Group Title: Caribbean today (Miami, Fla.)
Title: Caribbean today
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 Material Information
Title: Caribbean today
Uniform Title: Caribbean today (Miami, Fla.)
Physical Description: v. : ill. ; 38 cm.
Language: English
Donor: unknown ( endowment )
Publisher: Caribbean Pub. Services
Place of Publication: Miami Fl
Miami Fl
Publication Date: January 2006
Copyright Date: 1989
Frequency: monthly
Subject: Economic conditions -- Periodicals -- Caribbean Area   ( lcsh )
Politics and government -- Periodicals -- Caribbean Area   ( lcsh )
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
Additional Physical Form: Also available by subscription via the World Wide Web.
Dates or Sequential Designation: Began in 1989.
General Note: Description based on: Vol. 10, no. 3, published in 1999; title from cover.
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Bibliographic ID: UF00099285
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 40985415


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cFO O(T L0
O O o

c o v e r

y o u r

w o r I d


Vol. 17

No. 2


Tel: (305) 238-2868

... largest
i a'- mass tran-
sit system
was shut
down for
tive days last month, it was
Trinidadian Roger Toussaint
who led the strike for more
than 37,000 bus and subway
employees, page 2.

,i,. 1The trial of
\ controversial
aI Jamaican
U cop Reneto
7 Adams was
\P-- I among the
big stories
4" .= coming out of
the Caribbean
in 2005, another challenging
year for the region as a whole,
page 13.

In just over a year, the Caribbean will
host Cricket World Cup 2007, the one-day
game's biggest spectacle. West Indies
Cricket Board President Ken Gordon
(inset) believes the region, despite
lingering problems such as the rising
crime rate and poor form of the West
Indies team, is on track to put on a grand
show for all the world to see, page 11.

Reggae superstar Shaggy
will be among the top enter-
tainers scheduled to visit
the Caribbean in 2006, a year
jampacked with attractions
which should appeal to
homesters and prospective
visitors to the region,
page 17.

News .....................2 Feature ..................12 Arts/Entertainment ........17 Youth/Education ..........21
Local ...................... 7 Food ...................... 14 Health .................... 18 Sport ..................... 23
View point .................. 9 Tourism/Travel ............. 15 Business .................. 19 Region .................... 25

W e

- usw^

January 2006


n e s

Caribbean advocates condemn U.S. immigration bill as racist


NEW YORK A Congressional
bill that would tighten border
controls and prevent illegal
immigrants from getting jobs in
the United States has been
condemned by Caribbean
immigration advocates here as
racist, discriminatory and
Vincentian-born Dr.
Kendall Stewart, chair of the
New York City Council on
Immigration, said Caribbean
and other minorities are
unfairly singled out in the new
push to curb immigration.
"To me, this is ridiculous
for them to criminalize people
because they overstay their
time here," he told CMC.
"This bill is not aimed at
Russians, immigrants from the
former Soviet Union and oth-
ers from Europe.
"It's ridiculous for them
to put blame on immigrants
for America's problems," he
added. "They're trying to bet-
ter their way of life."
Stewart, representative for
the 45th City Councilmanic

District in Brooklyn, which
predominantly comprises
Caribbean immigrants, urged
the administration of President
George W. Bush to take a bet-
ter look at immigration on the
whole, rather than pinning
blame on poor immigrants
from the region and Latin
America, who, he said, are try-
ing desperately to eke out a

"And they
need to do so
in a fair and
just manner,"
he said.

before the Stewart
break, the U.S. House of
Representatives rushed
through passage of the Border
Protection, Anti-terrorism and
Illegal Immigration Control
Act of 2005. Sponsored by
Republican Congressman
James Sensenbrenner, of
Wisconsin, chair of the House
Judiciary Committee, the
measure would combat the

hiring of illegal workers by
providing employers with a
reliable method in determin-
ing whether employees are
legally eligible to work in the
The bill is modeled on
legislation introduced by
California Republican
Congressman Ken Calvert
that makes mandatory an
employment eligibility verifi-
cation system, which is cur-
rently voluntary.
The new House bill
increases civil and criminal
penalties for knowingly hiring
or employing an illegal work-
er. In addition, the bill incor-
porates legislation originally
passed by the Committee on
Homeland Security, requiring
mandatory detention for
immigrants apprehended at
U.S. land borders attempting
to cross illegally. That meas-
ure comes into effect on Oct.
The bill essentially makes
unlawful presence in America,
currently a civil offense, a
The bill next moves to the

Senate, where Republican
Majority Leader Bill Frist, of
Tennessee, said he will bring
up immigration legislation in
February that will provide a
framework for guest worker

The Bush administration
has proposed that undocu-

grants be
allowed to get
work visas.
Under Bush's
plan, illegal
could extend .
their visas for Claire
an additional
three years, but must return to
their home countries for a
year to apply for a new work
Irwin Claire, the
Jamaican-born managing
director of the Queens-based
Caribbean Immigrant
Services, said the entire immi-
gration matter is "a political
football right now.

Trinidadian leads mass transit strike in New York

America's largest mass transit
system was shut down for
three consecutive days last
month, it was a Trinidadian
who led the strike of over
37,000 bus and subway
As president of the
Transport Workers
Union (TWU), Roger
Toussaint, who left his
native country at the
age of 17, gave the final L
signal to strike and to
stop striking. In so
doing, he had the entire
New York City in the
palm of his hands. The
city was thrown into
utter chaos.
Seven million bus
and subway riders were
left miserable finding
grave difficulty getting
to and from work, or
conducting other busi-
nesses in bone-chilling
The massive strike,
which started on Dec.
20, left a $1 billion dent
in the local economy.
After acrimonious
spats with New York
City Mayor Michael
Bloomberg and behind-
the scenes maneuvers
with state mediators,
Toussaint who partici- Touss,
pated in, and was influ-
enced by, the protest move-
ment in Trinidad and Tobago
in the 1960s ordered 33,700
employees to return to work

on Dec. 22. Subway trains
immediately began to roll by
midnight Dec. 22, and, by
rush-hour Dec. 23, officials
said all 139 were fully opera-
Schools were back on
pre-strike schedules, and the
driving restrictions into

after three
workdays of
walking over
bridges, shar-
ing cars with
jamming com-
muter hubs,
paying hiked

whose missions and consulates
in mid-Manhattan were
closed, partially closed or
operated with very limited
staff joined in the elation.
Aubrey Campbell, who heads
the Jamaica Information
Services (JIS) here, housed in
the Jamaica Consulate


aint, left front, gave the order for New York's transit workers to go on strike.

Manhattan were lifted.

New Yorkers fed up

taxi fares and braving the bit-
ter cold on bicycles rejoiced.
Caribbean diplomatic rep-
resentatives and staffers -

General, said he was happy
the agonizing strike was over.


"Bush is pandering to
the conservatives," he said,
adding, IKl,, are some very
dark clouds for Caribbean
immigrants. It's going to be
some very challenging times
for our people."
He said the most sweep-
ing provision of the House
bill would be requiring all
employers in the country,
more than seven million, to
submit Social Security num-
bers and other information to
a national database to verify
the legal status of workers.
"That's jealousy, avarice
and discrimination for those
who sponsored and supported
this bill," he said, hn.utL
you're locking down the coun-
try, you're sending people
Claire urged religious
leaders, who support the Bush
administration, to speak out
forcefully against these "dra-
conian measures."


Jamaican ordered

extradited to U.S.

on drug charges

KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC -
A 41-year-old man was late
last month ordered extradited
to the United States following
reports of his involvement in
a conspiracy to smuggle more
than 1,000 kilograms of mari-
juana to Florida.
Presley Bingham, who is
also known as "Butcherman"
or "Pressa" from the western
parish of St. James, was
ordered extradited when he
appeared in a Corporate Area
court. Bingham, who was cap-
tured in May last year, was
indicted by a U.S. Grand Jury
on Mar. 30, 2004, along with
Norris "Deedo" Nembhard,
Clasford Morris, Robroy
Williams and five others who
are now facing extradition.
Bingham eluded the
authorities for more than a
year before he was eventually
captured by members of the
Fugitive Apprehension Team
during a crackdown on the
top drug dealers based in
Montego Bay.
The U.S. government
has submitted to the local
police the names of a number
of so-called drug kingpins
wanted to stand trial on drug
trafficking charges. Last year,
16 fugitives were captured by
members of the Fugitive
Apprehension Team.

January 2006


- usw^

January 2006


n e s

Caribbean group condemns

firing of Haitian judges

Prosecutors in Brooklyn have
asked a federal judge to
reconsider the five-year prison
sentence imposed in 2002 on a
police officer convicted of per-

station house in Brooklyn to
the bathroom, where he was
savagely assaulted in 1997.

In the case that triggered

Haitian-born Abner Louima hospitalized after being tortured by New York City police.

jury in connection with the
brutal police station house
torture of Haitian immigrant
Abner Louima.
In recently-filed papers,
federal prosecutors agreed
with defense lawyers for the
former officer, Charles
Schwarz, 40, who argued last
month that the United States
Bureau of Prisons erred in
refusing to consider a 13-
month sentence reduction for
Schwarz under a statute that
allows such reductions in
extraordinary circumstances.
The prosecutors said in a 2001
agreement with Schwarz's
lawyers that they would not
oppose such a reduction.
The agreement was
reached after a jury in 2001
convicted Schwarz of perjury
for falsely testifying in an earli-
er trial that he had not escort-
ed Louima from the front desk
of the 70th Precinct (police)

a firestorm of protests, prima-
rily by Haitian and other
immigrants in
the U.S.,
-9 another police
officer, Justin
S Volpe, was
S convicted for
Louima's civil
Schwartz, seeking rights by using
a reduction of a broken
prison time. broom stick to
Louima, severely rupturing his
internal organs.
Volpe is currently serving
30 years in a federal lock-up.
Louima, who spent sever-
al months in hospital to repair
his spleen, bladder and other
internal organs, was, subse-
quently, awarded over $7 mil-
lion by the City of New York
to settle the civil suit.
In the Schwartz case, the

jury failed to reach a verdict
on another count of perjury
and on charges of violating
and conspiring to violate
Louima's civil rights by taking
part in the 1997 assault.
Under the agreement, the
government dismissed the
three other counts, and
Schwartz agreed not to appeal
the perjury conviction.
Schwartz also agreed not to
ask the judge to reduce the
five-year sentence, and the
prosecutors said that if certain
conditions were met, they
would ask the Bureau of
Prisons to seek the sentence

But, unknown to both the
prosecution and defense, it
has been the practice of the
Bureau of Prisons to seek
such reductions only in cases
of serious illness. That prac-
tice, lawyers on both sides
contend, is an overly narrow
interpretation of the law.
Schwartz's lawyers argued that
the Federal District Court
judge who heard the case -
Reena Raggi, who now sits on
the U.S. Court of Appeals for
the Second Circuit should
vacate the sentence because
both sides mistakenly believed
the Bureau of Prisons would
consider the
p reduction
"The agree-
ment was
based on a
mutual mis-
take, said
Volpe, sentenced Fischetti, who,
to 30 years in along with
prison. Diarmuid
White, repre-
sents Schwarz, "and Judge
Raggi can now re-sentence
him to 47 months if she so
"The defendant's consent
to a (five-year) sentence, and
his agreement (to the condi-
tions) were clearly premised
on the possibility of a reduc-
tion to 47 months," said Eric
Corngold, chief assistant U.S.
Schwarz began serving his
sentence on Dec. 27, 2002.
Without a reduction, he will
remain in prison until May
2007. But he could be released,
with time off for good behav-
ior, in Jan. 2007, Fischetti said.
Louima's lawyer Sanford
Rubenstein said his client is
not commenting on the issue.
"Abner Louima is confi-
dent the judge will do the
right things," Rubenstein said.


Brooklyn-based Caribbean
Guyana Institute of
Democracy (CGID) has
condemned as a portentous
"return of the Francois 'Papa
Doc' Duvalier era" the recent
dismissal of five judges of the
Haitian Supreme Court.
That era was character-
ized by wonton "brutalization
and lynching of political
opponents," said Grenadian
Robert Antoine, CGID's
international director, in a
He said the United
States-backed interim govern-
ment's removal of the judges,
after they ordered the rein-
statement of Haitian-born
U.S. millionaire Dumarsais
Simeus in the forthcoming
presidential race, is illegal.
Antoine said, according
to Title V, Article 177 of the
Haitian Constitution, "Judges
of the Supreme Court are
appointed for life. They may
be removed from office only
because of a legally deter-
mined abuse of authority or
be suspended following an
indictment leveled against
them. They may not be

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent,
CMC The father of a
Vincentian-born soldier says
he wants the British authori-
ties to tell him exactly how his
son died in London last
Monroe Prescod said he
had been prevented from
viewing the body of his son
Kerlon Shallow, who British
Army officials said died of
"multiple injury, 'sustained
in a vehicular accident at an
unidentified army base on
Dec. 8. Shallow had been a
member of the British Army
for three years, and he was
buried here on Dec. 22.
But Prescod said an offi-
cer of the British Army came
to St. Vincent when Shallow's
body arrived on Dec. 17 and
instructed a local funeral
home not to allow anyone to
view the body.
"He wanted the body to
be buried as soon as possi-
ble," Prescod said, noting that
the death certificate that

reassigned without their con-
Consequently, he said, the
government's action "under-
mines the rule of law in Haiti
and has exacerbated political

Though no official rea-
sons were given, the five
Supreme Court justices half
of the court were fired
reportedly on the direct
orders of interim Prime
Minister Gerard Latortue and
his justice minister. The gov-
ernment had assailed the deci-
sion to allow Dumarsais to
contest this month's presiden-
tial elections.
Antoine said Latortue's
actions constitute "a crude,
meandering attempt to
manipulate the electoral
process in order to gain an
unfair political advantage" in
the upcoming elections.
"His machinations have
caused some of the presiden-
tial candidates to boycott the
elections," he said, noting that
the elections are the first since
President Jean-Bertrand
Aristide was deposed in Feb.

accompanied his son's body
indicated that he had died
from multiple injuries.
"There is nothing here
that actually states what he
died from," Prescod said, not-
ing that a local pathologist
had advised him to contact
the relevant local authorities
to get permission to contact a
second autopsy.
But he said the second
autopsy was not carried since
the funeral home said that the
"body was too decomposed to
do a post mortem on.
"I said I am the father,
here is the mother, can't you
at least let us peek at it? He
said this body is too mashed
up for you to see. I won't even
let my enemy see it. The
whole body is mashed up, real
mashed up," Prescod said he
had been told by the funeral
Prescod said he is hoping
to find answers through legal
or political channels.

Jailed N.Y. cop seeks leniency

in brutal Haitian torture case

Parents of Vincentian

killed in British Army

denied view of

January 2006 CARIBBEAN TODAY 5

BUILDING Commissioner

BETTER Dennis C. Moss
General Obligation Bond Program t
:: '"i:...:L,,u The Building Better
~ BCommunities Bond
Program is one of the
most ambitious capital
Construction programs to
benefit Miami-Dade
MI MI AM DE County residents for
decades to come. More
than 300 projects will
improve our community in
many important ways. From upgrades to park
Your Dollars facilities, to the expansion of healthcare facilities and
at W ork improvements to water, sewer and drainage systems
Miami-Dade County will become a better place to
live, work and play.
For those of us who live in District Nine of south
A B E T T E R Miami-DadeCounty, our neighborhoods will especially
benefit form the Building Better Communities Bond
r LAC, to Program and will include:
L IV A new $44 million South Miami-Dade Cultural
LIVE W ORK Center which will serve as a showcase for the
a n d P L A Y performing and visual arts. The multi-disciplinary
I EE'dcenter will feature a 1,000 seat state-of-the-art theater,
an activities building which will be used for
classrooms, rehearsals and small-scale performances,
and an outdoor plaza that can be used for festivals, art
shows and other outdoor activities.
or call 305-375-1900* A variety of park improvements and enhancements at
the following parks: Homestead Bayfront,
S ". HomesteadAir Reserve, Southridge, Larry and
.. -. >-Penny Thompson, Colonial Drive, Chuck Pezoldt
West Perrine, Sgt Joseph Delancy, Goulds,
Sherman and many others.
Relocating the historic Richmond Air Station to a
location near Miami MetroZoo and completing its
Rehabilitation as a military museum and memorial
Redeveloping the old Richmond Heights Shopping
Center into a multi-use facility.
Various infrastructure improvements including
sidewalks, resurfacing and guardrails.
For a complete list of projects, visit or contact Commissioner
Moss at 305-375-4832.



The Caribbean communi-
ty in the United States
suffered a tragic loss
during the Christmas season
when fire destroyed the
Atlanta, Georgia home of
Jamaican-born residents,
killing three of its occupants,
including two children.
Tracey-Ann Plummer, 37,
her son Dijon, seven, and her
stepdaughter Dilia, eight, died
on Dec. 22 at the five-bed-
room house. They were buried
on Dec. 27, when hundreds of
people attended the New
Hope Seventh-day Adventist
Church in Atlanta to pay trib-
ute to their lives. They were
interred at Kennedy Memorial

Reports from the Dekalb
County Fire Department indi-
cated that it was informed
about the fire at around 11
p.m. Dec. 22, but by the time
they reached to the house it
was already in flames. The
three bodies were reportedly
found on the second floor of
the house.
The cause of the fire was
still not clear up to press time.
Dijon Plummer Sr., Tracey-
Ann's husband, was not at the
house at the time of the fire.
The family previously
lived in Fort Lauderdale
before moving to the Atlanta
area a year ago.

ne ws

Caribbean national sworn

in as judge in Brooklyn

During the Dec. 27 cere-
mony, Plummer blamed the
devil for the loss of his family
members, but refused to
accept defeat.
"It is the work of this
idiot devil," he told the con-
gregation, "but that devil is
Tracey-Ann Plummer was
remembered for her kind
nature and love for her chil-
dren. Dijon Jr. was remem-
bered as an energetic child.
Dilia had traveled from St.
Maarten to be with her father
and stepmother.

NEW YORK In an elaborate
ceremony that spanned almost
four hours, the first Caribbean-
born woman to be elected to
the Civil Court Bench in a
Brooklyn Borough-wide race
was sworn into office last
A capacity crowd wit-
nessed the induction ceremo-
ny of Trinidadian-born lawyer
Sylvia Gwendolyn Ash, the
daughter of a Grenadian
mother and Vincentian father
who considers herself "a true
Caribbean daughter."
Ash, in her formative
years, lived in Trinidad and
Tobago, Grenada, St. Vincent
and the Grenadines and
London, England. Her parents,
who brought her to New York,
after migrating to London in
the early 1970s, are now
A virtual Who's Who in
Brooklyn politics attended the
event, as Ash took the oath
from Brooklyn Supreme Court
Justice Sylvia Hinds-Radix, her
Barbadian-born Howard Law
School mate and friend.
"My victory is your victo-
ry," said Ash, a former super-
vising attorney at District
Council 37, after taking the
oath. "Each of you played an
instrumental part in my cam-

"There is an old African
proverb, 'It takes a village to
raise a child'. Today, I'm that
child, and you're my village. I
promise you that I'll be the
best judge that I can be."

Justice Hinds-Radix, who
was honored recently by the
Barbados government with
the island's second highest
award, said Ash truly deserves
to sit on the bench.
"She has the judicial tem-
perament, intelligence and
commitment of the people in
mind," said Hinds-Radix.
Last September Ash
resoundingly defeated African
American lawyers Norma
Jennings and Sandra Roper in
the borough-wide race in the
Democratic Primary. She then
went on to snatch the general
elections in November in a
crowded field of six candi-
dates, running on the
Democratic, Republican,
Independence, Reform and
Conservative parties' lines.
Brooklyn Borough
President Marty Markowitz
said, while he rarely endorses
candidates for the bench, he
had supported Ash.

