Group Title: Caribbean today (Miami, Fla.)
Title: Caribbean today
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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: May 2009
Copyright Date: 2010
Frequency: monthly
Subject: Economic conditions -- Periodicals -- Caribbean Area   ( lcsh )
Politics and government -- Periodicals -- Caribbean Area   ( lcsh )
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
Additional Physical Form: Also available by subscription via the World Wide Web.
Dates or Sequential Designation: Began in 1989.
General Note: Description based on: Vol. 10, no. 3, published in 1999; title from cover.
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Bibliographic ID: UF00099285
Volume ID: VID00038
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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O MAY 2009

O~JL O V^V/V^~ -

o u r

,% o r I d


Vol. 20 No. 6

Tel: (305) 238-2868
Jamaica: 655-1479

Last month
an armed
boarded a
Chartered jet
in Jamaica.i
No one was
hurt, but the
drew interna-
tional attention. Ronald
Robinson, Jamaica's minister of
state in the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs, discussed that incident
and other issues with
Caribbean Today, pages 2 and 8.W-

A historic bill,
that calls for
nationals to
4 have their
1 own origins
category on
the United
States Census
form, has been
introduced by Caribbean
American Congresswoman
Yvette D. Clarke of New York
in the U.S. House of
Representatives, page 7.

'-0 Jamaica's
S Kenia
was among
-,y: the many
who put on
es at the
115th Penn
Relays in
Philadelphia in front of another
massive turnout of supporters
from the region, page19.

q.. .


Lord Superior and other legends from
Trinidad and Tobago are again in the
spotlight as part of, perhaps, the most
comprehensive film ever made about
the music from the twin island
republic, page 13.


New s .................... 2
Feature ..................8.
View point ................ 9

Arts/Entertainment .......12 Business ................16
Health .................. 14 Hurricane
Food .................... 15 Preparedness ............ 17

Sport ................... 19
Local/FYI ................ 23

W e

c o v e r y







Many in Florida's
Caribbean communi-
ty have welcomed
the new Cuba initiatives
announced by United Staes
President Barack Obama.
However, although they
believe last month's
announcement easing restric-
tions on travel and money
transfers will alleviate some of
the suffering in the commu-
nist island, Caribbean
Americans want the U.S. gov-
ernment to go even further.
"Although I support the
president's policy, it has not
gone far enough," Corinne
Wakeland, a South Florida-
based artist of Jamaican
descent, told Caribbean
Today. "The administration
should consider lifting the
trade embargo completely.
The policy has done nothing
but hurt the Cuban people.
"The other thing is the
citizenship issue. It is one-
sided in that citizenship is
more likely to be offered to
Cuban exiles while Haitians
and Mexicans are deported
back to their respective coun-
Chiropractor Dr. Lisa
Owen, also a Jamaican,
agreed with Wakeland.
"It's time for us to get
over Cuba," she said. "The
government must realize that
it is hard for Cuban
Americans that have family

on the island who are suffer-
ing because of the effects of
the trade embargo. So, the
bottom line is the U.S. gov-
ernment has no business
directing these people's lives -
that's what the embargo is
With an ever-expanding
Cuban American population,
South Florida is often used as

Obama, left, and Chavez at the Summit
of the Americas.

a benchmark to gauge opinion
on U.S.-Cuba policy. Many
Americans of Cuban heritage
will have nothing to do with
Cuba and the regime formerly
run by Fidel Castro, now con-
trolled by his brother Raul.
Others have been looking for-
ward to the day when they
can visit family and send
remittances without fear.
But there is hope. Cuban
American Nancy Rivero, a
registered nurse in South
Florida, is among those who
hope to visit family members


n E wS

in Cuba. Rivero has not seen
her family since her last visit
in 2000.
"I am 100 percent in
favor of the change in policy,"
she said. "But I wish they
would also do away with the
embargo. I want my family to
be able to enjoy what we have
in this country (the U.S.)."
She understands,
however, that other Cuban
Americans think differently,
and many insist that the 50-
year-old trade embargo,
which effectively shuts down
meaningful exchange between
the U.S. and Cuba, should
"I think all Cubans
should unite and stop criticiz-
ing and being negative and
demanding that the embargo
stay in place," Rivero said.
"It's time we let the past go
and think of the people in
Cuba who are suffering.
"With or without Castro,
it's time for a change. I don't
think Raul Castro has the
capability and wisdom that
Fidel Castro had. It's unfortu-
nate that he (Fidel Castro)
did not use his intelligence
properly. If he used it for
good he would have been one
of the greatest presidents in
Cuban history."

Congressman Kendrick
Meek, who serves the 17th

United States' Department of
Homeland Security says it is
tightening the rules for citizens
re-entering the country from
the C(,rihbli, Mexico or
It said effective June 1 it
would implement the full
requirements of the land and sea
phase of Western Hemisphere
Travel Initiative (WHTI).
The proposed rules
require most U.S. citizens
entering the United States at
sea or land ports of entry to
have a passport, passport card,
or other travel document
approved by the Department
of Homeland Security.
The Homeland Security
Department said children of
U.S. citizens under the age of
16 would be able to present
the original or copy of their
birth certificate, or other proof
of U.S. citizenship, such as a
naturalization certificate or cit-
izenship card. It said groups of
children, ages 16 to 18, when
traveling with a school or reli-

May 2009

Jamaica applies damage control

after MoBay plane hijacking


Pennsylvania Jamaica has
embarked on a mission of
damage control, trying to con-
vince the overseas community
that all is well following the
hijacking of a plane in the
Caribbean island's tourist capi-
tal last month.
In addition to widespread
appeals from Prime Minister
Bruce Golding and tourism
leaders from the country's
shores, the government also
dispatched representatives
abroad bearing messages that
Jamaica has rebounded and
there is nothing for visitors and
business interests to fear on
the island.
"That was an isolated inci-
dent," Ronald Robinson, min-
ister of state in the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs and Foreign
Trade, told Caribbean Today
here late last month while
attending the Penn Relays, an
athletic event which attracts
thousands of Jamaicans each
"That's not a typical crime
that Jamaicans get involved
Robinson's appearance at
Franklin Field stadium on
April 25 was one of several
stops, including meetings with
Jamaican and American busi-
ness interests plus town hall
gatherings, in an attempt to

alleviate the anxiety of those in
the U.S. who watched national
television broadcasts depicting
a standoff between Jamaica's
security forces and an armed

But the foreign affairs offi-
cial was not alone and Jamaica
got help from other quarters as
well. Canada's Prime Minister
Stephen Harper was in the
island at the time of the incident
and commended the security
forces. Sports Minister Olivia
liab, Grange also showed up
here with a message that calm
had returned to
Jamaica. She
hoped the pop-
ularity of
Jamaicans at
the Penn
Relays, on and
off the track,
would some-
how spin the Grange
attention away
from the island's recent troubles.
"An occasion like this, and
the performance of our ath-
letes, is sending the message to
Jamaicans at home and
abroad, and to the rest of the
world, that Jamaica is a great
little place, a great little piece
of rock," she told Caribbean
Last month Stephen Fray,
a 21-year-old Jamaican, walked

gious group, social organiza-
tion, or sports team, would be
able to re-enter under adult
supervision with originals or
copies of their birth certifi-
cates or other proof of citizen-
The department said U.S.
citizens may present a valid
U.S. passport to enter or re-

enter the U.S. when traveling
by air, land or sea from Canada,
Mexico, the Caribbean region,
and Bermuda. It said the pass-
port card is only valid for re-
entry into the U.S. at land bor-
der crossings and sea ports-of-
entry from Canada, ?Mexico,

Caribbean Americans welcome

new U.S. initiatives for Cuba

U.S. tightens rules for nationals

returning from the Caribbean

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May 2009


n e WS

rwww~~.carib-an. .

Caribbean Americans welcome new U.S. initiatives for Cuba Development banks pledge $90B


district of Florida, agreed with
Obama's decision, but has
In a statement released by
Meek on April 13, he noted:
"I have always supported the
(former U.S. President Bill)
Clinton policy of allowing
Cuban Americans to visit
loved family members on the
island nation and was strongly
opposed to the decision by
President (George W.) Bush
to reverse that policy in 2004
weeks before the presidential
election. Under the Bush pol-
icy, by being allowed to visit
Cuba once every three years,
Cuban Americans were given
a false choice and often faced
an impossible decision: Either
to visit a gravely ill family
member or attend their funer-
al. That policy did not reflect
American values and my posi-
tion has remained that fami-
lies should not be further pun-
ished for living under the
Castro regime.
,iiiL the Castro regime
controls all movement on the
island nation, I am concerned
that when unrestricted remit-
tances are allowed to flow
from hardworking Cuban
Americans in Florida and
throughout the United States
to their family members in
Cuba, the Castro government
will confiscate a high percent-
age of those dollars further
propping up a regime that
suppresses human rights, free-
doms and personal mobility".
Congressman Alcee

aid for Latin America, Caribbean

Hastings, who serves Florida's
23rd district, is uncompromis-
ing about his insistence on
the democratization of Cuba.
"I will continue my high
level of advocacy for a demo-
cratic Cuba in Congress, sup-
porting a variety of legislative
initiatives regarding sanctions,
human rights, and drug inter-
diction cooperation. But most
importantly, I will tirelessly
labor to help bring democracy
and respect for human rights
to the island of Cuba", his
official statement noted.

Also an advocate of
Cuban democracy, South
Florida paralegal Jacqui Arias
would definitely take the
opportunity to travel to Cuba
where she has distant rela-
"I do support the easing
of the travel and money trans-
fer ban," Arias said. "I think
it will be beneficial for both
Cubans on the island and
Asked about lifting the
embargo Arias added: "I think
it's a process. It depends on
what they (Cuba) are willing
to give in return, for example
If they make certain promises
about political prisoners, free-
dom of speech, and adopting
democracy. And, we can cross
our fingers that soon Fidel will
die. And when that does hap-
pen things will change. I think
it's unfortunate that they are
already talking about taxing
the money that Cuban

further as the bank is current-
ly working on measures that
may boost lending in the short
The World Bank said the
IDB has also started a process
to review its capital to ensure
adequate capacity to finance
long-term development needs

Americans will send to their
families. But, I think it's a
small price to pay for giving
people a taste of what they are

Obama's new overtures
toward Cuba may also help
loosen the wedge between
Latin America and the U.S.,
created as a result of the
long-time Cuban policy.
Venezuelan President Hugo
Chavez has been one of the
most vocal opponents of the
embargo that has survived
nine U.S. Presidents. But, the
friendly exchange between the
two leaders at the recently
concluded Fifth Summit of the
Americas in the twin island
republic of Trinidad and
Tobago is also a signal of the
new U.S. administration's
position on building friend-
ships across the region.
As well, Raul Castro's
rhetoric about his willingness
to dialogue, is a step toward
stemming the divide.
With Obama acknowledg-
ing that the U.S. trade embar-
go against Cuba has been less
than successful and reaffirm-
ing his decision to lift travel
and U.S. currency restrictions,
it appears the possibility is
increasing that the U.S. will
lift the embargo and the eco-
nomic stranglehold it brings
on the Caribbean island and
signal the beginning of a new
U.S.-Cuba relationship.

development banks said they
will increase their support to
the Caribbean and Latin
America by providing up to
$90 billion over the next two
years in a joint effort aimed at
spurring on economic growth.
The World Bank said the
Inter-American Development
Bank and the Inter-American
Investment Corporation
(IDB/IIC), the World Bank
Group, Corporacion Andina
de Fomento (CAF), the
Caribbean Development
Bank (CBD) and the Central
American Bank for Economic
Integration (CABEI) are
working together to "identify
partnerships to increase their
collective impact and explore
new opportunities to protect
the economic and social gains
achieved in the region during
the last five L, ,r .
The IDB/IIC is expected
to provide $29.5 billion of the
total, while the World Bank
Group plans to provide $35.6
billion over the next two years.
In addition, CAF plans to
provide $20 billion, while
CABEI and CBD are expect-
ed to provide $4.2 billion and
$500 million, respectively, the
World Bank stated.
"Latin America and the
Caribbean have achieved sub-
stantial economic and social
progress over the last five
years, and we must ensure
that this is not lost because of
the external shock of the glob-
al crisis," said World Bank
President Robert B. Zoellick.
"We need to avoid a
social and human crisis."
Zoellick said support
from the IDB may increase

the Caribbean region, and

"As of June 1, the rules
are changing when it comes to
entering the United States
through a land or sea border",
the department stated.
In the past, U.S. travelers
could present a regular driver's
license and birth certificate to
re-enter the country.
The Homeland Security
Department said the new
requirements are the final
phase of the WHTI, designed
to tighten border security in
the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001
terrorist attacks on the U.S.
"The Western Hemisphere
Travel Initiative is a result of
the Intelligence Reform and

Terrorism Prevention Act of
2004 (IRTPA), requiring all
travelers to present a passport
or other document that
denotes identity and citizen-
ship when entering U.S.
"The goal of WHTI is to
strengthen U.S. border security
while facilitating entry for citi-
zens and legitimate foreign vis-
itors by providing standardized
documentation that enables
the Department of Homeland
Security to quickly and reliably
identify a traveler", it added.
The first phase of the
WHTI was implemented in
2007, dealing solely with air
travel. It required air passen-
gers to have a passport when
flying between the U.S. and
Mexico, Canada, the
Caribbean or Bermuda.

