Caribbean today
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00099285/00061
 Material Information
Title: Caribbean today
Uniform Title: Caribbean today (Miami, Fla.)
Physical Description: v. : ill. ; 38 cm.
Language: English
Publisher: Caribbean Pub. Services
Place of Publication: Miami Fl
Miami, Fl
Creation Date: April 2011
Frequency: monthly
Subjects / Keywords: Economic conditions -- Periodicals -- Caribbean Area   ( lcsh )
Politics and government -- Periodicals -- Caribbean Area   ( lcsh )
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
serial   ( sobekcm )
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.
 Record Information
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
Classification: lcc - F2171 .C254
System ID: UF00099285:00061


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SAPRIL 2011 :-_

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y o II r

w o r I d

Vol. 22 No. 5

Tel: (305) 238-2868
ct ads@bellsouth.net
Jamaica: 655-1479


Jamaican David Smith,
former head of the collapsed
private investment club Olint
Corporation, which reportedly
listed Caribbean nationals liv-
ing in the United States among
its clients, pleaded guilty in a
U.S. court to bilking investors
of millions of dollars, page 5.

New Broward County
Commissioner, Jamaican-
born Dale Holness, has his
work cut out for him in his
District 9 constituency. But
six years as a Lauderhill city
commissioner, he believes,
have prepared him for the
work he intends to do,
page 11.



~ A preliminary count of
votes from last month's
election has declared
musician Michel "Sweet
Micky" Martelly Haiti's
page 14.

Sex isn't just for the young.
Research is showing that
older people are sexually
active and that the sexuality
that's such a big part of our
teens and young adulthood
has more staying power than
younger people usually
recognize, page 17.


N ew s ................................... ............ 2
Feature ............................................. 8
Viewpoint.......................... ........... 9
Arts/Entertainment ..........................12

Politics ..............................................14
Culture ..............................................15
Spring Health ..................................16
Sport ....................................... ...19

Spring/Summer Education ..............20
Classified ..........................................23


W e

c o v e r


KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC -
Prime Minister Bruce Golding
emphatically denied tipping
off reputed drug lord
Christopher "Dudus" Coke
after an extradition warrant
for his arrest had been served
on Jamaica by the United
States authorities.
Golding, appearing on the
final day of the sitting of the
commission of enquiry prob-
ing the circumstances that led
to the extradition of Coke last
June, said that he "certainly"
did not tip off Coke following
the arrival of the extradition
request in Aug. 2009.
"No, certainly not," the
prime minister told attorney
Patrick Anderson, who is rep-
resenting Jamaica's former
National Security Minister Dr.
Peter Phillips.
"I have not seen or spo-
ken to Coke for at least a year
and a half before the extradi-
tion request," the prime minis-
ter said, adding "the last time
I spoke with him was during
the Christmas period of 2007."
Security forces, which
raided an office Coke occu-
pied in Tivoli Gardens, West
Kingston during the May 2010
incursion, found a copy of the
extradition request during a
search. Golding said he did
not know how the document
found its way into Coke's

During his cross examina-
tion on April 1, the prime
minister refused to withdraw a
claim he made that the con-
duct of Isaiah Parnell, charge


d'affaires at the U.S. Embassy
here, constituted harassment.
Anderson had asked the
prime minister whether or not
he would withdraw the charge
of "telephone harassment",
which was a serious criminal
offence in the U.S.
Washington has already
indicated that it would be
responding to claims made by
witnesses, following the con-
clusion of the enquiry.
"Are you prepared to
withdraw the comment?"
Atkinson asked.
"No. We were told not to

allow diplomatic officials to
parade through the govern-
ment unless it is in relation to
a particular matter," the prime
minister replied, arguing that
that Parnell refused to
follow the accepted
"You speak to the
government through
the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs," the prime min-
ister said, noting that
the Minister of Justice
and Attorney General
Dorothy Lightbourne
felt troubled by
Parnell's conduct.
"He was presumptu-
ous enough to tell her
how that authority
should be exercised,"
Golding said. "Jamaica
couldn't do that with
the United States."
The commission of
enquiry was set up by the
government last October to
probe the events leading up
to Coke's extradition, includ-
ing the hiring of the U.S. law
firm, Manatt, Phelps and
Phillips. More than 70 people
were killed in fierce gun bat-
tles between gunmen loyal
to Coke and members of the
security forces who went into
Coke's Tivoli Gardens strong-
hold to arrest him last May.


U.S. to deport 700 Haitian criminals

Jamaica's PM. denies tipping off

'Dudus' Coke on U.S. extradition

United States immigration
officials say about 700 Haitians
with criminal records will be
deported this year.
"The Department of
State has been working with
the Government of Haiti to
ensure that the resumption
of removals is conducted in a
safe, humane manner with
minimal disruption to ongoing
rebuilding efforts," U.S.
Immigration and Customs
Enforcement (ICE) spokes-
woman Barbara Gonzalez said
last month.
"Repatriations to Haiti
will be conducted in line with
ICE's priority of removing
criminal aliens who pose the
greatest threat to public safe-
ty," she added.
U.S. immigration officials
said about 31,000 Haitians
have orders to leave the coun-
Deportations from the
U.S. to Haiti had been stayed
on humanitarian grounds
since the deadly earthquake
on Jan. 12, 2010.

But advocates and com-
munity members say they
were shocked when, on Dec. 9
last year, the ICE unexpected-
ly announced that it was lift-
ing the ban on deportations to
Haiti for individuals with
criminal records and would
resume deportations in

U.S. welcomes release of Cuban dissidents

arrested in 2003 'Black Spring' crackdown

United States has welcomed
the release of the last of the
75 Cuban activists who were
arrested during the so-called
"Black Spring" crackdown in
At the same time,
Washington has called for
the release of "all remaining
political prisoners".
The U.S. State Department
said in a statement issued last
month that the release of Felix
Navarro and Jose Daniel
Ferrer, who had each been sen-
tenced to 25 years in jail, was "a
step in the right direction".

However, State Department
spokesman Mark C. Toner said
that human rights conditions in
Cuba remained poor and that
the Cuban government contin-
ued to limit fundamental free-
doms, including freedom of
speech, the press, and peaceful
"The release of political
prisoners is a step in the right
direction," Toner said. "We
urge the Cuban government to
release all remaining political
prisoners and allow them to
choose whether to remain in


Cuba has been freeing the
2003 dissidents gradually under
an agreement reached in last
July with the Roman Catholic
Church in Havana. Some of
the dissidents released have
stayed in Cuba, serving the
remainder of their sentences
outside prison, while others
have been forced into exile
to Spain.
Amnesty International, the
London-based human rights
watchdog, urged the Cuban
authorities not to force activists
into exile after Navarro and
Ferrer were freed.
Amnesty International
said 75 people were jailed in
the 2003 crackdown and that
most of them were charged
with crimes including "acts
against the independence
of the i.,ij because they
allegedly received funds
and/or materials from U.S.-
based non-government organ-
izations, financed by the U.S.

On Jan. 20, the U.S. fol-
lowed through with its plan by
deporting 27 Haitians with
criminal records.
The U.S., has, however,
granted Temporary Protection
Status (TPS) to Haitians who
are living illegally in the coun-
try before the earthquake. TPS
for Haitians is set to expire on
July 22, and immigration offi-
cials have said those who were
granted the special status won't
be deported.
Gonzales said more than
Haitians have
applied for
TPS, warning
that only
those who
were already
living in the
U.S. illegally
when the Gonzalez
hit are eligible.

On a visit to Montreal,
Canada last month, then
Haitian presidential candidate
Mirlande Manigat said the
U.S. resumption of criminal
deportations would result in
increased crimes in already
beleaguered, French-speaking
Caribbean country.
"Haiti is poorly-equipped
to welcome these young crimi-
nals whom the U.S. prison sys-
tem failed to rehabilitate, and
it will lead to an increase in

DennisJ. Chin, C.RA


(305)-AIL1040 / 255-1040
13501 SW 128th Street, Suite 108
Miami, Florida 33186


. 1r,


Bermuda politician's ex-husband

jailed in U.S. for role in drugs plot


Buju Banton to be sentenced June 23;

Jamaican singer faces life in U.S. prison

- The former husband of a
Bermudian Opposition politi-
cian has been jailed in New
York for three-and-a-half
years for plotting to distribute
$15 million worth of marijua-
na destined for Bermuda.
Dennis Pamplin, an
American citizen once mar-
ried to United Bermuda
Party (UBP) Member of
Parliament Patricia Gordon-
Pamplin, has been in custody
since his arrest in New Jersey
in July 2008.
He was detained along
with another American,
Brian Henry, when undercov-
er police and special agents
swooped on a warehouse after
a months-long investigation
conducted in collaboration
with the Bermuda Police
Service. According to a 2008
statement from New Jersey's
Drug Enforcement Agency
(DEA), the arrests came after
a police dog sniffed out a
large amount of marijuana
hidden inside concrete pillars
at the warehouse.

NEW YORK - An influential
United States legislator
has come to the aid of a
Trinidadian-born, U.S. Army
veteran who faces deportation
to his homeland.
U.S. Senator Chuck
Schumer, a Democrat who
represents New York, last
month called on the U.S.
Army to intervene in the case
of Ramdeo Chankarsingh, 44,
who was honorably discharged
from the service a decade ago.
In a letter to U.S. Army
Secretary John McHugh,
Schumer asked that Chankarsingh
be cleared of this "bureaucratic
"While he had our backs
in Kosovo, the Army may not
have had his back," Schumer

Chankarsingh said that the
U.S. military accepted him in
1991 because he expected to
get a "Green Card" or perma-
nent residence under a special
program. He said it didn't hap-
pen, and immigration officials
have denied him citizenship.
"I'm proud to be an
American soldier," said
Chankarsingh, a father of two,
who lives in the South Ozone
Park section of Queens, New
"But I don't feel good
about what they're doing to me

Following the arrests,
Pamplin was charged with
conspiring with others to dis-
tribute more than 1,000 kilo-
grams of marijuana with an
estimated street value in
Bermuda of $15 million.
Court papers state that the
plot spanned the period 2006
to July 2008.
Pamplin pleaded guilty to
the charge last December and
was sentenced in Manhattan's
Southern District Court late
last month.
Pamplin and his wife were
married in 1993 and she once
credited him with kick-starting
her political career. He had
previously been married to
another Bermudian woman.
The pair were living in sepa-
rate countries by the time of
his arrest, which Gordon-
Pamplin said she learned of
through the news media. She
has repeatedly declined
requests to comment on the
case since.

and my family," he added. "I
feel like they used me."
The former medic, who
works as a nurse, said last
month that he will try to per-
suade an immigration judge to
let him remain in the U.S.
Chankarsingh, who came
to the U.S. illegally as a teen
and worked in Florida orange
fields, said he got a temporary
"Green Card" through an
amnesty program. After initial
military training, he said he did
a stint as a field medic in
Kosovo's Camp Bondsteel,
while based in Germany.

When his temporary
"Green Card" expired in 1999,
Chankarsingh said he went to a
military judge, who told him to
file for U.S. citizenship.
But when he was called for
an interview a year later, he
said officials told him because
he served during peacetime he
needed a valid "Green Card".
Chankarsingh said he has been
in legal limbo ever since and
spent tens of thousands of dol-
lars suing the U.S. Citizenship
and Immigration Services. He
said his latest application was
passed to Immigration and
Customs Enforcement, which
began deportation proceedings.
Edward Daniels, a veterans


TAMPA, Florida - A United
States federal judge here has
pushed back the sentencing
date for Jamaican-born
Grammy Award-winning
reggae star Buju Banton to
June 23.
Banton was originally
scheduled to be sentenced on
June 16, but federal district
Judge James S. Moody Jr. said,
without any explanation, that
the reggae artiste will now be
sentenced on the new date.
Banton, 37, whose real
name is Mark Myrie, faces up
to life in prison.
In February, a 12-member
federal jury found him guilty of
three cocaine-related charges:
conspiracy to possess with
intent to distribute five kilo-
grams or more of a mixture
and substance containing a
detectable amount of cocaine;
attempting to possess five kilo-
grams or more of cocaine; and
for "aiding and abetting others
in using a communication facil-
ity in the commission of a
The jury, however, did not
find him guilty of "knowingly
and intentionally possessing a



U m

firearm in furtherance of and
during the course of a drug-
trafficking crime."

The singer maintained his
innocence throughout the trial,
the second since a jury reached
a deadlock late last year.

Banton faces lengthy prison term.

Banton's attorney, David
Markus, argued that the artiste
never became a willing partici-
pant of the cocaine conspiracy
charged in the superseding
indictment. He said tasting the
cocaine, talking about cocaine
and simply being present at the
warehouse is not sufficient to


r-- ff.....

find Banton guilty of the
Banton was arrested on
Dec. 10, 2009 in a Drug
Enforcement Administration
(DEA) sting operation.
James Mack and Banton's
long-time friend Ian Thomas
were arrested the same day
when they attempted to buy
cocaine from undercover
detectives in a Florida ware-
house. Thomas and Mack
pleaded guilty, but Banton
denied the charges.
Following his trial, Banton,
who is in detention awaiting
sentencing, thanked his fans for
their support, stating: "Our life
and our destiny are sometimes
pre-destined; and, no matter
where this journey takes me,
I fought the good fight.
"It was a great man that
said my head is bloody but still
unbowed I love you all thank
you for your support," he said.
Banton reached the zenith of
his singing career on Feb. 13
when his album "Before the
Dawn" was awarded the

It i spa nic Ch.mber of Commerce
International Buines C'un, i
National Black MBAs
National Kidae fowudatioa of Horida
Snu Ih Fnrida Tedhnology AAIlianc

N.Y. senator backs Trinidadian

facing deportation from U.S.

