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: October 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: VID00031
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 40985415


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O^ } OCTOBER 2008

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W e c o v e r

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,% o r I d




Vol. 19 No. 11

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


Confronted by
strong lobbying
efforts from
Kendrick Meek
and others,
United States
officials tem-
porarily halted
deportations to Haiti as the
Caribbean country recovers
from four devastating storms,
page 3.
Phil Fung
brings rhyth-
mic move-
ment and col-
orful voices
to his water-
color paint-
ings. The 28-
born to Jamaican parents,
infuses his work with passion.
And in the heat of the U.S. polit-
ical season, some people took
notice, page 7.


~ Hazelle Rogers, the first Jamaican
American woman elected as a state repre-
sentative in Florida, is ready to roll up her
sleeves and go to bat as the voice of the
eight-city 94th District and its huge
Caribbean population, page 2.

Caribbean countries will be
desperately trying to make up
lost ground in a quest for a
spot in soccer's biggest show
when they resume CONCACAF
World Cup qualification cam-
paigns this month. Poor results
have already cost Jamaica's
coach Rend Simoes his job,
page 19.
Carib Chat ..........................2 Feature ..............................7 Tourism/Travel ..................12 Books................................17
New s.................................. 3 View point ..........................9 Health ..............................14 Sport ................................19
Hispanic Heritage Month ....6 Arts/Entertainment ............11 Business ..........................15





n e WS

aC rlb lt Hazelle Rogers: Caribbean American

~JUII^ clout in Florida

ewly elected State
Representative Hazelle
Rogers is ready to roll
up her sleeves and go to bat for
her South Florida constituents.
Strengthening education, afford-
able health insurance, and prop-
erty tax reform will be just some
of the issues on the agenda of
the Jamaican-born Rogers come
Nov. 18 when she officially sets
up office in Tallahassee as the
voice of the 94th District.
The eight-city district, with
a burgeoning Caribbean popu-
lation, includes Lauderhill,
North Lauderdale, Tamarac,
Margate, Oakland Park,
Sunrise, Plantation and
Lauderdale Lakes. Rogers
served as commissioner for
Lauderdale Lakes beginning in
1996 and was re-elected in 2002,
and still holds that position,
which she will demit on Nov. 4.
The first Jamaican
American woman to head to the
Florida state capital as repre-
sentative, Rogers has made his-
tory. Dawn A. Davis, a free-
lance writer for Caribbean
Today, recently talked to
Rogers about her plans to rep-
resent the taxpayers who put her
in office. The following is an
edited version of that interview:

Caribbean Today: Explain
exactly what the role of state
representative entails.

Hazelle Rogers: I will make
sure that resources come back
into the district. I want to make
sure we are not just a donor
district. We have to make sure
that our tax dollars comes back
to us. We are looking at re-
training the workforce in this
economy, we just have to be
ready to take advantage of new
industries and new technolo-
gies; we have to be prepared to
transition. If there is funding
for training, educational oppor-
tunities, and business ventures,
we must be the voice to say
yes, some of those resources
need to come into the district.
It's all about being that voice
and being there when the deci-
sions are being made.

C.T.: What specifically will you
do for the large Caribbean con-
stituents in your district?

H.R.: There is nothing that I
see that is strictly Caribbean.
We have the same needs as
everyone else in this state. It's
about fairness in policies. I will
not sit there and see a policy
that truly impacts any commu-
nity and not speak to those
issues, be it the Jewish, African
American or Hispanic commu-
nity. Our community is too
diverse for us to be discrimi-
nating in our services. Like all

our communities, Caribbean
people need work also, they
need to be re-trained, their
kids need to be guaranteed a
good education.
I am also an advocate for
in-state tuition because inter-
national rates are very costly
and prohibitive after the high
school level. This is something
that I support.

C.T.: Do you see any obstacles
in your new role based on the
fact that you are a woman and
a Caribbean person?

H.R.: There are no obstacles in
service. I take everything as a
learning experience and move
on. You have to be able to
build bridges across both hous-
es. As a Democrat I recognize
that I need bipartisan support
on issues affecting my district.
This is not a sole proprietor-
ship. You don't have the purse
strings. You have to go up
there and build relationships.

C.T.: How will you make sure
that your district gets a fair
share of the state budget?

H.R.: I will work with the cities
within my district. I am here to
listen to everyone and learn
and do whatever it takes to
make sure that I am the voice
for this district, because it's all
about bringing back home the
resources the district needs.

C.T.: How will you deal with
the vexing issues around prop-
erty taxes?

H.R.: The state of Florida does
not have a state tax. So, our
other funding sources are our
sales tax and our property tax.
That's what we use to provide
all the resources we need. We
use these sources of funding to
incentivize businesses coming
into our communities and to
support programs such as the
minor home repair program or
the first-time buyer program
we provide. All these things
are based on the revenue that
you collect, be it from property
taxes or sales tax.
But, you have to look at
some of the programs that you
are currently funding that have
been in place for many years to
see if they are still serving the
need. You have to look for effi-
ciencies within the budget
before you talk about increas-
ing any taxes.

C.T.: How do you balance
affordable housing with devel-
opers who want to make

H.R.: Supply and demand.
When we had limited supplies,
prices escalated. People were

bidding against each other over
and above the appraised value.
In other words, artificially
inflated prices compounded the
marketplace. Then we had a
diverse range of mortgage
products that people did not
fully understand; and the econ-
omy changed and people were
losing jobs. We have to look at
all the factors and try to come
up with some solutions. Just
because I am an elected official
does not mean I have all the
answers. You have to listen and
learn and understand the needs
of your district. You have to
make sure that if there is any
relief in sight you make sure
your district benefits.

C.T.: How will you strengthen
education in your district?

H.R.: We have to support alter-
native learning early in the
development of our education-
al experiences. Things like
woodwork, plumbing, secretar-
ial skills are also valuable skills.
Kids learn at different rates
and learn from different expe-
riences. We are pushing for
diversity in the learning experi-
ence of our children. It is criti-
cal. We have to fund it and
make sure parents are aware of
the opportunities.
We also have to make sure
that parents and students learn
about the various scholarships
that are available through the
city and various homeowners
associations, chambers of com-
merce, and other groups.

C.T.: What about the con-
tentious issue of the FCAT
(Florida Comprehensive
Assessment Test)?

H.R.: The problem is that it is
used to grade our schools,
grade a community, and take
away funding. It puts labels on
our children and causes unnec-
essary stress because they
know this one test will deter-
mine their future. That's not
good. They are passing all the
other tests and can graduate.
We are one of the few states
that have a test of this magni-
tude that stops students from
meeting graduation goals. We
will try to eliminate it totally

because there are other ways
of assessing our children. What
we should be doing is diversify-
ing our children's learning
opportunities so that they can
pass tests, not study to a test.

C.T.: What kinds of incentives
can small businesses look for-
ward to from the state?

H.R.: When you offer incen-
tives it is always about stimu-
lating employment and educa-
tional opportunities, incentives
that will add value to the com-
munity. Cities offer some grant
funding to businesses based on
these kinds of parameters.

C.T.: How will you help fami-
lies access affordable health

H.R.: Health insurance in this
country will never be free, such
as national insurance in some
countries. We have to be real.
We need to provide for those
that are in need; we need a
cafeteria plan. Those that can
afford to pay need to pay
something and those who can't
afford to pay, that's where gov-
ernment should provide help.
That's how I look at health-

C.T.: What issues should the
next president address in rela-
tion to the Caribbean commu-

H.R.: Florida has a large immi-
grant population. Immigration
reform is something this com-
munity would love to see. No
one is asking to open the
doors, but have a pathway that
leads to citizenship.
A census will be conducted
2010 and we need to under-
stand that if we participate in
the census the government will
know exactly how many of us
are here, and that is not a bad
thing. Based on the census,
when decisions are being made
the appropriate funding will
come back into our communi-
ties. We want to make sure it is
not used as a tool to create any
adverse effects for those who
might not be here permanently.
Incidentally, there is a
move to have Caribbean cate-
gory on the census this time
around and it is being pushed
by a lot of us.

C.T.: What is your most
rewarding accomplishment?

H.R.: People are not running
from Lauderdale Lakes any-
more. We have stabilized
Lauderdale Lakes, and that is
one of things that I am most
proud of. As commissioner, I
was committed to making sure
that Lauderdale Lakes got its

fair share of the bond for open
space, new parks. We have
gone from two to six parks. I
also sat on the board that envi-
sioned the Regional Park at
Sunrise and 441. I spent most
of my time on the Parks and
Recreation Advisory Board.
We wanted to make sure that
our parks reflect the diverse
community that we are.

C.T.: Who is your greatest

H.R.: My dear friend Una
Clarke, (former) New York
City Council member and the
first Caribbean-born woman
elected to New York City's leg-
islature. She has paved the way
for a lot of us. I am also
inspired by (Jamaican-born)
Barrington Irving. I am in awe
of this young man who has
made history by being the
youngest and the first black
man to fly solo around the
world. He is fearless and teach-
es us that we can achieve any-
thing. The sky is the limit, but
you have to work for it and
you have to be bold.

C.T.: What motivates you to be
a public servant?

H.R.: I have been married for
36 years. And not having any
children and the structure and
responsibilities that comes with
that, I find more time to volun-
teer on different boards and
organizations and use those
organizations as a learning tool
for me to develop and grow in
my position. And I strongly
believe any board I sit on
should benefit my community.
I love what I do.

C.T.: How do you balance your
personal life and political and
professional responsibilities?

H.R.: I have an awesome hus-
band and a good family sup-
port system in the matriarch of
my family, my mother. My sis-
ter and brother are very sup-
portive. We are a very close-
knit family. I don't cook; my
mother cooks, so my husband
knows where to eat, and I have
no shame. I also have very
good friends and I have sur-
rounded myself with awesome
people that help me be the best
person I can be in service to
my community. I give them
credit for me being who I am
because it takes a team and a
willingness to give yourself an
opportunity to learn. I am
looking forward to this new
experience in service to
District 94.

October 2008


n e WS

U.S. halts deportations to storm-ravaged Haiti U.S. promises to work closely

MIAMI United States immi-
gration officials say they have
temporarily halted the deporta-
tion of Haitians as the French-
speaking Caribbean country
seeks to recover from four dev-
astating storms recently.
"There are no imminent
removals to Haiti," said
Barbara Gonzalez, a spokes-
woman for the
and Customs
(ICE) in Miami
last month.
"We are
aware of the
situation no Hastings
removals are
scheduled or
planned," she added, stating,
however, that deportations
could resume at any time.
The U.S. decision came as
four successive storms left at
least 425 people dead, tens of
thousands homeless, and wiped
out over $180 million in crops in
the impoverished country It also
came in light of heightened pres-
sure by South Florida legislators
and immigration advocates for
Temporary Protective Status
(TPS) for Haitians in the U.S.
"We're very encouraged by
this latest announcement," said
Cheryl Little, executive director
of the Miami-based Florida
Immigrant Advocacy Center.

"That's terrific news," she
added. "We're hopeful that
Haitians won't be sent back
until the country has had a
chance to recover."
However, up to press time
the U.S. Coast Guard said it
had not received orders to
change its policy of sending
back Haitian migrants found at
"We are continuing our
operations," said U.S. Coast
Guard Petty Officer James
"If the Coast Guard inter-
dicts (Haitian migrants) at sea,
we are still repatriating them to
their country."

have been in
the vanguard of Meek
reiterating calls
on the George
W. Bush administration to cease
deportation of Haitians amid
ravages by consecutive storms.
Kendrick Meek and Alcee
L. Hastings have assailed the
administration's policy on Haiti,
stating that Haitians have, for
too long, been victimized by
Washington's "double standard"
immigration policies.
Meek, who last month

headed a team of U.S. legisla-
tors on a fact-finding mission to
Haiti, said it was uncon-
scionable that the White House
had continued to deport
Haitians while the country suf-
"It's gone far beyond rea-
son for the administration not
to give Haiti some relief," he
Meek, who represents
Miami, said Haiti "over-quali-
fies" for TPS, bestowed when
the U.S. government deter-
mines eligible nationals are
temporarily unable to safely
return to their home country
because of ongoing conflicts,
environmental disasters or
other "extraordinary and tem-
porary conditions.
"It is really cruel for the
United States to do this, espe-
cially now under these circum-
stances," he said.
Hastings, who represents
the city of Miramar, north of
Miami, said, in his letter to
Bush, that Haiti can "hardly
sustain the lives of those cur-
rently living within its borders.
"How can we also expect it to
contend with the repatriation of
the very people who left Haiti
in desperation and who,
through remittances, can aid in
the nation's recovery efforts?"
he asked.

