Group Title: Caribbean today (Miami, Fla.)
Title: Caribbean today
Full Citation
Permanent Link:
 Material Information
Title: Caribbean today
Uniform Title: Caribbean today (Miami, Fla.)
Physical Description: v. : ill. ; 38 cm.
Language: English
Publisher: Caribbean Pub. Services
Place of Publication: Miami Fl
Miami Fl
Publication Date: May 2008
Copyright Date: 2010
Frequency: monthly
Subject: Economic conditions -- Periodicals -- Caribbean Area   ( lcsh )
Politics and government -- Periodicals -- Caribbean Area   ( lcsh )
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
Additional Physical Form: Also available by subscription via the World Wide Web.
Dates or Sequential Designation: Began in 1989.
General Note: Description based on: Vol. 10, no. 3, published in 1999; title from cover.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00099285
Volume ID: VID00026
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 40985415


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b I MAY 2008

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o/I l. 19 No. 6

Tel: (305) 238-2868
Jamaica: 654-7282


Bounty Killer and fellow
Jamaican dancehall artiste
Mavado were last month
banned from entering Guyana
because that Caribbean gov-
ernment is unhappy with their
lyrics, which it claims glorify
guns and bash gays, page 13.

born boxer
Glen Johnson
was sure he
had retained
his world
light heavy-
weight title ;
American Chad Dawson. The
crowd thought so too. The
judges had other ideas,
page 18. L

Hurricane season is almost
here. History teaches that lack
of awareness and preparation
are common threads among all
major hurricane disasters. Find
out what you can do to get
ready, page 23.

N ew s ..........................................................2 Tourism /T ravel ........................................12 FYI ..............................................................16 R region ......................................................21
Feature ........................................................7 A rts/Entertainm ent ................................13 Sport ..........................................................17 Politics......................................................22
Health ........................................................ 11 Food ..........................................................15 B business ..................................................19 H hurricane Preparedness ......................23

W e

11i in A


Pregnant Haitian spared

deportation from U.S.

MIAMI In a rare decision,
United States immigration
authorities have temporarily
spared the deportation of a
pregnant Haitian woman in
Miami on humanitarian
Fabienne Josil, 26, five
months pregnant, was await-
ing deportation when immi-
gration officials unexpectedly
told her April 25 she could
leave detention to seek the
medical care she needs in the
"I'm going home to get
some rest and be happy with
my family," an ecstatic Josil
told reporters shortly after her
release. "That's all I'm going
to do.
"I'm going to have some-

thing to eat, maybe some
good Haitian food," she con-
Barbara Gonzalez, a
spokeswoman for U.S.
Immigration and Customs
Enforcement in Miami, said
Josil is not completely out of
the woods; that she has
received an order of supervi-
sion with reporting require-
"That doesn't negate the
fact that she has a final order
of removal," Gonzalez said.
"At this point her safety and
security is the priority," she
Josil, who legally entered
the U.S. in 2002, was under a


Jamaican put on marshals'

most wanted list in U.S.

States marshals have added a
Jamaican man to their "Most
Wanted" list, offering a
$25,000 reward for informa-
tion leading to his capture.
A statement issued by the
U.S. authorities said that
David Clarke, 26, was last
month placed on the list of 15
"Most Wanted I Igini\i ,for
the lIL iii o" double murders
of a South Florida couple on
June 16, 2007.
According to the release,
two other men involved in the
shooting deaths were arrested
just weeks after the incident
and charged with first-degree
murder, but Clarke is still on
the run.
"Being added to the mar-
shals' 15 most wanted list is a
wake-up call to all fugitives
like Clarke to put them on

notice that it's only a matter of
time before we come knock-
ing," said U.S Marshal
Christina Pharo of the
Southern District of Florida.
"Our reputation of being
the best in fugitive apprehen-
sion can be backed up with
results, and we are hoping to
add Clarke's apprehension to
the numbers."
Officials allege that the
three men stuffed Chris
Thompson and Cassandra
Williams in a car trunk after
shooting them and then aban-
doned the vehicle in Sunrise,
Florida where authorities
made the discovery.
The U.S. marshal release
indicated that Clarke has rela-
tives and associates in Jamaica
and South Florida.

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U.S. Congressional Black Caucus urges

Bush to take 'decisive action' in Haiti crisis

States Congressional Black
Caucus (CBC) is urging
President George W. Bush to
act "immediately and decisive-
ly" on the crisis in Haiti.
In a letter sent last month,
the 43 members of the CBC
expressed concern over what
they described as the current
"economic and political insta-
bility that has ensued in
The letter also urged
Bush to provide immediate
debt relief and extend
Temporary Protective Status
(TPS) for Haitian nationals
currently in the U.S.
"Given Haiti's current

City Council h
NEW YORK The New York
City Council has honored a
Guyanese-born mechanic who
risked his life to save a fallen
subway passenger.
Councilman Leroy
Comrie, the son of Jamaican
immigrants, presented the
council proclamation to
Queens resident Veeramuthu
"Kali" Kalimuthu, a mechanic
at Columbia University in
Manhattan, during a ceremo-
ny last month at City Hall.
"Today, the council of the
City of New York honors a
devoted family man and ster-
ling example of the daily
unsung contributions of immi-

economic and political insta-
bility, it is now more critical
than ever for the United
States to do everything within
its power to assist our hemi-
sphere's poorest country", the

letter stated.
"Haiti, already suffering
from extreme poverty, envi-
ronmental destruction, and
political instability, must now
also contend with sky-rocket-
ing food costs and civil
uniiiri the U.S. legislators
wrote, noting that recently
thousands of Haitians have
"flooded the streets in desper-
ation to protest rapidly
increasing food prices.
"How desperate must the
humanitarian crisis in Haiti
become before the United
States is willing to offer this
deserving nation the compas-
sion and generosity that it has

honors Guyanese subway hero

grants to our city and nation,"
said Comrie, who represents
the 27th District in Queens.
"Kali serves as an inspira-
tion to our community not
only because of his act of
heroism but, more important-
ly, because of how he inspires
each New Yorker to serve one
another," he added.

Comrie said Kalimuthu
demonstrated "extraordinary
hi r, ium on Mar. 14 when a
fellow New Yorker collapsed,
unconscious, onto the north-
bound subway tracks of the
No. 1 line at the 116th station

in Harlem.
"In a truly selfless act, he
jumped down and crossed the
tracks to hoist the much-larger
unconscious passenger onto
his shoulders and lifted him
up to platform," he added.
Comire said Kalimuthu is
a "proud" Guyanese, who
migrated to the U.S. in 1991,
and has been a "proud resi-
dent" of the Jamaica section
of Queens for 16 years.
He said Kalimuthu, who
has been employed as a
mechanic at Columbia
University for 11 years, is also
a "passionate cricket player."

Jamaican ex-chief of staff for Vincentian

N.Y. city councilman indicted in scandal

NEW YORK United States
federal prosecutors have
indicted the Jamaican-born,
former chief of staff for
Vincentian Councilman Dr.
Kendall Stewart on charges
that he funneled taxpayer
money into pet projects and
favored community groups.
In unsealing the indict-
ment, prosecutors last month
accused Asquith Reid of using
over $145,000 from the chari-
ty, Donna Reid Memorial
Education Fund, a recipient of
New York City funds.
Authorities also indicted
Joycinth Anderson, another
Stewart aide, for assisting
Reid in the scheme.
Stewart, who represents
the 45th Councilmanic District
in Brooklyn, which is over-
whelmingly Caribbean, was
not named in the indictment.
He said in a statement that he
did nothing wrong.
"While I believe in the
presumption of innocent until
proven guilty, I must say that


I'm deeply disappointed over
the allegations leveled at Mr.
Reid and the embarrassment
that his actions right or wrong
- have caused me, my hard-
working staff and the people of
my district," Stewart said.

According to the indict-
ment, Reid is charged with
"conspiracy to commit mail
fraud, money laundering con-
spiracy and two counts of wit-
ness tampering".

Prosecutors also charged
that he directed two grand
jury witnesses to lie about
working for the Donna Reid
Fund and other related finan-
cial transactions. They said
while the fund was expected
to furnish educational assis-
tance to schoolchildren it "pri-
marily served as a conduit to
provide cash and other per-
sonal bc i Ill 'to Reid.
The indictment also
charged that at least $31,000
received by the fund was
wired to Reid's friends and
relatives in Jamaica. It further
accused Anderson of cashing
thousands of dollars in Donna
Reid Fund checks for Reid.
After their arraignment,
both Reid and Anderson
were released on bond by a
Brooklyn magistrate.
Prosecutors said Reid
faces a maximum of 80 years
in prison, while Anderson can
be imprisoned for up to 40
years if convicted.

May 2008


n e WS

LW-S^^ caribbeantoday

Jamaican bomb suspect was planning revenge on mother's killers ~ FBI

ORLANDO, Florida United
States federal prosecutors in
Florida have charged that a
Jamaican man arrested last
month while trying to board
an Air Jamaica flight with
pipe-bomb materials planned
to seek retribution against two
men charged with killing his
The Federal Bureau of
Investigations (FBI) alleged
that Kevin Brown, 32, was
taking the components to


kicked a door" in front of her.
They also said he was
admitted to a Veterans Affairs
hospital after trying to kill
Prosecutors said Brown's
behavior at Orlando

International Airport
caught the attention of
Transportation Security
Administration (TSA) officers
trained in spotting suspicious
body language, facial expres-
sions and behavior.

The FBI said when he
was detained his backpack
searched, two galvanized
pipes, end caps, two small
containers of BB pellets, bat-
teries, two containers of liq-
uids, a laptop computer and

bomb-making literature were
Brown also bought two
"boot knii\%, that could be
concealed in his shoes, the
prosecution alleged.

Jamaica to make pipe bombs
"as revenge" against the men
believed to have killed his
mother, Sandra McLeod in
In a document filed in
federal court prosecutors late
last month said Brown, who
has a history of violent and
suicidal tendencies as well as

Brown, who has a history of
violent and suicidal tenden-
cies as well as tenuous ties
to the Orlando area, made
him too great a flight risk to
be released from jail.

tenuous ties to the Orlando
area, made him too great a
flight risk to be released
from jail.
Brown was arrested
on April 1 at Orlando
International Airport and is
currently being held at the
Seminole County Jail. He has
asked to be released on bail
until his trial a request that
United States Magistrate
Karla Spaulding is scheduled
to consider on May 7.
Prosecutors charged that
Brown, a U.S. Army veteran,
was fired in December from
his job as an equipment-parts
receiver for a defense contrac-
tor in Iraq because he made
Sl II \ nL' sexual comments to
a female co-\\, rk. r and
"grabbed an ax, threw items
in a destructive manner, and

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May 2008


U.S legislator wants

more aid for Haiti

NEW YORK The first ever
Haitian to hold elective office
in New York has called for
increased aid for his homeland
in the wake of riots over rising
food prices.
New York City
Councilman Dr. Mathieu
Eugene, Democratic represen-
tative for the predominantly
Caribbean, 40th Council
District in Brooklyn, told the
Caribbean Media Corporation
(CMC) that he was putting
together a task force to pro-
vide humanitarian assistance
to Haiti.
"This, I believe, is a moral
obligation for Haitians in the
U.S. to do. We should band
together to send humanitarian
assistance to the Haitian peo-
ple," he said.
"I'm calling on everyone
to join me, Haitians, Friends
of Haiti, elected representa-
tives, to collect food, water
and medicine for the needy
people," Eugene said,
adding that he had already
approached a number of
elected officials in the U.S.
Congress, the New York
State's Senate and Assembly,
as well as the city council, for
support in this initiative.
In addition, Eugene said
he would be sending a letter
to the United Nations, plead-

ing for further assistance.

The U.N. said last month
that it was taking further


action to confront food inse-
curity in Haiti with plans to
distribute 8,000 more tons in
the poorest country in the
Western Hemisphere. The
U.N. said its World Food
Program (WFP) would hand
out the food, focusing on chil-
dren, pregnant women and
nursing mothers.
The World Bank also said
it is providing a $10 million
grant to Haiti to help the
Ren6 Pr6val administration
respond to the crisis.

Pregnant Haitian spared deportation from U.S.

deportation order because she
had aged out" of her residen-
cy status, her attorney Jeanne
Hines said.
Hines said Josil learned
about her detention and possi-
ble deportation on April 18
when immigration agents went
to the Pompano Beach home of
her fiance, Frandy Deronvil, 36.
"She collapsed, her feet
gave out," Hines said, disclos-
ing that Josil was then taken by
ambulance to North Broward
Medical Centre in Miami

because of uterine bleeding.
Hines said after Josil was
treated, she was released that
same day to the custody of an
immigration agent and taken
to the Broward Transitional
Centre in Pompano Beach.
But Hines said Josil continued
to experience uterine bleed-
ing, and doctors said she
risked miscarriage.
Josil had legally entered
the U.S. in 2002 as her father's
dependent when she was 20.

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U.S. civil rights activist blasts

immigration policy towards blacks

CHICAGO United States'
civil rights activist Reverend
Jesse Jackson visited Haiti
late last month to examine the
humanitarian crisis emerging
in the Caribbean country.
A statement from
Jackson's Chicago-based
organization the Rainbow
PUSH Coalition said the for-
mer U.S. presidential candi-
date was
by a delega-
tion of minis-
ters and con-
Haitians to
meet with
Haitian citi-
zens, reli-
gious leaders, Jackson
officials and
members of non-government
"His goal is to bolster
immediate humanitarian aid
and devise long-term solu-
tions to the problem of rising
prices and curtailed supplies
of staples, such as rice, that
led to recent riots across
Haiti", the statement said.
At the same time,
Jackson lamented what he
described as the "disparity" in
how the U.S. government
treats Cuban and Haitian

refugees. Jackson said while
the U.S. readily welcomes
Cuban refugees, it neglects
"When Haitian children's
parents die at sea they are
sent back," he said. "We sub-
sidize Cubans to come to the
United States, but we ship
Haitians out...We should
change our policy and meas-
ure human rights by one yard-

Jackson also charged that
U.S. immigration policy is
"racist," giving preferential
treatment to Cuban refugees,
but not Haitian refugees who
have "darker skin color.
"The Cuban immigrants
are called political refugees,
and they are welcomed in the
United States," he said. "The
Haitian immigrants are called
economic refugees, and they
are sent back...There is a dis-
tinction without a difference."
Thousands of Haitians
have been fleeing to the U.S.
since 1991 to escape the vio-
lence and economic hardship
after Haiti's leader Jean-
Bertrand Aristide was over-
thrown. Last month, almost a
dozen Haitian drowned off
the coast of The Bahamas as
they sought to escape the ris-

ing food crisis in the French-
speaking Caribbean country.

Jackson's visit came as a
high-powered Organization of
American States (OAS) dele-
gation wrapped up a visit to
Haiti late last month. The del-
egation, which was headed by
General Jos6
Insulza, pre-
sented pro-
posals and
offered ideas
on the kind
of assistance
Insulza needed to
tackle the
food crisis
the Caribbean nation faces.
An OAS statement said
the delegation met with
President Ren6 Pr6val and
other political leaders, as well
as community and business
leaders, to offer the support
as representatives of the
Group of Friends of Haiti.
Insulza said the group of
diplomats was "keen on hear-
ing suggestions as to the kind
of assistance Haiti needs in
order to tackle the underlying
problems facing the society."

