Cuba’s Deputy Foreign Minister Rogello Sierra is moving to hold meetings with its Caribbean counterparts along with Cuban residents and Cuban state mission personnel in those countries.
Recently Sierra arrived in Trinidad and Tobago, the first Caribbean nation on his tour in the coming weeks to the Caribbean nations to strengthen diplomatic relations.
He will also visit Suriname, Barbados, Guyana and Jamaica, where Cuba established diplomatic relations on Dec. 8, 1972.
The Cuban minister aims to reaffirm the historic bilateral relations with the region; exchange ideas on topics of mutual interest and reaffirm Cuban solidarity to continue cooperation with the region.
Civil aviation authorities are investigating a small plane crash that killed three American men recently on the island of Eleuthera in The Bahamas.
The plane, which authorities have identified as a private Cessna 421, took off from the Rock Sound Airport around 4 pm, en route to Ft Pierce, Fla. when it crashed moments after takeoff.
The accident was reported after a Bahamas Air plane flying over the crash site called the authorities to notify them of the crash. The aircraft went down in a wooded and underdeveloped island terrain.
By the time residents on the island arrived on the scene, the three men were already dead, with two of them burned beyond recognition. The aircraft had reportedly burst into flames upon crashing.
According to Bahamas Air Accident Investigation Department (AAID) chief investigator Delvin Major, the bodies of the victims have been flown to Nassau for positive identification and autopsies.
In January, an accident was reported involving a private plane that crashed just off North Andros, killing six passengers, including the pilot.
The Barbados government says it will continue to exchange views with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as how to seek financial support from the Washington-based financial institution for its economic plan.
In a statement, the IMF — which spent three days in the country following days of discussions with the Ministry of Finance — said preliminary discussions were held on the key challenges faced by the government, including the country’s very low level of international reserves, its unsustainable debt and the need to develop an economic plan designed to address current imbalances and create the conditions for sustained broad-based growth.
The statement said: “The Government and the IMF will continue to exchange views over the coming weeks and expects to be able to commence detailed discussions regarding Barbados’ economic reform program in the coming weeks — a program that the IMF will be asked to support with financial assistance.”
Prior to its departure, the head of the IMF delegation, Bert van Selm, said Barbados is in a precarious economic situation with its international reserves having dwindled to US$220 million, while central government debt is unsustainable.
The IMF official said that the fiscal deficit has decreased over the last few years but remains large, at about four percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in the fiscal year 2017/2018.
A European Investment Bank (EIB) delegation recently visited Grenada to explore opportunities for financing new projects in the country and to meet high-level representatives from across the region.
Head of the EIB Caribbean regional representation office, Rene Perez, and his colleagues discussed financing opportunities with senior government officials, private sector investors and project promoters with a view to providing loans to projects in Grenada.
The European Investment Bank has supported investment essential for private and public sector growth in Grenada and across the Caribbean.
CDB president Warren Smith and Jonathan Taylor, the EIB vice president responsible for climate action, recently signed a new emergency post-disaster reconstruction financing initiative during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP23).
The St. Lucia government was recently given information on the geothermal resource development project on what is needed to do to advance the project the next phase of exploratory drilling.
This comes a few weeks after Cabinet gave approval of the national energy transition strategy (NETS), which provides a guide on the least costly mix of renewable energy options available for St. Lucia to pursue a sustainable energy future.
Acting Prime Minister Ezekiel Joseph said the geothermal talks are opportune as countries continue to grapple with sporadic increases in global oil prices.
He said the government is committed to exploring options that will provide stability in the energy sector and ultimately reduce the cost of energy to consumers.
The St Lucia government has also stipulated that investments be made to develop local capacity by training St. Lucians in key areas to help manage and run the project, once it’s successful.
The World Bank and other global partners have made available US$22.5 million in concessional and grant funding for St. Lucia to embark on the next phase of the project.
The London-based Privy Council will decide whether the Trinidad and Tobago Law Association (LATT) has the authority to conduct an investigation into allegations of corruption against Trinidad and Tobago Chief Justice Ivor Archie.
The Appeal Court in Port of Spain, Trinidad, has granted leave, with consent of the LATT, to petition the British Law Lords in his bid to stop the organization from moving ahead with its investigation.
In addition to leave being granted, the LATT has also agreed to hold the special general meeting to discuss a report on the investigation and the advice given by two Senior Counsels (SCs) who were retained by the law body.
The Appeal Court has refused to grant an injunction preventing the association’s legal counsel — Dr Francis Alexis QC, of Grenada and Eamon Courtnay, QC, of Belize — from continuing with their deliberations. The hearing is set to take place on July 23.
Archie is seeking to have the Privy Council overturn a ruling by three Appeal Court judges, who found that the LATT had the legal authority to carry out the investigation.
— compiled by Azad Ali