Press Releases & Events

CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY for the week ending July 20th, 2012

WEBB LOOKS TO FUTURE FOR CONCACAF—07/14/12
Jeffrey Webb, the new president of CONCACAF, wants to move the Gold Cup tournament out of the United States and introduce a women’s tournament as well. Webb is focused on new initiatives for the organization, which has been plagued by scandal in recent years. Webb says an investigation into the past problems of CONCACAF is being conducted to determine how to handle difficulties resulting from the period in which the organization was headed by Jack Warner and General Secretary Chuck Blazer.

GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO APPROVES TAX BREAKS TO ATTRACT FILM CREWS—07/15/12
Puerto Rico’s governor, Luis Fortuno, has signed a deal that provides tax incentives designed to lure Hollywood film crews to the island. According to Fortuno, the additional tax breaks make Puerto Rico among the best locales for film production. Under the new deal, studios will receive tax credits for money spent on non-resident actors, writers, directors, and other crew members. The incentives already in place since 2011 have led to some 30 productions coming to the island, Fortuno said.

NAVASSA ISLAND COULD BE SANCTUARY FOR ENDANGERED CORAL—07/16/12
The Caribbean island of Navassa, which is part of the United States according to the Guano Islands Act of 1856, is an uninhabited island located between Haiti and Jamaica. About the size of Central Park in New York City, the island has been identified as a potential refuge for endangered Caribbean coral. Scientists were surprised to find a rich coral ecosystem near the island that has escaped much of the damage other reefs in the region experience due to overfishing, pollution, and climate change.

NEW IMPORT FEES IMPOSED BY CUBA—07/17/12
Cuba has decided to impose new import taxes on merchandise that enters the country beginning in September 2012. Cubans will not have to pay $10 per kilogram ($4.50 per pound) for imports if they travel overseas more than once each year. This is a high fee in a nation that has average government salaries of about $20 per month. The import fees will be even higher for non-residents, including Cuban Americans who visit relatives in the country.

RIGHTS OF HIV-POSITIVE WORKERS TO BE PROTECTED—07/19/12
The St. Kitts and Nevis Workplace Policy on HIV and Aids and Other Chronic Diseases was approved in June 2012 by the country’s Cabinet. In Anguilla, a policy applying to HIV/AIDS and other illnesses in the workplace is being fine-tuned. According to Nigel Carty, St. Kitts’ Minister of Information, the Cabinet also gave its approval to the creation of a committee that would implement the new law. These actions indicate that the Caribbean region is moving to implement legislation to protect the rights of workers regardless of chronic disease status.

BUDGET CUTS IN GUYANA DEEMED UNCONSTITUTIONAL—07/20/12
Ian Chang, acting chief justice in Guyana, has determined that that country’s National Assembly has no authority under the Constitution to lower National Estimates when these are presented for approval. Chang issued a preliminary ruling that stated the National Assembly’s “power of disapproval is not contemplated by the Constitution.”

THREE JAMAICAN SOLDIERS CHARGED IN MURDER OF ACCOUNTANT—07/17/12
The public prosecutor in Jamaica announced that three soldiers will face charges related to the killing of Keith Clarke, accountant, during the May 2010 hunt for fugitive drug lord, Christopher “Dudus” Coke. Coke was sought by the United States on drug charges, and Clarke was killed during an aggressive search for Coke in Jamaica. Clarke was shot at least 22 times in the bedroom of his home in Kirkland Heights. Lance Corporal Odel Buckley, Lance Corporal Greg Tingling, and Private Arnold Henry have been charged in the case.

JAMAICA SENDS DELEGATION TO OAS FOR DISCUSSION OF LABOR, SOCIAL AID—07/18/12
A delegation from the Ministry of Labor and Social Security met with representatives of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington, D.C., to exchange ideas concerning social and labor protections. The discussions are focusing on youth unemployment in particular. The meeting represents cooperation between the governments of the two countries about their respective programs.

JAMAICAN OFFICIALS ARRESTED FOR LOTTERY SCAM INVOLVEMENT—07/19/12
Two elected government officials in Jamaica have been charged with participation in a lottery scam totaling millions of dollars. The scam targeted elderly American individuals. According to Leon Clunis, police superintendent, Michael Troupe, Deputy Mayor of Montego Bay, and Sylvan Reid, councilor from St. James, were arrested along with Troupe’s two sons at their homes. Police also seized over $13,000 and two fire arms. The lottery scam is estimated to have taken in some $300 million a year.

ARRESTED PNP MEMBERS WILL GET NO SPECIAL TREATMENT, SAYS BUNTING—07/20/12
Peter Bunting, Jamaica’s Minister of Security, stated that the Deputy Mayor of Montego Bay, Michael Troupe, and the Councilor for the Salt Spring Division, Sylvan Reid, both members of the People’s National Party (PNP), will not receive special treatment under the law. The two were arrested for alleged involvement in a lotto scam. No one will receive political protection from the government, regardless of their affiliation, said Bunting.

About the author

Winsome Murphy