U.S. Congressional Black Caucus urges

Bush to take 'decisive action' in Haiti crisis

bestowed upon other coun-

Last month, the U.S.
House of Representatives
unanimously passed an
amendment to the Jubilee
Act, calling for the "expedited
cancellation" of Haiti's inter-
national debt. The lawmakers
said although Haiti is expect-
ed to receive some debt relief
later this year, it is still sched-
uled to make nearly $50 mil-
lion in debt payments in 2008.
They said these funds could
be better spent alleviating the
current crisis.
"Congress has gone on
record supporting debt relief
for Haiti", the letter stated.
"We now call on you, Mr.
President, to use your influ-
ence to make sure that this
struggling nation is no longer
held captive to their past and
is put on a sustained path to
In urging Bush to grant
Haitian immigrants, currently
residing in the U.S., TPS, the
CBC said this would enable
them to contribute to their

nation's recovery and stability.
Under Congressional rules,
TPS may be granted when
there is ongoing armed con-
flict, "posing a serious threat
to personal safety". It is
requested by a foreign state
that "temporarily cannot han-
dle the return of nationals due
to environmental disaster" or
when "extraordinary and tem-
porary conditions in a foreign
state exist which prevent
aliens from returning".
"Undoubtedly, Haiti meets
all of the requirements for
TPS, and is just as deserving as
other currently protected
nations", the legislators wrote.
"The people of Haiti have
been victimized by our coun-
try's double-standard immigra-
tion policies for far too long.
"As we wait for humanitar-
ian relief to trickle into the
hands of Haiti's starving popu-
lation, the United States has the
power to provide our struggling
neighbor immediate, substantial
relief by granting Haitians cur-
rently residing in the United
States TPS", they wrote.

In February, Haitian

President Ren6 Pr6val formal-
ly requested TPS for his com-
patriots living in the U.S. The
CBC said while Haiti has
made "considerable pr ,ogrL
in its efforts to recover from
the physical and political dam-
ages of recent years, through
its "commendable" rebuilding
efforts and its recent demo-
cratic elections, its democracy
rL m1nil fragile.
"As Haitians continue to
live under ever worsening
conditions, it is only a matter
of time before a humanitarian
crisis becomes a political one
threatening the stability of
Haiti and our entire region.
"Haitians, both in Haiti
and in our own country, have
long suffered through natural
destruction, persistent poverty,
repressive regimes, and the
inequitable policies of the
United States.
"It is now our moral obli-
gation to help Haitians sustain
and rebuild their country by
alleviating their nation's debt
and granting Haitian immi-
grants already residing in the
United States TPS", the legis-
lators stated.

May 2008


n e WS

Cancel Haiti's debt, C
WASHINGTON The tion to low-income countries.
United States' House of "With the passage of my
Representatives has unani- amendment, Congress goes on
mously passed an amendment record supporting the cancel-
calling for the cancellation of lation of Haiti's international
Haiti's international debt. debt to help alleviate poverty
The legislation, piloted and increase stability through-
by Florida Democratic out the country," Hastings
Congressman Alcee Hastings, said in a statement.
directs the U.S. Secretary of "This is an important ini-
the Treasury to work with tial step toward finally freeing
international financial institu- Haiti from its onerous debt.
tions to provide debt cancella- "I remain committed to


congresss tells
helping provide much needed
resources and protection for
Haitians in Haiti and within
our own borders so that they
may contribute to their coun-
try's recovery from years of
political, economic, and envi-
ronmental turmoil and put the
nation on a sustained path to

Hastings is also in the

vanguard in the fight to end
"double-standard immigration
practices as they pertain to
Haitian migrants" and has
authored the Haitian
Protection Act, which would
designate Haitian nationals in
the United States as eligible
for Temporary Protected
Status (TPS).
Last month, he and 43


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May 2008

J, j I



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116 ON New quota rule for H-1 B visa; Caribbean to discuss poverty,

RKnpNOR student visas to cost more climate change with Europe

PP' l UI~k II ILI% ,1arnpr" Pp nt~ lmt ~

QUESTION: Is it true that the
quota for H-1B visas is up?
ANSWER: Yes, says United
States Citizenship and
Immigration Services officials.
A cap has been placed on H-
1B visas for this year.
Officials said recently
they have received enough

H-1B visa kit

H-1B petitions to meet the
congressionally mandated cap
for the general category and
20,000 under the "advanced

UCae Ce CeACU111uxtlU11 llllt iU
fiscal year 2009.
The agency added that
before running the random
selection process, they will com-
plete initial data entry for all fil-
ings received during the filing
period ending on April 7, 2008.
It will reject and return filing
fees for all cap-subject petitions
not randomly selected.
The USCIS will conduct
the selection process for
"advanced degree" exemption
petitions first.
All "advanced
degree" peti-
tions not
selected will be
part of the ran-
dom selection
process for the
65,000 limit. Myers
More than Myers
31,200 of those
petitions were for the
advanced degree exemption.
Those petitions not selected

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dom selection process for the
regular 65,000 cap.

Caribbean and other for-
eign students seeking to study
in the U.S. may soon have to
shell out more.
The U.S. Immigration and
Customs Enforcement, which
oversees the Student and
Exchange Visitor Program,
said recently it may have to
increase fees for nonimmi-
grant students to help cover
the cost of improvements to
the program.
Visa costs for nonimmi-
grant students could double to
$200 if the plan becomes a
reality. Most exchange visitor
fees could rise from $100 to
$180, while the fee for school
certification could rise from
$350 to $1,700. Site visit
charges could increase from
$230 to $655 for each site visit.
The fee increase is being
proposed to cover improve-
ments to the SEVP, including
adding ICE agents to follow
up on alerts submitted by
school administrators; a
revamped SVEP database and
a new recertification process,
as mandated by the U.S.
Congress, to maintain the
integrity and reputations of
participating schools.
"U.S. colleges and univer-
sities are the envy of the world
and accordingly attract as many
as a million individuals from
overseas who wish to attend,"
said Julie L. Myers, assistant
secretary of Homeland Security
for ICE. "Validating the identi-
ty of foreign students, verifying
their intentions for entering our
country and knowing where
they are while they are here is
critically important to the secu-
rity of our country. (The) pro-
posed new rule ensures that
America remains a welcoming
place for foreign students to
study, while enhancing our abil-
ities to protect our national
After the events of Sept. 11,
2001, Congress required the
Department of Homeland
Security to implement a better
way of keeping track of interna-
tional students and exchange vis-
itors. SEVP was the depart-
ment's response to that mandate.

Compiled by Felicia Persaud
at The
answers provided here are for
information purposes only,
and do not create an attor-
ney-client relationship; nor
are they a substitute for
"legal advice".

Minister Dimitrij Rupel,
whose country holds the E.U.
He said the E.U.-LAC
summit "is an opportunity to
further build partnership
between our two regions by
focusing on the main issues -
the fight against poverty,
inequality and exclusion and
sustainable development, the
environment, climate change
and energy."
Rupel told an OAS
Permanent Council nmL I in1i
chaired by Barbados's
Ambassador Michael King,
that at least 20 of Europe's
heads of state and government
are expected at the meeting.

American and Caribbean
(LAC) countries will meet with
the European Union (E.U.)
this month to discuss coopera-
tion to fight poverty, the nega-
tive effects of climate change
and other related issues.
The Organization of
American States (OAS)
announced that 15 regional
leaders have so far been con-
firmed for the summit in Peru
on May 16.
"Our aim is to strengthen
strategic partnerships between
the two regions based on
mutual respect, common val-
ues and economic, political,
cultural, historical and human
ties," said Slovenia's Foreign

Cash Plus b

granted bail
KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC -
A High Court judge here has
approved bail for Carlos Hill,
the embattled head of the
alternative investment scheme
Cash Plus, who is facing nine
counts of fraud and conspiracy.
He, along with his brother
Bertram, had been on remand
at the Horizon Remand
Centre for several weeks after
they were arrested following
the company's collapse.
Justice Bertram Morrison
allowed the brothers bail after
hearing submissions from their
The head of the failed
company was granted a J$15
million ($211,318) release
while his brother was allowed

U.N. provides
NEW YORK The United
Nations last month unveiled a
plan to distribute more than
8,000 tons of food supplies in
Haiti where rising prices have
led to widespread protests.
The U.N. World Food
Program (WFP) was expected
to distribute the food in the
north, west and central regions,
focusing on children, pregnant
women and nursing mothers.
The U.N. Children's Fund
(UNICEF) was also expected
to double its child feeding pro-

Cancel Haiti's debt, Congress tells treasury
(CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5) been afflicted by violence and

members of the Congressional
Black Caucus wrote to
President George W. Bush
seeking an explanation as to
why Haitian nationals have
not yet been granted TPS and
that the Bush administration
"continues to refuse to pro-
vide an adequate explanation.
"The situation in Haiti a
nation that has historically

natural disasters is increas-
ingly desperate and volatile,"
he said.
"The United States gov-
ernment cannot turn a blind
eye as food prices escalate out
of control in the most impov-
erished nation in the Western
Hemisphere," Hastings added.

May 2008

oss, brother

I in Jamaica
out on J$10 million dollars
($140,921) bail.
The judge also ordered
Carlos Hill to report to the
police's Fraud Squad daily and
to remain in his home between
the hours of 6 p.m. and 8 a.m.
as part of his house arrest.
Late last month, the com-
pany's chief financial officer,
Peter Wilson was released on
JA$5 million ($70,000).
The company's head has
been charged with nine counts
of fraud and conspiracy, while
his brother and Wilson are
charged with conspiracy. They
were scheduled to return to
court on May 14.

food for Haiti
gram to combat malnutrition
and spend about $1.6 million
on water and sanitation in the
northwest and the Artibonite
Meanwhile, the Brazilian
contingent of the U.N.
Stabilisation Mission in Haiti
(MINUSTAH) last month
started to distribute food to
more than 3,000 families in the
poorest quarters of the capital


Caribbean fever grips Penn RelATURE

Caribbean fever grips Penn Relays again


Pennsylvania Mere days
after the Democratic Party
rolled its crucial primary elec-
tion race out of this United
States city, a Caribbean cara-
van featuring mostly
Jamaicans began pouring in,
intent on creating intense
competition of their own at

matic April 26 drew 49,831,
the second largest final day
crowd in the mLL i\ history.
The region was well rep-
resented, and not just in num-
bers. Outside the stadium ven-
dors selling food and other
items typical of the colorful
Caribbean lined the sidewalks.
Curried goat, jerk chicken,
roti, escoveitched fish, ackee
and dumplings, were on many

Caribbean supporters show excitement and anticipation as the runners race to the fin-
ish line.

the 2008 Penn Relays.
They did not fail.
Whatever excitement Barack
Obama and Hillary Clinton
may have generated in the
"City of Brotherly Love", in
their quest to become either
the first African American or
female U.S. president, was
embellished by a distinct
Caribbean flavor at the 114th
staging of the annual athletic
carnival here from April 24-26.
"It's a very convenient
thing for us, a very oppor-
tunistic occasion," said
Jamaican-born, New York-
based immigration activist
Irwine Claire, who is also
chief executive officer of
Team Jamaica Bickle, an
organization which has pro-
vided food and hospitality for
Caribbean athletic teams com-
peting at IL nn, for the past
14 years.
"...The fact is that that
type of situation (the primary)
taking place in Philadelphia,
for Caribbean nationals here
in Philadelphia this is a whale
of a week."

This year's meet could
hardly have been much better.
Caribbean nationals from all
over the U.S., and many trav-
eling from the region, crowd-
ed into Franklin Field and its
surrounding environs in near
record numbers. According to
organizers the meet "missed
three attendance marks by
less than 1,000 fans". The cli-

at the Penn Relays.
menus. Inside the stadium, the
region's flavor dominated as
well. At least two Golden
Krust Bakery stalls beneath
the Franklin Field stands were
kept busy with long lines of
patrons seeking out the taste
of patties, bun and cheese,
jerk chicken and pastries.
The fans also brought
along their own food, some
willing to share items like
puddings and rice and
peas and chicken with total
strangers. But their greatest
generosity was showered on
the athletes from the region
competing at the meet. Every
event that featured a
Caribbean athlete, especially
Jamaican, drew roaring cheers
from the stands, coupled with
intense waving of flags rang-
ing from handkerchief-sized to

massive, flowing symbols that
covered several fans at once.

Fans also decked them-
selves out in familiar colors of
the Caribbean, including
Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago,
Guyana and The Bahamas.
They sang and cheered loudly.
The athletes responded too.
Aleen Bailey, a member of
Jamaica's victorious women's
medley relay team which
defeated the U.S., pranced
excitedly about the track and
waved proudly at the stands
following the race. Other ath-
letes showed their appreciation
as well, even those who were
not on the receiving end of the
"I've been doing the Penn
Relays in high school, in col-
lege," said American runner
LaShawn Merritt. "It's a great
Many non-competitors at
the meet seemed to enjoy it as
well. Popular comedian Bill
Cosby, a regular at Penns, was
again there last month. Aaron
Ross, a defensive back with
Super Bowl champions New
York Giants and fiance of
Jamaican-born U.S. runner
Sanya Richards, showed up as

well. So too did former U.S.
Olympic great Carl Lewis.
Several notable names from the
Caribbean attended too, includ-
ing Jamaica's former Public
Defender Howard Hamilton.
Few were disappointed
and their pride showed.
"They soon have to re-
name it the Caribbean relays,"
said one happy fan decked out
in the black, green and gold of

Photographs and story by
Gordon Williams, Caribbean
Today's managing editor.

Main cover photograph by
Anthony Foster.

Caribbean success on the
track, turn to Sport, page 17.

Food for thought: Caribbean

seeks to revitalize agriculture


Exactly one year after
Caribbean leaders met
in Trinidad with the
regional and international
donor community, stakehold-
ers will gather in Guyana next
month hoping to secure as
much funding as possible to
help the region deal with spi-
raling food prices and revital-
ize the important agricultural
The June 6-7 Regional
Agriculture Investment
Forum grew out of the first-
ever regional agriculture
donor conference held in Port
of Spain last June and organ-
ized jointly by the Rome-
based Food and Agriculture
Organization (FAO) and the
Guyana-based CARICOM
FAO Director General
Jacques Diouf said then that
at least $200 million dollars
would be needed from exter-
nal sources, including donors
and investors, to kick-start the
initiative. But as he spoke at
the launch of the forum
recently, Guyana's President
Bharrat Jagdeo, who has lead
responsibility for agriculture
within the 15-member CARI-
COM grouping, said the event
should not be viewed as a
"knee-jerk reaction" to rising
food prices as there has been
talk for years about boosting
agriculture with little success.
"For a very long time
across the region, little fund-
ing was put into the agricul-
tural sector, and very few
requests that went to the mul-
tilateral financial institutions
were for agriculture," Jagdeo

He added that many
countries have preferred to
focus on tourism, as it con-
tributes more directly to their
Gross Domestic Product
"We pointed out that food
security is vital to the region,
that you can't eat tourism," he
noted. "Tourism may con-
tribute a lot to employment,
but if this region does not
have food security or a com-
petitive agricultural sector, our

exporting agricultural sector
will die because we can't com-
pete with the rest of the world
and our domestic production
will be displaced by imports,


as has already happened in
many of the countries."
CARICOM Secretary
General Edwin Carrington
stressed that the region's $3
billion food import bill is
becoming increasingly unten-
"We have a virtual crisis
situation on our hands. All
hands must now come on
deck, governments, private
sector and civil society in part-
nership," said Carrington.
Regional governments
have already agreed on a
novel idea of using Guyana's
vast amount of lands to
increase food production for
Caribbean territories. At the
end of their special summit on
food security in December last
year, the
regional lead-
ers issued a
statement that
"for the gener-
ous offer by
Government Carrington
of Guyana to
member states, of access to
land for the pursuit of agricul-
tural production, including
agro-processing, and encour-
age member states to take
advantage of this offer.
"In this regard, we note
that Trinidad and Tobago is
already pursuing this offer in
the context of a CARICOM
Food Security Facility," the

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B.: strongly Pncrmirages parriparion by minoritr and women-
owned business enterprises rMWBE firms)

May 2008



F nT U R 6

Brain drain can be gain for Caribbean ~ report

United Nations University
(UNU) study has ,iu,_LILd
that the so-called brain drain
facing Caribbean countries
actually has the potential to
drive growth in these
Regional countries have
complained about citizens tak-
ing their skills abroad.
"The idea that the mobili-
ty of bright, qualified people
represents a permanent loss of
scarce human capital for the

statement added.