Jamaican killed by hit-and-run driver in New

York after giving out gifts on Christmas Day


leaving, she recalled.

man was killed by a hit-and- Minutes later, Mills, who
run driver on Christmas Day migrated from Jamaica when
while walking home on a he was 17 years old, was hit
Brooklyn street after giving out crossing the busy thorough-
Christmas gifts, the police said. fare and dragged 100 feet.
The police said Nevilly "The doctor said (the
Mills, 70, was crossing driver) reversed back at him,"
Rockaway Parkway, at Avenue Joysilin Mills said, adding,
B in the Brownsville section of "the police tell me some kids
Brooklyn, at 12:01 a.m., when a saw it and ran."
silver Nissan Murano struck Mills was rushed to the
him and sped away. nearby Brookdale University
"He didn't suffer," said Hospital, but the doctors
Neomi Mills, 71, his wife of 47 could not save him.
years. "God knew what he "Everybody knew him,"
was doing, and I have no con- said his grieving wife, as neigh-
trol over that." bors and family members
The victim's sister Joysilin filled the Mills's residence on
Mills, 67, said her brother was Rockaway Parkway, offering
returning from her nearby condolences and remembering
home after giving out holiday the popular retiree, who lived
presents a toy truck and a in the same house for the past
dancing doll for the children 30 years.
and Christmas card and some Mills earned a living as a
cash for her. dockworker in New Jersey
"He hugged me and for many years. Neighbors
said, 'I love you,'" before recalled a man who would

Caribbean group condemns

firing of Haitian judges

"CGID considers the
actions of the Haitian govern-
ment unconstitutional and
inimical to the democratic
process in Haiti," he said.
"The arbitrary removal of the
Supreme Court judges further
enfeebles the entire judiciary."
Antoine said the govern-
ment's action would also lead
to further destabilization in
the country.
"The independent deci-

sion of the Supreme Court
symbolized a glimmer of hope
in a society that has experi-
enced an ongoing erosion of
its essential political institu-
tions," he said. "The political
witch-hunt, however, under-
mines this trust and creates a
political climate, characterized
by reckless disregard for the
constitution, institutional
legitimacy and people's
g -

often volunteer to do house-
hold repairs for nearby resi-
dents and offered treats for
area youngsters.
"Anything you ask Mr.
Mills to do, he'll do willingly,"
said neighbor Elsa George.
"When an ice cream truck
comes, he'll buy ice cream for
all the kids."

Toussaint is Everybody's 'Person of the Year'

United States-based
Caribbean magazine has
named Trinidadian-born labor
leader Roger Toussaint as its
P, r, iin of the Year".
The Brooklyn-based
Everybody's magazine said
Toussaint, who last month led
a three-day strike that para-
lyzed New York City transit
system, was chosen because
he is "a man of principle who
aggressively embraced the
American credo of bequeath-
ing a better future for tomor-
row's worker.
"By waging an honorable
battle to maintain workers'
hard-won pension and other

benefits, Toussaint and the
Transport Workers Union
(TWU) demonstrated that
they are keeping alive the best
traditions of the American
labor movement", the maga-
zine said in a statement.
The magazine said that
once the strike was called,
Mayor Michael Bloomberg
and New York State Governor
George Pataki waged a "war
of words" against Toussaint,
and "conveniently fo ,rg, to
remind New Yorkers that it
was the ihug Toussaint who,
in 2002, in the wake of Sept.
11, 2001 terrorist
attacks, accepted a im dL i, '
contract for his union, much

to the chagrin of many union
members who accused him of
"selling out".

"We applaud Roger
Toussaint for the dignified
way he conducted himself
during the 54-hour strike, his
principled approach, his ora-
tory and his effective commu-
nication of the transit work-
ers' demands", the magazine
NMr, ,\ Lr, we salute
Toussaint and the selfless,
valiant workers of the
Transport Workers Union."

Trinidadian leads mass transit strike in New York

"Everything should be
back up to speed," said
He disclosed that his
office ,Ii-LeL rLd staff to cush-
ion the effects of the strike.
Crispin Gregoire,
Dominica's ambassador to
the United Nations, said on
Dec. 22 his offices were "tech-
nically closed," because the
acting consul general and the

secretary, who live in
Brooklyn and the Bronx,
respectively, were unable to
get to work.

The duel between
labor and management, the
Metropolitan Transportation
Authority (MTA), began at 3
a.m. Dec. 20 when workers
walked off the job en masse
for the first time in 25 years.
The TWU turned down

the MTA's contract offer,
which guaranteed 11 percent
in raises over three years,
because management wants
new hires to pay a bigger
share of their pensions.
But Toussaint ordered the
workers back on the job with-
out any public announcement
of an agreement with manage-
ment, saying only that details
will be revealing in coming

Fire kills three Caribbean

family members in Atlanta

January 2006

January 2006


i 0 c n A

U.S. Congress honors Jamaica's consul general in N.Y.

NEW YORK Jamaica's
Consul General to New York
Dr. Basil K. Bryan was last
month honored for his dedica-
tion and service to the
Jamaican constituency over-
seas by United States
Congressman Major R.
The citation framed in a
proclamation, was presented
to Bryan by Ruby Harrisingh,
a member of the board of
directors of the Caribbean
American Program for
Empowerment (CAPE) USA,
Inc., at a public forum to

Jamaica, U.S.


study on ackee

KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC -
The Jamaica Exporters
Association (JEA) says it is
conducting a study into the
levels of a toxic substance
found in ackees, a fruit used
to prepare Jamaica's national
The announcement fol-
lowed the decision to recall a
shipment of canned ackees
exported to the United States
after a high level of hypoglycin
was found.
The study, scheduled to
begin this month, is a joint


effort between the JEA, the
Jamaica Agro Processors
Association and the U.S. Food
and Drug Administration. The
study will focus on how
weather conditions result in
higher levels of the harmful
toxin in ackees.
The recall of the ackees
has sparked fears that the U.S.
could impose another ban on
the shipment of ackees from
Jamaica. The canned ackees
were distributed to outlets in
Massachusetts, Connecticut
and New York.
Ackees are poisonous if
eaten before fully mature. For
many years, the U.S. banned
all sales of ackees out of fear
that it could poison many of its
nationals. In November, the
Jamaica Bureau of Standards
(JBS) announced that it would
be moving to stamp out the

Ruby Harrisingh, center, reads the proclamation from U.S. Congressman Major R. Owens saluting Dr. Basil K. Bryan, second left. Also present at
the ceremony were, from left, Jose Richards, president of Sons & Daughters of Jamaica Inc.; Imam Tariq Dawan (CAPE); and AmirAbdullah
Muhammed Abdul-Akbar, executive director of CAPE (USA) Inc.


- i

S ~ I -

launch the "Jamaica
Diaspora in Motion"
series in New York City
held at the Brooklyn
Museum in Brooklyn,
Congressman Owens
called Bryan a consum-
mate diplomat, an elo-
quent spokesperson for
Jamaica and someone who
was always advocating to
the overseas Jamaican
community the impor-
tance of supporting the
socio-economic develop-
ment agenda in Jamaica.
The Congressman,
who represents the 11th
Congressional District
(Brooklyn), noted that he
was honored to be able to
acknowledge the work of
the consul general for
and on behalf of the peo-
ple of Jamaica who make
up a significant part of his


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January 2006

A dream deferred:

First-ever national study on African hairbraiders finds tangle of cosmetology laws

ARLINGTON, Virginia For
more than a decade, African
hairbraiders who create
attractive and artistic hair-
styles without damaging
chemicals have been hand-
cuffed, arrested, thrown in jail
or fined thousands of dollars
for practicing their cultural art
form in the United States.
But thanks to the
advocacy of the Institute for
Justice and its clients, lawmak-
ers and courts in a growing
number of states are forcing
overzealous bureaucrats to set
braiders free.
Late last month, the
Institute for Justice issued a
first-ever national study that
documents how 10 states have

led the way through this tan-
gled mess-exempting braiders
from all cosmetology require-
ments and leaving them free
to twist, lock, weave and
extend hair without unneces-
sary and costly cosmetology
licenses. Not only do these
states show no harm to con-
sumers after opening up the
market, but consumers are
better served by a broader
choice of braiders and once-
beleaguered braiders can
freely practice their craft and
grow their businesses without
worrying that the next knock
on the door might be a gov-
ernment regulator looking to
shut them down.

As noted in "A Dream
Deferred: Legal Barriers to
African Hairbraiding
Nationwide", the freedom to
braid has come in different
Simple exemption
statutes in Arizona,
California, Connecticut and
Optional licensing in
Registration and/or
posted brochures on common
sense sanitation guidelines in
Kansas and Mississippi;
Administrative exemp-
tions in Minnesota, North
Carolina and Washington.
In each of these states,
braiders remain subject to gen-

eral business requirements and
any applicable state health
regulations. But they no
longer need to take courses on
unrelated cosmetology tech-
niques like permanent waves
and chemical straighteners,
which too often cost braiders
thousands of wasted hours and
dollars. Instead, braiders are
free to practice the skills many
of them learned at their moth-
ers' knees.
In its 15-page paper, the
Institute for Justice summa-
rizes the current state of cos-
metology laws and their rela-
tionship to braiding. In doing
so, the institute notes that
although braiders are making
headway through this maze of

'E-Filing' offers helpful options with immigration forms

Certain queries about
United States immigra-
tion matters can be
cleared up by going onto the
Internet, instead of traveling
to a U.S. government office.
The United States Citizenship
and Immigration Services
(USCIS) offers an electronic
filing or "E-Filing" option
which is as easily accessible as
getting onto a computer in
your home.
This month, Caribbean
Today offers insights into "E-
Filing" through information
obtained from the USCIS's
website at

What is electronic filing (E-
Filing)? Electronic filing, or
E-Filing, is the filing and sub-
mission of an electronic peti-
tion or application for immi-
gration benefits using the
Internet. E-Filing for immi-
gration benefits with the
USCIS can only be done on
the USCIS website.

Which applications and peti-
tions may I submit through E-
Filing? Currently, the follow-
ing applications and petitions
may be submitted through E-

* Form 1-129, Petition for a
Nonimmigrant Worker

* USCIS will no longer accept
1-129 petitions for the H-1B
category through its E-Filing
system. All 1-129 petitions
that fall under the H-1B
non-immigrant classification
(both new applications and
applications for renewal)
must be filed in paper.
* Form I-129S, Nonimmigrant
Petition Based on Blanket L
* Form 1-131, Application for
Travel Document
* Form 1-140, Immigrant
r__ AI,1'-- 11T__1__

* Form 1-765, Application for
Employment Authorization
Form 1-821,
Form 1-907,
Request for
and petitions
will be made
available for
E-Filing in the

Can anyone E-File? You can-
not E-File if:
* You are applying for a waiv-
er of the filing fee; or
* You are requesting that your
case be expedited (with the
exception of Form 1-907,
Request for Premium
In addition, each form has dif-
ferent eligibility requirements.
Eligibility requirements are
provided on each form's
Form-Specific E-Filing


What do I need in order to E-
File? Read the E-Filing
Guidance on the website for
steps on how to E-File.

What does "Session Timeout"
mean? For security reasons,
your session will automatically
end (timeout) if your comput-
er is inactive for more than 20
minutes after 1 I--'in-- in.
As long as you have not suc-
cessfully submitted your appli-
cation to the USCIS, the work
you've done on your applica-
tion will be automatically
saved up to the point of the
last completed page. After
you log in to the E-Filing sys-
tem again, go to the My
Forms screen to find your

How can I get help with E-
Filing? First, check the online
E-Filing Guidance and Form
Specific E-Filing Instructions.
If you can't find the answer
to your question, you can get
live assistance by calling the
USCIS's National Customer
Service Center toll-free at
1-800-375-5283 between 8 a.m.
and 6 p.m., Monday through
rT7-; 1.-.

bureaucratic red tape, there is
much work still to be done.
In nine states, braiding is
included in the definition of
cosmetology, either by statute,
regulation or court decision-
meaning that braiders must
submit th inL h1 Ls to the
onerous cosmetology laws if
they want to practice their
craft. In another 22 states, the
laws are silent, allowing
boards of cosmetology to
determine whether to prose-
cute braiders or leave them in


Street Address:
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Mailing Address: RO. Box 6010
Miami, FL 33116-6010.
Telephone: (305) 238-2868
(305) 253-6029 Fax: (305) 252-7843
Send ads to:
Vol. 17, Number 2 JAN. 2006


Managing Editor

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Account Executive

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Cellular: (954) 709-1661

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Montreal, Quebec, Canada H2Y 2P1
Tel: (514) 931-0422 Fax: (514) 931-0455


No more wishing and hoping


It would be nice if the New
Year meant that much of
the Old Year did not exist.
See, that's what wish lists,
or New Year's resolutions, are
for to pretend that things
are different or are going to
change dramatically.
So over a 24-hour period
- between Dec. 31 and Jan. 1
- all that was wrong for 365
days (and sometimes even
centuries before) will just van-
ish poof! or can now be
made right if we just make a
new list.
It doesn't really work that
way. To paraphrase Bob
Marley in the song "Zion
Train": "Two thousand years
of history, could not be wiped
away so easily."
So let's not pretend that
the Caribbean's ills of 2005 -
with the frightening rise in
crime heading the list can be
simply \\ ihd" away. Let's
try something else: like look-
ing forward to a few promis-
ing developments that appear
to be awaiting Caribbean peo-
ple.. .if only we would
embrace them.

For example, in 2006
Trinidad and Tobago will play
in soccer's World Cup final
round, the most popular
sport's bi,_,L.,I stage. Unlike
the "World Series" of baseball
in the United States, the
entire world participates in
the World Cup, but only 32
countries make it to the finals.
This year it will be in
Germany and everybody will
be watching, even the snob-
bish anti-soccer sentiment that
unfortunately still runs
through America. So T&T
will have a chance to parade
its soccer pedigree, but more
importantly, draw the spot-
light to the Caribbean. The
Soca Warriors can show the
whole world in 2006 that the
Caribbean and its people are
passionate and beautiful still.
Jamaica's Reggae Boyz did
just that in France 1998. The

region should be proud and
happy for what the Soca
Warriors have done, at least
for a while, and there are few
greater gifts that can be
bestowed on a people.
In 2006, the Caribbean
Single Market and Economy
should hit its stride. The
region has now become a big-
ger pie much bigger and
more Caribbean people can
have a piece. That sounds like
a good thing. Caribbean citi-
zens, or at least some of them,
can travel to nations of the
region to seek work without
much of a fuss. It's about shar-
ing knowledge, skills and rev-
enue. It's also showing a unit-
ed front to the world, a con-
cept which has remained too
foreign for far too long in the
Speaking of togetherness,
another good thing to look
forward to is the preparation
for the Caribbean's hosting of
one-day cricket's bi,_,L.,I show.
Although Cricket World Cup
will be staged in 2007, the
bulk of the work is to be done
this year. There is no more
time for squabbling and ego
clashes. The only way for the
event to be successful is for
the entire region to work
together. Or everyone will
lose. Once again the eyes of
the world will be on the
Caribbean and, because "wi
easy fi lihiiL the region
cannot afford to fail. So there
is ample incentive for the
region's people to drive them-
selves towards the common
goal of making CWC 2007 a
success. Embrace that.

As for the Caribbean
diaspora in places like North
America and Europe, I sup-
pose it would be easy to just
give up on a region that seems
compelled to shoot itself in
the foot by, for example, fos-
tering an image of crime and
violence. But you know much
better than that. For a region
so small, the Caribbean has

I E W P 0 I I

New Year


I don't care what anybody else
wants to say, 2005 really flew
off faster than you could say
new millennium.
Hey, remember all the
hubbub about the new millen-
nium and how people were
running up and down buying
new computers and expecting
the end of the world? All
that's now a distant memory
as time marches on.
Did I say march, make
that more like a gallop, as it
moves faster and faster every
year. No wonder some people
don't even bother to take
down their Christmas lights,
but instead leave them up as a
permanent fixture on their
"Cho, me can't bother tek
down the lights yah man, for is
too much trouble fi put dem
back up in a few months time.'
That, I've heard.
So now the end of yet
another year has come and
gone, and with boring regular-
ity people are making their
New Year's resolutions in
order to be better persons for
at least five days in the new
year before they resort to
their old bad ways. It won't
happen. Just live with your-
selves and accept who you
are. Or better yet, make reso-
lutions every waking morning
as opposed to every year.
What I'll do though, is
reflect a bit on the past year
and even before, and about
things and times in general.
First of all let's take this col-
umn, my monthly rant, my
scribbling, my dementia, my
catharsis. People come up to
me from all walks of life and
tell me all sorts of things.
From intellectual professors,
to professed intellectuals, to
the man in the street, all hail
me up. Many ask me why I
always touch on relationships
and affairs of the heart. To tell
the truth, it was no plan, but
the grist that feeds my mills
somehow always seems to
take that slant. It pleases some

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people, it irks others, while it
makes many very afraid.
Men and women are
always bombarding me with
what's wrong with their rela-
tionships and keep telling me,
"You make sure and write
'bout what a tell yu, people
must know what a gwaan
behind closed d1..-, ,
The e-mails that I get are
oftentimes incredible as peo-
ple relate their life's experi-
ences. Truth is indeed stranger
than fiction. In another life I
could easily be a confessional
priest or write an advice col-
umn like Dear Pastor.
I must say that it gives me
some degree of gratification
when complete strangers will
approach me and say, "Boss, is
true wha yu say, is same way
my woman gwaan, dat's why
me just show her de page and
mek har see har bad 1 ,

I daresay that many men
are appreciative, but moreso
women, as I seem to expose
the frailty, perfidy, weakness
and general bad ways of the
male sex.
Our streets are living the-
ater, and just a few moments
spent listening to a group of
women prattling about their
relationships or hearing men
gloat and lie about their
prowess is better than any
Broadway play. But don't
believe that I don't get cussed
too. Sometimes I get e-mails
from people that are as long
as government's five-year
plan, berating me about my
opinion. The irony is, I'll get
an equally lengthy and viru-

gender bias.
of all this I've
been invited
to appear on
TONY numerous
ROBINSON radio pro-
grams, as if
I'm some sort
of expert on relationships.
You know that I'm not, but I
keep my ears to the ground,
listen keenly and love women
can't dun. That's why they
relate to me I suppose.
Still r l liiin,' at times we
do and say things without
really knowing what effect
they have on different people.
I have written so much about
men and their bad ways, how
they treat women badly and
how women suffer at their
hands. For this I get heaps of
praises from the women, but
when the tables are turned it's
a different story, every single
time. It's like women must not
be touched, they are above
reproach and nothing must be
said about them. All men
cheat, that's a given. All men
sneak around and philander,
that's okay to write about. But
dare I iIn--,lI that women do
the same thing? Dare I men-
tion that women have affairs?
Of course not. I always ask
the question, if men are so
bad, who are they bad with?
Well, I guess it's the price
I pay. And yet, no one curses
and berates women like other



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SI E W P 0 I N T

Caribbeans united in bumpy world trade ride

World trade ought not
to be only a matter
of exchanging
desired goods for profit.
It should also emphasize
the practice of accommodat-
ing one another.
Self-protecting measures
obstinately pursued are often
viewed as objectionable to the
other side.
The Caribbean community
is experiencing a bumpy ride in
its topmost level of negotia-
tions and is speaking with one
voice most commendably so
- as commodities from which
the countries get their liveli-
hoods are at stake. Bananas
and sugar, to name two.
Agricultural trade is vital
to developing countries. All
along the way, at conferences
and negotiations, Caribbeans
have held to this fact because
they know that challenges to
their markets could be very
serious. For instance, the
future trading regime for
bananas is naturally a cause
for much anxiety to the peo-
ple of Dominica and other

Caribbean states. Banana pro-
duction makes employment
possible for over 85 percent of
the rural population and is the
primary source of employ-
ment for women.
Speaking during the Sixth
World Trade Organization
Ministerial Conference in
Hong Kong recently,
Caribbean foreign ministers
made cases of the impact on
their respective countries and
called for some attention to be
paid to the impact the new
prices will have.
When 53 Commonwealth
leaders, presidents and prime
ministers, met in November in
Malta last year, there was a
concerted effort on their part
to influence the outcome of
another nLli iI- due to take
place: the ministerial at Hong
Kong. On the particular
question of sugar, Guyana's
President Bharrat Jagdeo,
strongly supported by other
heads of the Commonwealth
governments, urged the
European Union to provide
transitional arrangements in
which there is symmetry
between compensation pro-
vided to Commonwealth

sugar producers on the one
hand and E.U. producers on
the other.

The Commonwealth
heads of government also
strongly advocated that the
E.U. take into account the
vulnerable small states less
capable of adjustment envis-
aged reform-timetable.
Helen Clarke, prime min-
ister of New Zealand, identi-
fied the need for E.U. to offer
more compensation to the
states adversely affected by its
sugar reform lest the conflict
over sugar reforms scuttle the
negotiations to take place in
Hong Kong. Indeed, some
saw progress as unlikely at the
Hong Kong summit meeting.
Worse still, previous
trade-liberalization talks at
Cancun, Mexico, in 2003 and
at Seattle, Washington in 1999,
had collapsed in disarray.
It was reasonable after
those hu mp, on the world-
trade road to hold some cau-
tion that another failure could
seriously undermine a global
free-trade agreement by the
end of 2006 already two

years later than had originally
been planned. Much of the
blame for lack of progress has
been put on the E.U., which
had declined to further reduce
trade barriers protecting its
farming market: a key
demand of poorer nations.
Dame Billie Miller, senior
minister and minister of for-
eign affairs and trade of
Barbados, at Hong Kong
underscored that while
Barbados was committed to
the process of trade liberaliza-
tion, serious attention needed
to be paid to the specific
impact on developing coun-
tries. Barbados was small and
vulnerable, but committed
fully to trade liberalization,
which nevertheless had to be
at a pace which is manageable
and which would not be
"detrimental to our economy
and development goals."
Caribbean community
heads restated their case
against the decisions of the
E.U. In the case of sugar, the
drastic 36 percent price reduc-
tion over four years starting
this year. This, is seen within
the Caribbean community as a
radical unilateral and unprinci-

pled change to the African,
Caribbean and Pacific/
European Union sugar proto-
col even as the E.U., with
respect to the achievement of
the Millennium Development
Goals, is seen as wanting when
it comes to reflecting the con-
cerns of small-states within the
process of World Trade
Organization negotiations.