NEW YORK The United
States is promising to "work
h. 1< 1 with the Caribbean in
dealing with a number of chal-
lenges facing the region,
including the illegal drug
trade, according to Secretary
of State Condoleezza Rice.
Rice met with Caribbean
community (CARICOM)
leaders and foreign ministers
late last month and announced
that Washington would sup-
port a wide range of initiatives
for improving U.S.-Caribbean
security cooperation.
She said the U.S. has
been using the annual meeting
with regional leaders to "iden-
tify the means to counter the
threats posed to our citizens
and our democratic states by
illicit trafficking in drugs, per-
sons, and weapons.
"We will also develop
long-term solutions to the vul-
nerabilities that make our
nations targets of exploitation
by organized crime and drug
trafficking cartels.
"In the coming months,
the United States will work
closely with our Caribbean
partners to articulate a frame-
work for expanding coopera-
tion and marshalling resources
in common response to these

shared challenges," she added.

Grenada's Prime Minister
Tillman Thomas said that the
regional leaders had urged
Washington to concretize the
relationship even though
there is likely to be a change
of administration following
the Nov. 4
"We dis-
cussed mat-
ters of securi-
ty and the
close rela-
tionship that
between the
region and
the United States," he said
noting that there JppL,,r, to
be a good relationship
between the secretary of state
and the CARICOM grouping.
"It was stated that we
should continue concretize
that relationship with the
United States, that even
though there is a change in
the administration that there
would be continuity," he said.

SCTOBER .2008Dadlin itoRgiasto
OCTOBER 86,2008 I Deadlin t MMake Changes
.......OCTOBER 6, 2008 Deadline to Take Control of "YOUR RI T" a Vot


Supervisor of Eleotions office locations
Miami-Dade County Supervisor of Elections
Lester Sola, Supervisor, 2700 NW 87th Avenue
PO Box 521550, Miami, FL 33172
Phone: 305-499-8683 Fax: 305-468-2507
This communication is authorized and paid for by the IUPAT PAT-PC and is not coo aged with the candgu tie or campaign

October 2008

with Caribbean on security


.dr Ar




Next month's election
results, which will culminate
what has been an historic
United States presidential cam-
paign, could have far reaching
impact on Caribbean interests -
both in the U.S. and the region
- especially as it looms with
America exiting September
mired in a financial crisis.
With senators, Republican
John McCain and Democrat
locked in a
race to see
who will suc-
c ceed George
W. Bush and
become the
Obama after the Nov.
4 poll,
Caribbean interests are already
voicing hope that the winner
will be able to steer the U.S. out
of a desperate economic slump,
which some believe threatens
their immediate and long-term
As last month drew to a
close, Caribbean immigrants
were already lamenting the
possible impact of the crisis,
which evoked a tone of gloom
and doom from Bush as he
sought support for his rL, L uL
plan". But as U.S. lawmakers
squabbled over the prL idI n1t'*
proposed $700 billion scheme
to thaw a widening credit
freeze, Caribbean Americans
worried about gaining financial
relief that would allow them
continuing access to loans for
cars, education and mortgages.
Small business operators, a
staple of the Caribbean
American community in the
U.S., wondered how they
would obtain credit to conduct
routine business, such as pay
staff and replenish supplies.
"It doesn't look really
good right now," said a
Florida-based Jamaican busi-
nessman last month.

But the worry was not lim-
ited to the U.S. Late last month
Caribbean nations had also
started to show unease over the
financial crunch. Government

First-time voters in the United
States general elections on
Nov. 4 must be registered to
vote by Oct. 6.
Those not registered by
the deadline will not be eligi-
ble to vote in the elections,
which contains the U.S. presi-
dential race.

officials from countries like
Barbados, St. Lucia, Jamaica
and St. Vincent and the
Grenadines made public state-
ments addressing the crisis. Not
all inspired total confidence.
"As the U.S. economy
slows or goes into recession as
it copes with these difficulties,
the result could be a slowdown
in the growth of the Barbados
economy going forward,"
Barbados's Central Bank
Governor Dr. Marion Williams
told the Caribbean Media
Rufus Bousquet, St.
Lucia's minister of trade,
investment and commerce,
admitted to CMC that develop-
ment projects were being
stalled because of the financial
meltdown in the U.S.
"We are not immune to
the downturn in the U.S.A.
because of our dependence on
international trade and foreign
investment," he said.
Regional leaders anticipat-
ed that borrowing from inter-
national agencies would
become more difficult if the
crisis intensifies. Industries
vital to the region, such as
tourism, which depend heavily
on American spending, also
expect a hard hit.
"When uncertainty is creat-
ed in the U.S. we can expect a
slow-down in tourists coming
because people are going to
watch their pennies," St. Vincent
and the Grenadines Prime
Minister Ralph Gonsalves told a
news conference after returning
home from New York.

Yet in the midst of the
financial turmoil, Caribbean
interests were also keenly eye-
ing the U.S. presidential race.
Many wondered who Obama
or McCain would be best
equipped to lead the U.S. out
of the crisis by the time either
man is sworn in as president
next January.
Both candidates offered
recommendations on how the
rescue plan should be struc-
tured, emphasizing more strin-
gent oversight of business done
on Wall Street, the U.S. finan-
cial hub, protection for taxpay-
ers who are expected to foot
the bill for the bailout, and
help for homeowners strug-

Voters who are already
registered do not need to re-
For first-time voters to be
ligibk, they must:
* be 18 years or older (pre-
registration begins at 16 if
obtaining a driver's license);
* a U.S. citizen;

n e WS

~ Election last lap

Bermuda's premier downplays

Obama T.V. advertising attack

- Premier Ewart Brown says
he is disappointed that
Bermuda's offshore sector is
being used in a negative way
as campaigning for the
November presidential elec-
tions in the United States
heats up.
Television advertisements
by the Democratic presidential
hopeful Senator Barack
Obama draw attention to com-
ments by his rival, Republican
Senator John McCain, in a
Royal Gazette newspaper
interview while he was on a
trip to Bermuda last year.
The advertisements attack
McCain for pledging to pro-
tect tax breaks for American
firms which "hide their prof-
its" offshore. They feature a
photograph of McCain, wear-
ing sunglasses and superim-
posed on a beach, while an
announcer says: "Bermuda:
it's more than just a vacation

destination for John McCain."
Bermuda is named in the
Stop Tax Havens Abuse Act
legislation that Obama co-
sponsors in the U.S. Senate.

But Premier Brown said
he was disappointed Bermuda
was singled out by Obama,
who is immensely popular
with many of that island's citi-
zens. But he said he believes
the island's good relationship
with the U.S. would continue
after the elections.
"While we believe Senator
Obama didn't mean to hurt
our island's sterling reputation,
we are disappointed that
Bermuda was singled out," he
said. "Bermuda has long been
a friend and ally of the United
States and we look forward to
continuing good relations with
the next President of the
United States."

gling to pay mortgages. They
also opposed hefty "golden
parachutes" for Wall Street
executives, who have been
blamed heavily for the crisis,
on their way out.
Informal polls MIV..LI
Obama is favored by
Caribbean Americans, hun-
dreds of thousands who reside
in the U.S., many eligible to
vote. Some openly admit that
they would like to see the 47-
year-old senator from the state
of Illinois
make history
by becoming
the first
president of
the U.S. They
also like his
message of
McCain which they
hope will ben-
efit immi-
grants and other minorities in
the U.S.
The Republicans are hop-
ing to make history of their
own. If 72-year-old Arizona
Senator McCain wins, his run-
ning mate Sarah Palin will
become the first U.S. female
vice president.
Entering October, polls
showed Obama holding a
steady overall lead, especially
after the two candidates con-
tested the first presidential
debate on Sept. 26. Two more
contests are scheduled.
Palin entered the only sched-
uled vice presidential debate
against Democratic Senator
Joe Biden on Oct. 2 with ques-
tion marks from both
Democrats and Republicans -
about her ability to do the job.
However, most Republicans
are hoping Palin, who gave
McCain's campaign a huge
boost when he named her his
running mate, can eliminate
doubts with a good showing
the rest of the campaign.
Either way, history will be
made on Nov. 4 in the U.S. and
Caribbean Americans are hop-
ing it will smile on them.
Gordon Williams is Caribbean
Today's managing editor. Wire
services and other reports con-
tributed to this story.

Residents may register to
vote at a number of locations
including: public libraries;
most city, town and village
halls; state public assistance
agencies; driver license
bureaus; and local elections

It is important for Caribbean Americans to vote
in upcoming elections in the United States.
Below is information to assist voters when it
comes time to make their choices:
Florida Election Offices
Miami-Dade County Election http://elec-
2700 N.W. 87th Ave.
Miami, Florida 33172
Main Number: 305-499-VOTE (8683)
Broward County
115 South Andrews Ave Room 102
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301
Call 954-357-7050
Palm Beach County
240 South Military Trail
West Palm Beach, FL 33415
Florida Division of Elections
500 S. Bronough St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Toll Free Voter assistance -
Federal Government
White House:
U.S. Senate:
U.S. House of Representatives:
Federal Elections Commission:
Florida Elections Commission:
Florida State Government:
Florida Department of State:
Florida Division of Elections: http://elec-

Election offices for states with large
Caribbean American populations
County election offices
Miami-Dade County
Broward County
Palm Beach County
Orange County
Hillsborough County
St. Lucie County
*If residing in Atlanta, call the Elections Office
of Dekalb County (404-298-4020) or Fulton
County (404-730-7020) to request a form
New Jersey
New York
Washington D.C.

Obama or McCain? Caribbean interests

focus on U.S. election, financial crisis

Getting election information

U.S. voter registration deadline is Oct. 6

October 2008


n E wS

Caribbean countries among major drug transit points ~ U.S.