But Jagdeo has been
lamenting the fact that the
interest expressed by the
Caribbean had not yet trans-
lated into concrete plans.
"We have heard Trinidad
has expressed interest, but
unfortunately we have been
unable to move beyond
expressions of interest. When
we try to pin down specific
projects, we have not had
much success," he said.
The Patrick Manning gov-
ernment has acknowledged
the Guyana initiative, saying it
is one of two main strategies
being developed with other
Caribbean states. Manning
said the other strategy calls
for the establishment of a fast
ferry service "for the trans-
portation to Trinidad and
Tobago of mainly farm prod-
ucts from the countries of the
southern Caribbean."
In addition, Port of Spain
has announced plans to utilize
former sugar estates for large
scale production of food for
both the local and export mar-
kets and there are also plans
by an ammonia producing
company to establish a large
greenhouse demonstration
farm on 75 acres of land pro-

source --..
country is "
said UNU *...
Director ,
Solimano L
in releas-
ing the study last month.
"Talent mobility can bring
benefits both to host and
source countries...So this
notion of one-way mobility,

that people leave their coun-
try take whatever abroad and
are completely lost for the
whole country, should be
"It's more realistic to
think there's a movement of
people in both directions," he

The study, produced by
the UNU's World Institute for
Development Economics
Research (UNU-WIDER),

cautioned that while these
benefits will be seen in areas
of high technology, the health
sector will continue to suffer.
It said that as doctors, nurses
and medical specialists contin-
ue to leave African, Asian
and Caribbean countries, the
health services they leave
behind become "depressed
and inadequate".
"Here the old worries
about brain drain are in gen-
eral fully warranted," said
Solimano, who is also regional

advisor at the U.N. Economic
Commission for Latin
America and the Caribbean.
The UNU study recom-
mended that countries that
are losing talent should set up
"more liberal and open
regimes that create a positive
climate for business and the
well-educated, leading to an
improvement in the economy
and society at large".

Food for thought: Caribbean seeks to revitalize agriculture

vided by the state.
"This will be a model
farm utilizing the latest tech-
nology and which will inspire
the replication of similar oper-
ations by farmers throughout
the country," said Manning.
But head of the 34-year
old Food Crop Farmers
Association Norris Deonarine
does not hold out much hope.
He said farmers have been
treated as ,qtiul r by suc-
cessive governments with
some waiting "as much as 35
to 40 years for security of
"We can't go along gam-
bling, taking risks because the
people who should be recog-
nizing our farmers are not
doing so. To them food securi-
ty is the importation of food,"
he said during a recent radio

In the meantime, other
Caribbean countries, have
announced new initiatives to
help their citizens cope with
the rising cost of food.
Barbados has said that it
was planning to open its door
to foreign competition, while
the Bruce Golding administra-
tion in Jamaica said it was
providing $13.8 million in loan
packages to help farmers. In
addition, the government is

finalizing a $2.5-million grant
from the China, while negotia-
tions are taking place with the
CDB on a $8-million loan to
finance technology-driven
programs in the sector.
Last December, the region-
al leaders agreed to waive the
Common External Tariff (CET)
on a basket of food items.
"Member States will also
intensify social interventions
targeting the most vulnerable
groups, including children, as
a feasible short-term measure
to mitigate the negative
impact of high food prices,"
the leaders added.
In late March, Dr. Warren
Smith, the director of finance
and planning at the Barbados-
based Caribbean
Development Bank (CDB),
warned regional leaders that
overhauling local agriculture
was critical to solve mounting
problems of food security.
"What is necessary in the
Caribbean is what amounts to
the need for a green revolu-
tion in agriculture," he
argued, referring to the new
technologies to boost crop
yields that were successfully
introduced in many develop-
ing countries between the
1940s and 1960s.
In the past year, global
fuel prices have doubled, in
turn pushing up the cost of

key commodities like wheat,
corn and barley. Food prices
have also been squeezed by
the expanding use of grains
for bio fuels.
"Commodity prices pro-
vide the basis and impetus for
us to take up that challenge
seriously," Smith told a one-
day roundtable discussion on
"Global Imbalances and
Caribbean Development"
organized by the CDB and
the U.S.-based Institutional
Investor Magazine.
According to a recently
released report by the
International Assessment of
Agricultural Science and
Technology for Development
(IAASTD), while agricultural
productivity has grown in the
last 50 years in Latin America
and the Caribbean, it has not
translated into better lives for
most people at the bottom of
the economic pyramid.
I ik rL ,Id yield from agri-
cultural production has not
led to a significant decrease in
poverty, which still affects 37
percent of the population.
Importing food has created
dependence and disrupted
local production", said the
IAASTD's report, which
was based on three years of
research and involved more
than 400 scien-
tists around
the world.
At the
discussion in
Port of Spain,
the head of
the CDB,
Compton Bourne
argued for the introduction of
new technologies as well as
improved transportation to
bring basic goods all the way
along the value chain.
"It is not sufficient to
invest in agricultural com-
modities, you have to have a
means to move that commodi-
ty from the farm to the hotels,
etc," Bourne said.
Other experts noted that
while regional blocs like
CARICOM have devoted a
lot of time and resources to
the question of migration, the

movement of agricultural
products had been largely


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May 2008


4 The Olympic Games
belong to the athletes and
not to the politicians,"
Avery Brundage, a past presi-
dent of the International
Olympic Committee, once
We like
to think so,
don't we?
Yet, the rau-
cous rounds
of "snatch
the torch"
that have dis-
rupted this
year's pre- CLARENCE
Olympics PAGE
reveal a
deeper truth: The Olympics
are often politics by other
That's why an unusual
right-left political coalition has
called for United States
President George W. Bush to
join some other major world
leaders in skipping the open-
ing ceremonies of the Beijing
Olympics. U.S. Democratic
presidential contenders sena-
tors Hillary Clinton of New
York and Barack Obama of
Illinois called on Bush to
avoid the ceremonies. Arizona
Sen. John McCain, the pre-
sumed Republican nominee
for president, joined in.
U.S. Rep. Thaddeus
McCotter, a conservative
Michigan Republican, has
introduced a bill that would
prevent the president and
other U.S. government offi-
cials and employees from
attending the Aug. 8 parade.
But Bush has tended to
shrug off such notions as an
unnecessary mix of politics
with the purity of the Games.
"I'm going to the
Olympics. I view the Olympics
as a sporting event," Bush
said in February. "You got the
Dalai Lama crowd, you've got
global warming folks, you've
got Darfur. And I just I am
not going to go and use the
Olympics as an opportunity to
express my opinions to the
Chinese people in a public

He was referring to pres-
sure from the same protesters
against China's brutal human
rights policies in Tibet and
elsewhere. Their protests have
led to scuffles with police and
unsmiling Chinese security
agents in several of the 21
cities through which China's
pre-Olympic torch relay is
Whether you support
torch-snatching as a pre-
Olympic event or not, this
international embarrassment
could hardly be aimed at a

more deserving target than
China. The country's list of
offenses against humanity is
long: political prisoners, jailed
journalists, religious persecu-
tion you name it, they do it.
On the world scene, they have
offered aid, weapons and
comfort to a variety of human
rights abusers. As Sudan's
leading oil customer, they
have given passive support to
that country's genocidal poli-
cies in Darfur.
And as their eager trading
partner and debtor, we, the
United States, have been
among China's leading enablers.
History shows Olympics
to be more than just a "sport-
ing event", as Bush calls it.
Japan in 1964, South Korea in
1988 and the Soviet Union in
1980, among others, have used
the Olympics to elevate their
stature on the world stage.
The most memorably notori-
ous example is Nazi Germany
in 1936. Those were the games
that created the torch relay as
an international pageant to
help polish the image of Adolf
Hitler's murderous regime.
Ominously, Susan
Bachrach, curator of an exhibit
on the 1936 Olympics that
opens at the U.S. Holocaust
Memorial Museum in
Washington on April 25,
observed, "the Nazi torch ran
through countries that Germany
was about to conquer."
Brundage argued vigor-
ously against calls for the
U.S. to boycott the Berlin
Olympics. Hitler successfully
concealed the deadliest side of
his regime, including the racist
and anti-Semitic Nuremburg
laws and the rounding up of
Jews and others for the first of
his death camps.

Yet, in the long run, what
is most remembered from that
Olympics are the four gold
medals won by Jesse Owens,
the black American track-and-
field star who blew holes in
Hitler's theories of Aryan
It is with that positive
memory in mind that I sup-
port the call for our president
but not our country's athletes
to boycott China's Olympics.
We should give our athletes a
chance to compete, as they
have been training to do, and
maybe present the sort of
high-achieving model of
achievement to the world that
Jesse Owens did.
History shows the greatest
value of the Olympic Games
is in their ability to rise above
ordinary political nationalism
to a higher level of human


Boycott politicians,

not the Olympics


N o w w w w .ca ib ea to la. co mI

I E W P o I N

No man...

so what?

Having explored the
problems that women
have as they age put
on weight, try their best to
land a man at all costs it's
pretty clear that the one com-
mon factor that causes grief in
their lives is man.
Yes, man.
So it's fair to say, that it
may not be such a bad idea not
to have a man at all. And it's
true, as so many women nowa-
days choose to spend their
days, and nights, without the
company of men.
"Man in my life? I think
not. It's been exactly five years,
seven months, two weeks, three
days and four hours since I have
had any physical encounter with
a man!" this lady told me.
What astonished me was
how she could be so exact in
her sexual memory, as I was
always told that sex has no
memory. I guess that only
applies to men though, as
women seem to put some
special premium on the act,
equating it with love.
"Oh, I will always remem-
ber my first time, it was so
special, so magical, I will
always love him."
Ask most men and they
can't even put a name to the
face, much less the amount of
times or the venue.
"Hi, pleased to meet
you...and you are...?"

Anyway, to be scientific, I
made sure to ask other women
the same question, and every
one could tell me when last,
how many times and with
whom. I must add that every
single one of them were with-
out men for a very long time,
but their memory clocks were
still ticking, albeit bitterly.
They were destined, damned,
doomed to be single.
Now before you berate
me, I'm merely responding to
an article that I recently read
titled "Doomed to be NIgiIL' ,
which was written by a woman
too. Many women may agree

with that arti-
cle, but there
are also plen-
ty out there
who strongly
disagree, cit-
ing that it's
really a bless-
ing that they
are single TONY
with no ROBINSON
prospect of
landing a
man anytime soon.
" be sin-
gle...what rubbish, what makes
men so important? Man is
nothing but crosses and I am
better off without them," chor-
tled one, while another chimed
in, "With no man in my life, I
can do what I want, when I
want, go wherever I want, with
no restrictions and with no man
running and ruining my life."
I'P.L at last, peace at
last, thank God almighty peace
at last, since I have no man,
my life is peace at last," added
the last lady.
What I found even more
interesting, was the disparity in
ages of the ladies who were
chorusing these chants. The
youngest was a snippet of a
lass, merely 18 years old who
recently celebrated her birth-
day. When I told her that she
was at the age when many girls
started to seriously think about
landing a husband, she square-
ly looked me in the eyes and

said, NL \ L r, never, never will
I get married, all I want are
two teddy bears and a parrot
and I'll be happy."
What has the world come
to, when women as young as
18 have already made up their
minds to go it alone? When I
asked why, they replied that
when they looked around and
saw the abuse that men heaped
on women, plus the rising,
shocking, alarming divorce sta-
tistics, they'd rather not be a
part of it. So in their minds,
having no man is indeed no
curse at all, as their lives will
be bereft of misery. It's little
wonder that so many women
prefer to live with pets, rather
than men, hence the rise in
demand of those little rat-dogs
and cats. Puss and dog mightn't
have the same luck, but these
women seem to have more
luck with these animals.

One young lady was
adamant that all men did was
ruin women's lives, and living
without one was a stress free
existence. Another lass chimed
in adding, "With the shortage
of eligible men, it's even worse.
I see so many guys working on
these construction sites, built
like Sampson, with muscles
here, muscles there, bulges
there, but nothing up here," as
she pointed to her head, "So



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V I e W P 0 I N T

* "The issue of casinos has
been a lightning rod of contro-
versy for a long time. We have
tiptoed around the issue, not
wanting to be embroiled in the
controversy" Prime Minister

Bruce Golding giving the green
light to casino gambling in
Jamaica after years of debate
over the issue.

* "I can't
believe that at
this point of my
life, this age,
they would still
have the heart
to rob me after

I work so hard and won the
fight so convincingly. I don't
know what else to do" disap-
pointed Jamaican Glen Johnson
after his controversial loss to
world champion Chad Dawson
of the United States in a World
Boxing Council title fight last
month in Tampa.

* "I don't want people to come
here and spray no bullets" -

Roman Catholic priest Father
Garfield Rochard defending his
position not to allow a man
entry into his Trinidad church
for fear that his ill,/ would
have harmed innocent people.

* "Critics who worry Bermuda
tourism is not fishing where the
fish are should have their con-
cerns allayed today once and
for all" Bermuda's Premier

Ewart Brown last
month announcing
his country's team-
ing up with United
States baseball
club New York
Mets to promote

Compiled from CMC and
other sources.

No man... so what?

what am I doing with a man
like that...nuh crosses, and is it
not a blessing living without a
man like that?"
Plus, they added that the
so called bright, educated eligi-
ble men were so in demand
that they ended up with multi-
ple women, making those
women miserable in the long
run. "Oh, the lies, the lies, the
horrible lies they tell." The
consensus was, that given the
choice of men around, it's bet-
ter to be without.
"But what about chil-
dren?" I asked.
Well the reply shot back
at me with the cacophony of
cackling cockatiels, "Ha, problem, I'll
just have a man impregnate
me and I'll go it alone," they
echoed with one voice, as in a
chorus. They were serious too,
eyeing me, "You seem to be of
good stock, strong, intelligent,
not bad 1 ,kin. let me have

your baby and we needn't be
in contact afterwards."
So that trend started years
ago and is gaining in populari-
ty. So much so, many articles
are being written about this
new reality, with the question
even being asked if men will
become obsolete in the future,
an endangered species.

