-
rolling" ACP states to com-
plete negotiations for the new
EPA deal by year-end, and
denied suggestions that the
new arrangement would hurt
the region.
0


Beginning this month,
Crowley Maritime
Corporation's liner serv-
ices group will enhance its
service to the Caribbean
islands with the addition of
two new, bigger, faster contain-
er ships the "Eclips" and
"Ocean".
Each ship offers more
capacity and twice the number
of reefer plugs about 160 -
than the "Sea Gale" and "Sea
Cloud", the ships they are
replacing.
Running at about 18.5
knots, the new ships are about
two knots faster, which should
result in even better transit
times and schedule integrity.
"These new ships will ben-
efit our customers in a number
of ways," said Rudy Leming,
Crowley's vice president of
Caribbean islands services in a
recently issued press release by
the company.
"First, we're going to be
better equipped to handle cus-
tomers' need for space during
the peak season and beyond -
this includes reefer cargo,
because we'll have about twice
the number of shipboard plugs.
Second, the speed of the ves-
sels will allow us to provide
improved schedule integrity
with earlier southbound
arrivals in St. Thomas and St.
Croix, plus we're able to add a
northbound stop in St. Thomas
to offload Trinidad and
Barbados cargoes."
Crowley's weekly, fixed-day
Caribbean islands service


includes vessel calls in
Jacksonville on Tuesdays, Port
Everglades Thursdays, St.
Thomas Sundays, St. Croix
Monday, Trinidad Tuesdays,
St. Vincent Thursdays,
Barbados Thursdays, and St.
Thomas northbound on Fridays
before returning to Jacksonville.
Relay services from St. Thomas
is provided to Anguilla,
Antigua, Montserrat, Nevis,
Saba, St. Barts, St. Eustatius, St.
John, St. Kitts, St. Maarten,
Tortola and Virgin Gorda.

RELAY
Relay service from
Barbados includes Martinique
and Guadeloupe; while relay
service to Canouan, Bermuda
and Tobago is provided as
needed from St. Vincent,
Jacksonville and Trinidad
respectively.
Crowley's Caribbean
island services allow customers
to ship groceries, department
store merchandise, building
materials, refrigerated and
frozen goods, household
goods, vehicles and Freight of
All Kinds (FAK) in a variety
of equipment including 20-foot
standard and 40-foot standard
and high-cube containers,
reefers, flat racks and other
specialized equipment.
Jacksonville-based
Crowley Maritime Corporation,
founded in San Francisco in
1892, is a privately held family
and employee-owned company.
0


Port Louis Grenada launches sailina festival


More than 200 per-
sons from Grenada
and the rest of the
Caribbean joined the Port
Louis Grenada Sailing
Festival team and new spon-
sors Port Louis Grenada at
the Victory Bar, for the
bi,_,L.,I pre-event celebration
in the history of the festival
last month.
Among those in atten-
dance were Minister of
Works Brenda Hood;
Minister of Private Sector
Development Einstein
Louison; festival Chairman
Jimmy Bristol and his team
and Peter de Savary, chair-
man and founder of Savvy
Grenada.
Cocktails and cham-
pagne were followed by
speeches as Hood, Bristol
and de Savary all endorsed
the festival and committed to
developing it into one of the
best in the world. Both gov-
ernment and the festival
committee members compli-


Peter de Savary, chairman of Port Louis, second left, is joined by, from left, Vivian
Burkhardt, Miss Grenada World 2007; Jennifer Hosten, and Grenadian yachtsman
Peter "Champie" Evans, during the launch of the sailing festival.


mented Port Louis Grenada
for making a long term com-
mitment three years to
sponsoring the event.
The Port Louis Grenada
Sailing Festival is scheduled


for Jan. 25-29, 2008.
Port Louis Grenada, a
creation of de Savary, is an
EC$1.5 billion maritime vil-
lage and marina.
0


