Citation
Caribbean today

Material Information

Title:
Caribbean today
Uniform Title:
Caribbean today (Miami, Fla.)
Place of Publication:
Miami Fl
Publisher:
Caribbean Pub. Services
Publication Date:
Copyright Date:
2010
Frequency:
Monthly
regular
Language:
English
Physical Description:
v. : ill. ; 38 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Economic conditions -- Periodicals -- Caribbean Area ( lcsh )
Politics and government -- Periodicals -- Caribbean Area ( lcsh )
Genre:
serial ( sobekcm )
periodical ( marcgt )

Notes

Additional Physical Form:
Also available by subscription via the World Wide Web.
Dates or Sequential Designation:
Began in 1989.
General Note:
Description based on: Vol. 10, no. 3, published in 1999; title from cover.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Copyright Caribbean Pub. Services. Permission granted to University of Florida to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Resource Identifier:
40985415 ( OCLC )

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This item has the following downloads:


Full Text


O DECEMBER 2006


cItfflO
Oi. O\I^yc_ J


e r y o


u r w o r I d


PRESORTED
STANDARD
j,,, U.S. POSTAGE
PAID
MIAMI, FL
PERMIT NO. 7315
Tel: (305) 238-2868
1-800-605-7516
caribtoday@earthlink.net
ct ads@bellsouth.net
Jamaica: 654-7782


The slowly
emerging
political
awareness
of Caribbean
immigrants
in the United
States may
find a jump-
start from .
Barack
Obama, the U.S. senator
from Illinois, page 2.

Dancehall '

chosen the
"Best Male
Artiste"
~in the
pop-rock ,'
category
at the ====== ,
American II .'=j-",:
Music Awards, the first time e li iaS
the Jamaican had won a major ai
music honor, page 19.


Food festivals are popping up
around the Caribbean at a
rapid pace. Why the sudden
urge? Society's obsession
with eating has turned food
into a niche market, page 21.


New s ...................... 2 Food .................
View point .................. 9 Local ................
Health .................... 11 Business .............


INSIDE
..... 12 Entertainment
..... 13 FYI ..........
..... 15 Tourism/Travel


............. 19
............. 20
............. 21


Politics ................... 24
Region .................... 25
Sport ..................... 26


W e


C o V









-usw^caribbeantodj..c..


CARIBBEAN TODAY

n e WS


December 2006


Obama strikes a chord with Caribbean immigrants


GORDON WILLIAMS

MIAMI The slowly emerg-
ing political awareness of
Caribbean immigrants in
the United States may find a
reason to jumpstart from its
slumber in the form of Barack
Obama, the U.S. senator
from Illinois.
While surveys continue
to show that Caribbean
Americans tend to lag behind
other immigrant groups on
the politically active front, the


appeal of Obama, highly tout-
ed as a possible candidate in
the next U.S. presidential
race in 2008, is already being
noticed.
"He has such charisma,"
said a Jamaican woman after
hearing the senator speak
at last month's Miami
International Book Fair.
"He is easy to listen to and
understand. He sounds like
Bill Clinton and he's like one
of us. And he does make
some interesting points."


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The comparison of
Obama with the former
U.S. president is particularly
significant as Caribbean immi-
grants were often drawn to
Clinton's charm. That Obama
is black and the son of a for-
eigner (Kenyan father), can-
not hurt either.
"He may better under-
stand our (Caribbean) issues,"
said the woman, one of many
Caribbean immigrants who
attended Obama's presenta-
tion.


Last month Obama, in his
address to a packed Gusman
Theater in downtown Miami,
showed that he may have
found common ground with a


U.S. Senator Barack Obama.


population as diverse as
any in the U.S. The senator
explained that "the country's
mood has begun to shift" and
the audience's continuous gen-
erous applause indicated that
those listening had latched
onto his line of thinking and
are asking the same questions
today.
"Why would we want to
send $800 million a day to
some of the most hostile coun-
tries on earth?" Obama asked
in reference to the U.S. finan-


Washington, D.C. St. Kitts
and Nevis Prime Minister
Denzil Douglas has renewed
the call for the establishment
of a natural disaster fund and
a special renewable energy
resources fund to benefit the
Caribbean.
Douglas made the call
while in Washington D.C., the


cial backing of nations which
continue to oppose American
policies.

BACKFIRED
On the front burner issue
of the war in Iraq, Obama,
who appeared at the fair to
promote his new book titled
"The Audacity of Hope", not
only criticized the current U.S.
administration's efforts, but
also challenged the American
people to rally against a policy
he claims has clearly backfired.
"We have to insist that
we get it right when we go to
war," the senator said. "...We
can do better.
"There are no good
options now in Iraq," he would
add later. "There are bad
options and there are worse
options."
The senator, who claimed
he had opposed the invasion of
Iraq, also called for a phased
withdrawal of American
troops.

BLAME
However, he blamed some
of the problems on the fact that
many Americans are too busy

(CONTINUED ON PAGE 6)


canes and the rising cost of
petroleum-based energy, pose
tremendous challenges and
therefore merit priority atten-
tion within the inter-American
system.
"The (OAS) cannot and
should not be all things to all
people," Douglas told a proto-
colary session of the OAS


Photograph by Juan Manuel Herrara.
Prime Minister Denzil Douglas, right, is greeted by Jose Miguel Insulza, secretary gen-
eral of the Organization of American States.


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United States, last month to
address the Organization of
American States Permanent
Council.
The prime minister
argued that the Caribbean
region's vulnerability to natu-
ral disasters especially hurri-


Permanent Council convened
in his honor.
"But when a significant
number of its constituents suf-
fer a common problem, the
organization has an obligation
(CONTINUED ON PAGE 6)


Office DEPOT.


Caribbean needs more protection

from natural disasters ~ Douglas


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December 2006









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CARIBBEAN TODAY

n e WS


December 2006


Legendary filmmaker

Perry Henzell is dead


Perry Henzell, whose film-
making credits include the
widely acclaimed feature
"The Harder They Come", died
late last month. He was 70.
Henzell first came to
worldwide attention when he
wrote, directed and produced
"The Harder They Come",
Jamaica's first feature film.
He also authored I ,1 % r
Game", a novel based on the
political violence that wracked
Jamaica in the 1970s; and
"Cane", set in the Caribbean
during the turbulent era of
1780-1815 about an engineer
who is deported to Jamaica as
an indentured worker and
deals with what Henzell called
"the geopolitics of sugar."
Henzell's second film,
titled "No Place Like Home",
is an exploration and revelation
of a tropical culture that is
beautiful, surprising, musically
entertaining and politically
revealing all at the same time.


He most recently spearheaded
the successful opening of
the stage version of London's
newest hit musical "The
Harder They Come".
"Perry has been an icon
in the Jamaican film industry
and his legacy will live on,"
said Del Crooks, film commis-
sioner for
Jamaica's
7 trade agency
JAMPRO.
"He will be
deeply missed.
I feel he had
much more to
give and hope
that what he
has done will
Henzell help others."
Henzell was honored in
Toronto, Canada this year.
"It is so amazing that even
after 30 years 'The Harder
They Come" can have such a
following," Crooks added. "He
has truly made a mark on
Jamaica and Jamaicans."
"It is truly the death of a
legend," said Paul Bucknor,
co-founder of Flashpoint Film
Festival in Jamaica.



St. Lucia holds

elections Dec. 11
CASTRIES, St. Lucia, CMC -
General elections will be held
in St. Lucia on Dec. 11.
Prime Minister Dr. Kenny
Anthony, whose St. Lucia
Labour Party (SLP) is seeking


compton, left, ana Antnony.
an unprecedented third term
in office, made the announce-
ment last month. Nomination
Day was on Nov. 30.
The elections will be a
straight fight between the ruling
SLP and the main Opposition
United Workers Party (UWP),
led by veteran politician and
former Prime Minister Sir John
Compton. The SLP controls 13
seats in the Parliament and the
UWP controlling three seats,
with support from one inde-
pendent member, a former
UWP candidate.
The Electoral Commission
last month announced that it
was ready for the polls and that
135,958 persons had been reg-
istered, an increase of 14,599
electors over the 2001 figure.
0


PASSPORT ON THE GO


Photograph by DerrickA Scott
An American citizen raises his right hand to take the oath as he applies for a United States passport during the morning coffee
break at Union Station, downtown Washington, D.C., hosted by the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) recently. The JTB is encouraging
U.S. citizens to apply for passports in advance of the new law which will require them to have one when re-entering the country
after a visit to the Caribbean. Similar coffee breaks are being scheduled for other cities in the U.S. Standing at right is newly
elected U.S. Congresswoman Yvette Clarke. Next to her is Jamaica's Ambassador to the U.S. Professor Gordon Shirley.





CARIBBEAN TODAY


Canrd6eMa Airu
the warmth of the islands


December 2006


A4












Consumer services caution


electronic holiday shoppers


The Miami-Dade County
Consumer Services
Department (CSD) in
Florida is reminding con-
sumers of federal laws which
govern electronic shopping
and offer tips holiday shop-
pers should take to protect
themselves.
"Before you place an
order call the consumer pro-
tection office where the seller
is located and
find out if the
company has a
record of unsatis-
fied complaints,"
Miami-Dade
County
Consumer
Advocate
Leonard Elias
advises.
"You should
also make sure
you understand -
the merchant's
return policy."
One area of
frequent disputes is delivery
time.
"Place your orders early,"
Elias urges those who shop by
computer, telephone, fax or
mail. "The closer we get to
the holidays, the more likely it
is that the order will not be
delivered on time.
"It is also important that
you save your paperwork," the
consumer advocate cautions.
"If you shop by computer,
print the confirmation order."

REQUIREMENTS
The Federal Trade
Commission's "Mail or
Telephone Order Shopping
Rule" requires that mer-
chants meet the agreed
delivery time for a product,


or deliver it within 30 days if
there is no specific agreed
time. If the company cannot
meet these requirements it
must notify the consumer of a
new date and give the con-
sumer the option to cancel.
Where the consumer opts
to cancel, a full refund must
be given. Where the product
is no longer available, the
merchant cannot substitute


something else, even a similar
product, without the con-
sumer's permission.
For consumers paying by
credit card, another federal
law, the Fair Credit Billing
Act, offers additional protec-
tions such as limiting the con-
sumer's liability for unautho-
rized charges where a card has
been lost or stolen.
Consumers can obtain
information about these feder-
al laws or make complaints by
calling the CSD Mediation
Center at 305-375-3677 or
visit the Miami-Dade
County Consumer Services
Department website at
www.miamidade.gov/csd/
0


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CARIBBEAN TODAY

n e wS


December 2006


Yvette D. Clarke, with microphone, is surrounded by family members and other well wishers as she gives her victory speech after
being elected last month to the United States Congress representing the 11th Congressional District in Brooklyn, New York.
"Thank you, I'm so appreciative and very humble to the voters of the 11th Congressional District for sending me to
Congress," she told her supporters, who included her mother Una Clarke, to her immediate right.
"I will not forsake you."
Una Clarke and Yvette's father Leslie were born in Jamaica. The mother was a trailblazing politician in New York. She served
as a city councilwoman and ran unsuccessfully for the seat her daughter now holds.


Obama strikes a chord with Caribbean immigrants


(CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2)
with their own personal lives to
pay attention to misguided gov-
ernment policies and only
responded when there is a crisis.
"When they sense some-
thing has gone awry, they
pay attention," Obama said.
"...And when they pay atten-
tion, good things happen."
The senator, who said he
was inspired by the civil rights
movement of the 1960s, called
on U.S. citizens to revive a
sense of unity in approaching
difficult issues that face the
nation.
When the floor was
opened to questions, the sena-
tor responded decisively on
several issues, including pre-
dicting upcoming legislation
that will: increase in the mini-
mum wage "right away"; offer
better prices for drugs for sen-
iors; introduce a strong ethics
bill; and push for reduction of
interest rates for student loans.
"These four are issues


which will move fairly quick-
ly," he said.
He was more hopeful for
urgent legislation that will
reduce the U.S. dependence
on imported energy, especially
if the environment is continu-
ously being affected.
"The environment situa-
tion is very important and
needs to be dealt with now,"
Obama said. "...It would
make sense for us to take out
some insurance."

YOUTH
Responding to a question
from a 14-year-old old,
Obama explained that "young
people have the bi,-_, l Ik1 i
in what happens in the near
future as decisions being made
now will affect them most.
He lamented that youths have
lost faith in government as an
agency to make positive
changes and have turned to
working with non-profit
organizations.


However, Obama was not
so precise on the issue of gay
rights. While he said he is
against discrimination against
gays, and supported the right
of full citizenship for all
Americans, he admitted: "I
struggle with the issue of gay
marriage." He urged groups
with strong views on a particu-
lar issue to mobilize for their
rights.
"It's not for me to tell
them (what to do)," he said.
But he stopped short of
discussing his own presidential
ambitions.
"I will get back to you,"
Obama said before closing to
thunderous applause.

Gordon Williams is Caribbean
Today's managing editor.
You may e-mail him at
editor@caribbeantoday. com
0


Caribbean needs more protection from natural disasters Douglas


(CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2)
to demonstrate its relevance
and to show that its reforms
are quite essential to making
it more responsive to its mem-
bership."
During the OAS
Permanent Council session -


chaired by Trinidad and
Tobago Ambassador Marina
Valere, with member state
ambassadors, Insulza and
Assistant Secretary General
Albert Ramdin on hand -
Prime Minister Douglas
touched on a wide range of


issues, highlighting his govern-
ment's electoral reform initia-
tive and the ending of sugar
exports, which he said were
no longer feasible because of
the impact of trade liberaliza-
tion.
0


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December 2006









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CARIBBEAN TODAY


n e WS


December 2006


DAMIAN P. GREGORY
Caribbean leaders contin-
ue to stress the impor-
tance of reviving the
Free Trade Area of the
Americas (FTAA), or similar
trading agreements, as the
region's key to competing
globally or risk falling further
behind the larger economies of
Europe and Asia.
The FTAA a proposed
federation of 34 democracies
in the Americas where barri-
ers to trade would be removed
thereby creating the largest
trading bloc in the Western
Hemisphere was the center-
piece of key addresses deliv-
ered by Caribbean prime min-
isters Owen Arthur of
Barbados and Jamaica's Portia
Simpson Miller at the 30th
Miami Conference on the
Caribbean Basin themed "A
United Third BI >rdL r .
Arthur, the elder statesman
from the region who has been
involved in talks of the now-
stalled trading bloc since its
inception in 1994, ended the
conference here earlier this
month by emphasizing the
importance of the FTAA, or
similar trading and social mech-
anisms, to the development of
countries in the Caribbean and
Latin America.
"(FTAA) negotiations
should have been resumed as
soon as possible," Arthur said,
"but we (in the Caribbean)
cannot say that we do not wel-
come the pause in negotiating
activity, for it gives us the time


Though many in the
Caribbean are looking to
next year's ICC Cricket
World Cup (CWC) to be a
financial windfall for the
region, tourism and travel
experts warn that the big ticket
event may not be a cash cow, at
least not initially.
"The jury is still out on the
effects of these events on
tourism," said Vincent
Vanderpool-Wallace, secretary
general of the Caribbean
Tourism Organization (CTO).
"Time will tell."
Vanderpool-Wallace was
the moderator of a panel on
sports tourism held at the 30th
Miami Conference on the
Caribbean Basin earlier this
month.
Attorney and former athlete


and space to consolidate our
own integration arrangements
and to enhance our capacity
to respond to a wider chal-
lenge."
Arthur, who has also been
at the forefront of efforts to
push the Caribbean Single
Market Economy (CSME),
said that the region has spent
the two years since the delay
of the FTAA strengthening
itself internal-
ly and work-
ing together.

COSTS,
DEBT
Industries
across the
board have
Arthur been affected
by the
absence of wide-ranging coop-
erative trade agreements and
Simpson Miller said that her
country is facing an unprece-
dented debt and an oil crisis
that continues to deepen.
Blkli\\ n 2002 and this
year, primary fuel prices in the
region have increased by an
astounding 170 percent," the
prime minister said in her
speech. "We are spending more
than 75 percent of our export
earnings to maintain our cur-
rent levels of oil imports."
Simpson Miller said she
believes the region's leaders
have to come together to find
tools that will enable it to
work more closely toward
achieving common goals of
alleviating poverty and
despair. She said any attempt


Roget Bryan thinks that an
ambitious mega event like CWC,
which will result in thousands of
sports fans converging on the
C.rilbbin,i could present some
real chal-
lenges to the
region.
I do
think that
the Cricket
World Cup
is going to
be a big lit-
mus test for
the region,"
dler Bryan told
Caribbean
Today. "I think specifically with
the area of travel regulations.
It's going to demonstrate the
effectiveness of regional coop-
eration if it is successful.


CORRECTIONS AND CLARIFICATIONS


Veteran Jamaican entertainer
Byron Lee was recently hon-
ored in Connecticut. He is on
the right in the photograph,
taken of him receiving the


award at the ceremony, which
appeared on page 6 of last
month's issue of Caribbean
Today. We regret the error.
I


to create free trade mecha-
nisms in the region must be
development-focused and
people-centered.
"Unifying the third bor-
der is about balancing people's
lives while balancing the
books," she said. "The
greatest threat to our democ-
rac(ies) and security will come
from poverty and underdevel-
opment."?
Arthur, said that he and
other members of the
Caribbean community
(CARICOM) share that
vision. The FTAA had a larg-
er purpose other than just
trading, Arthur said, it was
supposed to lead to the cre-
ation of a partnership for
development and prosperity,
that would benefit all levels of
society.
"It will be possible to
jump start the stalled hemi-
spheric integration process
only if we make a concerted
effort to place at the forefront
of the hemispheric agenda,
along with free trade, the
social dimension of develop-
ment," he said.
"Many of the social and
security concerns which preoc-
cupy our governments today
are caused or exacerbated by
persistent poverty and margin-
alization."

Damian P Gregory covered
the 30th Miami Conference
on the Caribbean Basin for
Caribbean Today.
I


"If unsuccessful, it could
be the death knell for mega
sports tourism events in the
region. Because one thing peo-
ple would immediately point to
is that things did not go well,"
he warned.

HOPES
Many Caribbean islands
are pinning their hopes on
sports tourism as a way to
showcase their country as a
holiday destination while cater-
ing to fans. Peter Odle, presi-
dent of the Caribbean Hotel
Association and chairman of
the Barbados Tourism
Authority, said that his country
views sports tourism as poten-
tially lucrative and will contin-
ue with plans to develop this
new market.
"Our main thrust in the
next five to 10 years is going
to be done around sports
tourism," Odle said.

- Damian R Gregory
I


Leaders from the
Organization of
American States (OAS)
and the Caribbean community
(CARICOM) kicked off the
30th Miami Conference on the
Caribbean Basin earlier this
month claiming the region has
improved in
recent
decades, but
is still haunt-
ed by obsta-
cles such as
poverty and
lack of mar-
ket competi-
tiveness,
Insulza which
threaten to
erode its advances.
"We have made a lot of
progress," OAS Secretary
General Jos6 Miguel Insulza
said in the conference's open-
ing address, "comparing our-
selves to 30 years ago."
The Dec. 4-6 confab
brought together political, pub-
lic and private sector business
leaders, plus international
experts, to discuss wide-ranging
policy issues including global
competitiveness, economic
growth, disaster preparedness
and maritime security.
Insulza said the region has
IlJNILs rd the holding of dem-
ocratic elections," but qualified
that optimism with a challenge
to address issues which contin-
ue to plague many, particularly
the poorest. He explained that
according to the 2006 Global
Competitiveness Report, only
two countries in the Basin -
Chile and Barbados placed in
the top 50 of 117 countries
ranked.
"On the whole, the coun-
tries of our region languished
in the bottom 50 percent,"
Insulza said.

OBSTACLES
Edwin Carrington, the
head of CARICOM, said that
the region still faces many
daunting obstacles that hinder
its progress.
"The challenges to
Caribbean development
remain as formidable as ever,"
Carrington argued.
"Despite relatively high
per capital incomes, sluggish
economic growth, persistent
unemployment, high indebted-
ness and entrenched pockets of
poverty have resulted in a rela-
tive decline in the ranking of
Caribbean community coun-
tries over the last 30 years."
Carrington, however, said
he believes that the Caribbean
Single Market and Economy
(CSME) will work to counteract
the trend. The CSME seeks to
ally the small economies of the
Caribbean into one unified


trading bloc in order to com-
pete with larger countries. But
key to that success will be pri-
vate sector participation in the
areas of trade and investment.
Carrington urged the Caribbean
diaspora to forge partnerships
and networks in the region.
"The Caribbean is putting
its house in order," he said.
"With a little help from our
friends, I am confident that the
CSME will create the kind of
competitive environment that
will ensure a viable and pros-
perous society taking its right-
ful place in the hemispheric
and global arenas."

- Damian R Gregory





Street Address:
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Mailing Address: P.O. Box 6010
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Telephone: (305) 238-2868
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E-mail: caribtoday@earthlink.net
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Vol. 18, Number 1 *DEC. 2006

PETER A WEBLEY
Publisher
GORDON WILLIAMS
Managing Editor

DAMIAN P. GREGORY
Deputy Managing Editor

SABRINA FENNELL
Graphic Artist

DOROTHY CHIN
Account Executive
SUNDAY SELLERS
Account Executive

AMANDA ECHEVERRI
Accounting Manager
Caribbean Media Source
Media Representatives
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Tel: (514) 931-0422 Fax: (514) 931-0455
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MARIE GREGORY
(876) 925-5640
P.O. Box 127, Constant Spring
Kingston 8, Jamaica
Opinions expressed by editors and
writers are not necessarily those of the
publisher.
Caribbean Today, an independent
news magazine, is published every month
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Today may not be reproduced without
written permission of the editor.


Free trade bloc vital ~ Caribbean leaders


Caribbean makes 'progress',


but daunting tasks ahead


Region banks on sports tourism





CARIBBEAN TODAY


GORDON WILLIAMS
Caribbean people are
used to what many view
as incompetent govern-
ment.
When at "home" they
even expect inefficiency or cor-
rupt systems. So they work
with it or, some say, around
it...and at times even against it.
You want a passport or
driver's license? Then join a
long line, or simply "let off"
some extra cash to "John P"
and the process miraculously
speeds up. Rich people do it;
poor people do it. The choice
is theirs to make.
Many concede that
despite the region's cherished
attractiveness, it is still strewn
with so-called Third World
countries so, when things
don't work as they should,
when confusion reigns, the
frustration is somewhat light-
ened because Caribbean peo-
ple know that's just how it is.
But when they come to
the United States the so-
called First World they
expect much different. If
someone is going to demand
that they pay taxes, high vol-
umes of it at that, they want
maximum returns. They want
government efficiency.
Forget the mysterious pres-
idential election debacle, which
left Al Gore and the nation's
Democrats shaking their heads
in bewilderment. Caribbean
immigrants have seen election
bloopers before, "at home",
and are used to that. They are
far more concerned about other
stuff that affects their daily lives
in the U.S.
So many Caribbean immi-
grants have become increas-
ingly frustrated by some recent
events especially since 9/11 -
when the U.S. stepped up its
efforts to tighten border con-
trol. The U.S. has shown much
greater interest in who is going
and coming, who is staying,
and what they are doing when
they come. The government
has demanded certain privi-
leges and has received quite
a few in the name of national
security.

REAL BOTHER
That hardly seems to
bother the average Caribbean
immigrant in the U.S. They
want security too. What is
gnawing at their skin is the
inconsistency of the applica-
tion of the new laws that come
in the name of national securi-
ty and the ways in which they
are being implemented.
Take, for example, getting
a driver's license. Used to be a
utility bill with an address and


some sort of identification like
the expired license were
enough to renew a license. Not
so anymore. Now Department
of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
offices across the U.S. are
demanding every piece of
information you have: pass-
ports or "green cards", old
licenses etc.
O.K., if that is what is
required, then fine. But
Caribbean people cannot
understand when someone
at the DMV looks at a
Department Homeland
Security (the new INS) stamp
in a valid foreign passport
and declares that he does not
know what the stamp repre-
sents that it could mean any-
thing.
Question: If a DMV offi-
cer does not know what a
stamp in a passport repre-
sents, then why is he or she in
a position where he or she can
deny someone a driver's
license based on ignorance?
But this happens. It happened
to me.
What's more frustrating is
that because the government
officers may not know what is
right or wrong, they are reluc-
tant to admit ignorance and
seek the truth. Instead, they
often try to just bury the inci-
dent and hope it goes away.
They hardly seem to care if
the applicant is frustrated and
does not know where else to
turn or what to do.

AIRPORT DILEMMA
Then there is the latest
issue about traveling with liq-
uids. The U.S. government
declared that each traveler
who chooses to have carry-on
luggage must transport liquid
in a transparent plastic bag
that allows airport security
agents to easily scrutinize the
contents. Each container of
liquid should not exceed a cer-
tain volume or the passenger is
faced with the option of plac-
ing it in the checked-in bag-
gage or having it confiscated.
Many valuable drinks,
including expensive fine
wines, have been taken away
from passengers in the name
of national security, never to
seen by the passenger again.
However, there does not
seem to be much consistency
at airports in the U.S. On one
weekend trip a plastic bag and
all its contents were carefully
scrutinized at one airport and
then allowed to pass the check-
point. On the return trip at
another airport, several items
from the same bag same items
- were confiscated by agents.
When asked why this was
(CONTINUED ON PAGE 10)


Who's on First,


or Third World?


S T


IE UW P 0 I I


Unnaturally

yoked

Much of our worries,
problems, and
anguish comes from
the emotional pain that peo-
ple inflict on us, and that's
why some people would
rather live without, do with-
out, be without someone,
rather than risk a life of suf-
fering with that person.
Recently I was in a heated
discussion with a 'young' lady
who I hadn't seen in many
years, and I daresay she
looked a damn sight better
now than she used to. Now,
I'm not being unkind, but I'm
a realist, and the fact is, usual-
ly when you haven't seen
someone for a very long time,
you always fear what they will
look like when you see them
again. This usually applies to
women who have a tendency
to let go after a while and sud-
denly show their age in a few
short years.
But for some strange rea-
son, society does not view
men in this vein, and even if a
man packs on a paunch,
sprouts a few grey hairs or
even loses some off his pate,
he's still deemed as being dis-
tinguished, dapper, smart
looking and still a good catch.
Not so a woman though, who
is often looked upon, both by
men and women, as old, hag-
gard and tired if she happens
to show her age.
For that reason women
will never divulge their age,
thinking that by not saying it,
they won't show it.

