CARIBBEAN MUST ADDRESS DRUG TRADE, SAY OAS—07/06/13
Jose Miguel Insulza, the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), believes the Caribbean region must conduct a serious discussion about its drug problem. According to Insulza, discussions started during the assembly of the OAS in June should spur debate on the issue among Caribbean nations. The problem has existed for some 40 years, and while large amounts of illegal drugs are confiscated yearly, the drug trade continues virtually unabated.
HAITI HAS GREAT HOPES FOR HIGH-END TOURISM—07/07/13
The president of Haiti, Michel Martelly, and his government want to attract high-end tourists to the region in order to boost the nation’s stagnant tourism industry. Haiti has made investments totaling over $160 million to lure more tourists. Many in Haiti approve of anything that will create jobs, but there are some who question the government’s priorities in trying to attract high-end visitors while the country has so many other problems, including a cholera outbreak and lack of housing for those displaced by the earthquake in 2010.
AID TO CARIBBEAN NATIONS OFFERED BY VENEZUELA—07/08/13
The country of Venezuela has promised to help member nations of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) with matters included transportation. The president of Guyana, Donald Ramotar, made the announced of Venezuela’s pledge after talks with that country’s president Nicolas Maduro. Maduro is offering help in “very concrete areas,” said Ramotar.
PUBLIC HEALTH AGENCY LAUNCHED IN CARIBBEAN—07/09/13
The Caribbean Public Health Agency (Carpha) has been officially launched in the region. It has been developed over the past ten years and is designed to monitor the health of people in the area. The launch was announced at the National Academy for the Performing Arts in Port-of-Spain. Attending the event was the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. Denzil Douglas. He noted that the agency is beginning its work just as the region is attempting to bring conditions in line with arrangements described in the Treaty of Chaguaramas.
TROPICAL STORM TARGETS DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, HAITI—07/10/13
Haiti and the Dominican Republic are preparing for a hit from Tropical Storm Chantal. The storm could result in heavy flooding and landslides. Chantal was predicted to make landfall in the Dominican Republic, and authorities recommended that people in low-lying areas should evacuate. Few residents followed this advice, however.
CARIBBEAN NATIONS LOSE TO MEXICO AT SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS—07/11/13
Trinidad and Tobago, the Bahamas, and Jamaica all lost to Mexico after make a strong showing on the first day of the XXIV Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Senior Athletics Championships held in Mexico. The host nation finished with 21 medals, while T&T received 13, the Bahamas 8, and Barbados 4. Jamaican Odayne Richards set a new championship record in the men’s shot put with a throw of 20.97 meters.
GOVERNMENT STILL CONSIDERING “STOP-AND-FRISK” POLICY—07/10/13
Jamaica’s Attorney General Patrick Atkinson said that the government is continuing its review of an opinion issued by a high court judge concerning the constitutionality of police to stop and search vehicles arbitrarily. Justice David Batts ruled in June 2013 that the Road Traffic Act does not afford police the power to perform such searches. He ordered then to stop the activity. Police, however, say that their actions are legal and will continue to perform them as Commissioner Owen Ellington has told them to ignore the opinion of the justice. Atkinson said his office is still reviewing the decision in order to provide clarity to the public about the issue.
TWO FARMERS FOUND MURDERED IN ST. THOMAS—07/11/13
The bodies of two Jamaican brothers, both of whom were farmers, were found on the farm they worked in Golden Grove, St. Thomas. According to police, the family was worried when the brothers did not return home at their usual time. After a search was launched, their bodies were found; apparently they both had been shot in the head.
REP, JPS SHOULD WORK TOGETHER TO FOSTER SOLAR POWER, SAYS PAULWELL—07/12/13
Phillip Paulwell, Jamaican Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, believes that the Rural Electrification Program (REP) and the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) should work together in promoting the use of solar energy systems to reduce electricity theft. Paulwell says the REP will work in combination with other theft reduction initiatives, such as regularizing supply to various communities. The REP is also under mandate to complete its goal of providing electrical power to all rural areas.
JLP UPSET AT ROLE OF SECURITY MINISTER IN “DUDUS” DOCUMENTARY—07/12/13
The Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) is angry at National Security Minister Peter Bunting for remarks he made in an American television documentary about the alleged involvement of the party with Christopher “Dudus” Coke. The documentary presented the life of Coke, a drug kingpin, on the A&E network’s Biography Channel in a serious about gangsters. Opposition Leader Andrew Holness said he was “shocked” to hear Bunting’s statement that Jamaica’s government acted as “an agent of Dudus.”