United States has again Affairs,
named three Caribbean com- month's
munity (CARICOM) nations release
among a number of drug tran- "Major
sit countries, warning that Transit (
they could face sanctions. Major II
In its annual report, the Drug
George Bush administration Producif
named Jamaica, The Bahamas Countric
and Haiti among the major Fiscal Y
drug transit or drug-producing
countries, noting that there COMBI
were no surprises on the list "Th
since "it's the same as it was reflect a
last year. graphic,
"It is important to under- nomic fa
stand that a country's presence to be pr(
on this list does not reflect its through
counter-narcotics efforts, nor own bes
does it reflect its cooperation country
or its relationship with the obligati
United States," said David T. al count
Johnson, the U.S. State ments af
Department's assistant secre- Majors'
tary of state for International that the
Narcotics and Law that the

St. Vincent igi

to break off 1
KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, CMC The
St. Vincent and the Grenadines govern-
ment says it will continue to pursue closer
ties with Iran despite objections from the
United States.
Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves
said that the matter had been raised by
U.S. Ambassador to Barbados and the
Eastern Caribbean Mary Ourisman during
a recent visit to Kingstown. The American
diplomat is reported to
have told Gonsalves that -
Washington was not
pleased with the move to
pursue closer ties with Iran,
given its nuclear program
and alleged state-spon- -
sored terrorism.
But Gonsalves said
while he understood the Ourisman
U.S. position, Washington
had not been as vocal
over efforts by European countries,
including Germany, that trade and have
close relationship with Teheran.

at last
of the
es For


ear 2009" report.
e designation can
combination of geo-
commercial, and eco-
ictors that allow drugs
oduced or trafficked
a country despite its
t efforts. But when a
does not live up to its
ons under internation-
er-narcotics agree-
nd conventions, the
List process signifies
president determines
country has 'failed

demonstrably'. Such a
nation can lead to sanc
"However, the pre
may also provide a wa
when he deter-
mines there is a
vital national
interest in contin-
uing U.S. assis-
tance. Even with-
out such a waiver,
assistance and
counter narcotics
assistance may
Johnson added.
He also
expressed con-
cern about the
large amount of
cocaine coming
out of Venezuela.
"Much of this
drug traffic
Venezuela and

nores U.S. call

ties with Iran

"The matter comes down
simply at the end of it, as I
see it, to 'do you trust the
leadership of a small
country to be sufficiently
mature to handle relations
and do you trust our
Gonsalves democracy to be suffi-
ciently resilient to handle
relations?'" he said.
The Vincentian leader said he was
convinced that his country's democracy
and its leaders were "strong enough to
handle our foreign relations."
St. Vincent and the Grenadines earli-
er this year announced that it was estab-
lishing diplomatic relations with Iran and
that the Middle Eastern country had also
agreed to assist with the construction of
the $200 million international airport

Antigua's RM. receives

U.N. millennium award

Barbuda's Prime Minister Baldwin
Spencer has been awarded the United
Nations 2008 Millennium Development
Goals (MDG) Achievement Award,
becoming the first politician to receive
the prestigious honor.
Spencer is the third recipient of
award, joining Sheikha Haya Rashed Al
Khalifa and Srgjan Kerim, former presi-
dents of the United Nations General
"In all modesty, I stand here today
very much honored to have been chosen
as the 2008 recipient of MDGs

Achievement Award and feel very proud
to contribute in the course of coopera-
tion and development of the South,"
said Spencer, who received the award
late last month in recognition of his
commitment and contributions to the
promotion and strengthening of partner-
ships between the U.N. and the private
sector to achieve the MDGs.
MDGs represent a global partnership
that has grown from the commitments
and targets established at the world sum-
mits of the 1990s.



bound for Europe is transiting
Western Africa, and the cor-
rupting influence of this illicit
wave threatens governance

and economic stability in this
region," the U.S. State
Department official added.

ave Your Say Before

Election Day.

So why wait? Vote Early!

You can go to any Early Voting location close

to your home or office. Early Voting is from

October 20 through November 2.







7:00 am to
3:00 pm

7:00 am to
3:00 pm

October 22
7:00 am to
3:00 pm

7:00 am to
3:00 pm

October 24
7:00 am to
3:00 pm

October 25
9:00 am to
1:00 pm

1:00 pm to
5:00 pm

11:00 am to
7:00 pm

11:00 am to
7:00 pm

11:00 am to
7:00 pm

11:00 am to
7:00 pm

11:00 am to
7:00 pm

November 1
9:00 am to
1:00 pm

November 2
1:00 pm to
5:00 pm

North Dade
Regional Ubrary
2455 NW 183rd Street
2700 NW 87th Avenue
West Dade
Regional Library
9445 SW 24th Street
Lemon City Library
430 NE 61st Street
City of Miami
City Hall
3500 Pan Amencan
Model City Library
(Caleb Center)
2211 NW 54th Street
West Miami City Hall
901 SW 62nd Avenue
Florida City
City Hall
404 W Palm Drive
North Shore Branch
7501 Collins Avenue
Coral Gables ULibrary
3443 Segovia Street
Miami Lakes
Public Library
6699 Windmill Gate

West Kendall
Regional Library
10201 Hammocks
Government Center
19200 W Country Club
Coral Reef Library
9211 SW 152nd Streel
Miami Beach
City Hall
1700 Convention
Center Drive
John F Kennedy
190 W 49th Street
Kendall Branch
9101 SW 97th Avenue
North Miami
Public Library
835 NE 132nd Street
Elections Department
(Branch Office)
111 NW 1st Street
South Dade
Regional Ubrary
10750 SW 21 1th

Cal --1orci ckI i am id e.go o
mo eo o t eE etonR a y k DO*

October 2008




~ A Caribbean Today special feature

Miami-Dade to honor leaders, role models

United States Treasurer
Anna Escobedo
Cabral is the sched-
uled keynote speaker for the
"Hispanic Role Model and
Future Leader of the Year
Award" luncheon hosted by
the Miami-Dade County
Hispanic Affairs Advisory
Board in celebration of
Hispanic Heritage Month.
Cabral is expected to
focus on the theme "Hispanic
Empowerment: Positive
Impact on the U.S. Economy"
at the event, scheduled for
noon Oct. 10 at the Biltmore
Hotel, 1200 Anastasia Avenue
Coral Gables, Florida.
"As we celebrate
Hispanic Heritage Month we
are very excited to have a key-
note speaker of the caliber of
Anna Escobedo Cabral
address attendees at this year's
luncheon," said Roymi V.
Membiela, chairman of the
luncheon. "Her contributions
will, no doubt, make this yea's
event a resounding success."

Sponsored this year by
Miccosukee Resort and
Gaming, the luncheon will
feature the presentation of the
"Role Model Award", which
was created to recognize a
Hispanic individual who has
made contributions that have
enhanced and developed busi-
ness, culture, education or the
arts in our community.
This year's recipient will
be Raul A. Martinez, presi-


dent and chief executive offi-
cer of ASPIRA of Florida.
The luncheon will also feature
the Future Leader Award,
which was created to recog-
nize a young Hispanic who
has made a difference in his or
her community either volun-
teering, helping others, men-
toring, building or creating a
meaningful project to benefit
others. That honor will go to
Juan Gomez and Alex
Gomez, two Colombian
brothers and Miami-Dade
College students, who trav-
eled to Washington D.C. to
advocate for the passage of
the Dream Act.
For more information
about the luncheon, call
The Miami-Dade County

Hispanic Affairs Advisory
Board, chaired by Marili
Cancio, was established by the
Miami-Dade Board of County
Commissioners to improve the
quality of life of Hispanic citi-
zens. Its focus is to identify
and monitor the needs and/or
interests of Hispanic citizens,
develop programs addressing
such issues, encourage
involvement of Hispanics in
matters of community con-
cerns, support the develop-
ment of Hispanics in leader-
ship roles, and recommend to
the Board of County
Commissioners legislation
supporting Hispanic issues.


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'Hispanic Heritage Tours'

showcase Miami's legacy

For the eighth year in a row,
a series of free narrated bus
tours, of some of the sites
that showcase Miami's rich
Hispanic legacy, have been
scheduled in the South Florida
city as part of Hispanic
Heritage Month celebrations
in October.
Stops on this year's
"Hispanic Heritage Tours",
will include the Miami
Sanctuary of Our Lady of
Charity and Miami's historic
Little Havana.

The tours will take place
every Saturday this month,
from Oct. 4-25.
Tours are scheduled to
leave from downtown Miami's
Stephen P. Clark Center, 111
N.W. 1st St., at 9 a.m., 9:30
a.m., and 10 a.m.
To reserve a spot, call
786-469-5558. Those interest-
ed need to specify if they want
the English or Spanish tour.

Miami-Dade County
Rebeca Sosa, in con-
junction with the Hispanic
Coalition's Hispanic Trust
Initiative, will host a foreclo-
sure prevention workshop
aimed at providing informa-
tion and financial counseling
to residents faced with losing
their homes.
The free workshop will
take place from 11 a.m. to 7
p.m. Oct. 17 at the
Renaissance Ballroom, 5910
S.W. 8th St. in Miami, Florida.
"The goal of the work-
shop is to guide residents
about a topic that is affecting
thousands of homeowners in
Miami-Dade County," said
Commissioner Sosa. "I invite
all residents who are currently
late on their mortgage pay-
ments to attend the workshop
where we will help them
explore the possibilities of
home preservation, with the
presence of attorneys, housing
agencies and principal banks."


To benefit from the fore-
closure prevention counseling,
attendees must bring corre-
spondence from their lender,
court documents, driver's
license, Social Security card,
recent mortgage statements
and a list of household
For more information,
call Sosa's district office at
305-267-6377 or visit

City commission honors artists

Miami resident
Francisco Gabuardi,
winner of the Latino
Art Beat 2008 National
"Hispanic IL rigL 'Art
Competition, along with
regional and local winners,
were last month honored by
the City of Miami.
Mayor Manny Diaz, the
Mayor's Office of Film &
Cultural Affairs, in collabora-
tion with Miami-Dade County
Public Schools recognized the
artists during a City
Commission meeting at
Miami's City Hall.
Gabuardi attends the New
World School of the Arts
(NWSA) in Miami. He is

scheduled to graduate next
June. His entry, called
"Hermanita", was selected
over 1,000 art entries from
high school artists nationally.
As the 2008 national win-
ner, Francisco is eligible to
receive a minimum $20,000
scholarship allocated over
four years to attend his col-
lege of choice, the Maryland
Institute College of Art in
Baltimore through the Latino
Art Beat/MICA. NWSA has
produced four national win-
ners in the Latino Art Beat
competition in the last six

Hispanic coalition offering free

advice on foreclosure prevention

October 2008


F nT U R 6

Caribbean flavors artist Phil Fung's visual voice for change

Phil Fung brings rhythmic
movement and colorful
voices to his watercolor
paintings. The 28-year-old
American, born to Jamaican
Chinese parents, infuses his
work with passion that only a
product of the "Out of Many
One People" Caribbean cul-
ture could create.
IkI _. ',_u I am Cii('1 1L
but also Chinese Jamaican,
and an American, I have
always been a minority within
a minority," Fung explained to
Caribbean Today.
"It has given me an out-
look on how cultures can
blend. And, because I have
this infusion of cultures, I
have a third-person perspec-
tive, as if I am looking in from
the outside.
"My being a minority
within a minority makes me
more tolerant and more open
to different ideas. It's kind of
a nice thing, which goes back
to (U.S. presidential hopeful
Barack) Obama. He is the
same thing; he understands
what that is."

In fact, the artist's portrait
of Senator Obama was select-
ed from among 1,200 entries

to be hung in a gallery at the
Democratic National
Convention in August. Fung
explained that it was the sena-
tor's character that inspired

what he says."
He added, "(Obama's
rival Sen. John) McCain, I
used to respect him. He is
known for being a maverick

Fung's "Stars and Stripes" features U.S. presidential hopeful Barack Obama.

the design of the winning
"Young people want
someone that will lead well
and not double back on their
principles," he said. "I wanted
to reflect that in my painting,
something strong, something
new. Obama, is not Jesus
Christ incarnate, but he is a
good man, and you know that
when he speaks he believes in

and he was fighting for the
right issues. But, as soon as he
got this nomination, he began
to pander and shifted his
views on issues one hundred
and eighty degrees, and that
speaks volumes about his
Fung's strong convictions
are evident in his work.
Speaking about his art, the
young artist pointed to the sky

and the trees outside the win-
dow and noted the bright blue
sky and the vivid green of the
trees. It's difficult for him to
paint in a starker, somber
palette because of the
Caribbean in him he said. He
also credits his parents' sup-
port for his continued creativi-
"It was never a question
of my parents saying you are
going to have to go to college
and become a doctor," he
said. "It was always just go to
college, graduate with a
degree and do whatever
makes you happy. They were
very supportive."
The Miami native
received a bachelor's degree
in fine arts from Florida State
University and a master's in
education from the University
of Central Florida. The artist
gravitated to an education
degree because of his experi-
ence in art school. He
bemoans the fact that art stu-
dents are not taught the busi-
ness side of an art career or
how to market themselves.
"Some college professors
are very talented artists, but
often they don't know how to
relate these skills to students,"
Fung said. "Far too often you
get academics who have never
sold a painting in their lives. I
want to be able to use teach-

ing principles to help students
learn. I plan to go into educa-
tion, but before I do that I
want to prove myself as an

A full-time artist for the
past six years, Fung certainly
has had a few bumps along
the way. But his determination
is admirable. He approaches
his art career with confidence,
the kind of confidence gar-
nered from stumbling blocks.
He admits that there have
been times when it was diffi-
cult to sell his paintings and
realizes that not everyone will
like his work. But, he contin-
ues because it is important to
get his work to the right chan-
nels once they have been
identified. He admonishes
artists who make art but do
nothing with it.
"As my dad says, it's like
winking at a pretty girl in the
dark; you know what you are
doing, but nobody else
knows," he said. "It is hard at
times, but there are a lot of
Fung certainly has
grabbed at opportunities. He
spent several years in New
Orleans selling his art on the
streets of the famous French

Caricom leaders take concerns to the United Nations

September, Caribbean com-
munity (CARICOM) leaders
travel to New York to attend
the annual session of the
United Nations General
Assembly (UNGA), hoping to
influence discussions that
could affect their socio-eco-
nomic development.
The lead-
ers have tradi-
tionally used
the forum as a
platform on
which to out-
line their con-
cerns about
trade, climate
change and Skerrit
other global
issues and last month, when
the 63rd session convened,
was no exception.
For instance, they urged a
revision of the international
financial architecture to
advance the development of
poorer countries. Among
those making the case was
Jamaica's Prime Minister
Bruce Golding, who argued
that the gap had widened
between the rich and poor,
within and among countries.
Golding also warned of turbu-
lent times ahead for vulnera-
ble societies with the global
economy seemingly headed

for a severe downturn.
"Developments in the
global financial system, the
painful increase in oil and
commodity prices and the
escalating food crisis threaten
to plunge vast sections of the
world's population deeper into
poverty," he said. "Fiscal chal-
lenges and the crippling bur-
den of debt render many
countries incapable of
responding to this crisis."