May 2009

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Port of Miami, Terminal D, Dodge Island
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housing market and ongoing recession has had on the building industry nationwide.
Miami-Dade County is committed to working with its partners in the building
trades and professions to get work out on the street as quickly as possible. On
behalf of Mayor Carlos Alvarez, Chairman Dennis C. Moss, and the Board of County
Commissioners you are cordially invited to a workshop to discuss new initiatives
and how we can work better with you.
The Office of Capital Improvements and the County's major capital departments
will provide an update on future projects and contracting opportunities.

00 0

U.S. tightens rules for nationals

returning from the Caribbean



under a resolution approved
by its governors at its annual
meeting in March in Medellin,
"The IDB is working with
its multilateral partners to
make a collective response
and is committing a significant
portion of its existing lending
capacity to combat the crisis,"
said IDB President Luis
Alberto Moreno.
Unlike past crises, the
World Bank said the effects of
the current economic crisis are
being transmitted in the region
primarily through the real
economy. It said this crisis has
halted more than five years of
sustained economic growth -
averaging 5.3 percent a year.


n e WS

Caribbean plans to counter possible swine flu outbreak

CMC Regional health offi-
cials met in Barbados late last
month to determine a strategy
to deal with the emergence of
the swine flu virus after out-
breaks were reported in
Mexico, the United States
and Canada.
Officials at the Pan
American Health Organization
(PAHO) tried to determine the
severity of the threat to the
region and what measures
should be implemented.
Although there had been
no reported cases of the virus
in the Caribbean, up to press
time, various governments
have started to put measures in
place to prevent swine flu from
spreading to their shores, as
the World Health Organization
(WHO) warned that the out-
break has the potential to
become a global pandemic.
In Jamaica, the island's
ports of entry were put on
alert for travelers arriving
from countries where human
cases of the outbreak had
been confirmed.
"We have put the airport
on alert and we are working
in collaboration with the
Ministry of Tourism to ensure
that infected persons do not
enter our borders," Health
Minister Rudyard Spencer said.
"We have to ensure that
our airports are properly
secured, (for) people coming
in there will be a special desk
at the airport to make sure
that these persons are tested.
"We have to take the pre-
cautionary measures from
those people coming in from
New York especially....we are
going to be prepared for this,
we just have to make sure
because when it hits North
America you know something
could happen here, so we
have to take the steps to pro-
tect Jamaica," Spencer said.

Agriculture Minister
Christopher Tufton said the

People try to protect themselves against swine flu by wearing masks.

outbreak is also a threat to
food security.
"It is frightening, I am
actually quite concerned and
that's why I'm having discus-
sions with those who have a
little more information on
how it is carried," Tufton said.
Trinidad and Tobago
authorities also implemented
more stringent measures at
ports of entry, screening per-
sons traveling to the twin-
island republic from affected
countries and said they would
screen members of the nation-
al Under-17 football team,
who were in Mexico, upon
their return home. Health
Minister Jerry Narace said
that the players would be
placed in quarantine upon
their arrival.
Pig farmers there also
heightened their vigilance on
persons working or visiting
their farms.
"Visitors to all farms are
restricted, and the arrival of a
veterinary surgeon from the
United States has been post-

poned until it is safe for him
to visit the farms," said Ian
Leong Poi, president of the
Pork Producers Association.
In St. Lucia, health authori-
ties met in an emergency ses-
sion to draw up a plan and
review the island's ability to deal
with a possible out break of the
pandemic. A statement issued
by the National Emergency
Management Organization
(NEMO) said the meeting was
also attended by officials from
the Government Information
Service, the St. Lucia Air and
Seaports Authority and the
Ministry of Agriculture.

Senior Medical Officer
in the Ministry of Health Dr.
Merlene Frederick said that
while there had been no
reported cases in St. Lucia, citi-
zens should be concerned since
the virus has the potential to
spread from person to person.
Dr. Federick said that the
authorities would immediately
increase surveillance at all air

and sea ports.
"There are medical per-
sonnel at the ports and they
will be screening all passen-
gers coming into the island,
and the history of where they
have been is very important.
It is just about Mexico, but the
virus has been identified in
several parts of the United
States where several of our
visitors come from," she
Chief Veterinarian in the
Ministry of Agriculture Dr.
George Joseph advised St.
Lucians that despite the out-
break of swine flu, "pork is safe
to eat once properly cooked."
The Belize government
has issued a travel advisory
for persons visiting Mexico
and Health Minister Pablo
Marin said that the local
authorities were stepping up
surveillance across the country
in order to detect all influenza
and suspected influenza cases.
But he insisted that "Belize
has not detected swine flu."
The reported cases of

swine flu are limited to the
states of Nuevo Leon, Baja
California, San Luis Potosi,
Mexico City, Veracruz and
Oaxaca and health officials
say they are worried that
many Belizeans used those
states when returning home
by road from Mexico and the
United States.
The Cuban Health
Ministry announced extra
measures to prevent the swine
flu virus (H1N1) from enter-
ing its borders. A government
statement said that measures
included tighter sanitary con-
trols at airports and sea ports
and that Cubans were also
being advised to wash their
hands frequently and to cover
their mouths and nose when
sneezing or coughing.
Flights to and from
Mexico, where over 60 deaths
were thought to have been
caused by swine flu, have been
limited, the released stated.

The WHO has urged
countries worldwide to look
out for unusual outbreaks of
flu, while it is said it will
decide whether to raise the
pandemic alert level.
"It is very important that
all regions of the World Health
Organization work with our
countries to heighten surveil-
lance so that we know exactly
whether this new disease is
causing infection in human
beings in countries other than
the U.S. and Mexico," WHO
Director-General Margaret
Chan warned.
Swine flu, also known as
A H1N1, is normally contract-
ed through contact with pigs.
However, it appears that this
strain is spread through
human-to-human contact.
Symptoms of the flu include a
fever of more than 100
degrees, body aches, cough-
ing, a sore throat, respiratory
congestion and, in some cases,
vomiting and diarrhea.

...Region's tourism goes on offensive to counter possible fallout

CMC The Caribbean
Tourism Organization (CTO)
went on the offensive late last
month, informing potential
visitors to the region that
there were no cases of the
swine flu epidemic in the
CTO Chairman John
Maginley, said, however, that
the organization had been in
contact with a number of
regional health authorities as
it reviews the global situation.
"Although there are cur-
rently no identifiable cases
of swine flu among the 33
Caribbean Tourism

Organization (CTO) member
countries, the region is taking
a proactive effort related to
this virus," Maginley said.
He said regional health
officials have been meeting to
determine a strategy to deal
with the swine flu virus after
outbreaks were reported in
Mexico, the United States,
Canada and Europe, with
more than 150 deaths report-
ed in Mexico up to press time.
"The CTO has been in
contact with the Caribbean
Epidemiology Centre
(CAREC) the Pan American
Health Organization (PAHO)
and the World Health

Organization (WHO), as well
as with member countries as
we gather information and
review the global situation.

"While the swine flu virus
has not been reported in the
Caribbean, member countries
have already begun adopting
measures for greater surveil-
lance to prevent the virus
from spreading to the region,"
he said.

Maginley urged potential
visitors to the Caribbean to
visit the CTO's website as well
as that of PAHO and the
Centres for Disease Control
and Prevention for updated
information on the outbreak
of the virus.
I ra,\ i r, planning visits

to the Caribbean should also
visit the web sites of individ-
ual member nations for any
further information on indi-
vidual policies and screening
procedures relating to preven-
tion of the swine flu," he said,
adding that the CTO would
continue to monitor the global
situation closely.
Maginley urged visitors
and residents alike to follow
the guidelines as outlined by
health officials to help prevent
the spread of the virus.

May 2009


Jamaica applies damage control

after MoBay plane hijacking

through security at the
Sangster International Airport
in Montego Bay and boarded a
CanJet charter plane carrying
well over 100 passengers. He
waved a gun and fired at least
one shot. Passengers on the
plane said Fray demanded to
be taken to Cuba and Canada.
He also robbed some passen-
gers during the ordeal, which
lasted several hours.
Fray was eventually arrest-
ed by security personnel, who
stormed the aircraft and dis-
armed him. However,
Jamaica's government repre-
sentatives have downplayed
the gunman's actions as those
of an ill person. They also
turned the spotlight on the
"efficient" manner in which
local security forces diffused
the situation without anyone
being physically harmed.
"It was an unfortunate
incident," Grange said. "The
young man is mentally dis-
turbed and at least we're happy
that it was not an act of delib-
erate terrorism, so to speak.
"But it was a youngster
who really was not in control
of how he conducted himself.
And I have to commend the
security forces in Jamaica, that
they were professional in han-
dling the matter."

Following the incident,
Golding ordered an investiga-
tion by Jamaica's Civil
Aviation Authority into the
country's airport security.
Newspaper reports in
Jamaica noted
that warnings
had been
issued about
the weaknesses
in airport secu-
rity, but those
problems had
not been cor-
rected. Fray
Following last
month's inci-
dent Jamaica also ramped up
its tourism promotional budg-
et, an expense it had not previ-
ously planned for. The aim is
to quickly squash any negative
fallout from the hijacking.
Robinson believes it is work-
"It's been very positive,"
he said. "...Quite frankly, they
recognize that this (hijacking)
incident was an anomaly in
Jamaica's history."

Ronald Robinson discusses
the hijack and other issues in
Carib Chat, page 8.

Gordon Williams is Caribbean
Today's managing editor.

U.S. reviewing deportation policy on Haiti

MIAMI, Florida As pres-
sure builds on the Obama
administration to grant
Temporary Protected Status
(TPS) to tens of thousands of
Haitians living illegally in the
United States, Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton last
month said the U.S. is current-
ly reviewing its deportation
policy as it relates to the
impoverished French-speak-
ing Caribbean country.
Clinton, a day before she
left for a trip to the
Caribbean, said that the U.S.
will continue interdicting
Haitians trying to flee their
country, but was seriously
reviewing its policy.
"What a tremendous bur-
den it would be on Haiti if all
of a sudden they were forced
to accommodate the thou-
sands of people who were oth-
erwise working in our coun-
try," added Clinton, ahead of
a visit to Haiti to hold talks
with President Ren6 Pr6val.
The State Department
revealed that an estimated
30,000 undocumented
Haitians face deportation to
their homeland. Clinton, how-
ever, said the U.S. will look
closely at the issue "and try to
come up with some appropri-
ate responses to the chal-
lenges posed."

A large
number of leg-
islators and
advocates have
been calling on
the Obama
to grant TPS Prbval
to Haitians as
the U.S. has done for other
countries, such as Honduras
and Nicaragua. Last month,
two prominent U.S.
Democratic senators Charles
Schumer of New York, chair-
man of the Senate
Subcommittee on
Immigration, Refugees and
Border, and Patrick Leahy of
Vermont, chairman of the
Senate Judiciary Committee -
wrote U.S. President Barack
Obama, expressing deep con-
cern about the status of
Haitians here.
They said that Haitians
"may be in danger of being
prematurely returned to their
homeland, despite its devasta-
tion from four recent hurri-
canes and tropical storms.
"Because the country -
the poorest in the Western
Hemisphere is still reeling
from the impacts of these
storms, we urge you to extend
Temporary Protected Status
for Haitian nationals currently
residing in the United SLii, ,

they stated in the letter to
Pr6val and several mem-
bers of the U.S. Congress had
also written the previous
George W. Bush administra-
tion requesting TPS for
Haitians living in the U.S.

Schumer and Leahy stat-
ed that they were in disagree-
ment with the Bush adminis-
tration's "11th hour decision
to resume the deportation of
Haitians within weeks of
storms that affected more
than three million people and
have caused widespread mal-
nutrition and homelessness.
"Granting TPS designa-
tion for Haitian nationals
would be the fair and smart
thing to do, and would help
Haiti to recover from the dev-
astating events of just months
ago in anticipation of eventu-
ally reabsorbing those forced
to leave due to the disaster",
they noted.
The National Association
for the Advancement of
Colored Peoples (NAACP),
the largest civil rights organi-
zation in the U.S., has also
joined a chorus of calls on
Washington to grant TPS to
undocumented Haitians.

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Stand and be counted: U.S. Congress receives historic Caribbean census bill

NEW YORK, N.Y A historic
bill that calls for Caribbean
nationals to have their own
origins category on the United
States Census form has been
introduced by Caribbean
American Congresswoman
Yvette D. Clarke of New
York's 11th congressional dis-
trict in the U.S. House of
The Clarke bill calls for
all questionnaires uLd in the
taking of any decennial census
of the U.S. population, to
include a checkbox or other
similar option so that respon-
dents may indicate Caribbean
extraction or d ,iL ni .
The bill was lobbied for
by Carib ID founder Felicia
Persaud. The movement's
goals are specific: to get
Caribbean nationals accurate-
ly counted and their own ori-
gins Census category on all
census forms.
"In conducting the 2010
decennial census and every
decennial census thereafter,
the Secretary of Commerce
shall include, in any question-
naire distributed or otherwise
used for the purpose of deter-
mining the total population by
states, a checkbox or other
similar option by which
respondents may indicate
Caribbean extraction or
dL L it states the bill.
Congresswoman Clarke

Vincent and the Grenadines'
United Nations Ambassador
Camillo Gonsalves has said
that Caribbean countries are
being % .JapLg cation of a new "grey list" of
Offshore Tax Havens by the
Paris-based Organization for
Economic Cooperation and
Development (OECD).
"It is a patently transpar-
ent example of scapegoating,"
Gonsalves, the eldest son of
Prime Minister Dr. Ralph
Gonslaves, told the Caribbean
Media Corporation (CMC),
stating that the OECD had
moved the "goalposts" after
Caribbean countries, such as
his, had worked very hard in
being removed from the so-
called "blacklist".

