FRENCH CUSTOMS SEIZES RECORD AMOUNT OF COCAINE IN CARIBBEAN—04/18/15
French authorities report the seizure of 2.25 tons of cocaine from a sailboat falsely flying a United States flag in the Caribbean. The cocaine has an estimated value of $105 million and represents the largest seizure ever made by French customs agents, according to Michael Lachaux of customs in Martinique. Under arrest are one Venezuelan and two Spanish citizens on board the boat, which was off the north coast of Martinique when seized.
HAITI INVITED TO JUDICIAL COUNCIL MEMBERSHIP—04/19/15
The Judicial Council of Central America and the Caribbean has decided to provide an official invitation to Haitian chief justices of the supreme courts there and in Cuba to become a part of the regional organization. Haiti currently has no Chief Justice as Ariel Alexis Joseph resigned in January 2015 and the country’s judiciary is not viewed as being independent of its executive administration.
TEN CUBAN CROCODILES SENT HOME TO CARIBBEAN FROM SWEDEN—04/20/15
The Skansen Aquarium of Stockholm, Sweden, has sent ten Cuban crocodile hatchlings back to their native habitat in the Caribbean. The hatchlings are offspring of a pair of crocodiles donated by Cuba’s Fidel Castro to a Soviet cosmonaut in the 1970s. He brought them to the Moscow Zoo, which donated them to Sweden in 1981.According to Jonas Wahlstrom, director of the aquarium, the crocodiles are scheduled to arrive in Cuba on the weekend of April 27, 2015. Cuba has donated several crocodiles to foreign countries and is interested in receiving back some members of the species, which is endangered.
TRACK AND FIELD STARS READY FOR PENN RELAYS—04/21/15
Track and field athletes from the Bahamas and Jamaica are joining those from the United States, Nigeria and Brazil in participating in the Penn Relays in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The event represents an opportunity to showcase Olympic-level stars from the Caribbean as well as high school competitors from the region. The three-day Penn Relays will feature a number of talented Jamaican high school athletes. Jamaican participants have been helped over the past 20 years by Team Jamaica Bickle, an organization based in New York that helps with accommodations and other needs of the athletes during their stay in the U.S.
FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT VISITS GUYANA TO MONITOR ELECTION—04/22/15
Former United States President Jimmy Carter, 90, will visit Guyana as head of an observation mission to monitor the regional and national elections, which are scheduled for May11, 2015. Carter’s group will be joined by other election observers and will lead the monitoring team. Carter, who won a 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, said he was looking forward to leading the delegation that will observe elections characterized as a contest between the ruling People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) that has been in office for over 20 years and a coalition alliance opposition Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Alliance for Change (AFC).
RULING PARTY LOSES ELECTION IN ANGUILLA—04/24/15
In Anguilla, the opposition Anguilla United Front (AUF) party won a large majority in the general election. the party is headed by Victor Banks. All incumbent government members of the Anguilla United Movement (AUM) lost their seats. Three women were elected and will join the House of Assembly for the first time in history.