At stake is global eco-
nomic growth and develop-
ment. Couldn't the just-ended
trade round deliver more to
developing countries than
they have received from trade
rounds in the past? Hasn't the
principle of partnership been
damaged? How can we move
the process forward?
The question of develop-
ment was at the core when the
round of negotiations started
at Doha, the capital of Qatar.
At least Caribbeans are uni-
fied amidst the uncertainties
which abound.

Lloyd Rohlehr is a freelance
writer for Caribbean Today.

No more wishing and hoping


constantly reminded the world
of its wealth in academics,
sports, culture, everything.
So maybe 2006 is a good
time for Caribbean people in

"farrin" to offer a bit more
than criticism for the region.
Help pay a needy Caribbean
child's school fee, though his
poor mother and father still
haven't figured out child rear-
ing expenses even after the

fifth or sixth offspring.
Or contact the local chari-
ties in the region and find out
how you can help feed the
hungry without depriving
yourself of the regular mani-
cure or the sixth beer at the

Or before you throw out
those used pairs of shoes
which you wore maybe once
or twice and then decided you
no longer liked, think about
sending them home. A bare-
foot child, or his mother, may
need them even if you don't.

One more thing: Don't
make a wish list. Please. Just
do it.

- Gordon Williams is Caribbean
Today's managing editor.

New Year reflections

women. That's why so many
women have told me that they
prefer to work in a mostly
male environment.
What's also very interest-
ing is that these same women
will secretly agree with what I
say when we interact on a one
to one basis, but, "It's just that
I don't like to see it in print, it
makes us look so bad," they

Women are complicated,
but I guess it's the same way
we feel if an outsider talks
about our country. It's okay if
we curse it, but don't let any-
one from another country
dare speak ill about us. Even
the Americans have a saying,
"America, love it or leave
I mentioned earlier the
wide cross section of persons
that I relate to, but I was real-
ly surprised and flattered
when this British lady from
the Department of
Language, Linguistics and
Philosophy, University of the
West Indies, contacted me
about my writing. She was
doing her doctoral thesis on
Jamaican creole or patois,
and was using my column as
the basis for her research.
Placing me on the other side
of the table, she spent many
hours interviewing me about
my style of writing and why
and how I wrote the things
that I wrote. What could I
say? As far as I was con-
cerned I just wrote what I
felt. But she delved deeper
and was analytical and scien-

tific in her approach. I must
admit that I felt a bit vulnera-
ble and strange being scruti-
nized and picked apart like
Reflecting on another
high point was when people
from all walks of life told me
that they cut out and keep
every one of my columns.
Now that's frightening.
But our people are truly
gifted and talented in almost
everything that we touch. We
can achieve so much when we
put our minds to it. So much
so that everybody wants to
copy us.
Well, so much for my
reflections, I have no resolu-
tions except to perhaps be
more tolerant of fools. I have
much thanks though, for
allowing me to relate and
interact to you in this way, and
to my parents for placing a
book in my hands before I
could even walk or talk. Have
a wonderful and safe 2006.

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January 2006



I n T

CarIbt Caribbean well on stream for Cricket World Cup 2007

6w Ken Gordon, West Indies Cricket Board president

The Caribbean is set to host
Cricket World Cup 2007, the
one-day version of the game's
biggest showpiece event, the
first time the region has been
given such a job. West Indies
Cricket Board President Ken
Gordon talked about CWC
2007 and other matters involv-
ing West Indies cricket in an
interview with Gordon
Williams, Caribbean Today's
managing editor, conducted
on Nov. 12, 2005 in New
Kingston, Jamaica. The follow-
ing is that interview, edited for
clarity and space.

2005) you replaced Rawle
Brancker as chairman of
Cricket World Cup 2007.
There was a lot of publicity
about a falling out between
him and Christopher Dehring,
CWC's chief executive officer.
What were your personal
impressions about how CWC
2007's board was being run
when you stepped in, and
what is your impression now
that you have had a closer
look at the situation?

problem obviously was one
which surfaced between Mr.
Brancker, as chairman, and
the CEO. There was a history
to it, in that there were some
problems initially and this led
to an apology from Mr.
Brancker to the CEO, and
subsequently the difficulties
broke out again. And when
this manifested itself in corre-
spondence, which tended to
undermine the CEO's posi-
tion, there was an issue and
the board looked at it and the
board was in the process of
resolving a formula for it
when Mr. Brancker decided
that he would resign.
At that point, clearly one
had to move very quickly to try
and ensure that there was no
fallout, or you minimize the fall-
out. And it was felt that, given
the fact that so much of what
the World Cup Committee is
doing, and has to do, as it runs
down to the event, so much of
this is tied in with representa-
tion of the ICC. Given the fact
that we didn't have a lot of time
for anymore mistakes, it was felt
that the same person who was
the president of the (WICB)
would be best suited to straddle
both camps.

G.W.: Meaning you?

K.G.: Meaning myself. And it
was in those circumstances
that I accepted the position.

G.W.: What were your impres-
sions as to how everything was

being run at that point?

K.G.: Well, the structures were
all in place, but as long as you
have dilkl rL1L, at the top
you'll always have a potential
difficulty. I was not around at
the time so I can't speak from
first-hand knowledge. But what
I met was that things were rea-
sonably well advanced. I can't
say that I met any situation
which was at the point of
falling away or any such thing.
Nothing like that.
But there were clearly
problems in the environment.

G.W.: Before you took over as
chairman of the (CWC)
board, (in) the past adminis-
tration there were differences.
How would you describe your
relationship now that you are
directly involved with the
CEO, who was also involved
in the past administration in
that same position?

K.G.: Oh I enjoy an excellent
relationship with Mr. Dehring.
I think he is a first class execu-
tive. I could not ask for more
support than is forthcoming
from him and his team; and he
has a first class professional

G.W.: Speaking of the board,
there were four new members
added to the board. The total
is now 18. These new addi-
tions came into effect essen-
tially when you became the
chairman. It is more represen-
tational, in terms of the region
itself...Was that your stroke,
your personal idea of what it
should be about and how is
that working out?

K.G.: I'm not sure it matters
whose particular idea it was.
We're a team. Somebody
makes a comment, another
takes it forward and out of it
you gel that direction. And
that's how a team is supposed
to function.
But I think what we all
agreed on was that you need-
ed to have every one of the
territories, in which any event
associated with the World Cup
is taking place, and therefore
had to be accountable. We
wanted everyone of those ter-
ritories to be represented on
the board. And that's what we
set out to do. And that's done.
So that there's no area,
where there will be World
Cup activity, that does not
now have representation on
the board. So they can all be
sure that they are comfort-

G.W.: But, looking at it now,
was that an oversight...before?

K.G.: What we must remem-
ber is that the World Cup is
one of the bi-,-lI undertak-
ings that anybody can attempt.
And therefore when you start,
you start with this huge task
ahead of you. And you have
to prioritize things as you
go down. So many of the
improvements evolve. I would-
n't regard it as somebody's
oversight or mistake or fault.
People had to address the crit-
ical things that were necessary.
As you went on and you
began to refine and you began
to discover that there were
some areas which really didn't
have a voice, you move to cor-
rect it.
So I would regard it that
we have evolved in a very nat-
ural progression into being
sure that everyone is being

G.W.: One of the reasons you
are here in Jamaica was for
the ground-breaking ceremo-
ny yesterday (Nov. 11, 2005) in
Trelawny. How would you rate
the pace of the development
of the whole project (of CWC
2007 as we sit here Nov. 12,
2005)? On a scale of one to
10, could you say where we
are in terms of fully realizing
the target of being ready for
the World Cup in 2007? Ten
being the best case scenario.

K.G.: Rather than my rating,
which obviously would be
thought of as biased, let's look
at how the ICC (International
Cricket Council), who are the
monitoring people, it's their
event after all. Let's talk about
how they see it. They came
down to do an evaluation and
they've found it generally sat-
isfactory. They've identified
three or four weak spots, but
basically they've identified
that the thing is well on
stream and they were, not
pleasantly surprised, but they
were pleased with what they

G.W.: The Cricket World Cup
is an event for the entire
world, but for the Caribbean it
is very important. In recent
times, to be fair and honest,
the region has experienced a
lot of crime and violence,
which can be a deterrent
because tourism, after all, is
very important to the people
in the region. How concerned
are you about this image and
the effect it might have lead-
ing up to CWC 2007?

K.G.: We must all be con-
cerned about crime in the
region, the effect that it is hav-
ing. But I think there is a

renewed effort to get on top
of that and address it, and I'm
seeing that effort in a number
of fronts. We have to ensure
that we get our act together,
meaning the Caribbean. We
are speaking as a Caribbean
people now. We have to
ensure that we are on the top
of this situation because we
can't afford to have any seri-
ous incidents during that peri-
od (CWC 2007)...
We have strong security
steps which are being planned
and which will be in place. We
have good reason to believe
that we will remain on top of it.
But even before that
event comes up, we have to
send a message that the situa-
tion is well under control. And
we must do that by the way we
deal with the problems in our
respective countries.

G.W.: When the organizers of
CWC 2007 in the region, your-
self and your organizing
board, when you go to the
CARICOM level, the political
level, how serious is your mes-
sage to them as to the impor-
tance and the urgency of mak-
ing sure that there are no hic-
cups on this level?

K.G.: Oh, we do that constant-
ly, not only myself but the
CEO (Dehring). But at the
structural level, you've got
people dealing with immigra-
tion, with hoteliers and acco-
modation and ministers of
tourism...This is constantly
going on.
We have Derek Jones,
who is our legal man, working
with the various governments
to amend certain items of legis-
lation which are necessary for
movement between (territo-
ries). There's ongoing commu-
nication with the various levels
of government. So the co-oper-
ation has been excellent.

G.W.: CARICOM leaders
have been involved in cricket,
more recently in attempting
to resolve disputes between
players and the (West Indies
Cricket) Board...When you sit
down with them to talk about
issues, for example crime and
violence, and their responsibil-
ity to deal with that with the
World Cup coming up, what is
the impression that you get
from them? Is it that they are
more than willing to stop it

K.G.: My impression is that
every CARICOM leader to
whom I've spoken is deeply
concerned. And if you talk
about one country they will
broaden it, they say 'it's all of
us, we all have this problem


and we all have to address it'.
It's no lack of concern. It is a
difficult problem to identify
and bring under control...
So the short answer is I'm
satisfied that all the countries
of the Caribbean are now seri-
ous about it. I think some
have dragged their feet a little
in addressing it, but I get a
sense of a new urgency in
terms of getting on top of it.
And we must all give that
every support that we can.

G.W.: Does a body like the
ICC, looking on, seeing what is
happening, and they are here
from time to time monitoring
the situation, do they give you
feedback on this and also, is
there a contingency plan
regarding this issue of crime
and violence? Is there a sce-
nario, any kind of scenario,
where you will say 'maybe it is
time to bring in our outside
help to help us deal with this
issue before Cricket World

K.G.: A couple of things. We
are a sovereign country and
ICC or no one can come into
countries and say it's time for
us to do anything. They are
here at the pleasure of our
governments. Let's not forget
that. But let's also remember
that crime is not unique to the
Caribbean. Whereever you've
had games all over the place
you've had all sorts of inci-
dents...So while it is a heavy
burden on all of us, let's not
make it into something it isn't.
It is not a threat to whether
the games go on or not at this
stage. It is a concern. It is a
concern we have to bring
under control because we can-
not afford, when we are on
the world stage, to have
wrong messages sent. If this
would happen, then this
would have a severe negative
impact on our tourism.
So it's not a matter of
whether there is a risk of can-
celling the games or not,


January 2006


- usw^

F nT U R 6

Onward, upward for Caribbeans in 2005

The year 2005 saw
Caribbean states, as a
grouping, facing challenges in
forging ahead with their own
regional relations as well as
confronting those coming
from the European Union and
the United States.
The region's global agen-
da became more extensive,
complex and difficult to man-
age, especially for small states
with scant resources both
human and financial.
Diplomacy now transcends
the management of external
relations and has itself diversi-
fied into such key fields as
finance, trade and sustainable
The Caribbean must nego-
tiate as a bloc. Difficulties
arise, but the journey has a
guiding principle, onward and
upward. If this month the
region implements the
Caribbean Single Market and
Economy (CSME) on sched-
ule it would, it is said, be the
most advanced integration
arrangement in the Americas.
It would come 16 years after
the Caribbean community
envisioned the free movement
of goods, services, capital and
workers across the region.
Yet the real challenge,
some observers think, might
lie with public opinion. With
all the necessary activities that
have been taking place, have
the grassroots people been
targeted in a more down-to-
earth way?
To the Caribbean commu-
nity's credit the Caribbean
Court of Justice (CCJ) is

already functioning. With its
seat in Port of Spain, Trinidad,
the court has seven justices,
headed by Michael de la
Bastide, its president. It


undertakes an original as well
as an appellate jurisdiction.
It will not replace national
courts. It will preoccupy
itself with hearing disputes
from individuals and compa-
nies relating to the operations
of the CSME.

However, it is in the
nature of things that the
Caribbean shall go on collid-
ing with inter-island rivalries,
longstanding disputes over
borders, migration and equity,
as the region confronts the
fostering of a greater sense of
regional identity.
When Guyana's President
Bharrat Jagdeo told the per-
manent council for the
Organization of American
States (OAS) that preferential
trade has its dangers and to
apply it to sugar exported by
the African, Caribbean and

Pacific (ACP) countries could
harm the Caribbean's sugar
trade significantly, affecting
thousands of families, this,
pointedly, came at a time
when in St. Kitts 300 years of
sugar processing was ending.
Said the World Bank at this
juncture: the Caribbean is at
"a development crossroad"
and it must take significant
and concrete steps to improve
productivity and competitive-
ness so as to accelerate or
even maintain past growth.
Patrick Manning, the
prime minister of Trinidad
and Tobago, in the Red
House took close to three
hours to present his 2004-2005
national budget, the package
being TT$27.9 billion. The
People's National Movement,
his party, wants to diversify
the economy and reduce the
dependence on the energy
sector. In the meantime, as the
largest supplier of liquefied
natural gas to the United
States, the Caribbean country
signed a preliminary agree-
ment for the construction of
a TT$550 million fertilizer
Guyana, along with
Honduras, Nicaragua and
Bolivia, were among 18 poor
countries worldwide whose
multilateral debt was forgiven
as part of a deal announced
by the Group of Eight
wealthy nations.
Jamaica's poverty rate
declined by over 60 percent.
Government expenditure,
which increased to more than
$42 billion since 1992, has
been credited for this reduc-
On the subject of poverty,

a Caribbean Development
Bank report in May indicated
that levels vary between 17
percent and 39 percent among
its member-countries and


poverty-reduction needs to be
Trinidad and Tobago
became the first CARICOM
member-state to put into prac-
tical effect the Free Trade
Agreement between CARI-
COM and Costa Rica, which
does more trade within the
CARICOM than it does with
South America.
Jamaica and Venezuela,
in August, agreed on the
broad outlines of an initial
$200 million expansion of the
Petroleum Oil Refinery in
Kingston. Thus, an analysis
said, Jamaica became the first
Caribbean nation to sign on
to what is a new plan for the
South American nation to
supply oil to countries
throughout the region under
below-market terms.
Barbados welcomed back
the Hilton Hotel with a new
facility that it hopes will

attract big business, while St.
Kitts is to have a multi-mil-
lion-dollar tourist resort cov-
ering 1,600 acres.
The Oganization of
Eastern Caribbean States
(OECS) has issued a new Air
Worthiness Certificate to
LIAT, the Leeward Islands
Air Transport, which is a
regional airline. It was the
first OECS operator to
receive this recognition.

Bermuda's Alliance for
Tourism called for zero toler-
ance to crime against visitors if
the already-ailing hospitality
industry is to recover.
Meanwhile, all over the
Caribbean the incidence of
crime, either apart from or
including the illicit drug trade
as well as money laundering,
has caused governments to
toughen up crime fighting.
Still, murders continue to rise.
It was reported in September
that Jamaica is one of the
deadliest places for law
Kidnappings were repeat-
edly linked to Trinidad and in
April motorists in the central
part of the island drove
through their area with their
lights blinking and their horns
popping during a protest
The U.S. State Department
again criticized Guyana for its
police abuses and prison condi-
tions in the 2004 country
reports on human-rights prac-
tices, which it released early in
A joint operation


Fewer Jamaican women employed despite higher education ~ study

KINGSTON, Jamaica -A new
study in Jamaica has found
that although women were
accessing higher education
than their male counterparts,
there were fewer women in
the labor force.
The study says as a result,
women as a group are under-
The study, entitled "The
Status of Men and Women in
Jamaica", was conducted by
the Bureau of Women's Affairs
and its findings were disclosed
at the final of a series of gen-
der workshops hosted by the
bureau recently.
Consultant in Gender
Studies Dr. Imani Tafari Ama,
said that the National Gender
Policy would help to place
gender and gender equality in
the mainstream of major sec-
tors of society.

The study showed that

while females were outper-
forming their male counter-
parts and were better at attend-
ing educational institutions,
there was a tendency for them
to choose the ll subjects.
"Even though women and
girls are outperforming their
male counterparts in the edu-
cational system, they tend to
do so in the traditional so-
called feminized lines as they
mainly dominate in the
humanities and arts," said Dr
Ama. "This needs to be looked
at critically in terms of re-eval-
uating the education system."
She said that the study
also highlighted that boys
tended to drop out of school
at a higher rate than girls, and
the literacy level among men
and boys was much lower
than it was for women.
Studies show that men in
the 75 and over age group
were mostly functionally
illiterate in relation to their

female counterparts.
Dr. Ama said that women
do not command lucrative
positions in the labor market.
In 2004, males continued to
represent the majority of the
employed labor force at 57.9
percent. When the differential
between women and men in
the labor force is examined, it
shows that the male unem-
ployment rate was 7.9 percent
whilst the female unemploy-
ment rate in 2004 was 16.4
"When we look at occu-
pational segregation, there is a
differential of 35.8 percent
between men and women
meaning that there are many
more unemployed women
than men and also the sectors
and levels at which they are
employed is at a lower level
than their male counterparts,"
Dr. Ama said.
The research also tN1- ,-LI
that women tend to be

employed in the low wage
earning sectors.
In terms of decision-mak-
ing, women tend not to be as
represented as their male
counterparts whether it is in
the corporate sector or in gov-
ernment. Dr. Ama IuIeeLILd
that more women needed to
counteract the gender stereo-
types of power when it comes
to what positions they actually
go for in the education
system, noting that women
tend to lack confidence when
accessing power at the highest
level of labor.
She noted that the occu-
pations in which women domi-
nated tend to be un-unionized
and this resulted in less repre-
sentation for them to get the
best benefits.

Dr. Ama said that "the
issue of sexual harassment has
still not gone on our legisla-

tive instruments," adding
that as a result, women were
exposed to sexual harassment
at the workplace without hav-
ing legal recourse for that
kind of offense.
In terms of discrimination
at the workplace, she said
there was also no legislative
instrument in place and as
such, people with HIV or
those of a cultural minority are
not protected.
Dr. Ama said that there
were no flexible hours for
both men and women to work.
She said one issue that is being
debated is whether flexi-time
or paternity leave should be
introduced. Another area that
the bureau is contemplating is
whether persons, who adopt
children, should also be
awarded maternity and
paternity leave.


