Caribbean RoundUp


The Antigua and Barbuda government has called on the union representing teachers to provide proof regarding the prevalence of marijuana use in schools.

Attorney General, Steadroy Benjamin described as “very surprising” the statement made by the President of the Antigua and Barbuda Union of Teachers (ABUT), Ashworth Azille that there is widespread use of marijuana in schools.

Azille told the conference that he was fearful over the possible negative impact on education following government’s move to decriminalize having up to 15 grams of marijuana.

“I want to ask Azille firstly, what surveys have you conducted and secondly by what methodology, what did you use to come with the figure that there is wide-spread use of marijuana in our schools.”

Azille said last year he referenced the need to exercise caution as it related to the newly implemented law to decriminalize the use of marijuana, adding there seems to be widespread miseducation about the law, but the silence is deafening.”


Barbados has one of the highest consumption rates per capita of marijuana in the region.

This is according to Dr. Machel Emanuel of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, Jamaica, who has called for an integrated approach by Caribbean governments to developing a cannabis industry for medical usage.

Speaking at the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Annual General Meeting Luncheon recently, Emanuel said consumption in Barbados translates to a very high value, meaning that cannabis fetches the highest price in Barbados and higher than prices globally.

He said that Barbados is unique because of the cross-linkages that can be made between various sectors, ranging from agriculture to health, wellness tourism and pharmaceuticals.

As such, Emanuel believes that Barbados can get the true potential from cannabis and must ensure that sustainability can be maximized from cannabis as a commodity.

The UWI lecturer noted that cannabis is the most traded agricultural commodity in its raw state across the region.

He stated there needs to be an integrated approach to developing the cannabis economy by setting the policy and legal framework by looking at the historical and cultural experiences, business and marketing, and other approaches to the issue.


The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) says the Eastern Caribbean (EC) dollar remains a strong currency as it recently launched the new family of EC polymer notes throughout the sub-region.

ECCB Governor, Timothy Antoine said the launch of the notes marks another milestone in the ECCB’s Strategic Plan 2017-2021 that has been styled Transforming the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) Together.

He said the decision to move to polymer is to enhance the security and usability of the EC notes.

Grenada’s Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell, who is also the chairman of the ECCB’s Monetary Council, described the launch of the notes as historic, adding, “the ECCB is the first central bank in the Caribbean to issue an entire family of notes on polymer.”

Antoine said the notes are both legal tender in respect of the rollout, “our currency projection is the EC$100, EC$20 and EC$10 notes will be issued around September of this year and the five dollar note around September next year.”

He said the new notes will be phased in across the sub-regional grouping.

The ECCB serves as the central bank for Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Kitts and Nevis, Montserrat and Anguilla.


Guyana has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) as it relates to the protection of children of Venezuelan migrants.

The agreement was signed with the Ministry of the Presidency’s Department of Citizenship, the Guyana Legal Aid Clinic, Help and Shelter, Blossoms Inc. and the Regional Executive Offices of the Regions.

A government statement said that the accord was deemed an opportunity to forge greater partnerships with both government and non-government agencies to strengthen its support for Venezuelan migrants and their host communities.

The document includes supporting efforts to ensure documentation of migrant children, support on access to services to referral services for legal aid and violence prevention and response with the Guyana Legal Aid Clinic and the Help and Shelter Organization.

In February, UNICEF provided Guy$105 million to fund the provision of water and sanitation hardware, assist the Ministry of Education to build schools’ capacity and hygiene promotion for Venezuelan migrants.


Prime Minister, Andrew Holness has called for greater private-sector investment in the economy.

He said his government is creating the environment to facilitate business through stable, predictable, certain macroeconomic fiscal and monetary policies, which can spur continued growth and he wants those who can take advantage of that.

Holness noted that the Jamaica economic mode is now “coming together,” with the economy recording consistent growth over the last 16 quarters, “which says that the changes in the economy are taking root.”

He was speaking at the official launch of Serge Island Dairies new processing plant in the south eastern parish of St. Catherine recently.

The new facility, which consolidates the company’s processing operations the company’s processing operations in Seaforth, St. Thomas, represents a total investment of J$7 billion (US$51.7) million.

St. Kitts

American Airlines (AA) has introduced a year-round, mid-week non-stop flight to St. Kitts from New York starting from Dec. 18, 2019.

The flight will take off from John F. Kennedy International Airport to St. Kitts on Wednesdays, complementing the carrier’s existing non-stop Saturday service from JFK.

Racquel Brown, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, said the timing of the additional flight is particularly significant, as American Airlines just launched summer non-stop service from Dallas recently and expanded twice-daily service from Miami International Airport to five days a week in 2017.

She said the addition of mid-week service year-round from New York metropolitan area indicates a growth in the marketplace concurrent with the Authority’s marketing initiatives.


The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) will import specialists prosecutor’s from the United Kingdom and to train and form an elite unit to tackle money laundering and fraud.

The announcement was made by Attorney General Faris al-Rawi in the Senate during the debate in the Admiration of Justice (Indictment and Proceedings (Indictable Bill.

He praised new Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith for an entirely new Unit in the TTPS “to manage” serious fraud, money laundering and other matters,

“And that involved the imposition and implementation, which is actively on deck right now of specialists attorneys from the United Kingdom, forensic auditors, and forensic accountants.

He said there are 32 forensic and accountants that come from one unit alone.

Al Rawi said the TTPS would no longer come to court with a policeman as a prosecutor.

— Compiled by Azad Ali

More from Around NYC