ey introduces faster


to Caribbean islands


Christmas rush is on for cargo

shipping to the Caribbean


October 2007





CARIBBEAN TODAY


F nT U R 6


Trinidadians get ready to vote for new government in November


PETER RICHARDS

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad -
Prime Minister Patrick
Manning leads his ruling
People's National Movement
(PNM) into Nov. 5 general
elections hoping to avoid a
repeat of the 1995 situation
when he made the bold remark
that his party would "win
alone or lose alone".
It lost.
This time the cards appear
to be in the PNM's favor, even
though the newly formed
Congress of the People (COP)
party, headed by the former
Central Bank Governor
Winston Dookeran, is likely to
provide the
bi,__,lI chal-
lenge to
Manning's hold '
on government
in this oil-rich
Caribbean
community
(CARICOM)
nation. Dookeran: Ready
"We are to rumble.
ready to rum-
ble," said Dookeran, who is a
former political leader of the
main Opposition United
National Congress (UNC).
A poll conducted by the
Barbados-based Caribbean
Development Research
Services (CADRES) indicated
that the COP poses the pri-
mary threat to the ruling party.
The poll has not been made
public here, but CADRES
director and political analyst
Peter Wickham, speaking on
television here last month, said
that a huge majority of eligible
voters favor a change of gov-
ernment from the incumbent
PNM.

CHANGE FAVORED
The Express newspaper,
which said it had obtained a
copy of the poll, said that with
an estimated five percent mar-
gin of error, the poll has
revealed that 68.7 percent
favored a change in govern-
ment.
The UNC, which has
entered into an alliance with a
number of small political par-
ties, has been trying to reach
an accommodation with the
COP, but their efforts have
been rebuffed. COP Chairman
Roy Augustus said the party, a
breakaway faction of the UNC
that is promising the electorate
in politics", would not be
distracted by the o.nio, of
the UNC.
Former Attorney General
Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj,
whose resignation and accusa-
tion of corruption led to the
downfall of the UNC govern-
ment in 2001, has also appealed
for the two main Opposition
groupings to unite in an effort


to defeat the PNM.
"All things are possible
in the fullness of time. The
forces united against the
PNM, whether those forces
be officials or individuals,
will come t, ili, r," said
Opposition Leader Kamla
Persad Bissessar, a deputy
UNC
political leader.
The UNC and its alliance
partners have not named a
leader to take them into the
elections, relying instead on a
Council of Leaders. The lead-
ership grouping includes for-
mer Prime Minister Basdeo
Panday, who was in court last
month trying to reverse a deci-
sion by the Parliament last
year to take away the Couva
North seat he won in the 2002
general elections following his
conviction on charges of failing
to declare to the Integrity
Commission, a London bank
account he held while he
served as head of government.
Panday has successfully
appealed against the convic-
tion, and while
the High Court
has ordered a
re-trial, the 72-
year-old veter-
an politician is
facing a num-
ber of other
charges dating Persad Bissessar:
back to the The forces will
1995-2001 come together.
period when
his UNC formed the govern-
ment.
Panday, who has already
indicated that he intends
"dying with his booths on", has
brushed aside calls for him to
remove himself from the politi-
cal fray and allow for a possi-
ble united Opposition front.
Some media reports have gone
as far as to U_''LI that finan-
ciers of the party are behind
the moves to get Panday to
step down.

NEW SYSTEM
The elections will be the
first since voters would be
given an opportunity to elect
41 instead of 36 parliamentari-
ans, and all three main politi-
cal parties have said they are
confident of winning sufficient
seats to govern for the next
five years.
In the last general elections,
the PNM won 20 seats with the
UNC winning the remaining 16.
But the Opposition has been
split, with Dookeran's faction
lending support to the Manning
administration in passing critical
pieces of legislation to deal with
issues such as crime that is likely
to be a major platform agenda
in the campaign.
Manning will lead a new
slate into the elections, having
discarded or lost to resigna-
tion, illness or court charges,


nearly half of his current legis-
lators. But Manning has told
supporters, some of whom
have openly rebelled outside
the party's headquarters in
favor of some incumbents, that
the new crop
of candidates
represents a
changing of
the guard.
Manning
has already
outlined a
blueprint for
taking this Maharaj: Calling for
twin-island unity.
republic "into
developed
country status by 2020" and
has told supporters that the
socio-economic benefits that
they are now reaping are not
as a result of luck. He has
pointed to successive PNM
g Lr illL I1n decision to open
the markets and liberalize the
economy, provide tax conces-
sions to manufacturers and cut
back on social sector expendi-
ture.
But the Opposition parties
have accused the government
of spending lavishly on high-
rise buildings in the capital and
other projects including a rapid
rail system that Persad
Bissessar said had been
plagued with corruption.