Last month, the OECD
classified 16 Caribbean
nations, with 22 other coun-
tries, on its "grey list", which
it said had "committed to the
internationally agreed tax
standard, but have not yet
substantially implemented".
Those countries are: Anguilla,
Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba,

said, as a daughter of
Caribbean immigrants herself,
she is especially "proud" of
the measure and sees "it as a
great accomplishment.

"We introduced a bill
which would draw attention to
the 2010 census to help get the
message out and help ensure
the hard to count population
are reached," the congress-
woman told CaribWorldNews
late last month.
"It would push to provide
an origins check box to allow
Caribbeans and those with
ancestry to check that category.
We examined the form and
found this to be lacking. Being
specific on the Census form
will allow the federal govern-
ment to be able to allocate
resource to communities of
Caribbean nationals and their
The congresswoman, who
last month was part of a group
of Congressional members
invited to accompany President
Barack Obama on his first trip
to the Caribbean and Mexico
since he took the Oath of
Office Congress to Trinidad
and Tobago for the Fifth
Summit of the Americas from,
credited Persaud, Chuck
Mohan and Irwine Clare for
making the case for such a
measure given the vast growth

The Bahamas, Belize,
Bermuda, the British Virgin
Islands, the Cayman Islands,
Dominica, Grenada,
Antilles, St.
Kitts and
Nevis, St.
Lucia, St.
Vincent and
Grenadines, Gonsalves
and the Turks
and Caicos
Barbados and the United
States Virgin Islands were
grouped with 38 others that
"have substantially imple-
mented the internationally
agreed tax standard".
Only four countries -
Costa Rica, Malaysia, the
Philippines and Uruguay -
were blacklisted as jurisdic-
tions that failed to meet the
international standard in any
respect. The OECD, however,
last month removed the four
countries after they acqui-
esced to pressure and pledged
to open up their books.


of the Caribbean diapsora in
the U.S.
Clarke is the daughter
of Una Clarke, was the first
Caribbean national elected to
the New York City Council.

Persaud said the Clarke
bill gives the Caribbean com-
munity renewed impetus to
ensure they lobby around this
cause and most importantly,
fill out and return the 2010
Census form, especially by
writing in their country of ori-
gin under Question 8. The ori-
gin's category is not an ethnic
category so this will not divide
the black or Asian or any
other ethnic group that may
perceive this as a "divide and
rule' strategy, Persaud added.
Ann Walters, director of

CariblD, Washington, D.C.,
said that "having this bill
introduced by
Congresswoman Clarke is put-
ting us in the right direction
for changes in the census
"Caribbean nationals can
now feel they are part of the
process," said Walters.
The bill has been referred to
the Oversight and Government
Reform Committee, which over-
sees such changes, and is headed up
by Brooklyn, N.Y Congressman
Ed Towns. It came on the heels of
HR 1504, which was introduced on
March 12 by Congressman Charles
Rangel to call for the inclusion of
the category of "Dominican" as a
separate category in the Hispanic
question on the 2010 Census.

CaribID officials are urging
all Caribbean based media,
entertainers, church leaders and
community-based and national
organizations in the U.S. to
contact their members of
Congress and ask them to sup-
port H.R.1504. Congresswoman
Clarke said the work to get sup-
port from other congressional
members and build a collation
on Capitol Hill to boost support
and make the proposal a reality

begins now.
The congresswoman also
said a senator is now needed
to introduce a similar legisla-
tion in the Senate. The bill
will be given a number and
then be passed to the Sub-
committee for Information
Policy, Census and National
Archives, headed by
Congressman Lacy Clay. It
will then be passed to the full
reform committee and then on
to the House for a full vote.
The census, taken every
10 years since 1790, deter-
mines how more than $300 bil-
lion in federal money is allo-
cated to states and communi-
ties to pay for highway con-
struction, education, Medicaid,
hospitals, child-care and senior
citizen centers, housing and
more. Census data are also
used to determine the number
of congressional seats each of
the 50 states will have, and is
used by corporations to deter-
mine advertising buys and
sponsorships and by non-profit
groups to determine funding

- CaribPR Newswire

May 2009

Caribbean used as 'scapegoats'

over tax haven issue Gonsalves




Jamaica assures world hijacking incident was 'anomaly'

Last month a hijacker,
armed with a gun, board-
ed a chartered jet from
Canada in Montego Bay,
Jamaica. No one was hurt and
the Jamaican man was arrested.
However, the incident drew
international attention to the
Ginbbean island. On April 25,
Caribbean Today's Managing
Editor Gordon Williams spoke
to Ronald Robinson, Jamaica's
Minister of State in the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
about the incident and other
issues under his portfolio as he
attended the 115th staging of the
Penn Relays in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, an event which
draws a huge CGribbean turnout
on and off the track each year.
The following an edited version
of that interview:

Question: People in the
Jamaican community here (in
the U.S.) seem a bit concerned.
What is your take on the (hijack-
ing) incident?
Answer: Well, I tell you, for us
that was an isolated incident.
That's not a typical crime that
Jamaicans get involved with.
The individual has been diag-
nosed, he is mentally challenged
and has some difficulties psy-
chologically. But the individual
nonetheless breached airport
security and the Prime Minister
(Bruce Golding) has ordered
the Civil Aviation Authority to
review our security apparatus
there. Most importantly, our
security forces and I must con-
gratulate them our security
forces handled it very, very well
and brought it to a quick con-
As you know, the Canadian
Prime Minister (Stephen Harper)
was coincidentally in the country
at the time and he indicated that
he was quite pleased in the way it
was handled and how it came out.

Q: There's the (Jamaican) dias-
pora, what can you tell them to
comfort them that all is well at
A: Oh, all is well. One just has to
go to Jamaica and just go in the
airports and they will see. With
respect to crime, obviously we do
have challenges where crime is
concerned. Government is work-
ing assiduously where that is con-
cerned and we're making some
headway, to be honest with you.
There is an indication and a
trending, particularly in major
crimes in Jamaica, and it's trend-
ing down. As you know it's not
something that we can fix
overnight, but we're seeing the
trending in the right direction.

Q: What has been the fallout,
what has been the response
from the international commu-
nity, especially the United
States of America, to the inci-
dent? How much contact have
you had with them... what kind
of feedback have you gotten
from them?

A: Well I'll tell you, it's been
very positive. I was in about
four states in about six days,
about six town hall meetings.
Up to last night I had a town
hall meeting in Philadelphia.
Several interviews. I had several
meetings with the business com-
munity here. Not just
Jamaicans, but also Americans.
And, quite frankly, they recog-
nize that this (hijacking) inci-
dent was an anomaly in
Jamaica's history. They're quite
very, very happy with how we
dealt with it and quite frankly I
think there will be very little
fallout because it ended well.
The efficiency and the profes-
sionalism of the security forces,
they really recognized that, you
know, we did all that we could.
It was just one of those scenar-
ios. But I think we are in good

Q: Has the United States, as a
major power, stepped forward
to offer direct assistance in the
area of security at (Jamaica's)
ports and in (Jamaica) in gener-
al in light of the world situation
with terrorism?
A: Oh, they have been work-
ing... The United States has
been working with Jamaica
over the past years, definitely
after 9/11. Our ports, and the
training of our port security, a
lot of that is done in the United
States and at our airports. In
fact, the group that successfully
brought that incident in
Montego Bay (to an end),
which is our counter terrorism
group, is trained by the United
States and train in the U.S.

Q: They're actively there?
A: Oh, definitely.

Q: Has that assistance been
stepped up in the form of mon-
etary aid and also tactical assis-
tance (since the hijack inci-
A: Well you know that would
be definitely too soon for those
things to be followed on. (U.S.)
President (Barack) Obama, at
the Summit of the Americas,
indicated that he would be
increasing the allocation with
respect to surveillance, and so
forth, to the Caribbean. So we
look forward to benefiting from

Q: Jamaicans abroad, their
main concern has always been
about the security at home,
when they want to come home
for vacation and all that.
There's been a (recent) change
of government (in Jamaica)
obviously, but the concern still
remains. To your mind, is there
any significant improvement
that this government can point
A: Definitely...When I left
Jamaica a week ago, we had 382
murders. Still high. But com-
pared to the previous year we
were at 419. We have imple-


mented a lot of technology out
of the United States. We do use
a lot of expertise out of the
United States and Great
Britain. So where major crimes
are concerned, we're seeing a
trending down. And obviously
we're stepping up our intelli-
gence arm and we've, in fact, in
the budget allocated more to
the intelligence arm.
We know that it's a huge
tanker that we have to turn and
it has to turn slowly, but we are
very encouraged by the incre-
mental gains that we're making.

Q: On the issue of Cuba, it was
a top topic at the recent Summit
of the Americas. Jamaica has
always aligned itself with Cuba.
Coming out of the summit,
what is Jamaica's direction now,
in terms of dealing with the
United States on the Cuba
A: Our position is very clear
and we've not wavered at all on
it. We believe that the sanc-
tions, there should be an easing
and/or total removal of the
sanctions around Cuba, that
Cuba should be fully integrated
into the world community and
that's something that prime
minister has stated. In fact, he
did bring that when he
addressed the U.N. (United
Nations) last year. Our position
has been out there and it's very,
very clear. We welcome the eas-
ing of a lot of the travel restric-
tions (to Cuba), the ability to
remit money from the United
States to Cuba. We think it is a
step in the right direction...
We think the opening of the
Cuban economy will do won-
ders for Jamaica; wonders for
our tourism, wonders for our
manufacturing. Wonders,
because we're very close as you
know, some 90 miles, and Cuba
has about 12 million persons. So
for us it is a great opportunity
to take advantage of.

Q: How would you describe
Jamaica's response to the new
U.S. president, the new U.S.
government, and is there any
sign that there will be a ramped
up solidification of the relation-
ship between the U.S. and
Jamaica as a result of the U.S.
having a new president?
A: For sure. The relationship,
definitely, and I know about it
because the Foreign Ministry is
the tip of the spear where that

is concerned, and we have been
in fact been in touch. We're
working together. We're talking.
Obviously our relationship has
not changed. We view the
United States as an important
partner in moving forward and
we continue to engage the
United States and they engage
us on a whole (range) of issues.
I think the relationship is solid
and safe. I think we will only
build on it. We're glad that
President Obama has indicated
a renewed interest in the
Caribbean region and Jamaica,
as you know, as a leader in the
Caribbean, we're seeking to
take advantage of that. So you
can rest assured that we'll be
moving very aggressively on
that front.

Q: Has Jamaica done anything
in terms of the new U.S. govern-
ment and the new U.S. presi-
dent in terms of ramping up
staff or representatives over-
seas, to take advantage of this
new U.S. government?
A: Not really...but we've made
certain decisions with respect to
placing of new trade persons
and so forth. But outside of that
our representatives know that it
is their job and also purpose to
engage any new government or
any person in whole system. So
they have been doing that. I
know (Jamaica's) Ambassador
(to the U.S. Anthony Johnson)
has been working tirelessly
there, particularly at the (U.S.)
State Department and we hope,
in the near future, that a signifi-
cant (U.S.) official probably will
visit us...

Q: Is there a different tone now
that Obama is in power, as
opposed to the recent George
(W.) Bush administration, in the
relationship between the U.S.
and Jamaica?
A: Not really, you know.

Q: A different temperature?
A: No, no, no. Our foreign poli-
cy is based off principles and so
forth, and also, one of our
tenets in our foreign policy is
that we don't interfere in the
politics of another country So
with respect to Jamaica's rela-
tionship, I think it has remained
the same, albeit that we recog-
nize the United States as fight-
ing a war on several fronts and
that resources would be taken
there. And so, in the case where
President Obama is looking to
scale down in the Middle East
and to re-focus to Afghanistan,
and also to re-focus in the
Caribbean, it's really up to them
in terms of their foreign policy
and we remain open for
engagement any time.

Q: So Obama's new outreach,
and his specific reference to
reaching out to the Caribbean,
and Jamaica, Jamaica also wel-
comes that as well?
A: Oh, definitely, definitely.

Anything to involve Jamaica
and the Caribbean, of course
we'd welcome that.

Q: Any progress on the depor-
tees, is that something that is
being resolved on your visit
A: No, I mean again, that is up
to the host country.

Q: There is always this claim
(by Jamaica) that the U.S. is
sending back people who were
here for years?
A: That's an issue. We know
that's an issue, but it's still their
(the U.S.) decision to make and
whatever they decide we will
probably abide by. What we are
saying is that we would like
proper notification and also our
ability to re-settle and for them
(deportees) to re-enter is also
an issue. So, we remain open in
talking to them (the U.S.) on
these things...

Q: But no significant change
right now?
A: Not really, but we remain
engaged, while we're talking.


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May 2009


V I E W Po I N T

Drop sanctions to free Cuba

o w www .caribbean toda. comI*

The devil made me do it

Representative Bobby
Rush is the only politi-
cal officeholder in the
United States who can say
that he beat Barack Obama.
But he doesn't say it much.
Not now.
"Yeah, a lot of people
remind me of that," the South
Side Chicago Democrat said
when I reminded him of 2000,
when he handily beat back
then-state Senator Obama's
challenge. "But, I don't remind
him of that."
Oh? Why not?
Again Rush laughed. "He's
president now," the congress-
man said. Oh, yeah. Right.
There are many other
things for Rush to talk about -
like Cuba. President Obama
has lifted restrictions on travel
to Cuba for Cuban
Americans. They're allowed
to send money, too. Next, the
Obama administration hopes,
comes access to cell phones
and satellite T.V. Then, I
hope, comes an end to this
country's 47-year-old Cold
War relic of a trade embargo
against Cuba.
But not, I also hope, with-
out some mention of the
dozens of journalists, librari-
ans, human rights activists and
others who are behind bars in
Cuba because they dared to
call for more democracy than
the Castro regime approves.
We should dare to ask
that they at least be allowed
visits by the International Red
Cross and other basic human
rights before we cheerfully
drop whatever leverage the
embargo offers.