Now, these women were
not man haters or lesbians, but
rather just fed up with the
problems that emerge when
men enter their lives, so usual-
ly after the last breakup, they
opt to go it alone. Imagine,
after years of failed relation-
ships, bullied, battered, beaten
bounced, bruised, bewildered
and broken, it must be a relief
to exist without such stress.
"It's like going through a
hurricane season, then comes
the calm. I'm too old to go
through all that again," said a
lady to me.

This can be achieved
because so many women nowa-
days are more educated and
with it, more financially inde-
pendent. Gone are the days
when women had to suffer at
the hands of men, just to get by
in life. Of course, many are still
trapped in this mode, and need
men to complete their emo-
tional and financial existence.
But so many don't, as they can
buy and sell most men.
"Listen, I feel so good
knowing that I can push my
key in my own door, drive my
own car, and don't need any
man to take me out or pay my
fare," this lady continued.
What is worse is that this
absence of men can also be a
financial windfall, as without
men hanging around, the
women can now have more
strength of cash. Reason.. .no
men around to mooch off
them, borrow their car and
drink out their gas, nyam out
their groceries and borrow

money from them without
repayment. Why do men
always borrow money from
women, and why do women
always keep on lending them?
So as I looked around and
saw all these attractive Igihk
smart, intelligent women who,
by choice and not design,
opted to go it alone, with no
man to weigh them down, I

shuddered and thought of the
fate of men. Years ago it could
be said that women alone were
doomed to be single, but now
they can just laugh and say,
"Sure I'm single, and have no
man, but so what? I'm stress
free and loving it."


Boycott politicians, not the Olympics

relations: a humanitarian,
egalitarian and meritorious
ideal of fair play that tran-
scends boundaries of nations,
races or tribes.
In ancient times it is said
that nations put down their
arms and took a break from
war in order to compete in
the Olympics. In more recent
times, the Olympics encour-
age us to look beyond our
home countries to learn about

how much we have in com-
mon with the rest of the world
- and how those commonali-
ties can bridge our differ-
That's why we should sup-
port the Olympics and our
athletes. Let the politicians
stay home.

2008 Clarence Page.
Distributed by Tribune Media
Services, Inc.


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11 6 n t T 91

Caribbean's HIV/AIDS case

goes before the U.N. in June

CMC St. Kitts and Nevis
Prime Minister Dr. Denzil
Douglas will take the
Caribbean's case for more
support for the HIV/AIDS
fight to the United Nations
next month.
Douglas, who is also chair-
man of the Pan-Caribbean
Partnership against HIV and
AIDS (PANCAP), said the
third High-Level United
Nations General Assembly
Session will
give him the
opportunity to
articulate the
regional posi-
tion on critical
policy and
measures that
must be Douglas
adopted by
governments and international
partners in battling
the exploding AIDS epidemic.
"In addition, I will have
the opportunity to present the
Caribbean mid-term score-
card on how far we have
advanced along the path
towards the target that we
have set ourselves to achieve
universal access to HIV and
AIDS-related prevention,
treatment, care and support
services by 2010," he said at
the opening ceremony of the
10th meeting of the Regional
Coordinating Mechanism of
PANCAP last month.

Douglas, who will lead
the Caribbean delegation at
the June 10 and 11 assembly,

said that 24 of the countries
within PANCAP have com-
pleted their national assess-
ment and progress reports and
those will be consolidated for
submission to the assembly.
"Of course, there are
some persons in some quar-
ters who insist that the
Caribbean may have been
brash in its commitment to
the 2006 assembly to achieve
universal access by 2010.
Others are of the view that
the Caribbean needed such an
impetus to generate the type
of intensity that is required to
turn the tide of the epidemic
in the region," said Prime
Minister Douglas, who added
that he fully embraced the lat-
ter view.
He said given the burden
of the epidemic in the region,
"the time for action is now.
"The region must not be
allowed to forget that its HIV
prevalence rate is one and a
half times that of the global
average, twice that of North
America and Eastern Europe
and more than five-fold that
of Western and Central
Europe," he reiterated.
The Caribbean remains
the second most heavily HIV-
infected region of the world,
behind Sub-Saharan Africa.
Douglas also explained that in
a region as small as the
Caribbean, there are more
than 17,000 new HIV infec-
tions in 2007 and in excess of
11,000 deaths from AIDS.

Heartfelt care for Caribbean children

mission of med-
A ical profession-
als and non-
medical support mem-
bers, attached to the
United States-based
Jamaican Children's
Heart Fund (JCHF)
team, recently provided
cost-free open-heart sur-
gery for children with
congenital heart disease
in Jamaica.
Twelve children
were recommended for
the JCHF team's atten-
tion, but only eight were
operated on. The other
four were deemed inop-
erable. Surgeons perform an opera
The surgeries were
performed at the
University Hospital of the West Indies
(UHWI), with the majority of the children
assigned from the Bustamante Hospital for
Last month's visit to Jamaica marked the
12th year of the JCHF's missions. While in

ation during their recent trip to Jamaica.

Jamaica, the JCHF team supported its local
charity Sophie's Place with its annual donation
of clothing, food and toys. The JCHF also
donated a Heart Lung Machine and medical
supplies to the UHWI.

U.S. firm looks to St. Vincent to fill nursing needs

NEW YORK A leading
healthcare organization in
the United States says it will
turn to St. Vincent and the
Grenadines to help address
its nursing needs.
Top officials from the
Bronx-based Beth Abraham
Family of Health Services
(BAFHS) told the Caribbean
Media Corporation (CMC)
that in addition to meeting the
organization's needs, it will be
addressing the nursing surplus
in St. Vincent.
A three-member contin-
gent from BAFHS, headed by
Vincentian-born Executive
Vice President and Chief

Leg cramps, restless legs keeping you up at night?


QUESTION: I used to take
quinine sulfate for nighttime
leg cramps. I stopped because
I didn't think it was really
helping. What other medica-
tions do you suggest I try?

ANSWER: Unfortunately, I'm
not convinced that any med-
ication, including quinine, is
effective for nighttime (noc-
turnal) leg cramps.
Although nighttime leg
cramps are common, the
cause is unknown. Besides
aging, they are associated with
flat feet, a sedentary lifestyle,
dehydration and diabetes.
Doctors tend to check elec-
trolytes and minerals, including
potassium, sodium, magnesium
and calcium. However, a defi-
nite cause is rarely found.
Options for treatment
include: stretching; regular
exercise; drinking plenty of flu-
ids, especially around the time

of exercise; W
(before or
just after a .
cramp); and -"
footwear, ,
using arch
and good
Although unproven, a
number of medications are
often tried: quinine; muscle
relaxants (such as cyclobenza-
prine); diphenhydramine
(Benadryl and many others);
verapamil and gabapentin.
The United States Food
and Drug Administration
took action in late 2006 to
limit the use of prescription
quinine so that it is only used
as a treatment for malaria.
That's because studies ,'Iu-lI
it does little to improve night
cramps and it has some seri-

ous potential side effects,
including an unstable heart
rhythm, low blood counts and
allergic reactions. It can also
cause trouble by interacting
with other medicines.
Although nocturnal leg
cramps are not dangerous, they
are quite painful and they dis-
rupt sleep, so see your doctor
for an evaluation. Your doctor
will look for a specific cause of
your leg cramps and review
treatment options with you.

Dr. Robert H. Shmerling is
associate physician at Beth
Israel Deaconess Medical
Center, Boston, Massachusetts
and associate professor at
Harvard Medical School.

2008 President and
Fellows of Harvard College.
All rights reserved.
Distributed by Tribune Media
Services Inc.

Operating Officer Clari Gilbert,
recently visited the Caribbean
nation where they formalized a
contract with the Ralph
Gonsalves administration to
recruit Vincentian nurses.
"Prior to going, I knew
that Prime Minister Gonsalves
had the initiative to train nurs-
es for export because they
really don't have enough
resources to hire them after
training," Gilbert told CMC,
adding that she had also sub-
mitted a proposal to Health
Minister Dr. Douglas Slater.
"We want to create a part-
nership with the Ministry of
Health and Audrey Scott (the
principal nursing officer)."
Gilbert, who also heads
the Brooklyn-based St.
Vincent and the Grenadines'
Nurses Association of New

York, said 60 nurses were
interviewed, but after screen-
ing that number fell to 35. She
said the goal is to eventually
recruit at least 15 nurses after
further screening and the
entire process, which includes
the issuing of visas and the
successful sitting of New York
State Registered Nursing
Licensing Examination, would
take up to three years.
BAFHS Vice President for
Human Resources, Peter
Fragale, said the organization
wanted to "take away the
middlemen and deal directly
with the government." Gilbert
said that she has also been
approached to recruit registered
nurses from other Caribbean
countries, including Grenada.



Sloe 1ff (b e, 335, sm
mole t f hif il # 1

May 2008


Jamaica gives green light for casino gambling

KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC -
The Jamaica government has
announced the introduction of
casino gambling to the island,
saying it was necessary for the
further development of the

cated that casino gaming
would be a very viable indus-
try for Jamaica with great
employment potential.
"The issue of casinos has
been a lightning rod of contro-

New Jamaican government authorizes casino gambling in first budget presentation.

tourism industry.
Prime Minister Bruce
Golding, presenting his
administration's first budget
since coming to power in
September last year, said that
a report by the accounting
firm Price Waterhouse
Coopers of Canada had indi-

versy for a long time. We have
tiptoed around the issue, not
wanting to be embroiled in the
controversy," Golding said as
he delivered the budget last
He said the government
had undertaken a review of the
issues surrounding the intro-

duction of casino gaming and
"in particular, we reviewed the
recommendations of a study
carried out in 2003." He said
the study had been commis-
sioned following a private sec-
tor summit in Mar. 2003 to
rL \ iii the introduction of
casino gaming in Jamaica."

Ii.,,d on this review, the
government has taken the
decision to permit the licens-
ing of casinos," Golding said
noting that the applications
for casino licenses would only
be considered if certain condi-
tions are met.
"These include a mini-
mum investment of US$1.5
billion and the construction of
not less than 1,000 rooms by
the investor; the casino com-
ponent must be no more than
20 percent of the total invest-
ment project; that the opera-
tors of the casino to be subject
to the approval of the govern-
ment after appropriate due
diligence including fit and
proper tests and evaluation of
track record."
Golding said that a team
had been established to make
recommendations to govern-
ment on the appropriate regu-
latory framework and tax
regime to govern the opera-

tion of casinos. He said these
recommendations would help
draft legislation that would be

brought to Parliament for con-
sideration and approval.

Bermuda makes pitch with U.S.

baseball team to boost tourism

- Premier Ewart Brown has
struck a new deal with
American baseball team the
New York Mets to market
Bermuda as a tourist destina-
More people visit
Bermuda from New York City
than any other destination and
it is hoped the partnership with
the Mets will help increase
numbers by greater exposure
of the Bermuda brand.
It is expected that during
the course of the baseball sea-
son attendance will top four
The deal includes a "Feel
the Love Grand Slam Inning"
announced to the hometown
crowd and "Feel the Love"
branding posted on the big
scoreboard. If any Mets player
hits a grand slam a home run
with all the bases loaded -
during that inning, a fan in the
stands will win a trip for two

to Bermuda, Brown said.
In addition, there will be
rotating television spots near
the concession stands, con-
course signage throughout the
stadium and advertising
spreads in the Mets Yearbook
and Mets Magazine.
"On average SNY, the
Mets TV broadcaster, brings
in 350,000 to 450,000 viewers
for each of its games," Brown
said. "During the upcoming
season SportNet New York
will air 30-second commercials
during the game, during the
post-game show, and during
other SNY programming.
"Bermuda Tourism will
also have a presence with the
Mets online products like and SNY.TV.
We will also be able to reach
Mets season ticket holders via


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U R I S M / T R n V IE t


/ Ei cNn T E eT A Ia N Mun T E.nR nn m i -y..antayc

Jamaican entertainers banned from entering Guyana

CMC- The Guyana govern-
ment has banned Jamaican
reggae artistes Bounty Killer
and Mavado from entering the

Home Affairs Minister
Clement Rohee told a news
conference that Bounty Killer,
whose real name is Rodney

Caribbean movie-makers split up

~ U.S.-based creators of 'Foreign' and

'Bashment' embark on separate projects


Philosophical diilL rL nL.s have
led to a split in the partnership
between two Caribbean-born
independent filmmakers based
in the United States.
However, while both Steve
"Tehut Nine" McAlpin and
Mykal Fax have moved on to
separate projects on their own,
they both claim their friend-
ship has not been totally dis-
solved and have not ruled out
working together again in the

proper credit.
"We just decided to go our
separate ways due to a lot of
events surrounding
'Bashment'," he added. "...I
tried to work with it but it did-
n't work out."
McAlpin also admitted
Fax was displeased that he was
not getting enough acknowl-
edgement for his role in creat-
ing the films.
"He wasn't very happy,"
he said last month.
However, McAlpin said he

Price, is known for his lyrics
glorifying guns and bashing
gays while Mavado is a securi-
ty risk.
told reporters
that the deci-
sion to black-
list the two
Jamaicans was
taken last
month by the
Bharrat Mavado
Jagdeo admin-
istration after
careful consideration of their
track records.
Mavado, whose real name
is David Brooks, was due to
perform at a concert to cele-
brate the Linden Town recently.
"My ministry has exer-
cised a lot of patience with the
organizers of shows.. .We had

set out conditions under which
these shows are to be held,
but these were not followed,"
Rohee said in reference to
Bounty Killer's recent show
here where he performed a
number of his controversial
"Bounty Killer has been
blacklisted, he will not be
allowed to enter the jurisdic-
tion," Rohee said.
Regarding Mavado, the
minister would only say that
the artiste was a security risk
and as such he too would not
be allowed into the country.
Bounty Killer's last per-
formance in Guyana last
month ended in controversy
with a faulty music system and
sporadic gunfire.

Jamaican-born Mykal Fax, left, and Steve "Tehut Nine" McAlpin" are no longer collabo-
rating on movies.

McAlpin and Fax were the
driving forces behind the criti-
cally acclaimed movies
1 ,r, ign" and "Bashment: A
Fork In The Road", which
both depict life of Caribbean
people in the U.S. The films,
which meshed general love and
relationship stories with plots
focusing on crime and vio-
lence, received limited general
theater release in the U.S. and
the Caribbean. Yet they have
earned a fair public following
through DVD distribution.

But McAlpin and Fax
split up after the release of
Iiliihnii nt last year and both
Jamaican-born men acknowl-
edged that friction over credit
for the movies is at the heart
of the team's break-up.
"The reason for splitting
up is credit dilkLr /' "Fax
told Caribbean Today last
month. "...I wasn't getting

had no intention to undersell
Fax's contribution and
explained to his former cre-
ative partner that any per-
ceived slight was not his doing.
Both worked as producers,
scriptwriters and actors in
1 r lg il" and l iI1ni I lln ',
although Fax played starring
roles in both films, while
McAlpin worked as director
and was more hands-on in
marketing the movies.
"I believe he has a lot of
potential," McAlpin said of
Fax. "He just needs to hone
his craft. It's a process."
McAlpin first teamed up
with Fax for the movie
I ,r i igl1", released in 2005.
BIIhIniLI n was released in
May 2007 and shown in
Jamaica in October last year.