January 2006


F nT U R 6

2005 Another challenging year for the Caribbean


In 2005, both man-made
and natural disasters took
their toll on the Caribbean.
But the earthquakes, hurri-
canes and tropical storms
seemed mild as compared to
the murders and unfavorable
global trade rulings that
affected the region over the
past 12 months.
For many Caribbean
states, crime continued
unabated. Both Trinidad
and Tobago and Jamaica
surpassed the 2004 murder
figures of 262 and 1,451,
respectively. Other territories
like St. Lucia, St. Kitts and
Nevis and Guyana also strug-
gled to cope with rising mur-
Bomb blasts created the
new crime wave in Trinidad
and Tobago, where kidnap-
pings for ransom also
increased in 2005 and, despite
efforts by the government and
Opposition to agree on new
legislative measures to deal
with the situation, by year-end
more than 375 murders had
been committed and 70 peo-
ple abducted for ransom.
There were no arrests
with regards to the bomb
attacks in and around the cap-
ital, Port of Spain.
Jamaica's crime situation
worsened in 2005. Last year's
murder toll was surpassed
quite easily, even though the
authorities announced new
measures to deal with the situ-
The trial of Reneto
Adams, the controversial sen-
ior superintendent of the
Jamaica Constabulary Force
(JCF), was a major talking
point in Jamaica. Charged
with five other police officers
for the 2003 killing of four
persons in the small district of
Kraal, the southern parish of
Clarendon, all six men walked
free after the court, presided
over by the Chief Justice
Lensley Wolfe, either upheld
no case submissions or
acquitted after the jury
found the accused not guilty.
Immediately upon his release,
Adams warned criminals to
leave Jamaica.
The St. Lucia law enforce-
ment authorities paid money
to persons who turned in their
weapons, while in St. Kitts
and Nevis Prime Minister
Denzil Douglas appealed for
national unity in the face of a
crime situation he described
as foreign to the federation.
In Guyana, the crime situ-
ation was highlighted by the
murder of an American
healthcare consultant. Hubert
Daniel Thompson, 55, who
was found dead in his hotel
room. U.S. Federal Bureau of
Investigation (FBI) agents

were called in to assist local

The illegal drugs trade
affected every Caribbean
states, and, in some cases,
police officers and foreigners
were hauled before the courts
on drug related charges.
Noted Caribbean criminolo-
gist Professor Ramesh
Deosaran by year-end was
calling for a Caribbean com-
munity (CARICOM) summit
on crime to be held in 2006.
Crime apart, politics,
trade, and in particular, the

various rulings by the World
Trade Organization (WTO) as
they related to the region's
banana and sugar industries,
the launch of the Caribbean
Court of Justice (CCJ), all
affected life in the region. By
the time Caribbean delegates
had joined their counterparts
in Hong Kong for the Sixth
WTO Ministerial meeting in
December, the region had suf-
fered blows to its two main
trading commodities sugar
and bananas.
The Caribbean countries
had already signalled a loss of
confidence in the WTO
process, with the Barbados-
based Caribbean Regional
Negotiating Machinery
(CRNM), which coordinates
the region's position at inter-
national trade talks noting,
"there is a feeling that issues
germane to these countries
have been dIdliid .
It was a sentiment echoed
by all Caribbean states.
Dominica's Foreign Trade
Minister Charles Savarin said,
"the region is in the throes of
confronting what is an uncer-
tain future, courtesy of the

The Caribbean sugar and
banana countries have been
peeved at the position of
Europe regarding the sale of
bananas and sugar on the
European market, saying they
were being held to ransom by
the multilateral trading system
and that recent WTO ruling
have forced the E.U. to make
decisions that could influence
the lives of the Caribbean
In late November, the

European Union announced a
new import tariff of Euro 176
($206) per tonne, in respect of
its tariff-only regime, to apply
from Jan. 1, 2006 to bananas
imported mainly from Latin
American or MFN suppliers.
The new import regime will
also include a duty-free annu-
al import quota of 775,000
tonnes for African Caribbean
and Pacific (ACP) bananas,
also to apply from Jan. 1,
George Bullen, the
Organization of Eastern
Caribbean States (OECS)
Ambassador to Brussels and
chairman of the ACP group-
ing, labeled the E.U. deal
as "draconian," while the
Windward Islands Banana
Development Company
(WIBDECO) said it was dis-
appointed with the new pro-
The Caribbean banana
producing countries have
already warned that they
would not be relegated to
a "position of third party
bystanders" as Europe seeks
to find a solution to its long-
standing battle to introduce
a single import tariff for
As regards sugar, the
Caribbean said it has been
"woefully betrayed" by
Europe over the proposals to
reform the sugar protocol,
with Guyana's President
Bharrat Jagdeo, who has lead
responsibility for agriculture
within CARICOM saying,
"the whole issue is unfair."
The African Caribbean
and Pacific (ACP) states said
they had been "subsidizing
the European consumers in
exchange for long-term
access", to the European
market for their product.
"But it seems as though
Europe has forgotten that,
and they think we are asking
for charity today. But the
world today makes decisions
unilaterally," Jagdeo said.
Caribbean countries say
they will lose $100 million
annually as a result of the
E.U.'s decision to go ahead
with a 36 percent cut in price
for sugar exported to Europe
by ACP states. Ian McDonald,
the chief executive officer of
the Sugar Association of the
Caribbean, described the
proposal as an i rag,"g
saying it is a "betrayal of the
Cotonou Partnership, which
advances the notion of safe-
guarding the benefits of the
Sugar Protocol."
The launch of the
Caribbean Court of Justice
(CCJ) in April signaled the
region's quest to establish its
own single market and econo-
my (CSME) by the start of
2006 after many years of plan-
ning. The CCJ, which is head-

quartered in Trinidad and
Tobago, functions as a trade
court to deal with issues aris-
ing out of the CSME, and as
an appellate jurisdiction to
hear civil and criminal mat-
ters. It is expected to replace
the London-based Privy
Council, as the region's final
court of appeal.
Regarding the CSME,
regional countries agreed to
establish a $10 million
Regional Development Fund
(RDF) to assist the smaller
Caribbean states participate in
the initiative. In December,
the region's finance ministers,
meeting in Jamaica, said the
RDF would be used to pro-
vide financial and technical
assistance to countries and
industries that stand to lose
most on efforts to free up the
movement of
goods, skills and money across
the region as part of the
The leaders of the sub-
regional Organization of
Eastern Caribbean States
(OECS) had hinted at the
possibility of not participating
fully in the CSME that
Caribbean leaders say is an
adequate response to a chang-
ing global environment. The
$10 million dollar fund "is
not the be all and end all
of it because there is a com-
mittee led by the Caribbean
Development Bank (CDB) to
look at the formula for which
member states will make their
contribution through the fund
and also among other things
to establish criteria as to how
to assess the fund," a CARI-
COM official noted.
The finance ministers
also agreed that a technical
team would study the
Recommendations, including
how funding would be arranged
and how member states would
access the fund, with a report
being submitted to CARICOM
Council for Finance and
Planning on
Jan. 24 in Jamaica.

The unusually active 2005
hurricane season brought
more hardship to Grenada,
recovering from the devasta-
tion caused by Hurricane Ivan
the previous year. By year-
end, the Keith Mitchell
administration was facing the
prospect of labor unrest, as
the main trade unions were up
in arms at the government's
decision to impose a five per-
cent levy on the salaries of
workers that would be used as
a contribution to the rehabili-
tation of the island. The Trade
Union Congress (TUC)
passed a resolution urging the
mobilization of "all workers
and other sections of society
and to act with other organi-

zations which oppose the levy
to take all lawful and constitu-
tional steps to peacefully
protest by way of mass action
were the government to pro-
ceed to implement the levy
deductions or refuses to with-


draw it."
But the Mitchell adminis-
tration said the levy was nec-
essary, and Finance Minister
Anthony Boatswain said the
government would not back
down to an ultimatum given
by the TUC.
During the busy six-
month hurricane period, the
Caribbean suffered millions of
dollars in damage as a number
of tropical storms and even
category five hurricanes made
their way through the island
chain. The hurricanes also left
thousands dead, demolished
infrastructure and forced the
displacement of people, main-
ly in the U.S., even though
some Caribbean states like
Jamaica, still recovering from
the passage of Hurricane Ivan,
were not spared.
Guyana started 2005 basi-
cally under water, as heavy
torrential rains, the most the
country has seen in a century,
resulted in widespread flood-
ing, especially along the East
Coast Demerara and parts of
the capital. The authorities
were forced to declare a num-
ber of places as disaster areas
and appealed to the regional
and international communities
for assistance.
And as the year came to
an end, Guyana was again
battling with severe weather
conditions, even as officials
noted that the East Demerara
Water Conservancy (EDWC),
which overtopped its dam and
contributed to the devastating
floods in January was holding
up to the December rains.

Politically, the region
ensured that democratic rule
prevailed, even though by
year-end, there had not been
elections in Haiti and the
prognosis for that taking place
in early January seemed as
uncertain as the period before


January 2006





The new year is here. So,
to start 2006 off right,
Caribbean Today will
introduce readers to some

January 2006


Chicken creole: tasty and healthy start to the new year

"Down Home Healthy
Cookin'" recipes and healthy
cooking tips which will help
you sample a tasty meal that is
good for you.
The main course is the 20-
minute chicken creole.

* 4 medium chicken breast
halves (1 ? lbs. total),
skinned, boned and cut into
one inch strips*
* 1 14-oz. can tomatoes cut up**

* 1 cup low-sodium chili sauce
* 11/2 cups chopped green
pepper (1 large)
* 1/2 cup chopped celery
* 1/4 cup chopped onion
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
or 1 tsp. dried basil, crushed
* 1 tbsp. chopped fresh pars-
ley or 1 tsp. dried parsley
* 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
* 1/4 tsp. salt
* Nonstick spray coating

Spray deep skillet with
nonstick spray coating.
Preheat pan over high heat.
Cook chicken in hot skillet,
stirring for three to five min-
utes or until no longer pink.
Reduce heat. Add toma-
toes and their juice, low-sodium
chili sauce, green pepper, celery,
onion, garlic, basil, parsley,
crushed red pepper and salt.
Bring to boiling; reduce
heat and simmer covered for

10 minutes. Serve over hot,
cooked rice or whole wheat
Makes four servings.

* You can substitute lib.
boneless, skinless chicken
breasts, cut into one-inch
strips if desired.
** To cut back on sodium, try
low-sodium canned tomatoes.

Garlic mashed potatoes

* 11lb. potatoes (2 large)
* 1/2 cup skim milk
* 2 large cloves garlic,
* 1/2 tsp. white pepper

Peel 0-

cut in
Cook, cov-
ered, in a
amount of Garlic mashed potatoes
water for 20-25 minutes or

...and the side dishes are delicious too

until tender. Remove from
heat. Drain. Re-cover the pot.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan
over low heat, cook garlic in
milk until garlic is soft, about
30 minutes.
Add milk-garlic mixture
and white pepper to potatoes.
Beat with an electric mixer on
low speed or mash with a
potato masher until smooth.

utes. Peel and quarter.
Meanwhile, in a four-cup
glass measure, combine milk
and garlic. Cook, uncovered,
on a 50 percent power (medi-
um) until garlic is soft, about
four minutes. Continue as
directed above.
Makes four servings.

Old-fashioned bread

Scrub potatoes, pat dry INGREDIENTS
and prick with a fork. On a 10 slices whole wheat bread
plate, cook potatoes, uncov- 1 egg
ered, on a 100 percent power 3 egg whites
(high) until tender, about 12 11/2 cups skim milk
minutes, turning potatoes over 11/4 cup sugar
once. Let stand for five min- 1/4 cup brown sugar

* 1 tsp.
* 1/2 tsp.
* 1/4 tsp.

cloves Bread pudding
* 2 tsp.

Preheat the oven to 350
degrees Farenheit. Spray an
eight inch by eight inch baking
dish with vegetable oil spray.
Lay the slices of bread in the
baking dish in two rows, over-
lapping them like shingles.
In a medium mixing bowl,
beat together the egg, egg
whites, milk, quarter cup
sugar, brown sugar and vanil-

la. Pour the egg mixture over
the bread
In a small bowl, stir
together the cinnamon, nut-
meg, cloves and two tea-
spoons of sugar. Sprinkle the
spiced sugar over the bread
pudding. Bake the pudding
for 30-35 minutes, until it has
browned on top and is firm to
the touch.
Serve warm or at room
temperature, with warm
apple-raisin sauce.
Makes nine servings.

Source for all recipes: U.S.
Department of Health and
Human Services, Public
Health Service, National
Institutes of Health.

St. Lucia declares war on obesity

CASTRIES, St. Lucia, CMC -
The government has declared
war on obesity, noting that it
is having a negative impact on
the country's productivity.
Health Minister Damian
Greaves said government
fears that it will eventually
cost the country huge sums
to treat affected persons
and cautioned that more St.
Lucians should be exercising
and watching their diet in an
effort to ward off what he says
is an epidemic affecting the
entire Caribbean.
Regional health experts
say that while attention
has, in the past few years,
been focused on fighting
HIV/AIDS, chronic diseases
have quietly crept up on
the Caribbean with obesity
making a major contribution
to illnesses such as diabetes.
In a radio broadcast
Greaves said: "It is time to
launch the battle of the bulge
with obesity being one of
the major points of focus.
We have to ensure that people
see the need to exercise and
to facilitate this government
will be seeing to remove
import duties on exercise
equipment so that it becomes
more affordable to the

In November, Prime
Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony
announced that pensioners
suffering from diabetes and
high blood pressure would no
longer have to pay for their
medication. Greaves, in wel-
coming the
ment, said
this would
go a long way
in easing the
burden of
those who
Greaves o cannot pay
Greaves and whose
very survival may be at risk.

At the same time, the
minister said St. Lucians could
help reduce the likelihood of
obesity contributing to chronic
diseases like diabetes, which
can impact negatively on the
nation's productivity.
"When you look at the
effects on the productive
capacity of the island and the
morbidity rate in relation to
the disease and ill health, the
cost is extremely prohibitive
in the context of secondary
and tertiary care.


0OUni smi/ T R nV Et

L w~~.carbba-

Caribbean explores new multi-marketing tourism possibilities


Martinique Caribbean
tourism experts exploring new
possibilities for this leading
economic sector are sug-
gesting that the market-
ing of regional, multi-
destination packages,
offers one of the better
possibilities for increas-
ing financial returns from
the industry.
Optimism over the
prospects of a new
thrust in this area led
Jasmin Garraway, sus-
tainable tourism director
at the Association of
Caribbean States
(ACS), to conclude that
once its challenges are
overcome it can "take
the tourism industry to
another level."
But officials and The C

technocrats gathered in
Martinique recently for
an ACS-convened conference
on the subject, hosted by the
French territory's Regional
Council, uI cc1LdILd that the
obstacles to success were not
only numerous, but intractable.
Former airline executive,
development consultant Ian
Bertrand, for example cited
the need for "consistent deliv-
ery of the basic airline prod-

In the end, it was pro-
posed that greater collabora-
tion among Caribbean airlines
be fostered and Marie Claude
Valide, head of international
relations of the Martinique-
based Air Caraibe offered to
attempt the convening of a
meeting of the indigenous

Caribbean airlines, including
BWIA, LIAT, Air Jamaica,
Caribbean Star and Air
Caraibe. Valide said one of
the problems with moving
people smoothly through the
region was that "we (airlines)

ers at all k \ 1, of develop-
ments in the area of multi-des-
tination tourism marketing.
"We also need to refine
our intentions into language
to inform the hotel groups,
the airlines, the ground han-

aribbean is becoming a popular destination for visiting scuba divers.

do not talk to each other."
Another difficulty, if
Martinique were to be includ-
ed, would be the problems
associated with receiving a
French visa to visit the island.
President of the Martinique
Regional Council Alfred
Marie-Jeanne, who also heads
the independence-minded
Patriot Party, was asked to
pursue the lifting of visa
requirements for intra-region-
al travellers.
St. Lucia's Consul General
to the French Antilles Cassius
Elias said there were many
things that needed to be done
to ensure projects such as
these reach the stage of imple-
mentation. He said the indus-
try had to "find a mechanism
to inform all the decision-mak-

dlers and others," the former
agriculture minister said.
Bertrand was however
insistent that multi-destination
tourism opportunities
in the Caribbean existed and
had to be exploited despite
the many challenges. His con-
sulting team presented a
menu of "demonstration
pat. kagL to prove that, in
selected areas, the idea of
bringing extra-regional trav-
ellers to more than two
regional destinations was not
as remote as could be con-
strued. The activities selected
by Bertrand and his col-
leagues included golfing,
diving and hiking.
Consultant David
Coathup, who operates out of
St. Lucia, said golfing was

"very serious business for a lot
of people in the world that can
be used to deliver additional
people to our regional destina-

He however pro-
posed, "an important part of
putting the packages together
is to work out exactly who
you are going for. It is too
wide as a subject."
He focused on the single
woman golfer, female single
parent golfers, retirees and
"golfing fmiliL '.
"To attract this niche, we
have to have certain amenities
including comfortable and
safe accommodation," he said.
"In today's world safety is a
major component of anything
we need to be successful."
He 'u,.,LiLd that the
countries that can be explored
for multi-destination packages
were Barbados, St. Kitts and
St Lucia.
Hiking was described by
Coathup as a "multi-billion
dollar industry" linked to cul-
tural heritage tourism. He said
this was an area not being
adequately exploited by the
Among the advantages of
this activity were that it was
year-round, its participants
tended to be environmentally
conscious and the hiker has a
greater propensity to interact
with communities within their
destination of choice."
St. Lucia, Martinique and
Dominica were identified as
key destinations for this activ-
ity. Coathup, however, said
there also needed to a change
of mind-set on the question of
hiking tourists.
"We must explore the

World's largest cruise ship goes to St. Vincent

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent,
CMC This eastern
Caribbean nation last month
welcomed to its
shores the
world's largest
cruise ship -
Queen Mary 2 -
with tourism
officials saying
the call this sea-
son will "make-
it-or-break-it for
St. Vincent and
the Grenadines."
Ahead of
the arrival of the
vessel, authorities
in Kingstown
embarked on a
virtual L rprii oin Queen Mary II
clean-up" with
vagrants and other socially dis-
placed persons being removed
wholesale from the streets and
taken to the Mental Health

"A lot depends on the
product that we offer, the

services that we give and the
experience the visitors will get
when they come to St. Vincent
and the Grenadines," Director

of Tourism Vida Bernard said.
The vessel went to this
country just two days after the

Christmas celebrations with
some 5,728 passengers and a
crew of 1,292.
"We have to show that we

can handle a crowd of that
magnitude and let the cruise
industry know that we are
ready to get even more
ships in St. Vincent and the
Grenadines," Minister of
Tourism, Glen Beache said.
"This will depend on how
we handle ourselves," Beache
added as he encouraged
tourism stakeholders to be
ready for the arrival of the
The tourism director
appealed to stakeholders to
be honest in their dealings
with the tourists and not to
swindle them.
"Do it for your country,"
she said. "It is important that
as Vincentians we give our
very best to the visitors when
they come."

myth that all backpackers are
undesirables," he said.

Warren Solomon, former
senior Trinidad and Tobago
tourism executive, proposed
that marine tourism was
among the fastest growing
sub-sectors in the industry
worldwide. He said more than
20,000 divers were being certi-
fied every month in the
United States and it was esti-
mated there were 1.6 million
certified divers in Europe.
Solomon said scuba divers
had "a high propensity to
travel away from home to
dive" and were likely to pay
more for "environmentally
friendly packages."
Profiling the average trav-
elling diver, the Dive Training
Magazine executive said the
sport was moving away from
being dominated by men, with
women account for between
25 percent and 30 percent of
annual certifications world-
wide, and that divers spend an

Air Jamaica to

resume flights

to St. Lucia
Tourism Minister Phillip J.
Pierre says Air Jamaica has
agreed to
flights to St
Lucia early
this year.
stopped short
of providing
any details of Pierre
the agree-
ment in a statement made
last month, industry officials
told the Caribbean Media
Corporation (CMC) that the
airline return would coincide
with the observance of St.
Lucia's 27th anniversary of
Independence on Feb. 22.
The package is expected
to include at least two non-
stop services out of New
York weekly and direct serv-
ices out of Montego Bay hub
in Jamaica. Pierre, in a state-
ment last month emphasized
the importance of the new
routes the Air Jamaica serv-
ice was expected to provide
to St. Lucia.
"This is a service that we
have always requested from
Air Jamaica, given our popu-
larity in the tri-state area
and the fact that we have a
plethora of hotel rooms com-


January 2006



- usw^

* Cruise ships boost
Bermuda's tourism figures
Bermuda's air arrivals
tumbled during the third
quarter of 2005 year by 9.5
percent over the same peri-
od last year, but overall visi-
tor totals climbed by 1.2 per-
cent, thanks to an increase in
the number of cruise ship
passengers coming ashore.
According to the
Quarterly Bulletin of
Statistics issued by govern-
ment last month, a total of
83,474 tourists arrived by air
during the year's peak sum-
mer season (July to
September). This figure was
down from 92,222 a year ago
and took the total air arrivals
for the first three-quarters of
2005 to 215,005 a marginal
0.5 percent decline from the

Dr. 6erY

ilimre, awor

same period in 2004.

* Chastanet calls 2005 a
good year for St. Lucia
Newly elected President of
the St Lucia Hotel and
Tourism Association Allen
Chastanet says despite a
very active 2005 hurricane
season, the island's tourism
sector performed reasonably
"For 2006 we are
expecting a very strong
year, the U.S. dollar contin-
ues to be weak against the
European currencies, and we
have the promise of a signifi-
cant increase in airlift," he

- Compiled from CMC and
other sources.

Winston A. Lowe, C.P.A.