CONTROVERSIES
The campaign has already
turned up a few controversies.
Manning has wondered aloud
how the COP has been able to
move from "black and white
advertisements to full color full
pa.,'s and said he is prepared
to allow for the scrutiny of his
party finances once the other
political parties agree to do the
same.
COP has itself taken to
the airwaves on the issue of
campaign financing and the
party's campaign manager
Gerald Yetming, the former


finance minister in the UNC
government, has raised con-
cerns over media advertise-
ments purporting to come
from "independent organiza-
tions" bashing the Opposition
parties.
The Opposition parties
have also questioned
Manning's decision to call the
polls on Nov. 5, five days
before the Hindu festival of
lights, Divali.
Despite indicating that the
dJai incidentally had been
determined a long time ago,"
Manning will have to ward off
criticism that he was insensi-
tive to the Indo-Trinidadian
community for having the cam-
paign in the midst of their reli-
gious festival.
Satnarine Maharaj, the


secretary general of the
Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha,
the largest Hindu organization
here, reminded Manning of
what transpired when he held
called the 1995 general elec-
tions before an East Indian
festival. He lost.
The 1.3 million population
of Trinidad and Tobago is
almost evenly divided between
the two main races here the
Afro and Indo Trinidadian.
The Electoral Boundaries
Commission (EBC), which is
spending an estimated $3.6
million in preparing for the
Nov. 5 poll, said more than
980,000 people would be eligi-
ble to vote. It did not give a
breakdown regarding race.
0


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October 2007


LW-WW.caribbeantoday.com





CARIBBEAN TODAY


FEATU RE


Guyana pleased with settlement of maritime dispute with Suriname


TERRENCE ESSEBOOM


GEORGETOWN, Guyana, -
In 1957 Sir Shridath Ramphal,
then a youthful employee in
the Legal Affairs Ministry
here, drafted the license per-
mitting California Oil to drill
for petroleum in the
Corentyne river which sepa-
rates Guyana from neighbor-
ing Suriname.
In 2007 a half-a-century
later Sir Shridath boasts
that Guyana finally "won
gold" following the ruling of
the Hamburg-based Court
of Arbitration which gave the
country a 85 percent stake of
the disputed area, finally set-
tling the long-standing mar-
itime dispute between the two
states.
But the two Caribbean
community (CARICOM)
countries "will forever be
neighbors," Sir Shridath said
at a press conference in
Georgetown last month as he
encouraged continued cooper-
ation between both.
Sir Shridath, a former
commonwealth secretary gen-
eral, said the historic maritime
ruling "was a good day for
CARICOM and the rule of
international law," demonstrat-
ing that "the only lasting path
to the resolution of conflict is
lawful process and peaceful
means."

CONFUSION
A great deal of confusion


agree with me j-7 j


that the
Guyana-
Suriname
Cooperation
Council
should be pro-
vided with the
necessary
mandate and
political sup-
port it
requires to


emerged last
month when
Suriname
President
Ronald
Venetiaan
declared victo-
ry for his
country Venetiaan
asserting that
under the award, Guyana
gained 51 percent and the
Dutch-speaking nation 49 per
cent of the controversial oil
and gas-rich maritime area.
In reality the tribunal gave
Guyana "approximately two-
thirds of this area... and one-
third to Surname," said Paul
Reichler, one of experts who
pleaded Guyana's three-year
case before the five-man tribu-
nal.
"The disparity is even
greater in Guyana's favor
when we consider the most
important part of the area in
dispute... where significant
deposits (of oil and gas) are
believed to exist. In that part
of the area of dispute, Guyana
received 85 per cent and
Suriname only 15 percent, a
ratio of five to one in Guyana's
favor," Reichler added.
Suriname had also claimed
victory on the basis that mone-
tary compensation was not
given to Guyana for the June
2000 expulsion of the CGX oil
rig by Surinamese military
gunboats from the disputed
area.
Reichler challenged these


