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Bahamas

Seven Bahamian nationals have been selected to participate in the next staging of the Caribbean-Canada Emerging Leaders’ Dialogues (CCELD), making it the largest contingent at the event, which will be held from March 24-30 in Jamaica.

The program, which is held annually in the Caribbean region is offered by the Duke of Edinburg’s Emerging Leaders’ Dialogues Canada and organized under the patronage of the Princess Royal, Princess Anne.

The event is billed on the proven model of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Commonwealth Study Conferences and is part of the University of the West Indies (UWI) and the Institute for Study of International Development at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

The six-day CCELD program will bring together a wide range of high-caliber, mid-career individuals selected from business, government and civil society across the Caribbean and Canada for a leadership exchange.

CCELD is an important part of local and regional leadership development since the l980s.

Caribbean

Five former CARICOM prime ministers have rejected the use of force to stop humanitarian relief from entering Venezuela and to bring relief to the thousands who are destitute and hungry.

The former Caribbean leaders — PJ Patterson of Jamaica; Said Musa of Belize; Owen Arthur, Barbados; Kenny Anthony, St. Lucia and Lester Bird, Antigua and Barbuda- recently issued a statement indicating that humanitarian assistance should not be politicized and should enter Venezuela under the auspices of the United Nations.

In their joint statement, the former prime ministers shared concern about the maintenance of the Caribbean as a zone of peace and expressed “great disquiet” about events surrounding the situation in Venezuela and the prospects of any action that is inconsistent with the principles of independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

”In this connection, we are concerned that no action be taken that would jeopardize these fundamental principles of international law,” the statement said.

“We appeal to all governments to contribute to the process of peaceful negotiation by the Venezuelan parties in the interest of the people of Venezuela and the wider hemisphere,” they added.

The statement comes as Venezuela continues to be gripped by turmoil under the leadership of President Nicholas Maduro.

Grenada

The Grenada government believes the crisis in Venezuela is one that can lead to a human trafficking problem that will have an impact not just on Grenada but on the entire region.

The observation was made by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Sally-Ann Bhagan-Logie who noted that Venezuela is just over 500 miles from Grenada and with this close proximity will increase the likelihood of spillover effect from ongoing crisis there and human trafficking maybe one of the problems that Caribbean countries will face,

Speaking to participants attending a recent two-day workshop on the Impact of Human Trafficking, Bhagan-Logie said the training was one of government’s initiative geared at taking measures to safeguard the country from becoming a jurisdiction that facilitates or condones this dehumanizing crime.

She said as a transnational crime, victims of human trafficking can become a problem without notice.

The senior government official said that at any point the threat can materialize on Grenada’s shores bringing “us face to face with the problem whether on a small scale or a large scale.”

Jamaica

Four police officers are being questioned in connection with the recent heist of over J$17 million worth of jewelry and US$3,500 in cash and other items from two senior citizens in Hellshire, St. Catherine, who returned to Jamaica three years ago after living in the United States for more than 40 years.

The aged citizens had been visiting relatives in Florida, USA, when a neighbor who went to water their plants noticed things amiss and informed the police of the break-in at their house.

The couple had planned to travel from Florida to New York, but canceled the trip and returned to Jamaica. They reported the matter to the Hellshire Police Station.

The Major Organized Crime and Anti—Corruption Agency said the four police officers have been detained while investigations are being carried out.

The suspects dressed in police uniforms had gone to the couple’s home pretending they were making investigations when they held them up and ordered them to lie on the grounds and pointed guns at them and they carried out a search of the house.

St. Lucia

Health authorities in St. Lucia are raising an alert about dengue after several countries in the region, including neighboring French territories have reported an increase in cases of the mosquito-borne disease.

Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr. Merlene Fredericks, said that alerts have been issued by the Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and most recently by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

She said while St Lucia has not recorded an increase in dengue-related cases, but a few things are different in the Caribbean this year.

The CMO noted that certain countries in the region, namely Jamaica, and the French territories, have been experiencing an increased number of cases of dengue fever outside of the typical cyclical pattern where normally there is an increase in dengue fever around the rainy season.

Dengue fever is transmitted by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which mostly bites in the day and likes to breed in and around homes, Dr. Frederick said.

St. Lucia last had a dengue epidemic in 2013, with type four of the illness being the most prevalent.

Trinidad

The Trinidad and Tobago government is considering a policy where Venezuelan illegal migrants can work in the country for a year.

An amnesty will be given to those who are fleeing the crisis in their South American homeland.

This was revealed by National Security Minister, Stuart Young who said he intends to take to Cabinet a policy for T&T where all Venezuelans currently in T&T would need to be registered and in that process part of it will be what work they can do et cetera.

He told a recent press conference that once all Venezuelans in the country legally and illegal are registered it will give the Government the data as to how many are here legally and illegally and what they are doing.

“Then we will take further decisions that might very well incorporate allowing them to work for the period of one year and thereafter anyone who is held here illegally we will deal with them in accordance with the current law,” he said.

— Compiled by Azad Ali

Updated 10:55 am, March 12, 2019
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