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Auditions begin for new 'Ivan Martin'

in 'The Harder They Come'

search is on in the
United Kingdom to
find an actor to once
again bring to life
the character "Ivan
Martin", in a stage
adaptation of the
1970s iconic Jamaican
film the "Harder
They Come".
"Ivan" was the
lead character played
by Jamaican reggae
superstar Jimmy
Cliff, who developed
an international fol-
lowing after starring
in the 1972 film that
has become an inter-
national 'cult' classic
written by Perry
Henzell and Trevor
D. Rhone.
Auditions began
last month in London
and are a part of a
nationwide search
launched by the
Theatre Royal
Stratford East and
U.K. Arts
Productions for a
young Jamaican actor The original
between the ages of
18 and 25 years to play the
lead role of "Ivan Martin".
A release from the
Theatre Royal Stratford said
outstanding acting, singing
and dancing skills are essen-
tial, as well as an ability to
speak patois fluently. The suc-
cessful actor must be available
from Feb. 13 to May 6, 2006.
"We are searching all over

al "Harder They Come" poster.

the country for a young, raw
and talented Jamaican actor
capable of bringing 'Ivan
Martin' to life on stage. We
know he is out there and we
are determined to find him,"
said Dawn Reid, associate
director, Theatre Royal.
"The Harder They Come"
is scheduled to open at the
Theatre Royal Stratford East

in Mar. 2006. It is a gritty peri-
od piece set in Jamaica and
charts the story of the young
protagonist Ivan Martin's jour-
ney from country boy looking
for fame and fortune as a
singer in Kingston and his
eventual corruption as all his
dreams are crushed.

average of 60 percent to 80
percent more than regular
Solomon said the sport
was a highly regulated one, a
situation that minimized the
possibility of injury to divers.
"The Caribbean," he
added, "is a hotspot for

tourism possibilities

He said divers were in
constant search of "rich,
healthy coral cover," fish
diversity and clean water. He
proposed packages that cov-
ered the islands of Tobago, St.
Vincent and Dominica.
The conference proposed
fuller elaboration of these and

other packages at a major
travel convention which the
Regional Council agreed it
would host by May next year.


Air Jamaica to resume

flights to St. Lucia

ing on stream," he said. "We
believe we can sustain a non-
stop service out of New York,
and we hope to get an oppor-
tunity to prove that this com-
ing winter."
Last year, Air Jamaica
dropped the Eastern
Caribbean from its schedule,

but later returned to service
Grenada and Barbados out of
Montego Bay and New York.
St. Lucia was not included in
the return bout because the
airline said there was only one
aircraft available to service
the Eastern Caribbean route.


Caribbean explores new multi-marketing

Looking for a church home?

January 2006

MOR- ........ .....
0 U R i s in / T R n V IE t

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n RT S/ enT 6R Tni n m enT

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BET joins JTB to boost Air J's 'Jazz and Blues Fest' Jan. 26-28

Black Entertainment
Television in the
United States has
joined forces with the Jamaica
Tourist Board to promote the
Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues
Festival to be held Jan. 26-28
in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
Cybelle Brown, vice presi-
dent of sales and marketing
with BET Digital Networks,
said it is no surprise that her
network is involved in this
year's festival since they have
produced the event for Air

Jamaica for
several years.
In addition
to a preview
show, which
was sched-
uled to air on
the BET Jazz
Channel last
month, a fes-
tival com-
mercial is
scheduled to
air on BET
Jazz and

Shaggy Patti LaBelle

VH1 Soul this month. BET
also will promote the festival
in Atlanta, Georgia on KISS
104.1 FM.
This year's jazz and blues
fest will feature performers
such as John Legend, Shaggy,
Nestor Torres, Lyfe Jennings,
Morgan, Al Green, Air Supply,
Bo Diddley, Nicole Henry,
Richie Stephens, James
Ingram, Patti Labelle, Maxi
Priest, Kem and Reunion Jazz
Festival promoters will

also recognize the work of
Byron Lee, of Byron Lee and
the Dragonaires, who is cele-
brating 50 years in the music
industry. Joining him for the
tribute will be The Mighty
Sparrow, David Rudder,
Arrow, Ernie Smith, Ken
Lazarus, Keith Lyn, Pluto,
"Merry Men" and portrait
artist Jean Francois.
For further information,
visit www.airjamaicajazzand-

Caribbean offers diverse, exciting entertainment in 2006

In 2006, the Caribbean will offer many
entertainment events filled with the fun
and excitement of the region's unique
food, music, sporting and cultural heritage.
A listing of some of those events,
highlighted below, may serve as a guide
to aid prospective visitors when select-
ing travel dates and a destination of
choice within the Caribbean.

4-14 St. Maarten French Carnival
9-15 Barbados Jazz Festival
12-25 Bermuda Festival of The
Performing Arts
18-Feb. 1 St. Vincent and the
Grenadines Mustique Blues Festival
19-22 St. Vincent and the Grenadines
- Bequia Music Festival
28 Guyana Mash Jamboree/Junior
Calypso Competition
30-Feb. 3 Curacao Carnival Tumba

1 The Bahamas Ebony Fashion Fair
Fashion Show
3-4 St. Vincent and the Grenadines -
St. Vincent Blues Festival
5 Antigua and Barbuda Exhibition at
Harmony Hall Featuring Cristiano Baggio
6 Jamaica Bob Marley Celebrations
8 Cayman Arts Festival Cayman Brac
8 Jamaica Hague Agricultural Show
10-18 Cayman Arts Festival Grand
11 Guyana Masquerade Competition
11 St. Martin French side/Dutch side
"Unity Jump Up"
12-19 Barbados Holetown Festival
12 Curacao Horse Parade
12 Guyana Police Band Concerts -
Strings and Military
12-13 Martinique Wedding Expo
12 St. Thomas, USVI Annual
Antiques, Arts and Collectibles Auction
17-Apr. 28 Jamaica Bacchanal
Jamaica Mas Camp and Road March
18 Aruba's Tivoli Lighting Parade
18-19 Anguilla ABC Annual Flower
18 Cayman Islands Little Cayman
Mardi Gras
18- Curacao Carnival Calypso Contest
18 Guyana Children's Costume
18 Guyana Calypso Final
18 Jamaica Sugar Cane Carnival
18 Martinique Nautical Week
19- Aruba Children's Grand Carnival
Parade in Oranjestad
19 Curacao Children's Carnival
19 Guyana Police Band Concert for
the Elderly
19 Martinique Jazz Concert
20-21 Guyana Steel Pan Competition
23 Guyana Mashramani (National

23-Mar. 1 St. Martin Carnival
24 The Bahamas Renowned
Bahamian painter Alton Lowe Art
25 Anguilla St. Gerard's Garden Party
25 Curacao Traditional "Midnight
Ban Topa" in Otrobanda
25-26 Martinique Jazz Concerts
25-Mar. 1 Martinique Carnival
26 Aruba's 52nd Grand Carnival
26 Curacao Gran Marcha "The Grand
27 Aruba Old Mask Parade and
Burning of King Momito
27 The Bahamas E.C. Bethel
National Arts Festival
27-28 Trinidad and Tobago Carnival
28 Aruba Old Mask Parade and
Burning of King Momo

4 Jamaica Skazz Music and Food
5 Antigua and Barbuda Exhibition at
Harmony Hall Featuring Melinda Hackett
8-12 Martinique Foire Expo de
Dillion Traditional exhibit and fair
10-15 Jamaica Fun in the Son -
'The Premier Christian Festival in the
12-13- Martinique 15th Agricultural
12-18 Montserrat St. Patrick's Week
of Celebrations
15 Cayman Islands Cayman Food
and Wine Classic
16-19 Anguilla Moonsplash
17-25 Bermuda International Film
17-25 Grenada St. Patrick's Day
17 Turks and Caicos 15th Annual St.
Patrick's Day Pub Crawl Providenciales
23 St. Martin Red & White Jump Up

March-April The Bahamas Circus of
the Stars

4-8 The Bahamas National Youth Choir
Annual Bahamian Cultural Show of
Music and Dance
12-17 Suriname ISFR Fly's
Paramaribo International Film Festival
13-17 St. Vincent and The Grenadines
- Easterval, Union Island
14 Bermuda Annual Good Friday
Kite Festival
14-May 2 St. Maarten 37th Carnival
15-17 Barbados Oistins Fish Festival
17 Curacao Easter Monday Harvest
17 Martinique Easter Crab Festival
17 St. Eustatius Easter Monday
Celebrations Big Bamrn
17 Turks and Caicos Tourst Board's

14th Annual Kite Flying Competition
18 Trinidad and Tobago Buccoo Goat
Race Festival
20-29 Cayman Islands Cayfest The
National Arts Festival
28 Bonaire Simadan (Harvest)
Festival in Rincon
28-30 Grenada 6th Annual Carriacou
Maroon Music Festival
30-May 1 Curacao International
Food, Beverage and Cultural Festival
30 St. Eustatius Queen's Birthday
30 St. Maarten Grand Carnival
Parade and Queen's Birthday

St. Lucia hosts its annual jazz festival in

1 St. Martin Fish Day at Cul de Sac
4-7 Grand Bahama Gospelrama
5-14 15th Anniversary St. Lucia Jazz
7-8 Martinique Beauty Fair
11-13 Cayman Islands Batabano
13 BVI Spring Music Fest
13 Cayman Islands Little Cayman
19-28 Curacao Dive Festival
20-29 The Bahamas Film Festival
20-28 Barbados Gospelfest
21-26 Cayman Islands Inner Space
Week 2006
21-22 St. Martin Nautical Fair
24-29 Aruba Soul Beach Music
Festival 2006
26-27 The 19th Annual Curacao Jazz
27 Curacao International Caribbean
Gospel Festival

4-July 2 The Bahamas Junkanoo in
June Festival
7-11 Jamaica Caribbean Fashion
10-18 Jamaica Ocho Rios Jazz
10 Montserrat Queen's Birthday

14 Martinique Sugar Cane Crop Over
17-24 Bonaire Dive Into Caribbean
Adventure Bonaire
20-21 St. Martin Summer Heat
Music Festival
21 Suriname Fete de la Musique -
French Music Festival
29-July 2 St. Kitts Music Festival
30 Suriname Miss Alida Pageant

1 The Bahamas Sir Lynden Pindling
Legacy Ball
1 Annual Bonaire Arts Day
1 Jamaica International Reggae Day
2 Antigua and Barbuda Caribbean
Comedy Festival
3-10 The Bahamas Independence
3 Turks and Caicos Annual Turks and
Caicos Music and Cultural Festival
7 Aruba 17th Heineken Green
Synergy Festival
7-8 Aruba 13th Annual Aruba Reef
Care Project
7 Cayman Islands Summerfest -
Little Cayman
15-17 Jamaica Food Festival
16-22 Jamaica Reggae Sumfest
17-18 St. Lucia Carnival
21-30 St. Eustatius Statia Carnival
23-Aug. 15 Martinique 17th Edition
Cultural Nights
28-30 Montserrat Cudjoe Head
29 Anguilla Miss Ecstasy Beauty

All Month St. Martin Film Festival
2 Turks and Caicos Annual
Underwater Photographic Competition
3-13 Anguilla Summer Festival
6 Jamaica Heineken Startime 16
"Love is Overdue"
14 Dominica Lady of Health Castle
Bruce Feast
15 Curacao Cuisine, Cultural Heritage
19 Jamaica Caribbean Model Search
30 St. Lucia Feast of St. Rose De Lima

16 St. Martin 3rd Edition of the Artist
19 Dominica Carib Celebration
24 Curacao Culture Week

All Month Turks and Caicos 10th
Annual Oktoberfest
3-4 Martinique Fashion Perfumes
6-7 5th Aruba Music Festival
88 Jamaica Peter Tosh Symposium
12 Jamaica Africa Jamfest
15-17 Jamaica Port Royal Annual
Seafood Festival

17 Jamaica Heritagefest
20-22 Cayman Islands 10th
Anniversary of the Sinking of the MV
K.P. Tibbetts
21 St. Eustatius Antillean Day
22-28 Dominica Creole Week
27-Nov. 5 Cayman Islands Pirates
Week Festival
27-29 Dominica 10th Annual World
Creole Music Festival
28 Jamaica Oktoberfest

1 Antigua and Barbuda Ceremonial
Parade and Independence Food Fair
8-12 Anguilla Tranquility Jazz Festival
13-27 Suriname Salsuri Festival -
International Salsa Festival
24-26 Antigua and Barbuda 'Moods
of Pan' hosted by Gemonites Steel

1 Bonaire Bari Festival Period
3 St. Martin Miss Caribbean Hibiscus
13-Jan. 1 St. Kitts and Nevis -
National Carnival
15-17 Grenada Carriacou Parang
16-24 St. Vincent and The Grenadines
- National Christmas Festival Caroling
18 St. Martin Pudding and Tart
27-31 Suriname Surifesta End of the
Year Festival
31 Jamaica Harbour Fest and
Fireworks on the Waterfront
31 Montserrat Festival Day

St. Kitts and Nevis jump carnival in

Compiled from the Caribbean Tourism
Organization's 2006 Caribbean Calendar
of Events. The CTO is the Caribbean's
tourism development agency and com-
prises membership of 32-member gov-
ernments and a myriad of private sector
entities. For more information, visit or

January 2006


- usw^

11 6 n t T 91

Breathe easy know all you can

about controlling asthma's 'triggers'

Asthma is a disease that
can make it hard to
When you take a breath,
air goes in your lungs through
air tubes in your chest. When
you have asthma, these tubes
can become blocked, making
it hard to breathe.
The tubes can get blocked
due to smoke, dust, or other
things around you.
Common symptoms of
asthma may include coughing,
\l LL/ijni tightness in the
chest and shortness of breath.
A person with asthma may
even hear himself or herself
breathing or need extra effort
to breathe.
The most important thing
you can do to prevent asthma
in your home is to control
indoor asthma InL, r," the
things that can set off asthma
symptoms. The following is a
list of the most common trig-
gers and what you can do to
reduce them:

Trigger Secondhand tobacco
Action Do not smoke in
the home or car and don't
allow others to do so either.
This includes cigarettes,
cigars, pipes and other smoke-
producers such as incense.

Trigger Dust mites (too
small to be seen, but found in
every home)
Action Use zippered,
plastic or specialized covers
on pillows and mattresses.
Wash sheets and blankets in
hot water once a week.
Choose washable stuffed toys
and wash them off in hot

water and dry thoroughly.
Keep stuffed toys off bed.
Keep humidity inside the
house at a low level. The best
way to do this is with a dehu-

The most important
thing you can do to prevent
asthma in your home is to
control indoor asthma "trig-
gers" the things that can
set off asthma symptoms.

midifier that you can buy at
the drug store. You can also
try to identify where the
humidity is coming from and
solve the problem.

Trigger Pets
Action Keep pets out of
the bedroom and other sleep-
ing areas at all times. Keep
pets away from fabric-covered
furniture, carpets and stuffed
toys. If planning to buy a pet,
make sure the pet does not

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shed any hair.

Trigger Molds (they grow on
damp materials. To con-
trol mold, you need to control
moisture or wetness.)
Action Wash mold off hard
surfaces and dry completely.
Fix leaky plumbing or other
sources of water. Keep drip
pans in your air conditioner,
refrigerator, and dehumidifier
clean and dry. Use exhaust
fans or open windows in
kitchens and bathrooms when
showering, cooking or using
the dishwasher. Vent clothes
dryers to the outside.

Trigger House dust
Action Remove dust
once a week with a damp
cloth and vacuum carpet and
fabric-covered furniture to
reduce dust build-up.

Sources: American Academy of
Allergy, Asthma and Immunology;
U.S Environmental Protection
Agency; The Allergy andAsthma
Network; and

Bermuda approves

smoking ban

HAMILTON, Bermuda,
CMC Smoking in public
places will be banned in
Bermuda from next year after
senators followed the lead of
Members of Parliament in the
House of Assembly and unan-
imously approved tough new
tobacco laws.
The new legislation,
passed by the Senate (Upper
House) last month, will make
it an offense to light up in
bars, restaurants, hospitals,
hotels, offices and schools
across the island. It will also
result in cigarette vending
machines banned, along with
tobacco advertising at sport-
ing events, and will make it
illegal to sell cigarettes to
anyone under age 18.
The sales and advertising
ban was scheduled to come
into force on Jan. 1, with the
other provisions coming on
April 1.
Offenders face a $1,000
fine for breaking the law.

However, there will be a
six-month grace period when
the rules first come into effect

to give people the chance to
get used to them.
Introducing the bill,
Government Senator
Raymond Tannock said:
"Rights can be suspended in
the interests of public health
and it's for the public health
that I bring this before the
He explained that the
ban is part of a global health
treaty the Framework
Convention on Tobacco
Control which has been
signed by 168 countries
and ratified by 115 of them,
and involves the tightening
of anti-tobacco laws. Italy,
Ireland and Sweden are
among the nations that have
already brought in a ban
similar to the new one in
Tannock said five million
people across the globe die as
a result of smoking each year,
and that 17 percent of the of
Bermuda's 65,000 population
are regular smokers with 28
percent exposed to second-
hand smoke.

PAHO launches ambitious

HIV/AIDS project in Guyana

CMC The Pan American
Health Organization (PAHO)
has launched an ambitious $35
million project to help stop
the spread of HIV/AIDS in
The 10-year, six-point
plan will end in 2015 and
PAHO is projecting a 50 per-
cent reduction in the estimat-
ed number of new HIV infec-
tions by 2010.
There are an estimated
18,000 Guyanese affected
by the HIV/AIDS virus.
PAHO's Country
Manager Dr. Enias Baganizi,
said the project aims to help
governments and organiza-
tions working in the health
sector to unify efforts, maxi-
mize available resources and
mobilize support.
"Three hundred persons
die a day in Latin America
and the Caribbean from
HIV/AIDS and it is impera-
tive that we take regional
action," he said.

Among the benefits of the
project include HIV/AIDS
awareness and education; pre-
vention of Mother to Child
Transmission (PMTCT) and

Voluntary Counselling and
Testing (VCT).
As part of its target, offi-
cials said the reduction of the

"Three hundred persons
die a day in Latin America
and the Caribbean from
HIV/AIDS and it is impera-
tive that we take regional
PAHO's Country Manager
Dr. Enias Baganizi

incidence of mother to child
transmission by five percent,
and the incidence of congeni-
tal syphilis less than 0.5 cases
per 1000 live births by 2015

have also been identified.
Health Minister Dr. Leslie
Ramsammy said he is confi-
dent that Guyana would
achieve all identified targets
five years ahead of schedule.
"Guyana will meet most
of the targets set for Latin
American and Caribbean by
2010. This will be achieved
through Guyana's national
strategic plan, which will
begin this year and end 2010,"
Ramsammy said.
He said the Health
Ministry would also be paying
100 peer educators to inter-
face directly with the public
to complement the work of
some 50 non-governmental
organizations (NGOs) already
working to back national
"Every single home must
be visited and educated," he
Ramsammy said Guyana
is one of the few countries
where experienced physicians
are available in all geographic
regions to provide treatment
to HIV/AIDS patients.
"We are close to where
we ought to be in 2010,"
Ramsammy said.

January 2006


B u s n e s s


Much-touted FTAA is on 'life support' ~ Bernal

CMC Richard Bernal, direc-
tor general of the Barbados-
based Caribbean Regional
Negotiating Machinery
(CRNM), says he is not so
optimistic that the much-tout-
ed Free Trade Area of the
Americas (FTAA) will
become a reality soon.
He described the FTAA,
which is being negotiated by
34 countries of the Americas
and intended to be the most
far-reaching trade agreement
in history, as being most defi-
nitely on life support.
"I am not sure what the
future holds for the FTAA,"
Bernal said in an interview
with Trade Beat, the official
organ of the CRNM.
Trinidad and Tobago has
been pushing to become the
headquarters of the FTAA
and Bernal said no consensus
had been reached at the recent
Summit of the Americas held
in Argentina on continuing the
negotiations to form the
"I believe however there is
a strong interest outside of the

MERCUSOR (countries) and
Venezuela in having some sort
of hemispheric trade arrange-
ment. We will see early in the
new year if these countries can
get ti g iliL r he added.