I


CARIBBEAN TODAY


S17
]wv. r


-it~

'El


r9 (


claims, noting that "Guyana
did not pursue monetary com-
pensation as a remedy for
Suriname's offence against the
CGX rig, contenting itself with
a request for the condemna-
tion that the tribunal has now
issued."
Venetiaan also claimed
that Guyana's President
Bharrat Jagdeo, in a corre-
spondence, proposed joint
development of the offshore
hydrocarbon resources
between the
two countries.
"There is
nothing in '
Jagdeo's letter
to Venetiaan
extending the .
hand of friend- '
ship that even
mentions, let Ramphal
alone propos-
es, joint development of off-
shore resources," Reichler said
when questioned by the local
press.
The president said in his
letter: "I wish to reiterate to
you my commitment, and that
of my country men and
women, to cooperating with
you and the people of
Suriname towards hastening
the development of our two
countries through cooperation
for our mutual benefit."
Continuing it said: "We do
have the mechanism in place
to realize our goal of learning
and benefiting from the experi-
ence of each other. I am, there-
fore, confident that you will


( aribbean culture has influenced the .
world in many Ways owVer the years,
from the exotic beauty of the islands .4 .
and people, to the pulsating rhythms of
their music reggae, soca, salsa and
merenue.
Now, Caribbean food is beginning to play
a new and vibrant role in how the world views
this region, from jerk pork to carry chicken, ,
fried plantains, fried yuca, cracked conch to
flying fish, from mange chutney to
gua jelly.
Caribbean beers, rum and liquors are seen all over the World. Come with
Caribbean Today as we take you from the tip of the yucatan to the jungles of Guyana, as we
explore the tastes of the Caribbean. We wilt tell you where you can find those hard-to-get
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Articles for Editorial Consideration: October 18th, 2007
ADVERTISSWG DEAaME OCTOBER 26TH, 2007


accelerate
cooperation between our
countries."


the president said when
he addressed the nation
on Sept. 20 to announce
the tribunal's award.

FAVOR
The Court of
Arbitration ruled in
Guyana's favour on all six
counts.
"When I say that on
all these central issues
Guyana's interests and
objectives are met, I do
not mean to be triumphal-
ist. That, in any event,
would not be a proper
posture for our country to
adopt. In fact, the award
is in the interest of both
our countries and the
wider C,.ribblnai "Jagdeo

(CONTINUED ON
PAGE 27)


Area disputed by Guyana and Suriname.


Guyana and Suriname, and to
draw the boundary between
he maritime areas of Guyana
nd Suriname in a manner that
would be binding on both
countries for all time and
acknowledged by the interna-
ional community.
In addition, the country
wanted "to confirm that the
ne of the boundary would be
influenced, above all, by the
principle of equidistance for
which Guyana had long con-
ended and for which Guyana's
national law provides, and to
ecure Guyana's sovereignty to
he resources of the sea-bed on
ts continental shelf on the basis
if an internationally recognized
maritime
oundary."
The
Guyana gov-
rnment also
wanted all
icensees to
return to the
offshore area
where they Jagdeo
were exploring
for oil in June 2000, when
they were forced at gun-
point by a Surinamese
naval vessel to abandon
their activities and evacu-
ate the area".
The final objective
was "to achieve all this in
a manner which allows
Guyana and Suriname to
cooperate as good neigh-
bors and CARICOM
partners in the develop-
ment of their countries,"


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lwww.caribbeantoday.com 11


FINAL WORD
The initial confusion of
interpretation of the ruling has
not troubled Guyana's legal
team, and according to Reichler,
Guyana has no intention of
approaching the tribunal for any
clarification on the matter.
"The tribunal will not be
approached by Guyana for any
clarification but I cannot speak
for Suriname. The ruling is
final, but it must be made clear
that questions to clarify certain
things can be asked but no
arguments can be made. It
means that it cannot be
appealed," Reichler said.
When Guyana undertook
arbitral proceedings against
Suriname, the Guyanese gov-
ernment had six goals, said
Jagdeo. These include: estab-
lishing that the rule of interna-
tional law, not the rule of
force, holds sway in CARI-
COM waters and more specifi-
cally in the maritime areas of