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Ex-FBI agent backtracks on claims he

kidnapped, d
NASSAU, The Bahamas,
CMC - A former Federal
Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
agent who told an undercover
investigator that he routinely
arrested Bahamian criminal
defendants in South Florida
and unlawfully sent them back
to their homeland on commer-
cial flights, now says he made
up the story.
"Yes, I did say it. Was it
true? No. Why did I embellish?
Because I brag," retired FBI
Agent Gerard "Jerry" Forrester,
the FBI's Miami liaison officer
in the Caribbean in the 1990s,
told a court here last month.
Forrester's admission to
arresting and unlawfully repatri-
ating suspects surfaced during
an unrelated civil court battle
here between New York hedge
fund billionaire Louis Bacon
and Canadian fashion mogul

reported Bahamians from U.S.

Peter Nygard. Both men own
estates in the exclusive Lyford
Cay, a private gated community
located on the western tip of
New Providence Island.
According to an affidavit,
Forrester is heard in an audio
recording saying that a
Bahamian murder suspect was
arrested in Miami, held briefly
in jail, placed on a plane and
later killed in police custody in
The Bahamas.
"I kidnapped him (and
sent him) back to Nassau,"
Forrester said while being
recorded last year by former
Scotland Yard Detective Alick
Morrison, who was working as
a private investigator for
"They had him for about
10 hours, and the guy wound
up dead," he added.

Forrester, a private investi-
gator, now works with a former
Bahamian police officer who
was cleared in the 1998 killing
of that suspect, who the retired
FBI agent said he was wanted
at the time on murder charges
related to bank robberies.
"Oh, I kidnapped him. I did
it all the time. All the time for
20 or 30 years," Forrester was
heard saying in the recording.
Morrison then said: "Well,
you can't just pack somebody
up and put them on a plane."
"We did it all the time,"
Forrester responded.
Under U.S. federal law,
foreign nationals wanted on an
arrest warrant issued in their
native country have the legal
right to challenge their extradi-
tion or removal in U.S. courts.

N.Y. prosecutors charge two in hospital

death of Jamaican psychiatric patient

York prosecutors have
charged two medical person-
nel in the death of a Jamaican
psychiatric patient more than
two years ago.
Prosecutors said a nurse
and an aide at the sprawling
Kings County Hospital in
Brooklyn have been charged
with allowing Esmin Green,
49, to die on the floor of the
psychiatric ward and then cov-
ering up her death.
Green was recorded on a
surveillance camera tape lying
face-down in the emergency
room for nearly an hour on
June 19, 2008, ignored by
staffers and security personnel.
Court documents said that
nursing aide Easton Royal, 53,

allegedly wrote in the obser-
vation sheet that Green was
doing fine at 6 a.m. - in the
midst of the excruciating 57
minutes the dying woman
spent on the floor.
Prosecutors said Royal
was arrested last month,
charged with reckless endan-
germent and falsifying busi-
ness records, arraigned at
Brooklyn Criminal Court and
released without bail.

Another nurse, whose
name was not released, had
pleaded guilty in February to
similar charges, prosecutors
A previous report by the New
York City's Department of

i FC


-. t o.
A L BeA~1oilc son
For m re iform tioncall 05.68.681 ex. 24

Investigation mentioned that
one nurse, identified only as
Gonzalo, admitted to making
false entries on Green's
progress notes after she died.
"All those who are in any
way responsible for this wrong-
ful death and cover-up should
be brought to justice," said
Sanford Rubenstein, the lawyer
who represented Green's
daughter in reaching a $2 mil-
lion ,L ill me Ill with the city.
The city's Medical
Examiner's Office said the
Jamaican immigrant, who
waited some 24 hours in the
hospital's psychiatric waiting
room, died of blood clots.


Jamaican pastor rejects plea

deal on rape charge in N.Y.

NEW YORK - A Jamaican-
born pastor, charged with raping
a 12-year-old female member of
his congregation, has turned
down a plea deal that included a
three years prison term.
Michael CLirL, 38, refused
the offer from prosecutors,
despite "almost irrefutable
proof" he impregnated the
child, said Bronx Supreme
Court Judge Megan Tallmer.
"He wasn't interested,"
Tallmer said in court late last
But C(lIre lawyer Paul
Brenner asked the judge to con-
sider probation instead of prison.
"I would never do that,"
she snapped, citing a DNA
match between Clare and the
victim's aborted fetus.
Clare, the married leader
of the Harvest Worship Center
in the Bronx and principal of
the Associated Harvest Prep
school, declined comment out-
side court.
Authorities learned of the
alleged crimes in June, when
the girl, now 15, told her par-
ents and police that Clare had
been having sex with her for

three years.
Clare, who up to press
time was free on $50,000 bond,
faces up to 25 years in prison if
convicted of first-degree rape
at trial.
Prosecutors alleged that
he may have victimized other
young churchgoers as well.

The judge said his preaching
days are probably over, though,
since his name would likely be
added to the state sex offender
registry following any plea deal.
"I don't see how he could
continue his work as a pastor,"
Tallmer said.
Clare's lawyer said the
clergyman will be vindicated at
"He turned down the plea
deal because he's innocent,"
Brenner said.
But one prosecutor said
that was a mistake.
"This was a N\\Lillildri
offer considering the evidence
against him," the prosecutor
said. "It won't get any better
from here."

U.S. willing to help OECS

deal with criminal deportees

CASTRIES, St. Lucia, CMC -
The United States says it is
willing to assist St. Lucia and
other Organization of Eastern
Caribbean States (OECS)
with programs where criminal
deportees are used to help in
the battle against crime.
Foreign Minister Rufus
Bousquet said that during
recent discussions with U.S.
officials, reference was made
to an on-going program in
Barbados where deportees
have been involved in levels of

advocacy and visiting commu-
nities discouraging persons
from a life of crime.
"They have indicated their
preparedness to support pro-
grams of that nature, and they
have in fact been to St. Lucia
as well to see what we can do
in terms of rehabilitating and
integrating these people into
the society," Bousquet said.

Caribbean countries have

N.Y. senator backs Trinidadian facing deportation from U.S.

advocate, said Chankarsingh
should get the same rights as
anyone who served in war.
"He should never have
been denied," he said.

Up to press time
McHugh's office had declined
to comment, but Schumer said:
"Common sense and gratitude
for his selfless decision to put
his life on the line for our

country means that we should
do right by Mr. Chankarsingh."

Buju Banton to be sentenced June 23; Jamaican singer faces life in U.S. prison

Grammy for best reggae

Prosecutors charged
Banton was the middleman in
a cocaine transaction between
Tampa dope dealers and a con-
fidential informant working
with the DEA.
Banton was caught on
covert audio and videotape
boasting about the "no-risk"

drug deal and sampling the
illicit white powder, prosecu-
tors said.
"This is not about Buju
Banton, the reggae singer. This
is about Mark Myrie, the drug
defendant," Assistant United
States Attorney James Preston
said during his closing argument.
But Markus countered
that the singer did not profit
from the drug deal, stating that
Banton was snared in the DEA
probe because he is "a big talk-
er" and was trying to impress

the confidential informant,
who ended up with a $50,000
commission following the bust.
Markus said he had filed a
motion in the U.S. District
Court, Tampa Division, asking
for acquittal or a new trial, and
that the reggae star be released
on bail. But prosecutors said
they are still seeking to squash
the defense motion since the
claim is "without merit."




GUILTY: Olint boss admits running 'Ponzi' scheme defrauding hundreds

Jamaican David Smith, the
former head of the col-
lapsed private investment
club Olint Corporation,
which reportedly listed many
Caribbean nationals living in
the United States as its clients,
has pleaded guilty in an
American court to 23 charges
of bilking investors of millions
of dollars.
He will be sentenced at a
later date.
Smith, who had already
signed a plea agreement
admitting guilt to four counts
of wire fraud, a count of con-
spiracy to commit money
laundering, and 18 counts of
money laundering, formally
entered the plea before a
judge in the Orlando Federal
Court in Florida late last
According to the plea
agreement, Smith described
Olint as a private investment
club, where he would pool
investors' money to engage in

foreign currency trading on
their collective behalf.
But Smith admitted in the
plea agreement that he oper-
ated a massive 'Ponzi' scheme,
in which he paid returns to
investors from their own
money, or funds paid by
subsequent investors, rather
than from any real profit.

Prosecutors say Smith
transferred millions of dollars
invested by his company's
clients to his personal bank
accounts, which he used to
finance a lavish lifestyle.
According to the prosecu-
tors, those expenditures
include a $2 million home, a
down-payment for the pur-
chase of a Lear jet and fre-
quent travel on the aircraft,
sponsoring a jazz festival in
Jamaica, expensive vehicles,
vacations, jewelry, gambling
and political contributions.
Prosecutors also claim

Smith had ties to a Lake Mary
company, which was licensed


to deal in foreign currency
Court documents said
Smith was the majority capital
investor in the business, with
an investment of more than $2
Under the plea bargain
arrangement Smith's wife,
Tracy, will not be charged and
escapes imprisonment.
He faces a maximum sen-

tence of 20 years in prison for
each count, although federal
prosecutors are recommend-
ing to the court that his sen-
tence be lightened.
In Sept. 2010, a Turks
and Caicos court sentenced
Smith to six and a half years
in prison after he pleaded
guilty to two counts of con-
spiracy to money laundering
and two counts of conspiracy
to defraud. His wife, Tracy,
was similarly spared by that
jurisdiction and her right to
travel was reinstated.
The Smiths had moved
to the Turks and Caicos after
local police raided their
offices and effectively shut
down the Ponzi scheme.

Meanwhile, Olint investors
here are hoping that some, if
not all of their investments will
be returned. In Sept. 2010, the
Association of Concerned
Olint Members (ACOM) said

the U.S. Government had
assured the organization that
their investments would be
returned to them, if Smith was
"Mr. (Bruce) Ambrose
(assistant U.S. attorney) has
assured ACOM that it is only
in cases where there are no
victims that U.S. agencies
such as the DEA (Drug
Enforcement Administration)
and FBI, among others, are
permitted by law to seize and
keep the assets of convicted
criminals," said ACOM
Spokesman Godfrey
"Mr. Ambrose extended
himself to assure ACOM that
in the pending case against
Mr. Smith there are victims
that all identified funds will go
to if Mr. Smith is convicted."
ACOM claimed it repre-
sented at least 1,000 investors
in the failed investment club.

U.S. extradites Bermuda minister's son facing attempted murder charges

- The 29-year-old son of a
leading Cabinet minister has
appeared in a Magistrate's
Court after being extradited
from the United States to face
two charges of attempted
Jahmel Blakeney, whose
father Glenn Blakeney is min-
ister of youth, sport, families
and community development,
returned here on April 1, 17
months after he left Bermuda.

He is accused of shooting
Shaki Minors and his pregnant
girlfriend Renee Kuchler out-
side a popular cinema on the
former U.S .military base at
the island's east end on Nov.
12, 2009. Minors and Kuchler
have since both recovered
from their injuries.
Blakeney was not
required to plead during his
recent two-minute court
Prosecutor Cindy Clarke

requested a further hearing
and defence lawyer Charles
Richardson made no applica-
tion for bail.
Blakeney was arrested
along with another man,
Sanchey Grant, 19, the day
after the shooting. Blakeney
fled to the U.S., where he has
citizenship, after being
released on police bail. He
was charged in his absence on
April 26, last year and arrest-
ed by U.S. marshals at a resi-

dence in Brooklyn last June.
Extradition proceedings
against him were started by
the Bermuda government, but
were delayed because of vari-
ous appeals launched by
Blakeney in the U.S. courts.
Grant was charged a year

ago with the same charges of
attempted murder. A third
man, 25-year-old Kinte Smith,
was also recently charged.
They are expected to go on
trial soon.

Guyanese who burned, slashed girlfriend's

face gets 13 year sentence in N.Y. prison

NEW YORK - A Guyanese
man here who burned his girl-
friend's face with a hot iron
while their three children
watched has been sentenced
to 13 years in jail.
Before handing down the
sentence on Eric Persaud, 36,
Queens Supreme Court
Justice Gregory Lasak
described the gruesome attack
as horrendous and sick.
"Your actions are some of
the worst I've seen a man do
to a woman," the judge told
Persaud, scolding him for
forcing the unidentified
woman to turn up the heat on
the iron so he could perma-
nently scar her for calling the
cops over an earlier attack.
"The actions that you
took on that day were horren-
dous and sick," he added.
Before his sentence, Persaud
apologized to his Guyanese-
born girlfriend and urged her

to be a good mother to their
young children.
"My actions were coward-
ly, and there was no excuse for
losing my cool," Persaud told

"The actions that you
took on that day were
horrendous and sick"
- judge to Guyanese man

the court.

Prosecutors said Persaud
flew into a rage on April 30,
2009 because he was upset
that his girlfriend called 911 a
week before when he smashed
her phone and computer. He
promised to kill her if she
called the cops again.

When the woman refused
to burn herself with the iron,
Persaud stuck a towel in her
mouth and burned her on
both cheeks while forcing her
to turn up the heat, prosecu-
tors said.
When that wasn't enough,
he slashed her in the face
with a razor blade, prosecu-
tors said. The woman spent
11 days in the hospital.
Persaud called the woman
hundreds of times from
Rikers Island Correctional
Facility in Queens, b -'_ini'
her not to testify against him.
Prosecutors said they
retrieved recordings of the
phone calls and planned to
use them against Persaud if
he'd gone to trial.
Persaud pleaded guilty to
an assault charge in February.