So I called Rush, whom
I've known since he made his
1970s transition from Illinois
Black Panther Party leader to
Illinois Democratic Party
leader. (That's how our democ-
racy works. I love America.)
Rush recently traveled to the
island with six other members
of the Congressional Black
Caucus. Three of them, includ-
ing Rush, were granted an
audience with El Jefe himself,
Fidel Castro, who has ceded
the presidential job to his kid
brother Raul for health rea-

"I fully and enthusiastical-
ly support the president's
announcement," Rush told
me. Then he disappointed me.
"There are some additional
changes that we need to take,
but I would not put the litmus
tests of political prisoners at
the top of the agenda...or even
democratization at the top as
an iron-clad condition before
we normalize
trade rela-
tions with
porque no?
Why not?
believe the
issue of polit-
ical prison- CLARENCE
ers, dissi- PAGE
dents in
Cuba will be
addressed at the proper time
because people will address
them," he said. "They need to
be addressed. But right now
the blockade is a failure."
Ah, here we go. The Cuba
debate is like America's race
debate. Voices in the reason-
able middle get drowned out
by the extremes. Embargo
supporters don't want to talk
about its ineffectiveness.
They'd rather talk about the
awfulness of the Castro
regime. Their left-progressive
counterparts don't want to
talk about the regime's abuses
of race and rights, not if those
touchy topics take time away
from talking about America's
historic abuses of race and
The black caucus mem-
bers said they were eager to
have dialogue with the island's
many Afro Cubans. Imagine
the dialogue they could have
stirred up during their five-
day visit if they had spoken to
Afro-Cuban dissidents.
Jorge Luis Garcia Perez
was available. He was on a
month-long hunger strike
against various government
abuses. The renowned activist
also known as "Antunez" has
been called the island's
N, l, in Mandela" since his
release from prison in 2007

sometimes when people do
things, they cast the
blame on some other per-
son, or on something, such as
voices in their head, or as
comedian Flip Wilson used to
say, "The devil made me do
Little children, when
caught red handed and asked
why, will answer with the
phrase, "I don't know." Well,
adults can't say, "I don't
know," but adults sure do com-
mit adultery for one reason or
the other.
It's a historical challenge,
as men and women have been
bound together by this thing
called marriage and forbidden
to venture elsewhere to taste
of the forbidden nectar of
other fruit. Why, there is even
a Commandment that address-
es this by saying, "Thou shalt
not commit adultery", and
even another that reinforces it
by saying, "Thou shalt not
covet thy neighbor's wife", just
in case you missed the point of
the first one.
It's been a perennial strug-
gle for mankind and, frankly,
one in which we are losing, as
statistics show. They say that
over 60 percent of spouses
cheat on each other at least
once. Now that's startling, and
what's even more scary, is that
so many people aren't even
aware of the adultery that's
taking place right under their
noses. Some women may
resign ilK msI,%, LS to the fact
that their husbands may take a
little sip and taste outside now
and then, but most men are
not aware of their wives' adul-
terous ways.

In order to stem this tide,
this ebb and flow of mankind's
adulterous nature, certain
penalties were put in place.
First they started with
vows, which invariably were
broken, then they instituted
draconian measures such as
public stoning, tar and feath-
ers, branding with a hot iron,
shaving of the head, wearing a
scarlet letter, and even public
Of course all this was car-

ried out on
the women
only, as usual-
ly all that the
men got was a
slap on the
wrist, unless
they were
caught by the i
wronged hus- TONY
bands, then ROBINSON
their fate
would be
most dire. So even with all
that, adultery still would not
stop, as the allure, the appeal,
the longing and the lust is so
For many people it's a nat-
ural progression. They get
married, they commit adultery.
After all, that's the way they
came and saw life, and that's
the way they will leave it, is
their reasoning. But others do
take this married thing serious-
ly and really believe that they
can live happily ever after with
their partner and not commit
adultery. In many cases they
persevere and succeed for a
few years, but eventually, like
water on a rock, like the con-
stant chipping away of the
foundation, like the erosion
done by wind and water, the
solid mass is whittled away and
eventually caves in. They then
yield and proclaim that even
though they did not want to,
they were driven to adultery
by unseen forces.

What I usually hear from

wives is the word 'neglect' -
yes neglect that drove them
to adultery. Women constantly
need reassurance and have a
need to be always told how
pretty they look.
Well, her husband is also a
reflective device as he too
must always reassure her and
devil takes the hindmost if he
doesn't. Wives have admitted
to me that they have been
driven to adultery because
their husbands stopped notic-
ing them and they got turned
on by another man who did.
Another wife told me how
her husband constantly
accused her of being with
other men, so after years of
being under the microscope,
she eventually did what he was
accusing her of and fulfilled his
On the flip side, there are
husbands who had no desire to
commit adultery, no plan to
seek the pleasures of other
women, but were driven to it
by unseen forces of nature, or
make that lack of nature in
their wives. Some of these men
are of strong moral fiber, good
religious background and avid
churchgoers, but sadly, that's
their only pleasure in life, as
for some reason or another,
their wives have lost sexual
interest in them.
So what's he supposed to
do? He took his vows, he loves
his wife, Lord knows the fear
of AIDS is strong, but still he




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May 2009



Cuba will continue to resist Fidel Castro

(The following is an edited
version of reflections by for-
mer Cuba President Fidel
Castro following the
announcement by United
States President Barack
Obama to ease some restric-
tions on the Caribbean island
ahead of the Fifth Summit of
the Americas in Trinidad and
Tobago, April 17-19.)

"(Obama) has announced the
relief of some hateful restric-
tions imposed by (former U.S.
President George W.) Bush to
Cubans living in the United
States regarding their visits to
relatives in Cuba. When ques-
tions were raised on whether
such prerogatives extended to
other American citizens the
response was that the latter
were not authorized.
But not a word was said
about the harshest of meas-
ures: the blockade. This is the
way a truly genocidal measure
is piously called, one whose
damage cannot be calculated
only on the basis of its eco-
nomic effects, for it constantly
takes human lives and brings
painful suffering to our peo-
Numerous diagnostic
equipment and crucial medi-
cines made in Europe,

is driven to adultery, driven to
do that which he has con-
demned in others, but driven
nevertheless. Now I know that
some wives will counter by
saying that after housework
and dealing with children, it's
difficult to then be sexy and

Drop sanctions

after serving a 17-year-sen-
tence for saying things the
government didn't like.

But side trips would have
jeopardized the visitors' meet-
ing with Fidel. That's how it
worked when I wandered off
my government-approved itin-
erary in 2002 to visit inde-
pendent journalists on behalf
of the New York-based
Committee to Protect
Journalists, of which I am a
board member.
Raul Rivero, one of the
more celebrated journalists
with whom I met, later was
imprisoned in Fidel's 2003
roundup of more than 75 dis-
sidents and independent jour-
nalists. After he was given the
2004 World Press Freedom
Prize by a United Nations
agency, he was released later
that year at age 59 and contin-

Japan or any other country -
are not available to our
patients if they carry U.S.
components or software.
The U.S. companies pro-
ducing goods or offering serv-
ices anywhere in the world
should apply these restrictions
to Cuba, since they are extra-
territorial measures.
An influential (U.S.)
Republican Senator, Richard
Lugar, and some others from
his same party in Congress, as
well as a significant number of
his Democratic peers, favor the
removal of the blockade. The
conditions exist for Obama to
use his talents in a constructive
policy that could put an end to
the one that has failed for
almost half a century.

On the other hand, our
country, which has resisted
and is willing to resist whatev-
er it takes, neither blames
Obama for the atrocities of
other U.S. administrations nor
doubts his sincerity and his
wishes to change the United
States policy and image. We
understand that he waged a
very difficult battle to be
elected, despite centuries-old
Taking note of this reality,

the president
of the State
Council of
Cuba has
expressed his
willingness to
have a dia-
logue with
Obama and to Castro
normalize rela-
tions with the
United States, on the basis of
the strictest respect for the
sovereignty of our country.
The head of the Interests
Section of Cuba in Washington,
Jorge Bolafios, was summoned
to the State Department by
Deputy Secretary of State
Thomas Shannon. He did not
say anything different from
what had been indicated by the
CNN (television news agency).
The substance of what
was said there is reflected in
the words of Dan Restrepo,
presidential adviser for Latin
America. He said that
President Obama had instruct-
ed to take certain measures,
certain steps, to reach out to
the Cuban people in support
of their wishes to live with
respect for human rights and
to determine their own des-
tiny and that of the country.


He added that the presi-
dent had instructed the secre-
taries of State, Commerce and
Treasury to undertake the
necessary actions to remove
all restrictions preventing per-
sons to visit their relatives in
the Island and sending remit-
tances. He also said that the
president had issued instruc-
tions for steps to be taken
allowing the free flow of infor-
mation in Cuba, and between
those living in Cuba and the
rest of the world, and to facili-
tate delivering humanitarian
resources directly to the
Cuban people.
He also said that with
these measures, aimed at clos-
ing the gap between divided
Cuban families and promoting
the free flow of information
and humanitarian assistance
to the Cuban people,
President Obama was making
an effort to fulfill the objec-
tives he set out during his
campaign and after taking on
his position.
Finally, he indicated that
all those who believe in the
basic democratic values hope
for a Cuba where the human,
political, economic and basic
rights of the entire people are
respected. And he added that
President Obama feels that

The devil made me do it

appealing to their husbands. I
have heard that argument. But
the fact is, whatever the rea-
son, the man is starved, and he
must feed, so he will be driven
with the rest of the herd to for-
age elsewhere.
Flip back to the wives now
who have lost all interest in sex
with their husbands, yet are

;to free Cuba

ues his writing in Spain.
But that leaves 21 journal-
ists still behind bars in Cuba,
by CPJ's count, making that
island the world's second-lead-
ing jailer of journalists, after
That's one reason why I
was disappointed to see the
black caucus delegation lavish
praise on the Castro brothers
for their hospitality, yet ask
for nothing on behalf of free-
dom and human rights.
I \\ r concedes nothing
without a demand", Frederick
Douglass wrote. "It never did
and it never will".
I hope the Obama admin-
istration keeps that in mind as
it moves toward a sensible
Cuba policy. You don't always
get what you want in politics
but, at least, you have to ask.

Distributed by Tribune Media

driven to find it in adulterous
affairs. Those whom I've spo-
ken to have expressed that
they simply got bored with
their husbands, and resented
being taken for granted all the
time, so they too were driven
to commit adultery. Some
wives simply stop liking their
husbands, even though the
'used to' love is still there, and
believe me, you have to like
somebody, even a little bit,
before you can enjoy sex with
them. At least that's what
women keep on telling me.

Back to the husbands now,
as they too express why they
are driven to adultery, even
though they still love their
wives. Another driving force is
this middle age, so called crisis,
phenomenon, where older
men have this need to recap-
ture their youth. Driven to
adultery, and worse, at his age
too, when his ego is most frag-
ile and vulnerable.
Now I'm not talking about
husbands and wives who are
just plain bad and would com-
mit adultery on their wedding

these measures will help to
make this objective a reality.
The president, he said, encour-
ages everyone who shares
these wishes to continue to
decidedly support the Cuban
The adviser candidly con-
fessed that "all of this is for
Cuba's freedom". Cuba does
not applaud the ill-named
Summits of the Americas,
where our nations do not
debate on equal footing. If
they were of any use, it would
be to make critical analyses of
policies that divide our peo-
ples, plunder our resources
and hinder our development.
Now, the only thing left is
for Obama to try to persuade
all of the Latin American
presidents attending the con-
ference that the blockade is
Cuba has resisted and it
will continue to resist; it will
never beg for alms. It will go
on forward holding its head up
high and cooperating with the
fraternal peoples of Latin
America and the Caribbean;
with or without Summits of the
Americas; whether or not the
president of the United States
is Obama, a man or a woman,
a black or a white citizen.

night if given half a chance.
Rather, I'm talking about
those poor souls who are com-
mitted to their marriage and to
each other, believe in the sanc-
tity of the union, their vows
and all that, yet in spite of
their moral and legal con-
straints were still driven by
unseen forces to commit adul-
"Lord, I didn't mean to do
it, but the devil made me do it."


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May 2009



Photograph by Dawn A. Davis
Jamaican Bacchanal, originally Oakridge carnival, celebrated its 21st birthday with glitz and glamour last month, taking to the
streets of Kingston in Hollywood style.


.'Save time at the Airport

Web Check-In is easy + convenient

Visit between 90 minutes
and 24 hours before your flight departure time.

Click on Web Check-in and complete the information requested.

Print boarding pass.

..................... ............ ................ A T TH E A IR P O RT .................... . .. ...............
* No Bags to Check, arrive at the airport at least 60 minutes
before departure. Go directly to the security checkpoint then
on to the boarding gate.
* Bags to Check, arrive at the airport at least 90 minutes before
departure. Go directly to the Web Check-In counter to check your bags.