October 2007


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CARIBBEAN TODAY


F nT U R 6


Caribbean launches assault on non-communicable diseases


PETER RICHARDS

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad -
Edwin Carrington, the secre-
tary general of the Caribbean
community (CARICOM),
had a simple message for
regional leaders who gathered
in Trinidad last month for a
special summit:
"Let us all seize this
opportunity to leave a legacy
of a healthier region by mak-
ing this historic summit mem-
orable for setting in motion
the structure by which we not
only stem the tide but truly
unite to stop the epidemic of
non-communicable diseases in
the region."
Now, six years after
agreeing that "the health of
the region is the wealth of the
region", Caribbean govern-
ments have launched their
assault on chronic non-com-
municable diseases (CNDC)
that they all agree cost them
millions of dollars annually to
treat and have affected the
socio-economic development
of their countries.
At the end of their special
summit on health, the regional
leaders issued a "Declaration
of Port of Spain" supporting
the concerns raised in a 123-
page report by the Caribbean
Commission on Health and
Development (CCHD) that
warned "a healthy population
is an essential prerequisite for
the economic growth and sta-
bility of the Caribbean".
Carrington had said that
the challenge of the summit


(CONTINUED FROM PAGE 26)

said in his address last month.
Sir Shridath, who has
encyclopaedic knowledge of
the historic controversy,
reminded the press that
Guyana's claims to the once-
disputed maritime area were
not trumped-up.
"In 1977 our Maritime
Boundaries Act asserted the
equidistance principle that the
tribunal upheld, and of course,
it is the same principle that
Suriname is adopting in its
eastern boundary with French
Guiana," Sir Shridath recalled.
The minority parliamentary
Alliance For Change (AFC) in
a statement over the weekend
said the "historic and legally
binding decision now allows for
the Governments of Guyana
and Suriname to forge econom-
ic and social development activ-
ities, including natural resource
exploitation of the sea bed for
the mutual benefit of their
respective countries and people.
"This award must be seen


was to come up with a blue
print for an integrated pre-
vention strategy targeting the
three main risk factors:
unhealthy diet, physical inac-
tivity and tobacco use.


Arthur


STRATEGIES
In the declaration, the
regional leaders have accept-
ed the main recommendations
of the CCHD which include
strategies to prevent and con-
trol heart disease, stroke, dia-
betes, hypertension, obesity
and cancer in the region by
addressing their "casual risk
factors of unhealthy diet,
physical inactivity, tobacco
use and alcohol abuse and
strengthening our health serv-
ices".
The Caribbean leaders
said they are convinced that
the burdens of CNDCs "can
be reduced by comprehensive
and integrated preventative
and control strategies at the
individual, family, community,
national and regional levels
and through collaborative


by all as a positive instance
where the resolution of dis-
putes can be settled in a dis-
passionate and peaceful man-
ner. The entire region, CARI-
COM and the world at large
must acknowledge and cele-
brate this occasion as a tri-
umph for the rule of interna-
tional law," the AFC said.
The ageing Sir Shridath
counseled that last month's
maritime award has opened up
"a new era in Guyana's devel-
opment." This, however, will
bring new challenges said the
former chief negotiator for
CARICOM.
"Oil has been a mixed
blessing where its gains are not
sensitively managed. But there
are models of best practices
from which Guyana can bene-
fit as we stand poised on the
cusp of that new time. It is not
too early to prepare for the
challenges it will bring," Sir
Shridath said.

- CMC
0


programs, partnerships and
policies supported by govern-
ments, private sectors, non-
government organizations and
our other social, regional and
international part n iir, .
In its report submitted to
Caribbean governments near-
ly two years ago, the CCHD,
chaired by Sir George
Alleyne, the chancellor of the
University of the West Indies
(UWI), noted for example the
high cost to regional govern-
ments for treating two non-
communicable diseases,
hypertension and diabetes. It
said that the cost of hyperten-
sion and diabetes in Jamaica
for one year was approxi-
mately $58 million "and this
did not include any estimate
of the economic value of the
lives lost.
"Multiplied throughout
the Caribbean, this cost
implies a tremendous drain
on the economies," the report
said, ,ui-- lin_ also that "the
Caribbean must seriously
address the rising epidemic of
obesity, which is the common
factor associated with an
increased risk of chronic non-
communicable diseases."