The two Jamaicans


than low fares

2 pieces of free

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May 2008



U111i l- ........ N

Trinidadian American rap diva

Foxy Brown freed from prison

Atlanta Caribbean

Carnival May 24

Temperamental Trinidadian
American rap diva Foxy
Brown has been freed after
serving an eight-month jail
sentence for violating her pro-
Brown, 29, said she was
heading to church after she
was released from Rikers
Island jail in Queens on April
"The first place I want to
go is church," she said.
"I've got to get on my
Brown, however, first
went shopping in Harlem, and
stopped for some soul food,
then headed for her childhood
home in Brooklyn.
I 1 I, good, feels good,
feels good," she said on greet-
ing her Trinidadian mother in
"I love you, mommy," she
told her mother, Judith
"This is my house, my
mother and whole family, my
neighborhood, the room I
wrote my first rap song in,"
Brown said, as a VH1 film
crew captured the moment for
an upcoming reality show.
"This is real emotional for
me," she said.

allowed that there is a chance
that they will work together in
the future, if they can work out
their differences.
"Yes," said Fax, "as long
as (McAlpin) is willing to com-
promise and the two of us
meet halfway on whatever
ideas we have."
"Mykal is a friend of
mine," McAlpin said. "I still
hold him dear as a friend."
However, the split has not
stopped the creativity of the
two Jamaicans. Fax recently
completed a movie called "The

"I did almost a year in
prison, a year in prison, just
because my name is Foxy
Brown," Brown continued.

She said she realized who
her real supporters are while
serving time in jail.
"That's when I really got
to see the people who truly
love me for me," she said.
The rapper, born Inga
Marchand, was rapturously
received by family and fans

Roaming Lion", scheduled to
premier in Brooklyn, New
York on May 1. He wrote the
script, directed and also has a
leading role in the suspense
thriller, which again carries a
predominantly Jamaican
theme and cast.
McAlpin last month
wrapped up filming on a movie
in Florida called "What Goes
Around", which also features
Caribbean cast members.

Gordon Williams is Caribbean
Today's managing editor.

outside the
Rikers Island
jail where she
was held for
attacking two
manicurists in
"I'm home,
I'm home, I'm
back," she
Brown was
sentenced to
three years'
probation in
Oct. 2006, but a
judge sent her
to jail, ruling
that she was not
taking her pro-
bation seriously.
She had struck a
woman in the
face with a cell phone and
threw a pot of hair glue at a
worker in a Queens store.
Brown said she will begin
work on her first album since
2001, "Brooklyn's Don Diva",
which is expected to be
released on May 13.

The carnival spirit of the
Caribbean climaxes in
the United States city of
Atlanta, Georgia on May 24.
Several artistes from the
Caribbean, including Iwer
George, Peter Ram, Jamesy P,
Burning Flames, Zoela, WCK,
Rock City and Tizzy are
scheduled to perform at the
event, which will include a
road march beginning at noon
and a I L i\,l \iligL .
The theme of the 2008
event is "Unity through
Diversity" and will mark the
20th year of carnival celebra-
tions in the Southern city.
Several events have pre-
ceded the main day, including
the pageant for the carnival
princess and queen. A "Pan in
the Park" event, to show off
steel pan music, was sched-
uled. The "King and Queen of
the Band" and best male and
female in the individual com-
petitions will be decided on
May 22 at the Underground in
downtown Atlanta.
But the main attraction
will be downtown on May 24,

The Caribbean carnival spirit hits Atlanta
this month.
including the colorful costume
parade, which starts at noon
at West Peachtree and ends at
the Festival Village.
Caribbean music, food and
cultural presentations will also
be featured.
For more information,
or call the Atlanta Caribbean
Carnival Band Leaders
Association at 404-587-5195.

Bob Marley's mother dies in Miami

Cedella Booker, mother
of reggae legend Bob
Marley, died at her
Miami home last month. She
was 81.
A special memorial serv-
ice was held in her honor on
April 15 in South Florida.
Mother Booker, as she
was known, was an artiste in
her own right, recording solo
and collaboration albums. She
performed in Jamaica, United
States, Europe, Mexico and
Africa. She authored a book,
"Bob Marley, My Son".
Mother Booker also
founded the Movement of Jah
People Organization, which
benefits underprivileged per-
sons in the Caribbean and
South Florida, and adopted
the Nine Miles Basic School in


St. Ann, Jamaica (where she
and Bob Marley were both
born and laid to rest) now
called the Cedella Marley
Booker Academy.

"My mother
is a rare woman,
loved by everyone
she met, I know she
is in the hands of
Jah and will never
be forgotten here
on earth," her son
Richard Booker
commented in a
press release issued
last month.
Booker is sur-
vived by Richard
Booker, daughter
Claudette "Pearl"
Levingston, daugh-
ters-in-law Rita
Marley and Sharien Fogle-
Booker, nephew Jimmy
Brown, 14 grandchildren and
49 great-grandchildren.

The medical practice of
Dr. Olive Chung-James and Dr. John T. McAdory
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May 2008





Good things from the Earth for carrot and ginger soup


("Earth Day" was celebrated
on April 22, 2008.)
Earth Day is an annual
international event
that, since 1970, has
promoted awareness of our
environment and the positive
impact each of us can have on
it if we try.
That's certainly true for
those of us who love to cook
and eat good food.
A big part of the quality
of life that comes from such a
commitment is in the flavor of
our food. Take carrots, for
example, at their peak of sea-
son right now. Freshly harvest-
ed carrots snap with juicy
crispness when you bend
them. The flavor is incredibly
sweet and earthy. No woody,
dry-looking, flexible carrots
that have been sitting around
on the shelf can compare;
their natural sugars will have
long ago started converting to
starch, dulling their flavor.
Even at a big, impersonal
supermarket, though, there
are smart ways to look for
good carrots. If they still have
bright green, fresh-looking
stems and leaves, you"ll know
they were harvested fairly
recently. Look for small, round
carrots; broad, tapered, cone-

shaped ones; long, slender car-
rots; and colors as varied as
the familiar orange, bright yel-
low, red, purple, and pure
white. Flavors will vary slight-
ly, but as long as they're fresh-
ly harvested all of them will
taste sweet and, well, carroty.
I like to use several differ-
ent kinds of carrots in my
recipe for carrot and ginger
soup. If you can only find one
kind of freshly harvested car-
rots, however, go ahead and
use it for the entire recipe.
Once the soup is pureed, you
won't be able to tell much of a
difference, anyway.
When you prepare the
soup, take care not to add too
much liquid. Fresh carrots will
give up a lot of their own and,
not yet having turned starchy,
they won't thicken the soup too
much. I add some cream to my
soup to make it a little richer
and more complex; but you can
also leave it out, if you like, and
enjoy the pure, intense taste of
freshly harvested springtime
carrots on their own.

Makes about eight cups, six to
eight servings.
* 1 pound orange carrots
* 1 pound yellow carrots (or
orange carrots)

* 1 pound white carrots (or
orange carrots)
* 1/4 cup peanut oil or
vegetable oil
* 1 tablespoon minced garlic
* 1 tablespoon minced fresh
* 1 tablespoon minced green
* Pinch red pepper flakes
* 1 tablespoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground
white pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
* 1 tablespoon honey, or to
* 8 cups organic store-bought
vegetable broth, plus extra,
if necessary
* 1 cup heavy cream
* 4 ounces unsalted butter
* Peanut oil or vegetable oil,
for deep-frying
* 1/2 cup finely julienned fresh


Trim and peel the carrots and
slice them thinly. In a stock-
pot, heat the quarter cup of
oil over medium heat. Add
the garlic, minced ginger,
green onions, and pepper
flakes and saute, stirring fre-
quently, just until glossy and
fragrant but not yet browned,
one to two minutes.
Add the carrots, salt, pep-
per, turmeric, and a table-

Carrots: The flavor is sweet and earthy.

spoon of honey. Saute for two
minutes, stirring constantly.
Add the broth and bring to a
boil. Reduce the heat to main-
tain a gentle simmer and stir
in the cream. Cook until the
carrots are tender, about 40
Add the butter and, with
an immersion blender, puree
the soup in the pot; or, if you
don't have an immersion
blender, transfer the soup to a
blender and puree in batches
with the butter, taking care
not to overfill the blender and
carefully following manufac-
turer's instructions to avoid
splattering of the hot liquid.
Pour the soup through a
fine-meshed strainer into a
large, clean bowl. Rinse out
and dry the pot and return the
soup to it. If the soup seems
too thick, stir in some more

broth to achieve the desired
creamy but fluid consistency.
Taste and adjust the season-
ing, if necessary, with more
salt, white pepper, and honey.
Cover the pot and keep
the soup warm over very low
In a heavy pot or skillet,
pour in enough peanut oil or
vegetable oil for a depth of
about two inches. Over high
heat, heat the oil to 300
degrees E on a deep-frying
Meanwhile, spread the
ginger julienne on paper tow-
els and pat with more paper
towels to remove excess mois-
ture. Carefully scatter the gin-
ger julienne into the hot oil
and fry until it is golden
brown and crispy, about 30
seconds. Immediately remove
the ginger with a wire skim-
mer or slotted spoon and
transfer to a paper towel-lined
plate to drain.
To serve, ladle the soup
into heated bowls. Garnish
with fried ginger strips and
serve immediately.

Edited for space. 2008
Wolfgang Puck Worldwide,
Inc. Distributed by Tribune
Media Services, Inc.

May 2008




The public is being invited
to celebrate part of "Haitian
Cultural Heritage Month" on
May 10 in the South Florida
city of Miramar.
The event, announced by
Le P'Ticlub and the city, will be
held from 7 p.m. to midnight at
the Miramar Civic Center
Ballroom, 6920 S.W. 35th St.
It is expected to offer a pro-
gram of visual and performing
arts entitled the "Night of the
Artists", a tribute to Haitian

music legend Jose Tavernier.
For more information, call
754-423-6465 or 786-287-6459.

Two Jamaicans will be
honored with the "2008
International Humanitarian
Award" by the American
Friends of Jamaica at the
AFJ's fourth annual South
Florida Gala and Auction on
May 10 at the Ritz-Carlton in
Coconut Grove, Miami.
Father Richard Ho Lung,
founder and director of the

Thirteen Jamaican nationals were hon-
ored recently by the Jamaica Consulate
in Miami for their pioneering and
preservation of Jamaican culture, promotion
of the country's development and extraordi-
nary achievement in 2007. The recipients were
presented with plaques of commendation from
Jamaica's Prime Minister Bruce Golding and
Consul General Ricardo Allicock during the
ceremony in Coconut Grove, Florida.
Photograph shows Golding, sixth from
left, posing with the honorees, standing from
left: Reverend Horace Ward, of Holy Family
Episcopal Church in North Miami; Captain
Barrington Irving, pilot; Dr. Winston Whyte,
educator; Michael and Jackie Shaw, of
Sunshine Theatre Company; Allicock; Don
Daly, media specialist; Glenn Chin, NASA

Missionaries of the Poor, and
Phillip Gore, chairman of
Gore Development, will be
recognized for their contribu-
tions to the Caribbean island.
For more information,
call Keisha A. Phipps at 212-

The St. Hugh's High
School Alumnae Association,
Florida and Atlanta chapters,
will present a "Fidelitas Jazz
White Affair" from 7 p.m. to 1

mission manager; and Dr. Karl S. Wright, edu-
Seated, from left, are: Christine Thomas,
daughter of Dr. Ivy Claudette Armstrong,
poet, who received the award on her mother's
behalf; Hazelle Rogers, city commissioner,
Lauderdale Lakes; Beverly Ford, former hon-
orary consul of Houston, Texas; Elloreece B.
Burrell, community worker; and Joyce Wright,
founder of the Jamaica Nurses Association of
Florida. Lauderdale Lakes Mayor Samuel
Brown was also named among the honorees,
but was unable to attend. Guest speaker
Golding praised the honorees for demonstrat-
ing creativity, talent, dedication and commit-
ment, traits he described as examples of that
"true Jamaican spirit."

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a.m. May 10 at the West
Broward Hall, 927 N.W. 178th
Ave., Pembroke Pines,
For more information,
visit or call
954-495-1794 or 678-852-1627.

The deadline to submit
entries for the fourth annual
Institute of Caribbean Studies'
National "Caribbean American
Heritage Month Youth Essay
Con,,i is May 21.
The contest, designed to
commemorate the historic
passage of a Congressional
resolution declaring June as
National Caribbean American
Heritage Month, is open to
11th and 12th grade students
who reside in Florida's
Broward and Miami-Dade
counties, who have at least
one parent or guardian born
in the Caribbean.
The theme of this year's
contest is: "If you were run-
ning for president of the
United States, what are the
top three issues that you
would put on your agenda?"
Entries must be submitted as
an individual effort and must
be original unpublished work.
Entries should not have been
submitted in other competi-
tions. Only one essay will be
accepted from each author.
Cash prizes will be award-
ed to first, second and third
place winners.
For more information
about the contest, including
additional entry requirements,
call 954-802-4291 or e-mail:

Females of Caribbean ori-
gin, ages nine to 25, single,
residing in Florida for over six

months and who have never
been married or given birth to
a child, are being invited to
enter in the 2008 "Miss
Florida Caribbean" pageant.
Selected delegates will under-
go eight weeks training in a
self-development workshop,
which includes grooming,
stage presentation, speech and
physical conditioning. "Miss
Florida Caribbean" 2008 will
make appearances events such
as fundraisers, carnivals, talk
shows and festivals.
The pageant finals will be
staged on Nov. 9 at the Hilton
Fort Lauderdale Airport
For more information,
call 954-882-2729.

The fifth annual "Jerk &
Caribbean Culture L ,i i\ il
will be held on May 26 at the
Meyer Amphitheatre, down-
town West Palm Beach,
For more information,
call 561-236-2537.

Wishes on Wheels is making
available power wheelchairs
to non-ambulatory senior citi-
zens, ages 65 and over, and
the permanently disabled of
any age, if they qualify.
Usually there is no charge
or out-of-pocket expense or
the power wheelchair, includ-
ing shipping and delivery to
the home by a technician.
The main goal of Wishes
on Wheels is to develop public
awareness of the assistance
and options that exist to allow
senior citizens and the perma-
nently disabled to remain inde-
pendent in their homes with-
out incurring extra expense.
For more information,
call 1-800-823-5220 or visit

Principal teaches lesson of love

Dr. Winston Whyte, a Jamaican-born South
Florida school principal, has been named
the winner of Caribbean Today's "Love
Lines For Your Valentine" competition.
Below is the text of Whyte's entry,
dedicated to his wife Janet:
Two glances on the way to school,
Two hearts singing a love song
Two souls finding their mates.
Eight years of friendship, twenty-nine
years of marriage,
Thirty-seven years of happiness,
Our hearts still sing that love song.
I love you for who you are, and what

you have become,
I love you for the way you make me feel.
You are the medicine that keeps me
alive, the sunlight in my day,
The wind that makes me soar, and
God's gift to me.
The beauty of our relationship is
recorded by the Universe.
A love that will outlast the planets.