DROUGHT
Well, this lady friend of
mine was looking real good,
slim, trim, attractive, even
though she was in her late 40s.
Naturally I asked her what
was the secret of her rejuvena-
tion, and she replied, "Plenty
rest and many hours of gym."
Now, from I heard that I
knew what the story was,
plenty rest meant no man, and
gym was not Jim, but I asked


o w wwwcaribb* e antoda 7*comI


for who they think is the man
to suit them, when there are
many great guys down by the
base waiting for them. They
want the guy at the top, the
man with the degree, the suit,
the class, the great job and
fancy car and the status to
accompany her. That's who
she sets her sights on, and
anyone else will fall into the
category of unnaturally yoked,
and can't step with her.

PICKY
But why are women so
picky, preferring to live a life
of loneliness, preferring to
express their love to a lazy
puss or idiot rat dog that costs
more to maintain than a baby,
rather than being with a good
man who just happens to be
outside of her social sphere?
Men don't do that.
Rich, educated guys meet
waitresses and marry them all
the time. Men will troll any
swamp and snare a woman to
call his own. But not so the
women, who narrow their
choices to the fine point of the
pyramid, trying to defy the
laws of demand and supply.
They demand so much, but
the men they want are so few
in supply.

(CONTINUED ON PAGE 10)


the question
anyway:
"So... no
man in your
life...still?"
At which
point she
said, "It's bet-
ter to be
alone, natu- TONY
rally, than to ROBINSON
be unnatural-
ly yoked."
That's a classic phrase if I
ever heard one, but it just
reaffirmed what I always
thought, how women pick and
choose until they pick out,
then they have nothing to
show for it in the long run.
And the sad thing is, a woman
of a certain age who has
nobody, has a huge question
mark hanging over her head.
Being ugly does not stop
women from getting men, so
why are so many attractive
women without men? Because
of that same statement about
better off to be alone, natural-
ly, than unnaturally yoked,
that's why.
By definition, unnaturally
yoked means that any man
who is not suitable for her
class, education or regal bear-
ing, can't be next to her. So
there they go again, looking
only at the top of the pyramid


The Law Offices of

Michael Shane P.A.
Immigration Attorney
NOW TWO CONVENIENT LOCATIONS
9100 S. Dadeland Blvd. Penthouse 2, Suite 1810
Miami, Florida 33156
Tek (305) 671-8777
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Tel: (954) 772-8782
Please callfor an appointment
You may obtain free Written information regarding any lawyer or law firm by
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www.shanelaw.com
pg Know Your Rights and Fight


December 2006





CARIBBEAN TODAY


-usw^caribbeantodj..c..


VIE W P 0 I n T


* "We did it
in the spirit
of the Hon.
Shirley
Chisholm,
Eleanor
Roosevelt,
Fannie Lou
Hamer, Rosa
Parks, Elizabeth Cady
Stanton and my mother Una
T. Clarke" Yvette D. Clarke,
daughter of Caribbean immi-


grants, after being elected to
the United States Congress last
month.

* "Christian theology does
not permit us to refuse people
entry into our country on the
basis of sexual orientation.
That would be discrimination
and in violation of a persons
freedom of movement" -
Bishop of Roseau Gabriel
Malzaire, who is also head of
the Christian Council in
Dominica, saying last month
that the question of gay
tourism cruises to the island
cannot be dealt with in isola-
tion, but has to be viewed in


the context of human sexuali-
ty, human freedom and state
legislation.

* "We have a beautiful
result" Dutch Minister of
Administrative Reform and
Kingdom Relations Atzo
Nicoula prais-
ing last month's
decision that
will result in St.
Maarten and
Curacao to
attain country
status.


* "I put this on the table not


to alarm the members of this
House and this national com-
munity, but simply to provide
the backdrop to the security
planning which has been tak-
ing place over the last 14
years" Trinidad and
Tobago's National Security
Minister Martin Joseph last
month defending that coun-
try's decision to make the
Si It'j" laws permanent in
the name of protecting T&T.

* "There is a dangerous view
that we are accepting in the
region that there is an end for
agriculture and that the
development of services


means the end for agriculture.
We think it must not be one
or the other, but we have
room for both and both must
go forward" Renwick Rose,
coordinator of the Windward
Island Farmers Association,
last month urging Caribbean
trade negotiators not to side-
line the region's agricultural
sector as they place additional
focus on service industries
during the crafting of a new
trade deal with Europe.

Compiled from CMC and
other sources.
0


Who's on First, or Third World?


(CONTINUED FROM PAGE 9)
being done, an agent chirped:
Iku.JlML we have tougher
standards here."
So that's where the dilem-


ma is. The rules, they will tell
you, are perfectly clear.. .just
subject to interpretation. That
is why a person's driver's
license application can get
rejected at one DMV office


and accepted less than an
hour later at another office.
Caribbean people have
seen these inconsistencies
before. That is why many of
them moved to the U.S. They


actually expect better from the
American system. What they
don't expect is to be guessing
which place is the First World
and which one is Third.


Gordon Williams is Caribbean
Today's managing editor. You
may e-mail him at
editor@caribbeantoday.com
0


Unnaturally yoked


(CONTINUED FROM PAGE 9)
I keep on hearing how
they want a man who they can
talk to and I keep on telling
them, "If you want to talk,
talk at the office." I know of
too many equally educated,
status matched, class con-
scious couples whose marriage
crashed and burned after a
few years anyway, so why not
give the blue collar guy a
chance, what do you have to
lose? Remember they always
say, "Be careful what you wish
for, you just might get it."
I know of so many
women who carefully pick the


man of their dreams and he
turns out to be a nightmare.

MERITS
Still there may be some
credence to choosing being
alone rather than being unnat-
urally yoked, as solitude does
have its merits. For one thing,
your life will be bereft of all
the crosses, and worries that
come with a bad relationship.
And let's face it, over 90 per-
cent of complaints by women
are about men.
Therefore, by process of
elimination, take away the
men and their lives should be


perfect, happy, blissful. But
there is no logic, no method in
the madness, for the very
thing that they complain
about is the object of their
desires.
"Oh for a good man, I
want a perfect man, oh for my
knight in shining armour to
come galloping along to take
me away."
Ladies be careful you
don't end up spending the rest
of your days cleaning up horse
manure. How come men don't
say these things? Yet when
the women cannot grasp the
object of their dreams, that


illusory object of perfection,
they say that they prefer to be
alone, not to be unnaturally
yoked.
Well, even though they
say so, I don't believe them,
but rather think that it's just
the pronouncement of resig-
nation of one's fate, accepting
the inevitable, like an over-
weight person who can't lose
weight saying that they love
being fat, or a poor person
saying that they prefer to be
penniless, it's all sad hogwash.
Oh, perhaps when they
were young, and thought that
they had choices, it may ring


true. But now in the twilight
of their years when they start
to push 50 and are still man-
less, I am pretty sure that they
would love to be even unnatu-
rally yoked with some man of
sorts, someone to accompany
them to the movies, dinner,
the park or even church. But
by then it may be too late and
she has no choice but to be
without and not yoked at all.
Later.


seidol@hotmail.com
0


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December 2006


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4





CARIBBEAN TODAY


11 6 n t T 91


LWW-crbbatoa.co


What to put in the bath

to ease aches and pains


SUZY COHEN

QUESTION: Why do Epsom
salts help relieve arthritis pain?
What's in it, and what else
can I put in my bath to help?
Someone suggested essential
oils.

ANSWER: Epsom salts are
magnesium sulfate. In the bath,
magnesium breaks apart from
the sulfate and both get
absorbed into your skin. Both
substances reduce inflammation
and pain. The hot water is also
soothing and improves your cir-
culation you want more blood
flow (and oxygen) to sore suf-
focating muscle cells. These
cells need the oxygen, so
improving circulation in any
way is helpful.
You can also put
Naturopathica's "Arnica Muscle
& Joint Bath and Body Oil" in
the bath. I like this one because
it contains basil, rosemary, bay
laurel and arnica a soothing
combination that should relieve
sore, achy muscles and joint
pain from osteoarthritis,
rheumatoid arthritis or overex-
ertion. Arnica is also found in
many over-the-counter arthritis
rubs because it increases circu-
lation and reduces swelling and
joint pain.
As far as essential oils go,
I need to make sure you realize
that you can't just buy a bottle
of oil and put a few drops into
your bathtub your friend told
you wrong. Most pure essential
oils need to be diluted in a
carrier oil (like almond oil) or
you could "bum" your skin.
Lavender (for relaxation) is one
exception. This is why I recom-
mend that people buy blended
mixtures combined in the right
ratio to soothe your skin, your
senses and your ailment, what-
ever it is. You see products like
this at salons and bath and body
shops in the malls.
For more information on
the infused essential oil men-
tioned above, visit www.natur-
opathica.com or call 1-800-592-
7995.

QUESTION: Used to be you
could just buy soap, but now it
comes in all sorts of types. Should


I buy the "antibacterial" type or
not? Something tells me those
chemicals are bad.

ANSWER: Before we talk
about antibacterials, let's just
talk about soap. If you Google
soap's sudsing agent, "sodium
lauryl Mll.iik (aka SLS)
you will find a lot of dirt.
Apparently, studies show SLS
causes skin/scalp irritation and
liver damage. SLS is found in
most soaps, shampoos, deter-
gents and t,< hlp.iLIc, Now add
the .iiilib.atcrial and you have


A bath with the right ingredients added
can be very soothing.
a relatively chemical-laden mix-
ture to kill off the bacteria. I
don't know what's worse, the
nasty bugs or the harmful
chemicals to kill them.
I don't think these "super-
. Ic.icr,, are any better than
plain soap and water because
there isn't any real hard evi-
dence they lead to fewer infec-
tions. As a pharmacist, I imag-
ine that our bacteria will
become resistant to our antibac-
terial efforts. Also, these soaps
dry out your skin. I think rou-
tine washing with plain soap and
water will do the trick, even for
kids. Now if you want your soap
to be free of SLS, too, then go
to the natural health food store
or look online.

Did you know? The prescrip-
tion drug Topamax (topira-
mate) is often helpful for peo-
ple who suffer with migraines
and constant head pain.

2006 Dear Pharmacist, inc.
Distributed by Tribune Media
Services, Inc.
0


Photograph by Imran Khan
West Indies batsman Chris Gayle relaxes on the Multan Cricket Stadium outfield as he receives medical treatment from team
physiotherapist Stephen Partridge during the Caribbean team's cricket tour of Pakistan last month.


Call for sustained regional approach

to Caribbean HIV/AIDS pandemic


BRIDGETOWN, Barbados,
CMC Carl Browne, chairman
of the Pan Caribbean
Partnership Against AIDS
(PANCAP), said Caribbean
governments need to find a
sustained regional approach
to dealing with the HIV/AIDS
pandemic.
Addressing a workshop on
HIV/AIDS during the 12th
annual EU/African Caribbean
and Pacific (ACP) Joint
Parliamentary Assembly here
last month, Browne said that
while there's nothing wrong with
national approaches, the time
has come to approach the AIDS
fight as a regional initiative.
"Regional negotiation is
very important. There is also
the issue of pooled procure-
ment as an important strategy,"
he said. "Because our countries
are small, our populations are
small, we need to pool so that
we can get economies of scale
and the OECS pool procure-
ment system is a case in point


of how that would work."
A new AIDS Epidemic
Update released by the United
Nations on Tuesday said that
the global epidemic continued
to grow, with 2.9 million deaths


and 4.3 million new HIV infec-
tions in the past year.
The report said that an esti-
mated 39.5 million people are
living with HIV with 2.8 million
of the new infections occurring
in sub-Saharan Africa.
Browne said that the issue
of illegibility strikes at the
heart of the HIV/AIDS


response in the Caribbn, and
the fact that many Caribbean
countries were classified as
middle-income countries, was
not helping the region's case
since these islands were denied
access to concessionary loans
or grants.

WEAK WATCH
There were no figures for
the Caribbun, but the U.N., in
its report, expressed concern
about weak HIV surveillance
in this region.
It said that this often means
that people at highest risk are
not adequately reached through
HIV prevention and treatment
strategies, because not enough
is known about their particular
situations and realities.
The report listed those
with highest risk as men who
have sex with men, sex workers
and injecting drug users.
0


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December 2006








LA.
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- 3c 0 C -


CARIBBEAN TODAY


FOOD


December 2006


4 4,7


I www .caibeatoa.comI


Care counts, to avoid food poisoning this holiday season


The holiday season is fast
approaching and plans
are undoubtedly under
way in Caribbean family
kitchens to prepare feasts for
each occasion.
The American College
of Emergency Physicians


Cakes fra
& Accessories
Caka for all
occasions
Jamaican nun cake,
S ish r cakes,
Amerian cakes,
cheese cakes & pastries.
Iloral Arrangements
lihuni A eLarie% Baking panm. CuLe
copper. Cliocolale. and maiani oher itemn
of our choice. lenm noal aaiaable
can be pecial ordered.
Rains. Curranis & Mixed Peel
(CdIIIl Si',t Hn, ,Y.
305-971-1060.
E-mai: Soniacake@aol.coin
w'wv .soniacakes.com
9531 SW Iho St. (Colonial D[r.


(ACEP) wants to remind
everyone that even meals pre-
pared by the most loving of
cooks can become unhealthy
if food is improperly stored,
handled and cooked.
"Food poisoning is often
the unfortunate result of some
of the most anticipated meals
of the year," said Dr. Brian
Keaton, president of ACER
"When you're preparing a
holiday dinner for large num-
bers of people, sometimes the
everyday safety tips people
follow in the kitchen are not
maintained as crowded ovens
and refrigerators result in
food not being prepared or
handled in the safest way."

SYMPTOMS
Food poisoning can be
caused by bacteria or by the
toxins produced by bacteria
already in the food. Most cases
of food poisoning run their
course in a couple of days, and
symptoms usually begin from
two hours to two days after
eating the tainted food.
The symptoms are similar
to those of the flu and should
be treated the same. These
symptoms include headache,
nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
and abdominal pain. Food
poisoning especially can be


dangerous to young children
and the elderly.
"It's important for those
who may have eaten tainted
food to prevent dehydration,"
said Dr.
Keaton.
"As soon as
they are
able to keep
liquids
down they
should
drink water,
diluted fruit
juice or
weak tea.
Adults can
handle
dehydration
much better
than chil-
dren, so
parents
should keep
a close eye
on children
experienc-
ing these
symptoms.
If symptoms
continue for
more than Taking special care to
24 hours or
if someone
is unable to drink any liquids
contact your primary care
physician or visit the emer-


agency department."

TIPS
The ACEP \LtelI the
following safety tips to reduce


e,-
i*' f


prepare food is important in preventing poisoning.

the chances of food poisoning:
Always follow recom-
mended precautions for food


handling and preparation.
Check expiration or sell-
by dates on food labels; don't
consume food with expired
labels.
Wash hands before
preparing food, and always
wash hands, utensils and
countertops thoroughly imme-
diately after handling raw
foods.
Be sure frozen poultry
and meat are fully defrosted
before they are cooked.
Defrost foods in a microwave
oven or refrigerator.
Cook meat, poultry, fish
and eggs thoroughly to kill
harmful bacteria.
Never keep food luke-
warm for long periods; bacte-
ria can multiply without obvi-
ous signs of spoilage.
Refrigerate raw foods
and leftovers promptly,
because bacteria multiple rap-
idly. Discard perishable food
left at room temperature
longer than two hours; one
hour in temperatures above 90
degrees Fahrenheit.
Wear protective gloves
and bandages if you have cuts
on your hands.
0


.





CARIBBEAN TODAY


Jamaican opens aviation school

and youngsters' window to the sky


MIAMI, Florida Jamaican-
born pilot and instructor
Barrington Irving has launched
a flight school assigned specifi-
cally to educate youngsters
interested in aviation.
Experience Aviation
Learning Center (EALC)
opened last month at Opa-
Locka Executive Airport
here.
The EALC, Irving's brain-
child, is designed to get chil-
dren excited about careers in
aviation and build mathemat-
ics, science and reading skills
through the world of aviation.
Participating students will
have the opportunity to visit an
air traffic control tower and
observe air traffic controllers
up close, tour corporate air-
craft, and get hands-on experi-
ence with the help of Microsoft
Flight Simulator software.
Next spring Irving plans to
embark on a five-week flight in




SIMMIGRAIION

VKORNER
QUESTION: My sister's
boyfriend and his family are
migrating to the United States
very soon. The local embassy has
notified them to uplift their visa
this month. Someone told them
they can ask to bring my sister
with them because the guy wants
to marry her and she will be
given a visa as long as they get
married legally. Is this possible?
ANSWER: It would have been
helpful to know who exactly
petitioned for your sister's
boyfriend since the status of the
petitioner (along with the priori-
ty date) is an important factor in
advising you, says Dolly Hassan,
attorney at the Liberty Center in
Queens.
However, we will assume
that you may be referring to a
common situation in which a
permanent resident parent who


his attempt to become
youngest person, and first
African American, to ever fly
solo around the globe. The trip


mark the opening of EALC
last month, the 22-year-old
offered instructions to Miami-
Dade County Mayor Carlos


Photograph by Rick Garcia
Irving, left, offers instruction to Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez.


is designed to inspire other
young people to work toward
their dreams.
As part of the program to


Alvarez on how to operate the
controls of an aircraft.
0


Visa issues and marriage


petitions for a son or daughter
(over 21) becomes a U.S. citi-
zen, enabling that beneficiary
to get married. The spouse is
then able to immigrate at the
same time with the principal
beneficiary assuming that the
priority date is current (third-
preference).
If the petitioning parent is
not a U.S. citizen, the benefici-
ary will not be eligible for a
visa if he marries. Your sister's
boyfriend should contact the
U.S. consulate for a case-spe-
cific response and guidance
since, from your question, it
seems that the entire visa pack-
et has apparently been already
prepared for the beneficiary as
a single person.
PLEASE NOTE: For further
details on the Diversity Visa
(D V) or 'Greencard' Lottery
directly log on to:
www.state.gov/rlpa/prs/ps/200
6/72835. htm
This is a column created espe-


cially for immigrants concerned
or unsure of issues pertaining to
the U.S. immigration law. The
column will answer some of our
readers' frequently asked ques-
tions and provide responses
from qualified immigration
attorneys and advocates lobby-
ing for the US. immigration
cause.
If you or someone you
know has an immigration ques-
tion, then log on to www.immi-
grationkorner.com and submit
your questions. Personal
answers will not be provided.
The answers provided here are
for information purposes only,
and does not create attorney-
client relationship, nor is it a
substitute for "legal advise"
which can only be given by a
competent attorney after review-
ing all the facts of the case.
Contact the writer at
Felicia@hardbeatnews.com
- Compiled by Felicia Persauda
0


Montreal-based Haitian
singer and activist
Luck Mervil will be
the featured act at a concert
this month in Miami to raise


funds for the Haitian Cultural
Arts Alliance.
The concert, set for Dec.


15, is part of "Haitian Art and
Films", which is scheduled to
run through Dec. 29 at the
Tower Theater, 1508 S.W.
Eighth St.
The event is
being presented
by the Miami
Dade College
InterAmerican
Campus, in con-
junction with
the Haitian
Cultural Arts
Alliance, an
organization
that provides
assistance to
South Florida's
Haitian com-
munity.
For more infor-
mation, call 786-290-9718 or
786-267-0458.


Olive Chung-James, M.D.

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


Taylor, M.D.


Board Certified
Plastic Surgeon


N a The look you dreamed of:
BREAST AUGMENTATION/REDUCTION
LIPOSUCTION TUMMY TUCKS VARICOSE AND
SSPIDER VAIN TREATMENT KELOID REMOVAL EAR
LOBE REPAIR FACE LIFTS MICRODERMABRASION
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)


PAUL W. MOO YOUNG, D.D.S.
FAMILY DENTISTRY
EMERGENCY WALK-IN SERVICE


t Cosmetic
Restorative
Preventive

Member American Dental Association
Most Insurance Accepted
6701 Sunset Drive, Suite 114
KSouth Miami, FL 33143


Oral Surgery
Oral Cancer Screening
Root Canal Treatment
Orthodontics


(305) 666-4334


Luck strikes for Haiti


Leighton A.


IAN C. JONES, D.D.S.
* Preventive Dentistry
* Restorative & Cosmetic
Dentistry
* Crowns, Bridges, Dentures
* Oral Surgery & Root Canals
* Bleaching of Teeth


6300 W. Atlantic Blvd. Margate, FL 33063

VA (954) 956-9500
VIA-


mm-mmm"


December 2006








66-, US, Utoayco -


CARIBBEAN TODAY


i 0 c n AI


December 2006


U.S. orders new test questions for naturalization applicants


WASHINGTON United
States Citizenship and
Immigration Services
(USCIS) Director Emilio
Gonzalez has announced the
release of 144 questions and
answers for the pilot test of a
new naturalization exam.
USCIS will administer the
pilot exam in early 2007 to
about 5,000 volunteer citizen-
ship applicants in 10 cities.
"We found that the cur-
rent naturalization exam
process lacks standardization
and encourages applicants to


memorize facts just to pass a
test, but that doesn't guaran-
tee that they understand the
meaning behind the ques-
tion," said Gonzalez.
"Our goal is to inspire
immigrants to learn about the
civic values of this nation so
that after they take the oath
of citizenship they will partici-
pate fully in our great democ-
racy."

NEW FOCUS
USCIS included new
questions that focus on the


concepts of democracy and the
rights and responsibilities of
citizenship. In designing the
new exam, USCIS received
assistance and worked with
test development contractors,
U.S. history and government
scholars, and English as a sec-
ond language experts.
USCIS also sought input
from a variety of stakeholders,
including immigrant advocacy
groups, citizenship instructors
and district adjudications offi-
cers.
The pilot will allow


Applicants for U.S. citizenship will face a new set of questions before they can be
sworn in as Americans.


USCIS to work out any prob-
lems and refine the exam
before it is fully implemented
nationwide in the spring of
2008.
The questions and
answers are posted on
the agency website:
http://www. uscis.gov.
Questions that are not
successful in the pilot will be
dropped, narrowing the list to
the same 100 questions as the
current exam. The range of
acceptable answers to ques-
tions will increase so that
applicants may learn more
about a topic and select from
a wider range of responses.

VOCABULARY
In addition to new ques-
tions, USCIS will soon release
a new civics-based vocabulary


ome of the bi22%,I
Caribbean gospel artistes
are scheduled to perform


Stitchie
at this month's Air Jamaica
Gospel Fest in South Florida.
Stitchie, The Grace
Thrillers, Sanchez, Dobbie
Dobson, Claudelle Clarke,
Nigel Lewis, Ken Parker,
Junior Tucker, Deryck


list to help applicants study
for the English reading and
writing portion of the pro-
posed test.
During the trial period,
volunteer applicants who
choose to take the pilot exam
can immediately take the cur-
rent exam if they incorrectly
answer a pilot question. To
pass, applicants will have to
correctly answer six of 10
selected questions.
The 10 pilot test sites are:
Albany, New York; Boston,
Massachusetts; Charleston,
South Carolina; Denver,
Colorado; El Paso, Texas;
Kansas City, Missouri; Miami,
Florida; San Antonio, Texas;
Tucson, Arizona; and Yakima,
Washington.
0


Douglas, JHOY and Nadine
Sutherland will be among the
performers at from noon to 6
p.m. Dec. 16 at the Fort
Lauderdale New Testament
Church of God, 1601
Lauderdale Manor Drive.
The event is being pre-
sented by local Caribbean
radio station MYSTIK
1400AM.
Proceeds from this event
will benefit the Lovebird
Kid's Club, a non-profit
organization initiated by the
staff of Air Jamaica. The aim
of this organization is to
enhance the quality of life
for children living in the
Caribbean and in Caribbean
communities within the
United States by providing
increased educational oppor-
tunities and improved learn-
ing facilities.
For more information,
contact June Minto at 954-
739-6618.
0


S


Caribbean stars set to shine

at South Florida 'Gospel Fest'






CARIBBEAN TODAY


SHAWN P. WOLF AND
MICHAEL ROSENBERG

In several prior editions of
Caribbean Today we have
discussed the United
States. tax implications of a
non-U.S. citizen, non-U.S.
income tax resident alien
(NRA) owning, operating and
disposing of U.S. real estate.
Recently, we have had
several U.S. persons (i.e. U.S.
citizen or income tax resident
alien) and NRA clients
approach us to discuss the
consequences of transferring
real estate as part of a divorce
pro%'.LLdini1 and the results
were shocking.
First, it is important to
understand the history of the
U.S. tax law and the state of
the law as it stands today.
Prior to 1984, the tax conse-
quences (if any) on the divi-
sion of property as part of a
divorce were analyzed by con-
sidering a number of factors,
primarily whether there was
an "equitable distribution" of
property versus, for example,
one spouse using his or her
separate property in return for
relinquishment of "marital
rights". In the former situa-
tion, there generally would be
no U.S. income tax conse-


Sn es s


quences, where in the latter
situation such tax would likely
be imposed. To make matters


Caribbean couples may want to check
out the financial implications before
parting ways.
worse, the income tax results
varied based on each state's
respective divorce and proper-
ty laws.
Congress enacted clarify-
ing legislation in 1984. In the
simplest of terms, a division of
property between spouses is
not subject to U.S. income tax
if the transfer is "incident to
di\ ru> Special detailed
rules (a discussion of which is
beyond the scope of this arti-
cle) apply to determine if
the transfer is "incident to
di\ < >r This type of rule is
(CONTINUED ON PAGE 16)


'MINORITY EXPORTER OF

THE YEAR'


Jamaican-born Joseph Rhoden, executive vice president of Antilles Freight
Corporation, accepts the United States Department of Commerce's "Minority Exporter
of the Year" honor during the 24th Annual Minority Enterprise Development Week
(MEDWeek) awards gala held recently in Miami, Florida. Antilles Freight also won the
"Regional Award for Outstanding Performance", scoring ahead of over 30 U.S. minori-
ty firms from Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and
Florida. Each month, the company handles over 15,000 shipments, with a tonnage of
48,500 each, to all ports in the CARICOM region, Canada, Europe and the Far East.
Also present at the function were Marie Gill, left, Florida's MEDWeek coordinator and
publicist; and Joann Hill, U.S. Department of Commerce's chief of regional business
development in Atlanta, Georgia.


