Caribbean RoundUp

Workers make repairs to a mill at the Omai Gold Mine in central Guyana.
Associated Press / John McConnico, File

Caribbean

Three Caribbean airlines have formed an alliance to make it easier and cheaper for travelers to move between 32 countries.

Antigua-based LIAT, Air Antilles of Guadeloupe and St. Maarten’s Winair have come together under the CaribSky project, which is co-funded by the European Union’s INTERREG Caribbean program to the tune of 4.7 million euros.

Details of the project were revealed recently during a media conference at La Creole Beath Hotel and Spa in Guadeloupe.

Air Antilles chief executive officer Serge Tsygainitzky said CaribSky would allow passengers to travel on any one of the three airlines on one ticket. This, he said, would be facilitated through codeshares and interline agreements.

He said passengers would benefit from more direct flights and connections, low fares, a better airport experience and a loyalty program.

It is projected that the three airlines will operate 25 aircraft and transport 1,400,000 passengers annually on 70,000 flights.

LIAT’s Chief Executive Officer Julie Reifer-Jones said inter-regional travel was declining and it was hoped that CaribSky will make it easier for passengers to move through the English, French, Spanish and Dutch-speaking territories.

Barbados

A search for a Bulgarian fugitive, who had been on the run after skipping bail in Antigua and Barbuda, was successfully concluded in Barbados.

Martin Mititrov Dachenski, 39, was wanted on electronic fraud and larceny charges. He was arrested on board the cruise ship MSC Fantasia which was docked in Bridgetown recently.

He was granted bail by an Antigua magistrate after he was charged with electronic fraud and larceny in December 2017.

The Bulgarian allegedly hacked into several ATMs and defrauded a local bank, and faced three additional counts of larceny in February.

Dachenski fled the island and headed to Guadeloupe, before moving to St. Lucia and then to Barbados on board the cruise ship.

Barbados police said the man would be repatriated to authorities in Antigua.

Dominica

A conservation group in Dominica is calling for the return of 12 rare parrots which were recently exported to Germany.

BirdsCaribbean has joined several international groups asking the United Nations to investigate the export of the wild parrots and help to return them to their native island.

In a statement BirdsCaribbean said the parrots were taken from an aviary where they were recovering after Hurricane Maria hit Dominica in September 2017.

Both species, the Sisserou and the Jaco, are found only in Dominica. The Sisserou is Dominica’s national bird and it appears on the Dominica flag.

However, the group that took the parrots, Association for the Conservation of Threatened Parrots, claimed it was an emergency measure to start a captive breeding program in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

It said captive breeding program can help some rare species and would be ready for release back into the wild in Dominica soon.

Guyana

Guyana is moving to establish a gold refinery as part of the efforts to modernize the industry.

This was revealed by Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman who said officials of a South African company will soon visit Guyana to conduct a feasibility study on the possibility of establishing the refinery.

Trotman said for years the Guyana Gold Board (GGB) has been using the old method of refining gold and believes that the time has come to revolutionize the gold industry.

He said his ministry is looking at the possibility of setting up a public–private partnership or wholly through government.

The minister said the visit of the team from South Africa is being facilitated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the GGB already has several plans for the refinery’s establishment.

Trotman said even if Guyana cannot refine all of its gold, it must be in a position to refine a substantial amount.

For years Guyana has used the traditional method of smelting gold.

Jamaica

Representatives from the ruling Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) and the main Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) met recently for bipartisan talks on crime, violence, public safety and other issues.

The meeting — dubbed the “Vale Royal Talks” — was the first in a series of meetings held at the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI).

Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Opposition Leader Dr. Peter Phillips agreed on several important issues of national development and pledged to continue discussions to arrive at unified conclusions on the way forward.

It was agreed that several draft policies and bills would be shared for future discussions.

There was also a decision to consider the inclusion of the private sector, church and civil society groups periodically to participate in the dialogue on crime, violence and public order.

The Vale Royal Talks were initiated in 2002 by former Prime Minister P.J. Patterson.

St. Lucia

St. Lucia’s High Commissioner to London Guy Mayers’ son has been arrested in Hillsborough County, Fla. on charges of possession of cocaine, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana, possession of heroin and trafficking in cocaine.

Samuel George Mayers, 30, described as an Uber driver who reportedly lives in Tampa, Fla., was held recently by police.

High Commissioner Mayers was St. Lucia’s minister of home affairs and national security at the time of the so-called Operation Restore Confidence in 2009–2010, which involved 12 alleged extrajudicial killings by local police, resulting in the United States imposing sanctions of the Leahy Law until there is credible evidence of those responsible.

He was appointed high commissioner by the current St. Lucia administration of Allen Chastanet.

Trinidad

Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley has expressed concerns that inaccurate international reports on Trinidad and Tobago have adversely affected its ability to stimulate growth and development.

Speaking at one of the functions leading up to the recent Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London, the Office of the Prime Minister said Rowley raised the issue of countries making inaccurate pronouncements on Trinidad and Tobago saying, “this practice has had an adverse effect on the nation’s ability to stimulate growth and development.”

“The prime minister noted that Trinidad and Tobago pursues tourism as a viable industry for growth and development. However, when some nations issue negative travel advisories on incidents of crime, efforts made in the industry are stymied,” the release stated.

Rowley also complained about the categorization of several Caribbean nations — including Trinidad and Tobago — as tax havens.

— Compiled by Azad Ali

More from Around NYC