Grenada gov't denies dancehall

star Vybz Kartel work permit

ST. GEORGE'S, Grenada,
CMC The Grenada govern-
ment has denied a work per-
mit to popular Jamaican
dancehall singer Adija Palmer.
Palmer, who uses the
stage name Vybz Kartel, was
due to perform here with his 1 -
band at a "Rap It-Up" con-
cert on May 2. It
Palmer is well known for his I
lyrics which promote violent .
behavior and sex, but promoter
Dexter Tillock said that "in recent Vybz Kartel
times he (Palmer) has been lean- that besides Grenada, the
ing towards more positive mes- singer was also due to per-
sages in his songs, with emphasis form in Trinidad and Tobago
on respecting women through his on May 8.
Rastafarian teachings. Tillock said that the
His recent condom cam- Ministry of Labor did not give
paigns for saving lives have any reason for refusing the
also been well received, his work permit for the Jamaican
recent release 'Mama' has work per
taken the charts by storm," singer
said Tillock who explained 4

Caribbean essay contest

for 11th and 12th graders

4 The Role of Caribbean
Americans in American
History" is the theme of
this year's National Caribbean
American Essay Competition.
The competition, designed
to commemorate the historic
passage of a Congressional res-
olution declaring June as
National Caribbean American
Heritage Month in the United
States, is open to Florida's 11th
and 12th grade students who
reside in Broward and Miami-
Dade counties and have
Caribbean heritage as defined
by the competition's rules.
The deadline to submit
entries is May 22.
The Institute of Caribbean
Studies is partnering with area
schools and organizations, such
as Transforming America
Through Interaction (TATI),
Inc., the Greater Caribbean
American Cultural Coalition
(GCAC Coalition), the Greater
Caribbean American Chamber
of Commerce (GCACC),


University of the West Indies
Alumni Association, to present
the contest.
Winning entries in the
local/regional competition will
be announced at UNIFEST in
Lauderdale Lakes, Florida on
May 31.
Students who submit
entries must have at least one
parent or guardian who was
born in the Caribbean.
Entries must be submit-
ted as an individual effort,
and must be original unpub-
lished work. Essays should
not be concurrently submitted
for other competitions. Only
one essay will be accepted
from each author.
Essays should be
mailed to attention: Student
Affairs Director, TATI, Inc.,
P 0. Box 100104, Fort
Lauderdale, FL 33310; or e-
mailed in MS Word format to:


'Best of the Best' show
The "Best of the Best" concert, fea-
turing top names in reggae, dance-
hall, soca and hip hop music, will
be held on May 24 at Bicentennial
Park in downtown Miami, Florida.
Scheduled performers include
Beenie Man, Mavado, Serani,
Bounty Killa, Elephant Man, Wayne
Wonder, Capleton, Destra, Cocoa
Tea and T-Pain, Flippa Mafia and DJ
For more information, call

Caribbean American fashion
South Florida's "Caribbean
American Fashion Show" will be
held next month at the Renaissance
Hotel in Plantation.
The event is scheduled for 8
p.m. June 28. For more informa-
tion, call 954-639-6922 or visit
Compiled from various sources.


May 2009

momm- I ............... ........ ........ "Il""Ill""Ill!"",""",
I n R T S / oE nT IE R T n i n m oE nT

'Calypso Dreams' taps on the pulse of Caribbean musical genius


L Calypso Drailm ', per-
haps the most compre-
hensive film ever made
about kaiso and calypso music
in Trinidad and Tobago, was
screened at the University of
Miami's Bill Cosford Cinema
last month to critical acclaim.
Produced and directed by
Geoffrey Dunn and Michael
Horne, the film offers an inti-
mate portrait in music and
conversation of the most
important figures in the calyp-
so musical tradition.
The documentary film
focuses on the best names in
T&T calypso. But Lord
Kitchener, arguably the best
loved and most influential
calypsonian to come out of
the twin island republic, left
his mark on Caribbean calyp-
so as the father of the unique
Afro-Caribbean music.
Historians and traditional
Trini music lovers are sure to
be pleased with the archival
footage of 1960s Lord
Kitchener. His lyrical genius
left a legacy that was adopted
by every calypsonian. His
death in 2000 was a tremen-
dous loss to Trinidad.
"We did lose a magical
musician," recounts Cro Cro
in the film.

Old restored photos of
groups like the Senior Young
Brigade, concert footage of a
young Sparrow, Mystic
Prowler, Calypso Rose, David
Rudder, Blakie, The Mighty
Duke, Lord Superior, Mighty
Chalkdust, Terror, and a host
of others add to the film's
authenticity and character.
Three years in the mak-
ing, "Calypso Dr-,Lmn tells
the story of Caribbean music,
the fight against enslavement,
and the triumph of a people
through music. It opens with
Mighty Terror sitting on his
porch singing a sweet calypso
rhythm, setting the stage for
what's to come. Blakie creates
bacchanal in a bar surrounded
by other musicians, friends,
and onlookers as he sings
about 1950 carnival.
"Calypso to me is dear to
my heart, after God, my wife,
Calypso," says Mighty

So infused is the music to
T&T's society, it highlights
politics, sports, love, religion -
the life of a Caribbean people
guided by the syncopated beat
of the pan. The calypsonian is
the people's spokesman just
listen to the songs to get the
news of the day and feel their
The film chronicles calyp-
sonians as the African story-

tellers they truly are. Shots of
Lord Superior, Blakie, and
Lord Relator telling stories in
song are remarkable for their
timeless messages. Scenes
with Mighty Sparrow and

uunn, mie man benina me film.
Lord Superior, shot high atop
hillsides bring the viewer up
close and personal with two of
the most prolific musi-
cians in T&T.
Calypso Rose,
one of the few suc-
cessful females in the
music business, shares
her love of the art
form with words and
song that underscore
the river of calypso
overflowing its banks.
According to
Dunn, the early stage
of making the docu-
mentary started 23
years ago with final
production beginning
just three years ago.
Yet the story had to
be told. Lord Sup,
"Trinidad has pro-
duced so many talented musi-
cians, so many great writers,

not only calypso, but
in other genres as
well," he said.
"In addition to
that, it's the birthplace
of the pan. And, when
you get out of the
Caribbean, people
really don't have any
knowledge of this.
That is what motivat-
ed me as a filmmaker
to make this film, so
that people around
the world would have
a greater sense of
Referring to the
scenes with Sparrow
and Lord Superior on
the rooftop as magi-
cal, Dunn notes:
"Sparrow treated
Superior with such
deference and respect

that those scenes were the
greatest performances I have

The Senior Young Brigade in 1957.

ever seen out of Sparrow. So,
I am going to cut a short hour-
long film just from those
scenes alone," the filmmaker

Sensitively shot and edit-
ed, Dunn is determined to
keep the art alive.
"The greatest joy that I
will get, aside from telling this
story, will be to encourage
young filmmakers to start
telling their story," he said.
Indeed, the film was made
at the right time based on the
advanced age of the most
noted calypsonians. T&T has
lost some of its treasured
artistes. The Mighty Duke
passed away in February.
Soon after the film was shot
Pretender died. Blakie also

passed away, followed by
Terror and Mystic Prowler.
"We realized that if we
didn't start filming it was all
gonna be gone because that
generation that came up with
the Young Brigade, the gener-
ation that Superior represents,
will be gone," Dunn said.
The music that is an edi-
torial in song, sure to thrive as
long as films like "Calypso
DrLaI and others contin-
ue to tell the stories of the

Story, plus photographs of
Geoffrey Dunn and Lord
Superior, by Dawn A. Davis,
a freelance writer for
Caribbean Today.


Costumed dancers highlight a cultural presentation during the opening of the Fifth Summit of the Americas in Trinidad last month. Caribbean leaders and United States
President Barack Obama were among those who attended the summit.

May 2009



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11 6 n t T 91

Occasional smokers still vulnerable to lung cancer, heart disease

my 20s and early 30s, I was a
pack-a-day smoker who tried
frequently to kick the habit.
For the past 13 years, I have
smoked only periodically -
about six days a year (when
getting together with college
friends). On those days, I
smoke about two packs a day.
What is the risk to my health
posed by those six days of
heavy smoking? Can you tell
me if the cancer and COPD
risks are similar to those of a
daily smoker?
ANSWER: Your risk of lung

cancer and chronic obstructive
pulmonary disease (COPD) is
clearly lower now than when
you smoked a pack of ciga-
rettes a day. There is no data
that can accurately answer
your question. We do know
that there is no safe level of
exposure to tobacco smoke,
whether it's from smoking or
inhaling secondhand smoke.
By smoking occasionally, you
definitely increase your
chances of developing a tobac-
co-related disease, particularly
heart disease.
Tobacco smoke contains

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more than 4,000 chemicals,
including ammonia, a lung
irritant; carbon monoxide,
which reduces blood oxygen
levels; methanol, a chemical
that's toxic when inhaled or
swallowed; and hydrogen
cyanide, a potent poison that
interferes with respiratory
function. Approximately 60 of
the chemicals are known to
cause cancer. Inhaling any of
these chemicals significantly
raises your risk for a host of
serious medical problems.
Cigarette smoking causes
87 percent of lung cancer
deaths in the United States
each year. Lung cancer is the
leading cause of cancer death
in both men and women.
Smoking also is responsible for
most cases of throat, mouth,
esophageal and bladder can-
cer. In addition, smoking is
linked to kidney, pancreatic,
cervical and stomach cancers.
Cigarette smoking is directly
responsible for approximately
30 percent of all cancer deaths
annually in this country.

There exists what we call
a dl W rLp ',11iL' for lung
cancer. That is, the more you
smoke, the higher your risk.
So, the 13 years you've spent
as an occasional smoker -
rather than an everyday smok-
er has reduced your overall
risk of lung cancer. However,


there's no way to know if your
exposure has initiated a trans-
formation from normal to can-
cerous cells.
Smoking causes about 90
percent of COPD cases.
COPD is the catchall term for
a group of chronic conditions
that obstruct the lungs' air-
ways. COPD usually refers to
obstruction caused by chronic
bronchitis and/or emphysema.
A blockage within the tubes
and air sacs in the lungs hin-
ders the ability to exhale.
And, when exhalation is
impeded, air gets trapped in
the lungs, and inhalation also
becomes difficult.
Most COPD could be pre-
vented by not smoking or
quitting smoking before the
condition develops. However,
once symptoms begin, lung
damage can neither be
reversed nor cured.
Another negative is that
smoking ranks among the
most significant risk factors
for heart disease. When the
goal is heart disease preven-

tion, smoking is indisputably
unwise. Even smoking occa-
sionally increases the risk.
Every inhalation of tobacco
smoke temporarily affects the
ability of arteries to dilate and
increases platelet stickiness in
the blood. The nicotine in cig-
arette smoke adds extra work
for the heart by narrowing
blood vessels and increasing
heart rate and blood pressure.
Carbon monoxide in smoke
replaces some oxygen in the
blood. Thus, blood pressure
increases because the heart
has to work harder to supply
sufficient oxygen to the body.
Smoking is dangerous -
even only a few times a year.
Giving up that occasional
smoking habit will reverse the
risk of heart disease and signifi-
cantly decrease the risks of can-
cer, COPD and other smoking-
related illnesses. Quitting can
be difficult, but expert help is
available. Ask your doctor
about smoking cessation pro-
grams where you live.

Dr. Richard Hurt, Nicotine
Dependence Center, Mayo
Clinic, Rochester, Minn.,
United States.

2009 Mayo Foundation for
Medical Education and
Research. Distributed by
Tribune Media Services Inc.

Grenada adopts no smoking policy

in government buildings
ST.GEORGE'S, Grenada, Convention on Tobacco members of the business com-
CMC The Grenada govern- Control. munity to adopt a similar poli-
ment has adopted a no smok- "We became the 169th cy for their workplaces.
ing policy and will be placing country to ratify the conven- The Tobacco Convention
no smoking signs in all gov- tion in 2007 and in order to was developed in response to
ernment buildings and facili- promote and implement the the globalization of the tobac-
ties as of May 31. provisions of the convention, co epidemic. It represents a
Director of Community the WHO FCTC envisages paradigm shift in developing a
Health Dr. Christine La different instruments, such as regulatory strategy to address
Grenade said that the move protocols and guidelines, so addictive substances, in con-
was the first in a series of strate- that is why we are adopting a trast to previous drug control
gies to ensure Grenada's com- no smoking policy," she said. treaties.
pliance with the World Health La Grenade said the gov-
Organization Framework ernment will also be lobbying

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May 2009



May 2009

- -~,&..




I ww.caibeatoa.comI

Garden gourmet: A quick, delightful summer vegetarian dish

Here's a new twist on
the classic corn and
lima bean combo: You
simply spread frozen lima
beans on an oiled tray (no
need to defrost), toss them
with freshly shorn corn and
some garlic and tarragon,
cover, and roast everything
together in the oven.
It requires only a few
minutes of your effort and
then bakes into a fabulous
dish all by itself with no fur-
ther help from you. The fresh
tarragon infuses your kitchen
as well the dish!
If you are someone who
will never be convinced that
lima beans are delicious, you
can substitute frozen green
soy beans or, if you can find
them, frozen green chick peas.
Furthermore, if you can get
fresh fava beans and have the
time to shell and peel them,
by all means, use them instead
of the frozen limas. You will
need about four cups shelled
and peeled favas.