GROWTH NNOATION, TAfNTMANAGEMENT, INFORMATION TECHNlOLOGY.
GLOBAL ?AARKET, SUCCESSION AND LEADERSHIP."
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MAGAZINE
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IN A~SS AT"ON WITH



CARIBBEAN BUSINESS CLk


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Kids got unlimited fun And parents g t
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eye of Ultra Ian tls. relaxing on the beach*


As a paud sponsor of
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Ih YEAR ROUND "Cribbean
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Stage Shows Character Parades Daily
Special Events & Much More!


Sos~e he o~o~e ~~s~r~d nd~gn~eaeonedndIc~edb S ~W~l Zp 20O6S-.eWV.ksh.p.Alliht...ed.Sp.sc.ddibI.I
Activitnesand amnwnies mayvary bW reosn *Ad" wn~aqd~e Notr~sponsib eforany ervrs orwmrasson in this ad-UnhquVacalions.lnc istherlwjde hscorpnawntat~efof Retes Resorts


Surprise U.S. tax issues

can arise from divorce


BUS


LWW-crbbatoa.co


December 2006





CARIBBEAN TODAY


-usw^caribbeantodj..c..


B USI n ESS


West Indies cricket appoints new chief executive


Dr. Roland Toppin has
been appointed chief
executive officer
(CEO) of the West Indies
Cricket Board (WICB) with
effect from Feb. 1, 2007.
Toppin is presently the
general manager of Duraplast


Inc. in Barbados, a recycling
company which manufactures
roofing tiles. He previously
held the positions of director
of research, Sugar Technology
Research Unit in Barbados
and assistant professor of
chemistry at the University of


JYes, send me I year (12 issues) of Caribbean Today
for: U $35(US) First Class Q $20(US) Bulk Rate
I Payment Enclosed
Name:
Address:
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

Caribbean K;-ay
- - - - - - - - - - - -


Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. He
has a Ph.D. in biochemistry
from the University of
Cincinnati.
Six years ago, Toppin
made the transition from sci-
entific research to manage-
ment in the private sector
where, as general manager of
Duraplast Inc., he has helped
the growth in its local market
share and its expansion into
the region with exports of
durable roofing tiles to
Antigua and Barbuda, the
Cayman Islands, St. Kitts and
Nevis, St. Lucia, Trinidad and
Tobago and St. Thomas,
United States Virgin Islands.
Toppin is a former
chairman of Island Crafts
(Barbados) Inc. and deputy
chairman of the Barbados
Investment and Development
Corporation. He is also a
member of the Barbados
Cricket Association and a


former first divi-
sion cricketer.
"Having fol-
lowed, with inter-
est, the progress of
West Indies cricket
from as far as I can
remember, I con-
sider it a great
honor to have been
chosen as CEO of
the WICB at this
critical time and I
will do all in my
power to put the
policies in place
which will ulti-
mately lead to the
return of the West
Indies cricket team
to the top of the
world standings,"
Toppin said after
his appointment
was announced.
0


Toppin


Surprise U.S. tax issues


(CONTINUED FROM P/
generally referred to ii
income tax law as a no
recognition provision,
income that is realized
required to be recogni:
it is not taxed).

EXCEPTION
However, one of th
exceptions to this rule


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can arise from divorce

AGE 15) does not apply if the spouse contem
receiving property is an NRA. decree?
n U.S. Consider the following exam- does nc
n- ple: a U.S. citizen and an NRA the tax'
as are married and are residents The
is not of a Caribbean country ("U.S. merely
zed (i.e. vpui, and "NRA pvui of the f
respectively). Assume further could a
as part of a transaction that is results n
incident to their divorce, U.S. based o
he spouse agrees to give NRA what if
is that it spouse a Caribbean home that real est
is individually owned by U.S. spouse
spouse (because NRA spouse spouse,
will remain in Caribbean there ai
country) in exchange for the ments a
release of all of NRA spouse's to be c(
"marital rights". Finally, transfer
assume that the Caribbean from ar
home was purchased for son, do
$1,000,000 and as the date of thing? (
the transfer the Caribbean ning op
home is worth $2,000,000. Caribb
Because of the NRA investor
spouse's non-U.S. residence persona
and citizenship status, the U.S. Thi
spouse will not be able to ben- both a
efit from the non-recognition to an N
rule discussed above. Instead, own U.
this situation must be ana- ticularl
lyzed under the case law consider
existing prior to 1984. income
Thus, in this situation, might a
U.S. spouse may be required and pla
...... to recognize the $1,000,000 implica
gain on the transfer of U.S. part of
spouse's Caribbean home (i.e., Otherw
the $2,000,000 value less the income
$1,000,000 purchase price)! could a
Assuming this transaction
qualifies for long term capital Michae
gains treatment, and disre- Shawn
garding any potentially appli- ers with
cable exemptions for simplici- firm of
ty, this could result in a tax of & Rose
$150,000! reached
hPastorm PROBLEMS
t____ Was this tax consequence


plated in the divorce
? What if U.S. spouse
)t have the cash to pay
?
e above example is
demonstrative of one
potential problems that
rise, and other strange
might be possible
in other facts (e.g.,
the transfer is of U.S.
ate from an NRA
to another NRA
how is it taxed and are
ny withholding require-
and tax filings that need
considered? What if the
r is of U.S. real estate
n NRA to a U.S. per-
es this change any-
Could there be plan-
pportunities if the
ean home was held for
lent versus used as a
al residence?).
us, it is important that
U.S. person married
[RA and NRAs that
S. situated assets (par-
y U.S. real estate)
er the possible U.S.
tax implications that
arise from a divorce
n for such U.S. tax
tions accordingly as
the divorce decree.
uise, surprise U.S.
tax consequences
rise.

e1 Rosenberg and
P Wolf are sharehold-
the Coral Gables law
Packman, Neuwahl
'nberg and can be
dat 305-665-3311.


December 2006




CARIBBEAN TODAY


I


rl


The Air Jamaica family wishes you and yours peace and love
for this holiday season and hope that 2007 will be a year
of renewal and great success.

It's with true Caribbean pride that we say thanks to you
for your support and for giving us the privilege to serve you.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Yearl


December 2006


N-
mwl-o-W


r,.,--"mLh


x


* ,.





CARIBBEAN TODAY


-usw^caribbeantodj..c..


iBaRBaDOS IflDePeflDeflOU rATURE


P.M. Arthur lauds contribution of Barbadian diaspora


Barbados celebrated its 40th
Independence. The following is
an edited version of an address
by Prime Minister Owen
Arthur to mark the occasion.

It gives me great pleasure on
behalf of the Government
and people of Barbados to
extend warm greetings to all
Barbadian nationals living
overseas on the occasion of
the 40th anniversary of our
nation's Independence.
At times it seems that it
was only yesterday when the
teenagers of my generation
watched with pride and awe as
the Broken Trident rose for
the first time amid the massive
gathering of Barbadians at the
Garrison Savannah. We may
not have recognized the full
import of the moment nor the
enormous responsibility that
sovereignty would entail, but
we understood emotionally
what freedom really meant.
Forty years have passed,
and Barbadians have exer-
cised that responsibility well.
The remarkable stability and
progress of our beloved coun-
try over four decades of
nation-building is apparent to
all. And there is, I am con-
vinced, one simple underlying
reason for our success: the
character of our people.
I am honoured to be
able, once again, to direct a
special message of apprecia-
tion to all Barbadians in the
diaspora and to pay tribute to
the part you have played in
ensuring the progress of our
nation. Independence Day is a
special time for Barbadians
everywhere as we pause to
focus on our nationhood. For
this our 40th year, we have
determined that our celebra-
tions should revolve around
the theme: "A Proud Past: A
World Class Future", which
symbolizes both where we





is seeking for:
P1 Parking Attendants
PI Meter Collectors
IT- landscaping/Maintenance


Apply to:
Human Resources Dept.
Miami Parking Authority
190 1 3rd Street
Miami, 11t33132
employ@mniamiparling.cum
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have reached at
this moment of
our history and
where we wish
to go as a
nation.

GRATEFUL
As a people,
we are tremen-
dously grateful
for the contri-
butions that
Barbadians of
all walks of life
have made to
our national
development.
It is only fitting,
therefore, that
at this special
time we pause
also to reflect
and give thanks
for the invalu-
able contribu-
tions that our Arthur
overseas nation-
als have made
and continue to make to our
national development. Many
of your efforts are unseen and
unsung, but this does not
diminish their impact, or the
level of our gratitude. In fact,
in one area in particular, that
of remittances, the contribu-
tion of the Caribbean diaspora
to the GDP and foreign
exchange earnings of the
region has been so significant
as to be the subject of study
and reporting by no less an
agency than the Inter-
American Development
Bank.
In other areas, your con-
tribution is equally significant.
In that regard, I also com-
mend you for the role you
play daily in profiling
Barbados in your various
areas of endeavour, whether
in the field of business, acade-
mia, culture and the arts,
tourism or sports.
It is important that we
maintain our efforts to
increase our competitiveness
as we prepare for globaliza-
tion. For small economies
such as our own, the issue is
not whether we should inte-
grate our economies with
those in the hemisphere or
even globally but how we
should do so and on what
terms.
The Right Excellent Errol
Barrow in his maiden speech
to the 21st Session of the
General Assembly United
Nations, almost 40 years ago,
noted that "if larger countries
wish to earn or to retain the
confidence and respect of
small countries, there will
have to be a rapid change of
values. They must no longer
enjoy squatters' rights in the
volume and arrangement of
world trade. New concepts of
distribution and exchange will


our means of production in
pursuit of global competitive-
ness and as the basis by which
we can guarantee our sustain-
able development.
Barbados is also commit-
ted to developing a new and
more productive relationship
with the global investment
community that will enable us
to build a more competitive
modern economic system in a
manner that allows us to avoid


the debt trap.
It is important that we
continue to pursue a path of
excellence if we are to com-
pete successfully at the global
level. Barbadians are a
resilient people, a proud peo-
ple and an industrious people.
I am firmly of the view that
we possess the national char-
acteristics necessary to take us
to the next level.
0


Barbados Jazz Festival


set for Jan. 8-14


have to be worked out,
because emergent countries
will no longer be content to be
hewers of wood and drawers
of water while the wealth of
the world flows past them."
His words to that august
assembly are as relevant now
as they were then. We are of
the view that the new trading
relationships that we are
building, whether they are at
the WTO or with Europe,
must have a development
dimension that will allow us to
build the economic capacity
that is necessary in the face of
trade liberalization. We view
this as essential to the sustain-
able development of our
peoples.
We are also firmly com-
mitted to devising indigenous
strategies to promote our own
sustainable development. Our
involvement in the CARI-
COM Single Market and
Economy is a dlib, r.,i
attempt to create a single eco-
nomic space out of 15 dis-
parate states so that we can
realize the maximum benefits
for our peoples and at the
same interface more effective-
ly with the rest of the world.
We are also working
towards the creation of a
CARICOM Single Economy
by 2008 which will facilitate,
among other things, the coor-
dination of our economic sec-
toral policies, the integration
of our production and finan-
cial sectors, the convergence
of macro economic policies,
the building of a regional capi-
tal market and the harmoniza-
tion of monetary and fiscal
policies.

INTENTION
Our overall intention is to
put appropriate mechanisms
in place that will allow us at
the regional level to integrate


NEW YORK Grammy
award winner Anita Baker
and a cast of other regional
and international artistes are
scheduled to perform at the
14th edition of the Barbados
Jazz Festival next month.
The line-up for the event,
scheduled for Jan. 8-14, also
features Macy Gray, Terrence


performances.
The festival is being put
on through a partnership
between BET Digital
Networks, the Barbados
Tourism Authority and GMR
Productions.
A preview show of the
event, featuring highlights of
the 13th festival, is currently


Photograph by Barbados Tourism Authority
Saxaphonist Arturo Tappin, right, and RHEA, were present at the launch of the Barbados
Jazz Festival in New York last month.


Blanchard, Karen Briggs,
Stanley Clarke, Will Downing,
Robert Glasper, Goapele,
Marissa Lindsay, Hal Linton
and Arturo Sandoval, along
with gospel duo Mary Mary
and Barbadian saxophonist
Arturo Tappin.
Some of the island's most
picturesque locations, includ-
ing the Sunbury Plantation
House, Heritage Park at the
Foursquare Rum Refinery,
Garfield Sobers Auditorium,
The Crane Resort &
Residences and Farley Hill
National Park will stage the


on rotation on BET J's
"Island Lime" format on
Saturday, including Dec. 16,
23 and 30 (1 p.m. and 7 p.m.).
The show will also air on
Wednesday on Dec. 20 and
27 (6 p.m. and 5 a.m. the fol-
lowing day). All telecast times
are Eastern.
For more information on
the Barbados Jazz Festival,
visit www.barbadosjazzfesti-
val.com.
0


December 2006





CARIBBEAN TODAY


0T EnRT

J'can dancehall star Sean Paul

wins American Music Award


Dancehall star Sean Paul was
last month named "Best Male
AriiiL in the pop-rock cate-
gory at the American Music
Awards, the first time the
Jamaican had won a major
honor from the industry.
"This is the first time I've
been able to go up there and
thank people," said Sean Paul,
who beat out Nick Lachey and
Kanye West to win and went
on stage to collect the award
at the ceremony held at the
Shrine Auditorium in Los
Angeles, California.
"It's been a great day."
Earlier AMA ceremonies
had been a disappointment for
Sean Paul, who was nominat-
ed for rap/hip hop honors
in 2003. American Kelly
Clarkson won in the female


Sean Paul


category, while the group
Black Eyed Peas won three
AMAs, the most for the
evening.
0


Carriacou's parang festival

unfolds three days this month


Athree-day celebration
of the unique music,
dance, entertainment
and traditions of Carriacou
will unfold at the 29th Annual
Carriacou Parang Festival this
month.
The cultural extravaganza
is set for Dec. 15-17.
It starts with an open-air
concert in the streets of
Hillsborough featuring carol
singing, cultural presentations
and parang string bands. The
bands will travel
around the
island "parang-
ing" from house
to house all
night. All fes-
tivities this
evening are
free.
The second
night offers live
performances
from entertain-
ers from
Carriacou.
The festival
climaxes on
Sunday when Carriacou celebrate
organized
parang groups from villages
throughout Carriacou,
Grenada and Petite
Martinique battle for cash
prizes along with a challenge
trophy during the Parang
String Bands Competition.
PERCUSSION CLASH
The groups, composed of
no more than eight members
each, will use only percussion
instruments for the perform-
ances and will make two
appearances. The first is to
perform a "test piece", which
is a Christmas carol selected
by the Parang Festival


Committee. In the second
performance, each group will
perform a composition of
their choice.
Traditional Carriacou
celebration dances such as
"quadrille" and "big drum" will
also help to spice up the night.
The Carriacou Parang
Festival was created in 1977
to revive and keep alive the
lii 11"L to hiII1 serenading
of string bands, an indigenous
aspect of Carriacou's culture.


es its lively culture at the Parang Festival.

The festival is held every
year in December usually on
the weekend preceding the
Christmas holiday.
Carriacou is reachable by
St. Vincent Grenada Air
(SVG), St. Vincent and the
Grenadines and Grenada.
Carriacou is also reachable via
The Osprey, a motorized cata-
maran that departs twice daily
from Grenada.
For more information,
contact the Grenada Board
of Tourism in Carriacou at
473-443-7948.
0


inmme.


n T


LWW-crbbatoa.co


Photograph by Sharon Bennett
Ladies from the Caribbean Cultural Theatre (CCT) Ensemble perform the popular folk song "One poun' shawl a nuh shawl at all"
during "Heritage Salute 2006" last month honoring the legacy of Jamaica's cultural icon, the late Louise "Miss Lou" Bennett
Coverley. The event, presented by the Jamaican Consulate and the Jamaica Information Service, was held in New York City.
Jamaica's Consul General Basil K. Bryan, seated at right, observes the performance. "Miss Lou", who is credited with "interna-
tionalizing" the Jamaican idiom "patois", died at her home in Toronto, Canada on July 26.





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REMEMBERING 'MISS LOU'


December 2006





CARIBBEAN TODAY


READING TOGETHER IS FUN


"Reading Together with Radio Disney", a free a community program offering hour-
long storytelling sessions which bring reading to life in a fun way through games and
audience participation, is being offered to children under the age 10 each month at
various South Florida Commerce Bank locations. The program has resulted from a
partnership between Commerce Bank and Radio Disney (in Florida AM 1600). For
more information when the program will be coming to a Commerce Bank near you,
call your area branch.


PASSPORT REMINDER
The Western Hemisphere
Travel Initiative (WHTI) is
scheduled to take effect Jan. 8,
2007.
The WHTI requires all
those United States citizens
traveling by air to the
Caribbean to have a passport.
For information about
applying for a U.S. passport,
visit http://usps.com/passport
or call 800-ASK-USPS.

TOY DRIVE
The Center for Positive


Connections in Miami, Florida
is this month staging a toy
drive for children suffering
chronic diseases.
Unwrapped toys can be
dropped off by Dec. 12 at the
center, 12570 N.E. Seventh
Ave., Suite 104, North Miami.
The gifts will be presented
to the children at the Ninth
Annual Holiday Picnic on
Dec. 16.
For more information,
call Jim Konschnik, the cen-
ter's acting executive director,
at 305-891-2066.


BETHEL HOUSE
TO RE-OPEN
After 11 years of efforts,
and a $145,000 grant from
The Miami-Dade Task
Force on Urban Economic
Rehabilitation, the Bethel
House African-Bahamian
Museum, the homestead of
one of Florida's earliest
Bahamian settlers, will re-open
its doors to the public at 10
a.m. Dec. 18.
Bethel House is located at
18201 S.W. 103 Court, Perrine.
The Bethel House has
been revived as a cultural
center for residents of Perrine
and the surrounding areas.
It will also function as an eco-
nomic entity that will display
exhibits and archival collec-
tion on African-Bahamian
lifestyle.
Admission is free
although donations are
accepted. To learn more
about the museum and
upcoming events there, call
Helen Gage of Mz Goose
Inc. at 305-251-2458.

PARENTS NIGHT OUT
The Art and Culture
Center of Hollywood, Florida
will hold PIrL ni, Night Out"
events on Dec. 8 and Jan. 12.
Parents Night Out is a
chance for parents to have an
evening out on the town alone
while their children ages four
to 12 create art, participate in
creative movement activities,
play games, eat pizza and
watch movies at the center,
1650 Harrison St.
For more information
and reservations, call 954-921-
3274.

PARENT RESOURCE
GUIDE
The Miami-Dade County
Public Schools and The
Education Fund have co-
published a free Parent
Resource Guide 2006-2007
for the public.
The 88-page guide, spon-


scored by global financial serv-
ices provider ING, gives par-
ents information they need to
know about their child's
school, curriculum and stu-
dent requirements.
The guide is printed in
three languages -English,
Spanish and Haitian creole.
Each school in the system will
receive additional copies for
use in parent-teacher meet-
ings.
The guide may also be
viewed online at www.educa-
tionfund.org (under "Our
Publications") and www.dade-
schools.net (under
"RLOIIIrtLr ).
The 2006-2007 Guide pro-
vides a wealth of information
including revised curriculum
requirements, test schedules,
immunization requirements,
student services, legal rights
and parental involvement.

HURRICANE RELIEF
Elderly residents of
Broward County, Florida,
home to hundreds of
Caribbean immigrants, will
get hurricane help from the
county.
A $5,655,000 grant that
will provide assistance to
residents 60 years and older
that were affected by the
2005 hurricanes.
The grant money will be
administered by the Broward
County Elderly and Veteran
Services Division, and will be
used for rental subsidies to
assist elderly residents for
housing expenses incurred as
their residences were dam-
aged, in-home services such as
minor repairs and clean up, as
well as roof replacement.
The grant funds will be
available to any Broward
County resident 60 years or
older who is not receiving
services from another source
and was impacted by a hurri-
cane in 2005.
Assistance will be provid-
ed through an application
process. For more informa-
tion, call the Elderly and
Veteran Services Division at
954-537-2936.

PASSPORTS
The National Passport
Information Center (NPIC),
the United States Department
of State's single, centralized
public contact center for U.S.
passport information, is offer-
ing a toll free service and has
expanded its service availabili-
ty/options.
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:


npic@state.gov Website of
passport and other interna-
tional travel information is
available at travel.state.gov

'GREEN CARD' FILING
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
addresses:
For U.S. Postal Service
(USPS) deliveries:
U.S. Citizenship and
Immigration Services, P.O.
Box 54870 Los Angeles, CA
90054-0870;
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
90638
Applicants should not
include initial evidence and
supporting documentation
when submitting the Form I-
90 to the Los Angeles
Lockbox.
Applicants will receive a
notice for a biometrics pro-
cessing appointment at an
ASC and will submit their ini-
tial evidence during that
appointment.
Applicants will receive
their biometrics appointment
in the mail.

CRISIS HOTLINE
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-
lems.
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.
0


Most of us try to attract other people by the friends
AN W we keep and the way we carry ourselves. If you
AN WAL are going to a party or a formal function, don't you
dress well? We all want to promote a favorable
impression of ourselves to other people we meet
and talk to,.

If we agree on that, then think of this. Why should it
be any different for your business? If you want to
s project a favorable image of your company, in
order to win customers, you should keep your com-
A pany with good friends and.., dress your company
well in...


/I Caribbueanway
Peter A. Webley,
Publisher Consistently credible
For information, please call
305-238-2868, or fax 305-252-7843


December 2006


r Y I






CARIBBEAN TODAY


Food festivals showoff Caribbean taste to the world


ELEANOR M. WILSON


Food festivals are pop-
ping up around the
Caribbean at a
rapid pace. Why the
sudden surge? Society's
obsession with eating
has turned food into a
niche market.
Now enterprising
Caribbean islands are
turning visitors' curiosi-
ty into opportunities to
taste and even cook a
favorite dish or two.
The ultimate
aim is "Taste of the
Caribbean", highlight
of the Caribbean Hotel
Association's June con-
ference. Chefs who won
home island contests
bring their teams to vie
for medals in various
levels of food prepara-
tion.
In the "live kitchen" Chefs
preliminary round, each ing th
team prepares a three-
course meal for 35 persons in
under four hours. The menu is
designed from a "mystery bas-


ket" of ingredients which
appears just prior to the com-
petition's start. All entries are
judged by experts using


ture Caribbean food style, this
show brings international
recognition to winning chefs
while exposing their teams,


from Puerto Rico get down to work during the "Taste of the Caribbean" competition showcas-
e region's cuisine.

American Culinary Federation which often come from the


point standards.
Aside from promoting a signa-


smaller islands, to complete
new experiences in the bigger


Caribbean destinations entice


U.S. travelers to get passports


BRIDGETOWN, Barbados -
Sellers of Caribbean travel are
enticing consumers with incentives
to obtain a passport in light of the
impending Western Hemisphere
Travel Initiative (WHTI), which
will be implemented on Jan. 8, 2007
for all travelers re-entering the
United States via air transportation.
Travelers arriving by land and
sea will eventually need to possess
a passport as well, but this does not
take effect until June 2009.
"The Caribbean region
applauds the WHTI and the U.S.
government's efforts to increase
security at the borders," said
Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, secre-
tary general of the Caribbean
Tourism Organization (CTO).
"However, we believe that by hav-
ing different sets of rules depending
on one's mode of transportation -
sea, air or land travelers may
become confused, which will dis-
courage commerce and tourism.
"We are concerned that the
acceleration of the implementation
deadline for airline passengers does
not provide ample advance notice
to enable the public to obtain pass-
ports," Vanderpool-Wallace added.

INCENTIVES
Sellers of Caribbean travel
hope their offers will help keep
people traveling to the region
beyond Jan. 8, 2007. Incentives may
include full reimbursement of basic
passport fees, complimentary spa
packages, golf greens fees, attrac-
tion tours, room upgrades, extra
nights and gift shop purchases.
Jamaica launched a new pro-


gram encouraging U.S. citizens to
get their passports by rewarding
vacationers who make Jamaica
their first visit with their new pass-
port. Rewards include special cred-
its while on the island amounting to
the cost of obtaining a passport.
The Jamaica Tourist Board


(JTB) also is implementing
"Jamaican Morning Coffee
B r.i.s, to encourage Americans
to obtain their passports. Trough
mid-winter 2007, the JTB will hold
coffee breaks at major commuter
terminals in New York, Chicago
and Washington, D.C. where con-
sumers can actually apply for their
passports onsite as well as collect
the required forms. Free Jamaican
coffee will be served.
For more information visit
www.visitjamaica.com or call 1-800-
233-4JTB (1-800-233-4582).
In Aruba, the Amsterdam
Manor Beach Resort offers a $25


food and beverage credit per per-
son, per stay (minimum five-night
stay) to those who make Aruba the
first stamp in their passport. The
promotion is valid Jan. 3, 2007 to
Dec. 17, 2007.
For more information visit
www.AmsterdamManor.com or call
1-800-932-6509.
The Boardwalk Boutique
Hotel in Aruba is providing each
guest a $50 car rental voucher per
person (minimum of a five-night
stay) to those who make Aruba the
first stamp in their passport. The
special is valid for reservations
made through Dec. 31 for travel
through 2007.
Visit www.arubaboardwalk com
or call 011-297-586-1836.
La Cabana
All Suite Resort
in Aruba offers
f25 percent off
S regular nightly
: p rates when
booking directly
through the
hotel reservation
Vanderpool-Wallace center at 1-800-
835-7193 for those
travelers who make Aruba their
first point of entry with their new
passport. This promotion is valid
for bookings received by Dec. 15
for travel in 2007.
MVC Eagle Beach in Aruba is
providing a $25 food and beverage
credit per person, per stay (mini-
mum five-night stay) to those cus-
tomers who choose Aruba as their
first destination with their new
(CONTINUED ON PAGE 22)


food world.
Next event will take place
June 14-16, 2007 at the Hyatt
Regency Hotel in Miami,
Florida.

