Caribbean Round-Up


Despite the region spending millions of dollars to secure airlift to the Caribbean, ticket prices are still too high and remain insufficient to sustain the industry, according to Josef Forstmayr, president the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA).

He was at the time addressing at the opening of Caribbean Marketplace at the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas.

Forstnayr estimated in 2010 the Caribbean governments “collectively paid $45 million – only to find that our airlift is still inadequate and way too expensive for our visitors,”

The CHTA president noted intra-Caribbean tourism “once represented 13 percent of the region’s tourism, as much as Canada, The combined population of Caribbean countries is 40 million.”


Authorities in the Bahamas say a 26-year-old U.S. tourist died aboard a Carnival cruise ship and the cruise was delayed pending the investigation.

Police said in a statement that a man from South Carolina apparently jumped from one floor to another aboard the Carnival Fantasy that had docked in Nassau recently. He was declared dead at the scene.

Carnival issued a statement saying the guest apparently fell.

Officials did not release his name or home town.

The ship had departed Charleston, South Carolina for a five-day Bahamas cruise.


The brother of Opposition Leader Owen Arthur, a former candidate for the main opposition Barbados Labor Party (BLP) was recently remanded in prison on ammunition charges.

Richard Seymour Arthur, 50, was taken before a magistrate in the Bridgetown court charged with having 102 rounds of ammunition on Jan. 31, without permission and in breach of the Firearms Act.

He was not required to enter a plea to the indictable charge and was remanded to jail by Magistrate Barbara Cooke-Alleyne.

He is due to reappear in court on Feb. 27.

His attorney Randall Belgrave said he would be applying to the High Court for bail for his client.

Arthur contested the St. Lucy seat, next door to his brother’s constituency of St. Peter in the 2003 general election and lost.


An inmate facing a murder charge has been found hanging in his cell, Grenada’s Prison Commissioner Don McKenzie said.

He said that Joel Lendore’s body was lifeless when found recently in his cell.

The prison chief said it appears that Lendore died from an apparent suicide.

Lendore was a former athlete who represented the tiny Grenadian island of Carriacou in cricket, soccer and track and field. He was accused of killing his wife in 2009 by slashing her throat.

A coroner’s inquest will be undertaken to determine the cause of Lendore’s death and whether or not someone should be held responsible.


Haitian authorities will rule soon on whether the prosecution of former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier moves to trial or gets dropped, the investigating judge Carves Jean said.

The announcement came after a closed hearing during which he admonished the former dictator known as “Baby Doc” for violating the terms of his conditional release by leaving the capital at least twice in recent weeks.

Jean said he told Duvalier that, “he’ll be going straight to the national penitentiary” if he leaves again without authorization.

Since he made an unexpected return a year ago, Duvalier has traveled the country and had been spotted dining with friends at high-end restaurants in the capital. He recently delivered a commencement speech to law school graduates in the coastal city of Gonaives and attended a memorial for quake victims outside the capital last month.

The defense argues that Duvalier is free to go where he pleased because no law exists to restrict his movements.


United States Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has congratulated new Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller on her recent election victory.

Clinton spoke of “warm” relations between Jamaica and the U.S. and offered to get a team together to visit Jamaica to explore areas of potential assistance, including security, education and poverty reduction.

According to the Prime Minister’s office, Simpson-Miller thanked Clinton for the offer, saying those areas would be of great help to Jamaica.

She also said that the women of the world drew inspiration from Clinton’s “strength and achievements,”

The telephone call followed a similar one from U.S. President Barack Obama in her first week in office.


Suriname is reporting a dengue outbreak.

The Health Ministry said recently that more than 300 dengue cases have been reported in the South American country of 491,000 people. Among those affected was Parliament Speaker Jennifer Simons. She was hospitalized recently and has since been released.

Dengue is a mosquito-borne disease that can cause fever, headache and pain in muscles and joints and be fatal. There is no vaccine or specific treatment for it.


January was a bloody month in Trinidad and Tobago as police recorded some 38 murders in 31 days.

While there were nine killings less last month, compared to January 2011, police officials admit it is still worrying statistics.

However, the police say they are committed to the fight against crime.

While statistics of 38 murders in 31 days are alarming, police figures show that the January 2012 slayings are lower than those recorded last January when 46 people were killed.

For January, the Port of Spain Division recorded the highest number of murders with 10 killings. The combined statistics for Central and Southern Divisions were 14 murders.

Police say that most of the killings were gang-related.

Works Minister Jack Warner has launched a campaign calling for the death penalty.

Warner said he will be collecting signatures across the country for the enforcement of hanging after three fishermen were murdered in his constituency. The petition, he said, will be laid in Parliament and give to Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.


A ban has been put on Carnival revelers drinking from bottles. They can face a fine of $1,000 or three months in jail.

This was revealed by Port of Spain Mayor Louis Lee Singh who has sent out a warning to people coming into the city on Carnival Monday and Tuesday they would not be able to drink from glass bottles.

Lee Sing said that the “no glass bottles for carnival” measure is a real and proceeding apace.

He said people who want to drink will have to use plastic cups.

The mayor said he held discussions with key stakeholders in the glass bottle beverage industry and it was already decided that no glass bottles with be sold in Port of Spain on Carnival Monday and Tuesday.

Lee Sing said the measure is one which, he envisions, can save lives. He noted that it was a broken bottle which was used during the only killing in the revelry last year.

The Borough of Chaguanas has also announced that no glass bottles will be allowed on Carnival Monday and Tuesday.

Compiled by Azad Ali