Roasted tarragon succotash
Note: You can also make this
with frozen corn in the off-

* 2 to 3 tablespoons extra-vir-
gin olive oil
* One 1-pound package
frozen lima beans
* 6 ears' worth of fresh sweet
corn (or a 1-pound package
frozen corn)
* 1 bulb garlic, cloves peeled
and halved lengthwise
* 1 small bunch fresh tarragon
(about a handful), coarsely
* 1 heaping cup green olives,
pitted and sliced (optional)
* Salt to taste
* Freshly ground black pepper
* 2 tablespoons balsamic vine-

gar (optional)
* Diced heirloom tomatoes -
or sliced sun-dried garnish

Preheat the oven to 375 F
Line a large baking tray with
foil, and coat with olive oil.
Place the beans, corn and
garlic cloves on the tray, and
toss on the tarragon and
olives, if using. Shake the tray
around a bit to combine and
distribute everything, then
spread out the ingredients
into a single layer, and cover
the tray tightly with foil.

Roast for 50 minutes or
until the beans are tender
when pierced with a toothpick
or a fork. Transfer to a bowl,
and add salt and pepper to
taste. For added sparkle you
can drizzle in the vinegar.
(Highly recommended!)
Serve hot, warm, or at
room temperature, with a gen-

erous garnish of fresh or dried
tomatoes, if desired.
Yield: Six servings

2008, Mollie Katzen.
Distributed by Tribune Media
Services Inc.

Best olive oil in flavor and benefits
Extra Lvrgin olive od (EVOO). made from the ftrs)
pressing of olives. has a delicate flavor and more -y
beneficial antioxrdanis than lower grades.

Serving tips
* In place of butler, serve a small dish of
EVOO with bread. potatoes or vegetables
* A little balsamic vinegar or dried herbs
enhances is flavor
* Add olive oil to foods immedially after

Grades compared
Amount of heart-protecling phenol chemicals
Extra virgin 366
Virgin 914
LUt1, reined 3

So.,ree ?hewc-ki~d % ea.V'wu Frods P l ~'~Inhjitule
,4 W*MVj Rese~pt arch mmni MCI Pem!,wt ce

o02ms MC

a culture so rich you can taste it


C IIalle Tap-Taps, these elaborately painted, one-of-a-kind transportation vehicles are a common and welcome sight throughout the
island nation of Haiti. Like moving pieces of art, they bejur1tuIll symbolize this CirLLbear, country's colorful and unique culture.

Happy Flag & University Day, Haiti. 5 18 09

Z Our artfut Tap Tap bu s m de from faorltIe isAand foods Pturns. Stral A .ernris, Scotch Bonnet Pepper, Sweet Potat Ok, ra. Sugar Car:, Grapefrt, Mango, Rasperices, Kwi, Grapes, Papaya, Corn, Rhubarb,
SYu Cca, Ora- ge, Irr-9 or.. Av-, :ado, Pineapple, ( c w Wa relo, MY Rult, Cab age Pt anains, ,reen Bananas, Banara, I r Hot a nd Hungaian Peppers, Bk (hot Red PPpprs ard (ho (,ho






i n ess

For responsible consumers, bargains are everywhere

The down economy is
indeed a worrisome
time for many. But for
those consumers who have
managed their money well
during the good times kept

credit card debt low, regularly
saved, avoided impulse shop-
ping, minimized dinning out,
and maintained a high credit
score now may be time to
reap your rewards.
Because of the drastic
slowdown in spending, there


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are great bargains to
be found almost
everywhere you
Used luxury
cars: I recently drove
by a used car dealer
and saw a sleek,
black 2005 Lexus 4D
sports utility vehicle
advertised for
$19,500. The store
manager told me
that a number of
people have had to )
trade in their luxury ....
vehicles because of Slow econo
the economy. Most
of the cars are in very good
condition, he said. Since his
shop was small, with little
overhead expenses, he could
let it go at such a low price.
But remember, if you con-
sider buying a used vehicle be
sure to get a Carfax Vehicle
History report. In this case,
the salesman provided it to
me for free. But you can also
go online to
and get one for a nominal fee.
New car: If you desire a
new car, there are plenty of
rebates, low APR financing,
and even some zero percent
interest deals. For example,
recently Toyota Motor Corp.
announced an unprecedented
deal to offer zero-percent
financing on 11 models as it
tries to woo would-be buyers
sidelined by the consumer
credit crunch. The incentives
range from 36 to 60 months
payment plans. They are
being offered on the Matrix,
Corolla, Camry, RAV4,
Highlander, FJ Cruiser,
4Runner, Sequoia, Sienna,
Tacoma and Tundra.
Stocks: This is an obvious
one, of course, with the major

CMC The Denzil Douglas
administration has announced

omic times could be a good sign for bargain shoppe

sell off on Wall Street. Many
investment experts say now is
a good time to buy stocks if
you know you have long-term
savings plans such as saving
for your toddler's college or if
you have 10 to 20 years before
retirement. Be sure to talk
with your financial advisor to
help determine which stocks
are best for you.
Home projects: Recently,
I got a coupon in the mail
from a local carpet cleaning
company that offered to clean
five rooms for $125. That was
nearly $100 less than what I
was quoted last year. I called
them immediately.
If you have other home
projects you have been put-
ting off such as replacing the
windows with energy efficient
ones or upgrading your
kitchen, do them now. You
can find 10 percent off
coupons online for most home
improvement stores. These
can be used on sales items,
too. Just type the store name
and the word coupon. For
example, you should type
"Lowes and coupons".
Appliances and home enter-

a six-month amnesty for per-
sons with outstanding tax pay-
ments to the government of
St. Kitts and Nevis.
Finance Minister Timothy
Harris said the amnesty,
which will run until the end of
September, was granted last
month to all delinquent tax-
payers, whether registered or
unregistered, with a 100 per-
cent waiver of any interest or
penalty. He told the National
Assembly last month that the
measure was expected to bring
significant relief to taxpayers.
"Government is of the
profound view that this
amnesty is a good idea for all
taxpayers, as it provides those
in arrears with significant sav-
ings by means of eliminating
the payment of interest and
penalties," Harris said.
"It will also bring to the
fore and legitimize those indi-
viduals and entities that can
be classified as tax delinquents

tainment items:
Because of the slow-
down in the housing
market many stores
are offering deep dis-
counts on appliances,
flat-panel HDTVs,
stereos, cameras,
DVDs, camcorders
-- and the like. Some
stores, such as Best
Buy, are offering
interest free pay-
ments for up to three
years on certain
items. That's the
,rs. same as getting a
free loan.
Perks: Check your local
spa for discounts and specials
on massages, facials and other
treatments. Restaurants are
also offering deals to lure peo-
ple out. There may be deals
on season tickets to your
favorite theater or sports team
and on your favorite magazine
Yard sales and consign-
ment shops: during tough
times, many people host yard
sales to get extra cash. Others
take suits and nice clothes to
consignment shops for resale.
Take time to scour some of
these sales one Saturday
morning and you could find
some major deals.
Other bargains: You can
also expect to find deals at
flea markets, antique shops,
online and live auctions,
online classified such as
Craigslist and eBay.

2008. Distributed by
McClatchy- Tribune
Information Services.

and evaders."

The finance minister said
that the granting of a tax
amnesty was a gesture of
goodwill on the part of
Government to "lighten the
burden of taxpayers" in
arrears, and one that will give
non-compliers the unforced
opportunity to operate as
required under the law. Harris
also explained that further
consideration will be given to
those who were unable to
meet the Sept. 30 deadline.
"Where the payment is
not completed within the
amnesty period but in any
event on or before December
30, 2009, then the taxpayers
will benefit from a 70 percent
waiver of interest due and
payable and a 70 percent
waiver of penalties," the min-
ister said.

St. Kitts offers six-month tax amnesty

May 2009



~ A Caribbean Today special feature

Average Caribbean season in 2009 ~ forecasters

DENVER, Colorado -
Forecasters at Colorado State
University are predicting an
average 2009 Atlantic hurri-
cane season with 12 named
storms and six hurricanes
forming in the Caribbean Sea
and the Gulf of Mexico.
The researchers, led by
Phil Klotzbach, have down-
graded their forecast for an
above-active season with 14
named storms citing weak La
Nina conditions.
Klotzbach said two of the
six hurricanes are expected to
develop into major hurricanes
with maximum wind speeds of
111 miles per hour or greater.
"We expect current weak
La Nina conditions to transi-
tion to neutral and perhaps
weak El Nino conditions by
this year's hurricane season,"
said team member William
Gray, who is beginning his
26th year forecasting hurri-
canes at Colorado State.
"If El Nino conditions
develop for this year's hurri-
cane season, it would tend to
increase levels of vertical wind
shear and decrease levels of
Atlantic hurricane activity,"
he added.
Ana is the first named
storm of the season that runs

from June 1 to Nov. 30.
Colorado State's Tropical
Meteorology Project is the
United States' longest-running
and most well-known forecast
team. Its forecasts are used by
insurance companies, emer-
gency managers and the media
to prepare the U.S. and the
Caribbean region for the sea-
son's likely hurricane threat.
In 2008, the Colorado
State forecasters predicted 15
named storms in the Atlantic,
of which eight would be hurri-

canes and half of them major.
The team came close: The
season ended with 16 named
storms, of which eight were
hurricanes and five were
major hurricanes.
The U.S. National
Oceanographic and
Atmospheric Administration
is scheduled to release its hur-
ricane forecast May 21. In
March, AccuWeather, a pri-
vate forecasting company out
of State College, Pennsylvania,
predicted that there would be
fewer hurricanes than in 2008.

Red Cross offers May

'2009 Storm Prep Expo'
What should you do if a storm Management and Homeland
bears down on your home? Security, will be held on May 30
Do you have the tools to and 31 at the Miami Beach
make your home safe? Do Convention Center.
you know what From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
to do to keep each day guests will be able to
your family browse the products and serv-
safe? ices offered by local compa-
Find out nies that will get them ready
and get ready for the hurricane season.
for the upcom- Presentations will be
ing hurricane made by police and fire rescue
season by vis- teams. Special guests include
iting a two-day Mourning former professional basketball
"2009 Storm star Alonzo Mourning and
Prep Expo" this month on Max Mayfield, chief meteorol-
Miami Beach, Florida. ogist for several Florida televi-
This year's expo, a not- sion stations.
for-profit event run by the For more information,
American Red Cross Greater visit www.floridakeysred-
Miami & the Keys and the
Miami-Dade County
Department of Emergency

What's a hurricane?
T he ingredients for a combine to produce the vio-
hurricane include a pre- lent winds, incredible waves,
existing weather distur- torrential rains, and floods
bance, warm tropical oceans, associated with hurricanes.
moisture, and relatively light Each year, an average of
winds aloft. 11 tropical storms develop
If the right conditions over the Atlantic Ocean,
persist long enough, they can

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European Union (E.
become the latest doi
Caribbean Catastrop
Insurance Facility (C
injecting $16.6 million
fund designed to help



~ A Caribbean Today special feature

makes $16M contribution to Caribbean insurance facility
The countries offset the costs asso- natural d iisL r Caribbean community (CARI- cane season, "the European
U.) has ciated with devastation from The facility has now COM)-appointed board mem- Union's contribution will make
nor to the disasters. received more than $65 million ber to the CCRIF and St. it that much easier for us to
he Risk The E.U. said the dona- from supporters outside of the Lucia's director of finance, said fulfill our mandate of provid-
CRIF), tion will allow the catastrophe 16 Caribbean-member govern- the donation demonstrates the ing liquidity in the short term,
n into the pool to pr, \ id. liquidity ments. Among the non-mem- far reaching support the facility after a catastrophic hurricane
p regional more easily in the event of a ber donors are Canada, the has attracted, and has important or earthquake, which causes
World Bank, the United implications for all CCRIF damage great enough to pre-
's a hurricane? Kingdom, Bermuda, Ireland, member states. vent a member government
S a h n France and the Caribbean The CCRIF board mem- from being able to fund its
Development Bank (CDB). ber said based on predictions most crucial activities."
PAGE 17) Northern Hemisphere, a Isaac Anthony, the of an very active 2009 hurri- 4
_ - counterclockwise circulation

Caribbean Sea, and G(ulft o
Mexico. Many of these remain face. Tropical cyclones
over the ocean and never classified as follows:
impact the U.S. coastline. Six Tropical depression
of these storms usually organized system of clo
become hurricanes each year. and thunderstorms witi
In an average three-year defined surface circulate
period, roughly five hurri- and maximum sustain,
canes strike the United States of 38 miles per hour.
coastline, killing approximate- Tropical storm?- A
ly 50 to 100 people anywhere organized system of str
from Texas to Maine. Of thunderstorms with a d
these, two are typically surface circulation and
impj'r or inki I hurri- mum sustained winds o
canes (a category three or miles per hour.
higher storm on the Saffir- Hurricane?- An in.
Simpson Hurricane Scale). tropical weather system

WHAT IS A HURRICANE9 strong thunderstorms v
WHAT IS A HURRICANE? well-defined surface cir
A hurricane is a type of tion andef maximum sust
tropical cyclone, which is a tion hands of 74 miles per h
generic term for a low-pres- Hurricanes are category
sure system that generally according to the strong
forms in the tropics. The their winds using the
cyclone is accompanied by
thunderstorms and, in the 0

's sur-

n?- An
h a
d winds

f 39-73

with a
th of

Protective measures to deal with hurricanes

Before a hurricane?
comes, you should take
the following measures:
Make plans to secure
your property. Permanent storm
shutters offer the best protec-
tion for windows. A second
option is to board up windows
with 5/8" marine plywood, cut
to fit and ready to install.
Install straps or addition-
al clips to securely fasten your
roof to the frame structure.
Be sure trees and shrubs
around your home are well
Clear loose and clogged
rain gutters and downspouts.
Determine how and
where to secure your boat.
If a hurricane is likely in
your area, you should:

Listen to the radio or tel-
evision for information.
Secure your home, close
storm shutters, and secure out-
door objects or bring them
Turn off utilities if
instructed to do so. Otherwise,
turn the refrigerator thermostat
to its coldest setting and keep
its doors closed.
Turn off propane tanks.
Avoid using the telephone,
except for serious emergencies.
Ensure a supply of water
for sanitary purposes such as
cleaning and flushing toilets.
Fill the bathtub and other large
containers with water.
You should evacuate
under the following conditions:
If you are directed by local
authorities to do so; if you live
in a mobile home or temporary
structure; if you live in a high-

rise building hurricane winds
are stronger at higher eleva-
tions; if you live on the coast,
on a floodplain, near a river, or
on an inland waterway; and if
you feel you are in danger.
If you are unable to evacu-
ate, go to your wind-safe room.
If you do not have one, follow
these guidelines:
Stay indoors during the
hurricane and away from win-
dows and glass doors; close all
interior doors secure and
brace external doors; keep cur-
tains and blinds closed. Do not
be fooled if there is a lull; it
could be the eye of the storm -
winds will pick up again; take
refuge in a small interior room,
closet, or hallway on the lowest
level; and lie on the floor under
a table or another sturdy object.