SIDE SHOWS
Now in its seventh year,
"Taste of St. Croix" was creat-
ed by two local restaurateurs
promoting the island's diverse
cuisine, including curried
conch, tilapia franchise and
mango creme brulee. Every
April, about 50 local chefs
stage a friendly competition
for "best local It,,L "best
presentation", and "best over-
all". Guests pay one admission
to sample from table to table
and nominate their favorites.
"In true Crucian fashion,
we have the complete culinary
picture here," said U.S. Virgin
Islands Commissioner of
Tourism Pamela Richards, a
St. Croix native, "from home
cooking to innovative cuisine,
and for a good cause."
The event benefits the St.
Croix Foundation, instrumen-
tal in developing public, pri-
vate and non-profit sectors.
"A Taste of Barbados"
follows a similar format, fea-
turing haute cuisine from ele-
gant Cliff House to lip
smackin' local plates from
Brown Sugar, and all styles in
between.

CROWDING THE
CALENDAR
Efforts to boost occupan-
cy through food tributes have
overloaded the October/
November calendar -Curacao
Cuisine and Cultural Heritage
Festival, the 4th Annual
Bermuda Gourmet Getaway
hosted by Bobby Flay, Sint


Maarten/Saint Martin Fete de
Cuisine, Kingston Restaurant
Week, Turks & Caicos Conch
Festival and National Platano
Festival in Puerto Rico.
Three new arrivals
embraced this idea in 2006. St.
Lucia's Food & Rum Festival,
held in Rodney Bay's culinary
setting, showcased top inter-
national chefs and rum ven-
dors. Festivities included tast-
ings, demonstrations, special
meals at five-star restaurants,
and a Caribbean Boulevard
for strolling and munching.
Attendees interacted with
chefs, bartenders and sponsors
at a Sunday brunch. Event
tickets were enticements in
several hotel packages.
NICHE (Nevis
International Culinary
Heritage Exposition) com-
bined a weeklong celebration
of food, wine and Caribbean
culture. For one overall price,
guests enjoyed beach bonfires,
fish fries, cooking classes host-
ed by renowned visiting chefs,
a bartender's competition,
beach picnic, a wine and
cheese class by the host of
Fromagers.com, champagne
dinner at Four Seasons, and a
Caribbean brunch featuring
the "Chefs of N \ i, preparing
their signature dishes.
The first annual Playa
Dorado Gastronomy Festival
introduced chefs from eight
area hotels and restaurants.
Recipes had to contain such
Dominican elements as sancho-
cho, seafood and varieties of
rice in an effort to stimulate
regeneration of traditional
dishes. Manuel Finke, executive
director of sponsoring Playa
(CONTINUED ON PAGE 22)


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December 2006






CARIBBEAN TODAY


-usw^caribbeantodj..c..


More airlines to fly into Caribbean 2007


Several airlines are facilitating
travelers to the Caribbean
by adding new flights for the
upcoming year and increasing the
frequencies of existing schedules
to the region.
By 2'" ,', vacationers will be
offered a wider variety of desti-
nations as well as flight times to
choose from when planning
their Caribbean getaways.
With increased service
between many Caribbean coun-


tries, intra-Caribbean travel or
'island hopping' is becoming
easier for travelers, allowing
them to experience multiple
destinations during a single trip
to the region.

NEW SERVICES
Effective Jan. 11, 2007,
Air Jamaica will increase flights
to St. Lucia and Barbados to
four times per week (every
Sunday, Monday, Wednesday
and Thursday).
Visit www.airjamaica.com
American Eagle will


* Celebrate Kingston on
Jan. 27
The best of Jamaica's capital city
will be on display next month dur-
ing "Kingston Festival 2007".
On Jan. 27, the festival is
expected to showcase the best the
city has to offer, including food, a
beauty pageant, a reggae concert,
and a job fair which will feature
companies taking employment
applications and screening poten-
tial employees for placement in
the Caribbean Single Market and
Economy.

* Dominica to discuss gay
tourism
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit


increase its service to Anguilla
adding two daily flights depart-
ing from San Juan starting Dec.
14. Visit www.aa.com or call
800-433-7300.
Continental will add a
second weekly non-stop flight
from Newark, New Jersey to
Bonaire starting Dec. 16.
Visit www. continental.com
or call 800-231-0856.
As of Jan. 1, 2007,
Caribbean Airlines will be
replacing BWIA West Indies
Airways, which has served the
Caribbean for 66 years.
The first Caribbean Airlines
flight will take off on Jan. 1 as


well. For more information go to
www.caribbean-airlines.com or
www.bwee.com or call 868-627-
2942.
Delta plans to add a daily
non-stop flight from Atlanta to
Santiago, Dominican Republic
with connections via New York
and New Jersey as well as a
daily non-stop and one-stop
flight from New York (JFK


says he has no problem meeting
with religious organizations want-
ing to discuss the issue of allow-
ing ships carrying gay tourists to
dock in Dominica.
"Gay Tourism" has once again
become an issue in Dominica with
the start of the new cruise season.
Last year, various religious bodies
publicly expressed their opposition
to the decision to allow cruise
ships carrying gays to berth in the
country.

Compiled from CMC and other
sources.
0


International Airport) to Punta
Cana, Dominican Republic
(with the one-stop in Atlanta)
starting Dec. 9.
On Dec. 15, Delta will add a
daily non-stop flight from Atlanta
to Puerto Plata, Dominican
Republic.
On Dec. 16, Delta is sched-


uled to offer non-stop service
from Atlanta to Martinique
every Saturday.
For more information visit
www.delta.com or call 800-241-
4141.
Northwest Airlines will
add a new non-stop flight from
Detroit Metropolitan Airport to


Cyril E. King Airport in St.
Thomas effective Jan. 6, 2007.
Visit www.nwa.com or call
800-345-7411.

Information obtained from the
Caribbean Tourism Organization.


Caribbean destinations entice U.S. travelers


(CONTINUED FROM PAGE 21)
passport. This special is valid Jan. 3,
2007 to Dec. 17,2007.
Visit www.MVCEagleBeach.
corn or call 011-297-587-0110.
Westin Aruba Resort, Spa &
Casino in Aruba provides a $50 food
and beverage credit per person, per
stay, valid through 2007 for those
who make Aruba the first stamp in
their passport.
For more information visit
www.westin.com/aruba or call 1-
877-822-2222.
Club Peace & Plenty in The
Bahamas, located on the Island of
Exuma, will reimburse the cost of
obtaining a passport for up to two
children and two adults in each
booking party. This promotion is
valid for bookings received by Dec.
31 for travel in 2007.
For more information visit
www.peaceandplenty.com or call 1-
800-525-2210.
Westin and Sheraton Grand
Bahama Island Our Lucaya Resort,
located on Grand Bahama Island, is
offering $100 in resort credit to
guests who obtain a passport now
through Dec. 31 for travel now
through June 2007.
For more information visit
www.ourlucaya.com or call 1-888-
627-7129 for the Sheraton or 1-888-
627-7130 for the Westin.
* Arawak Beach Inn, Anguilla, is
offering a special rate and a compli-
mentary day-trip to those travelers
who obtain a passport and make
Anguilla the first stamp in their
new passport. This offer is good for
travel through June 30,2007.
Visit www.arawakbeach.com
or call 1-877-427-2925.
Ladera Resort in St. Lucia
will reimburse the cost to obtain a
passport to travelers who make St.
Lucia their first visit with their new
passport. As an added incentive,
Ladera will also provide guests with


a leather passport case, a compli-
mentary 30-minute Jet-Lag massage
and a beverage from the bar. This
offer is valid Jan. 1, 2007 to Dec. 21,
2007.
A minimum five-night stay is
required. For more information
visit www.ladera.com or call 1-800-
738-4752.

CHAIN HOTELS
Marriott and Renaissance
Caribbean Resorts, including
Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris
Casino, Renaissance Aruba Resort
& Casino, Frenchman's Reef &
Morning Star Marriott Beach
Resort (St. Thomas), Curacao
Marriott Beach Resort & Emerald
Casino, and St. Kitts Marriott
Resort & The Royal Beach Casino,
are offering a $100 resort credit
(minimum five-night stay) for those
who make any one of these proper-
ties their first visit with their new
passport. This offer is valid Jan. 1,
2007 to April 30,2007.
Visit www.paradisebymar-
riott.com or call 1-888-PARADISE.
SuperClubs has nine resorts in
the Caribbean, including Grand
Lido Negril Resort & Spa, Grand
Lido Braco Resort & Spa, Breezes
Runaway Bay Resort & Golf Club,
Breezes Montego Bay, Hedonism II
and Hedonism III, all in Jamaica;
Breezes Bahamas in Nassau;
Breezes Curacao Resort Spa &
Casino; and Breezes Puerto Plata
Resort Spa & Casino in the
Dominican Republic.
Those travelers who obtain
new passports or renew older ones,
and stay at one of these SuperClubs
properties, will receive the cost of
obtaining a passport credited
towards a vacation package.
Travelers must book by Jan. 8,
2007, for travel anytime in 2007.
For more information visit
www.Super( lhbs.co or call 1-800-


GO-SUPER (1-800-467-8737).

TOUR OPERATORS
CheapCaribbean.com will
reimburse the cost to acquire a
passport for each member of the
traveling party when booking
through the agency.
Visit www.CheapCwibbetm.wm or
call 1-800-915-2322.
Many Caribbean governments,
as well as CTO, are creating public
awareness campaigns to inform the
public of the need to obtain a pass-
port by the Jan. 8,2007 WHTI
implementation date, as well as
where and how to get one.
Passports may be obtained
through the U.S. Postal Service. The
passport fees are paid to the U.S.
Department of State while execution
fees are paid to the postmaster. Fees
are as follows: passport fee ($67), exe-
cution fee J. 11 and photo fee ($15).
Fees for children under age 16
include: passport fee ($52), execu-
tion fee ' 11 and photo fee ($15).
Prospective passport seekers
can provide their own passport
photos.
For information about apply-
ing for a U.S. passport, visit
usps.com/passport or call 800-ASK-
USPS.
For information about the
WHTI, travelers can visit the U.S.
State Department's website at
www. travel.state.gov/travel/cbpmc/cb
pmc_2223.html.
Private companies that offer U.S.
passport services include
International Visa Services, a pass-
port expediting company that has
partnered with CTO in order to
help travelers obtain their pass-
ports. For more information on
their services visit
www.visalady.com or call 1-800-
627-1112.


Food festivals showoff Caribbean taste to the world


(CONTINUED FROM PAGE 21)
Dorado Hotel Association,
said: "This is a wonderful
opportunity for everyone to
enjoy our local dishes, and I'm
sure the event will be welcomed
back each year."
If it follows the experi-
ence of "Epicurean E%,.p ,
now approaching its eighth
year at Grand Lido Negril in
Jamaica, June 27-July 1, 2007,
success is guaranteed.
"In 2000," said a
SuperClubs spokesperson,
"only two international chefs
joined our team for the four-
day event. In 2006, we had to


turn away chefs and
guests. So our goal
of growing room
occupancy, while
offering a value
event, has definitely
been reached."

PLAN AHEAD
Jamaica avoids
crowding by cele-
brating its bountiful
harvest on an indi-
vidual basis year-
round. There's the
Trelawny Yam
Festival and
Westmoreland's
Curry Festival in


Visitors to the Portland Jerk Festival in Jamaica sample the taste at the "home of
jerk" food.


April. On May
Labour
Weekend, all
roads lead to
James Bond
Beach for the
Chicken
Festival cur-
ried, stewed,
fried or jerked.
July is the
Portland Jerk
Festival, served
up at Boston
Beach, the
home of jerk.
In the remain-
ing months,
Jamaicans


revere coconuts in St. James;
breadfruit in Bath; coffee in
Kingston; fish, bammy, sugar
cane and sorrel.
Portland's Swift River
Bussu (or Janga) Festival in
August honors a freshwater
shellfish similar to a snail. Try
it as soup, curried, stewed or in
a variation of the ever popular
Jamaican patty...but be ready
for that aphrodisiac effect!

Eleanor M. Wilson is a
freelance writer for Caribbean
Today.
0


TOURISM BRIEFS


December 2006


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





CARIBBEAN TODAY


F nT U R 6


LWW-crbbatoa.co


Caribbean interests lash U.S. over new passport measures


NEW YORK, CMC -
Congresswoman-elect Yvette
D. Clarke has criticized the
decision of the United States to
impose new passport require-
ments for citizens traveling to
the Caribbean by air.
Last month, the U.S. State
Department announced that
all U.S. citizens traveling by
air between the United States
and Canada, Mexico, Central
and South America, the
Caribbean, and Bermuda,
must present
a valid pass-
port, effec-
tive Jan. 23
next year.
It
also said that
U.S. citizens
traveling to
those coun-
Clare tries by land
or sea had
until Jan. 1,
2008 to present a valid pass-
port on re-entering the U.S.
In the past, U.S. travelers
only required a driver's license
or a valid form of identifica-
tion to re-enter the country.

SENSITIVE
Clarke, who will become
the new congressional repre-
sentative for the predominantly
Caribbean 11th Congressional
District in Brooklyn, told the
Caribbean Media Corporation
(CMC) that Washington should
have been more sensitive to the
request of the Caribbean on
the issue.
"This is another case in
which the United States acts
unilaterally without consider-
ing the impact of regulating
travel on other regions, partic-
ularly the Caribbean, which is
a Third Border to the U.S.,"
she said.
"When the United States
makes a decision for security
reasons, there should be
someone there with sensitivi-
ty," added Clarke, who has
promised to table legislation
in Congress addressing the
passport and other issues
affecting the Caribbean.
"It'll be something I'll
take up. I'll have the appro-
priate legislation to address
it. Being on the Hill (Capitol
Hill), I'll be there to be a
voice on this issue. I will
reach out to as many col-
leagues as I can," she added.
Clarke said she is bewil-
dered that U.S. lawmakers
were quick to enact legislation
that would seriously impact on
the Caribbean.
"Everyone who is elected
to Congress travels to the
Caribbean. So this is not a
foreign matter. The matter is:


there is no one there to pur-
sue this as a problem. I have a
much-heightened level of sen-
sitivity to these issues. You
can count on me. There are
Caribbean people who elected
me," she said.

DOUBLE STANDARDS
Earlier, Irwine Clare, a
leading Caribbean immigra-
tion advocate in New York,
said the U.S. has set double
standards by announcing dif-
ferent dates for implementa-
tion of the new passport rules
by air, sea and land.
"I understand it's done
from the background of secu-
rity, which I have no problem
with," said Clare, the
Jamaican-born managing
director of the Queens-based
Caribbean
Immigrant
Services
(CIS).
"But
they exempt
the cruise
industry
from the
early date.
It seems as
Antoine though it's a
shenanigan,
but it gives the impression
that money can buy anything.
The cruise industry had lob-
bied the State and Homeland
Security Departments very
hard. They (Washington)
should have a blanket sce-
nario."
Dr. Dennis Antoine,
Grenada's United States
ambassador and dean of the
CARICOM diplomatic corps
in Washington, said the region
stands to suffer Imm1 n I'
if the U.S. remains unsympa-
thetic to the region's cause.
"We hope the impact

"Everyone who is elected to
Congress travels to the
Caribbean. So this is not a
foreign matter. The matter
is: there is no one there to
pursue this as a problem"-
Yvette D. Clarke.

would be softened by new
accommodations. We're look-
ing for sensitivity and accom-
modation so that there will
not be serious impact on the
region."
Secretary General of
the 32-member Caribbean
Tourism Organization (CTO),
Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace,
has compared the recent U.S.
amendment of the Western
Hemisphere Travel Initiative
to a "Category 6 Hurricane".
A recent study, conducted
by the London-based World


Hotel and Tourism Council
and commissioned by the
CTO, predicts that the


Caribbean could lose up to
$2 billion and over 180,000
jobs as a result of the new


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P 0 1 I T I C S


Jamaica's political parties in dead heat ~ poll


KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC -
The ruling People's National
Party (PNP) and the main
Opposition Jamaica Labour
Party (JLP) are in a close race
for winning the next general
elections here, according to
the latest opinion poll pub-
lished last month.
Prime Minister Portia


Simpson Miller has so far resis-
ted calls by the JLP for her to
name a date for general elec-
tions that political observers
say could be held before the
constitutional deadline next
year, insisting that no one from
the Opposition would deter-
mine her party's agenda.
The Carl Stone polls,


published in the Jamaica
Observer newspaper, stated
that the PNP had suffered a
13.7 percent slide since last
November, representing a two
percentage drop as against a
three percentage increase for
the JLP.
According to the poll-
sters, 28.6 percent of those


Jamaica's Opposition, led by Bruce Golding, right, has closed the
gap on the Portia Simpson Miller-led government.


questioned said they would
vote for the JLP under the
leadership of Bruce Golding,
as compared to 28.7 percent
who said they would vote for
the Simpson Miller-led PNP if
the elections were held today.

DECLINE
The Stone team compared
the latest findings to a poll
conducted in Nov. 2005, when
42.4 percent of voters said
they would cast their ballot
for a Simpson Miller-led PNP
- who had not yet taken over


the leader-
ship of the
party.
But since
then, the rul-
ing party has
recorded sig-
nificant
declines in
support,
while the JLP
has remained
within the
polls' margin
of error of
plus or minus
three percent.
Simpson
Miller was


elected presi-
dent of the PNP in February
and replaced PJ. Patterson as
prime minister in March.
The Stone team conduct-
ed the latest poll among 1,473
voters between Oct. 21 and
Oct. 25, just over two weeks
after the JLP revealed that the
PNP had accepted money
from Trafigura, a Holland-
based oil firm that holds a
contract with the Jamaica
government to lift and sell
Nigerian crude for Jamaica on
the world market.
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December 2006





CARIBBEAN TODAY


REGION


LW-S^^ caribbeantoday


T&T to extend 'sunset' laws beyond Cricket World Cup


PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad,
CMC- The Trinidad and
Tobago government says it will
introduce legislation similar to
what is contained in the sunset
legislation for facilitating the
free movement of people with-
in the Caribbean during next
year's ICC Cricket World Cup
(CWC).
National Security Minister
Martin Joseph, winding up


debate on the "Transmission of
Advance Passenger Information
Act" last month, said that the
Patrick Manning administration
would re-introduce the legisla-
tion "on a permanent basis."
He told the Senate that the
sunset legislation, which comes
to an end on June 30, would be
one of the "legacy ilkm, as the
region prepares itself for the
Caribbean community (CARI-


Barbados delays departure tax hike


BRIDGETOWN, Barbados,
CMC Airport authorities have
announced a two-month stay of
execution on the introduction of
a Bds$60 ($30) passenger serv-
ice charge for travelers exiting
the island through the Grantley
Adams International Airport.
Grantley Adams International
Airport Incorporated (GAIA)
announced in a recent press release
that the increased fee, which was
originally scheduled to be introduced
on Dec. 1, would now come into
effect from Feb. 2007 following rep-
resentation from the tourism sector.
The officials had previously
announced that the present
departure tax of Bds$25
($12.50) would have been
increased to Bds$55 (U$27.50)
effective Dec. 1, with a further
Bds$5 ($2.50) security fee being
added from Feb. 1.
GAIA Inc. management
said following representation
from the Barbados Hotel and
Tourism Association (BHTA),
the Barbados Tourism
Authority and other tourism
stakeholders, a decision was


made to suspend the increase
until next year, at which time
the fee will be included in air-
line tickets.

SEEMLESS
BHTA President Alvin
Jemmott welcomed the deci-
sion, which he said would make
for a seamless transition into
the new fee.
"The removal of the
December introduction of the
departure tax and placing it into
tickets allows for a seamless
transition that would in my
mind take away any chaos and
confusion that would have been
caused by the introduction of
the tax at this time," he said.
"The delay will allow visi-
tors coming into Barbados to
fully look at the country in
terms of its price for value."
GAIA Inc. Chief Executive
Officer Leon Romero said the
increased fee would assist with
the capital development program
being undertaken at the airport.
0


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COM) Single
Market and
Economy
(CSME) that
allows for the
free move-
ment of peo-
ple within the
region.
Joseph "Clearly in
the context like that, we must
be able to have a regional intel-
ligence and security mechanism
before us," he said, dismissing
fears that it would be used to
obtain private information on
persons.
"No additional forms will
need to be filled out and no
data from the immigration card
will be required," he said, not-


ing that the data required
would be in conformity with
international legal or regulatory
guidelines.

THIRD PARTY
Opposition and
Independent legislators
have criticized some aspects
of the legislation required for
hosting the games saying that
information gathered would
be passed on to a third party,
namely the United States.
But Joseph defended the
policy, saying that it would have
been impossible for a small
region to have been able to
stage such a global event with-
out the help of its international
partners. He said while the leg-


isolation did not require any
relationship with Washington,
"without such a relationship we
shall be denied information
that might be vital to our
national and regional security."
The national security minis-
ter also defended the memoran-
dum of intent signed between
CARICOM and Washington
here in October, warning that
the region was not immune to
terrorist attacks.
"The U.S., with its focus on
terrorism, will have more infor-
mation in this respect than other
countries," he said. "Are we to
deny ourselves this access and
increase our vulnerability?"
0


Guyana reduces chicken tariff

to ensure Christmas supply


GEORGETOWN, Guyana,
CMC The Guyana govern-
ment says it will significantly
reduce the tariff for the impor-
tation of chicken so as to
ensure a ready supply for
the Christmas season.
Tourism, Industry and
Commerce Minister Manniram
Prashad described as fruitful a
meeting with the Poultry
Owners Association (POA) and
other stakeholders last month.
"It was a fruitful meeting.
We will now lower the tariff to
40 percent duty and 10 percent


consumption, and it must
be made clear that this is
temporary," Prashad said.
Prashad said that while
POA members had expressed
concerns over the lowering of
the tariff, the decision was
made in the interest of every-
one. At present the tariff is 100
percent duty and 10 percent
consumption tax.
The ministry said it would
issue licenses to importers and
that only 700,000 pounds of
chicken would be imported for
the Christmas season.


"Importers have assured
us that they will only import
the amount that we have per-
mitted them to import and our
commerce department has
mechanisms in place to moni-
tor them," Prashad said, adding
that he had been given an
assurance by the importers that
the imported chickens would
be sold at a reasonable price.
"I do hope that producers
of local chicken will lower their
prices now," Prashad said.
0


T&T High Court frees radical Muslim leader


AHigh Court in Trinidad
and Tobago has freed
the leader of a radical
Muslim group who had been
charged with conspiracy to
murder two former members
of the organization after the
judge directed the jury to
return a not guilty verdict.
Defense lawyers had
argued that there was no evi-
dence against their client,
Yasin Abu Bakr, and that the
evidence of the witnesses for
the prosecution, "taken at its
highest, is such that a jury
properly directed could not
properly convict on it".
In a 20-page ruling,
Justice Mustapha Ibrahim
said that after considering
the evidence of the witnesses,
including the star witness,
Brent Miller, he came to the
conclusion that it was "very
weak and so manifestly unreli-
able and so discredited... that
no reasonable tribunal, none
whatever, could safely convict
on it.
"If there is a conviction
on this evidence there will cer-
tainly be a miscarriage of jus-


tice. I have therefore decided
that in the exercise of my dis-
cretion I should stop the trial
at this point in time and direct
the jury to return a verdict of
not guilty," he told the court.

CONSPIRACY CHARGE
Bakr, 65, who led an
unsuccessful coup against
the Trinidad and Tobago gov-
ernment in
1990, had
been accused
of conspiracy
to murder
Saleem
Rasheed and
Zaki
Aubaidah,
Bakr former mem-
bers of the
Jamaat al
Muslimeen group. The con-
spiracy allegedly took place
on June 4, 2004 at the home
of David Millard in Diego
Martin, west of here and one
of Miller's friends, Brent
"Small Brent" Danglade
allegedly overhead the con-
versation.
Rasheed survived a drive


by shooting that night at the
MovieTowne complex, west of
here, resulting in the death of
one person and injury to two
others. Miller, who had been
charged with the murder, was
given immunity in exchange
for his testimony.
But in his ruling, the
judge said that Miller was "so
discredited in cross examina-
tion" by both the defense and
prosecution lawyers "that his
evidence is totally unreliable.
"What is of great concern
is that throughout his evidence
he maintained that he is saying
what he said because of the
immunity and he fears that the
immunity will be taken away if
he says otherwise. This is a
case where the witness has to
say that the statements are
true and to give evidence in
conformity therewith because
of the fear of losing the immu-
nity," the judge said.
Last year, a jury had
failed to agree on a verdict at
the first trial of Bakr on the
charges.
0


NEVIS SEEKS ITS NICHE


mIe Caribbean island of Nevis offered its presence at last montn's World Iravel
Market in London, England. Among those helping to promote the country among
high-profile travel industry leaders, including travel agents, tour operators, whole-
salers and media representatives were, from right: Premier Joseph Parry, Helen Kidd,
chief executive officer of the Nevis Tourism Authority (NTA), Julie Claxton, NTA sales
and marketing representative; Janise Robinson, regional sales and marketing man-
ager for Caribbean StarAirlines; and John Wrightington, the airline's network man-
agement director.


December 2006





CARIBBEAN TODAY


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T&T, Jamaica fail in bid for women's World Cup soccer


GORDON WILLIAMS

The Caribbean's hopes of
making it to the finals
of women's soccer
World Cup next year fizzled
last month as Jamaica and
Trinidad and Tobago were
bumped early from the CON-
CACAF Gold Cup in the
United States.
However, Jamaica's
Reggae Girlz still managed
to secure a place in the Pan
American Games in 2007 by
finishing ahead of T&T in the
Gold Cup to become the
Caribbean's lone representa-
tive in Brazil next summer.
With both countries need-
ing to reach to finals of the
Gold Cup to guarantee a
place in the 2007 World Cup
in China, T&T, short on
preparation and disappoint-
ingly late in arriving in Miami,
fell in the first round of the
eight team knockout tourna-
ment in South Florida, beaten
3-0 by Mexico on Nov. 19.
Earlier that day Jamaica,
at the same Tropical Park
Stadium, advanced to the
semi-final by beating Panama
2-0. That win and T&T's loss
guaranteed the Reggae Girlz
a place in the Pan Am Games
over T&T, but their sights
were set on a bigger prize and


they were to be disappointed.

