Caribbean RoundUp

Barbados

A new strategic plan aimed at turning around the flagging fortunes of the cash-strapped regional airline, LIAT, is being developed.
This is according to St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister, Dr. Ralph Gonzales.

Speaking to reporters at the recent Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Inter-Sessional summit in Barbados recently, Dry Gonzales said that he was confident that the plan being developed by the new board of management, led by former Barbados Prime Minister, Owen Arthur, would turn around the fortunes of the Antigua-based regional airline.

LIAT’s shareholder governments are Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, and Grenada.

Gonzales said the strategic plan had “many elements,” but opted not to give further details of what initially was discussed by the board.

Earlier host Prime Minister and CARICOM Chairman, Mia Motley told regional leaders that the niggling issue of regional transportation to be resolved even as she acknowledged that it would be a work in progress.

Caribbean

The increasing frequency of violent crimes and its impact in the region will be addressed at a summit in April.

Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Rowley told a post-Cabinet media briefing at the Diplomatic Center, St. Ann’s, Port of Spain, hours after he returned from the recent Inter-Sessional Heads of Government in Barbados, said one of the issued discussed at length during the meetings was the growing prevalence of violent crimes.

He said while in the past such incidents could be isolated to certain regions it was now widespread throughout the region.

Dr. Rowley said the issue of crime had an impact on health and would be treated as a health issue by the summit.

He said the number of people who are being murdered have increased exponentially across the Caribbean and warranted a unified approach from regional leaders and experts to deal with the issue.

The prime minister said the conference will feature a host of experts from various backgrounds who will discuss the issues of violence in schools and public life.

Dominica

Dominica Police Commissioner, Daniel Carbon said that the “search has been called off” for a single engine aircraft that plunged into the sea soon after taking off from Douglas Charles Airport recently en-route to Guadeloupe.

He told a press conference that while the police had been able to recover “some debris” they were not successful in recovering any of the bodies on board the ill-fated aircraft that was carrying four unidentified people, as well as the two pilots.

French authorities in a statement said that a 16-year-old, his 55-year-old grandparents and a 40-year-old were on the ill-fated flight.

Grenada:
The Grenada government has agreed to give the late Sir Royston Hopkin an official funeral for his contribution towards the tourism sector and overall development of the country.

The national flag in being flown at half-mast on all public buildings.

Sir Royston, 75, who died in Trinidad recently, was the owner and chairman of Spice Island Beach Resort. He not only invested in the tourism sector, but as a philanthropist.

He adopted the Grand Anse RC School in 1992 and was one of the first Grenadians to establish a scholarship fund for needy children. Since the establishment of the fund, more than 200 students have received scholarships.

In 1994 Queen Elizabeth II bestowed upon him the “Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George” (CMG) for his contribution to Grenada and Caribbean tourism.

Sir Royston was internationally known for his industry knowledge and served in many positions.

He will be buried on March 5 in Grenada.

Guyana

The Guyana government is searching for a company to market its share of crude oil produced at the offshore Liza well, where Exxon Mobile Corp-led XOM.N consortium began producing oil in December.

In a statement the Guyana’s Department of Energy said the government is entitled to a share of the oil produced and has said it was seeking a marketing agent to help it export the crude.

It said companies wishing to participate should submit an expression of interest by March 12.

The statement said without any domestic refining capacity or national oil company, it must sell the crude on the open market.

It also said the marketing agent would be expected to lift five cargoes of around one million barrels each per year, and the duration of the contract would be for 12 months.

St. Lucia

St. Lucia has extended its travel restrictions on non-nationals from China to include Hong Kong, the Republic of Korea and Singapore as the island moved to prevent any case of the deadly novel coronavirus (COVD-19) being recorded in the country.

The Department of Health and Wellness said that, in addition to the travel restrictions on non-nationals with a travel history within the last 14 days from mainland China, whether in-transit or originating, the ban has been extended to the other Asian countries where deaths and infections have been reported in recent days.

The Department of Health and Wellness of St. Lucia has noted an escalation in the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 cases internationally as well as the spread to 29 countries outside of China.

The authorities said any national returning to St. Lucia with a travel history to any of the countries where the virus has been detected will be quarantined for 14 days and that is discouraging “all non-essential travel” to those places.

No Caribbean island has so far reported any infection caused by the virus.

Trinidad:

Trinidad and Tobago was recently removed from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) “grey list.”

This was revealed by Attorney General Faris-al-Rawi who described the move as a victory for Trinidad and Tobago.

He said T&T is being listed as a “jurisdiction no longer subject to increased monitoring by the FATF.”

The AG said FATF welcomed T&T’s significant progress in improving its Anti-Money Laundering and Combatting the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regime and notes that T&T has strengthened the effectiveness of its AML/CFT regime and addressed related technical deficiencies to meet the commitments in its action plan regarding the strategic deficiencies that the FATF identified in November 2017.

T&T is therefore no longer subject to the FATF’s increased monitoring process.

He said T&T will continue to work with CFTTF to improve further AML/CFT regime.

AL-Rawi said in 2015, T&T was the first member of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) to undergo the FATF Fourth Round Mutual Evaluation peer review.

Compiled by Azad Ali

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