Caribbean RoundUp

People displaced from their destroyed houses by an earthquake spend the night outdoors in the hospital garden in Les Cayes, Haiti, Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021. A powerful magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck southwestern Haiti on Saturday, killing hundreds.
Associated Press/Joseph Odelyn

BAHAMAS

The Bahamas government has reversed an earlier decision that allowed vaccinated travelers not to test for COVID-19 before entering the country, saying that they will now be required to obtain a rapid antigen test or PCR, with a negative result, within five days of arrival.
A statement from the Office of the Prime Minister said all children between the ages of 2 and 11, wishing to enter The Bahamas will now be required to obtain a COVID-19 test (rapid antigen or PCR) with a negative result, within five days of arrival in The Bahamas. All children under the age of two, are exempted from any testing requirement.
BARBADOS
Central Bank Governor, Cleviston Haynes is urging Barbadians not to expect an overnight economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Haynes, noting that uncertainty continued to cloud for many economies, said he would have more to say “on where we are on the road to recovery, some of the ongoing challenges we face and the imperatives for sustainable growth during his quarterly economic review.”
He was speaking during the recent opening of the bank’s 41st annual Review Seminar, held  recently, where his adviser Michelle Doyle and the Caribbean Development Bank’s  Director of Economics, Ian Durant advised Barbados and its neighbors to take steps to become more equally competitive and resilient.
Haynes said the pandemic “has  brought into sharp focus many of the vulnerabilities and equities that have for too long been characteristic of the challenges faced by our economies.”
CARIBBEAN
The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)  recently launched the Caribbean Community Tourism Network (CCTN) for tourism development authorities in the region from which to draw when developing their community-based tourism (CBT) programs.
According to the CTO, the CCTN will provide a platform to support the continued development of CBT in the Caribbean.
The network will facilitate the exchanges of best practices among CTO member countries and interested tourism development partners and help identify capacity-building needs as well as challenges and opportunities for CBT development.
The CCTN network provides an avenue for CTO members to share knowledge, resources  and best practices to improve community tourism experiences and economic impact.
The network is one of the initiatives of CTO, which has identified CTB as a regional  tourism development strategy.
GUYANA
The Guyana government announced that over GUY $7.8 billion would be made available to assist persons severely affected by the recent flood.
President Dr. Mohammed Irfaan Ali said in a statement that GUY $7.3 billion will be direct cash injection to those who suffered losses during the natural disaster with the remainder to be utilized by the Ministry of Agriculture.
Ali said over 300 communities and 52,000 households were affected by the flood.
The government through the National Assembly has secured GUY$10 billion for flood relief efforts.
He said more than $3 billion will be given to rice farmers as over 50,000 acres of rice land and 2,000 farmers were directly affected by the flood.
More than 2,000 farmers are set to benefit from $600 million in direct cash transfer.
HAITI
The Haitian government has called on the United Nations to conduct an international investigation into last month’s assassination of President Jovenel Moise.
The request was made by way of letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres sent from Haiti’s embassy in the Dominican Republic.
Specifically, Haiti called for an “international commission of enquiry” to be formed, along with a special court  to prosecute the suspects.
The letter, signed by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Claude Joseph, said Haiti considered the attack on Moise in his residence an international crime due to the alleged role of foreigners in planning, financing and carrying it out.
Haiti also said the UN support should follow the model of its enquiry into a 2005 terrorist attack in Lebanon, which killed 22 people, including the prime minister.
JAMAICA
Caribbean Airlines Ltd. (CAL) is moving to retrench 42 of its employees who are based at its hub in Jamaica, as part of its plan to streamline the airline’s operations, according to the Jamaica Observer newspaper.
Eight of the airline’s 23 Jamaica-based maintenance workers and about 34 of 84 cabin crew members, including cabin crew, received notices on July 30 that they would be retrenched on July 30, the newspaper reported.
The redundancy is expected to take effect on Sept. 10 for most persons who are entitled to six weeks’ notice and about Aug. 28 for a few workers who had joined in 2014 and would only be entitled to four weeks’ notice pay, according to the Jamaica Observer.
The airline has advised that employees who are scheduled to be retrenched will not be required to work during the notice period.
In June CAL announced that it proposed to retrench 450 employees, but in a statement on July 30, it revised that number to 280.
The government of Jamaica owns 16 percent of CAL and the Government of T&T, 84 percent.
ST. VINCENT
Heavily armed police officers were stationed outside the Kingston Magistrate Court as Annamy Lewis, a 56-year-old vendor, of Layou, appeared in court charged with wounding Prime Minister, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves.
Gonsalves suffered a concussion when he was struck on the head with an object outside Parliament a week ago during a protest against moves by his government to have front line workers vaccinated against the COVID-19 pandemic.
When the matter was called before Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett, the accused pleaded not guilty to the charge that on Aug. 5, at Kingston she unlawfully and maliciously wounded Gonsalves.
Her attorneys, led by Kay Bacchus-Baptiste, requested bail telling the court that the prosecution had no objection to take bail with one surety.
DPP Sejilla Mc Dowell confirmed she had no objection to bail and the magistrate set bail at EC$3,000 and adjourned the matter to Sept. 15.
TRINIDAD
Trinidad and Tobago last week received a first batch of more than 300,000 vaccines donated by the United States.
The vaccine is part of a donation of 908,000 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine by the US.
The US embassy in Port of Spain made the announcement, saying the donation is free of charge with “no strings attached.”
“We are proud, in co-ordination with CARICOM, to deliver these safe and effective vaccines to the people of Trinidad and Tobago. We are giving them for a single purpose to save lives and end the pandemic.”
— Compiled by Azad Ali

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