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N.Y, City Council passes resolution Rights groups renew call for U.S, to suspend deportations to Haiti

to extend TPS to Haitians in U.S.

NEW YORK - The New
York City Council has unani-
mously passed a resolution
calling on the United States to
extend Temporary Protected
Status (TPS) for tens of thou-
sands of Haitian living illegal-
ly in the country.
The resolution, tabled
by Haitian Council member
Dr. Mathieu Eugene, urges
the administration of U.S.
President Barack Obama to
renew TPS for Haitians
IcLI.,uL the situation in
Haiti is still dire.
"Now, the federal govern-
ment and President Obama
must step in," said Dr.
Eugene, the first Haitian to
be elected to city council.
"This is a fair humanitari-
an response," he told the
Caribbean Media Corporation
(CMC), adding that countries
that have been designated to
receive TPS, including
Nicaragua, El Salvador and
Somalia, have all been re-
"We are simply asking for
fairness, and Haiti deserves to
be given equal treatment," he

In the wake of last year's
massive earthquake in Haiti,
the U.S. granted TPS to
Haitians living illegally in the
country, allowing them to live
and work without fear of
But the special designa-
tion is set to expire on July
22. Many Haitians fear they
would be deported if the sta-
tus is not renewed.
"Let's come together in
support of this important issue
and ask that the federal gov-
ernment extend TPS in light
of the ongoing problems the
country of Haiti faces," Dr.
Eugene said.
"Now is not the time to
end TPS. Now is not the time
to resume deportations. Now
is the time to be compassion-
ate and grant an extension of
the Temporary Protected
Status," he added.

In April 2009, the New
York City Council passed a
resolution calling on the U.S.
government to first grant TPS,
in response to four tropical
storms which caused severe
damage to Haiti.
"While we are grateful for the
federal government's response
to grant TPS, now I believe it
must be extended," Eugene

Last month, U.S.


Immigration and Customs
Enforcement (ICE)
Spokeswoman Barbara
Gonzalez said more than
61,000 Haitians have applied
for TPS, warning that only
those who were already living
in the US illegally when the
earthquake hit are eligible.
Several civil liberties and
human rights organizations
last week issued a letter call-
ing on the U.S. to suspend fur-
ther deportations of Haitians
as long as the current cholera
epidemic is raging.
A new study, soon to be
released by the University of
California San Francisco and
the Harvard Medical School,
shows that the cholera epi-
demic in Haiti, which started
last fall and has killed about
4,000 people so far, is likely to
continue through most of this
year and eventually infect up
to 800,000 people.

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Several civil liberties and
human rights organizations
backed a letter calling on the
United States to suspend fur-
ther deportations of Haitians
as long as the current cholera
epidemic is raging.
A new study, to be released
by the University of California
San Francisco and the Harvard
Medical School in the U.S.,
shows that the cholera epidem-
ic in Haiti, which started last
October and has killed about
4,000 people so far, is likely to
continue through most of this
year and eventually infect up to
800,000 people.
In a letter addressed to
U.S. President Barack Obama,
Secretary of Homeland Security
Janet Napolitano and Secretary
of State Hillary Rodham
Clinton, the groups called for
the U.S. to "immediately halt all
deportations to Haiti; grant
deferred action and/or stays of
removal to all Haitians with
final orders of removal".
The letter was signed by
groups including the Human
Rights Clinic and the
Immigration Clinic of the
University of Miami Law
School, the Center for
Constitutional Rights in New
York, the Florida Immigrant
Advocacy Center, Alternative
'Challlll and the Loyola
University Law Clinic and
Center for Social Justice. The
groups also want the Obama
administration to meet with
them to discuss a Mar. 7, 2011
"policy; and immediately halt
roundups of Haitian nationals
in the United States and release
those currently in t uI IIJ .'

An emergency petition
campaign, spearheaded by
Harvard Law School graduate
Rebecca Sharpless and five

Haiti's crime rate," said
Manigat, a former first lady.
She said the criminal
deportations would compound
an already battered Haiti, still
reeling from the massive
earthquake that killed about
300,000 people and left 1.5
million homeless, as well as a

human rights organizations,
has prompted the Inter-
American Commission on
Human Rights (IACHR) to
urge the U.S. government to
halt deportations of Haitian
citizens who are seriously ill
or who have family ties in the
"The U.S. government
has blood on its hands," said
Sharpless, who is an assistant
professor at the University
of Miami School of Law and
director of its Immigration
Clinic, in a statement.
In its written decision, the
IACHR noted that the jails
and prisons in Haiti are "
overcrowded, and the lack of
drinking water and adequate
sanitation or toilets could
facilitate the transmission of
cholera, tuberculosis, and
other dJi sLsLs
The IACHR urged that
the suspension lasts until
Haiti is "able to guarantee
that detention conditions and
access to medical care comply
with applicable minimum stan-

cholera epidemic that has
killed over 4,000 people.

The Inter-American
Commission on Human
Rights (IACHR) has taken
the rare step in urging the
U.S. to cease immediately
deportations to Haiti for per-


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dards" and puts procedures in
place to review the rights of
persons subjected to deporta-
Under legislation passed
in 1996, the U.S. deports non-
citizens legally in the U.S. if, in
the past, they have been con-
victed of certain felonies and
misdemeanors. Shortly after
the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake,
Haitian-American and human
rights groups persuaded the
Obama administration to sus-
pend the deportation of
Haitian immigrants. But late
last year this suspension was
unexpectedly lifted by the
Department of Homeland
Security, and the deportation
of Haitian citizens ,with or
without immigration papers,
who had run afoul of U.S.
criminal laws was resumed.
On Mar. 7, the Obama
administration issued a new
policy statement confirming
that deportations would

U.S. willing to help OECS deal with criminal deportees

in the past criticized
Washington over its deporta-
tion policy, saying that it con-
tributes to the high levels of
criminal activities in the region.
But Bousquet said that in
his discussions with the U.S.
officials, Washington said
there is no statistical basis for
that conclusion.
"The Americans would
certainly say to you that from
a statistical point of view the
situation does not extend
beyond what is considered
normal," he explained. "They
claim that their own statistics
according to them-and cer-
tainly we have not verified it,
but equally we have no reason

to doubt them-is that the
average age of the deportees
is around 17 years of age.
"As a result some of the
basis on which some of our
requests have been made,
such as the deportees having
no real connection or orienta-
tion to St. Lucia or other
regional states, they say statis-
tically that is not the case,"
Bousquet added.
The foreign minister said
Washington is claiming that
only three per cent of the per-
sons deported back to the
Caribbean had come to the
U.S. under the age of two and
in most cases the average age
is about 17.

sons with serious illnesses or
with U.S. family ties. The
Washington-based commission
made the appeal in response
to an emergency petition filed
in January by six human rights
groups, based primarily in
southern Florida.
The action follows the
first reported death of a
Haitian man, who was deport-
ed by the U.S. since removals
resumed on Jan. 20.
In its decision, the
IACHR expressed concern
that "detention centers in
Haiti are overcrowded, and
the lack of drinking water and
adequate sanitation or toilets
could facilitate the transmis-
sion of cholera, tuberculosis,
and other diseases."
- Edited from CMC report.

U.S. to deport 700 Haitian criminals


Miami-Dade County offers

high culture at low prices -
or free even - for all ages.
Get free or discounted
access to enjoy theater,
dance, music, art, botanic

gardens, exhibitions,
festivals and more.

Miami -Dade Public Library System's Museum Pass
Get FREE admission for a family of four to: * Deering Estate at Cutler
* Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden * HistoryMiami * Miami Art
Museum * Miami Children's Museum * Zoo Miami
Just visit your nearest branch library to check for
availability and use your library card to check out
a Museum Pass.
Museums may apply restrictions including blackout dates or separate admission
to special event/exhibits.

Golden Ticket Arts Guide
With a Golden Ticket Arts Guide, Miami-Dade
County senior residents ages 62 and over can get
free offers to cultural arts events and venues. Pick
up a Golden Ticket Arts Guide at your local library
or call 786-331-5375 to order.

Culture Shock Miami
Students ages 13-22 can buy tickets
for only S5 to some of the best performances and museums. The
first ticket must be used by a student, but the second ticket can
be used by a person of any age. Check out the latest listings and
. f find out how to get your tickets at cultureshockmiami.com.

'i \ For more information visit miamidade.gov or call 3-1-1.



JU :.L , ,


Caribbean influence pushes new Miramar commish to make good on campaign promises


In the four months since
Jamaican American
Alexandra Davis won a
seat on the Miramar City
Commission, she has been
working to make good on her
campaign promises and has
been making inroads in the
South Florida city.
Davis, who ran on a politi-
cal platform of economic
development, including the
revitalization of east Miramar
among other issues, believes
there's a lot to be done in her
city, which boasts a significant
Caribbean American popula-
However, she said she is
committed to doing the work
necessary to improve the
city's economy and
bridge the gap between
east and west Miramar.
Davis, who was born
in England to Jamaican
parents and educated at
Wolmer's Girls High
School and the
University of the West
Indies in Jamaica, said
her Caribbean back-
ground and education
influences how she oper-
"Seeing people who
looked like me in leader-
ship positions in Jamaica
gave me the impetus to
pursue public service and
believe I can do anything
I put my mind to," she
told Caribbean Today
"This helped me to
build character. It pre-
pared me for United
Miramar's diverse Davis
population is an inspira- of dut
tion to Davis. She
believes "children do very well
growing up in this environment
because there are teachers,
politicians and other profes-
sionals they can relate to,"
adding that "Miramar is just
one big melting pot of culture
and we should embrace it."
Her own background
has armed her with an impor-
tant tool to take on the task.
"I certainly make no
apologies for being Caribbean
American," said Davis. "It has
greatly influenced my out-
Public service is nothing
new to Davis. She worked in
the Ministry of Agriculture
and Fisheries in Jamaica and in
the government tax office in
London. She was also an
administrator for Miami-Dade
County before winning the city
commission seat.
"I have an understanding
of how the public service
works," Davis explained. "The
great thing about the job that I
do now is that I can have ideas

about what I want to do and
have implemented...I'm able
to effect change, make budget-
ary decisions and actually lis-
ten to the people...and find
out how I can help."

Davis said after taking
office, she quickly went to
work in the city. First stop: A
24-hour tour of duty with the
Fire Department to get a bet-
ter understanding of what they
"I slept at the fire station,
woke up on calls, and rode
along with them," she said.
She also dressed in full fire-
fighting gear and participated
in rescue operations.
"It was like the TV. show
'Undercover Boss'," Davis

- Contr
gets to work in full firefighter gear during her recer
y of Miramar's Fire Department.
Next stop was the Police
Department, where she rode
along with officers for 12
hours. She said she learned
much about their jobs and has
a greater appreciation for what
they do.
One of the most important
things Davis has done so far is
reaching out to the residents of
the oft times neglected east
Former Miramar
Commissioner George
Pedlar, who is from Jamaica,
is impressed with Davis.
"I think she has a very
positive attitude to her work,"
said Pedlar. "She campaigned
on reaching the people in the
east and has opened up a satel-
lite office there, which I
thought was a very positive
He said she has made her-
self resonate with the commu-
nity by being available to resi-
"Anything to aid in bring-

- Contributed photograph
Davis helps members of the Miramar Fire Department tend to a victim.

ing City Hall to
the people and
make it more
convenient for
residents to speak
face-to-face with
me to discuss
their concerns
and address those
issues that are
most important to
them is the basis
of my commit-
ment to serve,"
Davis said.
resident Pauline
Harrison likes
the way
Davis connects
with the commu-
"She goes to
events, church
services and tries
busted photograph to talk to the peo-
It 24-hour tour ple and find out
what they need,"
Hall said. "Not
many elected officials do that."

While west Miramar
boasts pristine houses, clean
neighborhoods and firm infra-
structure, the older, less afflu-
ent east needs to be revital-
ized. This is an issue Davis
believes she can work to
change. With the numerous
foreclosure properties and not
enough code enforcement
officers - eight officers to the
118,000 residents of Miramar -
there are numerous things
that aren't being done, she
explained. So Davis said she
is working with code enforce-
ment to help bring the city up
to code. And while most of the
west side has home owners'
associations to ensure the
properties are maintained, that
is lacking on the east. The revi-
talization is, in-, 6wini. with
improvements on certain infra-
structure, like updating the
sewer systems.
The new commissioner

also thinks the city should
"make use of the facilities we
have on the eastside to ensure
that there's no blight, by bring-
ing services and allowing (the
residents) to feel a part of
what is happening."
Miramar's east side will
be utilized for a Caribbean
America History Month event
in June.

Davis, whose term ends in
2013, occupies what many con-
sider a revolving seat. Since
2005 no one has served a
full term. Jamaican-born for-
mer Commissioner Fitzroy
Salesman is serving time in
federal prison for bribery and
extortion. Before that, he was
suspended twice. Neither Carl
Lanke nor Barbara Sharief
completed their four-year
, Davis said she is in for
the long haul. Salesman's crim-
inal convictions, she said, have
not cast a shadow on her role
as commissioner.
"There are aspects of his
tenure as a commissioner
which have been very helpful,"
Davis explained. "He was a
people's commissioner and
that is something that I want to
do as a commissioner.
"We're two different indi-
viduals - you have to be in
there for the right reason and
my reason simply is to serve,"
she added.
"There are a lot more
politicians that have gone
down recently and he is the
only Jamaican. Personally, I
haven't had anybody said any-
thing to me. And I think, for
some reason, I'm not linked
with him at all and I'm not
impeded from doing what I do.
It's not something I have hang-
ing over my head."
But Davis has not been
functioning in a vacuum.
According to her, "I have had
enormous help from (Broward
County) Commissioner Dale
Holness (also Jamaican).