Photograph shows Whyte receiving his
certificate from Caribbean Today's
Ashley Lee-Davis.

Jamaicans honored in Florida

May 2008

r Y I



Caribbean track and field stars shine at Penn Relays


Pennsylvania Jamaican ath-
letes again led the Caribbean's
charge at the prestigious Penn
Relays here late last month.
While track and field ath-
letes from across the region
journeyed to Franklin Field in
this United States city, teams
representing Jamaica recorded
the most wins at the three-day
In possibly the most stun-
ning result, Jamaica's senior
national 4x100 meters team,
racing without injured world
record holder Asafa Powell,

beat a talented duo of
USA "Red" and "Blue"
teams. Triple 2007 World
Championships gold medalist
Tyson Gay anchored the
fourth place USA Red team.
Trinidad and Tobago finished
third in the event, while USA
Blue was runner-up to
Jamaica, which clocked 39.04
seconds with a team featuring
Marvin Anderson, Michael
Frater, Nesta Carter and
Dwight Thomas.
In the women's national
4x100, Jamaica finished third
to the USA Red and Blue
teams, with The Bahamas
fifth. Jamaica's men finished

third in the 4x400 relay behind
USA Red and Blue teams,
with The Bahamas in fourth.
The women's 4x400 was won
by the U.S., anchored by
Jamaican-born Sanya
Richards, with Jamaica in

But Jamaica was again on
the winner's podium in the
women's sprint medley relay.
The team of Nadine Palmer,
Aleen Bailey, Sonita
Sutherland and Kenia Sinclair
clocked three minutes, 37.61
seconds to beat an All-Stars
team and U.S. Red.

Caribbean student ath-
letes also carried the region's
flags well, with Jamaican high
schools scoring several
Championship of America
Edwin Allen High won
the girls 4x100 crown in 44.79
seconds while Holmwood
Technical's girls won the 4x800
in eight minutes, 41.92 sec-
Jamaica's high school boys
did not disappoint either,
sweeping the 4x100 (Calabar,
40.74), 4x400 (St. Jago, three
minutes, 15.66 seconds) and
4x800 (Manchester High,
seven minutes, 43.22 seconds)

events. Jamaican schools,
Camperdown and St. George's
College, finished second and
third, respectively, in the boy's
4x100. Calabar finished third
in the 4x800.
Many Caribbean athletes
also competed for universities
from the region and the
U.S. Away from the track,
Caribbean athletes also had
success in field and individual
events. St. Elizabeth
Technical's Peta-Gaye Reid,
with a height of 1.76 meters,
won the high jump for high
school girls, to start Jamaica's

Sport offers talented youths

a way into U.S. colleges

MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica -
The sporting genius of
Jamaicans is admirable and
should be developed into edu-
cational opportunities, accord-
ing to former professional
player Zack
Jones, who
was in the
island recently
sporting clinics
in the
Montego Bay Jones
The San
Diego-based Jones, who
played in the National
Basketball Association

"The talent among the
youth here is tremendous and
we should encourage these
young people to pursue athlet-
ic scholarships in the United
States and beyond," said
Jones, who visited Jamaica
with former National Football
League (NFL) player Darren
Carrington to conduct sport-
ing clinics along with former
Jamaica national soccer stars
Warren Barrett and Paul
"Tegat" Davis.
"While they develop their
academic skills in school they
should also discipline them-
selves on the courts and the
playing fields," u, ,L iLd
Jones, the director of sports
activities for the California-

Former Jamaica national player Paul "Tegat" Davis, right, helps display soccer tech-

(NBA) for both the Cleveland
Cavaliers and the New Jersey
Nets, said that Jamaica has
been blessed with tremendous
sporting talent, citing the suc-
cessful careers of basketball
player Patrick Ewing, boxer
Lennox Lewis, and world class
sprinters Asafa Powell,
Veronica Campbell-Brown
and Merlene Ottey.

based Miles Ahead, a youth-
focused Christian organiza-
tion, led by former NFL play-
er Pastor Miles McPherson.
"Sports is a great way to
connect with young people
and challenges them to make
positive life decisions. It
brings out passion in the
youth. It also inspires them to

Jamaica dominates Caribbean cricket

Jamaica completed a major
haul of regional cricket
competitions this season
by trouncing Trinidad and
Tobago to win the Carib
Beer Challenge Trophy in
Led by a 10-wicket match
haul by spinner Nikita Miller,
the hosts dominated T&T to

win the scheduled five-day
match inside of three days.
Scores: T&T 121 and 241;
Jamaica 293 and 71 for one.
In addition to Miller,
Jamaica also received quality
contributions from batsmen
Brendan Nash, who scored a
century, and a half-century
from captain Tamar Lambert,

both in the first innings.
T&T won the Stanford
20/20 tournament earlier in
the year, but Jamaica's win in
the Challenge Trophy added
to its success in the one-day
KFC Cup in October and the
four-day Carib Beer Cup this

conlimuniI v In .Jan-kanlcaand the. Un~teai

SKLLiLI'.Iv0d l~In JLl ( Oe 9 iLF'IIt] p I I iLE

tn 4Jamaica's histor ,c luc ~o~[ nI
development including the LAiuvement.;
and global contributions of a remarkable
Promate your products and servriccs In t hi'S
4iJ-page keepsake edition, to 6c distribLiacc
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and. thieCaribbizan.

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



0 P"
FifApdiA or'

May 2008




Controversial decision hurts Caribbean boxer's title hopes


TAMPA, Florida Jamaican-
born fighter Glen Johnson will
seek a rematch following his
controversial loss to American
Chad Dawson last month in
their World Boxing Council
(WBC) light heavyweight
championship bout at the St.
Pete Times Forum here.
But it is left to be seen if the
39-year-old "Road Warrior" will
be granted that opportunity as
Dawson appears less than enthu-
siastic to step into the ring again
with Johnson anytime soon.
Johnson, his handlers and
the near-capacity crowd that
showed up at the forum on
April 12 for the title bout were
highly upset at the unanimous
decision awarded to Dawson.
The announcement that all
three judges scored it 116-112
for the American drew pro-
longed boos from fans at the
venue, including several

Caribbean nationals, who also
broke into chants of "bu.. sh..".
Henry Foster, the
Jamaican's manager, called the
decision "a tri\,i) and prom-
ised to appeal it with the Florida
State Boxing Commission. He
also demanded that the two
fighters meet again.
"What we've got to do
now is get the media behind us
and get a rematch with this guy
and get our justice," Foster

The Jamaican, who cele-
brated at the end of the fight by
jumping onto the ring ropes and
hoisting his arms to acknowl-
edge the receptive crowd, did
not hide his disappointment
with the result. Johnson
believed he controlled the fight
and did the most damage.
"I don't understand how
you hurt a man three times sig-
nificantly in three different

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rounds hurt him, have him
wobbling, and he never hurts
you anytime in the fight, plus
you won other rounds. I did
hurt him so badly and he still
won the fight," he said in his
dressing room after the bout.
But judges N. Hidalgo, J.
Woodburn and P. Trematerra
saw it differently. Their decision
may have been swayed by the
early part of the 12-round con-
test. While Johnson marched
steadily across the ring patient-
ly trying to land big shots to the
head and body, the 25-year-old
Dawson skipped away, flicking
out a consistent jab mixed with
occasional combinations. The
judges, who scored each round
identically, said the defending
champion won seven of the first

O'Neil Bell's comeback bid
ended in major disappointment
when he quit against Tomasz
Adamek and lost the impor-
tant International Boxing
Federation (IBF) cruiserweight
title eliminator on last month.
Adamek, in front of his
home crowd, had been domi-

winning ways at the 114th
staging of PI nin,1 '. Andrew
Riley won the boys event,
ahead of Kingston College's

nine rounds.
But Johnson rallied
strongly towards the end,
clearly dominating rounds 10
and 11 and almost floored
Dawson with a series of thun-
derous shots. When pressed if
Johnson would get another
shot at his title, the American
said he preferred to pursue
other immediate career plans.
"I mean, yeah," said the
undefeated Dawson while sit-
ting in his dressing room after
the fight nursing a puffy face.
"But we gotta go. We have an
agenda. We've got certain
places where we want to be at
in my career, you know, and
taking steps backward is not
what we wanna do.. .He'll get
his rematch maybe later on

nating the contest at the
Spodek Arena and emerged
with an eighth-round technical
knockout victory when the
Jamaican opted out of the
bout after round seven.
The win guarantees
Adamek a shot at IBF cham-
pion Steve Cunningham of the
United States.

Jonathon Reid and Machel
Baker of St. Jago. All three
cleared the same height of
2.06 meters. Andre Peart of
Kingston College won the
boys high 400 meters hurdles

down in the future."
Gary Shaw, who promoted
the fight, agreed.
"(Johnson is) not going to
get an immediate rematch,"
Shaw said.
Johnson, a former
International Boxing Federation
(IBF) world champion whose
record is now 47 wins, 12 losses
and two draws, is uncertain what
his next move will be.
"I really don't know at this
point," he said. "Right now it's
up to the people of boxing.. .It's
everybody else who have the
power to do things can do it.
I'm just a boxer."
Gordon Williams is Caribbean
Today's managing editor.

Adamek, a former world
light heavyweight champion,
improved his ring record to 34
wins (23 knockouts) against
one loss with the victory. Bell,
a former undisputed world
cruiserweight champion,
dropped to 26 wins (24 knock-
outs) against three losses.

in 52.25 seconds.

Gordon Williams is Caribbean
Today's managing editor.

Sport offers talented youths a way into U.S. colleges

be a part of something much
greater than ilK mI \ L ,"
added Jones, a former
Division I coach for Liberty
University in Virginia.

Miles Ahead conducted
medical and sports clinics,
deaf education workshops,
school assemblies and restor-
ing local elementary schools in
the Montego Bay area. The
organization visited the island

as part of Jamaica Broilers
Group's 50th anniversary cele-
brations and three major fami-
ly-oriented festivals, under the
Best Dressed 50 Fest banner.

Jamaican Bell quits, loses against Adamek

Caribbean track and field stars shine at Penn Relays

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May 2008


U.S. recession could hurt Caribbean agency

NEW YORK The economic
slowdown in the United States
is likely to have an impact on
the Caribbean economic
development, a leading U.S.-
based credit agency has said.
Standard & Poor's
Ratings Services said that it
expected the economic slow-
down to be led by a significant
decline in Gross Domestic
Product (GDP) growth and

that Caribbean countries
would issue "marginally less
new debt" this year than in
It projected that gross
long-term borrowing, includ-
ing official and commercial
debt by 25 Latin American
and Caribbean countries, was
likely to reach about $290 bil-
lion in 2008, down from an
estimated $322 billion the pre-

vious year.
Earlier this year, Standard
& Poor's had said a U.S. slow-
down would have the most
direct impact on Barbados's
key tourism industry.
But it said the island
could suffer less than other
Caribbean destinations due to
lower reliance on the U.S.

Jamaican envoy urges U.S. leader to extend CBI

new envoy to the United
States Anthony Johnson has
added his voice to regional
calls for the American presi-
dent to renew the Caribbean
Basin Initiative (CBI).
In presenting his creden-
tials to the White House
recently, the ambassador iden-
tified trade and investment as
key components of this "part-
iL rip '.
Johnson said enabling
mechanisms, such as the
CBI, which will expire in
September, would ri L to
increase Jamaica's economic
competitiveness as the country
continues to seize the oppor-
tunities that globalization
"We have the fastest

growing trans-shipment port
in the Latin American and
region, which
is a natural
hub for the on-
time distribu-
tion of
goods through-
out the hemi-
sphere," he Johnson
told U.S.
George W. Bush.
"We know that you are
aware of these competitive
advantages, but wish to
emphasize that there is a great
need for affordable financing
and for a sustainable trade
regime that can continue to
attract American firms and

their know-how."
Johnson also told the U.S.
president that Jamaica is in
the process of adjusting its
economy to better meet the
heightened competition in the
global marketplace.
Bush said his country has
intensified its cooperation with
Jamaica and the Caribbean
community (CARICOM)
through joint policy initiatives
agreed to during last year's
Conference on the Caribbean.
He said that conference pro-
vided a framework within
which the U.S. and Jamaica
could deepen efforts to
"achieve our shared goal of a
stable, secure and more pros-
perous Caribbean."

MIAMI The Inter-American
Development Bank (IDB) has
expressed optimism that Latin
America and the Caribbean
countries will be able to
weather the turbulence on the
international financial mar-
kets, but also called on the
governments to press ahead
with pending
President Luis
speaking at
the opening of
the annual
meeting of Moreno
the IDB's
Board of Governors here last
month, said the Latin
American and Caribbean
region is "heading into the
current storm greatly strength-
ened and armed with the
experience of having success-
fully navigated much choppier
waters than these."
He said at times when
they were far more vulnerable
to external shocks, these
countries managed to pull
through severe crises.
Moreno also explained
that today the region is less

dependent on foreign capital
inflows and has a more diversi-
fied export base, more solid
institutions and around $450
billion in international reserves.
"No one knows for sure
what the current spell of tur-
bulence will bring, but our
region is better equipped now
to manage it than at any time
in its history," he said.

Moreno however cau-
tioned that the exceptionally
favorable external conditions
that helped the economies of
these countries grow an aver-
age of about 5.6 percent every
year for the last five years
may have masked some struc-
tural weak points.
Citing the latest IDB study
on the region's macroeconomic
performance, he noted that in
most countries fiscal efforts
have fallen short since rev-
enues generated during the
good times were largely spent
rather than invested. He said
governments should weigh the
risks of a global slowdown and
be prepared to act swiftly to
stave off problems.

Planning to own U.S. real estate: A relevant discussion

T here are complex rules
that can impact the
United States income,
estate and gift taxation of U.S.
real property held by a U.S.
income tax nonresident alien
(NRA) and/or a U.S. estate and
gift tax non-resident domicil-
iary (NRAD) for investment
(e.g. a non-income producing
condominium (the "investment
An NRA/NRAD is often
faced with the planning dilem-
ma of trying to obtain the ben-
eficial 15 percent long term-
capital gains tax rate on the
gain from a disposition of the
U.S. real estate, while protect-
ing against the possible appli-
cation of the U.S. estate tax
(with a rate as high as 45 per-
cent of the value of the real
estate) should the NRA/D pass
away prior to any such sale.
Probably the "best known
planning technique" for hold-
ing investment property is the
use of a foreign corporation
(FC). Using a properly struc-
tured and maintained FC to
hold investment property will
insulate the NRA/D from U.S.
estate tax, but will not allow
for the beneficial 15 percent
long term-capital gains tax rate
on the gain from a disposition

of the investment property.
Conversely, the NRA/D
owning the investment proper-
ty in his or her own individual
name allows for the application
of the beneficial 15 percent
long term-capital gains tax rate
on the gain from a disposition
of the investment property, but
exposes such NRA/D to U.S.
income tax filings and the pos-
sibility of the U.S. estate tax
being applicable (with the pos-
sible use of life insurance, if
available and practical, to off-
set the U.S. estate tax cost).