The MERCUSOR group-
ing consists of Argentina,
Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay,
and in recent time Cuba,
which is not part of the FTAA
negotiations have

joined Venezuela in
seeking to establish
closer relations with
the grouping.
Bernal said that the
Caribbean did
"everything possible
to keep the FTAA
alive," adding "as
an option we also
have worked on the
preliminary stages
in terms of informa-
tion exchanges
between MERCU-
COM (Caribbean
Bernal said
that the region was
also now prepared to hold
talks with Canada on an
enhanced CARICOM-
CARIBCAN trade agree-
ment. He said the talks would
begin "once the Canadian
elections are over and things
settle down there." He also
disclosed that "substantial
pr< gr,, had been made on
the Economic Partnership
Agreements (EPAs) with
Europe, describing as "con-

Domestication of foreign corporation a

good pre-immigration tax planning strategy

As we have discussed in
many prior editions of
the Caribbean Today,
there are many planning
strategies that a foreign indi-
vidual for U.S. income, estate
and gift tax purposes should
consider before immigrating
to the United States.
Such planning can lessen
the potential adverse U.S. tax
impact. Consider the follow-
ing scenario: In 2006, H
is a resident of Country X.
H owns 100 percent of
Corporation T, which is a
Country X corporation.
Corporation T owns a U.S.
real property interest (a
USRPI). H is planning to per-
manently immigrate to the
U.S. on Jan. 1, 2007, and for
the year 2007, H will be con-
sidered to be a U.S. resident
for U.S. income tax purposes
and a U.S. domiciliary for U.S.
estate and gift tax purposes.
Under the above scenario,
if no pre-immigration plan-
ning is done, in addition to H
becoming subject to U.S. tax
on his worldwide income for
2007, Corporation T would
become a Controlled Foreign
Corporation (CFC), thus mak-
ing H subject to the complex
CFC substantive and report-
ing rules.
Also, ownership of the
USRPI in a CFC can result in

very onerous U.S. tax conse-
quences starting with corpo-
rate ordinary income tax rates
assuming the USRPI is sold at
a gain.
Worse yet, without proper
planning, the second level
branch profits tax could result
as might a third level dividend
tax upon payment of an actual

In order to avoid the
above-described risks, as a
pre-immigration planning
strategy, H before immigrating
to the U.S., should "domesti-
cate" Corporation T by chang-
ing Corporation T into a U.S.
state corporation. Thereafter,
once H becomes a U.S. resi-
dent taxpayer, H may elect to
treat Corporation T as an "S"
corporation. Please note that
certain complex U.S. tax rules
would need to be examined to
determine the overall tax cost
(if any) of the domestication.
The domestication of a
foreign corporation can gener-
ally be accomplished without
any U.S. tax consequences
under the corporate reorgani-
zation tax rules. In general,
under these reorganization
rules, the new U.S. state
Corporation T would be treat-
ed as a continuation of the old
foreign Corporation T. As a
domestic corporation, H
would no longer be subject to
the CFC rules.
In addition, by electing to

treat Corporation T as an "S"
corporation, and subject to
the following paragraphs, the
income earned by
Corporation T would "pass-
through" to H and would no
longer be subject to income
tax at the "corporate" level
(unlike a "C" corporation).
Nevertheless, there are
certain limitations applicable
to "S" corporations that
should be addressed. For
example, the "built-in gains
tax" results in a corporate
level tax and a shareholder tax
if corporate assets that are
appreciated as of the date of
the "S" election are disposed
of within 10 years of the "S"
election. However, even if a
sale occurs within the 10-year
period, any double tax will be
limited to the excess of the
value of the assets on the first
day of the election. The cor-
porate level tax and share-
holder tax would not apply if
no sale occurs until after 10-
year period expires.
The second limitation
relates to an "S" corporation
that has accumulated earnings
and profits at the close of a
taxable year (as can be the
case where an existing "C"
corporation converts into an
"S" corporation); however,
this special rule only applies if
more than 25 percent of the
"S" corporation's gross
receipts are from passive

structive" the
negotiations that had encoun-
tered initial problems.
"Yes there are differences,
but we believe that we could

* St. Kitts presents $700M
Prime Minister Dr. Denzil
Douglas last month presented
an EC$700.4 million ($259.4
million) budget to Parliament
saying it promises hope and
cheer to the entire society and
"establishes quite clearly and
unequivocally" the transforma-
tion of the economy of the fed-
According to the prime
minister, recurrent revenue for
fiscal year 2006 has been esti-
mated at EC$363.5 million
($134.6 million), representing a
12.8 percent increase over the
2005 estimates. He said recur-
rent expenditure for the new
fiscal year is estimated at
EC$336.9 million ($124.7 mil-
lion) an increase of nine percent
over the comparative estimate
last year.
"We are therefore project-
ing a Recurrent Account Surplus
of EC$26.5 million ($9.8 mil-
lion)," he added.
Douglas told legislators
that there had been "dramatic
improvement" in the perform-
ance of the island's main rev-
enue earners and this trend is
expected to continue in the
2006 fiscal year.

* No new taxes in Guyana
Guyanese can expect no new
taxes in the 2006 national
budget to be presented early
this month, Cabinet Secretary
Dr. Roger Luncheon said.
According to Luncheon, the
government has projected that
positive growth in the economy
for 2006 would be some two
Finance Minister Saisnarine
Kowlessar told his Cabinet col-
leagues that there would be no

work it out and we are pursing
that in the first quarter of the
new year," he said.

new tax measures and there
are unlikely to be many new
initiatives in the budget. He said
"the plan for the capital budget
is being completed with inputs
from sector ministries. As
before, substantial investments
would continue in the infra-
structure and social services
The government has pro-
jected that growth in the econo-
my for 2005 has shrunk "some-
where in the vicinity of three
percent", which Luncheon
blamed on the unprecedented
January floods which cost the
local economy some $15 mil-
lion and spiralling fuel prices on
the global market.

* BVI to spend $233M
Finance Minister Ron Skelton
has presented a $233 million
national budget for the 2006
fiscal year, saying it clearly
reflects growth and optimism
for the economy of the British
Virgin Islands (BVI).
He told legislators that
the budget with the theme
"Advancing Our Social
Services" is a 7.4 percent
increase over the budgetary
figure of $217million last year.
Skelton said that the govern-
ment had decided against
raising taxes to improve the
economy, but would encourage
economic growth through vari-
ous measures. He said that the
budget is geared towards busi-
ness people and would create

- Compiled from CMC and
other sources.


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January 2006


- usw^

CASTRIES, St. Lucia, CMC -
Individuals, households, com-
panies, sporting organizations,
university graduates and per-
sons trained by the National
Skills Development Centre
(NSDC) stand to benefit from
amendments to the Income
Tax Act, which were passed in
the House of Assembly last
The amendments were
introduced by Prime Minister
Kenny Anthony, who said
they were being proposed in
an effort to encourage private
sector investments in persons,
organizations, clubs, sporting
activities and sporting facili-
ties, and to benefit homeown-
ers who invest in solar power.
The bill authorizes tax
breaks for companies that
invest in sporting organiza-
tions and sporting facilities.
It also encourages businesses
to employ NSDC graduates
in return for deductions on
the salaries paid to such

The amendments, the

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House Owners/Condominiums/Apartments Life, Health, Pensions


B u s n e s s

prime minister said, "will help
build synergies between the
private sector and the NSDC."
Another amendment
sought to encourage house-
holds to invest in solar energy.
It specifically allows for per-
sons purchasing solar water
heaters costing up to $6,000 to
claim a tax deduction for that
amount when filing their
income tax returns.

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ST. JOHN'S, Antigua, CMC -
The Caribbean Association
of Banking and Finance
Institutes (CABFI) has hon-
ored several of the region's
top bankers.
"Candidates for consider-
ation had to be persons of
distinction in the profession
of banking and/or have con-
tributed in a very significant
way towards the advancement
of the knowledge of the theo-
ry and practice of banking and
finance and/or have given dis-
tinguished and meritorious
service to the banking and
finance industry," the CABFI
said in a statement issued last
Among the bankers
honored were Dr. Marion
Williams, governor of the
central bank of Barbados;
Timothy Donaldson, the first
governor of the central bank
of The Bahamas; William
Clarke, chief executive of
Scotia Bank Jamaica; Dunbar
McIntyre, past chief executive
officer of Republic Bank in
Trinidad; and Ronald Harford,
chairman of Republic Bank.
Chairman of the Royal
bank of Trinidad and Tobago
(RBTT) Peter July, as well as



income. This special rule
then subjects the "S" corpora-
tion to a corporate level tax
on its net passive income in
excess of 25 percent of its
gross receipts and could result
in loss of "S" corporation sta-
tus if the passive income
threshold is surpassed for
more than three (3) years.

Needless to say, the easi-
est way to avoid this rule is for
the foreign corporation to dis-
tribute all of its earnings and
profits prior to H becoming a
U.S. resident. This would
I.l,,Ii the foreign corpora-
tion of its earnings and profits

Ronald Chan, chief executive
officer of Scotia Bank
Trinidad, and Ivan Browne,
the head of the Antigua-
based, Caribbean Union
Bank, were also recognized
by the CABFI.
They were all named
honorary fellows of CABFI
following their selection by a
panel comprising Professor
Nigel Harris, vice-chancellor
of the University of the
West Indies, Professor Rex
Nettleford and Sir Courtney
The honorary fellow is
a lifetime award.

n of foreign

ition ...

and will allow further invest-
ment without concern for this
special rule, subject to a possi-
ble Country X income tax
associated therewith.
It is very important that a
foreign person consult with
competent U.S. tax counsel
before immigrating to the
U.S. in order to lessen the
U.S. tax consequences related
to his immigration to the U.S.

Michael Rosenberg is a
shareholder and Oscar I.
Alfonso is an associate with
the Coral Gables law firm
of Packman, Neuwahl &
Rosenberg and can be
reached at 305-665-3311.

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St. Lucia's Parliament approves

tax breaks to encourage investment

Caribbean honors

top bankers


January 2006


LWWW-caribbeantodayS c

Cooped-up kids: Rules for computer and television

Kids ages two to 17
spend an average of 19
hours and 40 minutes
watching television each
week. With rising concerns
about the diet and exercise
habits of kids, it's important to
have a strategy when you
decide to cut back on televi-
sion or computers.
Kristine BL r--erL n author
of "Strategies for Stay-at-Home
IrL iii (Meadowbrook Press)
offers five good ways to help
your family cut back on "screen
time." Keep in mind that
screen time is more than just
TV time; computer use can spi-
ral out of control as well (there
are even computer addiction
recovery camps for children).
According to BL r,-_-rL nii
"It may seem counterintuitive
to limit children's access to

The teachings and inspi-
rations of late
American civil rights
leader Dr. Martin Luther King
Jr. will be celebrated this
month through hip hop music.
The African American
Research Library and Cultural
Center (AARLCC) in Fort
Lauderdale, Florida will host
its 1st Annual Hip-Hop Music
Empowerment Conference on
Jan. 14.
The free conference will
present six workshops to intro-
duce participants to local DJs
and artistes in the industry
that can provide practical tech-
niques to accomplish their
goals of being in the entertain-
ment industry. The workshops
will include panel discussions
on the entertainment industry
on the following topics:
Education Read &
Understand Your Contract;
Politics Watcha Didn't Know

computers in a society that
can barely remember when a
mouse was merely a rodent,
but it's important to use com-
puters in proportion to their
true educational or entertain-
ment value."
When cooped up inside,
television and computer enter-
tainment can be tempting.
Use these tips to help limit the
amount of time your family
spends watching the infamous
"tube" or surfing the endless
Set a time limit for your
child Try using a simple
chart to track screen time. Get
some stickers and assign a
value to each. (Let's say each
sticker represents a half-hour.)
Each week give your child the
appropriate number of stick-
ers. Have your child put the

Will Hurt You; Economics -
Manage Your Budget: $$$ The
Budget $$$; Social Style &

Fashion The Appearance;
Ownership Own Your
Label/Copyright Your
Music; Creative Freedom
& Power Write Your Own
Lyrics/Making the Video.
Conference participants
will also have an opportunity
to participate in a question
and answer session with the

~ib -

stickers on a chart as screen
time is spent. When the stick-

The conference will con-
clude with "The Remix" An
Artist Showcase beginning at
3:00 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. featur-
ing local artistes.
All participants are
required to register for the
conference. Registration
forms can be obtained and
returned to the AARLCC
between the following hours:
Monday through Thursday 10
a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and
Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.;
Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The conference will be
held from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The AARLCC is located at
2650 Sistrunk Boulevard.
The organizers will pro-
vide participants with a gift
bag and continental breakfast
beginning at 9:30 a.m.

Baby at the center of legal battle dies

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad,
CMC A baby whose health
problems became a legal issue
after his parents refused to
have doctors give him a blood
transfusion, has died.
His death was made pub-
lic late last month.
Baby Amon, as he was
called, was made a ward of
the state last month after his
parents, followers of the
Jehovah's Witnesses faith,
refused to allow him to have a
life-saving blood transfusion
to correct a low blood count.
The baby was born three
months premature on Nov. 25
with a low blood count. He

and his twin weighed approxi-
mately one pound 12 ounces.
While his sibling died hours
after birth, the child fought to
stay alive.
Baby Amon shot into the
national spotlight when his
parents Joanna and Winston
Amon took issue with the hos-
pital authorities refusing to
use an alternative drug ery-
thropoietin to treat their pre-
mature infant.

On Dec. 8, the Head of
the Neonatal Ward of the Port
of Spain General Hospital Dr.
Petronella Manning-Alleyne

sought legal assistance
to allow her to treat the
Attorney General John
Jeremie granted authorization
for an application to the
Family Court and subse-
quemtly Justice Maureen
Rajnauth-Lee made the baby
a ward of the state in order
for the blood transfusion and
other treatments to be admin-
The court order placed
the baby in the custody of
doctors at the Neonatal Unit,
where he remained until his

ers are gone, no
more screen
time until next
Limit your
own screen
time Set a
good example.
Try taping your
own favorite
shows to watch
after your kids
go to bed, and
try not to aim-
lessly surf the
Internet too
priorities -
piano practice
and other

responsibilities come before
screen time.
Screen your child's
selections Try to watch a
program or movie before you
let your child watch it so you
can decide whether it's appro-

private. Always check out com-
puter games and Web sites
before you let your child see
them as well.
Control your screen
population The fewer
screens you have in your
house, the less important
they'll seem and the less
they'll tempt you. Figure out
the minimum number of
screens that would serve your
family's needs.
Of course, remember that
time spent doing homework
on the computer would not
count against your child's lim-
its," says BL r-,rL ni "Nobody
is denying that computers and
television, when used correct-
ly, have educational possibili-
ties. But practicing modera-
tion can be very healthy."

Author: FeatureSource Staff

Felonies to Misdemeanors & Divorce to Child Support
Our Firm Is Here To Protect You, Your Family e5 YourRights!
Allegra Fung, P.A.
(561) 655-5996
200 Butler Street, Suite 205, West Palm Beach, FL 33407


Children's Services Council
of Broward County
6301 NW 5th Way Suite 3000
Ft Lauderdale, 33309

2006 Full Council Meetina Calendar

Thursday, January 19, 2006
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Thursday, May 18, 2006
(Budget Workshop, 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.)
Thursday, June 15, 2006
(Tentative) Thursday, July 20, 2006
Thursday, August 17, 2006
(Tentative) Thursday, Sept 7, 2006
(T.R.I.M. Public Hearing, 5:01pm)
(Tentative) Thursday, Sept 21, 2006
(Council Meeting, 4:00pm;
T.R.I.M. Public Hearing, 5:01pm)
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Unless otherwise indicated, all meetings will be held at:
6301 NW 5t' Way, Suite 3000, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309
Time: 9:00 a.m. 11:00 a.m.
** Please Note:**
Meetings are subject to change. Please check our website
calendar, www.cscbroward.orq, for updated information.
If you have questions or need additional information,
please contact Amy Ricketts at (954) 377-1675.

If you require any auxiliary aids for communication or other special accommodations,
please contact Evan Goldman at (954) 377-1000 at least one week In advance
so that proper arrangements can be made.

Hip hop music empowerment conference

celebrates life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

January 2006

MPFEM"- ........ ................ ..... "I 11111111111111111111111
0 U T 11 / IE D U C n T I o n



"Building Lil r,. 'will
be the theme of Miami-Dade
County Schools' "Family
Education Night" to be held
from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Jan.
12 at some 30 sites in the
school system.
Tips and tools will be pro-
vided to help improve reading

and comprehension skills.
Interested parents should
contact their child's school for
more information.

GraceKennedy Ltd., one of
the Caribbean's leading cor-
porate entities, is offering a
fully-paid summer internship

Wachovia Financial Center 200 South Biscaync Boulevard Suite 2680 Miami, Florida 33131
Tel 786-777-0184 Fax 786-777-0174
1he hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements.
Before you decide. please ask us to send ou free wlitcn information about our qualifications and experience.

Live Chung-James, M.D.

Board Certified Family
children -adults, gynecology
oftU J MRa weight management
A Dr. Chung-James, practicing in Miami since 1983,
well-known in the Caribbean community.
9275 SW 152 Street, Suite 204. Miami, Florida 33157
(Across from Jackson South ER.)
(305) 251-3975

program for university stu-
dents who are second or third
generation Jamaicans living
It is called the
GraceKennedy Jamaican
Birthright Programme and is
open students between ages
19 and 30 who are currently
enrolled in a university/col-
lege (either undergrad or
post grad). They must have
Jamaican parents or grand-
parent/s and must not have
lived in Jamaica for more
than six months.
Applications are being
accepted for the 2006 pro-
gram. The application dead-
line is Jan. 20.
Application forms can be
downloaded from:
www.gracekennedy. com/GRA
CE/corp Birthright.htm

"Friendship Pins" will be the
theme of next month's Family
Day presented by The Art and
Culture Center of Hollywood,
During the Feb. 19 event,
children can create unique
and personal friendship pins
using colorful beads. Supplies
will be made available on a
first-come, first-served basis.
It is scheduled to run
from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in
its upstairs gallery, 1650
Harrison St.
There will be free admis-
sion to the center's galleries.
For more information, call

The National Passport
Information Center (NPIC),
the United States Department
of State's single, centralized
public contact center for U.S.
passport information, is offer-
ing a toll free service and has
expanded its service availabil-
Persons with questions or
need status checks on pending
passport applications can call
1-877-487-2778. Customer
service representatives are
available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Monday through Friday,
excluding Federal holidays.

Automated information is
available 24 hours a day,
seven days a week.
For e-mail access, visit: Website of
passport and other interna-
tional travel information is
available at

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

* U.S. Citizenship and
Immigration Services, P.O.
Box 54870 Los Angeles, CA
Or for non-USPS deliver-
ies (e.g. private couriers):

* U.S. Citizenship and
Immigration Services,
Attention: 1-90, 16420 Valley
View Ave., La Mirada, CA
Applicants should not
include initial evidence and
supporting documentation
when submitting the Form I-
90 to the Los Angeles

Applicants will receive a
notice for a biometrics pro-
cessing appointment at an
ASC and will submit their ini-
tial evidence during that
Applicants will receive
their biometrics appointment
in the mail.

A free workshop sponsored
by Miami-Dade County
Commissioner Barbara J.
Jordan, to provide training
to newly-formed community-
based organizations, faith-
based organizations and com-
munity development corpora-
tions interested in learning
how to write and apply for
grants, will be held this month
in Miami.
The grant writing work-
shop will be held on Jan. 18 at
the North Dade Regional
Library, 2455 N.W. 183 St. in
Miami Gardens.
Organizations with little
or no grant application expe-
rience, as well as those with
some experience in securing
grants, will benefit from two
separate sessions. The morn-
ing session, from 9 a.m. to
1 p.m., is for those organiza-
tions with limited or no grant
application experience. The
afternoon session, from
2 p.m. to 6 p.m., is for those
with previous grant writing
For more information,
call 305-375-3521.

Multi-lingual counselors
are available to respond per-
sons suffering from stress or
needing help with housing,
food, child care, caring for
teens or other similar prob-
Call 211 from a regular
telephone or 954-537-0211
from a cellular.
The free service is being
offered as part of Broward
County's helplines.



S* Cosmetic

Member American Dental Association
Most Insurance Accepted

6701 Sunset Drive, Suite 114
SSouth Miami, FL 33143

Oral Surgery
Oral Cancer Screening
Root Canal Treatment

(305) 666-4334

Has retired from practice of medicine

Fax: 954-452-4705

Cell: 954-445-8386

Leighton A. Taylor, M.D.