"I've watched his career
over the years. He worked
hard for his position. He has
worked hard for people who
came up after him and has
helped me. Levoyd Williams,
Vice Mayor of Lauderdale
Lakes has helped and (U.S.
Congressman) Alcee Hastings
was a big help to me offering
me advice and helping me with
contacts and I do appreciate
their kindness."
Davis has an ambitious
political agenda, which
includes forging partnerships
with cities around to world,
particularly for trade. She also
wants to continue her meet
and greet sessions with resi-
dents to address their issues.
"Another initiative I've
embarked on is to have the
city join the fight with (U.S.
First Lady) Michelle Obama
against childhood obesity and
become a 'Let's Move City',"
Davis said. "We will be having
our kick off event at the town
center on May 18."

Sonia Morgan is a freelance
writer for Caribbean Today.

Street Address:
9020 SW 152nd Street, Miami, FL 33157
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 6010
Miami, FL 33116-6010.
Telephone: (305) 238-2868
(305) 253-6029 Fax: (305) 252-7843
Toll-Free Fax: 1-866-290-4550
1-800-605-7516 * Jamaica: 655-1479
E-mail: editor@caribbeantoday.com
Send ads to: ct ads@bellsouth.net
Vol. 22, Number 5 * APR. 2011



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Opinions expressed by editors and writers
are not necessarily those of thepublisher.
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by Caribbean Publishing & Services, Inc.
Caribbean Today is not responsible
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guarantee return, please include a self-
addressed stamped envelope.
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Today may not be reproduced without
written permission of the editor.


Someone finally gets it right

on illegal immigration issue

Here's something I
thought I'd never say
or write in my life, but
here I am writing it in 2011 so
the world must be in retro-
grade. That is that Utah law-
makers actually got it on the
hot button issue of illegal
After months of saying in
my own column and on radio
that the solution to the prob-
lem of the moral, law abiding
undocumented worker in this
country lies simply in giving
them a work permit and a
travel document, Utah law-
makers have surprised me by
saying the same thing in a bill
passed to
deal with the
issue in their
In what can
only be called
ed, lawmak-
ers included FEL
a guest work- FELICIA
er permit
which would
allow undocumented immi-
grants to live and work in
Utah. The Utah Illegal
Immigration Enforcement Act
or House Bill 497, sponsored
by Stephen E. Sandstrom,
passed Utah's House and
Senate recently. The immigra-
tion measure would allow
undocumented immigrants to
get a permit to work in Utah
under a guest worker pro-
gram, but also require that
police check the immigration
status of anyone stopped for a
felony or serious misde-
It is undoubtedly a plan
the administration of United
States President Barack

Obama, and the federal law-
makers who claim they really
want to solve the issue of ille-
gal immigration, should adopt

Frank Sharry, executive
director of America's Voice, a
Washington, D.C.-based
group supportive of a legal
status for illegal immigrants,
called it a bold, innovative
statement and urged the
Obama administration to
"take notice, support the pro-
gram and start a dialogue with
the state."
Of course, the haters are
already circling the wagon,
screaming "amnesty". And
despite what the ACLU of
Utah is screaming, - that it is
really racial profiling - this is
the most rational proposal to
come out of any state since
the bigoted proposal from
Arizona stirred many conser-
vative states to action on the
issue of illegal immigration.
It is the rational thing to
do and I applaud the lawmak-
ers for getting it right, espe-
cially given the state's history
on slavery, in which the
Legislature formally sanc-
tioned slaveholdings in 1852.
The Mormon Church
leadership also got it right.
That's something else I never
thought I would say or write.
This is the same church that
had no official doctrine for or
against slaveholding, and
whose leaders were ambiva-
lent, except for Brigham
Young, who tacitly supported
slaveholding, declaring that,
although Utah was not suited
for slavery, the practice was
ordained by God.



Fraud families r (w rMs|
I AV1 \yne tcfMirtW

House is not a home,
unless there are people
in it, and those people
are usually family. But family,
my dear friends, is often the
root of all problems.
The thing is, we can
choose our friends, but we are
stuck with our family who are
thrust upon us by dint of birth,
bound by blood, tethered by
genes and often times smother-
ing us.
Family is not a bad thing
and, in fact is held in extremely
high esteem by many cultures.
The Orientals, the Jews and
Arabs, Africans and other
ancient cultures place a high
premium on the family, which
is usually headed by a matri-
arch or patriarch. Almost no
major decisions are made with-
out their consultation and
input, and they often decide
who gets married and to whom.
Even now some marriages are
'arranged' by certain cultures,
as brides are flown from their
mother countries to lay eyes on
their intended for the first time,
marry, and then expected to
live happily ever after.
We used to have strong
family values, but as times
changed, this has dwindled
somewhat and many families
could be candidates for the
Jerry Springer show. You name
it, they have it, from jokers to
jackanapes, from morons to
moochers, from louts to lazy-
bones, from culprit to conman,
every family has one, and it's
only when you exchange sto-
ries with other people that you
realize that you are not alone
with your fraud family.

The more I talk to people
is the more I see how similar
most families are. The most
common scenario is that of the
burden always falling on one
family member, even though
the family is a large one.
Usually this manifests
itself when the parents become
old, sick and dependent.
Naturally, all the offspring are
suddenly too busy to cater to
the needs of those who spent
their lives raising them from
birth, through schooling to

leaving the
onerous and
task to one
child who
luckily is
blessed with
a sense of
honor and TONY
"Oh, I
would love to
give some help, but my job is
so demanding, plus I have my
kids to take care of, and the
mortgage is high and,
and...I'm just too busy."
So, one daughter or son
gets saddled - or should I say,
blessed - with the task of tak-
ing care of the ageing parent. I
know of situations where the
mother is sick and needs care,
and only one daughter out of
eight children, has the task of
running up and down, buying
medicine, paying bills and
looking after her, while the
other siblings whine and stay
"I'm just tired of asking
them to help, so I just do it
myself," she told me.
If and when one offers to
help, they make such a big
deal of it.
"Listen, I am making a big
sacrifice carrying these gro-

series for mama. I took time
off from work, went to the
supermarket, drove all the way
to Pembroke Pines to deliver
them and went back to work."
Big deal, that is what the
one daughter has been doing
every other day with no fan-
I also spoke to some elder-
ly folks who told me how their
children had virtually aban-
doned them, or only paid a
visit once a year, giving them
$20, and only if they asked for
it too.

Then you have the family
members who assume that one
member has it made, and now
therefore feel that they should
support them for ever - worse
if that family member is a doc-
tor, lawyer, businessman or
belongs to any other high pro-
file profession. He or she is
now designated an alternative
financial institution and is visit-
ed every month by other fami-
ly members who come
demanding their monthly
"Dem come wid long bag
and story to match, expecting
much and giving little."
Nothing is wrong with the




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* "If you can
have a 42 peirct nl
reduction, u which
equates to 1510
murders, it jiu T
tells you the kIcel I
of murders ihal i,
taking place and
we still have such a far way to
go...no citizen can feel safe and
secure in that environment" -
Prime Minister Bruce Golding
welcomes the news of reduced
criminal activities in Jamaica
last month, but knows the job is
far from done.

* "Whether or not this crime
was motivated by anti-gay sen-
timent, or during the course of
robbery, it is nonetheless unac-
ceptable behavior and our des-
tination will not tolerate it" -
The St. Lucia government lash-
es out at those who attacked
three gay men on the Caribbean
island recently.

* "I think what had happened
in this case is that the United
States is not used to being
questioned and so their attitude
was, 'This was done in the past
so why are you asking ques-
tions?' (They) were not taking
into account that I had a duty
to examine what was before
me before I sign" -Jamaica's
Justice Minister Dorothy
Lightbourne questions the US.

role in the
extradition of
Coke during a
Commission of
Enquiry into the
incident last
month in Kingston.

* "I'm proud to be an
American soldier. But I don't
feel good about what they're
doing to me and my family. I
feel like they used me"
- Trinidadian-born, United
States Army veteran Ramdeo
( I/l,,i,, %,i ig, who was honor-
ably discharged a decade ago, is
facing deportation to his native
land after the US. denied him

* "Haiti is poorly-equipped to
welcome these young criminals
whom the U.S. prison system
failed to rehabilitate, and it will
lead to an increase in Haiti's
crime rate" - Mirlande Manigat
last month added her voice to
the vexing deportation issue,
saying that the United States'
resumption of criminal deporta-
tions would result in increased
crimes in the already belea-
guered, French-speaking
Caribbean country.

* "We need as a people to
embrace Rihanna and give her
every encouragement because
she represents the future, in my
view, of the...creative industry
of Barbados and indeed the
Caribbean" - Culture Minister
Stephen Lashley calls on

Barbadians to stop criticizing
Robyn Rihanna Fenty and
instead embrace the island's
Grammy Awards winner.

* "They are students and we
don't expect them to engage
in sexual activities. We don't
expect them to act like adults"
- Virginia Albert-Poyotte, regional
educator and coordinator in the
North America Caribbean region
for Education International,
appeared las month to have
changed her position on the
controversial subject of distribut-
ing condoms in schools.

- Compiled from CMC and
other sources.

In the true spirit of
Christianity, a spokeswoman
told the Utah press the
Mormon Church continues
to emphasize some guiding
principles, such as compassion
for neighbors and a concern
for keeping families together.

Well let me say Amen to that.
I could not have said it better

Felicia Persaud is founder of
News AmericasNow, CaribPR
Wire and Hard Beat

haves helping the have-nots,
but some of these so called
have-nots have no conscience
and will camp out at the door
like menacing mendicants
expecting a permanent bailout.
Plus the worse thing that you
can do is lend some family
members money as you might
as well write it off, for you'll


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| e| i peilence as a sovereign nation.
IToe dy invites the business community in Jamaica and the
Ulifti.Statea to celebrate this significant milestone.
to be published in July 2011, will pay tribute to Jamaica's history,
culture, growth and development including the achievements and global
contributions of a remarkable people.
.Prnmtad ymUar products and services in this 28-page kep.uakd n iia .. -.
to be distributed widely throughout Florida, New York, Atlanta, and
the Caribbean.

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Fax 305-252-7843
e-mail: sales@caribbeantoday.com

.T .. .. . , - - .

Fraud families
never see it again.
The moochers are bad
enough, but there are some
family members who just sim-
ply abandon the core members,
especially when they go to for-
eign. Suddenly they have
'arrived' in their new found
land, and they boast of their
job and accomplishments, yet
you will never see or hear from
them after a while as their
backs have been turned.
Any plea for communica-
tion or financial input will sim-
ply fall on deaf ears, as they
have their own lives to live.
Improbable as it may seem,
some will not even show up for
the funeral of the parents, so
detached and disinterested are
As for funerals, that's when
the fraud family comes to the
fore. As per usual, the arrange-
ments and financial burden will
fall on one or two of the chil-
dren, while the others will try
to direct and control proceed-
ings without spending a dollar.
They will determine what cas-
ket should be bought, usually
opting for the most expensive
one, how big a wake to have,
how much liquor and food
should be bought to feed the
multitude, how much to spend
on the gilt edged program, yet
none offer even a red cent.

Yes, funerals do bring out
the fun side of family. But for
the real fun, just wait until the
will is read, only then will you
see true family fraud.
So many parents make the
mistake of leaving everything
to the eldest child, with instruc-
tions to divide up everything
equally for the rest, but spend
eternity turning in their graves
at the fraud that ensues. As
soon as that eldest child real-
izes that everything is in his or
her name, that's it, end of story.
"Shut your mouth and
leave me alone. See deh, mama
leave everything to me."

At times you don't even
know who is your family until
you strike some good fortune.
Just win the lotto and see who
instantly becomes your family.
Sometimes family simply comes
to visit and never leaves, and
even if you move house, they
move with you, living, eating,
watching your T.V, burning
your current, but contributing
nothing. Ask them to even pay
one bill and hear the excuses.
At times one family mem-
ber will bring down shame and
scandal on the entire clan as
they get enslaved by drugs and
walk the streets, or steal and
go to jail. That can bring
untold grief to the other family

But even with family fraud
it's not all bad. If we had a
stronger and tighter family
structure, many of our children
would be more balanced and
well behaved. I remember
growing up as a child that every
adult member of my family,
including aunts and uncles had
carte blanche to discipline us. I
grew up surrounded by teach-
ers, so you can just imagine.
Sadly, all that has changed,
and the family structure is now
fragmented, scattered to the
four corners of the globe.
Mothers leave their children as
they go to seek work in far off
lands, at times never to return.
Fathers also flee and sons and
daughters fly the coop and
never look back.
Television and video
games have taken the place of
parents. Hey, the TV. is per-
haps the most important mem-
ber of most families now.
Still, even with all the fam-
ily fraud, it's usually better if
you have one. So in spite of
family fraud, it's your family
and your fraud. Cherish it.


Someone finally gets it right on

illegal immigration issue




Cribh t 'I'm in deeper waters now, so it's a little more difficult'
a 1~ Jamaican-born Holness brings 'can do' attitude to Broward County Commission

Broward County Commissioner,
Jamaican-born Dale Holness,
has his work cut out for him in
his District 9 constituency. Six
years as Lauderhill city commis-
sioner, he believes, have pre-
pared him for the work he
intends to do in Broward.
Caribbean Today's freelance
writer Sonia Morgan caught up
with Holness recently.