BIG LOSSES
Canada, which had
received a bye to the Gold
Cup semi-final along with the


Photograph b
Canada's Martina Franko, left, and Jamaica's Yc
Hamilton focus on the ball during their CONCA
Women's Gold Cup clash last month.
U.S., used a strong second
half to swamp Jamaica 4-0 at
the Home Depot Center in
Carson, California to deal a
huge setback to the Girlz'
World Cup drive.
Yet Jamaica's World Cup
hopes, which were also ham-
pered by the late arrival of
key team members due to
U.S. college commitments,
were not totally finished. If
the Girlz could win the third
place Gold Cup match-up


against Mexico, which had lost
2-0 to the U.S. in the other
semi-final, Jamaica would
then play Japan in a home
and away playoff for a place
in China.
But Mexico beat
Jamaica 3-0 on Nov.
26 in Carson to end
the Reggae Girlz'
chances.
"This team has
never played togeth-
er," Jamaica's coach
Vin Blaine was quot-
ed as saying in a
Jamaican newspaper
following the loss to
Mexico. "So they
don't know each other
well and they play off
y ACAF natural ability and the
Yolande little that I could
CAF coach."
That alone was not
good enough for a
berth in the World Cup, but
the Girlz, who impressed rival
coaches with their speed and
technical abilities, did get invi-
tations to play in several tour-
naments in the U.S. leading
up to the Pan Am Games.

Gordon Williams is Caribbean
Today's managing editor.
0


Publix Joins You in Celebrating Barbados' Independence Day--11.30.06


Publix.
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December 2006





CARIBBEAN TODAY


LW-S^^ caribbeantoday


Jamaica's Fraser signs new soccer deal with Miami F.C.


GORDON WILLIAMS
Jamaican Sean Fraser has
extended his stay with
United Soccer Leagues
(USL) club Miami EC.
The rangy midfielder, who
impressed the Florida-based
club in his first professional sea-
son this year, has been signed to
a new two-year contract exten-
sion, with an option for a third,
according to his agents.
"Miami wants to keep
Sean a bit longer," agent Rob
Feigenson told Caribbean
Today late last
month.
Fraser, who Dj
was in Jamaica FEG
at the time the
deal was signed,
has been linked WAF
with a move to CARG(
Brazil for a loan
stint with Rio de EXPO
Janiero club Boa
Vista. However,
up to press time Tel: 3(
he was reported- Fax: 30
ly waiting on a
work permit and Email: ben
other travel doc-
uments.
Last month,
Fraser told
Caribbean Today
that he would
welcome the
opportunity to
play in Brazil as
he admired the For a listii
style of the South
American soccer
giants. This past
season he played
alongside several
Caribbean-born
players at Miami BCC strong
EC., most ,
notably defender


"L ^2

Fraser
Haitian Stephane Guillaume,


who also joined the club in
2006.
Fraser, playing alongside
Brazilian World Cup winners
Romario and Zinho, appeared
in 22 games for Miami EC.,
scoring four goals and recording
four assists.
The team
reached the
USL playoffs in
its first season.
Following
the USL sea-
son, Fraser
was called to


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open procurement solicitations visit:
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954-201-7455
gly encourages participation by minority and women-
owned business enterprises (MWBE firms)


the Jamaica national squad and
played for the Reggae Boyz in
the Digicel Caribbean Cup
qualifiers. Guillaume also rep-
resented Haiti in that tourna-
ment.
Fraser's agents declined to


reveal the financial term's of
the player's new deal with
Miami EC.

Gordon Williams is Caribbean
Today's managing editor.
0


SPORT


PITCH PREDICAMENT
Photograph by Imran Khan

West Indies cricket captain Brian
Lara, right, offers his views on the
state of the pitch to coach Bennett
King prior to the start of the first
Test match between hosts Pakistan
and the visitors from the Caribbean
last month at the Gadaffi Stadium
in Lahore. Lara scored a magnifi-
cent century and a half century on
the pitch, but many of his team-
mates found the going much harder
and the West Indies tumbled to a
nine wicket loss. The captain
returned to scorch the Pakistanis
with another excellent knock in the
second Test as well, a double cen-
tury, but that game was drawn. The

to go down 2-0 in the series and
the men from the Caribbean turned
towards the one-day internationals
against Pakistan to salvage some
pride.


RACE TO THE TOP


A Caribbean connection accounted for the two top honors at the IMF's 2006 World
Athletics Gala in Monte Carlo last month. The Jamaican-born duo of Sanya
Richards, left, and Asafa Powell were named the "World Athletes of the Year".
Representing Jamaica, Powell dominated the 100 meters, while in the 400 meters
Richards, who runs for the United States, was exceptional as well. Both earned
$100,000.


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



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






6onmecfffy't tfAe Cfar66ea


December 2006





CARIBBEAN TODAY


Longing for some of that home cooking?
Oh! That aroma from the kitchen! Satisfy your
hunger with some of grandma's rice and
gungo, finger licking jerk pork and savory
curry goat all with family and friends




















It's an opportunity not only to whet that appetite but also to
reacquaint with family, reconnect with friends and relish in the
fun and warmth of just being home in great company. There's
no time like now. Come enjoy the feast! Catch up with friends!
Let's have some funt
If you haven't been home for a while, a lot has changed.
There's so much to see and do. Both airports are being
upgraded. There are new roads and highways. If you're not
careful you might get lost.
Jamaican holiday periods offer sheer excitement, whether it's
Christmas, Easter or Independence. What better place to spend
this holiday season than at home with family and friends, great
food and lots of fun.
And though you may have been away for a long time, and
are a green card holder, or became a US citizen, remember,
effective January 8, 2007, all persons, traveling by air between
the United States and Jamaica will need to have a passport to
enter or re-enter the United States.
We look forward to welcoming you home. For further
information contact your travel agent or www.visitjamaica.com


December 2006




Full Text

PAGE 1

PRESOR TED STANDARD U.S. POSTAGE PAID MIAMI, FL PERMIT NO. 7315 V ol.18 No.1 DECEMBER 2006 Tel: (305 1-800-605-7516caribtoday@earthlink.net ct_ads@bellsouth.net Jamaica: 654-7782 We cover your world INSIDEThe slowly emer ging political awar eness of Caribbeanimmigrants in the UnitedStates may find a jump-star t from Barack Obama, the U.S. senator fr om Illinois, page 2. Dancehall star SeanPaul waschosen the“Best Male Artiste” in the pop-rock category at the American Music Awards, the first time the Jamaican had won a major music honor, page 19. Food festivals ar e popping up ar ound the Caribbean at a rapid pace. Why the sudden urge? Society’s obsessionwith eating has tur ned food into a niche market, page 21. News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Viewpoint . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Health . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 Food . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Local . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 Business . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Entertainment . . . . . . . . . . . . .19 FYI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 Tourism/Travel . . . . . . . . . . . . .21 Politics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24 Region . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25 Sport . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26 ~ Leaders like Portia Simpson Miller of Jamaica marked the 30th Miami Conference on the Caribbean Basin by hailing the r egion’s progress. But they also agreed Caribbean nationsmust stick together to enhance development at home and be competitive in the global marketplace, page 8. THE MULTI AWARD-WINNING NEWS MAGAZINE CALL CARIBBEAN TODAY DIRECT FROM JAMAICA 654-7782 CALL CARIBBEAN TODAY DIRECT FROM JAMAICA 654-7782 CTDec2006.qxd 12/10/06 11:54 PM Page 1

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Washington, D.C. St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Denzil Douglas has renewedthe call for the establishmentof a natural disaster fund and a special renewable energy resources fund to benefit theCaribbean. Douglas made the call while in Washington D.C., the United States, last month to address the Organization of American States Permanent Council. The prime minister ar gued that the Caribbean r egion’s vulnerability to natural disasters especially hur ricanes and the rising cost of petroleum-based energy, pose tremendous challenges andther efor e merit priority attention within the inter -American system. “The (OAS should not be all things to all people,” Douglas told a protocolary session of the OAS Permanent Council convened in his honor. “But when a significant number of its constituents suf fer a common problem, the or ganization has an obligation GORDON WILLIAMS MIAMI The slowly emerging political awareness ofCaribbean immigrants in the United States may find ar eason to jumpstart from its slumber in the form of Barack Obama, the U.S. senator from Illinois. While surveys continue to show that CaribbeanAmericans tend to lag behindother immigrant gr oups on the politically active fr ont, the appeal of Obama, highly touted as a possible candidate in the next U.S. presidential race in 2008, is already beingnoticed. “He has such charisma,” said a Jamaican woman afterhearing the senator speak at last month’s MiamiInter national Book Fair. “He is easy to listen to andunderstand. He sounds like Bill Clinton and he’s like oneof us. And he does makesome inter esting points.” The comparison of Obama with the former U.S. president is particularly significant as Caribbean immigrants were often drawn toClinton’ s charm. That Obama is black and the son of a for eigner (Kenyan father not hurt either. “He may better under stand our (Caribbeansaid the woman, one of manyCaribbean immigrants who attended Obama’s presenta-tion. Last month Obama, in his address to a packed GusmanTheater in downtown Miami,showed that he may have found common ground with a population as diverse as any in the U.S. The senator explained that “the country’smood has begun to shift” and the audience’s continuous generous applause indicated thatthose listening had latchedonto his line of thinking andar e asking the same questions today . “Why would we want to send $800 million a day to some of the most hostile coun-tries on ear th?” Obama asked in reference to the U.S. financial backing of nations which continue to oppose Americanpolicies. BACKFIRED On the fr ont burner issue of the war in Iraq, Obama,who appear ed at the fair to promote his new book titled “The Audacity of Hope”, not only criticized the current U.S. administration’s efforts, butalso challenged the Americanpeople to rally against a policyhe claims has clearly backfir ed. e have to insist that we get it right when we go to war,” the senator said. “Wecan do better . “There are no good options now in Iraq,” he wouldadd later . “There are bad options and ther e are worse options.” The senator, who claimed he had opposed the invasion ofIraq, also called for a phasedwithdrawal of American troops. BLAME However , he blamed some of the problems on the fact that many Americans are too busy Obama strikes a chord with Caribbean immigrants 2 CARIBBEAN TODAYDecember 2006 U.S. Senator Barack Obama. Photogra ph by Juan Manuel Herrara.Prime Minister Denzil Douglas, right,is greeted by Jos Miguel Insulza,secretary general of the Organiza tion of American States. NEWS NEWS www.caribbeantoday.com (CONTINUED ON P AGE 6) (CONTINUED ON PAGE 6) Caribbean needs more protection from natural disasters ~ Douglas CTDec2006.qxd 12/10/06 11:54 PM Page 2

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December 2006CARIBBEAN TODAY 3 CTDec2006.qxd 12/10/06 11:55 PM Page 3

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Perry Henzell, whose filmmaking cr edits include the widely acclaimed feature “The Harder They Come”, diedlate last month. He was 70. Henzell first came to worldwide attention when he wr ote, directed and produced “The Har der They Come”, Jamaica’s first feature film. He also authored “Power Game”, a novel based on thepolitical violence that wrackedJamaica in the 1970s; and “Cane”, set in the Caribbean during the turbulent era of1780-1815 about an engineer who is deported to Jamaica as an indentured worker and deals with what Henzell called “the geopolitics of sugar Henzell’s second film, titled “No Place Like Home”, is an exploration and revelation of a tr opical culture that is beautiful, surprising, musically entertaining and politically revealing all at the same time. He most r ecently spearheaded the successful opening of the stage version of London’ s newest hit musical “The Harder They Come”. “Perry has been an icon in the Jamaican film industry and his legacy will live on,” said Del Crooks, film commissioner for Jamaica’s trade agency JAMPRO. “He will be deeply missed. I feel he had much more to give and hopethat what hehas done willhelp others.” Henzell was honored in T oronto, Canada this year. “It is so amazing that even after 30 years ‘The Harder They Come’’ can havesuch a following,” Crooks added. “He has truly made a mark onJamaica and Jamaicans.” “It is truly the death of a legend,”said Paul Bucknor,co-founder of Flashpoint Film Festival in Jamaica. CASTRIES, St. Lucia, CMC General elections will be heldin St. Lucia on Dec. 11. Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony, whose St. LuciaLabour Par ty (SLP an unprecedented third term in of fice, made the announcement last month. Nomination Day was on Nov . 30. The elections will be a straight fight between the rulingSLP and the main OppositionUnited W orkers Par ty (UWP led by veteran politician and former Prime Minister Sir John Compton. The SLP controls 13seats in the Parliament and theUWP contr olling three seats, with suppor t from one independent member , a for mer UWP candidate. The Electoral Commission last month announced that it was ready for the polls and that 135,958 persons had been registered, an increase of 14,599 electors over the 2001 figur e. Legendary filmmaker Perry Henzell is dead PASSPORT ON THE GO 4 CARIBBEAN TODAYDecember 2006 Photogra ph by Derrick A ScottAn American citizen raises his right hand to take the oath as he applies for a United States passport during the morning coffee break a t Union Station,downtown Washington,D.C.,hosted by the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB.The JTB is encouraging U.S.citizens to apply for passports in advance of the new law which will require them to have one when re-entering the country after a visit to the Caribbean.Similar coffee breaks are being scheduled for other cities in the U.S.Standing at right is newly elected U.S.Congresswoman Yvette Clarke.Next to her is Jamaica’s Ambassador to the U.S.Professor Gordon Shirley. NEWS NEWS www.caribbeantoday.com St. Lucia holds elections Dec. 11 Henzell Compton,left,and Anthony. CTDec2006.qxd 12/10/06 11:55 PM Page 4

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December 2006CARIBBEAN TODAY 5 CTDec2006.qxd 12/10/06 11:55 PM Page 5

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to demonstrate its r elevance and to show that its reforms are quite essential to making it more responsive to its membership.” During the OAS Per manent Council session chair ed by Trinidad and Tobago Ambassador Marina V aler e, with member state ambassadors, Insulza and Assistant Secretary General Albert Ramdin on hand Prime Minister Douglastouched on a wide range of issues, highlighting his gover nment’s electoral reform initiative and the ending of sugar exports, which he said wereno longer feasible because of the impact of trade liberalization. with their own personal lives to pay attention to misguided gov ernment policies and only responded when there is a crisis. “When they sense some thing has gone awry, they pay attention,” Obama said.“And when they pay atten tion, good things happen.” The senator, who said he was inspir ed by the civil rights movement of the 1960s, called on U.S. citizens to revive asense of unity in appr oaching difficult issues that face the nation. When the floor was opened to questions, the senator responded decisively onseveral issues, including pr e dicting upcoming legislation that will: incr ease in the mini mum wage “right away”; offer better prices for drugs for sen-iors; intr oduce a strong ethics bill; and push for r eduction of interest rates for student loans. “These four are issues which will move fairly quickly,” he said. He was more hopeful for urgent legislation that willr educe the U.S. dependence on imported energy, especially if the environment is continu-ously being af fected. “The environment situation is ver y impor tant and needs to be dealt with now Obama said. “It wouldmake sense for us to take outsome insurance.” YOUTH Responding to a question fr om a 14-year -old old, Obama explained that “young people have the biggest stake”in what happens in the near future as decisions being madenow will af fect them most. He lamented that youths have lost faith in government as anagency to make positivechanges and have tur ned to working with non-profit organizations. However, Obama was not so precise on the issue of gayrights. While he said he isagainst discrimination againstgays, and suppor ted the right of full citizenship for all Americans, he admitted: “Istr uggle with the issue of gay marriage.” He urged groups with str ong views on a par ticular issue to mobilize for their rights. s not for me to tell them (what to do But he stopped shor t of discussing his own presidential ambitions. “I will get back to you,” Obama said befor e closing to thunderous applause. Gordon Williams is Caribbean T oday’ s manag ing editor . Y ou may e-mail him at editor@caribbeantoday.com The Miami-Dade County Consumer Services Department (CSD Florida is reminding con-sumers of federal laws whichgover n electronic shopping and of fer tips holiday shoppers should take to protect themselves. “Before you place an order call the consumer pro-tection of fice where the seller is located andfind out if thecompany has a record of unsatis-fied complaints,”Miami-DadeCountyConsumerAdvocateLeonar d Elias advises. ou should also make sureyou understand the merchant’s return policy One ar ea of frequent disputes is delivery time. “Place your or ders early Elias urges those who shop by computer , telephone, fax or mail.“The closer we get to the holidays, the more likely it is that the order will not bedeliver ed on time. “It is also important that you save your paperwork,” theconsumer advocate cautions. “If you shop by computer,print the confir mation or der REQUIREMENTS The Federal Trade Commission’ s “Mail or Telephone Order Shopping Rule” requires that mer-chants meet the agr eed delivery time for a product, or deliver it within 30 days if there is no specific agreedtime. If the company cannot meet these r equirements it must notify the consumer of a new date and give the con-sumer the option to cancel. Where the consumer opts to cancel, a full refund must be given. Where the productis no longer available, themer chant cannot substitute something else, even a similar product, without the consumer’s permission. For consumers paying by credit card, another federal law, the Fair Credit BillingAct, of fers additional pr otections such as limiting the consumer’s liability for unauthorized charges where a card hasbeen lost or stolen. Consumers can obtain infor mation about these feder al laws or make complaints by calling the CSD MediationCenter at 305-375-3677 or visit the Miami-Dade County Consumer Ser vices Department website at www.miamidade.gov/csd/ Photograph by Errol AndersonYvette D. Clarke, with microphone,is surrounded by family members and other well wishers as she gives her victory speech after being elected last month to the United Sta tes Congress representing the 11th Congressional District in Brooklyn, New Y ork. “Thank you, I’m so appreciative and very humble to the voters of the 11th Congressional District for sending me to Congress,she told her supporters,who included her mother Una Clarke,to her immediate right. “I will not forsake you.” Una Clarke and Yvette’s father Leslie were born in Jamaica.The mother was a trailblazing politician in New York.She served as a city councilwoman and ran unsuccessfully for the seat her daughter now holds. Consumer services caution electronic holiday shoppersPOWER IN THE HOUSE 6 CARIBBEAN TODAYDecember 2006 NEWS NEWS www.caribbeantoday.com Caribbean needs more protection from natural disasters ~ Douglas Obama strikes a chord with Caribbean immigrants (CONTINUED FROM P AGE 2) (CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2) CTDec2006.qxd 12/10/06 11:55 PM Page 6

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December 2006CARIBBEAN TODAY 7 CTDec2006.qxd 12/10/06 11:55 PM Page 7

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Leaders fr om the Organization of American States (OAS and the Caribbean community(CARICOM f the 30th Miami Conference on the Caribbean Basin earlier this month claiming the region has improved inr ecent decades, butis still haunt ed by obstacles such aspover ty and lack of market competitiveness, which threaten to er ode its advances. e have made a lot of pr ogress,” OAS Secretary General Jos Miguel Insulza said in the conference’s opening address, “comparing our-selves to 30 years ago.” The Dec. 4-6 confab br ought together political, public and private sector business leaders, plus international experts, to discuss wide-ranging policy issues including global competitiveness, economic gr owth, disaster pr eparedness and maritime security . Insulza said the region has “mastered the holding of dem-ocratic elections,” but qualifiedthat optimism with a challenge to address issues which continue to plague many, particularly the poorest. He explained that according to the 2006 Global Competitiveness Report, onlytwo countries in the Basin -Chile and Barbados placed inthe top 50 of 117 countriesranked. “On the whole, the countries of our region languished in the bottom 50 percent,”Insulza said. OBSTACLES Edwin Carrington, the head of CARICOM, said that the region still faces manydaunting obstacles that hinder its progress. “The challenges to Caribbean development remain as formidable as ever Carrington argued. “Despite r elatively high per capita incomes, sluggisheconomic gr owth, persistent unemployment, high indebted ness and entr enched pockets of pover ty have resulted in a relative decline in the ranking of Caribbean community coun tries over the last 30 years.” Car rington, however , said he believes that the Caribbean Single Market and Economy(CSME the trend. The CSME seeks to ally the small economies of the Caribbean into one unified trading bloc in or der to compete with larger countries. But key to that success will be private sector participation in thear eas of trade and investment. Carrington urged the Caribbean diaspora to forge partnerships and networks in the r egion. “The Caribbean is putting its house in order,” he said. ith a little help from ourfriends, I am confident that the CSME will create the kind ofcompetitive envir onment that will ensure a viable and prosperous society taking its right-ful place in the hemispheric and global arenas.” Damian P.Gregory DAMIAN P . GREGORY Caribbean leaders contin ue to str ess the importance of reviving the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), or similar trading agreements, as the region’s key to competingglobally or risk falling fur ther behind the lar ger economies of Eur ope and Asia. The FTAA – a proposed federation of 34 democracies in the Americas where barriers to trade would be removed thereby creating the largest trading bloc in the WesternHemispher e was the centerpiece of key addr esses deliver ed by Caribbean prime ministers Owen Arthur of Barbados and Jamaica’ s Portia Simpson Miller at the 30th Miami Conference on theCaribbean Basin themed “A United Third Border”. Ar thur, the elder statesman from the region who has beeninvolved in talks of the now-stalled trading bloc since itsinception in 1994, ended the conference here earlier thismonth by emphasizing the importance of the FTAA, orsimilar trading and social mech anisms, to the development of countries in the Caribbean andLatin America. “(FTAA) negotiations should have been resumed as soon as possible,” Arthur said,“but we (in the Caribbean cannot say that we do not wel-come the pause in negotiating activity, for it gives us the time and space to consolidate our own integration arrangementsand to enhance our capacityto r espond to a wider challenge.” Arthur, who has also been at the forefront of efforts topush the Caribbean SingleMarket Economy (CSME said that the region has spent the two years since the delay of the FTAA strengthening itself inter nally and working together. COSTS, DEBT Industries acr oss the board have been af fected by the absence of wide-ranging cooperative trade agreements and Simpson Miller said that hercountr y is facing an unprecedented debt and an oil crisisthat continues to deepen. “Between 2002 and this year, primary fuel prices in the r egion have incr eased by an astounding 170 percent,” the prime minister said in her speech. “We are spending morethan 75 per cent of our expor t ear nings to maintain our current levels of oil imports.” Simpson Miller said she believes the region’s leadershave to come together to findtools that will enable it to work more closely towardachieving common goals ofalleviating pover ty and despair . She said any attempt to create free trade mechanisms in the region must bedevelopment-focused andpeople-center ed. “Unifying the third border is about balancing people’slives while balancing thebooks,” she said. “The greatest threat to our democrac(ies fr om poverty and underdevelopment.”? Ar thur, said that he and other members of the Caribbean community (CARICOM vision. The FTAA had a larg-er purpose other than just trading, Arthur said, it was supposed to lead to the cr eation of a partnership for development and pr osperity, that would benefit all levels of society. “It will be possible to jump start the stalled hemi-spheric integration pr ocess only if we make a concerted effort to place at the forefrontof the hemispheric agenda, along with free trade, the social dimension of develop ment,” he said. “Many of the social and security concerns which preoc-cupy our gover nments today ar e caused or exacerbated by persistent poverty and marginalization.” Damian P .Gregory covered the 30th Miami Conferenceon the Caribbean Basin for Caribbean Today. Caribbean makes ‘progress’, but daunting tasks aheadFree trade bloc vital ~ Caribbean leaders Though many in the Caribbean are looking to next year’s ICC Cricket World Cup (CWCfinancial windfall for the region, tourism and travel experts warn that the big ticketevent may not be a cash cow , at least not initially . “The jur y is still out on the ef fects of these events on tourism,” said VincentV anderpool-Wallace, secretary general of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO ime will tell.” Vanderpool-Wallace was the moderator of a panel on sports tourism held at the 30thMiami Confer ence on the Caribbean Basin earlier this month. Attor ney and former athlete Roget Bryan thinks that an ambitious mega event like CWC,which will r esult in thousands of spor ts fans conver ging on the Caribbean, could pr esent some r eal chal lenges to the r egion. “I do think thatthe Cricket World Cupis going to be a big lit-mus test for the r egion,” Br yan told Caribbean Today. “I think specifically with the area of travel regulations. It’s going to demonstrate the ef fectiveness of regional cooperation if it is successful. “If unsuccessful, it could be the death knell for megaspor ts tourism events in the r egion. Because one thing peo ple would immediately point to is that things did not go well,” he war ned. HOPES Many Caribbean islands are pinning their hopes on sports tourism as a way to showcase their country as a holiday destination while catering to fans. Peter Odle, presi-dent of the Caribbean HotelAssociation and chair man of the Barbados T ourism Authority, said that his country views sports tourism as potentially lucrative and will continue with plans to develop this new market. “Our main thr ust in the next five to 10 years is going to be done around sports tourism,” Odle said. Damian P .Gregory Region banks on sports tourism 8 CARIBBEAN TODAYDecember 2006 Arthur Odle Insulza NEWS NEWS www.caribbeantoday.com Street Address: 9020 SW 152nd Street, Miami, FL33157 Mailing Address: P .O. Box 6010 Miami,FL33116-6010. T elephone: (305 (305305 1-800-605-7516 Jamaica: 654-7728 E-mail: caribtoday@earthlink.net Send ads to: ct_ads@bellsouth.net Vol.18,Number 1 DEC.2006 PETER A WEBLEY Publisher GORDON WILLIAMS Managing Editor DAMIAN P . GREGOR Y Deputy Managing Editor SABRINA FENNELL Graphic Artist DOROTHY CHIN Account Executive SUNDA Y SELLERS Account Executive AMANDA ECHEVERRI Accounting ManagerCaribbean Media Source Media Representatives TOM JONAS 353 St. Nicolas Street, Suite 200 Montreal, Quebec, Canada H2Y2P1 Tel: (514514 E-mail: tom@cmsworldmedia.com Jamaica Bureau MARIE GREGOR Y (876 P.O. Box 127, Constant Spring Kingston 8, JamaicaOpinions expressed by editors and writers are not necessarily those of the publisher. Caribbean Today , an independent news magazine, is published every month by Caribbean Publishing Services, Inc. Subscription rates are: US$20 per year (Bulk. Caribbean Today is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts or photos. To guarantee return, please include a self-addressed stamped envelope. Articles appearing in Caribbean Today may not be reproduced without written permission of the editor. CORRECTIONS AND CLARIFICATIONS Veteran Jamaican entertainer Byr on Lee was r ecently honored in Connecticut. He is on the right in the photograph, taken of him receiving the award at the ceremony, which appear ed on page 6 of last month’s issue of Caribbean T oday . W e r egr et the er ror. CTDec2006.qxd 12/10/06 11:55 PM Page 8