Board Certified
Plastic Surgeon

The look you dreamed of:
Please call for an appointment
(954) 963-1337
Fax (954) 981-7955
2261 North University Dr., Ste 200 Pembroke Pines, FL 33024
(across from Memorial Hospital Pembroke)

r y I

January 2006

January 2006



Former cricket legends salute Lara's greatness

Retirement may have
shifted them from the
spotlight of interna-
tional cricket, but former top
players have been following
the progress of Brian Lara
and have high praises for the
West Indies batsman who
recently passed Australia's
Allan Border to become the
greatest run-scorer in the Test
Although ex-West Indies
captain Jimmy Adams, team-
mate Nehemiah Perry, plus
the pair of Devon Malcolm
and Richard Illingworth
would leave South Florida last
month with mixed cricketing
memories Malcolm and
Illingworth played for
England in a 20/20 tourna-
ment, Adams and Perry did
not, following the withdrawal
of a West Indies masters team
over a contract dispute all
took time out to recognize
Lara's monumental achieve-
Malcolm, a tear-away fast
bowler who was born in
Jamaica but played for
England, called Lara the best
ever, a batsman so dominant
he could alter the mindset of
bowlers, as well as the course
of a game, once he settled in
at the crease.
"(Lara) actually forced
you to try and claw things
back (play defensively),"
Malcolm told Caribbean
Today at Brian Piccolo Park.
"As a bowler you.. .want to be

able to attack the batsman.
You want to try to keep him
quiet, but it's very difficult to
keep him quiet. He's trying to
score runs. He's trying to score
boundaries. So that's very dif-
Adams, who played many
Test and one-day international
matches as Lara's teammate,
sharing in several big batting
partnership, called the
Trinidadian a special player
whose abilities are difficult to
"Listen, I think only God
can separate genius," Adams
told Caribbean Today when
asked to compare Lara with
the other greats of the game,
including former West Indies
captain Viv Richards. "...But I
think it is fair to say, easily,
that Brian has proven that he
is definitely one of the great-
est players ever in the game,
not only statistically, but in the
manner in which he has
achieved his runs.
"I think anybody who sits
down anywhere in the world
to think about naming great
players past and present, his
name would definitely be in

Perry, Adams's former
Jamaica and West Indies
teammate, was willing to
go a bit further, and he, like
Malcolm, is still amazed at the
ability of Lara who moved
past Border's world record of
11,174 with a double hundred
in Australia to rattle the

Lara celebrates
nerve of opposing teams.
"Brian Lara is the greatest
batsman I've ever seen, I've
ever bowled to," said Perry, an
off-spinner. "I bowled to him
and, I'll tell you what, you
really have to be on your Ps
and Qs because he has all the
"Even at times when you
really think you have him, you
probably have him there or
there about, all of a sudden he
just cuts loose and three, four
fours and a six and you're
really and truly all over the
place after that. So he can
change games, he can change
situations easily."
Malcolm got an up close
look at Lara's dominance as a
member of England's touring
team to the West Indies in
1994, the year the master
batsman broke Sir Garfield
Sobers' longstanding record -


~ a. -


: X

Haitian Creole/English and Spanish/English translators
and interpreters are in demand at the courts, hospitals,
government agencies, the Coast Guard, media and more.

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and Interpretation Studies prepares you to:

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I Yes, send me 1 year (12 issues) of Caribbean Today
for: 1 $35(US) First Class L $20(US) Bulk Rate
I Payment Enclosed
Address: I
City: State _Zip:
Country: Telephone:

Please make check or Money Order payable to
Caribbean Today, and mail to:
9020 S.W. 152nd Street Miami, Florida 33157
or call: (305) 238-2868

L ------------------------J

365 not out for most runs in
a Test innings. As he told it,
they were at the Antigua
Recreation Ground when his
team's boss sounded an omi-
nous warning.
"You know, we sat down
and the England manager,
Keith Fletcher, saw Brian and
he just looked in a different
zone," Malcolm recalled.
"And he got to about fifty
and I remember the coach
said 'he's gonna get a hundred
today'. But a pity, I wished he
only got a hundred, but he
made about three hundred
and seventy-odd, whatever it
was, in the end (actually

However, not only those
with Caribbean connections
are in awe of Lara's talent as a
batsman. Illingworth, who
played nine Test matches for
England as a left arm spinner,
also admired Richards as
p1,1.," but added that Lara
was "extra special" with a
huge appetite for runs.
"He gets greedy as well,
does Lara when he gets hun-
dreds," Illingworth told
Caribbean Today. ILk,,uL,
what's he got, one hundreds,
two hundreds, three hundreds,
four hundreds, five hundreds
to his name? So he's one of
those batters that when he

gets on song he likes to go big.
"...The fact that he has
scored that amount of runs,
you don't get there with not
being one of the best, if not
the best."
'That amount of runs' also
means Lara remains a puzzle
to opposing bowlers and cap-
tains, especially after he set-
tles down at the wicket.
"Once he gets in, you can
say, 'how are you gonna get
him out?'," Malcolm asked,
before offering his own
answer to cricket's riddle that
has become Brian Lara.
"He's gonna get himself
out when his belly is com-
pletely full."
With well over 11,000 Test
runs and counting, and Perry
predicting that Lara has at least
five more good years at the top
although the batting genius has
said he may not be around the
Test game beyond Cricket
World Cup 2007, it may be safe
to back Illingworth's prediction.
"I'm sure (Lara's)
gonna get 12,000 Test runs,"
Illingworth figures.
Few would bet against

Gordon Williams is
Caribbean Today's managing


The Caribbean will be the featured
location for many sporting attrac-
tions this year. Caribbean Today
offers a glimpse at the wide range
of upcoming events which potential
visitors to the region may find

13-15 The Bahamas Jimmy
Garvin International Golf
Tournament '
13-15 Bermuda International Catch the excite
Race Weekend bred racing at th
14 Run Turks and Caicos 5K and Gold Cup in Barb
18-22 -The Bahamas Annual Brietling Golf
21-22 -Antigua Yacht Club Round the Island Race
23-27 Grenada 37th Annual Spice Island Bill Fist
25- Aruba Betico Memorial 5K and 10K Run
27-31 Grenada 13th Annual Grenada La Source
Sailing Festival
29 Jamaica JSP High Mountain Coffee 10K and
5K Road Races
1 Bahamas Wahoo Fishing Tournament
10-12 Curacao International Tennis Tournament
(Davis Cup)
10-12 St. Vincent Yacht Club Regatta
11-12 Antigua and Barbuda Jolly Harbour Yacht
Club Valentine's Day Regatta
11-14 -The Bahamas Miami to Nassau Race
18-19 The Bahamas Valentine's Day Sailing
3-5 St. Maarten/St. Martin 26th Heineken Regatta
4 Barbados Sandy Lane Gold Cup
9-11 Jamaica The Royal Jamaica Yacht Club
Spring Tournament 2006
11 Antigua Yacht Club Antigua International Laser
12-17 -The Bahamas Bacardi Billfish Tournament
16-19 Curacao 40th Annual International Blue
Marlin Release Tournament
17-18 -Aruba Banco Di Caribe National Drag Race
19 21st Aruba International Half Marathon (21 KM)

ment of thorough-
he Sandy Lane

19-20 -The Bahamas The
Annual International Dog Show
and Obedience Trials
25 Jamaica Open and Pro-AM
Easter Scramble Golf Tournament
27-April 2 BVI Spring Regatta
and Sailing Festival
31-April 1 -Aruba Thifty Car
Rental Super Series Drag Races
1 Curacao World Cup
Mountain Bike Race
5-8 The Bahamas The Royal
Nassau Sailing Club Snipe
Bacardi Cub and Dudley

Gambling Series
7-9 Curacao International Tennis Tournament
(Davis Cup)
9 Cayman Islands Brack Turtle Triathalon
9-13 St. Vincent and The Grenadines Game Fishing
11-17 Bermuda XL Capital Bermuda Open
13-16 Grenada 4th Grenada Round-the-Island
Easter Regatta
13-17 St. Vincent and The Grenadines Bequia
Easter Regatta
15-16 Guyana Bartica Easter Regatta
15-17 Jamaica Montego Bay Yacht Club's Easter
15-17 Jamaica Polo Association Pro/Am
20-22 Jamaica 5th Bowden Bay Marina Spring
Invitational Tournament
25-30 The Bahamas The Exuma Family Island
Regatta George Town, Exuma
28-May 1 35th Curacao International Drag Races
30-May 1 Aruba Queen's Birthday and Labor
Day Golf Tournament
30-May 1 Suriname OZON NICOPA Rally Car
Compiled from the Caribbean Tourism
Organization's 2006 Caribbean Calendar of
Events. The CTO is the Caribbean's tourism
development agency and comprises membership
of 32 member governments and a myriad of pri-
vate sector entities. For more information, visit or


1 Caribbean well on stream for Cricket World Cup 2007





AGE 11)
;cause I'm sure the
;ople who come to
ay will be well
otected, that's not
e issue. It's a mat-
r of do we want to
ke advantage of
e opportunity to
esent ourselves as
e kind of warm
nd inviting people
e are, or are we
ling to run the risk
all sorts of nega-
ve messages going
it there and dam-
,ing ourselves. We
yve a propensity to
oot ourselves in
e foot. We've got
realize that this is
n opportunity to
se above that.

,W.: Speaking of
opportunities, follow-
g the trend in terms
investment, are
ou satisfied with the
ice of investments,
om each territory,
e people putting
money into efforts
th CWC 2007 in

,G.: No I'm not.
ut again I think, in
1 fairness, there is
build-up and the
st thing we have
do as a board
nning it is to get
at message over to
people that it
(CWC 2007) is
happening, it is
big, it's an
opportunity that
people look for.
They're won-
dering if it's an
opportunity for
They're not
going to do it
out of the good-
ness of their
heart. They've
got to see the
opportunity and
our task, the
road shows that
we have started
recently, have
been designed
for that purpose
to let the man
in the street
understand how
he fits into this,
how he benefits
from it...
Even though
I told you that
I'm not satis-
fied, it doesn't
mean that I feel
we have been
badly served by
it. What I do
feel is that we

are now at the stage where we
have to accelerate that whole
process and my hope is that
people will respond.

G.W.: Any particular reason
why you think the response
would have been not at the
pace you would have expected,
considering that cricket, after
all, is the one unifying force in
the region and everybody plays
cricket here and everybody
watches cricket here? Why is
that on this one big opportuni-
ty they've been slow to leave
the gates in terms of people
talking about investing?

K.G.: Remember I did not say
it was not as good as I expect.
What I said was it is not as
strong as you would hope that
it was, because there is a
build-up process and we are
now at the point where we are
now going out to it. So it
would have been a little
unnatural almost if it had
started before, because so far
people are hearing about the
World Cup. Now they are
identifying with it. Our task is
to make them identify with it.
So from here on we would
expect a building involvement.
So if you ask me this question
in a year's time, then we'd be
in trouble if it hasn't been hap-
pening. But I think the build-
up should solve that.

G.W.: On the field the West
Indies has been in a prolonged
slump, as far as results go,
nothing close to the heyday of
the past...With the World Cup
just over a year away, are
there any specific plans for the
team that will hopefully guar-
antee that the host nation,
meaning the West Indies, is
not, let's say, bumped aside in
the first round?

K.G.: Let's understand, the
problems that we are experi-
encing now are not problems
that you can blame the last
board or the previous board,
or perhaps even the previous
board for. They go back to the
late '80s when we began to,
having dominating the scene
for so long, people who were
around i.e. the Australians
particularly, decided 'we're
not gonna lie down and let
people run over us'. And they
set out to find a formula. And
they found their formula. And
they realized they had to
employ people and make
them work at cricket, the same
way that you're working now
and everybody else is working,
everyday. So you work at your
weaknesses, you build your
strengths, and that means put-
ting you under contract. That
means players starting, not
coming together for two
months at a time when you go
on tour, but everyday they go

to work. And they are work-
ing at whether it is they're not
using their feet well, whether
it is they're bowling fast but
they are not in control...There
is no substitute for work.
The first thing you've got
to do is to get the essentials
right. You've got to resolve the
impasse with the players. We
think we're in the process of
doing that. Then you've got to
put them under contract and
you're gonna work with them,
and you're gonna build them.
Fortunately we have a
young team. They're talented.
But talent doesn't go far enough.
They've got to become profes-
sional, like the Australians. We
can't expect that because we
start this now that we're going
to, in two months, arrive. The
Australians took 20 years to get
where they are.

G.W.: I'm really puzzled by
that. You seem to be saying
that 15,20 years ago, when
(the West Indies) was on top
of cricket, up to late '80s,
you're saying that these
nations buckled down and
decided that they wanted a
different approach, a more
professional approach, and
they're getting the results now.
What was (the West Indies)
doing at the time?

K.G.: That's the point. That's
where the problem started.
That's what I'm saying. It's not
the last board or the one
before. It goes way behind.
We should have been doing
the same thing.

G.W.: (The WICB) didn't do
its job?

K.G.: We didn't do our jobs, no.
We just assumed talent would
continue to be the answer and
we have an unending reservoir
which would throw up that tal-
ent. It doesn't work like that.

G.W.: But how did that escape
them?...How could they possi-
bly have missed something
like that?

K.G.: Winning could be a love-
ly thing, but it could be a very
unfortunate thing sometimes.
When you're winning your
head (gets) stuck sometimes a
little too high in the air and
you don't look down.
Of course, it's easy for us to
level blame. But when things
are going right, it's not every-
body who stands back and says
'well one thing I'm sure about is
they'll start to go wrong at some
time'. You tend to carry on.

(At the time of the interview
the West Indies was being
whitewashed 3-0 by Australia
in a Test series Down Under.)

Caribbean offering sporting varie in 2006

Caribbean offering sporting variety in 2006


bdh'eig EiXredlekce Eitiry S1zy

Notice of Discount Extensions

for 2005 Property Taxes
Vliami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners has approved an
earlyy payment discount extension for the 2005 Property Taxes, pursuant
o House Bill 15-B, which was passed by the Florida Legislature and
signed into law by the Governor on December 14, 2005.
the new early payment discount periods for property taxes are as
4% if paid by January 31, 2006
3% if paid by February 28, 2006
2% if paid by March 31, 2006

Property taxes become delinquent on April 1, 2006

Save time. Pay online.

Taxpayers that paid the 4% discount prior to the additional
extension will not be entitled to a refund.
For Property Tax information call: 305-270-4916 or visit
www. miamidade. gov/taxcollector

January 2006


CARICOM single market takes effect in six countries

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad,
CMC The Caribbean com-
munity (CARICOM) single
market takes effect this month
with six of the 15 members of
the regional bloc on board.
Jan. 1, 2006,
the partici-
pating coun-
tries are
and Trinidad Carrington
and Tobago.
Although CARICOM
Secretary General Edwin
Carrington said the event
would not be marked in any
significant way, leaders will
attend a special launch in
Jamaica on Jan. 23. Carrington
said while he was happy about
the event, he would have pre-
ferred if all of the 15 members
were on board.
"I would have been

extremely pleased if we had all
on board, but I understand that
in life things don't always go
the way we want them to.
Carifta started with three coun-
tries, CARICOM with four,
and if the CSME (CARICOM
Single Market and Economy)
starts with six or a few more,
then I am happy," he said.
Meanwhile, new CARI-
COM Chairman Patrick
Manning said the coming into
being of the CSME was a sig-
nificant step
along the
road of
regional inte-
the Single
Market now
in force, work
with a view to Manning
bringing into
being the CARICOM Single
Economy by 2008," said the
Trinidad and Tobago prime
minister, in a statement to mark

Onward, upward for Caribbeans in 2005

between Britain and Jamaica
helped cut the amount of
cocaine smuggled into the
Caribbean from Colombia by
80 percent. A Royal Navy
spokesman said, "This was a
Jamaica initiative and we
were very happy to help
Government and
Opposition in Guyana aligned
for a national workshop spon-
sored by the private sector to
fight the crime scourge.
Proposed legislation for a gun
and kidnapping court and
new police reform bills retain-
ing the Police Service
Commission were among the
package of nine bills that
Opposition and government
agreed to bring to Parliament
to stem rising crime in
Trinidad and Tobago.
Eight out of 10 Guyanese
graduates live abroad, accord-
ing to the findings of the latest
annual report on trends in
international migration by the
Organization for Economic
Cooperation and Development,
covering Europe, U.S.A.,
Canada and Australia.
Caribbean countries coming
after Guyana in this report
were Jamaica, Haiti and
Trinidad and Tobago.
In his final address to
Jamaica's Parliament,
Opposition Leader Edward
Seaga of the Jamaica Labour
Party (JLP) returned to a
familiar theme as he chal-
lenged the Members of
Parliament to address the
persistent problem of "two
Orret Bruce Golding, 57,

officially took over control of
the JLP on Feb. 20 and is now
Jamaica's leader of the
Shirley Chisolm, former
U.S. congresswoman born in
New York to West Indian par-
ents and educated partly in
Barbados died in 2005.
Death also claimed another
famous Caribbean woman of
politics, Dame Eugenia
Charles, 86, who was prime
minister of Dominica. Like
Lady Thatcher, a former
prime minister of Britain,
Charles got the nickname the
Iron Lady in politics.
At the age of 82, Allan
Rae, a West Indies opener
and pivotal West Indies
Cricket Board of Control
president during the 1980s,
died. With Jeff Stollmeyer
he formed the opening pair
on the England 1950 tour
which inspired the joyful
calypso, "Cricket Lovely
Cricket". Robert Christiani in
Canada departed this life at
the age of 84. "R.J." to his
friends, he was a versatile
cricketer, primarily a bats-
man, from Guyana. He, too,
was on the victorious 1950
West Indies tour of England.
Meanwhile, also in 2005,
Bob Marley's mother Cedella
Booker rejected any idea of
removing the remains of the
late reggae superstar from
Jamaica to Ethiopia.

Lloyd Rohlehr is a freelance
writer for Caribbean Today.

the occasion.

With the advent of the sin-
gle market, which was first
mooted in the Grand Anse
Declaration adopted by CARI-
COM heads of government at
their 1989 meeting in Grenada,
restrictions on provision of
services, free movement of cap-
ital and of approved categories
of skilled CARICOM nation-
als, have been removed among

all participating member states.
Further, CARICOM
nationals now have the right to
establish businesses, provide
services and move capital in
any member state of the com-
munity under the same terms
and conditions granted to the
nationals of that country.
Like Carrington, head of
the CSME Unit in Trinidad,
Ambassador Plenipotentiary
Jerry Narace, said he too was
pleased with the progress

made by the region in getting
this far. Narace was particularly
pleased by the level of commit-
ment shown by the region's
leaders, saying Caribbean
nations have demonstrated a
never before seen.
"Even though it is only six
of us we can still feel proud at
this tangible success," he said.

DEA may set up office in Guyana

CMC The Guyana govern-
ment says it is holding discus-
sions with the United States
regarding the possibility of the
U.S. Drug Enforcement
Agency (DEA) establishing a
presence in the country.
Head of the Presidential
Secretariat Dr. Roger
Luncheon said the govern-
ment has recognized the
important role and ensuing
benefits the DEA's presence
would have in the fight against
the illegal drugs trade in
"We are in discussions
with the Americans and the
American Administration and
some small details need to be
addressed for us to see that
the plans come to fruition," he
told reporters late last month.
"I don't believe it is a
great concession that the facil-
ities and skills available in
Third World and developing
countries to deal with the
trans-national money launder-
ing and narco-trafficking are
obviously inadequate and one
can then concede some merit
in the U.S. Government acting
as a sort of international or
hemispheric policeman to


Peter A. Webley,

keep on top of narco traffick-
ing (and) money laundering in
the Americas," Luncheon

Luncheon told reporters
that none of the countries
in the Americas, including
Guyana, could state that they
were satisfied
h with the level
of national
efforts in
I fighting
r.eon 1 narco-traffick-
ing and
money laun-
Luncheon "I don't have
a problem in
recognizing that we need a
DEA in Guyana; in fact we
need two DEAs (because) it
probably would have been
even better," Luncheon said.
"I think if one were to
factor in the desire, if one
were to put in the need, then
they would have probably
been here two years ago, but
we still have to deal with the
details and often times the
delay lies in the details. We
still have to iron out some
issues and hopefully that

could be done soon,"
Luncheon added.
He said that the DEA's
presence in Guyana would
enhance the local drug and
law enforcement agencies in
the committed and combined
fight against money launder-
ers and drug traffickers.
Guyana and the U.S. have
been exploring the idea of
establishing a DEA office
here since 1999, as the country
became a trans-shipment
point in the narco and money
laundering trade. An
International Narcotics
Control Strategy Report
released by the U.S. Bureau
for International Narcotics
and Law Enforcement Affairs
in the first quarter this year
cited Guyana as a major trans-
shipment point for South
American cocaine destined for
North America, Europe and
the Caribbean. It said the
joint U.S./Guyana operations
in combating narcotics were
"quickly compromised due to
corruption", which triggered a
growing interest and involve-
ment by the DEA in Guyana
over the past two years.

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project a favorable image of your company, in
order to win customers, you should keep your com-
pany with good friends and... dress your company
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305-238-2868, or fax 305-252-7843


January 2006


- usw^

ReG io n

Jamaica gains record as world's murder capital in 2005

KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC -
With a homicide rate of 60
persons per 100,000 popula-
tion, Jamaica holds the unen-
viable distinction of being the
murder capital of the world.
Last year more than 1,600
people were murdered in the
Caribbean island and there is
growing frustration among
Jamaicans at government's
seeming inability to bring the
problem under control.
Crime, specifically mur-
der, has been the island's num-

ber one problem for a decade,
with an average of five people
being killed each day in 2005.
The murder toll pushed the
country ahead of South Africa
and Columbia this year to
become the world's murder

During last year, the
country experimented with a
number of initiatives to stop
to the flow of blood. But
despite those efforts, the mur-

der rate
In an
with The
newspaper --
Smith, the Smith
Jamaica Labour Party's
spokesman on national securi-
ty, said the work of Operation
Kingfish, one of the anti-crime

initiatives, was not impressive.
He said that the unit should
do much more work to win
public support.
"I won't say they haven't
been doing some good work,
but it's not at the point where
I'm totally acclaiming them,"
Smith said.
"The mandate is to really
dismantle the major criminal
networks and we estimate that
there are 13 such major net-
works operating in Jamaica.
They were all involved in drug

trafficking, illegal gun-running
and extortion. What we should
do is consolidate intelligence
collected years ago on these
organizations, analyze it and
develop operational approach-
es to create new leads," he
Meanwhile, the trail of
blood from last year has fol-
lowed the country into 2006,
with some four persons being
killed on New Year's Day,
Jan. 1.

