Caribbean Community leaders have finalized the date for their annual half yearly summit in Guyana in mid-February, and a number of key agenda items, including Britain’s impending departure from the European Union and Caribbean relations with the incoming Donald Trump Administration, are likely topics of discussion, officials said this week.
When cabinet ministers meet in Port of Spain, the Trinidad capital, early in January, they will spend time considering an intelligence report identifying nearly 200 locals with alleged links to international terrorism.
The outgoing chairman of the 15-nation Caribbean Community has praised the region for the way it collectively responded to Haiti and other islands hit by Hurricane Matthew in early October, saying it has become clear to all that there is no other way for the string of mostly island nations to survive other than through collective efforts.
Almost two years ago, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart of Barbados vowed that his tiny but well organized Caribbean island would ditch Britain’s Queen Elizabeth as the country’s head of state and make the Barbados a republic like neighbors Trinidad and Guyana, but now there is every indication that nothing will happen in the very near future.
The government of a tiny Eastern Caribbean nation and the mighty United States are at it again over the refusal of the U.S. to comply with a ruling by the World Trade Organization that went in favor of Antigua instead of the U.S.
In early December 1972, then Guyana’s Prime Minister Forbes Burnham and three of his regional colleagues sprang a monumental political surprise on the world when they officially established diplomatic relations with Fidel Castro’s communist-ruled Cuba, largely ending the island’s American-imposed and policed hemispheric isolation and opening the floodgates to a rash of other nations to follow suit.
The man credited with pulling the single market trading aspects of the Caribbean Community together is leading an effort by people of influence in the region to urge Jamaica to remain a key and leading member of the family of nations.
Not many governments or citizens in the bloc of 15 nations in the Caribbean were hoping or praying to have to live with an administration led by Donald Trump, but his victory in the 2016 presidential election could mean a financial windfall for some countries, particularly those in the Eastern Caribbean.
Of the many nations in the Caribbean Community facing economic problems, Suriname this week said that tough economic austerity measures that were imposed by government and the International Monetary Fund in the past year are beginning to help the country emerge from its worst crisis since military rule in the 1980s.
Caribbean Community nations are raising awareness about reparations among member nations and keeping up pressure on Western nations such as Britain and France to agree to make reparation payments for the horrific trans-Atlantic slave trade.
A tiny, tourism dependent nation in the Eastern Caribbean is openly accusing the U.S. of persistently bullying it into submission, largely because the island took Washington to the international trade court and won in a bitter and ongoing row over internet gambling.
Now that Hurricane Matthew, one of the deadliest storms to have roared through the Caribbean and the U.S. in more than a decade, has made landfall in Florida, relief officials at the Caribbean’s main response agency are getting ready to roll out assistance efforts to member countries lashed by the storm.
One of the worst storms to have hit the Caribbean in about a decade is being blamed for at least two deaths in Haiti and infrastructural damage in a number of countries, including Barbados and Jamaica, as people in Cuba, the Bahamas and Florida are also bracing for its arrival.
In a rare show of political unity, government and the main opposition party in Trinidad met to discuss the island’s escalating crime situation, as murders averaged one a day in the oil-rich republic and as fears of a worsening situation spiked.
Several Caribbean Community countries are moving to draft new bills or pass legislation to make cyber crimes punishable under law, including heavy fines and jail terms for offenders, but the main regional media umbrella body is perplexed by clauses in some of the drafts.
Several Caribbean leaders Monday used the 178th anniversary of the emancipation from the transatlantic slave trade to push Europe into paying reparations to the region, months after governments formally sent demand documents to European governments.
This issue just would not go away. In the past week, finance ministers from across the nine-nation Eastern Caribbean sub-grouping faced up to the issue of de-risking, the situation of American commercial banks cutting ties with those in the region because of increased pressure from the Feds to scrutinize transactions.
Trinidad and Jamaica, two of the more influential members of the Caribbean trade bloc, began talks in Jamaica this week, mostly to sort out fears among Jamaicans that authorities in Trinidad are biased against them and usually turn them away in droves whenever they visit the most southerly island in the region.
Tired of being bullied by larger and more powerful neighbors, two of the Caribbean Community’s largest member states with border disputes have decided to approach the World Court for final rulings, hoping that a win would end decades of political uncertainty.
Caribbean Community leaders have given their clearest signal yet that the region is in real danger of being cut off from the rest of the world if the large American banks carry through with threats to cut ties with those in the bloc because of alleged high risks of doing business.
A delegation of officials from Barbados, including Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, traveled to Panama on the weekend for the formal opening of the expanded Panama Canal project.
When Caribbean Community leaders meet for their main annual summit in Guyana in two weeks, one of the agenda issues will include a discussion on how the region will deal with medical marijuana and decriminalization of the narcotic for personal use across the single trading bloc of nations.
The simmering years-old row between Jamaica and Trinidad over an alleged Trinidadian bias against Jamaican nationals traveling to Trinidad is to be addressed at the highest level, with a planned visit by Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Keith Rowley to Jamaica in the coming months.
Facing perhaps its worst ever political and economic crisis, despite being the world’s fith oil producer, Venezuela has turned to its Caribbean neighbors for help as President Nicolas Maduro struggles to hold on to power.
Jamaica’s government has formally written to the 15-nation Caribbean Community demanding an extensive discussion of whether Trinidad, is obeying rules regarding the free movement of people within the region.
The first Caribbean case of the Zika virus in pregnant women has been confirmed in Barbados, where three women are currently seeking treatment as the virus continues to storm the region.
On Carnival day back in 2002, four inmates awaiting trial for various felony offenses broke out of a maximum-security prison in Guyana’s capital, formed a gang that traded deadly rifle fire with police, staged a serious of armed robberies and killed several people at the start of a murderous six-year period that ended in 2008
The agreements that nearly 200 countries signed in Paris to mitigate the effects of climate change last month have been well publicized, but the 15 members of the bloc of Caribbean Community countries are taking some of the credit regarding limiting increases in global temperatures to acceptable levels.
Tiny, idyllic Barbados, a place where British tourists have persistently said they are most comfortable visiting in the entire hemisphere, now says that it plans to dump Queen Elizabeth as the island’s head of state—just in time for the country’s 50th independence anniversary next year.
One by one, governments in the 15-nation Caribbean Community are beginning to complain about having a full blown or creeping economic recession.
Leaders from more than 50 former British colonies in the past week voted to give the Commonwealth grouping of nations its first female secretary general.
Terrorist attacks in Paris forces a renewed focus by Caribbean governments on international terrorism.
Caricom continues to fight for reparations from Europe.
A Trinidad-based umbrella Caribbean appeals court has forced authorities in Belize to recognize ancestral lands of its historical Mayan people.
General elections in Jamaica are due in about a year, and if the governing People’s National Movement is forced to demit office because of the will of the electorate, it could mean that its sacred political promise to replace Britain’s Queen Elizabeth as the island’s head of state would not have been kept.
Browse through any magazine or website relating to the Caribbean and you will find that the region usually promotes itself as a place where tourists can enjoy sun, sand and the sea, but in recent months, governments and tourism industry officials are ironically complaining bitterly about too much sun and its effects on economies.
The head of a group appointed by Caribbean leaders to force Britain and other European countries to compensate the region for the horrors of the transatlantic slave trade wants British Prime Minister David Cameron to own up to the genocide against Caribbean people and be prepared to act accordingly.
Just recently, authorities in Guyana set up a commission of inquiry to find out what exactly has gone wrong with their decaying sugar industry.
In just under a month from now, voters in oil- and gas-rich Trinidad and Tobago will decide whether to dump the administration of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar amid widespread allegations of corruption and graft and an inability to deal with runaway violent crime, among other simmering societal ills.
Usually at this time of the year, international legislators and high flyers at umbrella organizations such as the European Union, its Parliament and even the Caribbean Community Secretariat take an extended break from the daily grind of trade negotiations and global conferences to refocus on the main issues in the fall.
A simmering row between rum producers in the Caribbean and the U.S. government over generous tax subsidies it gives to American companies operating in the region has flared again.
Before daybreak Monday, police swooped down on the Trinidad headquarters of a Black Muslim sect that staged a bloody coup attempt on the island 25 years ago.
Venezuelan authorities last week turned away and generally hassled a Guyanese fuel boat that had docked there for oil supplies.
A Caribbean Community leaders summit that ended in Barbados on the weekend warned of an impending humanitarian crisis in the region if the Dominican Republic continues its heartless deportation of people of Haitian descent, including those born in the island nation neighboring Haiti.
Three key issues will attract the attention of Caribbean trade bloc leaders when they meet for three days at one of their two most important annual summits in Barbados starting Thursday.
Citizens of oil- and gas-rich Trinidad and Tobago go to the polls in early September, and the governing People’s Partnership administration faces an uphill task if it doesn’t want to become the latest government in the Caribbean to be voted out by dissatisfied electors.
Because neither Canada nor the 15-nation Caribbean trade bloc can agree on a new deal governing trade between the two, Canada has said it now has no choice but to ask the Geneva-based World Trade Organization to intervene in the dispute.
May 25, voters in the Dutch-speaking Caribbean trade bloc nation of Suriname will go to the polls to elect a new government.
In all this year, six general elections are to be held in the 15-nation Caribbean trade bloc, and if internal and other polls hold true, four of these are expected to yield new governments or result in wafer-thin majorities.
Barbados and Antigua, two of the largest shareholders of the regional commuter air service that is an aviation lifeline to many islands in the Caribbean Community, are at the center of a heated row with Antigua.