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GORDON WILLIAMS Caribbean people are used to what many view as incompetent government. When at “home” they even expect inef ficiency or corrupt systems. So they work with it or , some say, around itand at times even against it. You want a passport or driver’s license? Then join a long line, or simply “let off”some extra cash to “John P” and the process miraculously speeds up. Rich people do it;poor people do it. The choiceis theirs to make. Many concede that despite the r egion’s cherished attractiveness, it is still strewn with so-called Third Worldcountries so, when thingsdon’ t work as they should, when confusion reigns, the fr ustration is somewhat light ened because Caribbean people know that’s just how it is. But when they come to the United States – the socalled First World they expect much different. If someone is going to demandthat they pay taxes, high vol umes of it at that, they want maximum returns. They want government efficiency. Forget the mysterious presidential election debacle, whichleft Al Gor e and the nation’ s Democrats shaking their heads in bewilderment. Caribbeanimmigrants have seen election bloopers before, “at home”, and are used to that. They are far more concerned about otherstuf f that af fects their daily lives in the U.S. So many Caribbean immi grants have become increasingly frustrated by some recentevents – especially since 9/11 -when the U.S. stepped up itsef for ts to tighten border control. The U.S. has shown much gr eater inter est in who is going and coming, who is staying, and what they ar e doing when they come. The government has demanded certain privileges – and has received quitea few – in the name of nationalsecurity . REAL BO THER That hardly seems to bother the average Caribbeanimmigrant in the U.S. Theywant security too. What isgnawing at their skin is the inconsistency of the application of the new laws that come in the name of national security and the ways in which they are being implemented. Take, for example, getting a driver’s license. Used to be a utility bill with an addr ess and some sort of identification like the expired license were enough to renew a license. Not so anymore. Now Department of Motor Vehicles (DMVof fices across the U.S. are demanding ever y piece of information you have: passports or “green cards”, oldlicenses etc. O.K., if that is what is required, then fine. ButCaribbean people cannotunderstand when someone at the DMV looks at aDepar tment Homeland Security (the new INS in a valid foreign passport and declar es that he does not know what the stamp repre-sents – that it could mean any thing. Question: If a DMV of ficer does not know what a stamp in a passport repre-sents, then why is he or she ina position wher e he or she can deny someone a driver’slicense based on ignorance?But this happens. It happenedto me. What’ s mor e fr ustrating is that because the government officers may not know what isright or wr ong, they ar e r eluctant to admit ignorance and seek the truth. Instead, they often try to just bury the incident and hope it goes away. They hardly seem to care ifthe applicant is fr ustrated and does not know where else to turn or what to do. AIRPORT DILEMMA Then ther e is the latest issue about traveling with liquids. The U.S. government declared that each travelerwho chooses to have car r y-on luggage must transpor t liquid in a transparent plastic bag that allows airpor t security agents to easily scr utinize the contents. Each container of liquid should not exceed a cer-tain volume or the passenger is faced with the option of plac-ing it in the checked-in bag gage or having it confiscated. Many valuable drinks, including expensive finewines, have been taken awayfr om passengers in the name of national security, never toseen by the passenger again. However, there does not seem to be much consistency at airpor ts in the U.S. On one weekend trip a plastic bag and all its contents wer e carefully scr utinized at one airport and then allowed to pass the checkpoint. On the return trip at another airport, several items from the same bag – same items – were confiscated by agents. When asked why this wasMuch of our worries, problems, andanguish comes fr om the emotional pain that peo ple inflict on us, and that’s why some people would rather live without, do without, be without someone, rather than risk a life of suf-fering with that person. Recently I was in a heated discussion with a ‘young’ ladywho I hadn’ t seen in many years, and I daresay she looked a damn sight better now than she used to. Now,I’m not being unkind, but I’m a realist, and the fact is, usually when you haven’t seensomeone for a ver y long time, you always fear what they willlook like when you see themagain. This usually applies towomen who have a tendency to let go after a while and sud-denly show their age in a fewshor t years. But for some strange reason, society does not viewmen in this vein, and even if aman packs on a paunch, sprouts a few grey hairs or even loses some off his pate, he’s still deemed as being distinguished, dapper, smartlooking and still a good catch.Not so a woman though, whois often looked upon, both by men and women, as old, hag-gar d and tir ed if she happens to show her age. For that r eason women will never divulge their age,thinking that by not saying it, they won’t show it. DROUGHT Well, this lady friend of mine was looking r eal good, slim, trim, attractive, even though she was in her late 40s.Naturally I asked her what was the secret of her rejuvenation, and she replied, “Plentyr est and many hours of gym.” Now, from I heard that I knew what the story was, plenty rest meant no man, andgym was not Jim, but I asked the question anyway:“So noman in yourlifestill?”At whichpoint she said, “It’s bet-ter to be alone, naturally, than tobe unnatural ly yoked.” That’ s a classic phrase if I ever hear d one, but it just reaffirmed what I always thought, how women pick andchoose until they pick out,then they have nothing to show for it in the long run.And the sad thing is, a woman of a certain age who hasnobody , has a huge question mark hanging over her head. Being ugly does not stop women from getting men, sowhy ar e so many attractive women without men? Because of that same statement about better off to be alone, naturally, than unnaturally yoked, that’s why. By definition, unnaturally yoked means that any manwho is not suitable for herclass, education or r egal bear ing, can’t be next to her. So ther e they go again, looking only at the top of the pyramid for who they think is the man to suit them, when ther e are many great guys down by the base waiting for them. Theywant the guy at the top, the man with the degree, the suit, the class, the great job andfancy car and the status toaccompany her . That’ s who she sets her sights on, and anyone else will fall into thecategor y of unnaturally yoked, and can’t step with her. PICKY But why are women so picky, preferring to live a lifeof loneliness, pr efer ring to express their love to a lazy puss or idiot rat dog that costs more to maintain than a baby,rather than being with a goodman who just happens to beoutside of her social spher e? Men don’t do that. Rich, educated guys meet waitr esses and mar r y them all the time. Men will troll any swamp and snare a woman tocall his own. But not so the women, who narrow theirchoices to the fine point of thepyramid, tr ying to defy the laws of demand and supply. They demand so much, butthe men they want ar e so few in supply. Who’s on First, or Third World?Unnaturally yoked December 2006CARIBBEAN TODAY 9 VIEWPOINT VIEWPOINT www .caribbeantoday.com (CONTINUED ON PAGE 10) (CONTINUED ON P AGE 10) TONY ROBINSON CTDec2006.qxd 12/10/06 11:55 PM Page 9

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I keep on hearing how they want a man who they cantalk to and I keep on tellingthem, “If you want to talk, talk at the office.” I know oftoo many equally educated, status matched, class conscious couples whose marriage crashed and burned after a few years anyway, so why notgive the blue collar guy achance, what do you have tolose? Remember they always say, “Be careful what you wishfor , you just might get it.” I know of so many women who car efully pick the man of their dreams and he turns out to be a nightmare. MERITS Still ther e may be some credence to choosing being alone rather than being unnat-urally yoked, as solitude doeshave its merits. For one thing,your life will be ber eft of all the crosses, and worries that come with a bad relationship. And let’s face it, over 90 per-cent of complaints by women are about men. Therefore, by process of elimination, take away themen and their lives should be perfect, happy, blissful. But there is no logic, no method in the madness, for the verything that they complainabout is the object of their desires. “Oh for a good man, I want a per fect man, oh for my knight in shining armour to come galloping along to take me away Ladies be careful you don’t end up spending the restof your days cleaning up horse manure. How come men don’t say these things? Yet whenthe women cannot grasp the object of their dreams, that illusory object of perfection, they say that they prefer to bealone, not to be unnaturallyyoked. W ell, even though they say so, I don’t believe them, but rather think that it’s justthe pr onouncement of r esig nation of one’s fate, accepting the inevitable, like an over weight person who can’t lose weight saying that they love being fat, or a poor personsaying that they pr efer to be penniless, it’s all sad hogwash. Oh, perhaps when they wer e young, and thought that they had choices, it may ring true. But now in the twilight of their years when they start to push 50 and are still man-less, I am pr etty sure that they would love to be even unnatu rally yoked with some man of sorts, someone to accompanythem to the movies, dinner , the park or even church. But by then it may be too late andshe has no choice but to bewithout and not yoked at all. Later. seido1@hotmail.com being done, an agent chirped: “Because we have tougher standar ds here.” So that’ s wher e the dilemma is. The rules, they will tell you, are perfectly clearjust subject to interpretation. That is why a person’s driver’slicense application can getr ejected at one DMV office and accepted less than an hour later at another office. Caribbean people have seen these inconsistencies before. That is why many ofthem moved to the U.S. They actually expect better from the American system. What they don’t expect is to be guessing which place is the First World and which one is Third. Gordon Williams is Caribbean Today’s managing editor.Youmay e-mail him at editor@caribbeantoday.com Unnaturally yokedWho’s on First,or Third World? 10 CARIBBEAN TODAYDecember 2006 VIEWPOINT VIEWPOINT www.caribbeantoday.com e did it in the spiritof the Hon.Shirle y Chisholm,Eleanor Roosevelt,F annie Lou Hamer,Rosa Parks,Elizabeth Cady Stanton and my mother Una T.Clark Yvette D.Clarke, daughter of Carib bean immigrants ,after being elected to the United States Congress lastmonth. “Christian theology does not permit us to refuse peopleentry into our country on thebasis of se xual orientation. That w ould be discrimination and in violation of a persons freedom of movement” Bishop of Roseau Gabriel Malzaire,who is also head of the Christian Council in Dominica,saying last monththat the question of ga y tourism cruises to the islandcannot be dealt with in isola tion,but has to be viewed in the context of human sexuali ty ,human freedom and state legislation. e have a beautiful result” – Dutch Minister of Administrative Reform andKingdom Relations Atzo Nicola• prais ing last month’s decision thatwill result in St.Maarten and Curacao to attain countrystatus . “I put this on the table not to alarm the members of this House and this national com munity,but simply to provide the backdrop to the security planning which has been taking place over the last 14y ears” Trinidad and T obago’s National Security Minister Martin J oseph last month defending that country’s decision to make the “sunset”laws permanent in the name of protecting T&T. “There is a dangerous view that we ar e accepting in the region that there is an end foragricultur e and that the development of services means the end for agricultur e. W e think it must not be one or the other, but we have room for both and both must go forward” – Renwick Rose, coordinator of the WindwardIsland Far mers Association, last month ur ging Caribbean trade negotiators not to side line the region’s agricultural sector as they place additional focus on service industriesduring the crafting of a new trade deal with Europe. Compiled from CMC and other sources. (CONTINUED FROM PAGE 9) (CONTINUED FROM PAGE 9) CTDec2006.qxd 12/10/06 11:55 PM Page 10

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What to put in the bath to ease aches and pains BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC Carl Browne, chairmanof the Pan Caribbean Partnership Against AIDS (PANCAP), said Caribbeangover nments need to find a sustained regional approach to dealing with the HIV/AIDSpandemic. Addressing a workshop on HIV/AIDS during the 12th annual EU/African Caribbeanand Pacific (ACP Parliamentar y Assembly her e last month, Browne said that while ther s nothing wr ong with national approaches, the time has come to appr oach the AIDS fight as a regional initiative. “Regional negotiation is ver y impor tant. Ther e is also the issue of pooled procurement as an impor tant strategy he said. “Because our countries are small, our populations aresmall, we need to pool so thatwe can get economies of scale and the OECS pool procurement system is a case in point of how that would work.” A new AIDS Epidemic Update released by the United Nations on Tuesday said thatthe global epidemic continuedto gr ow , with 2.9 million deaths and 4.3 million new HIV infections in the past year . The report said that an estimated 39.5 million people ar e living with HIV with 2.8 million of the new infections occurringin sub-Saharan Africa. Browne said that the issue of illegibility strikes at the hear t of the HIV/AIDS response in the Caribbean, and the fact that many Caribbean countries were classified asmiddle-income countries, was not helping the region’s casesince these islands wer e denied access to concessionary loansor grants. WEAK WATCH There were no figures for the Caribbean, but the U.N., inits r eport, expressed concern about weak HIV sur veillance in this region. It said that this often means that people at highest risk arenot adequately r eached thr ough HIV prevention and treatment strategies, because not enoughis known about their par ticular situations and realities. The r epor t listed those with highest risk as men who have sex with men, sex workers and injecting drug users. Call for sustained regional approach to Caribbean HIV/AIDS pandemic December 2006CARIBBEAN TODAY 11 HEALTH HEALTH www .caribbeantoday.com SUZY COHEN QUESTION:Why do Epsom salts help relieve arthritis pain?What’ s in it,and what else can I put in m y bath to help? Someone suggested essential oils. ANSWER: Epsom salts are magnesium sulfate. In the bath,magnesium br eaks apart from the sulfate and both getabsorbed into your skin. Both substances reduce inflammation and pain. The hot water is also soothing and improves your circulation you want more blood flow (and oxygenfocating muscle cells. Thesecells need the oxygen, so impr oving circulation in any way is helpful. Y ou can also put Natur opathica’s “Arnica Muscle & Joint Bath and Body Oil” in the bath. I like this one becauseit contains basil, r osemary, bay laurel and arnica a soothing combination that should relieve sore, achy muscles and joint pain from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or overexertion. Arnica is also found in many over -the-counter ar thritis rubs because it increases circulation and r educes swelling and joint pain. As far as essential oils go, I need to make sure you realize that you can’t just buy a bottle of oil and put a few drops intoyour bathtub your friend told you wrong. Most pure essentialoils need to be diluted in a carrier oil (like almond oilyou could “bur n” your skin. Lavender (for relaxation exception. This is why I recom-mend that people buy blended mixtur es combined in the right ratio to soothe your skin, your senses and your ailment, what ever it is. You see products like this at salons and bath and bodyshops in the malls. For mor e infor mation on the infused essential oil mentioned above, visit www.naturopathica.com or call 1-800-5927995 . QUESTION:Used to be you could just buy soa p,but now it comes in all sorts of types.Should I buy the “antibacterial” type or not? Something tells me those chemicals are bad. ANSWER: Befor e we talk about antibacterials, let’s justtalk about soap. If you Google soap’s sudsing agent, “sodiumlaur yl sulfate” (aka SLS you will find a lot of dirt. Apparently, studies show SLScauses skin/scalp ir ritation and liver damage. SLS is found in most soaps, shampoos, deter gents and toothpastes. Now addthe antibacterials and you have a r elatively chemical-laden mixture to kill off the bacteria. I don’t know what’s worse, the nasty bugs or the harmfulchemicals to kill them. I don’t think these “supercleansers” are any better thanplain soap and water becausether e isn’ t any r eal har d evi dence they lead to fewer infections. As a phar macist, I imag ine that our bacteria will become r esistant to our antibacterial efforts. Also, these soaps dry out your skin. I think rou-tine washing with plain soap andwater will do the trick, even forkids. Now if you want your soap to be free of SLS, too, then go to the natural health food storeor look online. Did you know? The prescription drug Topamax (topira-mate) is often helpful for peo ple who suffer with migrainesand constant head pain. 2006 Dear Pharmacist,inc. Distrib uted by Tribune Media Services,Inc. A ba th with the right ingredients added can be ver y soothing. HEALING IN THE OUTFIELD Photogra ph by Imran KhanWest Indies batsman Chris Gayle relaxes on the Multan Cricket Stadium outfield as he receives medical treatment from team physiothera pist Stephen Partridge during the Caribbean team’s cricket tour of Pakistan last month. CTDec2006.qxd 12/10/06 11:55 PM Page 11

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The holiday season is fast approaching and plans are undoubtedly under way in Caribbean family kitchens to prepare feasts foreach occasion. The American College of Emer gency Physicians (ACEP everyone that even meals prepared by the most loving ofcooks can become unhealthy if food is improperly stored,handled and cooked. “Food poisoning is often the unfor tunate result of some of the most anticipated meals of the year ,” said Dr. Brian Keaton, president of ACEP. “When you’re preparing aholiday dinner for lar ge numbers of people, sometimes theever yday safety tips people follow in the kitchen are not maintained as crowded ovens and refrigerators result infood not being pr epared or handled in the safest way SYMPT OMS Food poisoning can be caused by bacteria or by the toxins produced by bacteria already in the food. Most cases of food poisoning run theircourse in a couple of days, and symptoms usually begin from two hours to two days after eating the tainted food. The symptoms are similar to those of the flu and should be treated the same. Thesesymptoms include headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrheaand abdominal pain. Foodpoisoning especially can be dangerous to young children and the elderly. s important for those who may have eaten tainted food to prevent dehydration,”said Dr . Keaton.“As soon as they areable to keepliquidsdown theyshould drink water,diluted fr uit juice orweak tea.Adults canhandledehydrationmuch betterthan chil dr en, so parents should keepa close eye on childrenexperienc ing thesesymptoms.If symptomscontinue for more than24 hours orif someoneis unable to drink any liquidscontact your primar y car e physician or visit the emergency department.” TIPS The ACEP suggests the following safety tips to reduce the chances of food poisoning: Always follow r ecom mended precautions for food handling and preparation. Check expiration or sellby dates on food labels; don’t consume food with expiredlabels. W ash hands before pr eparing food, and always wash hands, utensils and countertops thoroughly imme-diately after handling rawfoods. Be sure frozen poultry and meat ar e fully defrosted before they are cooked.Defr ost foods in a microwave oven or refrigerator. Cook meat, poultry, fish and eggs thoroughly to killhar mful bacteria. Never keep food lukewarm for long periods; bacte-ria can multiply without obvi ous signs of spoilage. Refrigerate raw foods and leftovers promptly, because bacteria multiple rapidly. Discard perishable foodleft at r oom temperature longer than two hours; onehour in temperatur es above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Wear protective gloves and bandages if you have cutson your hands. Care counts,to avoid food poisoning this holiday season 12 CARIBBEAN TODAYDecember 2006 Taking special care to prepare food is important in preventing poisoning. FOOD FOOD www .caribbeantoday.com CTDec2006.qxd 12/10/06 11:55 PM Page 12

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MIAMI, Florida Jamaicanbor n pilot and instructor Barrington Irving has launched a flight school assigned specifi-cally to educate youngstersinter ested in aviation. Experience A viation Learning Center (EALCopened last month at OpaLocka Executive Airport here. The EALC, Ir ving’s brainchild, is designed to get children excited about careers in aviation and build mathemat ics, science and reading skills through the world of aviation. Participating students will have the opportunity to visit an air traffic control tower and observe air traffic controllers up close, tour corporate aircraft, and get hands-on experience with the help of Microsoft Flight Simulator software. Next spring Irving plans to embark on a five-week flight in his attempt to become youngest person, and firstAfrican American, to ever fly solo around the globe. The trip is designed to inspire other young people to work towardtheir dr eams. As part of the program to mark the opening of EALC last month, the 22-year -old offered instructions to MiamiDade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez on how to operate the controls of an aircraft. Montr eal-based Haitian singer and activist Luck Mervil will be the featured act at a concertthis month in Miami to raise funds for the Haitian Cultural Ar ts Alliance. The concer t, set for Dec. 15, is par t of “Haitian Art and Films”, which is scheduled tor un through Dec. 29 at the Tower Theater, 1508 S.W. Eighth St. The event is being presentedby the MiamiDade CollegeInterAmericanCampus, in con junction withthe Haitian Cultural ArtsAlliance, an organization that providesassistance to South Florida’s Haitian community. For more information, call 786-290-9718 or 786-267-0458. Jamaican opens aviation school and youngsters’ window to the skyLuck strikes for HaitiVisa issues and marriage December 2006CARIBBEAN TODAY 13 LOCAL LOCAL www .caribbeantoday.com Photogra ph by Rick GarciaIrving,left,offers instruction to Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez. Mervil QUESTION:My sister’s bo yfriend and his family ar e migrating to the United States very soon.The local embassy hasnotified them to uplift their visa this month.Someone told them they can ask to bring my sisterwith them because the guy wantsto marry her and she will be given a visa as long as they getmarried legally .Is this possible? ANSWER: It would have been helpful to know who exactlypetitioned for your sister s boyfriend since the status of the petitioner (along with the priori ty date) is an important factor inadvising you, says Dolly Hassan, attorney at the Liberty Center inQueens. However , we will assume that you may be referring to acommon situation in which a permanent resident parent who petitions for a son or daughter (over 21 zen, enabling that beneficiar y to get married. The spouse is then able to immigrate at thesame time with the principalbeneficiar y assuming that the priority date is current (thirdpreference). If the petitioning parent is not a U.S. citizen, the benefici ary will not be eligible for a visa if he marries. Your sister’sboyfriend should contact the U.S. consulate for a case-spe-cific r esponse and guidance since, from your question, it seems that the entire visa packet has apparently been alreadypr epar ed for the beneficiar y as a single person. PLEASE NOTE:For further details on the Di ver sity V isa (DV) or ‘Greencard’ Lottery directly log on to:www .state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/200 6/72835.htm This is a column created espe cially for immigrants concerned or unsure of issues pertaining tothe U .S.immigration law.The column will answer some of our readers’ frequently asked ques tions and provide responses from qualified immigration attorneys and advocates lobbying for the U.S.immigration cause. If you or someone you know has an immigration question,then log on to www.immigrationkorner.com and submit your questions.Personalans wers will not be provided. The answers provided here are for information purposes only, and does not create attorney-client relationship , nor is it a substitute for “legal advise” which can only be given by a competent attorney after review-ing all the facts of the case . Contact the writer at F elicia@har dbeatnews .com Compiled by Felicia Persaud. CTDec2006.qxd 12/10/06 11:55 PM Page 13

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14 CARIBBEAN TODAYDecember 2006 LOCAL LOCAL www.caribbeantoday.com Some of the biggest Caribbean gospel ar tistes are scheduled to perform at this month’ s Air Jamaica Gospel Fest in South Florida. Stitchie, The Grace Thrillers, Sanchez, Dobbie Dobson, Claudelle Clarke, Nigel Lewis, Ken Parker, Junior Tucker, Deryck Douglas, JHOY and Nadine Sutherland will be among theper for mers at fr om noon to 6 p.m. Dec. 16 at the Fort Lauderdale New TestamentChur ch of God, 1601 Lauderdale Manor Drive. The event is being presented by local Caribbean radiostationMYSTIK1400AM. Pr oceeds fr om this event will benefit the Lovebir d Kid’s Club, a non-profit or ganization initiated by the staf f of Air Jamaica. The aim of this organization is to enhancethe quality of lifefor childr en living in the Caribbean and in Caribbean communities within theUnited States by pr oviding incr eased educational opportunities and impr oved lear ning facilities. For mor e information, contact June Minto at 954739-6618. WASHINGTON – United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCISGonzalez has announced ther elease of 144 questions and answers for the pilot test of anew naturalization exam. USCIS will administer the pilot exam in early 2007 to about 5,000 volunteer citizen-ship applicants in 10 cities. e found that the current naturalization exampr ocess lacks standardization and encourages applicants to memorize facts just to pass a test, but that doesn’t guaran-tee that they understand the meaning behind the ques-tion,” said Gonzalez. “Our goal is to inspir e immigrants to lear n about the civic values of this nation sothat after they take the oath of citizenship they will participate fully in our great democracy NEW FOCUS USCIS included new questions that focus on the concepts of democracy and the rights and responsibilities ofcitizenship. In designing the new exam, USCIS receivedassistance and worked withtest development contractors,U.S. histor y and government scholars, and English as a sec ond language experts. USCIS also sought input from a variety of stakeholders,including immigrant advocacy groups, citizenship instructors and district adjudications offi-cers. The pilot will allow USCIS to work out any pr oblems and refine the exam before it is fully implementednationwide in the spring of2008. The questions and answers are posted on the agency website: http://www.uscis.gov . Questions that ar e not successful in the pilot will be dr opped, narrowing the list to the same 100 questions as the current exam. The range of acceptable answers to ques-tions will incr ease so that applicants may learn more about a topic and select from a wider range of responses. VOCABULARY In addition to new questions, USCIS will soon r elease a new civics-based vocabulary list to help applicants study for the English reading and writing portion of the pro-posed test. During the trial period, volunteer applicants who choose to take the pilot examcan immediately take the cur rent exam if they incorrectlyanswer a pilot question. T o pass, applicants will have to cor rectly answer six of 10 selected questions. The 10 pilot test sites are: Albany, New York; Boston,Massachusetts; Charleston, South Carolina; Denver, Colorado; El Paso, Texas; Kansas City, Missouri; Miami,Florida; San Antonio, T exas; Tucson, Arizona; and Yakima, Washington. Caribbean stars set to shine at South Florida ‘Gospel Fest’U.S.orders new test questions for naturalization applicants Applicants for U.S.citizenship will face a new set of questions before they can be s worn in as Americans. Stitchie CTDec2006.qxd 12/10/06 11:55 PM Page 14

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SHAWN P. WOLF AND MICHAEL ROSENBERG In several prior editions of Caribbean Today we have discussed the United States. tax implications of anon-U.S. citizen, non-U.S. income tax resident alien(NRA disposing of U.S. real estate. Recently, we have had several U.S. persons (i.e. U.S.citizen or income tax r esident alien) and NRA clients approach us to discuss the consequences of transferring real estate as part of a divorce proceeding, and the results were shocking. First, it is important to understand the history of theU.S. tax law and the state of the law as it stands today. Prior to 1984, the tax consequences (if any sion of property as part of a divorce were analyzed by considering a number of factors, primarily whether there wasan “equitable distribution” of property versus, for example,one spouse using his or her separate property in return for relinquishment of “marital rights”. In the former situa-tion, ther e generally would be no U.S. income tax consequences, where in the latter situation such tax would likelybe imposed. T o make matters worse, the income tax r esults varied based on each state’s respective divorce and proper-ty laws. Congress enacted clarifying legislation in 1984. In thesimplest of ter ms, a division of property between spouses isnot subject to U.S. income taxif the transfer is “incident to divorce”. Special detailedr ules (a discussion of which is beyond the scope of this article) apply to determine if the transfer is “incident todivor ce”. This type of r ule is Surprise U.S.tax issues can arise from divorce December 2006CARIBBEAN TODAY 15 BUSINESS BUSINESS www .caribbeantoday.com Caribbean couples may want to check out the financial implica tions before parting ways. (CONTINUED ON PAGE 16) ‘MINORITY EXPOR TER OF THE YEAR’ Jamaican-born Joseph Rhoden,executive vice president of Antilles Freight Corporation,accepts the United States Department of Commerce’s “Minority Exporterof the Year”honor during the 24th Annual Minority Enterprise Development Week (MEDWeek) awards gala held recently in Miami,Florida.Antilles Freight also won the “Regional Award for Outstanding P erformance”, scoring ahead of over 30 U.S.minority firms from Alabama,Mississippi,North Carolina,South Carolina,Georgia and Florida.Each month,the company handles over 15,000 shipments,with a tonnage of 48,500 each, to all ports in the CARICOM region, Canada, Europe and the Far East. Also present at the function were Marie Gill,left,Florida’s MEDWeek coordinator and publicist; and Joann Hill,U.S.Department of Commerce’s chief of regional business development in Atlanta,Georgia. CTDec2006.qxd 12/10/06 11:55 PM Page 15

