Caribbean Roundup


Antigua has deported a former LIAT pilot to his homeland in Trinidad after serving 18 years in prison for unlawfully killing his fiancée Monique Gordon.

Ronald Gederon recently walked out of prison after a High Court in Antigua ordered him released months before the time prison authorities calculated.

Many in Antigua had condemned the move by the court, but former prison commissioner Eric Henry, who interacted with Gederon for several years, said he believes the convict is fully rehabilitated and ready to be integrated into society.

Convicted of murder by a jury in the High Court in December l997, Gederon was sentenced to death. However, ll months later, the Court of Appeal substituted the murder conviction with manslaughter and sentenced him to 25 years.

Justice Mario Michel allowed the release after he gave the convict credit for the ll months he spent awaiting his appeal. Gerderon was accused of strangling to death Gordon during a fight.


Police are investigation a boating accident in which a British national was killed and another hospitalized.

Martin Beaumont, 55, was manager of the University Club, a restaurant owned by the St George’s University, an offshore American university operating in Grenada.

Authorities said that Martin and his colleague, Andrew Peters, who has since been hospitalized at the General Hospital, were snorkeling when a boat owned by a medical doctor collided with them.


Grenada’s Prime Minister has made a calculated move to save his government from collapsing.

Thomas who is facing a no-confidence motion has written Governor General Sir Carlyle Glean asking that the Parliament be prorogued six months early.

The seventh Grenadian Parliament opened in March this year and was scheduled to come to an end on March 31 next year.

Thomas’ decision to cut the life of the Parliamentary year means that when the next session begins, the no-confidence motion against him would have fallen off the Parliament’s Order Papers and would need to be re-tabled if it is ever to be debated.

A brief statement from the Office of the Prime Minister said a date for the start of the new session of the eight Parliament will be announced.

The Parliament has not sat since August, shortly after a no-confidence motion was tabled by government backbencher, Karl Hood.

In May, Hood resigned as minister of Foreign Affairs in Thomas’s troubled government, which has an 11-4 majority.

Hood is one of four MPs sitting as backbenchers in the House of Representatives.

There is widespread speculation that the four backbenchers as well as the four Opposition members would have teamed up to provide the eight-vote majority needed to push through the no-confidence motion.


The Guyana government is making no apologies about the fact that it is buying pirated textbooks for public schools as a cost-saving measure.

Cabinet Secretary Roger Luncheon says officials are buying pirated books from printing firms and companies that photocopy books because of their high quality and lower prices. Luncheon said the government’s move was justified.

However, international pressure is mounting as the Publishers Association has accused the government of violating local and international laws and a London-based company that previously sold textbooks to Guyana is mounting pressure.

In a recently released statement, Emma House, international and trade director of the British-based Publishers Association accused Guyana of acting in direct contravention of local, regional and international laws.


A retired senior superintendent of police Anthony “Tony’ Hewitt was shot dead during an ambush by gunmen.

Hewitt, the former commanding officer for the Flying Squad Unit, in the Jamaica Special Anti-Crime Task Force and several elite teams, was ambushed as he drove into an apartment complex recently.

Eyewitnesses said the retired officer fought off his attackers and was running back to his vehicle when he was shot. However, he was able to retrieve his licensed firearm and engage them in a shootout.

Media reports said that the attack was a reprisal for a recent incident in which a man from a nearby community was shot by the police.

“Hewitt was a well-known crime fighter who has distinguished himself in service to the Jamaica Constabulary Force and Jamaica,” National Security Minister Peter Bunting said in a statement.


Jamaica’s Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller is calling on private companies in the country to each hire at least one more qualified, jobless islander.

Simpson-Miller has dubbed the job-creating initiative as the Jamaica Employment Program. She estimates if can eventually create 40,000 new jobs if businesses comply and help reduce Jamaica’s 14.3 percent unemployment.

On Sept. 10, officials of the Ministry of Labor and the Chamber of Commerce signed a memorandum of understanding to work on government initiative.

Labor Minister Derrick Kellier says the program can potentially provide greater levels of “social stability” and “cohesion between government and the private sector.”

Simpson-Miller first proposed the idea in January, shortly after leading her party to a resounding victory in parliamentary elections.

St. Lucia

The St. Lucia government is being urged to maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

The main United Workers Party (UWP) and the St. Lucian People’s Movement (LPM) warn that the interest of the island should supersede the ongoing international conflict between Taiwan and China.

The ruling St. Lucia Labor Party (SLP) government has established diplomatic relations with Beijing that were broken in favor of Taiwan in 2006 when the UWP came into power in the general election.

UWP leader Stephenson King said that St. Lucia had benefitted tremendously from its diplomatic relations with Taiwan, which China considers a renegade province.

King is urging new Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony to give critical consideration to the efforts to the two Asian countries to improve cross-strait relations in the absence of formal relations.


The Integrity Commission has found there was no breach of the Public Life Act when Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar took her sister Vidwatie Newton on overseas trip.

The Integrity Commission recently wrote to Reynold Cooper, permanent secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, stating that investigations found there was no wrongdoing.

In April, Opposition Leader Dr. Keith April had written to the Integrity Commission requesting an investigation into whether there was a breach in the Integrity in Public Life with the prime minister utilizing state funds for Newton to accompany her on overseas trips.

This was done after it was disclosed in Parliament, in response to a question from the Opposition, that TT$868,268, 11 was spent on Newton’s travel and other associated costs between June 1, 2010 and March, 31, 2012.

The Office of the Prime Minister said the prime minister had the option of formally employing her sister as a member of her personal staff, but “she refused to do so to avoid any allegations of nepotism, in consequence of which Ms. Newton receives no salary from the state.”


The governments of Trinidad and Tobago and Grenada have signed an agreement to advance the joint exploration of hydrocarbons in the maritime areas between the two countries.

The signing took place recently between Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine and Nazim Burke, minister of Finance, Planning, Economy, Energy and Cooperatives of Grenada.

The agreement lays the foundation for a broad spectrum of cooperation activities, including conduct of joint seismic surveys and joint exploration, development and implementation of technical programs, projects and activities and implementation of joint development plans for the unitization of hydrocarbon reservoirs existing in the respective continental shelves of both countries.

The ministry said this is the first such agreement between T&T and another CARICOM country, executed within the framework for the further development of the regional integration movement as envisaged in the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, which calls for the promotion of the development of the region’s natural resources on a sustainable basis.

Compiled by Azad Ali