He said the international
financial system, designed
more than 60 years ago, has
undergone very little change
in its governance structure
and practices, adding that
Jamaica was supporting the
call for reform of the existing
financial infrastructure to
reflect the new global realities
and make it more pro-active
and responsive to the needs of
the entire world community.
His St. Vincent and the
Grenadines colleague Dr.
Ralph Gonsalves also believes
there is need for change. In
fact, he argued for "genuine
negotiations" between devel-
oped and developing countries
aimed at alleviating the suffer-
ing of the poor and hungry of
the world. For the moment,
though, he said Caribbean

countries were "buffeted by
the winds of unequal trade lib-
eralization, in which the agri-
cultural subsidies of devel-
oped states force our own nas-
cent agro-industries to an
uncompetitive demise."
He added that "the ironi-
cally titled development round
of Doha looks less and less
like a negotiating process and
more and more like a suicide

pact within the World Trade
Organization (WTO), in
which the major economic
powers want everything and
concede little or nothing to
the poor and developing
nations of the world."

In his address to the
world body, Dominica's Prime
Minister Roosevelt Skerrit

appealed for meaningful
change at the international
level. He also called on devel-
oped countries to stop paying
"lip r\ iL. to the concerns
of poorer nations and to
engage in genuine trade and
financial discussions that will
help the poor overcome the
challenges of the times.

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October 2008



F nT U R 6

'Lightning' Bolt gets thunderous welcome home


KINGSTON, Jamaica -
Persistent rain and dark skies
failed to dampen the bright
spirits of Jamaicans who turned
out in droves to shower their
love on Olympic Games hero
Usain Bolt when he returned
home to the Caribbean island
last month.
Bolt, who won three gold
medals at this summer's games
in China smashing three
world records in the process -
arrived in Jamaica on Sept. 8
and was greeted by family,
friends, political leaders and
roads lined with thousands of
wildly cheering compatriots.
From the moment the
sprinter, who captured Olympic
titles in the 100,
200 and 4x100 meters relay,
exited the Virgin Atlantic air-
craft at the Norman Manley
International Airport here,
loud cheers filled the gloomy
Kingston skies. The over-
whelming adulation followed

him along the route to New
Kingston, where he held a
press conference in the pres-
ence of family members,
friends and government and
Opposition representatives,
including Prime Minister Bruce
Golding who was full of praises
for the 22-year-old.

"Jamaica is proud of you
as you have proven that we are
the best in the world," Golding
Bolt, despite being rushed
through throngs of excited fans
by police escort, appeared
happy with the reception. He
gave his now world-famous "to
the world" pose and slogan as
he exited the aircraft and hardly
stopped smiling as he shook
hands, bumped fists and hugged
many who braved the inclement
weather to see him. He even
had time to reel off some the
dance moves he had shown to
the world at the Games.
"Thanks to everyone for
your support; I can't begin to tell

Caribbean flavors artist Phil

Fung's visual voice for change

"It's loud, it's noisy, it's
chaotic, and it's hot, but it's
everything an artist would
love," he said.
He and fellow artists sold
their work in the bustling
quarter, making hundreds of
dollars daily on average he
confirmed. He left the city just
one week before Hurricane
Katrina hit.
His travels around the
United States and outside its
borders have also inspired his
creativity. But, he mused that
he is best inspired by the idea
of beauty, whether in the car-
toons or portraits he creates.
Much of his work has images of
koi, also known as carp, beauti-
ful colored fish that were first
cultivated in Japan in the 18th
century. The artist's affinity to
this fish is evident in his use of
colors that mimic this sea life.
Looking closely at some of his
portraits, the images appear to
jump out at the viewer.

But, he is not just moved
by beauty. Fung is intent on
creating a business out of his
"I have to be unfortunate-
ly inspired by money," he said.
"I would love to make just
whatever I want, but I would
probably live in a cardboard
box somewhere, so I have to
be practical."
Asked if he is also an art
collector, Fung mentioned that
there are pieces he would like
to have but could not possibly

afford. However, he does col-
lect and trade work with other
young artists who inspire him -
Ocean Clark and Joshua
Talbot. He praises the work of
19th century Russian painter
Nicholas Roerich for its grace
and beauty and likens the work
of Michaelangelo and van
Gogh to magic and sensitivity.
For now, Fung will use
these inspirations to continue
searching for beauty. He
wants to pass on his own
magic to children and is cur-
rently writing and creating a
children's book with the car-
toons he loves to paint, his
favorite thing to paint.
Indeed, Fung's portraits
have the same feeling one
would get from viewing a car-
toon the colors, vibrancy and
movement exhibit the same
kind of energy and magic one
sees in cartoons. But, Fung
advises artists to push through
to another level.
"There comes a point
where inspiration and the joy
stops and it becomes work," he
explained. "And you can find
joy in that, but you have to be
willing to work through it.
"A lot of young artists
love the magic of it; when you
make art it's magic. But, when
it becomes work it stops being
magical and that's when it gets
really hard. That's when a lot
of people give up. I accept
that it's going to be more hard
work than magic."

Dawn A. Davis is a freelance
writer for Caribbean Today.

you how I feel," he said. "I am
happy to come home and was
really looking forward to it."
Long after Bolt had
entered the Jamaica Pegasus,
Jamaicans several rows deep,
some soaked to the skin,
pressed up against the hotel's
glass front door, anxious to get
a glimpse of their hero.
Jamaicans chanted "Bolt!
Bolt! Bolt!" along the route
from the airport and at the
hotel, showing pride and love
for an athlete who was a key
element in the country's
Olympic success. Jamaica
reeled in six gold, three silver
and two bronze among its 11
total medals.
Later in the month
Jamaica also welcomed home
other Olympic heroes, includ-

ing female champions Shelly
Ann Fraser and Melaine
Walker. Fraser won the 100
meters while Walker claimed
the 400 meters hurdles.
Olympic 200 meters cham-
pion Veronica Campbell-
Brown, Jamaica's other individ-
ual gold medal winner, is also
expected to join celebrations
planned for early this month by
the government to honor the
country's Olympic athletes.
The government also
announced plans to capitalize on
Jamaica's success in China, par-
ticularly in the area of sports
tourism. Bolt has been named
roving ambassador and is expect-
ed to assist in the campaign to
highlight the country. He said he
is ready for the challenge.
"I try my best to promote

Jamaica," Bolt said the day fol-
lowing his arrival home.
"...Jamaica is one of the great-
est countries ever. I love this
beautiful country so much."
Shortly after his return Bolt
went on a weeklong vacation to
St. Lucia. He later set off on an
overseas promotional tour, with
stops in Japan and the United
States. In the U.S. he appeared
on popular television programs
such as the "Late Show With
David Letterman" and "Live
With Regis and Kelly", where
he earned a "tie" with host
Kelly Ripa in a hilarious In:
and spoon" race.

Gordon Williams is Caribbean
Today's managing editor.

,' /r

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October 2008


V I P 0

High hopes cause U.S. crisis

It is fashionable in some cir-
cles to fume and fuss that
the current financial crisis
in the United States was born
out of greed. It wasn't.
Quite the opposite, this
mess was born out of the best
of intentions, which is danger-
ous enough in Washington.
The greed came later.
The mess began as a neat
idea, the well-intentioned goal
of helping more working-class
renters to become homeown-
Many did. The numbers of
minority and
other first-
time home-
climbed. The
housing mar-
ket pros-
Congress, the
lending indus- CLARENCE
try, the PAGE
tion and the Bush administra-
tion each took credit for the
boom. Almost everyone tried
to ignore the growing bubble
b, ni, h the housing boom.
As more and more money
chased fewer and fewer quali-
fied home buyers, the needy
were elbowed aside by the
greedy. Thousands of buyers
were lured by loan officers into
no-money-down, interest-only
and other tantalizing loans,
often for higher amounts than
the applicants could afford.
Housing prices soared.

The bubble now has burst.
With mortgage foreclosures
mounting and big banks and
thrifts going bust, like the
record-breaking Washington
Mutual last month, the finger
pointing begins as to who let it
The answer: Just about
everybody who could have put
the brakes on failed to do it,
often with the best of inten-
In 1999, for example,
Fannie Mae Corp., the nation's
bireasI underwriter of home
mortgages, announced it was
easing the credit requirements
on loans that it would purchase
from banks and other lenders.
The purpose was to help
increase home ownership
among minorities and others
whose incomes, credit ratings
and savings were too low for
them to qualify for convention-
al loans.
Their alternative was "sub-
prime" loans, which could
charge three or four percent-
age points higher than conven-
tional rates. Faced with those
whopper rates, many prospec-
tive buyers figured they might
as well keep renting.
Fannie Mae's pilot pro-
gram, announced by its

Chairman Franklin D. Raines,
allowed qualified buyers to pay
as little as one additional per-
centage point for a convention-
al 30-year fixed rate mortgage.
After two years, that extra
point would be dropped if the
borrower had kept up his or
her monthly payments.

Of course, Fannie Mae
was taking on more risk. But
Fannie Mae also was being
pressured by the Clinton
administration to help work-
ing-class home buyers, by its
stockholders to grow more
profits, and by banks, thrifts
and mortgage companies who
wanted to make more sub-
prime loans possible. Soon the
entire lending industry was
being pressured to ease up on
considerations of income, cred-
it history, down payment and
closing costs in determining
the creditworthiness of cus-
Everybody knew how dis-
astrous that could be in an eco-
nomic downturn. That's what's
Conservatives now point
to that historical moment to
place blame for today's Wall
Street collapse in Clin( in s lap.
Yet President George W. Bush
also embraced the expansion
of higher-risk home loans, as
part of his national drive to
expand home ownership
through grants, tax credits and
his 2003 call for "the entire
housing industry to help at
least 5.5 million minority fami-
lies become homeowners by
the end of this decade." They
tried. Again, the president's
intentions were good.
Unfortunately, today's
home finance crisis now resem-
bles the Federal Housing
Administration disaster in the
early 1970s. In Ch('Iltg.,
Detroit and other cities, blocks
of boarded-up houses were left
in the wake of unscrupulous
lenders who exploited govern-
ment-insured mortgages.
Finger-pointing and overdue
regulations followed that scan-
dal, too. So did a drying up of
home buying opportunities,
which is the exact opposite of
the program's hopes. A similar
post-disaster dance of blame is
shaping up in Washington now.
Public-private partnerships
can work, if you remember the
lessons of past intentions.
First, we need regulations and
oversight that remembers the
sneaky side of human nature,
including the inevitable temp-
tation to make an easy buck
off of someone else's good

(c) 2008 Clarence Page.
Distributed by Tribune Media
Services, Inc.

Broken heart is like
dying, they say, but I
will always maintain
that it is far better to have
loved and lost, than never to
have loved at all, and loving
well is its own reward.
Come to think of it, loving
well can be its own punishment
too. Still, it's great to have that
The same can be said of
hurricanes too, as it's far better
to have experienced even one,
so at least you can be better
prepared for any other eventu-
ality that may come your way,
plus think of the great stories
that you'll have to tell. So now
you're going to say that I'm
comparing marriage with a hur-
ricane. Well, if you really think
about it, both phenomena are
pretty similar, as they both
approach with a heavy force,
stir up much debris, especially
in your head, heart and soul,
then leave a trail of destruction
and despair in their wake.
Still, what a thrill they
both give.
But just as in war, where
you have casualties, you also
have them in divorce. Perhaps
the biv'-.I casualty of divorce
is the child, as he or she is the
one who goes through the
emotional battering and often
ends up scarred for life, never
to recover. I even know of peo-
ple who vow never to marry a
divorcee. It's like saying that
you can never trust an ex pris-
oner, as he'll surely commit a
crime again.
I can well understand the
fear of getting involved with a
person who has a string of
divorces under their belts, and
it's a brave soul who would take
the plunge with someone who
has been divorced three or more
times. So, left to many people,
divorcees are doomed to wan-
der in the land of the dead.

Apart from the suffering
children, there are also the pos-
sessions, and as far as many
people are concerned, those are
even more important than the
kids. The men are the bihk-s.l
casualties, as they are usually
the ones who lose lock, stock

I n T

and barrel.
Now I am all
for women
getting what
they deserve,
and what is
due to them,
and if they
contribute to
a marriage for TONY
a good period ROBINSON
of time and
they happen
to part ways, then she should
get what's entitled to her. But
for heavens sake, how can a
woman meet a man when he's
at the top of his game, marry
him for three years, divorce
him, then demand half of what
he has?
No wonder many people
are opting to demand prenup-
tial agreements. But that
'prenup' thing can be so cold,
as imagine, you meet and fall
in love with someone, yet you
have to sign a legal document
to protect what you have
worked so hard for. In many
cases even peace treaties
among nations are less compli-
cated. So even if you aren't a
millionaire like those super-
stars, in most cases the woman
gets to keep the house, and the
man becomes just like a war
refugee, homeless, destitute,
starving and decrepit.
But it serves some of these
men right, for they pick up
these women, become smitten
by their beauty, then bitten by
the love bug, then mauled by
the beast within...and then


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they die the death of divorce.

Another death is the loss
of friends, for invariably after a
divorce, once mutual friends
take sides. You may not see it
at first, but after a while, you
realize that you aren't invited
to certain friends' homes any-
more. The reason is, battle
lines were drawn and those
friends took sides, choosing
your ex over you. There's a
thin line between divorce and
death, and you have become
the casualty of both.
For some women, one
type of dying is starting over,
meeting someone new, going
back on the market and dating
again. What a daunting
prospect. Many women can't
handle that and remain lonely
emotional corpses after a
divorce, especially if they have
passed the point of no return.
For some women it's about age
55, as it's hardly likely that a
divorced woman over 55 will
ever marry again.
So because there are so
many deaths in divorce, many
couples prefer to stick it out,
for bitter or for worse, through
thick and thin, through trouble
and strife, rather than divorce.
After all, divorce or death,
both bring pain and suffering
so we try to postpone both.

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October 2008



op0 64

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October 2008


'Guava Jelly' rubs region's T comedy o T n South Florida

'Guava Jelly' rubs region's comedy on South Florida

Some of Jamaica's best
known stage performers
will be among the cast
during four performances of
the play "Guava Jelly" in
Florida, United States this

Volier Johnson, left, and Oliver Samuels star i1
Oliver Samuels, Volier
Johnson and Audrey Reid will
appear in the Patrick Brown
comedy. The trio came to
prominence when they first
appeared in Samuels's hit tele-
vision series "Oliver at Large".
"Guava Jelly" will be
staged on the following dates:
* Oct. 18, the North Miami
Beach Performing Arts
* Oct. 19, Coral Springs
Center for the Arts;
* Oct. 25, Wekivia High
School in Orlando; and
* Oct. 26, Royal Palm

Beach High School.
In "Guava Jelly", Reid
plays Madge, the wife of
Ascott Wilson (Samuels) who
is in the U.S. working to pro-
vide for her with
Plans to return
home. While
Ascott is away in
h r igni ', Madge
V allows Blue
(Johnson), her
former lover who
has just returned
from a prison
term stark, raving
mad, to move in
with her.
As crazy as
n "Guava Jelly". Blue acts, Madge
puts up with his
delirious behavior, as she still
has Ikl ing," for him and he
is able to satisfy her healthy
appetite in the bedroom. This
arrangement gets a surprising
interruption as Ascot makes
an unannounced return home.
How Madge explains Blue's
presence and responds to
Ascot's unsatisfying perform-
ances creates numerous comi-
cal situations.
Guava Jelly premiered in
1989 with Glen Campbell,
Owen Ellis, Clive Anderson
and Rosie Murray. It was res-
urrected in 1997/98 with
Samuels, Johnson, and

Campbell. Christine Bell and Wilson alternating roles with
Angella Jarrett shared the Volier Johnson as Blue.
leading lady's role. Tickets for Guava Jelly
In this third version, are on sale at selected
Jambiz executive Lenford Caribbean outlets. The play is
Salmon directs the notorious being presented by Riddims
trio, along with Courtney Marketing and Jamaica

Caribbean music fest to dock in

The International
Caribbean Music
Festival, an annual
show which promoters claim
sets its line-up of performers
based on demand from fans,
will be staged next month at a
new venue in South Florida,
United States.
The festival is set to take
place on Nov. 16 at the his-
toric Virginia Key Beach
Park, Key Biscayne, Miami.
This year's show has

attracted a line-up of some of
dancehall's premier names,
including Beenie Man, Bounty
Killer and Mavado. Promoters
claim it will be the first time
fans will see the trio perform
in the same U.S. arena.
Also slated to show are
culture singjay Tony Rebel;
female artistes Queen Ifrica
and Etana; and singers
Da'ville and Christopher
Jamaican-born, South

Awareness, in association with
Echelon Ventures in Palm
Beach and Caribbean View
Television in Orlando.

Key Biscayne
Florida resident Sean
Kingston, whose song
"Beautiful Girls" topped sev-
eral charts in the U.S. and
elsewhere last year, is also on
the slate of performers. So too
are veteran deejays Spragga
Benz, Munga Honorable,
Papa San and Mr. Vegas, plus
newcomer Konshens.
For more information,

Anguilla jazz fest set for Nov. 6-9

Grammy-winning artiste
Patti Austin is expect-
ed to headline the
sixth annual Anguilla
Tranquility Jazz Festival Nov.
6-9 in the Caribbean island.
Austin, who is famous for
her hit duet "Baby, Come To
Me" with James Ingram, is
scheduled to be joined on the
show by fellow American jazz
singer Dee Dee Bridgewater.
Grammy winners Michel



Camilo, a pianist from the
Dominican Republic, and
Cuban jazz trumpeter and

pianist Arturo Sandoval are
also listed in the line-up of
entertainers, along with jazz
musician Christian Scott from
New Orleans, and Jamaican
Dean Fraser, a top Caribbean
For more information
about the jazz festival, visit




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October 2008



Caribbean tourism surging ahead,

despite new U.S. travel restrictions


MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica -
Caribbean tourism is rebound-
ing from difficulties posed by
the implementation of stricter
rules for travel between the
United States and the region,
according to Jamaica's boss for
the sector.
"We have broken the back
of the Western Hemisphere
Travel Initiative (WHTI) and its
negative impact on our U.S.
traffic," declared Jamaica's
Minister of Tourism Ed Bartlett
during the "World Tourism
Day" conference held at the
Ritz Carlton Golf & Spa Resort
here late last month.
The WHTI, which became
effective on Jan. 1, 2008,
requires all U.S. residents trav-
eling in and out of the country
to have a valid, machine-read-
able passport or other federally
approved identification. Some
17 Caribbean countries, includ-
ing Jamaica, fall under the
WHTI. Other territories, such
as Canada and Mexico, have
also been affected.
However, Bartlett is
delighted with his country's
resiliency in responding to the
new U.S. rules. The minister
explained that in 2007 the
tourism industry saw a six per-
cent downturn in U.S. visitors,
but has now bounced back,
improving those numbers 3.4
percent so far this year.
"It's fair to say that we
have overcome that difficulty
and we are surging ahead," the
minister said. "And with more
Americans complying with the
visa requirements, we will likely
see even greater numbers com-
ing out of the U.S."

When the U.S. government



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first initiated the new immigra-
tion and passport rules,
Caribbean tourism policy mak-
ers united to lobby to protect
the interest of the region from
expected adverse effects of the


change. Asked about the suc-
cess of those efforts, Bartlett
said "it was not good enough.
In my mind it was weak and
anemic, and as a result I think
we lost out in the final analysis
in terms of really influencing
any change."
Yet, despite the less-than-
expected results from the
Caribbean lobby, the minister
explained that the region bene-
fited from some breathing room
based on hiccups in the new U.S.
passport/entry regulations.
"They just could not
process and deal with enough
passports within the time frame
to allow for the implementation
to happen, and for it to be a
seamless flow and not be too
disruptive to their own citi-
zens," he said. "Because people
wanted to travel, and because
of the requirements for
machine readable identification,
it created a problem."
The new electronic pass-
port process is now in place and
has been adopted by most
countries. Bartlett was quick to

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point out that Jamaican pass-
ports are also in compliance
with the new technological stan-

Meanwhile, Bartlett is
also hopeful about the U.S.
government's position on the
Caribbean economy. He noted
that the region has heard com-
ments from the camp of Senator
Barack Obama, a candidate for
U.S. president, which suggested
that it has a more enlightened
approach to Caribbean
economies. He added however
that Sen. John McCain, Obama's
opponent in next month's elec-
tion, has been more silent on the
issue. However, the minister said
current protocols dealing with
the Caribbean economy, such as
the Caribbean Basin Initiative
and the Banana Regime, have
been useful.
Bartlett believes that the
tourism sector is unlikely to be
adversely affected based on policy
indications. He said his ministry
will pursue discussions with the
U.S., hoping to create a single
domestic space for the Caribbean
and the U.S. that would allow for
greater economies on airline and
airlift movement within the region.
The ministry will also pursue dis-
cussions on issues relating to immi-
gration and clearance procedures
between the U.S. and Jamaica.
"We are not sure what the
policy is going to be, as to
whether or not they (the U.S.)
are going to be willing to enter
into new agreements such as
they have with The Bahamas
and the U.S. Virgin Islands,"
Bartlett said. "These are issues
that we look forward to down
the road for discussions. Other
than those, there is very little
for us to fear in real terms
about any new administration
in the U.S. as far as tourism is
concerned in the Caribbean."

Dawn A. Davis is a freelance
writer for Caribbean Today.

