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St. Lucia’s Prime Minister, Allen Michael Chastanet addresses the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Friday, Sept. 28, 2018.
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Antigua

Antigua and Barbuda said it has lifted the ban on importation of citrus fruits but would maintain a ban on the personal importation from the United States.

The government has relaxed measures for the commercial importation of citrus fruits, limes, lemons, oranges, tangerines and grapefruit into the country.

The Ministry of Agriculture said other fruits are permitted only if grown in Florida. The ministry said import is restricted to commercial quantities only, adding, that personal citrus fruits from the United States are strictly prohibited.

It said citrus fruits which enter in contravention of the above stated conditions will be confiscated and or destroyed.

Antigua and Barbuda had discontinued the importation of oranges from Florida because of fruit flies, an invasive pest that has infested farmlands in Miami.

In a statement, the Plant Protection Unit within the Ministry of Agriculture said that citrus fruits would be allowed into the country, once they are subjected to certain pre-export treatment.

It said the decision to lift the ban followed the completion of a risk assessment to determine whether citrus fruits from Florida could be imported into the country and appealed to importers to pay a keen attention to the rules that must be followed before importing citrus fruits from the United States.

Barbados

The Barbados government said it is doing all in its power to keep nurses at home.

Minister of Health and Wellness, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Bostic said that while Barbados remained well above the average ratio of healthcare professionals to population, government would be exploring all opportunities to retain its nurses.

Speaking at the opening of the 31st Biennial Conference of the Caribbean Nurses Organization at the Barbados Hilton Resort recently, Bostic said his ministry had received the Nursing Migration Study 2017 and he intends to make the necessary interventions in accordance with the recommendations.

He said the ministry will be exploring a scaled-up, certified academic program in collaboration with the University of the West Indies (UWI) to produce a cadre of trained nurses that can compete locally, regionally and globally.

Bostic urged the local nursing population to grasp the opportunity to create an environment where research, both clinical and administrative, was encouraged.

Grenada

The British-based Committee for Human Rights in Grenada (CHRG) is calling on the United States government to pay compensation to people affected when American troops invaded the Caribbean island to put down a palace coup within the then left-wing People’s Revolutionary Government (PRG) headed by Maurice Bishop in 1983.

In a statement, the CHRG said 35 years after the invasion, documents show that the justifications put forward by Washington to justify its action “were false, and bring into serious question whether the invasion was legal under international law.”

Guyana

The Guyana government and the government of the Canada Province of Newfoundland and Labrador recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) paving the way for increased collaboration in the Oil and Gas Industry.

The agreement with Newfoundland and Labrador comes about one month after Guyana signed a MoU with Trinidad and Tobago for cooperation in the energy sector.

The new agreement sets the platform for Guyana’s Department of Energy and the Department of Natural Resources in Newfoundland and Labrador to collaborate in the areas of supply chain development, joint ventures and exchanges, knowledges technology development, training and health, safety and the environment.

The MoU was signed at the Ministry of the Presidency by Minister of Business Dominica Gaskin and Newfoundland Minister of Natural Resources, Siobhan Coady in the presence of the Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana, Lilian Chatterjee.

With Newfoundland and Labrador’s Offshore Oil and Gas Industry in its 20th year, the Canadian minister said there is much to offer Guyana as it prepares for the production of oil in 2020.

Jamaica

Jamaica has become the first Caribbean country to install a submersible receptacle that collects ocean pollutants such as debris and oil slicks.

The sea bin was installed in the Montego Bay Marine Park in St. James recently and is in collaboration with the Montego Bay Marine Park Trust, National Solid waste Management Authority, Jamaica Energy Partners and the Finland-based entity, Wartsila, which manufactures the equipment.

Executive Director for the Tourism Enhancement Fund, Dr. Carey Wallace, described the project as an important step in the thrust to promote proper waste management in Jamaica and improving the natural environment.

Wartsial’s Area General Manager for Marine Solution, David Gonzalez said the company embarked on the sea bin initiative in a bid to assist in reducing and ultimately eliminating ocean pollutants globally and lauded the Montego Bay Marine Trust for initiating the facility’s installation.

St. Lucia

The United States is calling for persons implicated in extra-judicial killings in St. Lucia a few years ago to be prosecuted.

This was revealed by St. Lucia’s National Security Minister Hermangild Francis who said that he was told by the Deputy United States Under Secretary of Defense, Sergio de la Pena that there must be prosecution.

Francis made the disclosure after he returned from a security meeting in Mexico.

He said the Americans want to see prosecutions “so we are going to try and see how we can do that as expeditiously as possible.” Francis was a former acting police commissioner in St. Lucia.

In May, Prime Minister Allen Chastanet said there was no “quick fix” into alleged extra-judicial killings and accused the former administration of making a mess of the situation.

In 2010 / 2011 a security drive “Operation Restore Confidence” was launched aimed at reducing violent crime in the tiny Caribbean island and boost tourism, which St. Lucia is heavily dependent on.

The Kenny Anthony administration had ordered an investigation, which was carried out by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) into alleged extra-judicial killings.

In 2015, Anthony said it had received the report known as the IMPACS (Implementation Agency for Crime and Security) into the 12 unlawful killings by the police.

The report said there was a “death list” and reported the murders, planting weapons at the scene to stage “fake encounters” to legitimize their actions.

Trinidad

Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Rowley said the Trinidad & Tobago government recently secured a landmark judgment in the Court of Appeal in its anti-corruption cases.

He said “a major development” occurred involving “one of the biggest cases” involving white-collar crime in Trinidad and Tobago to reach the courts whereby the Court of Appeal authorized the Estate Management Development Company (EMBD) to “follow the money” in its pursuit of wrongdoing.

The matter involves the EMBD where people under the former Kamla Persad-Bissessar administration are accused of “bribery, collusion, dishonest conduct” in the Caroni Roads contracts.

A total of approximately TT$400 million was paid out on the eve of the 2015 general election under these contracts.

The prime minister said there were certificates of payments involving “humongous” sums of money paid out by the EMBD in the weeks before the election, which when examined were found to be questionable.

Rowley said EMBD took the matter to court and asked the court to allow their lawyers access to the accounts of the people who received these monies to see where the money went.

— Compiled by Azad Ali

Updated 4:27 pm, November 5, 2018
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