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CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY for the week ending March 21st, 2014

21 Mar

FORMER COLONIZERS SUED BY CARIBBEAN NATIONS—03/15/14
The heads of 14 nations in the Caribbean plan to sue their former European colonizers for the “psychological trauma” and other damages they believe are the residual effects of slavery. Great Britain, France, and the Netherlands are among those being sued under a ten-point plan developed by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). CARICOM wants former colonizers to apologize and pay for the lingering trauma suffered in the region.

CARICOM TO ADDRESS MARIJUANA USE ISSUES—03/16/14
The leaders of CARICOM nations want a Regional Commission established to address the issues related to the use of marijuana. The chairman of the Conference of Heads of Government, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, made the announcement about the commission, noting the debate surrounding the medical use of marijuana as well as its recreational use.

CARIBBEAN REGION COULD ACT AS GLOBAL HUB—03/17/14
Technological advances have made preference in trade outdated, and economic globalization is now a reality that must be addressed. The physical and geographical features of the Caribbean make it appropriate for development as an international trading hub and could alter its focus on commodities, tourism, and artisanal industries to a more global perspective.

POLITICAL PARTIES IN GUYANA LEAD ON CARIBBEAN INTEGRATION—03/18/14
The government in Guyana is committed to the goals of regionalism and its principles. The opposition and governing political parties in the country’s legislature have shown their commitment to CARICOM by unanimously agreeing to an amendment to the Caribbean Community Free Entry of Skilled Nationals Act to permit the spouse of skilled national to work as well. This is a ground-breaking issue within CARICOM, as no other member nation has taken this step.

DOMINICA CONSIDERING CCJ CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT—03/19/14
Dominica plans to introduce legislation designed to amend the national constitution to accede to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). According to Ian Douglas, Tourism and Legal Affairs Minister of Dominica, the bill will change the constitution and replace the Privy Council with the CCJ as the country’s Final Court of Appeal, if passed.

CUBA, UNITED STATES, CARIBBEAN NATIONS JOIN IN OILCLEAN-UP AGREEMENT—03/20/14
The Wider Caribbean Region Multilateral Technical Operating Procedures for Offshore Oil Pollution Response, an international agreement, has received approval from countries in the Caribbean, along with Cuba and the United States. The agreement describes how Mexico, the Bahamas, Jamaica, Cuba, and the U.S. will work together if an oil spill threatens to expand beyond the territorial waters of any one country.

$42 MILLION FOR INNER CITY IMPROVEMENTS IN JAMAICA—03/18/14
Over 80,000 Jamaicans will benefit from improvements to services, infrastructure and interventions targeting crime and violence with a US$42 million project approved by the World Bank. Eighteen inner-city areas deemed “vulnerable” will receive aid designed to enhance safety and improve living conditions for residents.

UK AIR PASSENGER DUTY REFORMS WELCOMED BY JAMAICA—03/19/14
George Osborne, British Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced changes to the Air Passenger Duty (APD) that will benefit Jamaica and other Caribbean destinations. Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Dr. Wykeham McNeill, has welcomed the changes, which will be effective in April of 2015, calling the reforms a “major victory” for the Caribbean community, which has worked for years to alter the system it characterized as unfair.

FISHERFOLK MOBILIZE FOR GOVERNMENT PARTICIPATION—03/20/14
More than 20 leaders of the fisherfolk from the Jamaica Fishermen Cooperative Union (JFCU) and affiliated cooperatives, plus representatives of the Fisheries and Cooperatives Divisions, received training  in participatory governance at a workshop designed to enhance the capacity of these organizations to engage in processes to develop fishery policies.

SHAW WANTS FIXED RATE OF EXCHANGE IMPLEMENTED—03/21/14
Audley Shaw, Jamaica’s former minister of finance, is calling for a fixed rate of exchange to be introduced in the face of continued depreciation of Jamaica’s currency. The rate of exchange is currently over $109 to the US dollar.

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