Grenada relying on tourism

for economic development

NEW YORK The Grenada
government is placing much
emphasis on the tourism
industry to influence the
island's economic develop-
ment, Social Development
Minister Glynis Roberts has
Addressing an
Appreciation and Awards
Ceremony here last month,
she said that the new Tillman
Thomas administration's vision
is premised on the current
development of "many excit-
ing hotel and resort pr< ,ij i,
on the island, as well as addi-
tional airlift into the country.
Roberts, who deputized
for Tourism Minister Peter
David, said American Airlines
would resume its non-stop
services to Grenada from
Miami in next month.
"We are very excited
about this additional service
since it will provide the oppor-

Murder of British couple

worries Antigua's industry

ST. JOHN'S, Antigua, CMC -
Some two months after the
murder of a British honey-
mooning couple, the country's
tourism sector is feeling the
Forty percent of the
country's tourists are from
the United Kingdom, making
that country Antigua and
Barbuda's bi,_-,LI tourism
market. However, initial fig-
ures have revealed late last
month that many British
tourists have cancelled their
vacation to the twin-isle state
since the incident.
"The news of the double
homicide, as you know, was
broadcast internationally so
we've had to assess the dam-
age in our various market
places," Tourism Minister

Harold Minister said last
"The damage in the U.S.
market from the reports that I
have received has been mini-
mal. However, from the U.K.
the damage is still a matter of
great concern for us. In the
short term I've had reports
from several of the properties
who've reported that there
have been cancellations to the
cost of which is in excess of
US$1 million and this is in the
short term," he said.
The tourism minister said
the cancellations pose a major
hurdle for the tourism sector
and his ministry is now devis-
ing a strategy to rectify the

Hurricanes disrupt Caribbean cruise plans

MIAMI Several Miami-based
Caribbean cruise lines claim
the frequency of hurricanes
and storms being experienced
by the region have significantly
disrupted their cruise itiner-
Many cruise lines said that
they had to change their itiner-
aries, ports and departure dates
due to weather conditions
caused by Gustav and Hanna.
By the first week of last
month the weather had affected
nine ships at Carnival Cruises
alone, as well as operations of
Norwegian Cruise Line and
Royal Caribbean International.
In one change, Royal
Caribbean said two Florida-

based ships that normally stop
at CocoCay, the line's private
island in The Bahamas, were
instead sent to Key West,
Florida early last month.
Mariner of the Seas also
skipped CocoCay last month,
but chose not to substitute
another port. The ship went
ahead with its scheduled calls in
St. Thomas and St. Maarten.

Another Royal Caribbean
ship, Liberty of the Seas, based
in Miami, was also affected by
the storms, switching the order
of its port calls.
Also switching gears due to
Hanna, was Norwegian Cruise

Line's New York-based
Norwegian Spirit, which headed
to Bermuda early last month
instead of The Bahamas.
Another Norwegian ship,
the Miami-based Norwegian
Sky, skipped the Bahamas in
favor of the western
Late August, Tropical
Storm Gustav, which devel-
oped into a hurricane, slammed
into Haiti, the Dominican
Republic, Jamaica, the Cayman
Islands and Cuba, leaving more
than 80 people dead and mil-
lions of dollars in damage.



October 2008

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

tunities for all
of you, our
partners in the
industry, to
better sell our
island, given
its greater
she said, Roberts
adding that
the government is also "very
optimistic about the positive
impact" the continued services
from Air Jamaica.
Tourism Director Jocelyn
Sylvester-Gairy, who also spoke
at the ceremony, said Grenada
has rebounded strongly from
the devastation caused by two
hurricanes recently.
"Hotels are upgraded,
homes are built stronger, the
roads and infrastructure are
superb all this translating
into a better and more unique
experience for all," she said.


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Soaring c Aoew Heightsa.

October 2008


11 6 n t T 91

Treating stress with a spoonful of spirituality


QUESTION: I've been under
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anxious most of the time. I
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take anything right now. I con-
sider myself to be religious
and go to church most
Sunday. What are your
thoughts about mixing religion
and psychotherapy?

Answer: If your religion is a
central part of your life,
by all means bring it into
your psychotherapy. More
and more, clinicians real-
ize they should encourage
their clients or patients to
talk about spiritual and
religious beliefs.
Understanding your spiri-
tual life can help your
therapist help you, by
providing helpful insights
into your value system
and your key relationships.
Interestingly, clinicians
working in hospitals, mental
health centers and other par-
ticipating organizations are
now often required to do a
"spiritual assessment" of
patients' beliefs and practices.
When healthcare providers
take this information into
account, treatment and servic-
es usually improve.
This is a good addition to
mental healthcare, because
many patients receiving coun-
seling like you want their
spiritual beliefs to be taken

The high cost of prescrip-
tion drugs can be a bur-
den on elderly people
with limited income and
resources in the United States.
Extra help available
through Social Security can
pay part of their monthly pre-
miums, annual deductibles
and prescription co-payments.
The extra help could be worth
up to $3,600 per year.
To figure out whether the
elderly are ligibk, Social
Security needs to know their
income and the value of their

into account. Here are a few
questions to help you deter-
mine your level of comfort
with a new therapist:
Does the therapist ask
about your spiritual beliefs
without judging them? If so,
your spiritual beliefs can easi-
ly become part
of the treat-
^ I ment plan. A
therapist does-
n't have to

same religious
community as
you. What's
more important
is that the clini-
S cian is comfort-
able discussing
these matters, takes your
views seriously and can dis-
cuss them with you sympa-
Is the therapist curious
about your spiritual beliefs,
committed to learning about
them, and when it's helpful -
willing to consult with clergy?
If your therapist is not famil-
iar with your religious prac-
tice, teach him or her about it.
You'll learn a lot about the
therapist's ability to be inter-
ested in what's important to
you. With your permission,
the therapist may also speak

savings, investments and real
estate (other than the home
they live in). To qualify for the
extra help, the elderly must be
receiving Medicare and have:
Income limited to $15,600
for an individual or $21,000 for
a married couple living togeth-
er. Even if their annual
income is higher, they still may
be able to get some help with
monthly premiums, annual
deductibles and prescription
co-payments. Some examples
where income may be higher
include if they or their spouse:
Support other family
members who live with them;
Have earnings from
work; or
Live in Alaska or
Hawaii; and
Resources limited to $11,990
for an individual or $23,970
for a married couple living
together. Resources include
bank accounts, stocks and

to clergy or spiritual leaders in
your community to learn more
about your spiritual life.
Is the therapist prepared
to make spirituality part of the
treatment plan? It's very helpful
for the therapist to find a way
to make spirituality part of your
recovery plan along with sup-
port, psychotherapy and if you
eventually think it might help
you medication. For example,
you can discuss the merits of
increasing your involvement in
your religious community.
The best way to get the
conversation about spirituality
going may be to explain your
religious practices to your
therapist or doctor. Of course,
it's up to your therapist or
doctor to put you at ease so
you can talk about this signifi-
cant part of your life.

Dr. Michael Craig Miller is
editor in chief of the Harvard
Mental Health Letter. He is
also associate physician at
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical
Center, Boston, Massachusetts
and assistant professor at
Harvard Medical School.

2008 President and Fellows
of Harvard. Distributed by
Tribune Media Services, Inc.

bonds. House and car are not
considered as resources.
To apply by phone or get an

application, call Social Security
at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-
325-0778) and ask for the
"Application for Help with
Medicare Prescription Drug
Plan Costs". Or go to the near-
est Social Security office.

- Social Security Administration

U.S. Social Security offers elderly help

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* Crowns, Bridges, Dentures
* Oral Surgery & Root Canals
* Bleaching of Teeth

6300 W. Atlantic Blvd. Margate, FL 33063

VS(954) 956-9500

Anthony A. McFarlane, MD

Telephone: 954-601-6490
-.i 4101 NW 4th Street, Suite 404 Plantation, FL 33317 .

October 2008


Rolling towards retirement?

Things you should know

Caribbean wants 're-think'

of global economic policies

Caribbean Americans
usually work long and
hard in the United
States to make a better life.
However, many are unaware
of the benefits being offered
by the Social Security
Administration (SSA) in the
U.S. once they approach
This month, Caribbean
Today focuses on answering
questions about some SSA
services available to
Caribbean Americans prepar-
ing to leave the workforce.

Question: How long does a
person need to work to
become eligible for retirement

Answer: Social Security bene-
fits are based on credits.
Anyone born in 1929 or later
needs 40 Social Security cred-
its to be eligible for retirement
benefits. You can earn up to
four credits per year, so you
will need to work at least 10
years to become eligible for
retirement benefits.
Each year the amount of
earnings needed for a credit
rises as average earnings go
up. In 2008, you receive one
credit for each $1,050 of earn-
ings, up to the maximum of
four credits per year. During

Mixed views on

Dominica ~ IMF
International Monetary Fund
(IMF) says while Dominica's
economy is expected to
rebound in 2008, it is unlikely
to regain pre-Hurricane Dean
levels of growth for some time.
The Washington-based
financial institution said that the
"spill over -1. i of the slow-
down in the United States'
economy were likely to be part-
ly offset by domestic factors. It
said growth is projected at 2.5
percent in 2008, supported by
reconstruction efforts and
recovery in agriculture. Inflation
is expected to reach 6.5 percent
at the end of this year and then
moderate gradually.
The IMF said Dominica's
external current account deficit
is projected to rise another five
percent of Gross Domestic
Product (GDP) in 2008.
In Aug. 2007 the Caribbean
island was struck by Hurricane
Dean, resulting in damage to
20 percent of GDP, reduced
economic activity, higher infla-
tion and a weaker external cur-
rent account.

your working years, earnings
covered by Social Security are
posted to your record. You
earn credits based on those
earnings. When you have your
credits and you reach retire-
ment age, you can file for
retirement benefits online at

Question: How does Social
Security know how much a
person has earned?

Answer: Each year, your
employer reports your previ-
ous year's earnings to Social
Security on Form W-2. Self-
employed people report their
earnings to the Internal
Revenue Service (IRS) on
their tax return. IRS transmits
that information to Social
Security, which then posts the
earnings information to your

Question: I have a few ques-
tions about my application for
retirement benefits. Who
should I call?

Answer: Call toll free at 1-800-
772-1213 (TTY number, 1-
800-325-0778), between 7 a.m.
and 7 p.m. on business days. If
your questions are specific to
your application, the Social
Security Administration will
need your name and Social
Security number. If they are
general questions, you can
take a look at the SSA's web-
site at

Question: When is the best
time to retire?

Answer: It depends on a num-
ber of factors, and the deci-
sion is up to you. A new fact
sheet "When To Start
Receiving Retirement
Bk ni Iii explains the things
to consider. Find that publica-
tion and use the SSA's online
Retirement Estimator to chart
your own course by going to When
you're ready to apply for
retirement benefits, save your-
self a trip and do it online at
the same web address.

Question: I used to get Social
Security disability benefits. I
tried going back to work, but
it didn't work out. Can you
start my benefits again, or do I
need to file a new application?

Answer: If your benefits have
ended because of work, you
can request that the SSA start
your benefits again without
having to file a new applica-
tion in most situations. There
are some important condi-
* You have to be unable to
work because of your medical
* The medical condition must
be the same as or related to
the condition you had when
we first decided that you
should receive disability
benefits; and


Caribbean community (CARI-
COM) leaders have called on
the international community to
re-think their trade and eco-
nomic policies, which they said
were having disastrous effects
on developing countries like
those in the Caribbean.
Prime Minister Baldwin
Spencer of Antigua and
Barbuda and his St. Kitts and
Nevis counterpart Dr. Denzil
Douglas told the United
Nations General Assembly
(UNGA) in New York late last
month that there was an urgent
need for addressing the situa-
Spencer said that member-
nations must work with and
through the U.N. in embracing
multilateralism to the fullest
and that the
debate was
taking place
against the
back-drop of

challenges to
peace and
security; unal- Douglas
leviated pover-
ty and diminishing food sup-
plies for much of the world's
population; mega disasters
induced by climate change; and
impending meltdown in the
world's largest economy."

In his address, Douglas
called for a >1h r and unre-

lenting" analysis of what he
dJLt ribd as the "human con-
LqikUn.LN' as a result of the
sweeping and globally-enforced
trade and economic regimes on
small states, such as those in
the Caribbean.
"And it is
also my hope
that the eco-
nomic uncer-
tainties now
being experi-
enced in some
of the world's
larger Spencer
economies will
sensitize us all
to the breadth of the uncertain-
ty, the depth of the anxiety, and
the real psychological trauma
that often grip small states
when policies that are formu-
lated far beyond their shores,
and are utterly unresponsive to
their entreaties, are, nonethe-
less, thrust unflinchingly upon
them," he told the UNGA.
Douglas said that recent
events have "called into focus"
the issue of stability of world
financial systems and institu-
tions, stating that the circum-
stances that led to collapsing
financial institutions and rising
prices for food and energy
were not created by small
states, such as his own.
He said the global economic
downturn, coupled with the
"dramatic upsurge" in com-
modity prices, had created the
"worst food crisis in recent




Connecting The Caribbean



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MI1gj 6 i 1j 4il -i

October 2008




Laparkan expands shipping lanes to wider Caribbean


FCr 25 years, United States-
based Laparkan Shipping
Company has been ship-
ping to the larger Caribbean
islands, including Jamaica,
Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago
and the Dominican Republic.
Recently, Laparkan announced a
bold move to extend its services
to the entire region.
"We used to cover only
Jamaica, Barbados and some of
the other larger islands," Brian
Edun, business development
manager said, "but now we will
be shipping to the smaller
islands as well."
Laparkan, located at 2929
N.W. 73 St. in South Florida,
will also be adding four new

locations West Palm Beach,
Jacksonville and Port St. Lucie
in Florida, and Atlanta,
Georgia. Edun hopes that these
additional locations will be
accessible to people wanting to
ship to the islands.
Edun disclosed that
Laparkan will also be engaging
in inter-island shipping, which
will allow barrels and other items
to be shipped or air freighted
from one island to the next.
"(Laparkan) will also be
shipping barrels from China to
Jamaica," he said. "It does not
matter how small or how large
the item is, we will ship it."

