Caribbean RoundUp

Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett.


Jamaican reggae artiste Jah Cure (Siccature Aloc) pleaded not guilty when he appeared in a Bahamas court recently on a misdemeanor charge that stemmed from an argument at the Atlantis Paradise Islands.

Jah Cure, 39, appeared before Magistrate Samuel McKinney along with Jamaican Terefe Mason, 26, on a charge of “fighting in a public place.”

Police said that Jah Cure and Thompson were at the Atlantis Resort when a fight broke out. The incident was captured on security camera and distributed no social media.

Jah Cure, who was in the Bahamas for a week-end concert pleaded not guilty to the charge and was subsequently discharged.

Another man, Trevor Thompson, 22, a Bahamian national who was also charged had his case put off until Nov. 23.

However, Mason pleaded guilty and was fined US$150.00 or one month in jail.


There are no plans at the moment for the Barbados government to decriminalize marijuana just because other countries are doing so, without the proper supporting information on its effects.

This was revealed by the island’s Attorney General Adriel Braithwaite who stated his position in the debate on legalizing marijuana when he met with Barbados Ambassador to the United States, Selwin Hart.

Braithwaite said Barbados had just completed its national anti-drug plan, and also made it clear that Barbados “will not, and should jump ahead,” to decriminalize marijuana without proper dialogue.”

Manager of the National Council on Substance Abuse, Betty Hunte, said the issue was beyond decriminalizing marijuana and involved a look at how it impacted the body at a later date.

She said chronic marijuana use is something that “we have not grappled with as yet, we have the breathalyzer (test), but there is nothing to measure the saturation of marijuana on the blood at a later date.”

Hunte said that Barbados had made significant strides in its fight against illegal drugs, particularly through assistance from the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission.


Guyana’s government says a Chinese mining company has agreed to pay US$10 million to Canadian Reunion Gold Corporation for its stalled manganese facility in the South American country.

The Guyanese Ministry of Natural Resources has confirmed the agreement.

Bosai Minerals Group will pay US$5 million in cash and give the remainder in partial payments from the sale of manganese shipments after production starts.

The Matthews Ridge Manganese Project has been stalled by low and volatile prices for metal.

Manganese is used as a metal mixture in the stainless steel industry and is useful in protecting steel products from rust and corrosion.


The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently approved US$41.6 million in financial assistance for the impoverished Haiti country under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF).

The Washington-based financial institution said the funds, which will be made available immediately, will help Haitian authorities meet urgent balance of payments needs arising from the effects of Hurricane Matthew.

The strong category four hurricane hit the French-speaking Caribbean country in early October, killing more than 500, sending more than 175,000 people into temporary shelters and putting more than 1.4 million in immediate need of humanitarian assistance and also caused widespread destruction of buildings and infrastructure in the southwestern place of Grand Anse, Sud an Nippes.

The IMF said preliminary estimates put the total damage and loss at US$1.9 billion.


Tourism officials are looking to market brand Jamaica in the Republic of Armenia, in Western Asia.

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett said the government has established a new partner in Armenia that will now be selling destination Jamaica with Qatar Airlines to bring in new arrivals into the country.

The minister told a press conference recently that the partnership will provide new opportunities for a diversified local tourism market, while boosting arrivals in the country.

Initial discussions were held during the minister’s attendance at the 38th plenary session of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) affiliate members in Armenia last month.


The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has issued a Zika virus travel alert for Montserrat.

The mosquito-borne disease is spreading to people on the island.

The CDC is recommending that travelers to Montserrat protect themselves from mosquito bites that spread Zika.

There is no vaccine or medicine for the Zika. The best way to avoid the virus infection is to prevent mosquito bites, the CDC said.

The CDC said some travelers to areas with Zika will become infected while traveling but will not become sick until they return home and they might not have any symptoms.

Sexual transmission of the Zika virus from a male partner is also possible, so travelers are also encouraged to use condoms or not have sex.

St. Lucia

Banks in St. Lucia have been placed on high alert following an upsurge in credit card scam.

The police force Major Crimes Unit announced that criminals are now in possession of devices that can read the magnetic strip of any card as well as small cameras that can be affixed to automated teller machines (ATMs).

Police say the cameras can record the input of personal identification numbers (PIN) and collect personal information that is stored on the magnetic strip of the card.

Having collected the information a criminal can then transfer the information to another card using a laptop computer and a device called a card reader / writer.

’Last year more than 400 customers of fraud and forgeries were reported and of that number 120 were solved.

Meanwhile, a Bolivian chef was placed on 19 fraud charges relating to credit card fraud and money laundering in Trinidad recently.

Wilson Toro Lazada of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, was remanded in custody when he appeared in a Port of Spain Magistrate’s Court on charges of defrauding three banks using forged credit cards.


Cuba wants to deepen its commercial ties with Trinidad and Tobago.

This was disclosed by Trade and Industry Minister Paul Gopee-Scoon who recently returned from the Communist Caribbean country with a 34-member trade and energy delegation.

She said local companies have also indicated their intention to invest and develop business with the Spanish-speaking country.

The minister said the trip comprised several meetings with Cuba’s Minister of Foreign Trade and Commerce, Rodrigo Malmierca Diaz.

She said Diaz has committed to coming to Trinidad and Tobago for the Trade and Investment Conference in 2017.

Gopee-Scoon said the government is also contemplating importing drugs from Cuba.

Talks were also held with Cuba’s acting minister of Energy and Mines around the issue of how Trinidad and Tobago could assist Cuba in developing its oil industry.

— compiled by Azad Ali

Jamaican reggae artiste Jah Cure.

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