In contrast, the use of a
partnership structure provides
the NRA/D with the ability to
utilize the 15 percent long term
capital gains rate when the
partnership sells the invest-
ment property and an argu-
ment exists that the U.S. estate
tax can be avoided if properly
structured (with the certainty
of such an argument being far
from clear).
Finally, the use of a prop-
erly drafted trust can allow for
the beneficial 15 percent long
term-capital gains tax rate to
apply to the gain from a dispo-
sition of the investment prop-
erty and the avoidance of the
U.S. estate tax. However, such
planning will generally require
the NRA/D to relinquish
dominion and control over the

investment property (including
possibly having to pay rent to
stay in such property).
In addition to the above, a
relatively recent change in the
so-called "Check-The-Box" reg-
ulations allows for another possi-
ble planning technique. "Check-
The-Box" regulations allow a
taxpayer, in certain situations
relating to "eligible n ,iiiiiI to
choose how such entity is to be
treated for U.S. tax purposes.
For this purpose, let's use a
British Virgin Islands or a
Cayman Islands corporation as
an example. In the case of a
single member entity (e.g. a
100 percent owned British
Virgin Islands or Cayman
Islands corporation), such an
election would be to make the
entity a disregarded entity (i.e.,
to be treated for U.S. tax pur-
poses as if the entity did not
exist). Otherwise, the general
"default" classification would
generally classify such an entity
as a corporation. These classi-
fication rules lead to the appli-
cation of the discussion above
for individual ownership or FC

The recent change made to
the "Check-The-Box" regula-
tions acknowledges that a
NRA/D that owns an interest
in a non-U.S. entity may not
need to classify such entity for

U.S. tax purposes until it
becomes "relevant".
In overly simplistic terms,
an entity is relevant whenever
some U.S. tax implications
arise (e.g., a filing requirement,
such as providing a bank with a
statement of foreign status or a
U.S. income tax return, or any
need to obtain a U.S. taxpayer
identification number).
If an entity is not "rele-
vant" within the meaning of
these rules, then such entity
can avoid classification until
such time as it becomes rele-
vant. If the purchase of the
investment property is properly
structured (and assuming that
the state in which the purchase
is made does not have any spe-
cial requirements), then an
argument might be made that
the first day of relevance for
the entity owning the invest-
ment property (barring an ear-
lier "Check-the-Box" election)
would be the earliest of: 1) the
date of the sale of the invest-
ment property; or 2) the date
of death of the NRA/D.
In the former a situation, a
"Check-The-Box" election could
then be made to clarify that
JdirJrdLJd entity status" is
desired, arguably allowing for the
application of the beneficial 15
percent long term-capital gains
tax rate assuming the investment
property has then been held for
more than 12 months.

In the latter situation, the
default rules would result in
FC status and arguably such
status would avoid the applica-
tion of the U.S. estate tax. As
with the partnership planning
discussed above, there are sev-
eral "open i 'ku with the
application of this potential
planning technique and thus it
is far from clear how the
Internal Revenue Service
(IRS) would, if given the
chance, interpret this rule in
many situations.
As a bottom line, the
recent changes to the "Check-
The-Box" regulations have
added another possible plan-
ning alternative that, in the
right situation, could provide an
NRA/D with the desired bene-
ficial 15 percent U.S. income
tax rate while providing protec-
tion from the U.S. estate tax.
However, because the IRS has
not provided further guidance
as to the application of this
rule, the question to be asked
about this planning is whether
it is too good to be true.

Shawn P Wolf and Michael
Rosenberg are shareholders
with the Coral Gables, Florida
law firm of Packman, Neuwahl
& Rosenberg and can be
reached at 305-665-3311.

IDB predicts good years

ahead for the Caribbean

May 2008




Global imbalances impact on Caribbean development


PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad -
As a former finance minister
and now head of Caribbean
operations at a United States-
based financial institution,
Trinidadian Wendell Mottley,
is perhaps well placed to speak
with authority on the economic
problems of the C(.rilhl.iin,
particularly in light of a possi-
ble recession in the U.S.
"We are not looking at a
shallow piece pizza, but a deep
dish pizza," Mottley said at a
recent round-table discussion
examining the turbulent peri-
ods in the global financial mar-
kets in recent months, occa-
sioned by the financial crunch
in Washington and the domino
effect it is having on the
economies of the Caribbean.
"We are witnessing a time
of deep transition in the U.S.
economy," said Mottley, who is
now employed with Credit
Suisse First Boston.
But on the other hand,
Citigroup's David Evans sees a
glimmer of hope on the hori-
zon. He argues that the situa-
tion in the global market rep-
resents an opportunity for
smaller countries "to put their
house in order while we go
through the storm."
His views have found
support from Wayne Dass, of
the regional rating agency
CariCris, who added that the
global situation also allows
Caribbean states to secure
regional rather than global rat-
ings "that bring you against the
entire world."
Dass believes such ratings
would allow for more regional
companies coming into the
capital market, since as Evans
pointed out "what has worked
for us is a deep capital
market." Dass wants the
countries of the sub-regional
Organization of Eastern
Caribbean States (OECS) to

get rated "so they could under-
stand the importance of rat-

Caribbean and interna-
tional financial experts were
brought to Trinidad recently at
the behest of the Barbados-
based Caribbean Development
Bank (CDB) and the U.S.-
based International Investor
Magazine to examine the
,i, ,rm and how best the
region's leading financial insti-
tution could position itself to
assist its borrowing member
countries to meet "the chal-
lenges and exploiting the
opportunities generated by the
dynamic global environment."
In a statement issued ahead
of the round-table discussion,
the CDB acknowledged that
the past nine months had been
one of the most "turbulent peri-
ods in financial markets in
) rs and that the credit
crunch, precipitated by the sub-
prime mortgage debacle has
resulted in widening spreads
and increasing attention to risk
management with implications
for access to and the cost of
financial resources for member
The CDB has also warned
that "Caribbean economies are
likely to suffer downturns at a
time when they are trying to
adjust to the challenges posed
by the dynamic trading envi-
ronment" and that prices for
other commodities such as
wheat, soybean and corn are
also rising with implications for
such issues as food security in
the Caribbean.
"The financial crisis would
only add to the difficulties
faced by the borrowing mem-
ber L. as the experts examined the
situation under the theme
"Global Imbalances and
Caribbean Development".
"In the economic world,
the strong survive the weak

does not. If the region simply
deals with these (issues) in the
short term, five years from
now we will be in the same
boat," CDB President
Professor Compton Bourne
told the forum.
Bourne said the region is
already experiencing a down
turn in tourism, job losses and
the experts have acknowledged
that the Caribbean would need
to turn their
attention to
other markets
than the tradi-
tional ones in
order to mini-
mize the fall
out occasioned
by the high
global oil Mottle
prices, the Mottley
decline in the
value of the U.S. dollar and the
likelihood of a severe contrac-
tion in the U.S. economy.
"The surpluses of the
world are coming out of the
Far East, China, Russia and
Japan," said David Dulal-
Whiteway, managing director
of Republic Bank, one of
Trinidad and Tobago's leading
financial institutions.
Dulal-Whiteway has also
noted "we have not build link-
ages with those places," even as
financial adviser, Eric-Vincent
Guichard, of the U.S.-based
Gravitas Capital Advisors,
observed that the flows from
these countries could be attract-
ed "in order to allow the region
to hedge against the vagaries of
the U.S. economy.
"The U.S. troubles have
not been transferable to other
regions like India," he said,
pointing out that this is due
mainly to the tremendous
growth in the middle class.
Evans said the capital
market provides a "strong
b,,L to ensure the flow of
cash into the region and that
the CDB could help facilitate
its growth by helping to bring

about harmonized legislation
within the islands.
Bourne said the financial
institution is aware of the
efforts by regional govern-
ments to establish uniform leg-
islation as it relates to financial

But even as the experts
were urging the development
of the capital market as one of
the strategies to overcome the
global imbalances, CDB's
Director of Finance and
Planning Dr. Warren Smith
warned of the risks associated
with re-financing these "medi-
um term" measures.
"The problem really is one
of spread," he said, noting that
Jamaica for instance faced a
significant spread on a U.S.
dollar bond over the period
June last year to March this
"The spread is a fairly sub-
stantial shift," said Smith.
Mottley says that in com-
parison to Latin America, the
Caribbean is further hampered
by the fact that most of the
region's debt breakdown shows
it has a 55 percent rating in the
"B" category, with only a mod-
est six percent in the "A" cate-
The increase in oil prices
on the global market has also
had an effect on the
C(.rihlbiin development, par-
ticularly in the agricultural sec-
tor with the experts agreeing
"there is need to change our
mode of production".
Dulual-Whiteway noted,
for example, that while region-
al states have acknowledged
the importance of the agricul-
tural sector, his financial insti-
tution can't recall when last it
received proposals for projects,
hinting maybe that is because
"our policy in agriculture is
inimical to production."
Bourne said there is no
indication that the region will

become self-sufficient in food
supply. He nonetheless argues
for the introduction of appro-
priate technology as well as
adequate transportation to
bring the product all the way
along the food chain.
"It is not sufficient to
invest in agricultural commodi-
ties, you have to have a means
to have that commodity from
the farm to the hotels etc,"
Bourne said with other experts
noting "we speak a lot about
the movement of people but
not enough to deal with the
movement of agricultural
Smith warns that as food
prices rise they will affect
domestic inflation and govern-
ment policies as well as domes-
tic interest rates.
"If we are going to seri-
ously address food security in
the region we have to look
very seriously at the agricultur-
al sector," which Smith argues
has remained "backward" and
incapable of addressing the
needs of the local populations
and tourism sector.
"What is necessary in the
Caribbean is what amounts to
the need for a green revolution
in agriculture," he argued,
using the successful Asian
"Commodity prices pro-
vide the basis and impetus for
us to take up that challenge
seriously," he said, with
Mottley warning that the
Caribbean can't afford to be
"laid back in its adjustments"
as it relates to the commodity
"The underlying reality is
the structural shift and the
Caribbean has very little time
to respond," he added.


Scientist warns region of worse times ahead as fuel costs jump

& Caicos Islands, CMC A
leading international scientist
has predicted even worse
times ahead for Caribbean
economies that are already
struggling to cope with esca-
lating oil prices and rising
costs of living.
Canadian environmental-
ist Dr. David Suzuki has
warned that fuel prices could
reach $200 per barrel and
that situation would have
the potential of wrecking
Caribbean economies.
"The supply of oil will
drop and the price of oil will
absolutely skyrocket. The twin
crises of ecological degrada-
tion and falling oil supplies
will have massive repercus-

sions for all countries, but
none more so than those of
the Caribbean and especially
the tourism industry," he cau-
tioned at last month's opening
of the 10th annual Caribbean
conference on sustainable
tourism development.

Dr. Suzuki further cited
the challenges facing the air-
line industry in the coming
"Air travel leaves the
heaviest carbon footprint
among all modes of trans-
portation and skyrocketing
fuel prices are already having
explosive effects on the air
industry so that the airlines
are being hammered by two

things too much carbon
being generated by air travel
and the cost of energy going
up," he said.
Dr. Suzuki blamed
unchecked growth and unreal-
istic economic expectations, in
part, for the threat which the
earth now faces.
He added that humans
are the first species capable of
such destructive power that
they are changing the biologi-
cal, physical and chemical fea-
tures of the planet on a geo-
logical scale.
"We are altering the
chemistry of the atmosphere
with 30 percent more carbon
dioxide in the air now than
150 years ago. It is dissolving
in oceans as carbonic acid,

acidifying water and threaten-
ing plankton," he said.

Citing additional alarming
statistics, Dr. Suzuki warned
of the dire consequences of
continued abuse of the envi-
"Over half of the planet's
forests are gone and in 30 years

we may have no large, intact
forests left. An estimated
50,000 species become extinct
every year and the oceans are
being depleted. Every large
commercial marine species has
been reduced by 90 percent. If
this continues there will be no
commercially useful fish
species by 2048," the scientist
Despite the challenges,
Dr. Suzuki offered hope for a
brighter future.
"Are there solutions?
Absolutely...We need to focus
on our eco-footprint today,"
said the scientist.

May 2008


T&T urges change in citizens' eating habits

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad,
CMC The Trinidad and
Tobago government has urged
citizens to change their eating
habits as one of the strategies
to deal with rising global food
Consumer Affairs
Minister Peter Taylor, in a
nationwide radio and televi-
sion broadcast last
month, said that the .
Patrick Manning gov-
ernment had embarked
on a number of initia-
tives that over the next
18 months would seek
to cushion the effect of
the crisis. He said the
initiatives would result |
in a considerable
increase in the supply of
local produce "and
therefore more stable of the&T wa
p c of the ir
The measures out-
lined by the minister include
approved imports from
Guyana, cultivation of crops
by farmers, expansion of the
fishing industry and the estab-
lishment of more farmers'
markets this year. Taylor said
that apart from a long-term
strategy of significantly
increasing the amount of land
for agricultural production,
the government's first mega
farm project was expected to
market its first produce by

Jamaicans to
KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC -
Consumers in Jamaica will pay
more for water, but not as
much as the National Water
Commission (NWC) had
The NWC had asked the
Office of Utilities Regulation
(OUR) for a 44 percent rate
hike, but it was only granted a
23 percent increase last month.
The NWC lost over J$2
million ($2. 170) at the end of
the 2T H1 :1 iN financial year,
and had hoped to reduce that
figure significantly by securing
a higher water rate increase.
"It means we may be in a

November and that Cuban
assistance for the farm would
arrive in July.
He said among the short
term initiatives would include
seeking cheaper import
sources from South and
Central America, allowing
food crops for importation
from Guyana and a continu-

nts locals to use flour from cassava instead
imported brands to make food such as chips.

ous Caribbean community
(CARICOM) review of the
Common External Tariff
The minister said that the
medium term initiatives would
include exploring partnerships
with farmers to cultivate items
including cassava, sweet pota-
to, pumpkin, sorrel, pepper;
an assessment of a proposal
on breeding stock for the
sheep/goats sector; construc-
tion of new fishing facility at

pay 23 percent
continued loss making position
for much longer; it means that
in terms of projects we may
not be able to do what we
wanted to do; it means that
some of the improvements
that we wanted to carry out in
the short term will take a
longer time to implement,"
said NWC's Corporate
Communications Manager
Ch.arl, Buchanan.
Water Minister Dr. Horace
Chang said the NWC will have
to find creative ways to meet
the financing needs of its capi-
tal projects, including the
development of lands which it

Moruga, and putting in place
the necessary infrastructure
for farmers who have been
provided lands at the former
sugar company CARONI
1974 Limited.
He said the long term
plans would include the estab-
lishment of 13 commercial
farms of between 100 to 300
acres and a farm training facil-
ity that begins in August.
But Taylor said despite
these initiatives it was also
imperative for consumers to
change their eating habits and
urged them to also start plant-
ing home gardens.
"It is imperative...that we
both accept and realize that if
we are not to continuously
remain completely vulnerable
to the vagaries of the interna-
tional market, we must quickly
readjust our focus towards the
consumption of more locally
produced foodstuff, eat what
we produce, and produce what
we eat," Taylor said.
"Are we prepared to
modify our eating habits and
taste preferences,?" he asked,
noting for example that con-
sumers could shift from the
use of wheat flour to the use
of cassava flour that can be
produced locally.

more for water
owns and the sale of bottled
This is not the first time
the NWC has been denied its
full tariff increase application.
In 2004, the OUR granted the
water company an 18 percent
increase instead of the 42 per-
cent hike it had sought.
The NWC provides
potable water to just under
460,000 domestic and commer-
cial customers across the island
as well as a sewerage service to
some 140,000 customers in spe-
cific areas of the country.

