UNION LEADERS IN TRINIDAD & TOBAGO WANT GOVERNMENT’S ATTENTION—03/21/15
In Trinidad and Tobago, trade union leaders led their supporters to march in protest through the nation’s capital city in order to get the People’s Partnership government to settle outstanding negotiations in advance of the general election, which must occur no later than September 2015. According to the Joint Trade Union Movement, the project was also staged to condemn alleged corruption within the current administration of Kamla Persad Bissessar.
CARICOM SUPPORTS GUYANA IN DISAGREEMENT WITH VENEZUELA—03/22/15
CARICOM’s member states have given their support to Guyana in a dispute with Venezuela over the boundaries between the two nations. CARICOM stated its long-standing support for maintaining the
“sovereignty and territorial integrity” of Guyana, as well as for the unrestricted social and economic development of the entire country. CARICOM hopes for an early resolution of the problem, which stems from Venezuela’s interpretation of the Arbitral award of 1899.
UK TRAVELERS WARNED ABOUT CHIKUNGUNYA VIRUS—03/23/15
Authorities in the United Kingdom have warned travelers going to the Caribbean about their potential of contracting the chikungunya virus. Public Health England (PHE) reported that according to its latest information, there has been a12-fold increase in the number of cases between 2013 and 2014 in the UK. In 2013, there were 24 cases of the virus; in 2014 there were 295 cases. Eighty-eight percent of the cases were acquired during trips to the Caribbean and South America.
BARBADOS READY TO DROP QUEEN OF ENGLAND AS TITULAR HEAD OF STATE—03/24/15
Barbados is planning to remove Queen Elizabeth II of England as the nation’s titular head of state. Instead, the country will assign that title to a ceremonial president from the island. According to Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, Barbados will be a republic by November 2016, the nation’s 50th anniversary of independence.
ST. LUCIA MINISTER SAYS CARIBBEAN ISIS FIGHTERS ARE FROM JAMAICA—03/25/15
After a United States representative stated that fighters are coming from the Caribbean to join ISIS militants in the Middle East, St. Lucia was named as a source of the emigrants. Now, the Foreign Affairs Minister of St. Lucia, Alva Baptiste, says that the fighters are coming from Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, not St. Lucia. He is concerned that his country is getting a bad reputation that it does not deserve.
OIL SHIPMENTS TO CUBA AND CARIBBEAN REDUCED BY VENEZUELA—03/26/15
The subsidized crude oil shipments provided by Venezuela to Cuba and members of Petrocaribe have been substantially reduced. The shipments have been slashed from 400,000 barrels per day in 2012 to 200,000 barrels per day now. Venezuela has been heavily burdened by the shipments, and it appears willing to reduce deliveries even to Cuba, one of the staunchest supporters of the regime of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela.