Caribbean RoundUp


Residents in Antigua & Barbuda hoping to fly Nevis this winter season might be disappointed to learn LIAT won’t be flying the route.

Nevis Tourism Minister Mark Brantley, speaking to SKN Vibes, lamented the decision by LIAT to pull the service for the winter.

LIAT will not fly to Nevis from Dec. 3 to Jan. 14, 2014. The airline will, however, continue to fly to St. Kitts.

Brantley said the Nevis administration is seeking another airline to fill the void left during a peak time in the tourism season.

“The Antigua-Nevis/Nevis-Antigua leg is also very important and that is being served by LIAT. LIAT has now pulled out from the period as they’ve indicated Dec. 3 until Jan. 14 next year and it is now for us to get some alternative for LIAT to get our people into and out of Antigua,” said Brantley.


Four people were killed when their aircraft crashed in “low waters” while on a sightseeing tour on Sunday, the Civil Aviation Department’s Flight Standard Inspectorate has announced.

They were identified as 59-year-old Anthony Wishart, a fearless globetrotter from Fishers, Cynthia Mierzwa of Porter County, Indiana, and Glen and Leslie Steiner, of Arizona, who were among those vacationing with the Wisharts. His wife Diane was not on board.

According to a brief statement issued by the Civil Aviation Department’s Flight Standard Inspectorate, the United States registered single engine aircraft, a Cirrus SR22, was on a visual flight rule (VFR) “while conducting a local sightseeing flight in the area of Freeport, Grand Bahama.

“The aircraft experienced engine problems and ditched in low waters, approximately seven miles North of the Freeport Control Tower. There were a total of four (4) persons on board the fatal flight – two males and two females,” the statement said.

It said the pilot, who apparently survived the crash, held a valid Private Pilot License for single engine aircraft and a valid Third Class Medical Certificate.

“All four persons on board received fatal injuries,” the statement said.

Cayman Islands

Cayman Islands and the UK signed a ‘FATCA’ –type intergovernmental agreement (IGA), on Nov. 5, preparing the way for Cayman to automatically share financial information with the UK on UK taxpayers who hold Cayman Islands accounts.

Steps to establish the legislative and operational framework to implement the agreement are underway, and government also intends to issue guidance to assist with the implementation, said Cayman’s Premier, Alden McLaughlin.

“Entering into this agreement with the UK builds on our shared history of cooperation in tax and transparency matters; furthermore, it strongly indicates our mutual support for a single, global standard for the automatic exchange of information,” he said.

The premier pointed out that in September the G20 supported the OECD in presenting a single global standard for automatic information exchange by February 2014, and in finalizing the technical implementation aspects by mid-2014.


Police in Guyana have confirmed that candies sold to three Amerindian children who fell ill and were hospitalized contained cocaine.

Deputy Police Chief Seelall Persaud says he believes the candies were meant to be exported and that the owner of the store did not know they contained drugs when he sold them.

Persaud said recently that authorities are investigating the origin of the candies. No one has been arrested. The three children who fell ill recently have been discharged from the hospital. They live in the South American country’s northwest region, which is largely populated by the Arawak tribe.


An anti-government protest in Haiti turned violent recently with police firing tear gas and counter-demonstrators throwing stones at the marchers.

People in civilian clothes were seen firing guns into the air.

The march in Port-au-Prince began peacefully as the crowd grew to a few thousand people and passed through poor neighborhoods, many of them strongholds for critics of the government of President Michel Martelly.

“This is the people’s fight for a change for better conditions,” said Carlo Jean Daniel as he walked among the marches. Protestors were attacked by people who threw rocks from rooftops and alleyways. The demonstrators then made a rare trip to the hillside district of Petionville, where many shops and restaurants cater to wealthy Haitians.

Sporadic demonstrations have taken place in Haiti’s capital in recent weeks calling for Martelly’s resignation. Protestors say his government isn’t doing enough to improve living conditions and they want him to hold overdue legislative and local elections. A few people were seen being hurt by rocks but there were no immediate reports of major injuries.


The world’s largest tour operator, TUI has credited Jamaica’s London Olympics dominance and the ‘Jamaica House’ impact, for the increase in UK arrivals to the island and the advent of the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner to the Caribbean. Jamaica became the first country in the region to welcome the revolutionary aircraft through its partnership with Thomson Airways, a subsidiary of TUI Travel PLC.

The aircraft, which seats 291 passengers, touched down at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, boosting hopes of access to parts of the world Jamaica has not tapped into.

“The Olympics had a real effect on customer demand from the UK. During the first few weeks of the competition, searches to Jamaica were up 32 per cent, they then continued to surge…..peaking during your triple win in the 200m sprint final and when you smashed the 4 x 100m relay world record,” TUI’s head of external communications, UK and Ireland,” Fiona Jennings, told the media during a reception at the airport.