Vice President Gordon
Berment explained that

Laparkan is a Caribbean-ori-
ented company that is proud to
serve the Caribbean.
"Without their support, we
would not exist," Berment said.
According to Edun,
Laparkan has worked so closely
with Jamaica that the company
has commenced money transfer
services to the island.
"We are working with
Capital Credit Bank," Edun said,
"so that when money is trans-
ferred to Jamaica it can be picked
up at any Laparkan office."
Yet, as Berment explained,
Laparkan is more than a ship-
ping company. The company is
also involved in community
service, both in the Caribbean
and the U.S.
"Here in the U.S., we have

Applying early for retirement in the U.S.

Are you planning to "clock
out" of the United States
workforce once and for all in
Jan. 2009?
Generally, you should
apply for your Social Security
retirement benefits three
months before you'd like them
to start. So now's the time to
apply for retirement benefits to
beat the rush and you can
do it online.
Applying online is a con-
venient and secure way to
apply for your benefits. Not
only can you apply for retire-
ment benefits online at, you can
use several tools to help you
estimate your monthly benefit.
Visit the Social Security

Administration's online
Retirement Estimator at
tor or use one of our other
online benefit calculators.

Although applying for ben-
efits online is convenient,
choosing when to begin receiv-
ing your benefits can be com-
plicated. Remember, you can
get a reduced Social Security
retirement benefit as early as
age 62, wait until your full
retirement age (66 for people
born between 1943 and 1954),
or increase the amount of your
benefit by working as late as
age 70.
To assist you, Social

Security has created an online
publication, "When To Start
Receiving Retirement
Bk n, I i ,, at www.socialsecuri- This
publication explains the factors
to consider before deciding
when to collect benefits.
Regardless of when you
retire, you become eligible for
Medicare at age 65.
Meanwhile keep an eye
out for updates and improve-
ments that soon will make
applying for benefits online
even faster and easier.
Get started with your retire-
ment by visiting www.socialse-

Rolling towards retirement? Things you should know

* You have to file your
request to start your benefits
again within 60 months of the
date you were last entitled to
To learn more, visit

Question: Can I apply for

Supplemental Security
Income (SSI) online?

Answer: Not at this time. But
if you're filing for SSI benefits
due to a disability, the SSA
does have a way for you to get
started with the Adult
Disability Report at
disabilityreport. Completing
this report beforehand can

save time when you do apply
for SSI. The SSA recommends
you call toll free at 1-800-772-
1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) to
make an appointment to com-
plete the application for SSI
benefits either by phone or at
a local Social Security office.

- Social Security Administration

(305) 885-0558
Fax: (305) 887-6684
7790 NW 46th Street Unit 18 Miami, Florida 33166 email:

donated money and (participat-
ed) in walk-a-thons for breast
cancer and lupus," Berment said.
He added that the shipping
company also works with Wize
Communication to provide
scholarships to Caribbean stu-
dents living in Florida. For
example, the Laparkan Una
Clarke Scholarship is awarded
to college students who emi-
grated from the islands or who
are of Caribbean descent. The
scholarship is awarded yearly to
a needy student.

Further, Edun pointed out
that Laparkan lends support to
the Caribbean when a hurricane
strikes. After Hurricane Ike,
Laparkan shipped certain barrels
to the Caribbean for free. They
also shipped medical supplies
and other charitable items free
of charge.
"As long as the barrels are
coming from an organization,
like a church for example, we
will ship it for free," Edun said.
Elloreece Burrell, coordi-
nator for the Jamaica Outreach
Ministry (JOM), agreed that
Laparkan Shipping had done a
lot for the especial-
ly Jamaica. Burrell, in collabo-
ration with Beulah Baptist
Intuitional Church, has been
sending medical and other
needed supplies to Jamaica for
seven years. Each year, she
takes a team of voluntary doc-
tors, pharmacists and other
medical experts to the island to
assist people in need.
"I have been working with

IDB grants to

aid Caribbean
American Development Bank
(IDB) says it is prepared to
assist Caribbean governments
in improving water and sanita-
tion services for their popula-
The IDB said that regional
countries can now apply for
grants under the Aquafund, a
new source of financing
approved by the bank's board.
"The Aquafund is a fast-
disbursing vehicle intended to
help accelerate the develop-
ment of projects in the water,
sanitation and solid waste dis-
posal sectors. It can be used to
finance activities ranging from
pre-feasibility studies to tech-
nical training and knowledge
dissemination, depending on
specific local nii, d, the IDB
said in a statement.
IDB President Luis
Alberto Moreno said there
were many innovative propos-
als for improving the services
and that Aquafund was creat-
ed to help make those propos-
als a reality by financing the
early stages of project prepara-

the shipping company since
2001," Burrell said. "They
have never turned me down.
They have shipped medical
supplies and equipment for
Burrell said that through
JOM her organization has set
up a barbershop project to aid
juveniles at the Rio Cobre
Correctional Center. Laparkan
has shipped barber chairs and
other barbershop items for
free. Burrell emphasized that
with Laparkan's help the proj-
ect has become a success.
"(Laparkan) gets the items
there on time," she said.
"There are no words I can use
to describe just how much good
they are doing for Jamaica."

Judith R Hudson is a freelance
writer for Caribbean Today.

." ME,-.

Street Address:
9020 SW 152nd Street, Miami, FL 33157
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 6010
Miami, FL 33116-6010.
Telephone: (305) 238-2868
(305) 253-6029 Fax: (305) 252-7843
Toll-Free Fax: 1-866-290-4550
1-800-605-7516 Jamaica: 654-7282
Send ads to:
Vol. 19, Number 11 OCT. 2008


Managing Editor
Graphic Artist

Account Executive
Account Executive

Accounting Manager
Caribbean Media Source
Media Representatives

353 St. Nicolas Street, Suite 200
Montreal, Quebec, Canada H2Y 2P1
Tel: (514) 931-0422 Fax: (514) 931-0455

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(876) 925-5640
P.O. Box 127, Constant Spring
Kingston 8, Jamaica
Opinions expressed by editors and writers
are not necessarily those of thepublisher.
Caribbean Today, an independent
news magazine, is published every month
by Caribbean Publishing & Services, Inc.
Caribbean Today is not responsible
for unsolicited manuscripts or photos. To
guarantee return, please include a self-
addressed stamped envelope.
Articles appearing in Caribbean
Today may not be reproduced without
written permission of the editor.

October 2008




Top Caribbean writers for Miami Book Fair International

N obel Laureate Derek
Walcott will be among
several of the
Caribb i. n' best writers sched-
uled to be present at one of the
premier literary events in the
United States next month.
The eight day Miami Book
Fair International will be held
from Nov. 9-16 at Miami Dade
College, Wolfson Campus, 300
N.E. Second Ave. in Miami,
St. Lucian-born Walcott will
be joined by Caribbean writers
such as Lisa Allen-Agostini,
Anthony T. Bryan, Willie Chen,
Austin C. CLirk,, Cyril
Dabydeen, Carole Boyce-Davies,
Brenda Flanagan, Cynthia
Barrow Giles, Anthony Johnson,
Brian Meeks, Carlos Moore,
Harvey Neptune, Elizabeth
Nunez and Selwyn Ryan.

This year will celebrate the
25th anniversary of the fair. It
is expected to attract some 400
authors from the U.S. and
overseas who will discuss their
work in languages such as
English, Spanish, Portuguese,
French and Kreyol.
At the Street Fair, over 250


publishers and vendors are
scheduled to exhibit and sell
books. Fair-goers can also visit
the International Village, show-
casing the literature, fine arts
and folkloric traditions of many
nations. C'lildrL n i Alley will
offer a slate of activities, includ-
ing book-inspired theater and
arts-and-crafts, storytelling and
readings by children's book
authors from around the
The Antiquarian Annex
will showcase rare books,
signed first editions, original
manuscripts and other col-

This year, fair organizers
have partnered with Diamond
Book Distributors to present
programs on graphic novels

Comic book legends' work on show

Organizers of the Miami Book
Fair International have added
new programs to its cadre of
events for the upcoming 25th
anniversary of the event.
Special at this year's book
fair, which will be held Nov. 9-
16 in downtown Miami, will
be the Comix Galaxy, a
beloved genre and exciting
cultural phenomenon, featur-
ing an array of well-known
comic legends, exhibits and
The first event of the
Comix Galaxy programs, cele-
brating comic book legend
Will Eisner, will be held on
Nov. 12 at Miami Dade
College's (MDC) Centre
Gallery, the Wolfson Campus.
Eisner's original artwork,
including his last graphic novel
"The Plot", will be presented
in a multi-media exhibit. There
will also be a panel discussion
about Eisner's life and work,
followed by a screening of the
documentary "Will Eisner:
Portrait of a Sequential
Artist". Panelists participating
in the discussion about
Eisner's work will include Bob
Weil, vice president and execu-


tive editor at W.W. Norton &
Company; literary agents
Denis Kitchen and Judy
Hansen; and author and
Eisner protdg6 Scott McCloud
("Understanding Comics").
The panel will be moderated
by Charles Kochman, execu-
tive editor of Abrams
ComicArts, and editor of "The
Will Eisner Companion".

Also included in the mul-
timedia exhibit will be several
other original works by Eisner,
including art from "The
Spirit" and his seminal graphic
novels "A Contract with
God", "The Name of the
Game", "A Life I >r and

"Dropsie Avenue". "The
Plot," was published posthu-
mously in 2005.
In addition to the Eisner
event, other Comix Galaxy
programs include an education-
al presentation for librarians,
educators, and parents who are
interested in using comic books
and graphic novels as part of
their teaching methods. Then,
during the final two days of its
programs, the Comix Galaxy
will host nearly a dozen ses-
sions featuring some of the
comic genre's most respected
and beloved figures, such as
Art Spiegelman, (creator of the
2008 official book fair poster),
Chip Kidd, Jessica Abel and
Frank Beddor.
More than 20 publishers
are scheduled to participate in
the Comix Galaxy program,
including Marvel Comics,
Dark Horse, Udon, Hermes
Press and Toon Books.
For more information
about the Comix Galaxy or
the book fair, visit or
call 305-237-3258.

and the comics world that will
celebrate their historical place
in the literary life of the U.S.,
as well as their recent rise in
popularity and integration into
the mainstream via book

stores, libraries and education-
al curricula all over the U.S.
"Our programs this year
will reflect the preoccupations,
as well as the joys of our com-
munity and our nation," said
Alina Interian, executive direc-

tor of the Florida Center for
the Literary Arts at Miami
Dade College, in a press release
issued by the organizers.
The fair will also include
educational programs for
librarians, educators, creators
and publishing professionals on
Nov. 13.
Tickets will be needed for
I \Li nming With..." lectures,
Nov. 9-13, although admission
is free. Visit to order
and download free tickets.
Admission to the street
fair, Nov. 15-16, is $5 for adults.
Fairgoers ages 18 and under,
Miami Dade College students
and employees with identifica-
tion cards and Book Fair
Friends, volunteers, exhibitors
and guests with credentials will
be admitted free.
For more information,
call 305-237-3258 or visit
www. miamibookfair. com.