'Full review' of former St. Lucia administration

CASTRIES, St. Lucia, CMC -
Governor General Dame
Pearlette Louisy last month
declared a new session of
Parliament open, announcing
plans to carry out a "full
rt \ \\' of matters "that sug-
gest the possibility of financial
maladministration" within the
former St. Lucia Labour Party
She also promised that
the budget presentation
would bring measures to
address the problem of
increasing food prices now
affecting the population.
Dame Pearlette said in
her Throne Speech that bear-

ing in mind its commitment to
the principles of good gover-
nance and to embracing trans-
parency and accountability,
the government would set up
a commission of inquiry
would be set up to look into
new evidence of possible
financial maladministration.
"Information coming to
light has made it impossible
for my government to ignore
the need for certain matters,
that ItnL lI the possibility of
financial maladministration, to
be ventilated in a forum that
allows for full public scrutiny
and transparency," she said.
Government also

announced plans for the
establishment of an Education
Commission that will initiate
a national dialogue on the
way forward for education
and embrace all elements of
the discourse on education.
On the issue of human
rights, she added that rules
relating to police practices
will be introduced in
Parliament as they relate to
stop and search, arrest, deten-
tion, investigation, identifica-
tion, interviewing detainees
and obtaining evidence.


THE VALLEY, Anguilla -
Legislators in Anguilla are in
agreement with Britain granti-
ng the island full internal self-
government, but have stopped
short of pushing for political
Independence at this time.
That position was out-
lined at a public forum held at
Ronald Webster Park late last
month, which was called by
the government of Chief
Minister Osbourne Fleming to
address a number of constitu-
tional reforms for the island.
It was also attended by mem-
bers of the House of
Assembly, constitutional legal
scholar Dame Bernice Lake,
retired Organization of
Eastern Caribbean States
(OECS) Judge Don Mitchell
and former magistrate Lolita
Dame Bernice said there
was need for a consultative
approach to determine how
the island was to be governed
in the future.
"If there was ever a time
for Anguilla to embark on an
essential process of clarifica-
tion of her aspiration for con-

that time is
now," she
said, adding
that the island
was being
under a sys-
tem that does
not afford it



full internal self-government.
"We are in need of clarifi-
cation because we are at the
crossroad of our constitutional
journey and we need to find a
definition and set our com-

Dame Bernie, who is a
member of a constitutional
review team working on a
position paper to engage in
discussions with officials
from the Foreign and
Commonwealth Office (FCO)
in London, said the local
political directorate had been
involved in talks regarding
constitutional reform since
2001 but those have so far
reached no resolution.
A British delegation was
scheduled to visit to the island
in October last year, but local
officials requested a postpone-
ment of the nm i ni- indicat-
ing that they wanted to con-
sult further with the people.
Former Chief Minister

Hubert Hughes, one of two
members of the Opposition,
said he wanted to see more
people involved in the consti-
tutional reform exercise.
Hughes said Anguilla could
choose to remain coloniallyy
dependent or become inde-
pendent." He said that the
pr, niii constitution is not a
dL m< it. ri.% and expressed the
desire to see a clear separa-
tion of powers involving the
executive, legislative and judi-
cial branches of administra-
tion in order to give the peo-
ple proper representation.
Noting that "colonialism
is slavery," the outspoken
stressed that
the appoint-
ment of the
attorney gen-
eral should be
on the advice
of the political
leaders of the
country. He Flemming
said all the
political factions are in agree-
ment on full internal self-gov-
ernment rather than asking
for Independence at this
"We are determined to
take full internal self-govern-
ment," Hughes concluded.
Finance Minister Victor
Banks said Anguillans gener-
ally want the country to go
that route. He noted that the
government of Anguilla has
received no financing from the
British government for recur-
rent expenditure since 1983
and nothing from London for
capital projects since 2005.
Davis-Richardson said
there should not be simply
constitutional reform, but
modernization of the constitu-
tion. She described the cur-
rent constitution as "raw colo-
In his contribution,
Mitchell called for the aboli-
tion of the Orders-in-Council
- specific directives from
London which are implement-
ed in the Overseas Territories
without any input from the
local Parliaments.
The special constitutional
negotiating team is planning a
series of meetings throughout
the island before coming up
with a new draft constitution.
Fleming told the gather-
ing there was no guarantee
the exercise could be complet-
ed before the next general
elections, constitutionally due
in 2010.

Anguilla pushing for

self-gov't status

May 2008



Drug lords have him marked

for death ~ St. Vincent's P.M.

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent -
Prime Minister Dr. Ralph
Gonsalves has claimed that
local drug lords have hired an
overseas assassin to kill him as
a direct reprisal for
work being done by
his government to
combat drugs and
money laundering.
Speaking in
Parliament late last
month, Gonsalves
said that work
being done by
the Financial
Intelligence Unit
(FIU) and the
police has angered
those in the illegal
drug trade.
"There is a set-
tled feeling among Gonsalves
the big drug push-
ers and money launderers; a
settled feeling that the current
prime minister is out to clip
their wings," he said.
Gonsalves said that police
intelligence tu,--L- ILd that
seven hit men had come to St.
Vincent and the Grenadines
in recent times.
"One was assigned the
responsibility to take out the
prime minister," Gonsalves

1 rn,, i, may not take seri-
ous what I have said now, but if
you notice the enhanced securi-
ty around me it is because of

P 0 1 I T I C S

T&T's P.M. fires trade minister

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad,
CMC Prime Minister Patrick
Manning has fired Trade and
Industry Minister Dr. Keith
Rowley and replaced him with
the veteran
politician Dr.
Lenny Saith.
A brief
issued from
the Office of
the Prime
Minister last
month gave Rowley
no reasons for
Rowley, a senior Cabinet offi-
cial, who had once challenged
Manning for the leadership of
the ruling People's National

Movement (PNM) a few years
According to the state-
ment, Manning had advised
President George Maxwell
Richards to "revoke the
appointment of Dr. Keith
Rowley as Minister of Trade
and Industry" with immediate
effect. The statement said that
Saith, who has acted as prime
minister on numerous occa-
sions, would fit into Rowley's
position without much disrup-
"This new arrangement
will ensure that the govern-
ment's programs continue
without interruption since
Dr. Saith has been chairing
a number of Cabinet

Commitees and with his vast
experience, continuity is
assured", the statement said.
Rowley entered
Parliament in
1989 as an
senator and .

served as agri-
culture minis-
ter from 1991-
1995. He also
served as
housing min-
ister and min-


ister of planning and develop-
ment before assuming the post
of minister of trade and indus-
try in the Manning Cabinet.

Guyana not ready for local government polls

the intelligence that is in the
possession of the security forces
of this country," he added.
The Vincentian leader has,
however, vowed to continue to
work assiduously to combat
the scourge of the drug trade
and accompanying evils such
as money laundering.

CMC Guyana's ruling party
said it was dissatisfied with the
pace of the house-to-house
registration being conducted
across the country and
expressed pessimism about
the Guyana Elections
Commission's (GECOM)
readiness to hold local govern-
ment elections later this year.
The People's Progressive
Party (PPP) has therefore
urged GECOM to take the
necessary steps to ensure the
elections can go ahead as

Speaking to reporters at a
press conference late last
month General Secretary
Donald Ramotar said that
while the PPP was pleased
that the commission had
already registered over half of
the eligible voters, it was dis-
satisfied with several other
aspects of the process. He said
that based on the time being
taken to edit and encode
information collected from the
field it was clear that the des-
ignated six-month time frame

could not be met.
"Clearly at this rate
GECOM will not be ready to
hold local government elec-
tions this year or even next
year. GECOM may be ready in
time for the General Elections
in 2011," Ramotar said.
He added that the PPP
found the situation "totally
unacceptable", particularly
since a large amount of
resources was pumped into
the commission.

May 2008


ii RRicnnE PREPAREDrn e

~ A Caribbean Today special feature

"The greatest potential for
loss of life related to a hurri-
cane is from the storm surge"
- National Hurricane Center

Storm surge is simply water
that is pushed toward the
shore by the force of the
winds swirling around the
This advancing surge
combines with the normal
tides to create the hurricane
storm tide, which can increase
the mean water level 15 feet
or more. In addition, wind
driven waves are superim-
posed on the storm tide. This
rise in water level can cause
severe flooding in coastal
areas, particularly when the
storm tide coincides with the
normal high tides. Because
much of the United States'
densely populated Atlantic
and Gulf Coast coastlines lie
less than 10 feet above mean
sea level, the danger from
storm tides is tremendous.

* Minimize the distance you
must travel to reach a safe
location; the further you drive
the higher the likelihood of
encountering traffic conges-
tion and other problems on
the roadways.
* Select the nearest possible
evacuation destination, prefer-
ably within your local area,
and map out your route. Do
not get on the road without a
planned route, or a place to
* Choose the home of the
closest friend or relative out-
side a designated evacuation

zone and discuss your plan
with them before hurricane
* You may also choose a
hotel/motel outside of the vul-
nerable area.
* If neither of these options is
available, consider the closest
possible public shelter, prefer-
ably within your local area.
* Use the evacuation routes
designated by authorities and,
if possible, become familiar

.^ \

Plan your evacuation route.

with your route by driving it
before an evacuation order is
* Contact your local emer-
gency management office to
register or get information
regarding anyone in your
household whom may require
special assistance in order to
* Prepare a separate pet plan,
most public shelters do not
accept pets.
* Prepare your home prior to
leaving by boarding up doors
and windows, securing or

moving indoors all yard
objects, and turning off all
* Before leaving, fill your car
with gas and withdraw extra
money from the ATM.
* Take all prescription medi-
cines and special medical
items, such as glasses and dia-
* If your family evacuation
plan includes an RV, boat or
trailer, leave early. Do not
wait until the
order or exodus
is well under-
way to start
your trip.
If you live in
an evacuation
zone and are
ordered to
evacuate by
state or local
officials, do so
as quickly as
possible. Do
not wait or
delay your
departure, to do
so will only
increase your chances of being
stuck in traffic, or even worse,
not being able to get out at all.
* Expect traffic congestion
and delays during evacuations.
Expect and plan for signifi-
cantly longer travel times than
normal to reach your family's
intended destination.
* Stay tuned to a local radio
or television station and listen
carefully for any advisories or
specific instructions from local
officials. Monitor your NOAA
Weather Radio.

Steps to prevent loss of life, property

Preventing the loss of life
and minimizing the dam-
age to property from
hurricanes are responsibilities
that should be shared by all.
The most important thing
that you can do is to be
informed and prepared.
Disaster prevention includes
both being prepared as well as
reducing damages (mitiga-
Disaster prevention
should include:
* Developing a family plan;
* Creating a disaster supply
* Having a place to go;
* Securing your home; and
* Having a pet plan.

One of the most impor-
tant decisions you will have to
make is "Should I evacuate?"
If you are asked to evacu-
ate, you should do so without
delay. But unless you live in a
coastal or low-lying area, an

Take time out to create a useful
emergency supply kit.
area that floods frequently, or
in manufactured housing, it is
unlikely that emergency man-
agers will ask you to evacuate.
That means that it is impor-
tant for you and your family
to have a plan that makes you
as safe as possible in your
Disaster prevention
includes modifying your home
to strengthen it against storms
so that you can be as safe as

possible. It also includes hav-
ing the supplies on hand to
weather the storm. The sug-
gestions provided here are
only guides. You should use
common sense in your disaster
* Develop a family plan -
Your family's plan should be
based on your vulnerability to
the hurricane hazards. Keep a
written plan and share your
plan with other friends or
* Create a disaster supply kit -
There are certain items you
need to have regardless of
where you ride out a hurri-
cane. The disaster supply kit is
a useful tool when you evacu-
ate as well as making you as
safe as possible in your home.
* Secure your home There
are things that you can do to
make your home more secure
and able to withstand stronger

Preparation is key to avoiding disaster

historyy teaches that a
lack of hurricane
awareness and prepa-
ration are common threads
among all major hurricane
By knowing your vulner-
ability and what actions you
should take, you can reduce
the effects of a hurricane
disaster. "Hurricane
Preparedness Week" during
2008 will be held May 25-31.
Hurricane hazards come
in many forms: storm surge,
high winds, tornadoes and
flooding. This means it is
important for your family to
have a plan that includes all
of these hazards.
Look carefully at the

safety actions associated with
each type of hurricane hazard
and prepare your family dis-
aster plan accordingly. But
remember this is only a guide.
The first and most important
thing anyone should do when
facing a hurricane threat is to
use common sense.
You should be able to
answer the following ques-
tions before a hurricane
* What are the hurricane
* What does it mean to you?
* What actions should you
take to be prepared?

The ingredients for a hurri-
cane include a pre-exist-
ing weather disturbance,
warm tropical oceans, moisture,
and relatively light winds aloft.
If the right conditions per-
sist long enough, they can com-
bine to produce the violent
winds, incredible waves, torren-
tial rains, and floods we associ-
ate with this phenomenon.
Each year, an average of 11
tropical storms develop over the
Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea,
and Gulf of Mexico. Many of
these remain over the ocean and
never impact the United States
coastline. About six of these
storms become hurricanes each
In an average three-year
period, roughly five hurricanes
strike the U.S. coastline, killing
approximately 50 to 100 people
anywhere from Texas to Maine.
Of these, two are typically
", r or "!!ii! '. 'hurricanes
(a Category 3 or higher storm on
the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane

What is a hurricane?
A hurricane is a type of trop-
ical cyclone, which is a generic
term for a low pressure system
that generally forms in the tropics.
The cyclone is accompanied by
thunderstorms and, in the
Northern Hemisphere, a counter-
clockwise circulation of winds
near the earth's surface. Tropical
cyclones are classified as follows:

* Sustained winds
A one-minute average wind
measured at about 33 feet (10
meters) above the surface.
* 1 knot = One nautical mile per
hour or 1.15 statute miles per
hour. Abbreviated as "kt".

Tropical depression
An organized system of

clouds and thunderstorms with a
defined surface circulation and
maximum sustained winds* of 38
mph (33 kt) or less.

Tropical storm
An organized system of
strong thunderstorms with a
defined surface circulation and
maximum sustained winds of 39-
73 miles per hour (mph) (34-63

An intense tropical weather
system of strong thunderstorms
with a well-defined surface cir-
culation and maximum sus-
tained winds of 74 mph (64 kt)
or higher
Hurricanes are categorized
according to the strength of
their winds using the Saffir-
Simpson Hurricane Scale. A

Hurricane rran u199

Category 1 storm has the lowest
wind speeds, while a Category 5
hurricane has the strongest.
These are relative terms,
because lower category storms
can sometimes inflict greater
damage than higher category
storms, depending on where
they strike and the particular
hazards they bring. In fact, trop-
ical storms can also produce sig-
nificant damage and loss of life,
mainly due to flooding.

Surviving a storm surge

What is a hurricane?

Information on this page obtained from the
National Hurricane Center.

________ --_LA


May 2008




4 '.":






Na ,i:. " ... "

ii imiiii iii i
:" r"ii& &

. ...... .

May 2008


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