REMOVING MYTHS
St. Kitts and Nevis Prime
Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas,
who has lead responsibility
for health in CARICOM, said
that it was also important for
the region's population to
move away from various
myths that prevent efforts at
developing strategies to
meaningfully deal with
CNCDs.
He told the summit here
that many Caribbean people
were of the opinion that
chronic diseases were a prob-
lem of rich countries, while
the facts show "non-commu-
nicable disease account for
more than half the burden on
disease and 80 percent of the
deaths in the poorer countries
which carry a double burden
of disease.
"If the known risk factors
are controlled, at least 80 per-
cent of heart disease, stroke
and diabetes and 40 percent
of cancers are preventable,
and in addition there are cost
effective interventions avail-
able for control," he said.
The summit was told that
the prevalence of CNDC in
the Caribbean "is the worst in
the AmiL ri., and, according
to CARICOM Chairman
Owen Arthur, who is also the
Barbados prime minister, "it
is clear we are failing to prop-
erly control the factors which
engender these diseases.
"It is also clear that
despite valiant efforts at the
domestic level, a coordinated
regional partnership and pro-


gram is now required if we
are to make the significant
advances required," he said,
noting that the Caribbean
spends half of its health
expenditure on treating
CNDCs.
"These costs are project-
ed to spiral at a time when we
face competing claims for our
limited resources. Failure to
act can imperil our very lives,
not to mention the future of
the community as we know
it," Arthur said.

TAX ATTACK
As part of the new initia-
tives to deal with CNDCs, the
governments have agreed to
introduce higher taxes on


Carrington


tobacco and alcohol as well as
"support the immediate
enactment of legislation to
limit or eliminate smoking in
public places, ban the sale,
advertising and promotion of
tobacco products to children,
insist on effective warning
labels and introduce such fis-
cal measures that will reduce
accessibility of tobacco".
In addition, they said the
public revenue derived from
tobacco, alcohol or other such
products would be employed
towards preventing CNCDs,
promoting health and sup-
porting the work of national
commissions on CNDCs that
would plan and coordinate
the comprehensive prevention
and control strategies.
Trinidad and Tobago's
Prime Minister Patrick
Manning told the summit that
his oil-rich island had long
adopted strong fiscal meas-
ures to deal with alcohol and
tobacco related diseases par-
ticularly after the CCHD
report had indicated that the
country needed nearly half a
billion dollars annually to
treat diabetes and high blood
pressure.
"When therefore the gov-
ernment of Trinidad and
Tobago took the opportunity
to set alcohol and tobacco
further away from the reach
of the population, there were
many who did not even nor
even now fully understand the


choices before us," Manning
said.
"We did it on the basis of
what had to be done in the
interest of the national com-
munity. What is more we
recognize clearly that in treat-
ing with the problem, addi-
tional measures and strategies
must be implemented."

PLANS
The Caribbean countries
have agreed to establish by
mid-2008, comprehensive
plans for the screening and
management of chronic dis-
eases and risk factors "so that
by 2012, 80 percent of people
with CNDCs would receive
quality care and have access
to preventative education
based on regional guidLI n L .
In addition, physical edu-
cation will be re-introduced in
schools and where necessary
provide incentives to ensure
that "our education sectors
promote programs aimed at
providing healthy school
meals and promoting healthy
eating".
The regional countries
have also agreed to work
closely with a number of
Caribbean institutions
including the Jamaica-based
Caribbean Food and
Nutrition Institute (CFNI)
that would be used as a focal
point for providing guidance
and public education as part


Douglas


of the strategy to "enhance
food security and our strong
support for the elimination of
trans fats from the diets of
our citizens.
"Our support for the
efforts of the Caribbean
Regional Negotiating
Machinery to pursue fair
trade policies in all interna-
tional trade negotiations
thereby promoting greater
use of indigenous agricultural
products and foods by our
populations and reducing the
negative effects of globalisa-
tion on our food supply", are
also strategies outlined by the
regional leaders.

- CMC
0


Guyana pleased with settlement of

maritime dispute with Suriname


October 2007


LW-WW.caribbeantoday.com




CARIBBEAN TODAY


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October 2007




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