Caribbean RoundUp

In this handout photo released by Haiti's Secretary of State for Communication, Haiti's first lady Martine Moise, wearing a bullet proof vest and her right arm in a sling, arrives at the Toussaint Louverture International Airport, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Saturday, July 17, 2021. Martine Moise, the wife of assassinated President Jovenel Moise, who was injured in the July 7 attack at their private home, returned to the Caribbean nation on Saturday following her release from a Miami hospital.
Haiti's Secretary of State for Communication Photo/via AP

ANTIGUA

CARICOM Chairman and Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister, Gaston Browne is fearful that violence can erupt again in Haiti and there could be further instability in the country if CARICOM and the international community do not come up with a “home-grown and indigenous” solution to the country’s political problems.
He stressed that CARICOM did not believe that “any form” of military intervention will help to resolve the issues in Haiti.
He said what is required is assistance to help Haiti to strengthen its governance institutions and at the time to access resources to deal with the other socio-economic problems, including addressing the existential threat that COVID-19 presents to the population.
A State of Emergency has been declared in Haiti following the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise recently.
Moise was shot dead and his wife seriously wounded when gunmen stormed their private home in Port-au-Prince in the morning.
Nothing that the constitutional and political crisis existed prior to Moises”assassination, Browne said that CARICOM was concerned that although there is relative peace in the country at this time, “violence may erupt very soon.”
CARIBBEAN
CARICOM recently met in emergency session in wake of the recent assassination of the president of Haiti.
In a statement issued following the meeting said “The heads of government are shocked and saddened by the assassination of a member of a CARICOM family, His Excellency Jovenel Moise,” during the early hours of July 7, 2021.
They are concerned by the condition of his wife, the First Lady, Martine Moise, who was seriously wounded in the attack, and wish her a speedy recovery.
Heads of Government strongly condemn this abhorrent and reprehensible act that comes at a time of deep turmoil and institutional weakness in the country, the statement said.
They called for the perpetrators to be apprehended and brought to justice and for law and order to prevail.
As a mark of respect, the Member States of the Community will fly their national flag on the day of the funeral.
GRENADA
The Grenada government last week announced new measures regarding the entry of children into the country as it moves to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Effective immediately, persons 13 years and under traveling with a fully vaccinated party will be treated as that party-fully vaccinated with respect to quarantine, ” Health Minister Nickolas Steele told reporters.
“So  if you are traveling with children 13 and under, and you and everyone else in the party are fully vaccinated, then the entire party will only have to do 48 hours in quarantine. Individuals over the age of five are swabbed like all other adults at the airport,” he said.
The government recently announced that only fully vaccinated people would be allowed into the country.
Steele told reporters “residents and citizens can return to Grenada whether vaccinated or unvaccinated.”
He said Grenada’s low rate of infection is linked directly to the island’s strict measures at ports of entry, even as he lamented the slow pace at which citizens are becoming inoculated.
Grenada began its vaccination program in early February and to date, less than 20 percent of the population who are eligible to be vaccinated are inoculated.
As of July 11, the authorities said the number of individuals receiving the vaccine is 35,531 — with 14,910 being fully vaccinated with two doses.
HAITI
Haitian authorities are probing a plane crash that killed six people when the small aircraft went down recently en route from an airport in Port-au-Prince to the southern coastal city of Jacamel.
Officials from the National Civil Aviation Office, who managed to get to the scene, although the area is difficult to access, found the six bodies.
Among the dead are two Dominicans who lived in Jacmel, one of whom was piloting the plane.
They have been identified as Amin Perez and Rodney Cedemo and two American missionaries. Trent Hostler, 35, and John Miller were both from the Christian organization Gospel to Haiti.
The identities of the other two victims were not known.
JAMAICA
The Jamaican government says the preliminary damage caused by the passage of Tropical Storm Elsa  recently had been put at J$803 million.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness said a preliminary assessment by the National Agency (NWA) is approximately 177 roads, island wide had been affected by the storm, that had earlier become the first-named hurricane of the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane season when it passed through the Lesser Antilles.
Holness told parliament the estimates for flood damage are very preliminary and the agency is continuing damage assessment to determine the cost for permanent  repairs.
He said the assessment, to date, is divided into two categories -cost to clean and clear roadways and drains, of silt and debris and cost to make the road accessible.
The prime minister urged legislators to move quickly in assisting the NWA in having the first phase of its mitigation program completed , saying that the government has made J$100 million available for this purpose.
ST. KITTS
The St. Kitts and Nevis government has introduced one of the strictest travel protocols due to COVID-19.
According to the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, only vaccinated travelers will be welcomed based on a new policy which requires tourists, including those from the United States, be vaccinated with either a two-dose vaccine, such as the Pfizer/BioTEch, Moderna, or AstraZeneca shots, or a single dose vaccine, such as the Johnson & Johnson shot.
Travelers must also wait at least two weeks after their final dose before coming to the island.
However, unvaccinated children under 18 who travel with fully vaccinated parents or guardians are exempt from the requirement.
In addition to proof of vaccination, travelers must submit a negative COVID-19 PCR test from an approved lab taken within 72 hours before traveling.
With the latest move, St. Kitts-Nevis joins destinations welcoming vaccinated tourists throughout the world, including  several in the Caribbean.
TRINIDAD
Trinidad and Tobago has been downgraded in the United States Trafficking in Persons 2022 Report.
The report said the downgrade to Tier 2 Watch List was linked to corruption and law enforcement complicity in trafficking crimes, which remained a concern and not is being done by the government to combat the problem.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the report said T&T was a sex a “sex tourism destination.”
Even after the borders were closed in March 2020, an international organization reported to the United States that “large numbers” of Venezuelans were still coming in illegal and making them primary targets for sex traffickers particularly young women and girls between the ages of 15 and 21.
Traffickers also  exploit individuals from Puerto Rico, the Philippines, China, India, Nepal and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the report stated.
In January, officials publicly stated that the government was investigating two dozen police officers linked to human trafficking.
The report also highlighted complaints by non-governmental organizations about the slow pace of investigations when they refer victims to the Counter Trafficking Unit.
It acknowledged that some work was being done but said g overnment did not demonstrate overall increasing efforts compared to the previous reporting period, even considering the impact of the pandemic on its anti-trafficking capacity.
— Compiled by Azad Ali

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