Caribbean Today: What is
your Caribbean background
and how has this fashioned
you as a public figure?
Dale Holness: I was born in
Hanover, Jamaica and lived
in parts of St. James and
Westmoreland. I've lived
mostly in western Jamaican
in the County of Cornwall,
which I often visit. I take a
great deal of my personality
from my mother. She's rea-
soned, shows good judgment,
kind and willing to make the
best of every situation. Both
my maternal and paternal
grandmothers also influenced
me...I've created a Sister City
between Lauderhill (Florida)
and Falmouth (Jamaica) and
we've just helped to launch
the maiden voyage of the
Oasis of the Seas from Fort
Lauderdale to Falmouth.
There's no doubt that my
Jamaican heritage has helped
to determine who I am, and
what I am.

C.T.: Who has been your
greatest influence?
D.H.: From a political stand-
point, (the late Jamaican
Prime Minister) Michael
Manley. I met him as a
youth in 1972 and was very
impressed by his love for the
people, his charisma, his intel-
lectual capacity and his unbri-
dled commitment to work
towards uplifting those who

were at the bottom of the
social strata...not that he did-
n't make mistakes...

C.T.: How do you feel about
representing the Caribbean
community in South Florida
and what are the expectations
from your Caribbean American
and non-Caribbean American
constituents? Does this bring
additional pressure?
D.H.: I think that many
Caribbean persons see me as
their representative, whether
or not they live in my district
in Broward County, Miami-
Dade or Palm Beach. The fact
is that I represent not just
Caribbean people, but all the
people of Broward County.
Trying to represent everyone
is not easy and, yes, the expec-
tations are very high...

C.T.: Do you see yourself as a
trailblazer for the Caribbean
American community, espe-
cially in politics?
D.H.: I don't necessarily see
myself as a trailblazer. There
are others who went before

C.T.: What are the greatest
issues affecting District 9 right
now and how do you plan to
solve them?
D.H.: Unemployment is the
most critical issue that faces
District 9, followed by a high
level of poverty, economic
stagnation, illiteracy, crime
and blight in many areas. The
solution cannot come from
one person. One can take a
leadership role in bringing the
community as a whole to
resolve these issues and that is
what I have set out to do...

C.T.: What, if anything, have
you accomplished to date since
you have been on the Broward

County Commission?
D.H.: I got an ordinance
passed that will open opportu-
nities for small disadvantaged
and minority-owned business
to get better access to be
prime contractors with the
county. We held a community,
economic and empowerment
forum that involved Fort
Lauderdale International
Airport, which plans to spend
over 1.2 billion dollars;
Broward County Small
Business and Economic
Development Department
and Broward County
Purchasing Department. We
brought in small and minority-
owned businesses to be given
contracting opportunities with
these entities. We held a
major beautification effort in
Collier City in Pompano,
which is one of the most
blighted areas in the county,
where we had over 200 people
participating in cleaning up
and painting.
I went to Trinidad on a
trade mission and we're cur-
rently having talks with

Caribbean Airlines to
make Fort Lauderdale
International Airport
III their North American

C.T.: You have the repu-
tation of a public servant
who makes things happen
from your over six years
of service on the
Lauderhill Commission.
Then, you were one of
five. Now, you are one of
nine. How does that
affect getting things
D.H.: I'm in deeper
waters now, so it's a little
more difficult to navigate,
but I believe Lauderhill
helped me to develop the
ability to maneuver
through rough waters and
we're doing that, recognizing
that I'm not necessarily going
to win every vote. But those
who know me know that I'll
fight for what's in the best
interest of my people.

C.T.: You're known for cham-
pioning international trade
between South Florida and a
number of countries around
the world. What have you
accomplished in that area in
Broward County so far?
D.H.: I believe the main thing
that I've done so far is to edu-
cate my fellow commissioners
and others in the importance
of looking to the international
marketplace for economic
growth and job creation,
understanding that 95 percent
of the marketplace is not with-
in America, but outside, and
particularly focusing on the
Caribbean and Latin America,
where over 60 billion of the 72
billion dollars in trade for
South Florida in 2010 came

C.T.: How is serving as a
county commissioner different
from serving as a city commis-
D.H.: Wow! It's a lot more
work. It's intense. I have many
more meetings, many more
issues to deal with than as a
city commissioner. My district
now encompasses nine differ-
ent cities and covers a popula-
tion 192,000 people...

C.T.: What is the most difficult
issue to address in Broward
D.H.: Ensuring that we have
a balanced budget that is fis-
cally sound and, yes, respon-
sive to the needs of the peo-
ple. Additionally, to figure out
how the county can help to
stimulate growth and develop-
ment so that people can get
back to work.

C.T.: What's the crime situa-
tion like in Broward County?
D.H.: Overall, crime has been
on the decrease and it is
astonishing to some that with
this high unemployment rate
we haven't seen a spike in
crime in the county.

C.T.: Your predecessor,
Josephus Eggelletion, is cur-
rently serving time in federal
prison on corruption charges.
Do you feel you are under
more scrutiny as a result?
D.H.: Everybody in elected
office is under more scrutiny
these days. And as such we
have put in new standard of
ethics, because the people
have cried for it and they
deserve good, honest and fair
representation from their
elected officials.

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Miami Reggae Fest set for April 30

Jamaica's Luciano and the
Jah Messenger Band will
be among the main attrac-
tions at Miami Reggae
Festival 2011 set for April 30
at Peacock Park, Coconut
Grove in South Florida.
The free concert, sched-
uled to run from 3 p.m. to
midnight, will also feature
Cultura Profetica, Puerto
Rico's top reggae band,
Warrior King, Bonnie Casey,
Spam All Stars, Connis
Vanterpool, and Florida's 2010
Grammy winner Jahfe.
The festival is designed to
promote the humanitarian
causes of local and national
organizations. It's a humanitar-
ian effort to feed the hungry.
Patrons will be asked to
contribute to a food drive to
benefit Curley's House, an
organization with a mission to
improve the quality of life
for low-to-moderate income

individuals, families, the elder-
ly, youth-at-risk, the abused
and HIV/AIDS infected per-
For more information, visit
www. curleyshousein corm.


John Legend headlines St. Lucia Jazz Festival

merican multi
artiste John Legend
will headline the 20th St.
Lucia Jazz Festival which
begins late this month and
runs through early May.
Legend has sold more
than five million albums
worldwide and will be joined
at the festival, which runs
from April 30 to May 8, by an
international roster of musi-
cians representing jazz, R&B,
pop and soul from countries in
North America, Europe,
Africa and the Caribbean.
They include:

* Trey Songz - The R&B
singer-songwriter's debut
album was "I Gotta Make It",
released in 2005. He followed
with "Trey Day" (2007) and
"Ready" in 2009. His fourth
album, "Passion, Pain &
P'lcLurL , was released

in Sept. 2010.

* Ledisi - The singer-song-
writer returns to the festival to
share highlights from her
Grammy nominated albums
"Lost & Found" and "Turn
Me L, t M .

* Regina Carter - The
American jazz violinist will
share African folk tunes from
her newest album "Reverse

* Bad Ass Brass - Formed in
2008, the band takes its influ-
ence from the sounds of tradi-
tional New Orleans brass
bands, but adds its own twist.
The group won the opportuni-
ty to play at this year's jazz
festival through a Facebook
contest in the United
Kingdom hosted by the St.
Lucia Tourist Board.

* Maceo Parker - The
American funk and jazz saxo-
phonist, who had a long term
association with the late
James Brown, will offer hits
from his latest album "Roots
& Grooves".

* St. Lucian Collective - An
ensemble of the island's jazz
icons will perform Caribbean
The festival will feature
multiple complementary daily
shows of acoustic, new age,
jazz, soul, reggae, and R&B
sounds held in a variety of
locations and venues around
the island, including Jazz on
the Square in Castries and
Jazz in the South at locations
in Vieux Fort and Laborie.
Headliners will perform at the
main stage at Pigeon Island
National Park and Gaiety in
Rodney Bay.

Jamaica's Monty Alexander celebrates 50 years of jazz

Jamaican-born jazz great
Monty Alexander will
kick off the celebration of
his 50th year as a professional
performer this month in New
The piano virtuoso will

stage a five-night performance
at the Birdland Jazz Club, 315
West 44th St. in Manhattan.
Alexander, declared one
of the greatest jazz piano
players of all time in Hal
Leonard's 2005 book, and

with 60 albums under his
belt, will open April 5 through
April 9, with two nightly
shows at 8:30 p.m. and 11 p.m.
"This engagement is the
first in a series of concerts in
celebration of my 50th year in

music," said Alexander.
He is also scheduled to
perform in South Florida at
the Reggae Jazz Fusion on
May 22 at the Broward
Center for the Performing
Arts. Reggae star Maxi Priest,

and cabaret singer A.J. Brown
will also be on the show,
which begins at 7 p.m. The
center is located at 201 S.W.
Fifth Ave. in Fort Lauderdale.


For more information, visit
www. browardcenter.org.

"It gives me a special
opportunity to look back musi-
cally to 1961 and my first jobs
in Kingston, Jamaica, with my
first group, Monty and the
Cyclones and the recordings I
did for Coxsone Dodd and
Duke Reed," Alexander said
of the celebration.
"I also look forward to
reflecting musically on adven-
tures I had through the years
with, among others, Frank
Sinatra, Dizzy Gillespie, Milt
Jackson, Quincy Jones, Ray
Brown and other legends of
The performances come
on the heels of the release of
"Uplift", a new album from
Alexander and Jazz Legacy
Productions that includes such
pieces as "Come Fly With
Me", "Sweet Georgia Brown",
"Body and Soul" and "Home"
� .



1 10 '/ '0'1Di s c o u n t f o r S e i o r I

AirJamaica.com * 1.800.523.5585

1 D r) A n n.~�~B~

I ~


SWEET MICKY: Musician Michel Martelly

is Haiti's president-elect
PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, work for all Haitians. into the second round after
CMC - Musician Michel Together we can do it." the candidate of the party
"Sweet Micky" Martelly has headed by outgoing President
won the presidential election CALLING Ren6 Pr6val was dropped by
in Haiti, according to the pre- The president elect is the the CEP following a fresh
liminary results. son of an oil company execu- recount of the ballots.
Pierre Thibault, spokesman tive, who grew up in Martelly's campaign
for the Provisional Electoral Carrefour, gained momentum in the sec-
Council (CEP), said Martelly part of the l ond round and many voters
received nearly 68 percent of dense urban seemed enchanted with his
the votes cast in the Mar. 20 mass that lack of political experience in
second round runoff and easily makes up a country where the govern-
defeated former first lady and the capital. .,' H ment has failed to provide
law professor Mirlande He attended many basic services.
Manigat. a prestigious
Martelly, who was nearly Roman Martelly CHALLENGES
not involved in the second Catholic Martelly will face a num-
round after having first been school in Port-au-Prince and ber of challenges in Haiti,
declared a third place winner junior colleges in the United which is still recovering from
in the Nov. 28 first round of States, though he never gradu- the powerful earthquake in
balloting, is promising pro- ated. Jan. 2010 that killed an esti-
found change for Haiti, one of But he found his calling mated 300,000 people and left
the poorest nations in the west- and became a household name more than one million others
ern hemisphere. He is vowing in the country through, kom- homeless.
to provide free education in a pas, the country's high-energy In addition, a cholera out-
country where more than half music. break last October has killed
the children can't afford school Martelly, who has never more than 4,000 people.
and to create economic oppor- held political office, had The CEP has said that the
tunity amid almost universal trailed Manigat in the first- final results are due to be
unemployment, round election in November released April 16.
Martelly thanked voters that was marred by voter
in a brief statement on his irregularities, fraud and street
Twitter account, saying: "We'll demonstrations. He was put

Dominica's P.M. in dual citizenship tangle

ROSEAU, Dominica, CMC -
A High Court judge has
reserved judgment in the dual
citizenship case involving
Prime Minister Roosevelt
Skerrit and his Education
Minister Petter Saint Jean
after hearing arguments.
Justice Gertel Thom is
expected to make a determi-
nation whether the two minis-
ters should be ordered to dis-
close their passports in answer
to charges that they held dual
citizenship at the time they
were nominated to contest the
Dec. 2009 general elections

that was won
by Skerrit's
Labour Party
The main
Workers Party Skerrit
(UWP) had
petitioned the
court to overturn the election
victories of Skerrit and Saint
Jean on the grounds that they
were citizens of France at the
time of the polls.
In its petition, the



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Opposition party stated that
their nominations and subse-
quent election should be
declared "void and of no legal

Senior Counsel Anthony
Astaphan told the court on
April 1 that his clients had no
obligation to submit their
passports since the onus was
on the UWP to prove its case
against the two elected offi-
cials. Astaphan described the
UWP team as being on a
"fishing expedition" in search
of evidence.
But Trinidad-born Senior
Counsel Douglas Mendes,
who is representing the UWP,
argued otherwise, urging that
there should be disclosure of
the passports of Skerrit and
Saint Jean. He said a fair trial
would require that both sides
be given the opportunity to
see all documents relevant to
the proceedings.