2005 ~ Another challenging year for the Caribbean

and immediately following the
controversial removal of for-
mer President Jean-Bertrand
Aristide from office in Feb.
By year-end, it was
announced that the elections,
which were set for Jan. 8,
were postponed for the fourth
time. Delays in the distribu-
tion of voter-identification
cards, a lack of voting centers
and errors in the voting rolls
are among the main problems
blamed for the postponement.
Notwithstanding the prob-
lems in the former French
colony, the Caribbean kept up
the tradition of changing gov-
ernments by democratic means.
During 2005, elections were
held in Anguilla, the Cayman
Islands, Dominica, Suriname,
and St. Vincent and

Grenadines. Apart from the
Cayman Islands, where the
Opposition People's Progressive
Movement (PPM) led by Kurt
Tibbets, romped to victory, the
incumbent governments in the
other countries were able to
hold off determined challenges
from their opponents. The two
main political parties in Guyana
continued to trade words on the
efforts to ensure smooth and
transparent general elections
scheduled for next year.
Guyana Opposition politi-
cal parties were also calling for
the removal of the Cabinet of
the ruling People's Progressive
Party administration, following
the resignation of embattled
Home Affairs Minister
Ronald Gajraj, who was impli-
cated in the activities of a
"death squad" blamed for
many extra-judicial killings in

the country. But a commission
of inquiry found no evidence
to link the former government
minister to the squad.
There were also threats
of fresh elections in the
Caribbean with Antigua and
Barbuda's Prime Minister
Baldwin Spencer indicating he
would be seeking afresh man-
date as controversy swirled
over the construction of an
airport terminal building.
Trinidad and Tobago's
Prime Minister Patrick
Manning was forced into a
mini-Cabinet re-shuffle after
his Communications and
Works Minister Franklin
Khan resigned amid allega-
tions that he and another sen-
ior minister received a bribe
from a governing party offi-
cial. By year-end, Khan had
been slapped with six criminal

charges arising out of the alle-
Basdeo Panday, who was
replaced as leader of the
United National Congress
(UNC) in Trinidad, will, along
with his wife, Oma, and sever-
al ministers in his administra-
tion, appear in court in the
New Year on fraud related
charges arising out of the con-
troversial multi-million Piarco
Airport rehabilitation project.

It IllUI

At the start of 2005,
Barbados Prime Minister
Owen Arthur had indicated
that the issue of a referendum
"died with the last Parliament"
and that there would be such a
vote before the island becomes
a republic. However, when
he addressed nationals on
Independence Day on Nov. 30,
Arthur said that a referendum
would be held this year to
decide on the island's constitu-
tional status.
Arthur said he was now
looking forward to a I \ )
and enlightened dJL\liL on
the issue, adding that he
viewed the move to republi-
can status as "a statement of
confidence in our future."
In 2005, there were politi-
cal comebacks for some and
talk of retirement for others.
Jamaica's Prime Minister P.J.
Patterson will in 2006 hand
over the leadership of the rul-
ing People's National Party
(PNP) to an elected successor,
while in St. Lucia, former

Prime Minister Sir John
Compton, who regained the
leadership of the main
Opposition United Workers
Party (UWP), made a return
to active politics.
Former Dominica Prime
Minister Edison James was
replaced as political leader of
the UWP in that country by
Earl Williams, a former com-
munications and works minis-
ter. Lester Bird survived a
challenge to his leadership of
the Antigua Labour Party
(ALP), but by year's end, was
staving off attempts by dis-
gruntled members in the
Parliament to torpedo present
Opposition Leader Robin
Sadly in 2005, the
Caribbean bade farewell
to a number of prominent
personalities, including Dame
Eugenia Charles, the former
prime minister of Dominica,
her Grenadian counterpart,
Ben Jones, Hector McClean,

a Idl I

the former speaker of the
Trinidad and Tobago House
of Representatives and former
West Indies Cricket Board
President Allan Rae, of
The media also lost some
stalwarts. Alister Hughes of
Grenada, Keith Sheppard of
Trinidad and Tobago and the
Antigua-based St. Kitts-born
journalist Norman "Gus"
Thomas" all died in 2005.


* For the protection of life and property, if an inspection of your
property revealed hurricane-related damage to the structure or
building, a permit may be required prior to commencing
permanent repairs.

* Before securing the services of a contractor to perform the
required repairs, confirm that the contractor is licensed, insured
and if there are any complaints on record by contacting the
Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation at
(850)487-1395 or via or contact the
Miami-Dade County Building Code Compliance Office at 311 or

* Prior to paying your final payment to the contractor, confirm that
approvals were received for all mandatory inspections. To check
the status of permits and inspections, contact the Permit
Records Section at (786)315-2100 or via

(In compliance with Section 8-16 of the Miami-Dade County
Code, no damaged building or structure can be repaired without
inspection and approval by the respective Building Official.)

January 2006




The United Nations Economic
Commission for Latin America
and the Caribbean (ECLAC)
says in a new report that
Caribbean countries, with one
of the highest net-migration
rates in the world, may benefit
from this movement by estab-
lishing "brain gain" networks
for their diaspora and provid-
ing health and education serv-
ices for foreigners.
Within the Caribbean
area, the free movement of
people presents both opportu-
nities and obstacles, the report
said. It said that many in the
Caribbean see the benefits of
free movement, but also admit
that given the multicultural
nature of the sub-region and
its many different languages
and cultures, the issue of mul-
ticulturalism needs to be fur-
ther addressed.
The report, based on an
expert group meeting held in
Trinidad and Tobago in mid-
September, will be presented at
the next Ad Hoc Committee on
Population and Development
during the ECLAC meeting in
April. It will also be presented
to the U.N. General Assembly's
high-level dialogue on interna-
tional migration and develop-
ment during its 61st session in
The meeting of experts
from government, interregion-
al bodies, international organ-

izations, civil society and aca-
demia, examined the relation-
ship between migration,
human rights and develop-
The experts focused in
particular on the state of
knowledge of migration;
migration policies from a
regional and global perspec-
tive; migration and human
rights; and specific country
studies on migration.
The ECLAC report said
more studies are also needed
on the remittances sent by
migrant workers overseas and
the socio-economic impact on
the receiving country.

Caribbean countries
have a long-standing history
of emigration to Europe and
Northern America. The fig-
ures released in 2003 by the
U.N. Population Division indi-
cate that the region has lost
more than five million people
over the past 50 years.
While these small regional
countries lose nurses and
teachers to Canada, the
United Kingdom and the
United States, the health and
education sectors of these
countries are suffering from
worker shortages, the report
The report said migration
is often driven by external fac-
tors, such as social and politi-

cal upheavals, socio-economic
differentials, social ties and
the opening of international
"However, quite often
decisions taken at the individ-
ual level appear to counter
socio-economic conditions,"
the report said.
The report said one-third
of Caribbean migrants reside
in Trinidad and Tobago, about
one-quarter in the U.S. Virgin
Islands, and one in 10 in
Barbados. The major sending
countries include Grenada, St.
Vincent and the Grenadines,
and Guyana.
Some islands, especially
those with growing tourist sec-
tors, such as the British Virgin
Islands and Anguilla, along
with Antigua and Barbuda,
the Dutch dependencies of
Aruba and the Netherlands
Antilles, have resident popu-
lations in which one-third or
more are foreign-born, the
report said.
But it said that while
some countries benefit from
these migratory flows, through
remittances or the influx of
skilled people, other nations
have been suffering severe
consequences from the brain
drain, especially from their
public health and education

* "If someone is lying to me
he will lose his job"
-President Bharrat Jagdeo
threatening to dismiss any
official who deceived him as
Guyana continues to deal
with floods in three commu-
nities east of the capital.

* "I am optimistic that we
do not have long to wait" -
Attorney General John
Jeremie last month saying
Trinidad and Tobago will
resume hanging of convicted
Sillo % soon.

* "We pay homage to the
memory of Eric Williams,
Errol Barrow, Forbes
Burnham and Michael

Manley" Cuba's President
Fidel Castro last month com-
mending CARICOM leaders
for being his country's
staunch ally for more than
three decades.

* "I am not exaggerating, in
terms of the measures which
have been taken to insulate

Caribbean could benefit from

'brain gain' migration U.N.

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent,
CMC The Cabinet of Prime
Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves
was sworn into office last
month reflecting what the St.
Vincent and the Grenadines
government leader said were
relevant and fresh appoint-
The new Cabinet includes
12 ministers as compared with
10 in the previous govern-
ment. Gonsalves said his new
administration would also
include a minister of state,
three parliamentary secre-
taries and the attorney gener-
al, in comparison to three
ministers of state, an attorney
general and no parliamentary
secretaries in last government.
Gonsalves has created
new ministerial portfolios
including that of national
mobilization, non-governmen-
tal organization relations,
urban development and infor-
mal human settlement.
The ruling Unity Labour
Party (ULP) was returned to
office by the same 12 to three
margin it enjoyed in the previ-
ous Parliament following the

- -N

Dec. 7 polls. The other three
seats have gone to the main
Opposition New Democratic
Party (NDP).

Gonsalves, who was criti-
cized for holding 60 percent of
the ministerial portfolios dur-
ing his first term, said he had
decided to give up four port-
folios "to accommodate the
workload and responsibility,
which come with the assump-
tion of the portfolios of

National Security and the
of Seaports and Airports."
Sir Vincent Beache, who
bowed out of politics ahead of
last week's elections, held this
responsibility and Gonsalves
said he would be holding dis-
cussion with Sir Vincent with
a view to retaining his a con-
sultant to the office of the
prime minister. Gonsalves also
announced that he had
advised the governor general
to appoint four senators,
including Julian Francis, who
lost his bid to unseat NDP
leader Arhmin Eustace in the
East Kingstown constituency.
The prime minister said
that his administration would
this month establish a
Directorate for Grenadines
Affairs located in the Office of
the Prime Minister. He said the
ULP candidates Herman
Belmar and Edwin Snagg who
failed in their bid to represent
the two Grenadines constituen-
cies would occupy the two top
positions in this directorate.

* Gov't, Opposition agree on
new T&T crime measures
The Trinidad and Tobago govern-
ment and Opposition have agreed
to legislation that would deny bail
to kidnappers.
They also agreed to support
the Bail Amendment Bill, which
was tabled in Parliament last

* JLP discloses committee
on crime
Leader of the Opposition Jamaica
Labour Party (JLP) Bruce Golding
has revealed the full committee
established by his party to formu-
late an action plan on crime.
The members of the
team, led by former Police
Commissioner Colonel Trevor
McMillan, are management con-
sultant Dr. Henley Morgan; crimi-
nologist and University of the
West Indies lecturer Dr. Anthony
Harriott; management consultant
Margaret Orane; and insurance
executive Peter John Thwaites.

Golding made the announcement
in his New Year's message to the

* T&T's Manning promises
full employment in 2006
Prime Minister Patrick Manning is
promising full employment for all
and a reduction in poverty in
In his New Year's message,
which was broadcast to the
nation on Dec. 31, Manning iden-
tified the reduction of unemploy-
ment and poverty as major
weapons in the fight against
crime. He conceded that crime,
particularly the drug trade and its
turf wars along with kidnapping
was the biggest challenge facing
the government. Some 375 peo-
ple were murdered and about 70
kidnapped in this oil rich twin-
island republic in 2005.

Compiled from CMC and other

I the court
from polit-
ical input"
Michael -
De La
Bastide, a-
judge on the
Court of
Justice, seek-
ing to dispel what he says are
misconceptions and igno-
rance about the court.

"Let me reiterate that the
E.U. has no hidden agenda,
no quest for commercial
gain in the Caribbean. These
markets are too small" -
Karl Friedrich Falkenberg,
deputy director general for
trade at the European
Commission, last month
claiming that the European
Union had no desire to
undermine the economies of
the Caribbean and was not
seeking any commercial gain
in the region.

"As a political retiree Sir
John should just cool out
and take it easy" St.
Vincent and the Grenadines
Prime Minister Dr. Ralph
Gonsalves locking horns
with former St. Lucia Prime
Minister Sir John Compton
over statements made about
the conduct of recent general
elections in his country.

Compiled from CMC and
other sources.

St. Vincent adds two to new Cabinet


January 2006


Bermuda's dead-beat parents run

up millions of dollars in arrears

HAMILTON, Bermuda, CMC -
The Bermuda government is
chasing more than $13 million
from dead-beat parents who
have failed to keep up with
child support payments.
Figures released by the gov-
ernment showed that, while
payments totalling $4.3 million
were made by parents in the
first seven months of this year, a
whopping $13.1 million was still
owed by over four thousand
parents. Nearly 700 of those

owe more than $5,000.
Records showed that last
year more than 30 deadbeat
dads were jailed for failing to
make child support payments
while 91 parents were locked up
in 2003 for the same offense.
A government spokes-
woman confirmed that officials
were now examining how the
system of collections could be
"The Minister of Justice has
an inter-ministry committee look-

ing at how the arrears can be
reduced and the system of collec-
tions improved. Those involved
include Transport, Labour and
Home Affairs, Court Services and
Corrections," the spokeswoman
But Shadow Home Affairs
Minister Michael Dunkley,
described the statement as "yet
another broken promise by this

Opposition parties form alliance to contest elections in St. Lucia

CASTRIES, St. Lucia, CMC -
Two of the island's three
Opposition political parties are
getting set to announce the forma-
tion of an alliance in preparation
for this year's general elections,
which are constitutionally due by
December, but which Prime
Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony says
he would called much earlier.
Leader of the main
Opposition United Workers
Party (UWP) Sir John Compton
has confirmed that he has put a
seal on a tentative agreement
between his party and New
Democratic Movement (NDM)
led by former Permanent
Secretary in the Ministry of
Finance Ausbert d'Auvergne,

The agreement was scheduled to
be brought to the party executive
by early this month for endorse-
d'Auvergne, who has long
expressed his interest in forming
an alliance with the UWP, has
also made known his willingness
to merge.
Up to press time Sir John
said that the details of the agree-
ment would remain under raps,
and the NDP when contacted
appears to have taken the same
Sir John said that the UWP
so far has no relationship with
the third Opposition group, the
Organisation for National
Empowerment (ONE), led by

break away St. Lucia Labour
Party Minister Sarah Flood-
"We have a problem with
ONE because the political
leader of that party is unwilling
to make certain adjustments.
There is a contention with the
Central Castries seat. She will
not let go off that seat and we
already have our endorsed can-
didate for that area. She missed
the boat," Sir John said.
The UWP's endorsed candi-
date for Central Castries is Dr.
Vaughan Lewis, who Flood-
Beaubrun twice defeated under
an SLP ticket in the last two
consecutive general elections.

Anthony supports election finance reform

CASTRIES, St. Lucia, CMC -
Prime Minister Dr. Kenny
Anthony says he is interested in
the matter of election financing
and has already given thought
to introducing a law prohibiting
governments from financing
political parties.
Prime Minister Anthony
was reacting to leader of the
Opposition United Workers
Party (UWP) and former Prime
Minister Sir John Compton,
who called for the introduction
of measures to control election
campaign financing from third
In an earlier statement, Sir

New court t
HAMILTON, Bermuda, CMC -
Bermuda is to establish a new
commercial court to deal with
trade disputes, Chief Justice
Richard Ground has confirmed.
Ground said the court would
resolve business cases and is
expected to mainly handle com-
plaints involving the island's huge
insurance and reinsurance indus-
try. The chief justice will assign
judges, known as commercial
judges, to the new court.
The creation of a commer-
cial court is part of a series of
rule changes designed to mod-
ernize the day-to-day workings
of the Supreme Court. Drawn
up by senior legal officials, they

John said he was convinced that
"big bucks will talk" in this
year's elections in St. Lucia. But
the prime minister shot back at
Sir John, u..-I. linlj. that he was
creating a smoke screen.
"One of the things I think
we need to consider very seri-
ously, and we discussed it at a
recent Caribbean mi linii, is
whether we should pass a law
to prohibit governments from
financing political parties as it
is likely to happen in the case
of the next general elections
in St. Lucia," Dr. Anthony

to settle disputes
will came into effect on Jan. 1
and update existing rules that
came into force 20 years ago.

Other legal changes include
an "over-riding objective",
enshrining the main aim of the
court to deal with cases fairly,
save expense and come to a ver-
dict as quickly as possible.
Government Spokesman
John Burchall said, .illiohii i
these principles have always
been implicit in the administra-
tion of justice, it is felt by
spelling them out they can be
more readily understood and

Prime Minister Anthony
said that he was convinced that
this was the purpose of Sir
John's visit to St. Vincent earli-
er this month when he met with
the president of Taiwan.
"Sir John should come
clean and tell the country
whether that was the nature of
his talks with the president of
Taiwan: election financing in
return for support for Taiwan
over the Peoples Republic of
China should his party win the
general election," Anthony said.

in Bermuda
Another change will see a
modem costs system intro-
duced that would enable win-
ning parties to recover a "real-
istic portion" of their legal
expenses. The majority of fixed
scales of allowable expenses
would be swept aside and the
court registrar would have the
final say on what legal expenses
should be allowed, official said.
The new rules also bring
Bermuda into line with other
worldwide commercial centers,
updating the guidelines govern-
ing when the court can serve
proceedings out of its jurisdic-
tion, they added.

IDB promises flexible

lending to Caribbean


Inter-American Development
Bank (IDB) says a new
administration and new lend-
ing framework in the New
Year would permit greater
flexibility and sharpened
country focus for loans and
grants to support economic
and social development in the
Caribbean and Latin America.
IDB President Luis
Alberto Moreno, who, on Oct.
1 assumed office as head of the
world's oldest and largest region-
al development bank, said the
bank would continue its role as
a major contributor in assisting
the region increase its growth in
a framework of stability, poverty
reduction and modernization.
"We live in a time of
important changes and chal-
lenges to our region, with
many of our countries electing
new leaders," he said in his
New Year's message. "The

IDB member countries can
count on the bank to be at
their side as they consolidate
the recent gains of the past
two years and adopt strategies
and programs to ensure that
the benefits of growth reach
all of our citizens."
IDB lending reached $7
billion during 2005, a 17 per-
cent increase compared with
2004, when lending reached $6
billion. More than 50 percent
of lending during 2005 was
targeted to poverty reduction
and social equity programs,
exceeding guidelines set by
the Board of Governors.
A total of 92 projects
were approved, compared
with 77 in 2004. In addition,
the bank approved 390 techni-
cal cooperation projects dur-
ing 2004 for a total of $83.5
million, compared with 340
projects, totaling $56.7 million
during 2004.

Abu Bakr's retrial in T&T

High Court
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad,
CMC The controversial
Jamaat al Muslimeen Leader
Yasin Abu Bakr is to face the
Trinidad and Tobago High
Court this month for a retrial
on the charge of conspiracy to
Bakr, who remains behind
bars at the state's maximum
security prison, is also facing
six counts of sedition and arms
and ammunition charges aris-
ing from a statement a made
The conspiracy to murder
charge was laid against him
on June 4, 2003 when Bakr
was charged with conspiring
to murder two expelled
Muslimeen members, Salim
Rashid and Zaki Aubaidah,
his son-in -law at his (Bakr's)
mosque at Citrin Drive Diego

A nine-member jury who
had heard evidence against
Bakr returned with a split ver-
dict 6-3 on Mar. 16, 2005,
causing trial judge Mark
Mohammed to order a retrial.
The disclosure that the
Mulsimeen leader's matter will
be heard in January came after
Public Administration Minister
Lenny Saith informed the
Senate that the Director of
Public Prosecutions (DPP)
Jeffrey Henderson was await-
ing word from the criminal reg-
istry on the date of the retrial.
Minister Saith was

this month

Abu Bakr
responding to a question posed
by Opposition Senator Wade
Mark who questioned why no
steps had been taken to re-list
the retrial of Abu Bakr.
Bakr is still awaiting bail on
the recent charges and has been
locked up since November after
threatening war against rich
Muslims who refuse to pay
Zakat, Islamic charity for the
Bakr who led an unsuc-
cessful coup against the gov-
ernment in 1990, in which sev-
eral people lost their lives,
could face up to 25 years in
prison if found guilty.
Following his arrest on
Nov. 7, police and soldiers
raided the Jamaat compound
in St. James and seized a
rifle, a hand grenade and 500
rounds of ammunition during
the operation. He has been
charged with possession of
these items.

January 2006

January 2006



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