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May 2009




Haitian world champion boxer

gives back to his home country


Haitian world welterweight
boxing champion Andre
Berto recently made a brief
humanitarian visit to his
native country, to the adula-
tion of his fans.
The Florida-based World
Boxing Council (WBC) welter-
weight king was joined by his
parents, brothers Cleveland
and Edson, as well as younger
sister Revelina, on the trip to

"I am happy that I finally
have the opportunity to go
to Haiti and make an impact
on the lives of the people
there" Berto
the birth place of his parents.
The group made several stops
during their short trip to the
island, distributing shoes to
needy children, visiting a local
orphanage as well as meeting
the local mayor.
"I am happy that I finally
have the opportunity to go to
Haiti and make an impact on
the lives of the people there,"
Berto said last month.
Berto even took time out
to give many of the children a
quick boxing lesson. The
young people enjoyed the
chance to meet the world
champion so deeply that they
chased him through the streets.
"I've been very blessed

and I'm now able to share my
success with others. I look for-
ward to making many future
trips to Haiti and hope to
touch the lives of as many
people as possible," Berto
Berto, who represented
Haiti at the 2004 Athens
Olympics, has a perfect 24-0


record as a professional. He
won the vacant WBC title in
June 2008, when he defeated
Mexican Miguel Angel
Rodriquez, and had successful
title defenses against Americans
Steve Forbes and Luis Collazo
in September and January,
Berto is booked for a
third title defense against the
Colombian southpaw Juan
Urango on May 30.


Caribbean Today invites you, the reading public, to participate in our
"Dear Mamma"t contest. Write and tell us why you think that your mother is the
best in the world and you could find your mother and yourself
jetting away to any Caribbean Island
that Air Jamaica flies to for free.
This is a great chance for you to
show the world how much your
mother means to you, and what's
even better you could

Mail your en trances to
Caribbean Today ?
9020 SW 152nd. Street,
Miami, FR. 33157
or e-mail your entrances to
orfoxto 305-252-7843



Caribbean vibes, performances spice up Penn Relays
GORDON WILLIAMS meet, traditionally held on the meters. Reid's schoolmate lowed by Manchester High.
last weekend in April, show- Rochelle Farquharson landed In the 4x100 meters, Vere
PHILADELPHIA, cased many athletes from the the triple jump with a leap of romped home in 45.10 sec-
Pennsylvania Caribbean ath- region competing for various 12.54 meters. Vere Technical's onds, ahead United States
letes sparkled at the presti- schools, clubs and their coun- Shaneika Thomas was third school Eleanor Roosevelt of
gious Penn Relays here late try. This year's event drew with 12.17 meters. Maryland. However, the next
last month, with Jamaica's large crowds over three days, three places went to Jamaican
with the final day, especially, SPOTLIGHT schools Holmwood, Edwin
offering a colorful panorama The following day Allen and Manchester.
4O "* of Caribbean culture and fla- Jamaica's girls again stepped The Caribbean island's
vor all around Franklin into the spotlight. Edwin high school girls also took the
Field on the campus of the Allen, with Nikita and her sis- top three places in the 4x400
University of Pennsylvania. ter Ristananna Tracey, won the meters championships. Edwin
d "Let's say you catch the 4x800 championship. Second Allen, again led by the Tracey
vibes," Jamaica's Minister of was Holmwood Technical, fol- sisters, clocked three minutes
Sport Olivia "Babsy" Grange,
who attended the meet, told AA
Caribbean Today. "It's a won-
derful experience being at
Penn Relays." COMME
Edwin Allen's Nikita PERS
Tracey of Jamaica set the win- / LCL (Le
ning tone early for the region L Ful
by claiming the 400 meters Weekl
hurdles championship for girls Immedi
on the 1m L \ opening morning I V
__ .. with a time of 57.44 seconds.
Second was Daneille Dowie of Pick-Up of
Kenia Sinclair anchors Jamaica's winning Wolmer's Girls, 59.61. Packing,(
sprintmedleteam at Pennelays 2009. Later that day Peta-Gaye M IAM I FREIGHT & SHIPPIN(
Reid, a student of St.
high school boys and girls Elizabeth Technical, success- (305) 885-0558
again recording outstanding fully defended her title in the Fax: (305)1 887-6684
The rfor 5th edition of the igh school girls clearing 1.80 7790 NW 46th Street Unit 18 Miami, Florida 33166 e-mail:

May 2009

in 'Philly'
41.25 seconds for an exciting
win over Holmwood (3:41.72)
and Manchester (3:41.76).
Nikita Tracey was named
high school girls athlete of the
meet for individual events.
Her sister Ristananna was
named outstanding girls high
school relay runner at 'Penns'.
The anticipated show-
down on the meet's final day
did not disappoint. With close
to 50,000 looking on, the

ss than Container Load) or
I Load Consolidation
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ate cargo arrival notification
Ve also offer:
cargo from anywhere in the U.S.
Crating and Marine Insurance
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n e WS

May 2009

Jamaica, Haiti soccer clash May 23 in Fort Lauderdale

Tr additional Caribbean
rivals Haiti and Jamaica
are set for a soccer show-
down on Memorial Weekend
in Florida, United States.
The friendly international
is scheduled for May 23 at
Lockhart Stadium, Fort
Jamaica Football
Federation President Horace
Burrell, who made the
announcement last month, has
promised that the Reggae
Boyz will field a competitive
team for the game, although
the date is not one officially
set aside for internationals by
FIFA, world soccer's govern-

ing body.
Many of Jamaica's best
players are contracted to clubs
in Europe. Others, however,
play in North American
leagues, including the top com-
petition United States Major
League Soccer and United
Soccer Leagues, the second tier.
"We will have all our
available overseas-based play-
ers," Burrell was quoted as
saying by the Jamaica
Observer newspaper.
Players based in the Digicel
Premier League, Jamaica's top
competition, are expected to
feature against Haiti.
Large populations of

Jamaicans and Haitians reside
in the U.S., especially South
Florida. The Florida-based
promoters of the game are
hoping for a huge turnout.
"You know whenever
Jamaica play Haiti, it brings
out the best in both," Jeremy
Mullings told the Observer.
Both countries, although
eliminated from 2010 World
Cup qualifying, are scheduled
to participate in the CONCA-
CAF Gold Cup competition
in July.
Memorial Day will be cel-
ebrated in the United States
on Monday, May 25. Five days
later, on May 30, Jamaica will

Top Caribbean track stars for Reebok meet in N.Y.

Women's Olympic 100 meters
champion Shelly-Ann Fraser
and former men's 100 meters
world record-holder Asafa
Powell, both of Jamaica, have
signed up to run at the 2009
Reebok Grand Prix, organiz-
ers have announced.
Fraser was the first
Jamaican woman to win an
Olympic gold medal in the 100
meters when she bested com-

patriots Kerron Stewart and
Sherone Simpson at last year's
Games in Beijing, China.
Compatriot and MVP
club-mate Powell held the 100
meters world record from
June 2005 to May 2008 and
has consistently broken the
10-second barrier in competi-
tion. He has run under 9.80
seconds more times than all
other sprinters combined.
The two-time Olympian

won a gold medal and helped
Jamaica break the 4x100
meters relay world record,
when he anchored the team in
Beijing to victory.
The Reebok Grand Prix is
the fourth stop of USA Track
and Field's Championship
Series and will be held on May
30 at Icahn Stadium on
Randall's Island.

again be in action in the U.S. Stadium in Washington, D.C.
against El Salvador at the RFK 0

Bolt nominated for 'World


LONDON, England Usain
Bolt is in line for another high
profile international award.
The 23-year-old Jamaican
sprint marvel has been nomi-
nated for the "World
award, the Laureus World
Sports Academy announced
last month.
Bolt was one of the undis-
puted stars of last year's
Olympic Games in Beijing,
and he has been nominated
after becoming the first man
to win the 100, 200 and 4x100
meters Olympic gold medals
in world records.
British racing car driver
Lewis Hamilton, whose navel
string is buried in the Spice
Isle of Grenada, has also been
nominated for the sportsman-
of-the-year honor. He was rec-
ognized for becoming the
youngest ever Formula 1
world champion at the age of
23 years, 300 days.
Bolt and Hamilton have
been nominated for the men's
award, along with Spanish ten-
nis champion Rafael Nadal,
American swimming icon

Phelps, and
top European
Ronaldo, as
well as motor-
cycling world
champion Bolt
Bolt and his compatriots,
who formed the Jamaican
Olympic sprint team, have also
been nominated for an award.
They will challenge for the
"World Team-of-the-Year"
award along with the Boston
Celtics, the Chinese Olympic
team, the Great Britain
Olympic cycling team,
European football champions
Spain, and English Premier
League and European
Champions League winners
Manchester United.
The nominees were cho-
sen by international sports
journalists. The winners will be
selected by the London-based
Laureus Sports Academy.

Caribbean 'vibes', performances spice

up Penn Relays in 'Philly'

Jamaicans, whose fans' domi-
nant black, green and gold
items ranging from flags to
clothing rose prominently in
the crowd, again led the way
for the Caribbean. Calabar
High stopped the clock in a
record 39.91 seconds to win
the high school boys 4x100
meters. Wolmer's Boys fin-
ished second (40.44) ahead of
Munro College (41.13). Seven
of the eight teams that started
the final were from Jamaica.
In the 4x400 for boys, St.
Jago lifted another champi-
onship for Jamaica, clocking
three minutes, 12.55 seconds
to finish ahead of Calabar

The bi,_,L-,I roars were
saved for the national relay
squads. What was billed as the
USA vs. the World, was
hyped, mostly, as a straight
fight between the U.S. and
Jamaican teams, especially in
the sprint relays. In the coun-
tries' first head-to-head
match-up of the meet,
Jamaica won the sprint med-
ley relay for women convinc-

ingly in a new world best time
of three minutes, 34.56 sec-
onds. Russia (3:37.37) finished
second and the U.S. "Blue"
team (3:38.36).
But the U.S. got sweet
revenge over its Caribbean
rival in most other national
events. America's men's and
women's teams took the 4x100
and 4x400 meters. Trinidad
and Tobago finished third in
the men's 4x100, while
Jamaica's fizzled in that race
after Asafa Powell, a former
world record holder in the 100
meters, pulled up injured on
the final leg. Jamaica's women
finished second to USA Red
in the 4x100 and again in the
In the field events,
Kimarki Absalom, of St.
George's in Jamaica, won the
high school boys champi-
onship high jump title with a
leap of 2.06 meters. K'Don
Samuels of Jamaica College
took the championship pole
vault, clearing 4.80 meters.

Gordon Williams is Caribbean
Today's managing editor.


O+n August 6. 2009, the island
S V of Jamaica marks the 47th
. Anniversarv of its independence as a
sovereign nation.
Caribbean Today invites the
business community in Jamaica and
the United States to celebrate this
significant milestone.
SUPPLEI-MENT! Jarima at 47 ~
to be published in J uly 2009, will pay
tribute to Jamaica's history, culture,
gro\\wth and development including the
achievements and global contributions
of a remarkable people.
Promote your products and services in this 32-page keepsake edition,
to be distributed widely throughout Florida, New York, Atlanta,
and the Caribbean.

1-800-605-7516 305-238-2868
Fax 305-252-7843



SRegional academic gives Obama passing grade for first 100 day

Regional academic gives Obama passing grade for first 100 days

CMC A leading Caribbean
academic has given United
States President Barack
Obama more than a passing
grade for his performance
during his first 100 days in
Professor Neville Duncan
told the Caribbean Media
Corporation (CMC) on April
30, which signaled Obama's
first 100 days in office, that he
was particularly pleased that
Obama took time out to par-
ticipate in the recent Summit
of the Americas in Trinidad
and Tobago.
On the Caribbean score,
he also welcomed Obama's
more liberal approach to
Cuba compared to that of his
immediate predecessor,
George W. Bush, as well as
the prospects of improved
relations with the region on a
"All we can hope for is

prospects now, there are no
real realities for us out of the
USA at this time but he did
come to speak and he did
open his arms to President
(Raul) Castro and basically
there is a sense that the
Caribbean will have a better
diplomatic orientation and
that might help us in what we
ask for and in what we con-
tribute to regional peace and
security," said the head of the
Sir Arthur Lewis Institute for
Social and Economic Studies,
based at the University of the
West Indies Mona campus in

Prof. Duncan went on to
grade the president on mat-
ters of global diplomacy and
his attempts to turn around
the ailing U.S. economy, sug-
gesting that Obama had
passed with flying colors.
"I would say all around in


terms of his global diplomacy,
I think I would give him an
'A'. In terms of attempting to
turn around the U.S. econo-
my, I would give him a 'B-
plus' maybe, if so much. But

basically overall, he is some-
where between A and B-plus
in terms of what he has
achieved so far," he told
Duncan, however,
believes it is early days yet for
the new U.S. administration,
which officially took office on
Jan. 20 and he cautioned that
it would take time before the
full transition occurs from a
conservative to more open
U.S. government policy.
Coming out of the recent
G-20 summit in London, he
also welcomed the commit-
ment of resources by the
world's leading developed
economies to assist poorer,
developing ones. But
Professor Duncan said the
Caribbean should be dis-
turbed by the fact that those

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He is also not holding out
much hope for the proposed
summit between the
Caribbean and the new U.S.
president in Washington later
this year, given the fact that
the U.S. economy remains
under considerable stress.
"Given the crisis in the
U.S., which I don't think will
ameliorate before the end of
next year, it might just be
treated as an initial confer-
ence to deal with what can
happen after the U.S. comes
out of its crisis," he said,
adding "I think it is O.K., but
I am not overly excited by it."

