Caribbean RoundUp

Caribbean RoundUp
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica addresses the 59th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Associated Press / Richard Drew, File


Regional airline LIAT has got its first woman chief executive officer (CEO). Julie Reifer-Jones, had been acting in the position after David Evans resigned last year.

Chairman of the Board of LIAT, Jean Holder said the Barbadian is undertaking “one of the most challenging assignments in the region” but said she had acquired the necessary skills throughout her time in the airline.

He said Reifer-Jones had served LIAT in the number two position for some nine years and in that capacity acted as CEO for extended periods on several occasions.

Reifer-Jones, who joined the LIAT team in 2008 as chief financial officer, said she was delighted to be taking up this new challenge and looked forward to delivering an improved level of service from LIAT to the region.

Prior to joining LIAT, Reifer-Jones held several senior finance positions and has more than 25 years of experience in finance and management.


United States authorities have warned Americans traveling to The Bahamas to be on their guard and avoid certain areas.

In its Bureau of Diplomatic Security’s Bahamas 2017 Crime and Safety report, United States officials classified New Providence, the country’s most populous island as a “critical” threat location for crime targeting US government interests.

The report claim that despite a 26 percent drop in serious crimes in 2016, New Providence has witnessed violent crimes in locations more commonly frequented by US tourists.

Grand Bahama also received a poor report with United States authorities claiming that violent crime there had increased and gangs were on the rise.

The report also noted that home invasions, thefts, and robberies are not contained to a specific part of Grand Bahama.

It claimed the United States Embassy has received, “reports of assaults, including sexual assaults, at residences, hotel room, casinos, outside hotels and on cruise ships. In some sexual assault incidents, the report said the victim reportedly had been drugged.”

Americans have been urged to avoid these areas, especially at nights.

Cayman Islands

Speaker of the Cayman Islands Legislative Assembly had a misdemeanor charge dropped against him in which it was alleged that he groped a waitress in a Florida casino last month.

McKeeva Bush, who was on a vacation, was arrested after the woman claimed that the veteran politician had touched her inappropriately while she was serving at the casino in Coconut Creek, Broward County.

Although the Seminole Police Department said at the time that the woman had made a sworn affidavit and CCTV footage had been recovered, officials there have now confirmed that no charges will be filed.

He was placed on $1,000 cash bond and released from jail after he filed a not guilty plea. Soon afterwards he returned to the Cayman Islands.

The Florida State Attorney’s Office said a full explanation would be released soon.


Dominica is on a path of prosperity based on the performance of the economy.

This was revealed by Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit who made the announcement when he presented a budget of EC$918,255,356 in parliament recently.

He said this was against the backdrop of the island being on a path of growth in 2016, despite setbacks in 2015 due to the passage of Tropical Storm Erika.

In his budget speech themed “Realizing a modern prosperous Dominica” Skerrit said the economy recorded growth of 2.8 percent.

The prime minister said the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) says the Dominica economy is expected to grow by 3.1 percent in 2017 and 2018.

Skerrit said total expenditure is projected at EC$786, 462d, 296 and recurrent expenditure inclusive of debt service at EC$580, 482, 418.

He noted that consistent with the anticipated growth in the economy, tax revenue for the fiscal year is projected at $365.5 million.

Skerrit said non-tax revenues of $421 million are anticipated — a significant part will come from the Citizenship by Investment Program which is expected to contribute $399.99 million for the year.


The Jamaica Ministry of Health is hiring an additional 500 public health aides this year as part of its Zika virus response program aimed at getting rid of mosquito breeding sites in various communities.

Minister of Health Dr. Christopher Tufton said the aides would assist public health workers in the field in identifying vector breeding sites, as well as impressing upon residents the importance of keeping their surroundings clean.

He said 1,000 vector control aides have already been trained by the Human Employment and Resource Training / Trust / National Training Agency.

The health minister noted the key part of the work of the public health aides is to talk to people to help them understand the importance of good public health and how that is influenced by good healthy practices in their local environment.

Executive Director of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) Dr. James Hospadeles warned last month that although the number of Zika cases has significantly declined from the outbreak in 2016, there is still need for continued vigilance and action on mosquito diseases.

St. Kitts

St. Kitts and Nevis is expected to become the first country in the Organization of the Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), to bring an end to mother to child transmission of HIV.

The statement was made by Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris during a press conference who said, “this is the most significant achievement and while some work and tests are still being finalized, the fact that this information was shared publicly in a setting like that speaks to the confidence which the authorities have with respect to this development in St. Kitts and Nevis.”

“We hope that this preliminary finding will in fact come to fruition very shortly and so this acclaim, noteworthy as it is, could be another important one of the people of St. Kitts and Nevis,” he said.

Harris, who was accompanied by Minister of State with responsibility for Health, Senator Wendy Phipps, said that they met with several donor agencies including the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global imitative officials “to see how we could procure further assistance and support for the CARICOM region as a whole to advance the development of healthcare.”


Trinidad and Tobago acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams will receive an award in Australia next month for his contribution to the advancement of women in policing.

He will be recognized by at the International Association of Women Police (IAWP) Annual Training Conference from Sept. 17-21 in Cairns, Australia.

The IAWP, founded in 1915 and based in Maryland, USA, promotes the role of women in policing and envisions a world where police reflect the diversity of the communities they serve and where human rights are protected, the police service said in a press release.

Its mission is to strengthen, unite and raise the capacity of women in policing internationally. Each year, the IAWP receives nominations from across the globe for officers who are deserving of recognition for their contribution to policing.

The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, with 26 percent of its strength being women officers, has surpassed the average of 15 percent women serving in police forces in North America and other jurisdictions.

— compiled by Azad Ali

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