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generally referred to in U.S. income tax law as a nonrecognition provision, as income that is realized is notr equir ed to be recognized (i.e. it is not taxed). EXCEPTION However, one of the exceptions to this rule is that it does not apply if the spouse receiving property is an NRA.Consider the following exam ple: a U.S. citizen and an NRA are married and are residents of a Caribbean country (“U.S.spouse” and “NRA spouse”, respectively). Assume further as part of a transaction that isincident to their divor ce, U.S. spouse agrees to give NRA spouse a Caribbean home thatis individually owned by U.S.spouse (because NRA spouse will remain in Caribbean countr y) in exchange for the r elease of all of NRA spouse’s “marital rights”. Finally,assume that the Caribbean home was purchased for$1,000,000 and as the date ofthe transfer the Caribbean home is worth $2,000,000. Because of the NRA spouse’ s non-U.S. r esidence and citizenship status, the U.S. spouse will not be able to benefit from the non-recognitionr ule discussed above. Instead, this situation must be analyzed under the case law existing prior to 1984. Thus, in this situation, U.S. spouse may be r equir ed to r ecognize the $1,000,000 gain on the transfer of U.S. spouse’s Caribbean home (i.e.,the $2,000,000 value less the $1,000,000 purchase price)! Assuming this transaction qualifies for long ter m capital gains treatment, and disregarding any potentially applicable exemptions for simplicity , this could result in a tax of $150,000! PROBLEMS Was this tax consequence contemplated in the divor ce decree?What if U.S. spouse does not have the cash to paythe tax? The above example is merely demonstrative of oneof the potential pr oblems that could arise, and other strange results might be possiblebased on other facts (e.g.,what if the transfer is of U.S.r eal estate fr om an NRA spouse to another NRA spouse, how is it taxed and are there any withholding require-ments and tax filings that needto be consider ed? What if the transfer is of U.S. real estate from an NRA to a U.S. person, does this change any-thing? Could ther e be planning opportunities if the Caribbean home was held forinvestment versus used as apersonal r esidence?). Thus, it is important that both a U.S. person marriedto an NRA and NRAs thatown U.S. situated assets (par ticularly U.S. real estate) consider the possible U.S.income tax implications that might arise from a divorceand plan for such U.S. taximplications accor dingly as part of the divorce decree. Otherwise, surprise U.S.income tax consequencescould arise. Mic hael Rosenberg and Shawn P.Wolf are shareholders with the Coral Gables law firm of Packman,Neuwahl & Rosenberg and can bereac hed at 305-665-3311. Dr. Roland Toppin has been appointed chief executive officer (CEOest Indies Cricket Board (WICBef fect from Feb. 1, 2007. T oppin is presently the general manager of Duraplast Inc. in Barbados, a recycling company which manufactures roofing tiles. He previouslyheld the positions of dir ector of r esearch, Sugar Technology Resear ch Unit in Barbados and assistant professor of chemistry at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.He has a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University ofCincinnati. Six years ago, T oppin made the transition fr om scientific research to management in the private sector where, as general manager ofDuraplast Inc., he has helped the growth in its local market share and its expansion intothe r egion with exports of durable r oofing tiles to Antigua and Barbuda, theCayman Islands, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago and St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands. Toppin is a former chair man of Island Crafts (Barbados chairman of the BarbadosInvestment and DevelopmentCorporation. He is also amember of the BarbadosCricket Association and a former first division cricketer. “Having followed, with inter est, the pr ogress of W est Indies cricket from as far as I can remember, I consider it a greathonor to have beenchosen as CEO ofthe WICB at thiscritical time and Iwill do all in mypower to put thepolicies in place which will ulti-mately lead to the return of the WestIndies cricket teamto the top of theworld standings,” Toppin said afterhis appointmentwas announced. Surprise U.S.tax issues can arise from divorceWest Indies cricket appoints new chief executive 16 CARIBBEAN TODAYDecember 2006 BUSINESS BUSINESS www.caribbeantoday.com Toppin (CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15) CTDec2006.qxd 12/10/06 11:55 PM Page 16

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Barbados celebrated its 40th Independence.The following isan edited version of an address by Prime Minister OwenArthur to mark the occasion. It gives me gr eat pleasure on behalf of the Gover nment and people of Barbados to extend warm greetings to allBarbadian nationals livingoverseas on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of our nation’s Independence. At times it seems that it was only yester day when the teenagers of my generationwatched with pride and awe as the Broken Trident rose forthe first time amid the massivegathering of Barbadians at the Garrison Savannah. We may not have recognised the full import of the moment nor theenor mous responsibility that sover eignty would entail, but we understood emotionally what freedom really meant. For ty years have passed, and Barbadians have exercised that responsibility well.The r emarkable stability and progress of our beloved country over four decades of nation-building is apparent toall. And ther e is, I am con vinced, one simple underlying reason for our success: thecharacter of our people. I am honour ed to be able, once again, to direct a special message of apprecia-tion to all Barbadians in thediaspora and to pay tribute tothe par t you have played in ensuring the pr ogr ess of our nation. Independence Day is a special time for Barbadiansever ywher e as we pause to focus on our nationhood. For this our 40th year , we have determined that our celebrations should revolve around the theme: “A Proud Past: AW orld Class Futur e”, which symbolizes both where we have r eached at this moment of our history and where we wishto go as anation. GRA TEFUL As a people, we are tremen-dously grateful for the contri-butions thatBarbadians ofall walks of lifehave made toour nationaldevelopment. It is only fitting, therefore, thatat this specialtime we pause also to reflectand give thanksfor the invalu able contribu tions that our overseas nation-als have madeand continue to make to ournational development. Manyof your ef for ts ar e unseen and unsung, but this does not diminish their impact, or thelevel of our gratitude. In fact,in one ar ea in par ticular, that of remittances, the contribution of the Caribbean diaspora to the GDP and foreignexchange ear nings of the region has been so significant as to be the subject of study and reporting by no less an agency than the Inter-American DevelopmentBank. In other areas, your contribution is equally significant.In that r egar d, I also com mend you for the role you play daily in pr ofiling Barbados in your various areas of endeavour, whether in the field of business, acade-mia, cultur e and the ar ts, tourism or sports. It is important that we maintain our ef for ts to increase our competitiveness as we pr epar e for globaliza tion. For small economies such as our own, the issue is not whether we should inte-grate our economies with those in the hemisphere oreven globally but how weshould do so and on what terms. The Right Excellent Er r ol Barrow in his maiden speechto the 21st Session of the General Assembly UnitedNations, almost 40 years ago,noted that “if lar ger countries wish to ear n or to retain the confidence and respect of small countries, ther e will have to be a rapid change of values. They must no longer enjoy squatters’ rights in thevolume and ar rangement of world trade. New concepts of distribution and exchange will have to be worked out, because emergent countrieswill no longer be content to behewers of wood and drawersof water while the wealth ofthe world flows past them.” His wor ds to that august assembly are as relevant now as they wer e then. W e ar e of the view that the new trading relationships that we are building, whether they are atthe WTO or with Eur ope, must have a development dimension that will allow us tobuild the economic capacity that is necessary in the face oftrade liberalization. W e view this as essential to the sustain-able development of our peoples. W e ar e also fir mly com mitted to devising indigenous strategies to promote our ownsustainable development. Our involvement in the CARI-COM Single Market andEconomy is a deliberate attempt to create a single economic space out of 15 dis-parate states so that we can realize the maximum benefitsfor our peoples and at the same interface more effectively with the rest of the world. W e ar e also working towar ds the cr eation of a CARICOM Single Economy by 2008 which will facilitate,among other things, the coor dination of our economic sectoral policies, the integration of our production and financial sectors, the convergence of macro economic policies,the building of a r egional capital market and the har moniza tion of monetary and fiscal policies. INTENTION Our overall intention is to put appr opriate mechanisms in place that will allow us at the regional level to integrate our means of pr oduction in pursuit of global competitive-ness and as the basis by which we can guarantee our sustain-able development. Barbados is also committed to developing a new andmor e productive relationship with the global investmentcommunity that will enable us to build a more competitive modern economic system in amanner that allows us to avoid the debt trap. It is important that we continue to pursue a path of excellence if we are to com-pete successfully at the global level. Barbadians are ar esilient people, a proud people and an industrious people.I am fir mly of the view that we possess the national characteristics necessary to take usto the next level. Barbados Jazz Festival set for Jan.8-14 P.M.Arthur lauds contribution of Barbadian diaspora 18 CARIBBEAN TODAYDecember 2006 Arthur BARBADOS BARBADOS INDEPENDENCE INDEPENDENCE FEATURE FEATURE www.caribbeantoday.com NEW YORK – Grammy award winner Anita Baker and a cast of other regional and international artistes are scheduled to per form at the 14th edition of the Barbados Jazz Festival next month. The line-up for the event, scheduled for Jan. 8-14, also features Macy Gray, Terrence Blanchar d, Kar en Briggs, Stanley Clarke, Will Downing, Robert Glasper, Goapele, Marissa Lindsay, Hal Lintonand Ar tur o Sandoval, along with gospel duo Mary Mary and Barbadian saxophonistAr turo Tappin. Some of the island’ s most picturesque locations, including the Sunbury Plantation House, Heritage Park at the Foursquare Rum Refinery, Garfield Sobers Auditorium, The Crane Resor t & Residences and Farley Hill National Park will stage the performances. The festival is being put on through a partnership between BET Digital Networks, the Barbados Tourism Authority and GMR Pr oductions. A preview show of the event, featuring highlights of the 13th festival, is currently on r otation on BET J’ s “Island Lime” format on Saturdays, including Dec. 16, 23 and 30 (1 p.m. and 7 p.m.The show will also air on Wednesdays on Dec. 20 and 27 (6 p.m. and 5 a.m. the fol-lowing day). All telecast timesar e Eastern. For more information on the Barbados Jazz Festival, visit www.barbadosjazzfestival.com. Photograph by Barbados Tourism AuthoritySaxaphonist Arturo Tappin,right,and RHEA,were present at the launch of the Barbados Jazz Festival in New York last month. CTDec2006.qxd 12/10/06 11:55 PM Page 18

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Dancehall star Sean Paul was last month named “Best Male Artiste” in the pop-rock category at the American Music Awards, the first time theJamaican had won a majorhonor fr om the industry. “This is the first time I’ve been able to go up there andthank people,” said Sean Paul,who beat out Nick Lachey and Kanye West to win and wenton stage to collect the awar d at the cer emony held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. s been a great day Earlier AMA ceremonies had been a disappointment forSean Paul, who was nominat ed for rap/hip hop honors in 2003. American KellyClarkson won in the female category, while the group Black Eyed Peas won threeAMAs, the most for theevening. J’can dancehall star Sean Paul wins American Music Award Athr ee-day celebration of the unique music, dance, entertainment and traditions of Carriacouwill unfold at the 29th AnnualCar riacou Parang Festival this month. The cultural extravaganza is set for Dec. 15-17. It starts with an open-air concert in the streets ofHillsbor ough featuring carol singing, cultural presentations and parang string bands. Thebands will travel around the island “parang-ing” fr om house to house all night.All fes-tivities this evening arefr ee. The second night offers live performancesfr om enter tain ers from Car riacou. The festival climaxes onSunday whenor ganized parang groups from villages throughout Carriacou,Gr enada and Petite Martinique battle for cash prizes along with a challenge trophy during the ParangString Bands Competition. PERCUSSION CLASH The groups, composed of no more than eight members each, will use only percussion instruments for the perform-ances and will make twoappearances. The first is to per for m a “test piece”, which is a Christmas carol selected by the Parang Festival Committee. In the second performance, each group will perform a composition oftheir choice. Traditional Carriacou celebration dances such as“quadrille” and “big dr um” will also help to spice up the night. The Car riacou Parang Festival was created in 1977 to revive and keep alive the “house to house” serenadingof string bands, an indigenous aspect of Carriacou’s culture. The festival is held every year in December usually on the weekend preceding theChristmas holiday . Carriacou is reachable by St. Vincent Grenada Air(SVG incent and the Gr enadines and Grenada. Car riacou is also reachable via The Osprey, a motorized cata-maran that depar ts twice daily from Grenada. For more information, contact the Grenada Board of Tourism in Carriacou at 473-443-7948 . Carriacou’s parang festival unfolds three days this month December 2006CARIBBEAN TODAY 19 ENTERTAINMENT ENTERTAINMENT www .caribbeantoday.com REMEMBERING ‘MISS LOU’ Photograph by Sharon BennettLadies from the Caribbean Cultural Theatre (CCT“One poun’ shawl a nuh shawl at all” during “Herita ge Salute 2006” last month honoring the legac y of Jamaica’s cultural icon,the late Louise “Miss Lou”Bennett Coverley .The event,presented by the Jamaican Consulate and the Jamaica Information Service,was held in New York City. Jamaica’s Consul General Basil K.Bryan,seated at right,observes the performance.“Miss Lou”,who is credited with “internationalizing”the Jamaican idiom “patois”,died at her home in Toronto,Canada on July 26. Carriacou celebra tes its lively culture a t the P arang F estival. Sean P aul CTDec2006.qxd 12/10/06 11:55 PM Page 19

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20 CARIBBEAN TODAYDecember 2006 FYI FYI www.caribbeantoday.com PASSPORT REMINDER The Western Hemisphere T ravel Initiative (WHTI scheduled to take effect Jan.8, 2007. The WHTI requires all those United States citizenstraveling by air to theCaribbean to have a passpor t. For information about applying for a U.S. passport,visit http://usps .com/passport or call 800-ASK-USPS. TOYDRIVE The Center for Positive Connections in Miami, Florida is this month staging a toy drive for children sufferingchr onic diseases. Unwrapped toys can be dropped off by Dec.12 at the center, 12570 N.E. SeventhA ve., Suite 104, Nor th Miami. The gifts will be presented to the childr en at the Ninth Annual Holiday Picnic on Dec.16. For mor e information, call Jim Konschnik, the cen ter’s acting executive director, at 305-891-2066. BETHEL HOUSE T O RE-OPEN After 11 years of efforts, and a $145,000 grant from The Miami-Dade Task For ce on Urban Economic Rehabilitation, the BethelHouse African-BahamianMuseum, the homestead of one of Florida’s earliest Bahamian settlers, will re-openits doors to the public at 10 a.m. Dec.18 . Bethel House is located at 18201 S.W . 103 Court, Perrine. The Bethel House has been r evived as a cultural center for residents of Perrine and the sur rounding areas. It will also function as an eco-nomic entity that will displayexhibits and ar chival collection on African-Bahamianlifestyle. Admission is fr ee although donations are accepted. To learn moreabout the museum and upcoming events there, callHelen Gage of Mz Goose Inc. at 305-251-2458. PARENTS NIGHT OUT The Art and Culture Center of Hollywood, Florida will hold “Parents Night Out”events on Dec.8 and Jan.12. Par ents Night Out is a chance for parents to have an evening out on the town alone while their children ages fourto 12 cr eate ar t, par ticipate in cr eative movement activities, play games, eat pizza and watch movies at the center, 1650 Harrison St. For mor e information and reservations, call 954-9213274. P ARENT RESOURCE GUIDE The Miami-Dade County Public Schools and TheEducation Fund have copublished a free Parent Resource Guide 2006-2007 for the public. The 88-page guide, sponsor ed by global financial services provider ING, gives parents information they need to know about their child’s school, curriculum and student requirements. The guide is printed in thr ee languages -English, Spanish and Haitian cr eole. Each school in the system will receive additional copies for use in parent-teacher meet-ings. The guide may also be viewed online at www.educa-tionfund.or g (under “Our Publications”) and www .dadeschools.net (under “Resources”). The 2006-2007 Guide provides a wealth of information including revised curriculum requirements, test schedules, immunization requirements,student ser vices, legal rights and par ental involvement. HURRICANE RELIEF Elderly residents of Broward County, Florida, home to hundreds ofCaribbean immigrants, will get hurricane help from the county. A $5,655,000 grant that will provide assistance to residents 60 years and olderthat wer e af fected by the 2005 hur ricanes. The grant money will be administered by the Broward County Elderly and Veteran Ser vices Division, and will be used for rental subsidies to assist elderly residents for housing expenses incurred astheir r esidences wer e dam aged, in-home ser vices such as minor repairs and clean up, as well as roof replacement. The grant funds will be available to any Broward County resident 60 years orolder who is not r eceiving services from another source and was impacted by a hur ri cane in 2005. Assistance will be provided through an applicationpr ocess. For mor e infor ma tion, call the Elderly and V eteran Ser vices Division at 954-537-2936. P ASSPORTS The National Passpor t Information Center (NPIC the United States Departmentof State’ s single, centralized public contact center for U.S. passpor t infor mation, is of fer ing a toll free service and has expanded its service availability/options. Persons with questions or need status checks on pendingpasspor t 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: npic@state .gov W ebsite of passport and other international travel information is available at travel.state.gov ‘GREEN CARD’FILING The United States Citizenship and ImmigrationSer vices (USCIS announced that aliens must mail applications to renew or replace permanent resident cards, commonly known as “Green Cards”, directly to theLos Angeles Lockbox. The Lockbox is a pr ocessing facility used by USCIS toaccelerate the collection ofapplications and petitions.The announced change allows the agency to improve the processing of Form I-90(Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card) byelectr onically capturing data and images and by per forming fee r eceipting and depositing from one central location, rather than at the local district office, service center, or application support center (ASC Aliens filing a Form I-90, regardless of their state of residence, must mail those appli-cations with an application feeof $185 and a biometrics feeof $70 to one of the followingaddr esses: For U.S. Postal Ser vice (USPS U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, P.O.Box 54870 Los Angeles, CA90054-0870; Or for non-USPS deliveries (e.g. private couriers U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Ser vices, Attention: I-90, 16420 Valley View Ave., La Mirada, CA90638 Applicants should not include initial evidence andsuppor ting documentation when submitting the Form I90 to the Los AngelesLockbox. Applicants will receive a notice for a biometrics pro-cessing appointment at an ASC and will submit their ini-tial evidence during thatappointment. Applicants will receive their biometrics appointmentin the mail. CRISIS HOTLINE Multi-lingual counselors are available to respond per-sons suf fering fr om str ess or needing help with housing, food, child care, caring for teens or other similar prob-lems. Call 211 from a regular telephone or 954-537-0211 fr om a cellular . The free service is being offered as part of Broward County’s helplines. READING TOGETHER IS FUN “Reading T ogether with Radio Disney”, a free a community program offering hour long storytelling sessions which bring reading to life in a fun way through games and audience participation,is being offered to children under the age 10 each month at various South Florida Commerce Bank locations.The program has resulted from a partnership between Commerce Bank and Radio Disney (in Florida AM 1600).For more information when the program will be coming to a Commerce Bank near you,call your area branch. CTDec2006.qxd 12/10/06 11:55 PM Page 20

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ELEANOR M. WILSON Food festivals ar e popping up around the Caribbean at a rapid pace. Why the sudden surge? Society’sobsession with eating has turned food into aniche market. Now enterprising Caribbean islands ar e turning visitors’ curiosity into opportunities totaste and even cook afavorite dish or two. The ultimate aim is “Taste of theCaribbean”, highlight of the Caribbean Hotel Association’s June conference. Chefs who won home island contests bring their teams to viefor medals in various levels of food preparation. In the “live kitchen” pr eliminary round, each team prepares a threecourse meal for 35 persons inunder four hours. The menu isdesigned fr om a “mystery basket” of ingredients which appears just prior to the com petition’ s start. All entries are judged by exper ts using American Culinary Federation point standards. Aside from promoting a signature Caribbean food style, this show brings inter national r ecognition to winning chefs while exposing their teams, which often come from the smaller islands, to complete new experiences in the bigger food world. Next event will take place June 14-16, 2007 at the HyattRegency Hotel in Miami,Florida. SIDE SHOWS Now in its seventh year, aste of St. Croix” was created by two local restaurateurspr omoting the island’s diverse cuisine, including cur ried conch, tilapia francaise and mango crme brulee. EveryApril, about 50 local chefsstage a friendly competitionfor “best local taste”, “bestpr esentation”, and “best overall”. Guests pay one admission to sample from table to tableand nominate their favorites. “In true Crucian fashion, we have the complete culinary picture here,” said U.S. VirginIslands Commissioner ofT ourism Pamela Richards, a St. Cr oix native, “from home cooking to innovative cuisine,and for a good cause.” The event benefits the St. Croix Foundation, instrumental in developing public, private and non-profit sectors. “A T aste of Barbados” follows a similar format, featuring haute cuisine from elegant Cliff House to lip smackin’ local plates from Brown Sugar, and all styles inbetween. CROWDING THE C ALENDAR Efforts to boost occupancy through food tributes haveoverloaded the October/November calendar -CuracaoCuisine and Cultural HeritageFestival, the 4th Annual Bermuda Gourmet Getaway hosted by Bobby Flay, Sint Maarten/Saint Martin Fete de Cuisine, Kingston RestaurantW eek, Turks & Caicos Conch Festival and National Platano Festival in Puerto Rico. Three new arrivals embraced this idea in 2006. St. Lucia’s Food & Rum Festival, held in Rodney Bay’s culinary setting, showcased top inter-national chefs and r um vendors. Festivities included tast ings, demonstrations, special meals at five-star restaurants,and a Caribbean Boulevar d for strolling and munching.Attendees interacted withchefs, bar tenders and sponsors at a Sunday br unch. Event tickets were enticements in several hotel packages. NICHE (Nevis International Culinary Heritage Exposition) com-bined a weeklong celebrationof food, wine and Caribbeancultur e. For one overall price, guests enjoyed beach bonfir es, fish fries, cooking classes hosted by r enowned visiting chefs, a bartender’s competition, beach picnic, a wine and cheese class by the host ofFr omagers.com, champagne dinner at Four Seasons, and a Caribbean brunch featuring the “Chefs of Nevis” preparing their signature dishes. The first annual Playa Dorado Gastr onomy Festival introduced chefs from eight area hotels and restaurants.Recipes had to contain such Dominican elements as sancho-cho, seafood and varieties of rice in an effort to stimulater egeneration of traditional dishes. Manuel Finke, executive dir ector of sponsoring Playa Caribbean destinations entice U.S.travelers to get passportsFood festivals showoff Caribbean taste to the world December 2006CARIBBEAN TODAY 21 TOURISM TOURISM / / TRAVEL TRAVEL www .caribbeantoday.com BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Sellers of Caribbean travel are enticing consumers with incentives to obtain a passport in light of the impending W estern Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI will be implemented on Jan. 8, 2007 for all travelers r e-entering the United States via air transportation. T ravelers ar riving by land and sea will eventually need to possess a passport as well, but this does not take effect until June 2009. “The Caribbean region applauds the WHTI and the U.S. government’s efforts to increase security at the borders,” saidV incent V anderpool-W allace, secr e tary general of the Caribbean T ourism Or ganization (CTO “However, we believe that by having dif ferent sets of rules depending on one’s mode of transportation sea, air or land travelers may become confused, which will dis courage commer ce and tourism. e are concerned that the acceleration of the implementation deadline for airline passengers does not provide ample advance notice to enable the public to obtain passports,” Vanderpool-Wallace added. INCENTIVES Sellers of Caribbean travel hope their offers will help keeppeople traveling to the r egion beyond Jan. 8, 2007. Incentives may include full reimbursement of basic passport fees, complimentary spa packages, golf greens fees, attraction tours, room upgrades, extra nights and gift shop purchases. Jamaica launched a new program encouraging U.S. citizens to get their passports by rewarding vacationers who make Jamaica their first visit with their new passpor t. Rewards include special credits while on the island amounting to the cost of obtaining a passport. The Jamaica T ourist Boar d (JTB “Jamaican Morning Coffee Breaks” to encourage Americans to obtain their passports. Troughmid-winter 2007, the JTB will hold coffee breaks at major commuter ter minals in New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C. where consumers can actually apply for theirpasspor ts onsite as well as collect the required forms. Free Jamaican coffee will be served. For more information visit www.visitjamaica.com or call 1-800233-4JTB (1-800-233-4582 In Aruba, the Amsterdam Manor Beach Resort offers a $25 food and beverage cr edit per per son, per stay (minimum five-night stay) to those who make Ar uba the first stamp in their passport. The pr omotion is valid Jan. 3, 2007 to Dec. 17, 2007. For more information visit www .AmsterdamManor .com or call 1-800-932-6509 . The Boar dwalk Boutique Hotel in Aruba is providing each guest a $50 car rental voucher per person (minimum of a five-night stay) to those who make Aruba the first stamp in their passport. The special is valid for reservations made through Dec. 31 for travelthr ough 2007. Visit www.arubaboardwalk.com or call 011-297-586-1836 . La Cabana All Suite Resor t in Aruba offers 25 percent off r egular nightly rates when booking dir ectly through the hotel reservation center at 1-800835-7193 for those travelers who make Aruba their first point of entry with their newpasspor t. This promotion is valid for bookings received by Dec.15 for travel in 2007. MVC Eagle Beach in Ar uba is providing a $25 food and beverage credit per person, per stay (minimum five-night stay) to those customers who choose Aruba as their first destination with their new Chefs from Puerto Rico get down to work during the aste of the Caribbean”competition showcasing the region’s cuisine. (CONTINUED ON P AGE 22) (CONTINUED ON PAGE 22) V anderpool-W allace CTDec2006.qxd 12/10/06 11:55 PM Page 21

