Caribbean Round-Up


The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) will host a gathering of culinary enthusiasts and experts as they converge to witness an all-out food and beverage battle between an assortment of chefs and bartenders from the Caribbean. The annual “Taste of the Caribbean” will be held at the Hyatt Regency, Miami from June 20-24 to crown the Caribbean cuisine masters.

Currently there are ll teams from the Caribbean, including The Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago and U.S. Virgin Islands, which have registered.

The teams are vying for top honors including Caribbean Culinary Team of the Year, Caribbean Chef of the Year and Caribbean Bartender of the Year.

The annual Caribbean Food and Beverage event is designed for culinary professionals to network, polish professional skills and cheer on colleagues in competition before a large audience of industry peers and enthusiasts.


Former Chief Justice of Barbados, Sir David Simmons, QC, has welcomed the decision by the Trinidad and Tobago government to sign on to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) appellate jurisdiction for criminal matters.

Sir David, who is credited as being one of the architects and driving forces behind the CCJ’s formation, said a lot of work went into the establishment of the regional appellate court.

“We’ve been toiling in the vineyard, toiling for a long time,” he said.

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar recently announced in Parliament that Trinidad and Tobago is moving to abolish criminal appeals to the London-based Privy Council and place this jurisdiction to the CCJ, which is celebrating its seventh year. The regional appellate court was established on April 16, 2005 and is headquartered in Port of Spain, Trinidad.

The CCJ has two jurisdictions – an original jurisdiction to interpret and apply the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas and an appellate jurisdiction.

Barbados, Belize and Guyana have replaced the Privy Council with the CCJ. Jamaica is also expected to sign on to the CCJ this year.


Prime Minister of Dominica Roosevelt Skerrit has defended his government’s decision to grant a license to regional casino chain Ma Pau, to operate slot machines on the island.

Ma Pau Entertainment Center is the trade name of the gaming establishment located at the popular Krazy Koconut Recreation Center in the capital Roseau.

Moments before the official opening recently, Skerrit called on citizens to re-think their objection to the latest revenue generating enterprise.

The prime minister made it clear that he had no plans to bow to public pressure on the issue when direct foreign investment was critical to the improvement of the lives of citizens.

Ma Pau is a subsidiary of the Sunny Group of Companies, with operations across the Caribbean that also includes the Sweet Lime Restaurant chain (in Trinidad and Tobago and St. Kitts) in addition to its interest in the distribution of educational products.


Dominica’s ambassador to the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Charles Maynard has died. He was 78 years old.

Maynard, who was also special adviser to Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, died at the Princess Margaret Hospital recently. The cause of his illness was not disclosed.

Prime Minister Skerrit said, “This country has lost a great patriot, a nationalist, a regionalist, an integrationist and someone who dedicated his life to Dominica’s development.”

Former OECS Acting Chief Justice Brian Alleyne, a former attorney general and ministerial colleague of Maynard, said he had made a signification contribution to the socio-economic development of Dominica.

Maynard held a variety of ministerial portfolios during the 15-year rule of the Dominica Freedom party (DFP).


Jamaica dancehall star David “Mavado” Brooks was fined a total of J$100,000 or six months in jail on an assault charge of malicious damage of a car.

Almost a year after he was arrested for assaulting a St. James man and his son and damaging their car in an apparent case of road rage, Brooks was found guilty on the two charges by Resident Magistrate Wilson Smith in the Montego Bay Court recently.

Brooks, who hails from West Armour Heights in St. Andrews, was charged in connection with an incident on July 22, 2011, in which he and members of his entourage allegedly attacked Henry Cunningham and his son, Oshane and damaged their car along the Belmont road in St. James.

Brooks’ attorney Martyn Thomas told the court that his client accepted the ruling and that he was remorseful for the events that led him to being arrested.

St. Lucia

St. Lucia may have to wait a while longer to know if Taiwan would heed Castries’ call to demand the recall of Ambassador Tom Chou.

Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony government has repeatedly called for the Ma Ying-jeou administration to return Chou to Taipei, after accusing him of interfering in the country’s internal affairs under the previous United Workers’ Party (UMP) government.

Anthony, whose St. Lucia Labor Party (SLP) was returned to office in last November’s general elections after five years in opposition, said his administration out of respect for Taiwanese law, was willing to wait until after the presidential elections last January for Chou to be recalled.

The law prohibits this movement of diplomats within three months of presidential elections.

Anthony said in a recent television interview that his government would demand the removal of Chou after he is sworn in for his second term on May 20.

St. Kitts

St. Kitts and Nevis and Turkey has signed a mutual visa waiver agreement that will allow nationals of both countries with valid passports to enter the territory of the other without visa requirement for a stay of up to 90 days.

“This is part of our government’s ongoing initiative to increase the number of countries to which our citizens have visa-free access, to foster greater opportunities, people-to-people and commercial contacts, said St. Kitts and Nevis High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Kevin Isaac.

In 2008, the Federation signed a short-term visa waiver agreement that allows persons with a valid St. Kitts and Nevis passport to travel to any Schengen country without needing a visa and holders of valid passports from the European Union (EU) to travel to St. Kitts and Nevis without a visa.


A 70-year-old mother who went to visit her 47-year-old son on Mother’s Day to make peace after a year-long feud over land in a rural area in South Trinidad ended being killed by him.

Her son, Basdeo Ragoobar then took a fatal dose of poison and was found dead a short distance from where his mother died in a track at the back of his home in Barrackpore.

Batia Ramsumair was brutally beaten on her head by Ragoobar with a blunt object.

Although relatives warned her of going to visit him, Ramsumair insisted that she wanted to be reunited with her violent son, who had kicked her out of his home last year.

Ramsumair moved in to the home of another son but she was always threatened by Ragoobar.

A domestic violence report was made to the police against him and a restraining order was made out against Ragoobar by the court.

He recently breached the protection order and was sent to prison.


The Canadian government has signed two Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with the Trinidad and Tobago government to share expertise in the health and security sectors.

The signing took place during the recent visit by Canadian Governor General David Johnston, who was on a three-day state visit with his wife, Sharon. It was the last leg of Johnston’s 10-day trip, which included Brazil and Barbados.

The MOUs were signed in a ceremony at the Diplomatic Centre, St. Ann’s, Port of Spain by Foreign Affairs Minister Suruj Rambachan and Canadian Minister of State and Foreign Minister Diane Ablonczy.

One of the MOUs signed will assist in the expansion and modernization in the health sector facilities, while the second concerns the sharing of correctional information and expertise between both prison services, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said.

Trinidad and Tobago and Canada will also enter into a CARICOM/Canada Trade and Development Agreement, which Persad-Bissessar said, will assist in the region’s recovery from the global financial crisis.

Johnston hailed the relationship between Canada and Trinidad and Tobago noting that Canada had become of the first countries to recognize T&T’s independence.

Compiled by Azad Ali