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Antigua

The Antigua and Barbuda government has renewed diplomatic ties with Venezuela.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne has reiterated solidarity with the Government and People of Venezuela after he held talks with his South American ally.

In a statement the government said that the meeting was held “as part of Venezuela’s Foreign Minister tour of countries across the region.”

Venezuela Foreign Minister, Chancellor Jorge Arrenza, along with his diplomatic team including Resident Ambassador Carlos Perez, recently met with Browne, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Chef Greene and other officials in the Office of the Prime Minister.

Browne used the opportunity to highlight ways in which Antigua and Barbuda and Venezuela could strengthen and deepen their cooperation and diplomatic ties, along with possible projects for collaborative implementation, according to the statement.

“The government and people of Antigua and Barbuda stand in solidarity with the government and people of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela,” it said.

The main focus of the meeting was to find ways of strengthening the relationship between the two countries.

During the high-level meeting, Venezuela also pledged to assist in the cost of rebuilding hurricane-damaged Barbuda, the statement said.

Barbados

Under newly instituted procedures, airline passengers would no longer be able to carry powder-like substances on flights departing Barbados from the Grantley Adams International Airport.

Members of the public have been advised about the new procedures that started from June 30, 2018, which affect travelers with powder-like substances and granular material over 350 grams, or 12 ounces.

They will be required to place such items in their checked luggage and not in their carry-on bags, in order to reduce the chance of aviation security authorities having to confiscate and dispose of these items at the checkpoint and/or gate.

Powder-like substances are described as fine dry particles caused by the grinding, crushing or disintegration of a solid substance.

These substances include flour, sugar, ground coffee, spices, powdered milk, baby powder, foot powder, cooking powder, bath salt, sea salt, sand, and cosmetics, among others. However, baby formula, and medically necessary powder are not included in the new restrictions.

Grenada

Trinidad and Tobago’s national airline, Caribbean Airlines Limited (CAL), is partnering with Spice Mas Corporation of Grenada as the official airline of SpiceMas 2018. The SpiceMas street parade takes place on August 13 and 14.

CAL chief executive officer, Garvin Medera said this is the second year that CAL is partnering with the SpiceMas Corporation and the first year as the official airline.

“As an airline, we are committed to supporting culture and this year we have been privileged to partner with most of the regional carnivals and other festivals in the destinations we serve,” he said.

Kirk Seethalal, chief executive officer of SpiceMas Corporation said, “we are delighted to partner with Caribbean Airlines again this year. Caribbean Airline has been an excellent partner to Grenada, providing Grenadians and visitors access to our shores with a safe, reliable and economical service.”

The airline offers daily service to Grenada’s Maurice Bishop International Airport, with easy connections to other destinations in the Caribbean Airlines network.

Haiti

Former Haitian coup leader Lieutenant General Henri Namphy has died in the neighboring Dominican Republic after a long battle with cancer. He was 85.

Namphy, who lived in exile in the Dominican Republic, headed Haiti’s military government after the fall of the Duvalier family dictatorship.

He became head of the interim National Council of Government that took charge of Haiti in l986 when Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier fled into exile in France.

Nampy also served as Haiti’s president before he was ousted in a coup in l988. His presidency lasted only three months after which he fled Thed to the Dominican Republic.

Jamaica

The Jamaica government is moving to ensure that it will not left behind in the growing global medical marijuana industry.

Jamaica’s Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Audley Shaw said that while Jamaica has only decriminalized the use of up to two ounces of marijuana and issued a few licenses for production and processing, the product is now legal in Canada and 31 states in the USA have been producing and using it for medicinal and recreational purposes.

Shaw said the country needs to move quickly to take advantage of opportunities in the growing of cannabis and manufacture of the products.

The minister said he is working with the Ministry of Health and the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) “to move faster and more aggressively to get up to the level of world competition.”

Shaw was at the time addressing an Agricultural Technology Symposium under the theme “Sustainable Growth in the Agriculture Sector with Science and Technology Engineering” recently held at the Isratech Jamaica Limited Group of Companies, in the parish of Manchester.

St. Lucia

Thirty-six St. Lucians have been deported from the United States, the United Kingdom and Martinique since the start of this year.

This was revealed by the head of the Immigration Department, Assistant Superintendent, Sean Alexander, who said the deportations stemmed from several offenses, including illegal entry, possession of drugs, traveling to Martinique with invalid insurance documents and over staying the allotted time.

He said local authorities are usually alerted when St. Lucians are being deported from the U.S.A, the U.K. and Canada.

Alexander noted that on arrival, the deportees are interviewed by immigration officials and members of the police Special Branch.

He said the deportees are then monitored for some time, in cases where they had a criminal conviction.

Trinidad

The U.S. Senate has approved 80-year-old attorney and university professor, Joseph Mondello as the next Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago.

He would replace Ambassador John Estrada, who left Trinidad in January 2017 after Donald Trump won the U.S. Presidency.

Trinidad-born Estrada was former President Barack Obama’s choice for ambassador but was in office for less than a year before having to relinquish his post.

In March, Mondello was nominated by Trump as Trinidad and Tobago’s Ambassador, but this had to be approved by the U.S. Congress Relations Committee chaired by Sen. Marco Rubio.

A statement from the U.S. Embassy in Port-of-Spain said; “President Donald Trump in March announced his nomination of Mondello, who endorsed the then-New York City reality star and entrepreneur early in 2016 before most politicians of either majority party took him seriously.”

A former Nassau County Republican leader, Mondello testified that he would seek to improve economic relations with Trinidad and Tobago and work to reduce ISIS recruitment on the two islands.— compiled by Azad Ali

Updated 4:22 pm, July 13, 2018
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