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Several airlines ar e facilitating travelers to the Caribbean by adding new flights for the upcoming year and increasing the fr equencies of existing schedules to the r egion. By 2007, vacationers will be offered a wider variety of desti-nations as well as flight times tochoose fr om when planning their Caribbean getaways. W ith increased service between many Caribbean countries, intra-Caribbean travel or ‘island hopping’ is becomingeasier for travelers, allowingthem to experience multipledestinations during a single trip to the r egion. NEW SERVICES Effective Jan.11,2007 , Air Jamaica will incr ease flights to St. Lucia and Barbados tofour times per week (ever y Sunday , Monday , W ednesday and Thursday). V isit www .airjamaica.com American Eagle will increase its service to Anguilla adding two daily flights departing from San Juan starting Dec.14. V isit www .aa.com or call 800-433-7300 . Continental will add a second weekly non-stop flight from Newark, New Jersey to Bonaire starting Dec. 16. Visit www.continental.com or call 800-231-0856. As of Jan.1,2007 , Caribbean Airlines will be replacing BWIA West Indies Airways, which has served theCaribbean for 66 years. The first Caribbean Airlines flight will take off on Jan.1 as well. For more information go to www .caribbean-airlines.com or www.bwee.com or call 868-6272942 . Delta plans to add a daily non-stop flight from Atlanta toSantiago, Dominican Republic with connections via New York and New Jersey as well as a daily non-stop and one-stop flight from New York (JFK International Airport) to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic(with the one-stop in Atlantastar ting Dec. 9. On Dec. 15 , Delta will add a daily non-stop flight fr om Atlanta to Puer to Plata, Dominican Republic. On Dec.16 , Delta is scheduled to offer non-stop service from Atlanta to Martinique every Saturday. For mor e information visit www .delta.com or call 800-2414141 . Nor thwest Airlines will add a new non-stop flight from Detroit Metropolitan Airport to Cyril E. King Airport in St. Thomas effective Jan.6,2007. Visit www.nwa.com or call 800-345-7411 . Information obtained from the Caribbean Tourism Organization. passpor t. This special is valid J an. 3, 2007 to Dec.17,2007. Visit www.MVCEagleBeach. com or call 011-297-587-0110 . Westin Aruba Resort, Spa & Casino in Ar uba provides a $50 food and beverage credit per person, per stay, valid through 2007 for those who make Aruba the first stamp in their passport. For more information visit www .westin.com/aruba or call1 1877-822-2222 . Club Peace & Plenty in The Bahamas, located on the Island of Exuma, will reimburse the cost of obtaining a passport for up to two children and two adults in each booking party. This promotion is valid for bookings received by Dec. 31 for travel in 2007. For more information visit www.peaceandplenty.com or call 1800-525-2210 . Westin and Sheraton Grand Bahama Island Our Lucaya Resor t, located on Grand Bahama Island, is of fering $100 in r esor t cr edit to guests who obtain a passport now thr ough Dec. 31 for travel now through June 2007 . For more information visit www.ourlucaya.com or call 1-888627-7129 for the Sheraton or 1-888627-7130 for the W estin. Arawak Beach Inn, Anguilla, is of fering a special rate and a complimentary day-trip to those travelers who obtain a passport and makeAnguilla the first stamp in their new passport. This offer is good for travel through June 30,2007. V isit www .arawakbeac h.com or call 1-877-427-2925 . Ladera Resor t in St. Lucia will reimburse the cost to obtain a passport to travelers who make St. Lucia their first visit with their new passport. As an added incentive, Ladera will also provide guests with a leather passport case, a complimentary 30-minute Jet-Lag massage and a beverage from the bar. This offer is valid Jan.1,2007 to Dec.21, 2007. A minimum five-night stay is r equired. For more information visit www.ladera.com or call 1-800738-4752 . CHAIN HOTELS Marriott and Renaissance Caribbean Resorts, including Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino, Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino, Frenchman’s Reef & Mor ning Star Marriott Beach Resort (St. Thomas Marriott Beach Resort & Emerald Casino, and St. Kitts Marriott Resort & The Royal Beach Casino, are offering a $100 resort credit(minimum five-night stay who make any one of these pr oper ties their first visit with their new passpor t. This of fer is valid J an. 1, 2007 to April 30,2007. V isit www .paradisebymarriott.com or call 1-888-PARADISE . SuperClubs has nine r esorts in the Caribbean, including Grand Lido Negril Resort & Spa, GrandLido Braco Resor t & Spa, Br eezes Runaway Bay Resort & Golf Club, Breezes Montego Bay, Hedonism II and Hedonism III, all in Jamaica; Breezes Bahamas in Nassau; Breezes Curacao Resort Spa & Casino; and Breezes Puerto Plata Resor t Spa & Casino in the Dominican Republic. Those travelers who obtain new passpor ts or r enew older ones, and stay at one of these SuperClubs pr oper ties, will receive the cost of obtaining a passport credited towards a vacation package. T ravelers must book by Jan. 8, 2007, for travel anytime in 2007. For mor e information visit www.SuperClubs.com or call 1-800GO-SUPER (1-800-467-8737 TOUR OPERATORS CheapCaribbean.com will reimburse the cost to acquire apasspor t for each member of the traveling par ty when booking through the agency. Visit www.CheapCaribbean.com or call 1-800-915-2322 . Many Caribbean governments, as well as CTO, are creating public awareness campaigns to inform the public of the need to obtain a passport by the Jan.8,2007 WHTI implementation date, as well as wher e and how to get one. Passports may be obtained through the U.S. Postal Service. The passport fees are paid to the U.S. Department of State while execution fees are paid to the postmaster. Fees are as follows: passport fee ($67 cution fee ($30$15 Fees for children under age 16 include: passpor t fee ($52 tion fee ($30$15 Pr ospective passport seekers can provide their own passport photos. For information about applying for a U.S. passport, visit usps .com/passport or call 800-ASKUSPS . For information about the WHTI, travelers can visit the U.S. State Department’s website at www.travel.state.gov/travel/cbpmc/cb pmc_2223.html . Private companies that of fer U.S. passpor t ser vices include International Visa Services, a passpor t expediting company that has partnered with CTO in order to help travelers obtain their pass ports. For more information on their services visit www .visalady .com or call 1-800627-1112 . Dorado Hotel Association, said: “This is a wonderfuloppor tunity for ever yone to enjoy our local dishes, and I’m sur e the event will be welcomed back each year .” If it follows the experience of “Epicurean Escape”,now appr oaching its eighth year at Grand Lido Negril in Jamaica, June 27-July 1, 2007, success is guaranteed. “In 2000,” said a SuperClubs spokesperson, “only two international chefs joined our team for the fourday event. In 2006, we had to turn away chefs and guests. So our goal of gr owing room occupancy , while offering a value event, has definitelybeen r eached.” PLAN AHEAD Jamaica avoids cr owding by cele brating its bountiful harvest on an individual basis yearr ound. There’s the Trelawny Yam Festival and W estmor eland’ s Cur r y Festival in April. On May LabourW eekend, all r oads lead to James Bond Beach for theChicken Festival cur-ried, stewed,fried or jerked.July is the Portland Jerk Festival, served up at Boston Beach, the home of jerk. In the remaining months, Jamaicans revere coconuts in St. James; breadfruit in Bath; coffee in Kingston; fish, bammy , sugar cane and sor r el. Portland’s Swift River Bussu (or JangaAugust honors a fr eshwater shellfish similar to a snail. Try it as soup, curried, stewed or ina variation of the ever popularJamaican patty ...but be r eady for that aphrodisiac effect! Eleanor M.Wilson is a freelance writer for Caribbean Today. More airlines to fly into Caribbean 2007Caribbean destinations entice U.S.travelersFood festivals showoff Caribbean taste to the world 22 CARIBBEAN TODAYDecember 2006 TOURISM TOURISM / / TRAVEL TRAVEL www.caribbeantoday.com TOURISM BRIEFS Celebrate Kingston on Jan.27 The best of Jamaica’ s capital city will be on display next month during “Kingston F estival 2007”. On Jan.27 ,the festival is expected to showcase the best the city has to offer,including food,abeauty pa geant, a reggae concert, and a job fair which will feature companies taking employment applications and screening poten-tial emplo yees for placement in the Caribbean Single Market and Economy. Dominica to discuss gay tourism Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit says he has no problem meeting with religious organizations want-ing to discuss the issue of allo w ing ships carrying gay tourists todock in Dominica. “Gay Tourism”has once again become an issue in Dominica withthe start of the new cruise season. Last year,various religious bodies publicly expressed their opposition to the decision to allow cruiseships carr ying gays to berth in the country. Compiled from CMC and other sources. (CONTINUED FROM PAGE 21) Visitors to the P ortland Jerk F estival in Jamaica sample the taste a t the “home of jerk”food. (CONTINUED FROM P AGE 21) CTDec2006.qxd 12/10/06 11:55 PM Page 22

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NEW YORK, CMC Congresswoman-elect YvetteD. Clarke has criticized the decision of the United States to impose new passport require-ments for citizens traveling tothe Caribbean by air . Last month, the U.S. State Depar tment announced that all U.S. citizens traveling by air between the United Statesand Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda, must present a valid passpor t, effective Jan. 23 next year. It also said thatU.S. citizenstraveling to those coun-tries by landor sea haduntil Jan. 1, 2008 to present a valid passport on re-entering the U.S. In the past, U.S. travelers only r equir ed a driver s license or a valid for m of identifica tion to re-enter the country. SENSITIVE Clarke, who will become the new congressional representative for the pr edominantly Caribbean 11th Congressional District in Br ooklyn, told the Caribbean Media Cor poration (CMC that Washington should have been more sensitive to the request of the Caribbean on the issue. “This is another case in which the United States acts unilaterally without consider-ing the impact of r egulating travel on other r egions, particularly the Caribbean, which is a Third Border to the U.S.,” she said. “When the United States makes a decision for securityr easons, there should be someone ther e with sensitivi ty ,” added Clarke, who has promised to table legislation in Congress addressing the passport and other issues affecting the Caribbean. “It’ll be something I’ll take up. I’ll have the appr o priate legislation to address it. Being on the Hill (CapitolHill), I’ll be ther e to be a voice on this issue. I will reach out to as many colleagues as I can,” she added. Clarke said she is bewildered that U.S. lawmakerswer e quick to enact legislation that would seriously impact onthe Caribbean. “Everyone who is elected to Congress travels to theCaribbean. So this is not a foreign matter. The matter is: there is no one there to pursue this as a problem. I have a much-heightened level of sensitivity to these issues. Y ou can count on me. There are Caribbean people who electedme,” she said. DOUBLE ST ANDARDS Earlier , Irwine Clare, a leading Caribbean immigration advocate in New York, said the U.S. has set double standards by announcing different dates for implementation of the new passport rules by air , sea and land. “I understand it’s done from the background of security, which I have no problem with,” said Clare, the Jamaican-born managing director of the Queens-based CaribbeanImmigrant Services(CIS “But they exempt the cruiseindustr y fr om the early date.It seems as though it’s a shenanigan, but it gives the impression that money can buy anything. The cruise industry had lob-bied the State and HomelandSecurity Depar tments ver y hard. They (Washington) should have a blanket sce-nario.” Dr. Dennis Antoine, Grenada’s United Statesambassador and dean of theCARICOM diplomatic corpsin W ashington, said the r egion stands to suf fer “immensely” if the U.S. remains unsympathetic to the region’s cause. e hope the impact would be softened by new accommodations. We’re look-ing for sensitivity and accom modation so that ther e will not be serious impact on the region.” Secretary General of the 32-member Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTOV incent Vanderpool-Wallace, has compared the recent U.S. amendment of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative to a “Category 6 Hurricane”. A recent study, conducted by the London-based World Hotel and Tourism Council and commissioned by the CTO, predicts that the Caribbean could lose up to $2 billion and over 180,000 jobs as a result of the new rules. Caribbean interests lash U.S.over new passport measures December 2006CARIBBEAN TODAY 23 FEATURE FEATURE www .caribbeantoday.com Clare Antoine “Ever yone who is elected to Congress travels to the Caribbean.So this is not aforeign matter .The matter is: there is no one there to pursue this as a problem” Yvette D.Clarke. CTDec2006.qxd 12/10/06 11:55 PM Page 23

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KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC The ruling People’s National Party (PNPOpposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLPfor winning the next general elections here, according to the latest opinion poll pub-lished last month. Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has so far resisted calls by the JLP for her to name a date for general elections that political observers say could be held before theconstitutional deadline next year, insisting that no one from the Opposition would determine her party’s agenda. The Carl Stone polls, published in the Jamaica Observer newspaper, stated that the PNP had suffered a 13.7 percent slide since last November, representing a two percentage drop as against a three percentage increase for the JLP. According to the pollsters, 28.6 percent of those questioned said they would vote for the JLP under the leadership of Bruce Golding, as compared to 28.7 percentwho said they would vote for the Simpson Miller-led PNP if the elections were held today. DECLINE The Stone team compared the latest findings to a poll conducted in Nov. 2005, when 42.4 percent of voters saidthey would cast their ballot for a Simpson Miller-led PNPwho had not yet taken over the leadership of the party. But since then, the ruling party has recorded sig-nificantdeclines in support,while the JLPhas r emained within the polls’ mar gin of error of plus or minus three percent. Simpson Miller waselected pr esident of the PNP in February and r eplaced P.J. Patterson as prime minister in Mar ch. The Stone team conduct ed the latest poll among 1,473voters between Oct. 21 andOct. 25, just over two weeksafter the JLP r evealed that the PNP had accepted money from Trafigura, a Hollandbased oil firm that holds acontract with the Jamaica government to lift and sell Nigerian crude for Jamaica on the world market. Jamaica’s political parties in dead heat ~ poll 24 CARIBBEAN TODAYDecember 2006 Jamaica’s Opposition,led by Bruce Golding,right,has closed the gap on the Portia Simpson Miller-led government. POLITICS POLITICS www.caribbeantoday.com CTDec2006.qxd 12/10/06 11:55 PM Page 24

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POR T OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMCThe Trinidad and Tobago government says it willintr oduce legislation similar to what is contained in the sunsetlegislation for facilitating the free movement of people with-in the Caribbean during nextyear s ICC Cricket World Cup (CWC National Security Minister Mar tin Joseph, winding up debate on the “T ransmission of Advance Passenger Information Act” last month, said that thePatrick Manning administrationwould r e-introduce the legislation “on a permanent basis.” He told the Senate that the sunset legislation, which comesto an end on June 30, would beone of the “legacy items” as the region prepares itself for theCaribbean community (CARI COM) Single Market andEconomy(CSMEallows for the free movement of peo-ple within ther egion. “Clearly in the context like that, we mustbe able to have a r egional intelligence and security mechanism befor e us,” he said, dismissing fears that it would be used to obtain private information onpersons. “No additional for ms will need to be filled out and no data from the immigration card will be required,” he said, noting that the data r equired would be in conformity with international legal or regulatoryguidelines. THIRD PARTY Opposition and Independent legislators have criticized some aspects of the legislation required forhosting the games saying thatinfor mation gathered would be passed on to a third party, namely the United States. But Joseph defended the policy, saying that it would havebeen impossible for a smallr egion to have been able to stage such a global event with out the help of its international partners. He said while the legislation did not r equire any relationship with Washington, “without such a relationship weshall be denied infor mation that might be vital to our national and regional security The national security minister also defended the memoran dum of intent signed between CARICOM and Washington here in October, warning thatthe r egion was not immune to terrorist attacks. “The U.S., with its focus on ter rorism, will have more information in this respect than other countries,” he said. “Are we todeny ourselves this access andincr ease our vulnerability?” GEORGETOWN, Guyana, CMC The Guyana gover nment says it will significantly reduce the tariff for the importation of chicken so as to ensure a ready supply for the Christmas season. Tourism, Industry and Commerce Minister Manniram Prashad described as fr uitful a meeting with the Poultr y Owners Association (POA other stakeholders last month. “It was a fruitful meeting. We will now lower the tariff to 40 per cent duty and 10 per cent consumption, and it must be made clear that this is temporary,” Prashad said. Prashad said that while POA members had expressed concerns over the lowering of the tariff, the decision was made in the interest of everyone. At present the tariff is 100 per cent duty and 10 per cent consumption tax. The ministry said it would issue licenses to importers andthat only 700,000 pounds of chicken would be imported for the Christmas season. “Impor ters have assured us that they will only impor t the amount that we have permitted them to import and our commerce department has mechanisms in place to moni-tor them,” Prashad said, addingthat he had been given an assurance by the importers thatthe impor ted chickens would be sold at a r easonable price. “I do hope that producers of local chicken will lower their prices now,” Prashad said. Barbados delays departure tax hikeT&T to extend ‘sunset’ laws beyond Cricket World Cup Guyana reduces chicken tariff to ensure Christmas supply December 2006CARIBBEAN TODAY 25 REGION REGION www .caribbeantoday.com AHigh Court in Trinidad and Tobago has freedthe leader of a radical Muslim group who had been charged with conspiracy tomur der two for mer members of the or ganization after the judge directed the jury to r etur n a not guilty verdict. Defense lawyers had argued that there was no evi-dence against their client,Y asin Abu Bakr , and that the evidence of the witnesses for the pr osecution, “taken at its highest, is such that a jury properly directed could notpr operly convict on it”. In a 20-page r uling, Justice Mustapha Ibrahim said that after considering the evidence of the witnesses,including the star witness,Br ent Miller, he came to the conclusion that it was “very weak and so manifestly unreliable and so discreditedthat no reasonable tribunal, none whatever , could safely convict on it. “If ther e is a conviction on this evidence there will certainly be a miscarriage of justice. I have therefore decided that in the exer cise of my discretion I should stop the trial at this point in time and dir ect the jur y to r etur n a ver dict of not guilty,” he told the court. CONSPIRA CY CHARGE Bakr, 65, who led an unsuccessful coup against the Trinidad and Tobago government in1990, hadbeen accusedof conspiracy to murderSaleemRasheed andZakiAubaidah, former mem-bers of theJamaat al Muslimeen gr oup. The conspiracy allegedly took placeon June 4, 2004 at the home of David Millard in Diego Martin, west of here and one of Miller’s friends, Brent “Small Brent” Danglade allegedly over head the con versation. Rasheed survived a drive by shooting that night at the MovieT owne complex, west of here, resulting in the death of one person and injur y to two others. Miller , who had been charged with the murder, was given immunity in exchangefor his testimony . But in his ruling, the judge said that Miller was “so discredited in cross examina-tion” by both the defense andpr osecution lawyers “that his evidence is totally unr eliable. “What is of great concern is that throughout his evidencehe maintained that he is sayingwhat he said because of theimmunity and he fears that theimmunity will be taken away if he says otherwise. This is a case where the witness has tosay that the statements ar e tr ue and to give evidence in conformity therewith becauseof the fear of losing the immu nity,” the judge said. Last year, a jury had failed to agree on a verdict atthe first trial of Bakr on the char ges. T&T High Court frees radical Muslim leader Bakr NEVIS SEEKS ITS NICHE The Caribbean island of Nevis offered its presence at last month’s World Travel Market in London,England.Among those helping to promote the country among high-profile travelindustry leaders,including travel agents,tour operators,whole-salers and media representa tives were, from right: Premier Joseph Parry,Helen Kidd, chief executive officer of the Nevis Tourism Authority (NTA),Julie Claxton,NTA sales and marketing representative; Janise Robinson,regional sales and marketing mana ger for Caribbean Star Airlines; and John Wrightington, the airline’ s network man agement director. Joseph BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC Airport authorities haveannounced a two-month stay of execution on the introduction ofa Bds$60 ($30 vice charge for travelers exiting the island through the GrantleyAdams Inter national Airport. Grantley Adams Inter national Airport Incorporated (GAIA announced in a recent press release that the increased fee, which was originally scheduled to be introducedon Dec. 1, would now come into effect from Feb. 2007 following representation from the tourism sector. The officials had previously announced that the presentdepar tur e tax of Bds$25 ($12.50 increased to Bds$55 (U$27.50ef fective Dec. 1, with a further Bds$5 ($2.50 added fr om Feb. 1. GAIA Inc. management said following representation from the Barbados Hotel andT ourism Association (BHT A), the Barbados Tourism Authority and other tourismstakeholders, a decision was made to suspend the incr ease until next year, at which time the fee will be included in air-line tickets. SEEMLESS BHTA President Alvin Jemmott welcomed the deci sion, which he said would makefor a seamless transition intothe new fee. “The removal of the December introduction of the departure tax and placing it intotickets allows for a seamlesstransition that would in mymind take away any chaos andconfusion that would have beencaused by the intr oduction of the tax at this time,” he said. “The delay will allow visitors coming into Barbados to fully look at the country inter ms of its price for value.” GAIA Inc. Chief Executive Officer Leon Romero said the increased fee would assist withthe capital development pr ogram being undertaken at the airport. CTDec2006.qxd 12/10/06 11:55 PM Page 25

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GORDON WILLIAMS The Caribbean’ s hopes of making it to the finals of women’s soccer World Cup next year fizzledlast month as Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago were bumped early from the CON-CACAF Gold Cup in theUnited States. However , Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz still managed to secur e a place in the Pan American Games in 2007 byfinishing ahead of T&T in theGold Cup to become the Caribbean’s lone representa-tive in Brazil next summer . W ith both countries needing to r each to finals of the Gold Cup to guarantee a place in the 2007 W orld Cup in China, T&T, short on preparation and disappoint-ingly late in ar riving in Miami, fell in the first round of theeight team knockout tour nament in South Florida, beaten3-0 by Mexico on Nov . 19. Earlier that day Jamaica, at the same Tropical ParkStadium, advanced to thesemi-final by beating Panama 2-0. That win and T&T’s lossguaranteed the Reggae Girlza place in the Pan Am Games over T&T, but their sightswer e set on a bigger prize and they wer e to be disappointed. BIG LOSSES Canada, which had received a bye to the GoldCup semi-final along with the U.S., used a strong second half to swamp Jamaica 4-0 atthe Home Depot Center in Carson, California to deal ahuge setback to the Girlz’ World Cup drive. Yet Jamaica’s World Cup hopes, which were also ham-per ed by the late ar rival of key team members due to U.S. college commitments, were not totally finished. Ifthe Girlz could win the thir d place Gold Cup match-up against Mexico, which had lost 2-0 to the U.S. in the othersemi-final, Jamaica wouldthen play Japan in a home and away playoff for a placein China. But Mexico beatJamaica 3-0 on Nov . 26 in Carson to end the Reggae Girlz’chances. “This team has never played together,” Jamaica’s coachV in Blaine was quoted as saying in aJamaican newspaperfollowing the loss toMexico. “So they don’t know each other well and they play offnatural ability and the little that I couldcoach.”That alone was notgood enough for a berth in the World Cup, but the Girlz, who impressed rivalcoaches with their speed and technical abilities, did get invi-tations to play in several tour naments in the U.S. leading up to the Pan Am Games. Gordon W illiams is Caribbean Today’s managing editor. T&T,Jamaica fail in bid for women’s World Cup soccer 26 CARIBBEAN TODAYDecember 2006 – Photograph by CONCACAFCanada’ s Martina Franko,left,and Jamaica’s Yolande Hamilton focus on the ball during their CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup clash last month. SPORT SPORT www.caribbeantoday.com CTDec2006.qxd 12/10/06 11:55 PM Page 26

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GORDON WILLIAMS Jamaican Sean Fraser has extended his stay withUnited Soccer Leagues (USL .C. The rangy midfielder , who impressed the Florida-based club in his first professional season this year, has been signed to a new two-year contract exten sion, with an option for a third, according to his agents. “Miami wants to keep Sean a bit longer ,” agent Rob Feigenson told Caribbean Today late last month. Fraser , who was in Jamaica at the time thedeal was signed,has been linkedwith a move toBrazil for a loanstint with Rio de Janiero club BoaV ista. However , up to press time he was r epor ted ly waiting on a work permit andother travel doc uments. Last month, Fraser told Caribbean T oda y that he would welcome the opportunity toplay in Brazil as he admired thestyle of the SouthAmerican soccer giants. This past season he playedalongside several Caribbean-bor n players at Miami F.C., most notably defender Haitian Stephane Guillaume, who also joined the club in 2006. Fraser, playing alongside Brazilian World Cup winners Romario and Zinho, appearedin 22 games for Miami F .C., scoring four goals and r ecording four assists.The team reached theUSL playof fs in its first season. Following the USL sea-son, Fraserwas called to the Jamaica national squad and played for the Reggae Boyz inthe Digicel Caribbean Cup qualifiers. Guillaume also represented Haiti in that tourna-ment. Fraser s agents declined to reveal the financial term’s of the player s new deal with Miami F.C. Gordon Williams is Caribbean T oday’ s manag ing editor . RACE TO THE TOPJamaica’s Fraser signs new soccer deal with Miami F.C. December 2006CARIBBEAN TODAY 27 SPORT SPORT www .caribbeantoday.com Fraser A Caribbean connection accounted for the two top honors at the IAAF’s 2006 World Athletics Gala in Monte Carlo last month.The Jamaican-born duo of SanyaRichards, left,and Asafa Powell were named the orld Athletes of the Year”. Representing Jamaica, Powell dominated the 100 meters,while in the 400 meters Richards, who runs for the United States,was exceptional as well.Both earned $100,000. PITCH PREDICAMENT Photograph by Imran KhanWest Indies cricket captain Brian Lara, right,offers his views on the sta te of the pitch to coach Bennett King prior to the start of the first Test match between hosts Pakistanand the visitors from the Caribbean last month a t the Gadaffi Stadium in Lahore.Lara scored a magnificent century and a half century on the pitch,but many of his teammates found the going much harder and the West Indies tumbled to a nine wicket loss.The captain returned to scorch the Pakistanis with another excellent knock in the second Test as well,a double century,but that game was drawn.The W est Indies also lost the final Test to go down 2-0 in the series andthe men from the Caribbean turned to wards the one-day internationals against Pakistan to salvage somepride. CTDec2006.qxd 12/10/06 11:55 PM Page 27

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