I www.caribbeantoday.com

Messam wins Miramar commish seat


Four Caribbean Americans
vied for council and com-
mission seats in the South
Florida cities of Plantation and
Miramar in local elections held
in Broward County last month,
but only one, Wayne Messam,
a first generation American
with Jamaican parents, was suc-
cessful in his bid for office.
In the City of Miramar,
Messam and Yvette Holt, also
a Caribbean American, con-
tested Seat 4 on the commis-
sion, along with Joe Romero
and John J. Murphy on Mar. 8.
Messam edged Holt with 37.62
percent of the votes to her
36.57 percent. Messam, who
was sworn into office on Mar.
16, replaces Yvonne Garth.
In a post-election interview
with Caribbean Today, Messam
said he plans to immediately
begin to address several issues,
including improving economic
development and creating more
jobs. He wants to review ways
to implement a local preference
program to encourage local
businesses to hire qualified
Miramar residents and start in-
house by ensuring that Miramar
businesses get contracts for city
and other projects.
"We can't lock out non-
Miramar residents, but we
want to give them (Miramar
residents) preference," the new
commissioner said.
Messam's experience as a busi-
ness owner who hires local res-
idents, and his service on the
city's Community Services
Board and the Planning and
Zoning Committee, gives him
a good perspective of the land-
scape and the issues, he said.
"I hear complaints (from
residents) and have to figure
out how to improve their situa-

tion," the commissioner

Miramar's crime problem
is another issue he wants to
tackle. He said having more
police presence is only one way
to combat crime. He believes
crime is an economic develop-
ment issue.
"If there are jobs available
for resi-
dents...if they
are working,
they won't
have time for
Messam said.
He is con-
fident that
crimes out of Messam
necessity will
decrease when
economic conditions improve.
In terms of the structural
and j.silll ik disparity between
east and west Miramar,
Messam said practical moves,
like improving public works -
providing functioning sewer
systems and streetlights, for
example - will drastically
improve the east. He also
believes more beautification
projects will help revitalize the
city's historic areas. The com-
missioner is encouraging com-
munities to partner with the
city, so elected officials and res-
idents can work together to
improve the east side.
"We want to capitalize on
city partnerships," said
Messam. "It is impossible for
us to know everything unless
someone tells us. That's why
we are public servants."

Sonia Morgan is a freelance
writer for Caribbean Today.

* M.P. resigns over dual citi-
Everald Warmington, last month
resigned as a Member of
Parliament in Jamaica amid ongo-
ing controversy over his dual citi-
zenship with the United States.
Warmington is a member of the
ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP)
who represented the South West
St. Catherine constituency.

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* Britain defends TCI election
Britain has defended its decision
to postpone "free and fair" elec-
tions in the Turks and Caicos
Islands (TCI) saying that the move
is for a limited period "until the
principles of good governance
have been resorted".
London in Aug. 2009 resumed
daily administration of the affairs
of the British Overseas Territory,
disbanded the locally elected gov-
ernment and suspended the legis-
lature after a commission of
inquiry said it found widespread
corruption under the administra-
tion of former Premier Michael

- Compiled from CMC




United Nations last month
honored the memory of the
millions of innocent victims
who suffered over four cen-
turies due to the transatlantic
slave trade.
"The living legacy of
30 million untold i irI '
was the theme of this year's
International Day of
Remembrance of the
Victims of Slavery and the
Transatlantic Slave Trade,
which is observed annually
on Mar. 25.
"By studying slavery, we
help to guard against humani-
ty's most vile impulses," said
U.N. Secretary General Ban
Ki-moon in a message mark-
ing the occasion.
"By examining the pre-
vailing assumptions and beliefs
that allowed the practice to
flourish, we raise awareness
about the continued dangers
of racism and hatred.
"And by honoring slav-
ery's victims - as we do with
this International Day, with a
permanent memorial that will
be established at the U.N.
Headquarters complex in New
York, and with the observance
of 2011 as the International
Year for People of African
Descent - we restore some
measure of dignity to those
who had been so mercilessly

Ban Ki-moon

stripped of it," he added.

Ban also addressed a spe-
cial commemorative meeting
of the General Assembly to
mark the day, at which he said
the challenge today is to
remember slavery then, and
continue the fight against its
contemporary versions now,
including debt bondage,
domestic servitude, forced
marriages and trafficking in
"This International Day
forces us to confront human
beings at their worst," he said.
"But, in those who opposed
slavery then and now, we also
celebrate people at their

Slave trade stories must be told ~

U.N. honors legacy of

slave trade victims

for the hopes of generations
to come," he told the U.N.
General Assembly during
the "International Day of
Remembrance" celebrations
on Mar. 25.
Wolfe said the theme
hILg for poignant reflection
on the vast reservoir of voices
that have been silenced, from a

parts of the world today."

The Jamaican envoy noted
that the Caribbean region has
"given birth to Haiti, the first
country to triumph over slav-
ery and the architects of that
brutal institution," stating that
the Haitian revolution has

Monument to the slave trade.

transatlantic slave trade
last month, Jamaica's U.N.
Ambassador Raymond O.
Wolfe, speaking on behalf of
the 15-member regional group-
ing, said the debate on the
nefarious acts should not be
silenced "because lessons of
our past inform the present,
and, most certainly, our future.
"Those countries are seek-
ing to counter the legacy of
slavery by inculcating new val-
ues and attitudes in the youth

people whose expressions and
contributions have been muted
or suppressed for generations
under a brutal system of trade
in humans from Africa."
He said the CARICOM
delegation rejects the theory
that slavery was "an issue of
the past that we don't need to
debate, particularly because
the dark legacy of the slave
system - its hatred, its preju-
dice and its racial discrimina-
tion - still lives on in many

been a "turning point in world
He said it took another
100 years for the remainder of
CARICOM states to "free
themselves from the vestiges
of the slave trade."
Wolfe said the "International
Day of Remembrance" was
merely one facet of the "collec-
tive commitment to addressing
the issue."

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Caribbean community (CARI-
COM) says the stories of slav-
ery and the slave trade must be
As the United Nations
concluded activities honoring
the memory of the millions of
innocent victims who suffered
over four centuries due to the



~ A Caribbean Today special feature

Jamaica's HIV/AIDS cases rise

KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC -
Jamaica has recorded a 21 per-
cent increase in the incidence of
HIV/AIDS over a 10-year peri-
od, according to a recent state-
ment issued by the Ministry of
It noted that in 1999, the
number of reported cases was
1,436 compared to 1,738 in
"This situation is exacer-
bated by (a) high incidence of
multiple partnerships and low
condom usage. Persons contin-
ue to engage in risky behavior
and thereby risk their lives and
those of their loved ones,"
Health Minister Rudyard
Spencer said.

The figures released by the
Ministry of Health show that in
2009, there were 378 AIDS
related death, a 31 percent
decline on the 1999 figure
when 549 people died of the
disease for which there is no
In February, Jamaica
observed "Safer Sex Week"
under theme "Protect your
love, use a glove".
The Ministry of Health
said that the theme serves as
an urgent call for persons to
discontinue risky sexual behav-
ior by using condoms each time
they have sex and sticking to
one partner.


Baptist Health South Florida is offering robot-assisted procedures for Caribbean patients. Home to the da Vinci robot, Baptist
Health is bringing minimally invasive treatments to patients suffering from illnesses that are usually difficult to treat or are asso-
ciated with painful treatment options. Among them are robot-assisted hysterectomy and gynecologic surgery and robot-assisted
tongue and throat surgery. These two treatments are critically important to Caribbean communities as many people in the region
often need advanced treatment, but do not know about treatment options such as the da Vinci. Dr. Ricardo Estape, left, and Dr.
Nicholas C. Lambrou are among the Baptist Health physicians who perform surgery using the da Vinci robot.

Prostate cancer treatment lures

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After three sessions of CyberKnife" treatments, the tumor stopped growing and Rebecca's symptoms ceased.
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- New prostate cancer treat-
ment unavailable in the United
States has brought 200 "med-
ical tourists" as well as their
families and doctors to
The new treatment was
made available here nine
months ago and officials say
the visits have generated a total
of 1,000 bed nights for local
But complaints are now
being made that local residents
are being pushed side to
accommodate the visitors fly-
ing in for the High Intensity
Focused Ultrasound (HIFU)
treatment at the main King
Edward VII Memorial
Hospital. The controversial
treatment is yet to be endorsed
by the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA).
One medical practitioner,
who did not want to be named,
said that local patients need to
brace 1l1L ms\ lh for longer
waiting times for surgery to
make room for foreigners
seeking treatment on the
The doctor said he knew
of at least one surgery being
cancelled and another delayed
because of HIFU.

Shadow Health Minister
Louise Jackson believes this is
just "the tip of the iceberg" as

hundreds of patients head to
the island for the treatment in
the hospital's small number of
operating rooms.
Details about the delayed
and cancelled operations were
published in the Royal Gazette
newspaper just days after
Jackson asked Health Minister
Zane DeSilva in the House of
Assembly whether any surger-
ies had been delayed or can-
celled due to HIFU. DeSilva
said categorically that the
answer was no and the minis-
ter and the Bermuda Hospitals
Board reiterated that no sur-
geries had been rearranged as
"surgical time is allocated to
HIFU weeks in advance".
But the medical practition-
er told the Gazette that on Jan.
14 an emergency C-Section
was delayed and another her-
nia surgery was cancelled
"while HIFU went on uninhib-
"My case was cancelled
completely because of the
delay associated with HIFU
patients being operated and
later it was discovered that
there were no hospital beds. It
is being denied, but this is hap-
However a hospital
spokeswoman said: surgeries
were not being cancelled,
"especially not emergency sur-


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~ A Caribbean Today special feature

Fear of detainment drives HIV/AIDS victims underground in The Bahamas

NASSAU, Bahamas, CMC -
Health Minister Dr. Hubert
Minnis has told a regional
HIV/AIDS seminar that fear
of detainment is among the
factors hindering local efforts
to expand programs to curb
the spread of the deadly virus
in The Bahamas.
But Dr. Minnis said one
of the mechanisms that have
made The Bahamas' National
HIV/AIDS Program so suc-
cessful since its establishment
23 years ago, is its focus on
"oversight, planning, training,
and coordination and evalua-
tion of the national response
"Our focus has always

been on prevention of trans-
mission of HIV and the
comprehensive care of the
individuals infected with HIV,
so access to healthcare,
regardless of immigration sta-
tus, is a tenet of the Ministry
of Health," Dr. Minnis told
delegates attending the recent
Caribbean Regional HIV
Prevention Summit on the
Most At-Risk Persons and
Other Vulnerable Populations

He said that The Bahamas
had implemented a number of
policies and practices over the
years aimed at reaching most

at-risk persons
and other vul-
nerable popu-
lations. He said
one such policy
is the provision
of medical care
for persons
with need, Minnis
regardless of
their ability to pay.
"Antenatal care, including
the provision of anti-retroviral
therapy, is provided free of
charge to all public patients,"
Dr. Minnis said. "This has also
been extended to all regis-
tered HIV-positive patients in
both the public and private
healthcare sectors."

However, Dr. Minnis said
the lack of immigration status,
language barriers, stigmatiza-
tion, economic power and the
lack of recognition of the neg-
ative impact of risky behav-
iors, also contributed to the
issue. He said as a result,
healthcare providers in The
Bahamas still face "signifi-
cant" challenges in the treat-
ment of OVPs who are at
greatest risk of inequitable
access to health services due
to the aforementioned forces.
These groups include adoles-
cents and young adults,
undocumented immigrants,
men who have sex with men
(MSMs), commercial sex

workers (CSWs) and persons
above the age of 50 years.
Dr. Minnis said the
Caribbean, as a whole, is the
,, .ind-most" HIV affected
region in the world as AIDS
continues to be the leading
cause of death among adult
Caribbean males and females
between the ages of 25 to 44
Under the PEPFAR
Agreement, The Bahamas
will receive more than five
million United States
dollars in assistance to fight
HIV/AIDS over the next
five years.

STAYING POWER: Sex in the second half of life on the rise

ex isn't just for the young.
Research is showing that
older people are sexually
The sexuality that's such
a big part of our teens and
young adulthood has more
staying power than younger
people usually recognize and
can continue to spice things
up well into old age.
Results from a University
of Chicago survey published
in 2007 ue-IsliJ d that over
half of Americans continue to
engage in sexual activities well
into their 70s. Now another
batch of findings from a sur-

- File photograph
Age is just a number when it comes to

vey conducted by researchers
at Indiana University Nu1I'2L I"
that 20 percent to 30 percent
of long-lived Americans are
sexually active into their 80s.
There's reason to believe
that sexuality is assuming a
larger role in American old
age. Millions of men are now
taking erectile dysfunction
drugs like sildenafil (Viagra)
or tadalafil (Cialis). Growing
numbers of Americans are
enjoying relatively good health
in their 60s, 70s and 80s, and,
not surprisingly, the University
of Chicago study found a close
association between good
health and sexual activity
among older people.

