GUATEMALA, HONDURAS JOIN PETROCARIBE—05/05/13
The president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, announced that Honduras and Guatemala are now members of PetroCaribe. In this program, Venezuela provides oil and natural gas on preferential terms to members. The organization was created in 2005 to sell fuel at lower costs to member countries and to help with the financing of oil infrastructure projects in those countries.
PUERTO RICO INCREASINGLY USED BY HAITIANS TO MIGRATE NORTH—05/06/13
Haitians leaving their country are more frequently using a route that takes them through Puerto Rico on their journey to the United States or to other Caribbean islands. Rather than cross open seas or travel to the Dominican Republic, hundreds have moved into Puerto Rico, finding that if they make it to the United States Territory without arrest, they can then fly to cities in the U.S. without passports. Since some type of identification is still required, authorities have stopped migrants with counterfeited documents like drivers’ licenses, but not all who pass through are detected.
CARIBBEAN COAST UNDER THREAT BY RISING SEA LEVELS—05/07/13
The eastern coast of Grenada is already under several feet of sea water, and fishermen in the region know that rising sea levels are a reality. According to Desmond Augustin, who lives on the southern Caribbean island, the sea is moving to take back the entire area. People have no choice but to go to higher ground. Coastal erosion has been attributed to sand extraction for construction, strong storm surges, and climate change, says the Nature Conservancy.
ARISTIDE ATTEMPTS TO REBUILD POLITICAL PARTY IN HAITI—05/08/13
Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the former president of Haiti, is attempting to rebuild his political base in the country as it prepares for local elections. According to Richard Morse, the manager of the Hotel Oloffson, met with Aristide to discuss the potential candidacy of his wife, Lunise Exume Morse, for the senate on Aristide’s party ticket. Aristide is back, says Morse, and he is trying to gather good people around him.
CANADIAN JOINT VENTURE MAKES NEW TERMS FOR GOLD MINE OPERATIONS—05/09/13
Barrick Gold Corporation and Goldcorp Inc., members of a Canadian joint venture, and the government of the Dominican Republic have made a new agreement applying to terms for the operation of gold mine in that country. The agreement ends a dispute over whether the nation had obtained fair royalty payments under the previous deal.
CARIBBEAN AMERICAN PLEADS NOT GUILTY TO EMBEZZLEMENT—05/10/13
New York State Senator John Sampson, a prominent Caribbean American legislator, has entered a plea of not guilty to charges of embezzlement in a corruption case that involves other New York State politicians. Sampson, 47, represents the 19th Senatorial District in Brooklyn, which has a large Caribbean population. Police have charged Sampson with stealing funds from the sale of foreclosed properties and using it to finance his election bid for Brooklyn district attorney.
GOLDING MISTRUSTFUL OF JDF, SOUGHT U.S. HELP IN TIVOLI ABUSE CLAIMS—05/09/13
Former Prime Minister Bruce Golding did not trust the Jamaica Defense Force (JDF), and instead relied on help from foreign forces in obtaining information about the incident in Tivoli Gardens during the 2010 hunt for drug kingpin Christopher “Dudus” Coke. Golding was allegedly aware of allegations of murder and rape during the two-day incursion, and brought in U.S. Embassy charge d’affaires Isaiah Parnell.
CLARKE AIMS TO BRING NORMALCY BACK TO AREA ONE—05/10/13
Warren Clarke, acting assistant commissioner of police (ACP), the new commanding officer for Area One, has a five-point plan to fight corruption and lawlessness and to return the region to normality. Area One includes Trelawney, St. James, Hanover, and Westmoreland. Clarke was clear that he views his mission as one that will produce clear results in reducing crime.
WOODS SUSPENDED FROM PNP YOUTH ORGANIZATION—05/10/13
Keron Woods, the chairman of the Kingston Chapter of the People’s National Party Youth Organization (PNPYO) has accused the leaders of the association of victimization, saying that his suspension had “shocked” him. Woods believes the disciplinary action was imposed on grounds that he breached the Constitution of the organization. He says the leadership is trying to silence him after he took issue with the PNPYO opposition to a Commission of Enquiry into the Tivoli Gardens incursion in 2010.
TANKER TRUCK DRIVERS CALL OFF STRIKE—05/10/13
Some 200 unionized tanker truck drivers in Kingston and Montego had joined to protest the actions of Austin Haulage Contractors in failing to put outstanding salaries and allowances to two drivers. Later the same day, however, Vincent Morrison, president of the National Workers Union, announced an agreement on the outstanding payments after meeting with Phillip Paulwell, Jamaica’s Energy Minister. As a result the two drivers in question will receive an interim payment of $500,000 and obtain final sums by May 17, 2013. A meeting between the union and the company will settle on the final amount.