May 2009




~ Caribbean Today looks back at the historic event

Obama secures positives from first Caribbean visit

As he winged his way
back to the United
States, Barack Obama
would have been pleased with
his first visit to the Caribbean.
His visit to Trinidad and
Tobago to attend the Fifth
Summit of the Americas last
month had provided the
opportunity to outline his
administration's new policies
that he said would have been
different from his predeces-
sors. His, he said, would be a
listening, caring one, even
though like previous U.S. lead-
ers, he came here bearing gifts,
perhaps for his new approach.
Last month that new policy
was tested. Obama and his 32
other hemispheric leaders sat
for almost one hour getting a
history in U.S.-Latin American
relations from none other
than the former Sandinista
Revolutionary leader Daniel
Ortega, even though the host
Prime Minister Patrick Manning
urged that the forum not be
used to allow "any one issue to
dominate our deliberations."
For Manning, the summit,
which the Caribbean hosted
for the first time ever, provided
the ground work for the i," w
approach that heralds in the
western hemisphere, the dawn
of a newer and better day."

Obama himself had indi-
cated a new form of relation-
ship in which there would be
"no senior or junior partner"
and that he did not come here
to debate the past.
"I came here to deal with
the future," he said to loud
applause at the ceremonial
S'p ninth adding that while it
was important to learn from

history "we can't be trapped by
"As neighbors we have a
responsibility to each other
and to our citizens and by
working together we can take
important steps forward to
advance prosperity and securi-
ty and liberty and that's the
21st century agenda that we
come together to enact."
But the middle-aged
Sandinista leader, while
acknowledging that the new
U.S. president was promoting
a different agenda, was
nonetheless seeking to ensure
that Obama did not fall back
into the old habit of his prede-
cessors by supporting rebels'
causes as had been the case in
Nicaragua that led to the death
of thousands of his citizens.
Obama sat and listened as
Ortega punctuated his address
with several references to the
changing Americas in which "all
countries big and small would
have the same rights." He was
also convinced that Latin and
Central America, as well as the
English-speaking Crih,,n ii,
would soon be a force to reckon
with as a result of the integra-
tion initiatives being promoted
by Venezuela and Cuba.

Cuba was the only hemi-
spheric country not represent-
ed at the three-day summit, but
Havana would be pleased that
Venezuela and its allies within
the Alternative Bolivarian for
the People's of our Americas
(ALBA), which also includes
Nicaragua, have vowed not to
sign the "Declaration of Port of
Spain" in solidarity with Cuba.
Moreover, the new U.S.
leader heard calls from his
Argentinean counterpart,
Cristina Fernandez de

Kirchner, as well as his
Caribbean hosts, that he
should not waste the opportu-
nity for improving relations
with the hemisphere's only
communist country. Ortega
was concerned that Cuba's
exclusion was due solely to the
fact "that its crime has been
one of independence and fight-
ing for the sovereignty of its
pL pk '. and to show his soli-
darity with Havana, he refused
to call the forum "the Summit
of the AmiL rI .
"I don't feel comfortable
attending it. I simply refuse to
call it Summit of the Americas.
The summit is still subjected to
the colonising policies," Ortega
said, convinced that "the day
will come when Cuba will be
incorporated into the affairs of
this hemisphere."
For CARICOM, the sum-
mit provided yet another
avenue to reiterate its support
for Havana.

"We have
made it clear at every
summit that the for-
mal inclusion of Cuba
into the mainstream
of hemispheric affairs
remains a priority for
us. We are convinced
now that the new U.S.
administration fully
understands the need
for new approaches in
a new era which will
lead to changes
including the lifting of
the embargo," said
CARICOM chairman
Dean Barrow, the
prime minister of
"We in
ready to assist in the
promotion of the dia-
logue between our
two neighbours in the
complex process of building a
relationship and reversing 50
years of non engagement," he
And even as Obama was
announcing a number of new
multi-million dollar initiatives
to help countries, including
those in the C(,rilbbin, to deal
with the ongoing global eco-
nomic crisis, climate change,
the illegal drug trade,
Washington was being remind-
ed that the decision of the G-
20 countries to provide billions
of dollars to the International
Monetary Fund (IMF) to assist
both developed and develop-
ing countries overcome the
financial crisis must not be at
the expense of small vulnera-
ble states.
The Economic
Commission for Latin America
and the Caribbean (ECLAC)
has also warned that the wors-
ening economic crisis is damp-
ening expectations of a quick
return to normalcy and is also
predicting an increase in
unemployment and lower
investments in the Americas.
In a report providing an
overview of the policy meas-
ures adopted by governments
of the Americas up to Mar. 31,
this year, ECLAC said "there
can be little doubt that the
world is facing its worst crisis
since the 1930s.
It said that the long build-
up in uncertainty is preventing
the credit markets from return-
ing to normality, despite the
efforts of monetary authorities
to inject liquidity.
"Against this background,
the recession is slowly worsen-
ing as a result of huge losses of
both financial and non-finan-
cial wealth, particularly in
developed countries but in
emerging economies as well.
"The extreme negative

picture is dampening expecta-
tions, and this, in turn is giving
rise to a slump in labour mar-
kets and to lower investment
and consumption k \ L I, ,
ECLAC stated in the report
titled "The Reactions of
Governments of the Americas
to the International Crisi .
President Obama has
promised to meet Caribbean
leaders at a full summit in
Washington later this year and,
during his bilateral discussions
with them on issues ranging
from gun and drug trafficking,
to helping the Caribbean
access aid quickly in times of
disaster were among matters
"What we got from
President Obama was a clear
and profound understanding
of the situation facing the
Caribbean and a willingness to
work with us," said Jamaica's
Prime Minister Bruce Golding.
Washington is providing
$30 million to help CARICOM
strengthen cooperation in secu-
rity in the region, and St. Kitts
and Nevis Prime Minister Dr.
Denzil Douglas said the region-
al leaders had raised serious
concerns about proposed legis-
lation in the U.S. Congress that
could hurt their lifeline offshore
financial sector.
Bahamas Prime Minister
Hubert Ingraham told CMC
that his country was following
the tax haven bill because "if
passed it would affect The
Bahamas very negatively.
"There is no justification for it
and the US Congress people
were not able to provide a jus-
tification for it. We think it is a
misguided initiative as far as
The Bahamas are concerned,"
he said, pointing out that
Nassau has been cooperating
with Washington on the tax
haven issues.
"We have a tax exchange
information agreement with
them. The Treasury
Department, the IRS will all
certify that all requests made
to The Bahamas have been
responded to appropriately
and we can't fathom why or
how our name could be includ-
ed on such a list with the
United States."
Douglas said that
President Obama appeared to
"understand the implications
for the Caribbean" with
Barrow adding there was need
for a better understanding of
the off shore jurisdictions in
small developing countries that
were forced upon them since
the onset of globalization.


wlrnaDor I Ipico-
Don't miss.It on Channel 171
Join host Virglio.Vara on a whrlwind tour of Latin America
.savoring the food, the music and the historic sights. of
Peru, .Puerto Rico and Mtico.
Sunday, May T10;7.00 pm
Wednesday, May 13; 7:30 pm
Saturday. May 16; 3:30 pm
Sound Mayay 17;.7:00 pm
Wedneday, May 20; 7:30 pm
Saturday, May 23; 3.30 pm & 9:30 pm.

Sunday, May 32: 700 pm
Wednesday, May 27:7.30 pm


May 2009

momm- I ............... ........ ........ "Il""Ill""Ill!"",""","


tI cAn tf/ry I

New U.S. Act offers more benefits

to people receiving Social Security

The American Recovery
and Reinvestment Act
of 2009, which United
Status President Barack
Obama signed
into law in SOCroL
February, pro- AMu
vides for a one-
time payment of ---
$250 to people
receiving Social
Security and j
Security Income
(SSI) benefits.
The one-
time recovery
payments will
go out in May
2009 and all
should be received by the end
of May. This month, Social
Security will send a letter with
additional information to each
person who is eligible for the
one-time payment.
The payments will be sent
automatically, meaning no
action is required on the part
of the person receiving bene-
fits. The economic recovery
payments will be made sepa-
rately from a person's regular
monthly payments.

All adults who receive
Social Security benefits,
including disabled adult chil-
dren (but not minor children)
are eligible for a $250 pay-
ment. In addition, all persons
who receive SSI payments,
including minor children, are
eligible for the payment.
Anyone who receives
benefits or who was eligible to
receive benefits during any of
the three months prior to
enactment (November and
December of 2008 and
January 2009) will receive the
one-time payment as long as
the address of record is in one
of the 50 U.S. states, the
District of Columbia, Puerto
Rico, Guam, U.S. Virgin

Islands, American Samoa, or
the Northern Mariana Islands.
The payments will be
made in the same way that
regular monthly payments are
made. People with direct
deposit will
receive their pay-
CUBR ments electronical-
tATiON ly. Those who
--- receive paper
checks will receive
'--- their payments in
the mail. People
who receive regu-
lar payments
through the Direct
Express debit card
will receive their
one-time payments
through the card.
If someone
receives both
Social Security and SSI, only
one payment of $250 will be

The economic recovery
legislation also provides for a
one-time payment to recipients
of Department of Veterans
Affairs (VA) and Railroad
Retirement Board (RRB) ben-
However, if you receive
Social Security or SSI benefits
and you also receive VA and/or
RRB benefits, you will only
receive one $250 payment. The
Social Security Administration
will send you this payment.
To assist in processing the
payments as efficiently as pos-
sible, do not contact Social
Security unless do not receive
a payment by June 4, 2009.
Information is available at and
will be updated regularly.
To learn more about the
American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act of 2009,

Paul D. Barnes is the Social
Security regional commis-
sioner in Atlanta, Georgia.

Call for Bids or Proposals

For a listing of available Broward College (BC)
open procurement solicitations, visit:
or contact


BC strongly encourages participation by minority and women-
owned business enterprises (MWBE firms)

ATLANTA, Georgia The
United States Department of
Homeland Security's Federal
Emergency Management
Agency (FEMA) has
announced that $6,126,590
has been awarded to Florida
by the Emergency Food and
Shelter Program (EFSP).
Federal funds totaling
$100 million were made avail-
able to the EFSP, through the
American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act of 2009
(ARRA), to bring immediate
relief to communities to
address unemployment,
poverty and other needs in
light of the economic climate
faced by our country.
Funds will be distributed
to support social service agen-
cies in more than 2,500 cities
and counties across the coun-
try. EFSP grant funds are used
to supplement food, shelter,
rent, mortgage and utility
assistance programs for peo-
ple with non-disaster related

Additional jurisdictions
in Florida may be selected at
a later date by the EFSP
State Set-Aside Committee.
The EFSP National Board,
chaired by FEMA and com-
posed of representatives
from American Red Cross;
Catholic Charities, USA;
United Jewish Communities;
National Council of the
Churches of Christ in the
U.S.A.; The Salvation Army;
and United Way of America,
provides supplemental fund-
ing to shelters, soup kitchens,
and food banks. One-month
awards for rent, mortgage,
and utility assistance are also
available. The funds are used
to help individuals and fami-
lies with non-disaster, tempo-
rary emergency needs.

In each funded jurisdic-
tion, a local board advertises
the availability of the funds,
establishes local priorities,
selects local non-profit and

government agencies to
receive supplemental funding,
and monitors program compli-
ance. The local board's com-
position mirrors the EFSP
National Board, with a local
government official replacing
FEMA and board members
voting to select their chair.
The EFSP has been in
existence since 1983 and was
authorized under the
McKinney-Vento Homeless
Assistance Act of 1987. With
the ARRA funding, more
than $3.404 billion in federal
aid will have been disbursed
through the EFSP since its
inception to communities
nationwide, and has account-
ed for millions of additional
meals and nights of shelter to
the hungry and homeless most
in need across the nation.
A state-by-state list of the
eligible jurisdictions and
award amounts is available at

Storm Prep Expo 2009

Once You're Ready, Don't Worry!

Miami Beach Convention Center

May 30-31, 2009
10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Free Admission/Parking
Exclusive Expo parking available across the street from the convention center

Special guests include pro basketball star Alonzo Mourning,
Max Mayfield, local TV meteorologists and others!

Register for big giveaways including
portable generators, NOAA weather radios,
gift certificates and other great prizes!

tk j

U.S. makes $6.1 M available to Florida

for emergency food, shelter program

May 2009


great deal on



May 2009

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