Consider also who is get-
ting old these days - the baby
boomers, a generation that
came of age in the 1960s and
1970s when sexual mores were
changing, and a demographic
group that hangs on to its
youthful ways.
But the "frisky ', ni r,
story line can be overdone.
Sexual activity does subside
with age. Biological factors
tug in that direction, as do
social arrangements: older
people, especially women,
often end up single when a
spouse or partner dies. The
Indiana University researchers
found that sexual activity with
a partner is common among
those in their 20s, 30s, and 40s,
dips significantly for both men
and women in their 50s and
60s, and then drops further
once people enter their 70s.
A statistical picture of the
sexuality of older Americans
begins to emerge from that
article and the University of
Chicago survey results. Here
are some of the main points:
* Sexual activity tapers off
with age - Surveys show a
decline in sexual activity with
age, although the drop-off
isn't as steep as one might
expect, and a significant
minority (especially men)
defies the trend. In one study,
35 percent of the men age 80
and older reported that they
had intercourse with a woman
a few times or more in the
past year. In the University of
Chicago study, 38.5 percent of
the men ages 75 to 85 report-
ed having sexual activity with
a partner in the previous year.
* Older women are less
sexually active than older men
- Both studies show that older
women - even the "young old"
in their 60s - are less sexually
active than men of the same
age. The gender gap widens as
people get older. Differences

in the amount of sexual activi-
ty that occurs outside of a
relationship contribute to the
overall gender disparity.
* Partnered sex gets high
marks - In the Indiana study,
over three-quarters (78 per-
cent) of the men ages 50 and
over rated their most recent
sexual experience with a part-
ner as either extremely or
"quite a bit" pleasurable.
About two-thirds (68.2 per-
cent) of the women in that age
group rated their most recent
experience with a partner that
* Masturbation is com-
mon - Most men (63 percent)
and almost half of women (47
percent) in the 50 and over
age group reported masturbat-
ing in the past year, according
to the Indiana survey.
* Good health matters -
The University of Chicago
researchers found a strong
association between good
health and sexual activity, par-
ticularly among men. Diabetes

seems to have a greater nega-
tive effect than either arthritis
or high blood pressure on
both genders, but especially
on women.
* Sexual problems are
common - Half of those who
participated in the University
of Chicago study reported

having at least one bother-
some sexual problem. Among
men, the problems included
difficulty achieving and main-
taining an erection (37 per-
cent), lack of interest in sex
(28 percent), anxiety about


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~ A Caribbean Today special feature


P.M. warns diseases could bring Dominica's economy to 'grinding halt'

ROSEAU, Dominica, CMC -
Prime Minister Roosevelt
Skerrit has warned that the
local economy could come to a
"grinding halt" within the next
20 years if Dominica is not able
to adequately deal with the
increase in chronic non-commu-
nicable (CNC) diseases.
"If we do not control
the prevalence of CNCs in
Dominica, I have said and this

is my own guesstimation our
economy will come to a grind-
ing halt in the next 20 years,
because our productive people
will be suffering from these dis-
eases and they will be unable
to work or function properly,"
Skerrit told a town hall meet-
ing here last month.
The prime minister said he
had seen over the years the num-
ber of people who had become

sick as a result of CNC's, adding
"we have to launch an offensive
against it (CNC)."

He said parents should also
exercise greater care in provid-
ing meals for children going to
schools warning that CNC
is a "major concern to us."
Dominica and other
Caribbean community (CARI-

COM) countries have been
able to get the United Nations
to agree to a high level meeting
on the prevention and control
of chronic non-communicable
diseases in Sept. 2011. The
meeting came as a result of
much lobby efforts which led
to a resolution introduced by
CARICOM member states at
the U.N. in May 2010.
The resolution, which was

co-sponsored by more than 100
member states, included a call
for a high level meeting of the
U.N. General Assembly
(UNGASS) to address the
pressing health problem of
CNC, which is the leading
cause of death worldwide; and
to address the burden of these
diseases on the economies of
developing countries.

Health issues to top agenda at Caribbean scientists conference

CMC - Caribbean researchers
and scientists will present

papers ranging from the
HIV/AIDS pandemic to the
effects of flooding on respira-

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tory illnesses at a major health
conference here this month.
The Caribbean Health
Research Council's (CHRC)
56th Annual Research
Conference will take place
from April 14-16 and CHRC
Director Dr. Donald Simeon
said it provides an opportunity
to share research findings with
persons who can actually use
"The CHRC is about the
promotion of evidence to
guide policy makers, program
managers and care providers
in terms of best practices," he
told reporters, adding that
papers from about 14 different
countries will be presented

and discussed at the three-day
He said the papers would
look at issues on pediatric can-
cers, diabetic foot ulcers, glau-
coma, psychiatry and gastroen-
teritis as well as HIV/AIDS,
family health, clinical medicine
and chronic diseases.

"The meeting is about
partnership as well in that you
can identify who are the per-
sons throughout the
Caribbean who have similar
interests as you have and can
perhaps work with you in the
conducting of research," Dr.
Simeon said.

Another highlight of the
three-day conference will be
an awards banquet where
Vice Chancellor of the Mona
Campus of the University of
the West Indies (UWI) in
Jamaica, Professor Nigel
Harris and Professor of Public
Health, Epidemiology and
HIV/AIDS Peter Figueroa
will be honored.
The CHRC is the regional
health institution with the man-
date to promote and coordinate
health research in the Caribbean
and serves the CARICOM
members by providing advice to
their health ministries and other

STAYING POWER: Sex in the second half of life on the rise

performance (27 percent) and
inability to climax (20 per-
Among women, the com-
mon problems were lack of
interest in sex (43 percent),
difficulty with lubrication (39
percent), inability to climax
(34 percent), lack of pleasure
from sex (23 percent), and
pain during sex (17 percent).

I Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation Excellence of Miami

Fax: 305.669.4183


In the Indiana survey, 30 per-
cent of the women ages 50
and over said they experi-
enced some level of pain dur-
ing their most recent sexual
experience with a partner.
The University of Chicago
researchers also asked people
whether they were bothered
by their sexual problems. Men
tended to be bothered by
them more than women,
although when it came to lack
of interest in sex, the percent-
ages were about the same.
* Sexual activity outside
of a relationship is common -
A sizable minority of the men
(43 percent) and women (36
percent) in the Indiana study
reported that their most
recent partnered sexual activi-
ty was with someone other
than a spouse or long-time
partner. This "non-relation-
ship" partner category includ-
ed casual or new acquaintanc-
es, friends, and "transaction-
al" partners - people who
engaged in sex in exchange for
something, often but not
always money. Women whose
last sexual partner was with a
non-relationship partner
reported higher arousal, less
lubrication difficulty, and a
higher rate of orgasm than
women whose last partnered
sexual activity was with a
spouse or a long-time partner.
* Many men take some-

thing to improve sexual func-
tion - In the Indiana survey, 17
percent of men ages 50 and
older took an erectile dysfunc-
tion drug in connection with
their most recent sexual expe-
rience with a partner. In the
University of Chicago study,
14 percent of the men and one
percent of the women report-
ed taking medications or sup-
plements to improve sexual
function during the past year.
So it's pretty clear: old age
doesn't preclude sexual activi-
ty, although it also doesn't
make it any easier.
But age and experience
may also hold some advan-
tages. For example, some
research IuL-',LI that women
become more comfortable
asserting themselves sexually
as they get older. Some men
gain greater control over ejac-
ulation. It's also easier now to
overcome some of the physio-
logical hurdles that occur with
age. Men have the erectile
dysfunction drugs. Women
can use any number of vaginal
creams and gels.

� 2010 Copyright Harvard
Health Publications. Edited
for space considerations.
Distributed by Tribune Media
Services Inc.

Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation Excellence of Miami | 6705 Red Road, Suite 418 I phone 305,669.4426 I fax 305.669.4183

atMp~ll-r MI ra~uniuam Eu�rrr�aanl



Bolt vs. Powell in sprint showdown on May 26

wo of the world's fastest
men, Usain Bolt and
Asafa Powell, will clash
in the 100 meters on May 26
in Italy.
Powell recently signed
to face his Jamaican compatriot
in the third leg of the Diamond
League at the Olympic Stadium
in Rome.
Organizers late last month
confirmed Powell's participa-

tion after Bolt had confirmed
in January.
Bolt vs. Powell will be
an early season match-up
between the two, as they
build-up to the IAAF World
Championships from Aug. 27
to Sept. 4 in Daegu, Korea.
In nine head-to-head clashes,
Bolt has beaten Powell eight
times, with Powell's only vic-
tory a close 9.88 seconds to


* J.C., Holmwood win
Jamaica's 'Champs'
Jamaica College won the boys'
section and Holmwood Technical
took top honors in the girls' at the
2011 ISSA Boys and Girls Track
and Field Championships in
The meet, which has gained
worldwide recognition for produc-
ing outstanding Caribbean athletes,
was keenly contested over four
days. Jamaica College finished with
280 points, 11 ahead of rivals
Kingston College. Holmwood, in
winning its ninth consecutive title,
totaled 326 points, six in front of
Edwin Allen Comprehensive.

* Maq T20 cricket final in
The final of the 10th Annual
Lauderhill Maq T20 International
Night Cricket Tournament will be

played at 5 p.m. on April 9 at the
Lauderhill Sports Park in South
The Lauderhill Sports Park is
located at 7500 W. Oakland Park
For more information, call
Cricket Council USA (CCUSA) at
561-361-1700 or visit www.crick-

* Jamaica booted from
U-20 soccer
Jamaica lost 2-1 to Honduras and
was sent tumbling from the CON-
CACAF Under-20 soccer champi-
onship late last month.
The loss was Jamaica's
second following a 2-0 defeat to
Guatemala in the Young Reggae
Boyz opening match a few days
earlier. It eliminated Jamaica from
the U-20 World Cup later this year.
CARICOM neighbors Trinidad and

9.89 seconds win in Stockholm
three years ago.
Bolt holds the world
record of 9.58 seconds over
the distance set at the 2009
World Championships in

CMC contributed to this

Tobago and Suriname were
also eliminated.

Compiled from various sources.

NEW YORK, United States -
Digicel Caribbean Cup (DCC)
champions Jamaica will open
their CONCACAF Gold Cup
campaign in June with a clash
against regional neighbors
Both countries were drawn
in Group B when the group-
ings and fixtures for the
June 5-25 tournament were
announced last month by
CONCACAF, the continental
governing body for football in
North, Central America and
the Caribbean.
The two Caribbean Football
Union (CFU) countries will
meet in a June 6 clash at the
Home Depot Center in Carson,
California in what will be the
third game of the tournament set
to be played across 13 U.S.
Central American teams
Honduras and Guatemala
will line up alongside the two
Caribbean countries in
Group B.

DHAKA, Bangladesh, CMC -
West Indies exited the Cricket
World Cup without so much as
a whimper, suffering an
appalling batting collapse and
plunging to an embarrassing
10-wicket defeat to Pakistan in
a lopsided quarter-final contest
here last month.
Winning the toss and bat-
ting first at the Shere Bangla
National Stadium, the Windies
made 112 runs from 43.3
of the allotted 50 overs - the
Caribbean team's third lowest
score in a World Cup - after
failing to recover from a difficult
16 for three in the sixth over.
Proving there were no
devils in the pitch, Pakistan's
openers Mohammad Hafeez
(61) and Kamran Akmal (47)
then cruised to their target off
just 20.5 overs.

"We are extremely excited
for this year's Gold Cup and
are completely confident that it
will be the best ever," CON-
CACAF General Secretary
Chuck Blazer said.
"We are bringing our fans
the region's best football in
fantastic venues - with a lot on
the line. It is truly a can't-miss
Mexico, installed in Group A,
will play the feature match on
the opening night of the tour-
nament when they meet El
Salvador at the Cowboys
Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
CFU side Cuba and Costa Rica
will also do battle in Group A
and will raise the curtain on the
tournament in the first game of
the doubleheader in Arlington.
Losing DCC finalists
Guadeloupe, the fourth CFU
side in the Gold Cup, will play
in Group C with hosts U.S.,
Canada and Panama.

West Indies had been
plagued by weak batting
throughout the tournament
and the script proved no dif-
ferent in the first match of the
elimination round. Only veter-
an left-hander Shivnarine
Chanderpaul, with an unbeat-
en 44 from 106 balls, offered
any resistance as the Pakistani
spinners ripped through the
Windies' batting.

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Jamaica, Grenada to clash

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Jamaica's Ambassador to the United States Audrey Marks, presents Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell with a book about
Jamaica's cricket titled "Jamaica at the Wicket" written by Jamaican Arnold Bertram. The presentation was made last month
when Marks and McDonnell discussed ways in which Jamaica and Virginia could strengthen ties.

Woeful Windies knocked out

early at Cricket World Cup

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~ A Caribbean Today special feature

Caribbean veterinary medicine

school earns U.S. accreditation

veterinary medical school in
St. Kitts has become the first
of several Caribbean-based
veterinary programs to receive
United States accreditation.
The Council on Education
(COE), the accrediting arm of
the American Veterinary
Medical Association, made
the decision after conducting a
comprehensive site visit of
Ross University Veterinary
The COE said the 200 or
so students who graduate
annually from the school will
now sit for the same national
and state board examinations
posed to graduates of US-
based veterinary medical pro-
Previously, Ross students
had to pass one of two foreign
graduate equivalency exami-
nations as a first step toward
attaining licensure in the U.S.
About 95 percent of all Ross
veterinary students are
"Most of our students
come from the United States
and go back there to prac-
tice," said Jodi Peeler, spokes-
woman for the program at
"Accreditation gives our
students a sense of pride to
know that they're going
through a great educational

program," she added.

Ross, along with other
Caribbean-based veterinary
medical programs - American
University of Antigua, St.
George's University in
Grenada and St. Matthew's
University in Grand Cayman -
are widely believed to catch
the overflow of U.S. veteri-
nary school applicants who
fail to secure a seat in one of
the country's 28 veterinary
medical programs. Tuition for
veterinary students at Ross is
$45,000 annually.
The veterinary programs
at St. Matthew's and St.
George's are not U.S. accred-
ited, although officials at the
latter school said they are
actively seeking the distinc-
Ross veterinary school
partners with 22 of the 28 U.S.
veterinary programs to pro-
vide students with clinical
training. Students at Ross
attend classes in St. Kitts for
28 months before spending a
little more than a year rotat-
ing through a veterinary
teaching hospital in the U.S.
Ross opened its veterinary
school in 1982.