New book suggests homosexuality soon to be accepted in Caribbean

ST. GEORGE'S, Grenada,
CMC A university lecturer is
predicting that the homosexual
lifestyle could soon be accepted
as a way of life in the
Claude Douglas, a sociolo-
gist, recently released a new book
entitled "Homosexuality in the
Caribbean: Crawling Out Of the
Closet", which examines the rise
of homosexuality in the region.
The 60-page book covers issues
ranging from biological origins
and the gay tourist phenomenon,
to the campaign to decriminalize
homosexuality in the region.
"If we look at the evolu-
tionary process of the society

and see how the society evolves,
we would see that yesterday's
deviants become today's and
tomorrow's norms," Douglas
told the Caribbean Media
Corporation (CMC).
"Let us take for example
the wearing of earrings by men.
This was actually tabooed in
Grenada many years ago.
Today there are men who
appear almost feminine, based
on their attire, and this is a
growing acceptance now."

The book examines the lib-
eralism in Europe as it relates
to homosexuality and how

dependent territories in the
Caribbean such as Suriname,
Martinique and Guadeloupe
have been affected as a result of
the stance adopted by their for-
mer colonial masters.
For example, the author
notes that in 2001, the United
Kingdom was in the forefront of
repealing laws in its Overseas
Dependent Territories such as
Turks and Caicos, Cayman
Islands, Montserrat and Anguilla.
"As the society evolves,
people become more tolerant of
certain behavior that was sanc-
tioned in the past; people
become more accepting of cer-
tain behavior," said Douglas, a

lecturer at St. George's
University here, "but it's a reality
that we would all have to deal
with whether we like it or not.
"It is coming. It is really com-
ing and we have to brace our-
selves to deal with this upsurge in
homosexuality in the Caribbean,
and Grenada in particular.
"There is a whole tide of
this rights movement through-
out the world and it's really tak-
ing hold in the Caribbean as
well," he added.

Decriminalization of homo-
sexuality has become a hotly
debated topic in the English

speaking Caribbean and the
issue of whether gay cruises
should be allowed into Port St.
George was a major talking
point for months in Grenada
late last year. Advocates include
St. Kitts and Nevis Prime
Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas
and Guyana's Health Minister
Leslie Ramsammy, who both
suggested that decriminalization
could help curb the spread of
Attorneys general in the
Eastern Caribbean are due to
meet in Guyana next month to
review the laws on homosexuality.


File pnotograpn
Children, like these two a few years ago, have always had great fun finding reading
material at the Miami International Book Fair, downtown Miami, Florida.

October 2008


Meet Them in Miami!

Miami Book Fair International 2008

November 9-16

These celebrated authors
explore the stories and
issues of the Caribbean
in their work, and they're
among the more than 300
writers joining us for our
25th anniversary.


A Celebration of Cities of Refuge With

Derek Walcoft
& Russell Banks, Sarah Mkhonza,
Irakli Kakabadze, Wole Soyinka
and Helge Lunde e Friday, Nov. 14
For those who dare question authority, writing is a perilous act in
many places of the world. And so some of the world's most famous-
ly endangered writers created an organization Cities of Befuge
North America dedicated to saving persecuted scribes around
the globe bycultivating safe havensforthem in NorthAmerica. The
organization, established in 2003 by acclaimed novelists Hussell
Banks, Salman Hushdie and Wole Soyinka, has thus far relocated
nine threatened writers to American cities.
Derek Walcott received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1992. A
native of St. Lucia, he is the author of 13 books of poetry, including
the recent SelectedPoems, which spans 50 years of work. Walcott
is also the author of seven collections of plays and a book of
essays. He is the founder of the Trinidad Theater Workshop and the
Boston Playwright's Theatre. He is on the executive board of Cities
of Befuge North America.
Gusman Center for the Performing Arts
174 E. Flagler St., Downtown Miami

Elizabeth Nunez

Ueottrey Philp

Cyril Dabydeen


Lisa Allen-Agostini, Tim Brothers, Willie Chen, Carol Boyce
Davies, Jan J. Dominique, Brenda Flanagan, Cynthia Barrow
Giles, Maude Heurtelou, Fequiere Vilsaint, Josaphat-Robert
Large, Max Manigat, Austin C. Clarke, Harvey Neptune,
Selwyn Ryan and more.

Miami Dade College, Wolfson Campus, Downtown Miami, Florida
Miami Book Fair is a premier program of the
Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami W W W. m iam ibookfair com
)V College
at Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus 3 5 7 3 5
Biography Memoir Media Sponsors With the support of
d. dinierb U UNIVISI0123 comcast
FE E 1I l ~ .............. the Miami-Dade County Tourist Development Co
O~l II AdrienneArshtCenter ,, 'M Sae Frlda Divi ofCulturalAffairs, the National En
t rT EE R TRANSIT l .l ege Fundatonthe Mai Downtown Development Aut




October 2008



Caribbean clings to World Cup soccer hopes West Indies cricket tourney

Caribbean countries will
be desperately trying to
make up lost ground in a
quest for a spot in soccer's
bi_.-,.,-L show when they kick
off return legs of CONCACAF
World Cup semi-final round
qualifiers this month.
Leaving September, for-
mer World Cup finalists Haiti,
Jamaica and Trinidad and
Tobago, along with Cuba and
Suriname, were struggling to
stay with the leaders in their
respective groups after each
played three first leg games.
The top two teams in each
of the three groups, represent-
ing the Caribbhain Central and
North America, will move on
to the final round of qualifiers
starting next year. From there,
three will get automatic bids to
South Africa in 2010.
However, the fate of the
region should become much
clearer after Oct. 11 and 15
when all five countries will be
in action for two games.
On the first day in Group
A, T&T will travel to
Guatemala where the Soca
Warriors enter that game tied
with their opponents on four
points, both with a win, loss
and draw. T&T and Guatemala
played to a 1-1 draw last
month. Group leaders United
States, nine points, will host
Cuba, which has lost all three
games and look destined to be

Olympic champion and world
record holder Usain Bolt is
now living life in the fast lane,
but the Jamaican admits that
it took hard work and dedica-
tion for him to stamp his class
as track and field's premier
Bolt was phenomenal this
past season in both sprint
events, but the 22-year-old
Jamaican, who established
himself as a world beater at

Four days later T&T will
host the U.S., which blanked
the Warriors 3-0 last month,
while Guatemala travels to

Jamaica will have a
tougher task in Group B, popu-

Jamaica's poor start cost Simoes his

larly called "The Group of
DLIh h. The Reggae Boyz
have secured a single point
from three games, but have all
three return fixtures scheduled
for "The Office", their favorite
hunting ground at the National
Stadium in Kingston.
That road to revival begins
against impressive Mexico,
which has nine points from
three wins and leads the group.
Canada, also at the bottom of
the group on one point follow-
ing a draw with Jamaica in
August, will travel to Honduras,
which enters the match with six
points from two wins.

just age 15 at the World
Juniors and then returned six-
years later to set two individ-
ual world records at the
Beijing Olympic Games, said
his achievements came gradu-
ally behind a heap of commit-
ments and sacrifices.
"I just want to give a posi-
tive message to children,
(that) it takes hard work to
get where I am," said Bolt,
who was a special guest at the
Seiko Super Meet here late

On Oct. 15 Jamaica and
Canada play hosts to Honduras
and Mexico, respectively.

Following the Boyz' poor
form away from home, includ-
ing losing 3-0 to Mexico and 2-0
to Honduras, the Jamaica
Football Federation fired tech-
nical director Rend Simoes.
The Brazilian had guided the
team to its lone World Cup
appearance in 1998.
Theodore Whitmore, a star
player during that campaign,
was named interim coach.
Jamaican-born former England
international John Barnes is set
to take over as technical direc-
tor on Nov. 1.
The single point from a 2-2
draw in August is all Haiti and
Suriname have earned in
Group C. On Oct. 11 Suriname
hosts group leaders Costa Rica,
nine points from three wins,
while Haiti is also at home to
El Salvador, currently second
on six points.
If Haiti and Suriname lose
they will be eliminated from
contention for a CONCACAF
final round place, and the games
four days later, with Suriname
traveling to El Salvador and
Haiti hosting Costa Rica, will be
purely academic.

Gordon Williams is Caribbean
Today's managing editor.

last month.
"It didn't come overnight
to become a world record-
holder. It took me awhile. It
was all about hard work and
Bolt said his sprint double
in Beijing set the tone for
future meetings and hopes to
match that accomplishment at
next summer's IAAF World
Championships in Berlin.

moved from South Florida


C aribbean Americans will
miss out on a chance to
watch the region's crick-
eters competing against each
other in the United States fol-
lowing a decision to move an
historic limited overs tourna-
ment from Florida.
The tournament, featuring
the Caribbean countries com-
peting in Broward County, will
now be played in the region.
"That tournament (in
Florida) is no longer," Brian
Breese, cricket operations offi-
cer for the Jamaica Cricket
Association, told Caribbean
Today last month. "...The
venue is definitely not in the
U.S... It will definitely be in the
The West Indies Cricket
Board (WICB) also confirmed
the relocation of the event,
which will begin sometime
around mid-November in one or
two Caribbean countries and
feature possibly 10 teams,
including six Caribbean coun-
tries, the U.S., Canada, a West
Indies under-19 team and a
combined colleges team from
the region.

If the tournament had
been staged in Florida, it would
have marked the first time that
a WICB-sanctioned event was
played in the U.S. It would also

have presented the new panel
of West Indies selectors a per-
fect opportunity to view all the
countries in action at the same
venue. Normally, regional
games are scattered throughout
the Caribbean.
"For the first time, (we)
will see all the players on
show," selector Robert Haynes
told Caribbean Today recently,
before the decision to move
the tournament was
announced. "...So, you know, it
is something that is very impor-
tant in terms of development."
However, not everyone
appeared to lament the deci-
sion to stage the tournament in
the Caribbean. Some believed
that many players from
Caribbean would possibly have
had difficulty securing U.S.
visas to travel to the Florida
event. Others hoped that new
venues built for the 2007
Cricket World Cup in the
Caribbean would be utilized
instead of taking the tourna-
ment overseas. Some simply
wanted the region's spectators
to get the opportunity to watch
their local heroes.
"Personally, there would
have been some problems hav-
ing it over there," Breese

Gordon Williams is Caribbean
Today's managing editor.

There is the Olympic
gold medalist (long
jump), from the
Caribbean side of Panama,
Irving Saladino. We from
Colon City consider ourselves
(rightly so) 'Caribbeans'. It
was sad to see the oversight
upon reading your paper and
see you omitting this great
Caribbean hero. We adore
him in Panama, especially
where he was born, Colon
City on the Caribbean side.

I am, Francisco Burac
Editor's note: On Aug. 18
Irving Saladino won
Panama's first gold medal at
the Olympic Games. The 25-
year-old leaped 8.34 meters
to win the long jump.
Saladino was not mentioned
in Caribbean Today's article
on Caribbean medal winners
at the 2008 Olympics in
Beijing, China.

Sep 23, CMC The West
Indies Cricket Board (WICB)
is planning to honor batting
star and International Cricket
Council (ICC) Player-of-the-
Year Shivnarine Chanderpaul
during next year's England
The left-handed
Chanderpaul became the first
West Indies player to be named
ICC Cricketer of the Year last
month and the WICB
announced it will honor the
Guyanese in a "special recogni-
tion ceremony" at the start of
the 2009 English tour of the


On Sept. 10 in Dubai,
Chanderpaul was named for

the ICC Cricketer of the Year
award the Sir Garfield Sobers
Trophy. Chanderpaul, 34, had a
bumper year, scoring 247 runs
in three Tests in South Africa;
130 runs in two Tests against
Sri Lanka; and rounding off the
Digicel Home Series 2008 with
442 runs, at an average of
147.33, against Australia.
During the voting period,
he played eight Test matches,
scoring 819 runs at a fabulous
average of 91.00, including
three centuries and six 50s, all
of which were against the top
seven teams in the world.

Call for Bids or Proposals

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


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

World records came at a price Bolt

Panama's claim to fame

Windies board to honor Chanderpaul

October 2008





October 2008

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