“We have almost doubled the number of customers we have flown into the island since 2012 and are committed to continuing to expand both our beach and cruise program from 2014,” she stated, adding that as a result of the demand, from summer 2014, Thomson Airways will add another weekly flight to Jamaica, moving to five flights per week.

St. Lucia

The organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Secretariat is launching a public education and awareness campaign, to help OECS residents, business and institutions become more energy efficient.

The campaign “Power Savers -The Power Is in Your Hands,” will start during CARICOM Energy Week, with the launch of events starting on Nov. 11 in OECS member states.

According to a study completed earlier this year, energy costs across the OECS region are amongst the highest in the Western Hemisphere, with businesses and institutions spending more than EC$340 million each year and some families spending more than 20 per cent of their income on energy.

The key message of the Power Savers campaign is that the power to save energy and money is within reach for residents, businesses and institutions. Power Savers provides practical energy-saving tips to become more energy efficient, manage energy costs, and reduce impacts on the environment.

Power Savers is an awareness campaign executed under the Sustainable Energy Technical Assistance (SETA) Project of the OECS Secretariat, and is funded by the Caribbean Development Bank.

St. Vincent

One month after being brutally attacked and injured aboard their sailing boat in Union Island, two visitors have returned to St. Vincent and the Grenadines for talks with tourism stakeholders about addressing problems affecting the industry.

Police have charged Jerome Jordan, 16 and a 15-year-old boy of Union Island with the attack on Christina Curtin and Mark Beiser who were attacked and chopped about their heads and hands aboard their yacht, “Rainbow” on Oct. 3.

The two will re-appear in court on Jan. 29 next year.

Curtin, who was badly chopped across the face, told the meeting that while she is still trying to recover from the ordeal, it would not deter her from visiting Union Island again.

Manager of the Tobago Cays Marine Park, Kenneth Williams, invited the couple to visit the Tobago Cays, and said all fees would be waived, as a goodwill gesture.

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves told Parliament last week that the couple’s distress call, sent via VHF radio, was not received at the Coast Guard Base in Calliaqua, located some 40 nautical miles away on St. Vincent’s south-western coast, where monitoring is done 24 hours a day.

Gonsalves, who is also minister of National Security, questioned the non-response of the Rapid Response Unit of the Police Force, a tactical unit that is supposed to provide quick response to serious crimes.


Police in Suriname say that they have rescued three underage teenage Guyanese girls who were kept as sex slaves in a brothel in a gold mining township in the Surinamese interior.

During a raid of the brothel, three individuals, including a Guyanese woman, allegedly the owner of the brothel, her husband and a bodyguard were arrested. The girls reportedly told detectives that they were brought to Suriname under false pretenses after they were promised work in a shop.

Instead, they were forced into prostitution in a brothel in Cabanafo in the Lawa region, a gold mining area close to the border with French Guiana.

The victims allegedly crossed the Suriname-Guyana border illegally.

“The girls were forced into prostitution. If they refused they were beaten and all the money they received from customers were seized by the brothel owner,” police spokesman Humphrey Naarden told reporters.

Meanwhile, authorities are still looking for two more teenage Guyanese girls who were not present at the time officers raided the place.

The girls were found during a raid in Cabanafo by the anti-terror squad, police and military officers. The suspects are being charged with being members of a human smuggling organization, human trafficking and being members of a criminal organization.


Trinidad and Tobago is among three countries with the highest cancer mortality rates in the Americas, according to a new report released by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization (WHO).

The report released recently at the 5th International Cancer Control Congress in Peru, showed that while deaths from cancer were decreasing in some countries of the Americas for certain kinds of cancers, deaths from other cancers were on the rise.

Overall, cancer is holding steady as the second leading cause of death in the Americas, claiming an estimated 1.3 million lives each year, according to the report titles Americas: Country Profiles, 2013.”

The PAHO/WHO report shows that Latin America and the Caribbean account for approximately 50 percent of cancer deaths in the Americas, although they account for 63 per cent of the hemisphere’s population.

The highest cancer mortality rates in the region are found in Trinidad and Tobago.


Police shot and killed a miner who had earlier killed four people, including two police officers during a three-hour standoff last week.

The drama unfolded in the streets of the capital after the miner, whom a relative later said had “tripped off” and armed with a shotgun and pistol fired indiscriminately at people from his home.

The miner, who was identified as Derrick Kanhai, had engaged law enforcement officials in a sustained gun battle as police cordoned off the streets leading to the two-story building where the gunman had been holed up.

Police had earlier used tear gas in a bid to get the gunman out of his house.

The two police officers killed were identified as Lance Corporal Sherwin Pantlitz and Lance Corporal Forde. The names of the two civilians had not yet been released.

Compiled by Azad Ali

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