MDC to unveil 'Zometool'

math sculpture on April 15

The InterAmerican
Campus (IAC) at
Miami Dade College
(MDC) plans to build the
largest free-standing mathe-
matics sculpture ever.
Participants hope to
create a 10-foot-diameter
Zometool structure. The
finished structure will be
unveiled at noon April 15 at
the campus flag courtyard. It
will remain on display through
the end of the spring semester.
Students, faculty and staff will
construct the likeness of a
complex four-dimensional
object, called an omni-truncat-
ed 600-cell polyhedron,
between April 8 and April 11.
Assembling the model will
involve piecing together more
than 31,000 parts and will pro-
duce endless hours of dedica-
tion, fun and camaraderie.
The goal of this event is
to heighten mathematics
awareness and to allow stu-
dents to explore the subject in

a fun and creative way.
"The 2011 Student
Leadership Academy group
has been implementing a
variety of innovative events
to help make math more
approachable and exciting for
our students," said Dr. Gina
Cortes-Suarez, president of
MDC's InterAmerican
Campus, in a recent press
The project is taking place
under the auspices of the
Student Leadership Academy
group led by mathematics pro-
fessor Dr. Rosany Alvarez.
For more information, or
to participate, call Dr. Alvarez
at 305-237-6057 or visit
Rosany.A lvarez@mdc.edu.
For more information
about the structure, visit
http://www.facebook. com/pag


Miami Dade College President Dr. Eduardo Padron, right, discusses the advantages of MDC's recently announced American
Dream Scholarship with guests attending the scholarship's launch recently. The scholarship is aimed at expanding college
access for students annually. The scholarship covers in-state tuition for two years for all Miami-Dade County high school gradu-
ates who qualify. It picks up where other aid and scholarships leave off, ensuring that qualified students have the means to con-
tinue their education. More information is available at www.mdc.edu/main/americandream.
Also pictured here, M-DCPS Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, City of Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado and MDC Board of
Trustees member Marialena Villamil.

Regional educator backtracks on condom in schools
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, condoms," she said then. who "let you know up front
CMC - Virginia Albert- But in an interview and to your face" that they
Poyotte, regional educator published in the Nation are having sex.
and coordinator in the North Newspaper last month, She said that for these
America Caribbean region for Albert-Poyotte said she is adventurous teens, the talk o
Education International, against the distribution of the use of condoms as a pre-
appears to have changed her condoms in schools. ventative measure from con-
position on the controversial "We want students to tracing HIV/AIDS, guarding
subject of distributing con- focus on their studies and from sexually transmitted dis
doms in schools. their future and delay sexual eases, and teenage pregnan-
Following a teachers' activity until they are cies must be broached.
workshop in St. Lucia in mature," she said. "We strong- "We as educators give th
January, Albert-Poyotte had ly advocated abstinence best knowledge," she said. "I
said that the issue must be among students. They are am fully aware that many of
tackled since advocating that students and we don't expect the youth may choose to be
students exercise safe sex or them to engage in sexual adventurous and may not
abstinence could not be con- activities. We don't expect decide to abstain from sexual
sidered a guarantee. them to act like adults." activity. In discussions with
"We are promoting absti- students some say they do
nence for students as best as BOLD, BRAZEN have sex. We can't pretend it
we can, but given the situation However, Albert Poyotte doesn't happen."
with our young people it is one said she is not under any mis- Albert-Poyotte has been
thing to preach, but another guided notions that all young teacher for the last 32 years
thing to practice, and there- people were abstaining. She and is a past president of the
fore we have to give them the said that there were some St. Lucia Teachers' Union.
alternative which is the use of bold and brazen voung eeoDle A





Obama to address graduates April 29 in Miami

MIAMI, Florida - More than
3,000 Miami Dade College
(MDC) graduates are expect-
ed hear from the 44th presi-
dent of the United States on
April 29 when Barack Obama
delivers the commencement
address at the James L.
Knight Center here.
The U.S. commander-in-
chief is scheduled to speak at
one of eight graduation cere-
monies representing MDC's
eight campuses that weekend.
"We are extremely pleased

to have President Obama
address our graduates as he
has made college access and
completion a central focus of
his administration," said
MDC's President Dr. Eduardo
J. Padr6n, in a recent press
Miami Dade College is
the nation's largest institution
of higher education with an
enrollment of more than
170,000 students. Some 1.7
million people have attended
the college since it opened its

doors in 1960.
MDC enrolls students
from 182 countries, many of
them from the Caribbean. It
also graduates more Hispanics
and African Americans than
any other higher education
institution in the U.S.
The James L. Knight
Center is located at 400 S.E.
Second Ave. in downtown


J 42 l[ 1




~ A Caribbean Today special feature

Miami Dade students chosen for first Youth Commission

Twenty-six students,
joined by friends and
family members, visited
the Miami-Dade County Hall
last month, but it was no ordi-
nary field trip.
These high school stu-
dents, ranging from ages 15 to
18, will be the new faces at
Miami-Dade County Hall.
Local leaders officially wel-
comed the group to the coun-
ty's first Youth Commission.
The commission, con-
ceived by Commissioner
Barbara J. Jordan, was devel-
oped to provide youngsters an
opportunity to learn and par-
ticipate in county government
by articulating the issues and
needs of youth in the commu-
nity. In their new position,
members of the Youth
Commission will advise the
mayor and commissioners on
matters and programs affecting
the youth and teen population.
The Miami-Dade Juvenile
Services Department, under
the umbrella of the County's
Violence Intervention Project
(VIP), has also been behind
the initiative's implementation.
"The Youth Commission's
insight will give us an insider's
perspective on violence and

Jamaican entertainer
Shaggy will be honored
as the 2011 International
Humanitarian by the
American Friends of Jamaica,
Inc. during the organization's
Seventh Annual Peacock
Soiree scheduled for April 9 at
Jungle Island in South Florida.

Audrey P Marks is sched-
uled to make her first official
visit to Florida as Jamaica's
ambassador to the United
States this month.
The Broward County
Commission will welcome the
ambassador at 10 a.m. April
12 in Room 422 of the
Commission Chambers, 115 S.
Andrews Ave. in Fort

Potential business owners
in Miami Dade County,
Florida can take advantage
of a free entrepreneurial
workshop being organized by
Miami Dade Small Business
Education 2011 this month.
The workshop will be given in
English and Spanish from 5:30
p.m. to 9 p.m. April 13 at
Miami Dade College West in
For more information
and registration, visit

other issues our children face
every day," said Commissioner
"Miami-Dade has always
provided programs we feel are
in the best interests of local
youth, but who better to com-
ment on or tweak these pro-
grams and legislation than the
students themselves?"
Each commissioner
appointed a student represent-
ing each of the secondary
schools in his or her district. The
appointments were made based
on nominations by Miami-Dade
County Public Schools and an
orientation process.
To be qualified, students
had to be in the 10th, llth or
12th grade, have a minimum
2.0 grade point average,
demonstrate a sincere interest
and motivation to work for the
community, and have a back-
ground in community-based

Responsibilities of the
Youth Commission will
include fostering increased
youth involvement in county
government, holding forums
on issues concerning local
youth, recommending commu-
nity programs beneficial to

or contact call 305-237-8139.

Miami Dade College (MDC)
is offering low-income, elderly,
and non-English-speaking
United States residents help
to complete their 2010 taxes
with the free Volunteer
Income Tax Assistance
Program (VITA).
The VITA program is
administered and staffed by
faculty and MDC business stu-
dents who volunteer their
time to help the public in
preparing their tax forms.
Federal income tax
returns must be in the mail
and postmarked no later than
April 18, 2011 (April 15 is a
holiday in the District of
To identify a South
Florida location suitable to
you, visit MDC's website at
www.mdc.edu and click on
N,\\ and E\ lIII, .

Unique Creations by
Liz Inc will present the
annual "Expressions of the
Caribbean" from 3 p.m. to
9 p.m. April 27 at the
Signature Grand hotel in
Davie, Florida.
The exhibition will fea-
ture local and international

Commissioner Barbara J. Jordan, center, with Marica Daniels, left, and Joy Ruby Fowler, Youth Commission members from her district.

youths, commenting on pro-
posed legislation impacting
youths, and submitting an
annual report of activities to
the County Commission and
Additionally, each mem-
ber will meet with the official

businesses showcasing prod-
ucts and services.
For more information,
call 954-292-6848 or 954-435-

Michael McMorris has
been named the new chair-
man of the Victoria Mutual


Building Society's (VMBS)
Board of Directors.
The former deputy chair-
man of the board succeeds
Roy Hutchinson, who served
as chairman for the past seven
McMorris is the principal
of the business management
firm KRONOS Ltd. He spe-
cializes in new venture devel-
opment and corporate man-
agement. He has served

who appointed them each
quarter to discuss teen and
community issues. The Youth
Commission will meet at the
call of the chairperson or at
the request of the majority of
the membership, but no less
than once a month.

VMBS as a director for the
past five years on the Risk
and Finance committees of
the board and currently serves
as deputy chairman of British
Caribbean Insurance
Company (BCIC), as well as
chairman of Victoria Mutual
Wealth Management Ltd.
He holds a bachelor's
degree in economics from the
University of Miami and
advanced finance training
from Citibank's School of
Banking, where he started his
career. He is a former execu-
tive director of Jamaica
Promotions Corporation
(JAMPRO) and managing
director with Trafalgar
Commercial Bank (now First
Global) and Knutsford
Capital Merchant Bank, which
he helped found. He has been
president of the Merchant
Bankers Association, chair-
man of the Finance
Committee of the Airports
Authority of Jamaica and a
director of the National Exim
Bank of Jamaica.

The annual Women's
Power Caucus (WPC)
Leadership Conference and
Marketplace Expo will be
held May 13-14 at the Hyatt
Regency Pier 66 Resort in
Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
The WPC aims to bring

The group will be subject-
ed to the Government in the
Sunshine and Public Records
requirements. Members will
serve one year terms, and can
only serve two terms at most.

together established and
emerging female leaders,
achievers and women of
action for events, workshops,
panels, achievement awards,
fashion and networking.
For more information,
call 954-966-1233 or e-mail
woodielmg@gmail. com.

Products from the
Caribbean will be on display
at the "Jamaican Business
Expo" scheduled for May 20-
21 at the Sheraton Fort
Lauderdale Airport Hotel in
South Florida.
The expo will feature
keynote speaker Joe Matalon,
chairman of the Private Sector
Organization of Jamaica.
For more information,
call 877-528-7222 or 305-576-

Jamaican nationals are
being invited to return to the
Caribbean island for the
Jamaica Diaspora Conference
June 15 to 17 in Ocho Rios.
The theme for the confer-
ence is "One Nation: Jamaica
and its Diaspora in Partnership".
For more information, call
Jamaica Diaspora Advisory
Board Member Marlon A.
Hill at 786-349-2584.


Sil .J :1 IE E cDlI V11'UI I1L


~ A Caribbean Today special feature

Guyana launches new television station focusing on education

CMC - Guyana has launched
a dedicated educational televi-
sion channel to expand access
to academic and public educa-
tion material.
President Bharrat Jagdeo,
speaking recently at the launch
of the Educational Television
Broadcasting Service (ETBS),
said that there would be no
politics on the new channel
that would produce local pro-
gramming and acquire others
from the Caribbean.
"We need at least one
channel with a break from
politics in this country and
there will be absolutely no
politics on this channel, none
whatsoever," he said.

Officials intend to use
ETBS to supplement class-

"We don't want to import co
with values that are alien to
culture. There are some univ
values, before people get mi
wrong, but there are some ii
our Caribbean thinking, our
Caribbean ethos that are un
to us and we want to maint
this" - Jagdeo

room teaching as well as cul-
tures, phenomena and experi-
ences in other countries with-
out eroding the Guyanese and
Caribbean identities.

"We don't want to
import content with
values that are
alien to our
intent culture,"
our Jagdeo said.
rersal "There are
some universal
values, before
n people get me
wrong, but
ique there are some
in our
ain Caribbean
thinking, our
ethos that are unique
to us and we want to
maintain this."

Guyana's children will soon have the option to tune in to education.


, . '.. .A l American Institute of Medical Sciences

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'k h, jn ;i" ng/ r.in.7uJr t oi T 'I ? nrpf.-tn OtfJvrJl OI

Government expects that
ETBS will spawn a new cre-
ative industry that will see
education content creators
being paid for their works so
that they can be broadcast.
The ETBS will help train
thousands of poor and disad-
vantaged Guyanese in using
the 90,000 laptops that will be
distributed by government.
With hundreds of trained and
experienced teachers migrat-
ing each year to the
Caribbean, North America
and the United Kingdom,
Jagdeo said ETBS would

NEW YORK - Robert
Ross, the founder of
Ross University and two
other medical schools in
the Caribbean, has died.
He was 92.
Family members said
Ross succumbed to can-
cer last month.
In 1978, Ross found-
ed Ross University med-
ical school in Dominica
and sold it in 2000 to
DeVry, Inc.
He also established
the International
University of Nursing
and the University of
Medicine and Health
Sciences in St. Kitts.
Last month Ross's
veterinary medical school Ros
in St. Kitts became the
first of several Caribbean-
based veterinary programs to
receive United States accredi-
Ross, along with other
Caribbean-based veterinary
medical programs - American
University of Antigua, St.
George's University in
Grenada and St. Matthew's

allow unformed access to the
best teaching regardless.
"The one leveling factor is
what we are launching today
here," he said. "It's not perfect
but it will help to narrow that
He said that ETBS would
help bridge the gap between
the elite schools and those in
rural areas and south
Georgetown. All three phases
of the ETBS are expected to
be rolled out by the end of

University in Grand Cayman -
are widely believed to catch
the overflow of U.S. veterinary
school applicants who fail to
secure a seat in one of the
country's 28 veterinary med-
ical programs.

U.S. founder of Caribbean

medical institutions dies





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