Caribbean RoundUp

One of ExxonMobil's oil rigs off the coast of Guyana.
One of ExxonMobil’s oil rigs off the coast of Guyana.
Photo by Bert Wilkinson


Two Antiguan nationals, including Ambassador at Large, Dr. Patrick Matthew and Arnold Joseph an operating theatre technician have been charged with practicing medicine without a license.

Matthew, a chiropractor and Joseph are accused of engaging in the practice of medicine as general practitioners and performing a surgical procedure (circumcision) that they were neither registered nor licensed to do on a child, who is now six years old.’

They appeared before Magistrate N’gaio Emmanuel-Edwards in the St. John’s Magistrate Court and were reach granted EC$10,000 bail.

As part of their bail, the two men must report to the police station three times a week and they must surrender all their travel documents.

The medical procedure was alleged to have taken place between April 5-8, 2015.


The Barbados government says discussions are ongoing with Canadian firms seeking to take advantage of a growing global medical marijuana industry.

Prime Minister, Mia Mottley said she met with individuals and company officials in Toronto and Montreal, where the issue of medical marijuana was the main topic.

Canada has fully decriminalized cannabis use, leading to a mushrooming of pharmaceutical industries tied to the herb.

She told reporters there was “great, great interest” in the establishment of a medical marijuana industry in Barbados and that Attorney General Dale Marshall and Agriculture Minister, Indar Weir are currently reviewing a regulatory framework.

The prime minister said medical marijuana in Barbados was “one that is likely to garner significant business,” but cautioned that changes would have to be made to various pieces of legislation to allow for the establishment of that industry on the island.


Dominica’s Chief Magistrate, Candia Carette-George is opposing any plans to decriminalize marijuana on the island.

Speaking at the one-day national consultation organized by the Ministry of Family and Gender Affairs recently, the magistrate said there were actions that needed if the authorities in Dominica go ahead with plans to decriminalize the drug.

She said there are too many cases that are coming before the courts on charges of theft and cannabis.

“I know that the country is having discussions on decriminalizing marijuana, but from what I see before me every day I will never advise to go that way,” she said.

The chief magistrate told the consultation, which was attended by church leaders and key stakeholders specifically to discuss issues impacting families and communities, that if Dominica were to go towards decriminalizing marijuana “I hope we are prepared to build a rehabilitation center and to expand our psychiatric unit”.


Guyana says US oil giant ExxonMobil has made its 13th discovery offshore at the Yellowtail-1 Well.

Director of Energy, Dr Mark Bynoe said Guyana continues to receive positive news with the announcement of these oil finds offshore, the real substance of these finds will accrue only when citizens are able to benefit directly or indirectly from these discoveries.

Yellowtail-1 is the third discovery for 2019 and represents the fifth discovery in the Turbot area, where ExxonMobil is evaluating its potential as an additional development hub.

In a statement Dr Bynoe said that the rate of these oil discoveries demonstrates the magnitude of Guyana’s natural resources and further reiterated the department’s intentions to manage the resource efficiently.

The statement said that the oil company intends to drill more than 10 exploration and appraisal wells offshore Guyana in 2019 and 2020.


The Child Protection Authority (CPA) in Grenada said last year more than 600 children faced varying forms of abuse, most notably sexual abandonment.

CPA Public Relations Officer, Janelle Grant-Hamlet said every year hundreds of the nation’s children come face to face with the haunting reality of child abuse and neglect.

She said during 2018, 628 such cases were reported to the Child Protection Authority.

The public relations officer told a news conference that since the start of the month several activities aimed at educating people about child abuse awareness and the negative implications that the various forms of abuse can have on children, the situation cannot be ignored.

Grant-Hamlet said last year, sexual abuse was the number one factor with 203 cases being reported, following by abandonment of 102 cases.

The CPA said that of the 628 cases, 64 involved children affected by custody issues; l07 cases involved children who were victims of physical abuse; and 11 cases involved children who had witnessed domestic abuse.


Jamaica is moving to cracking down on corporal punishment in schools when the new academic term starts in September.

The government said all reports of corporal punishment being administered in schools “will be treated very seriously.”

Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Alando Terrelonge has reiterated government’s prohibition policy on corporal punishment, saying this method of discipline “is not the solution for a society that is already steeped in violence.”

He said corporal punishment must end, noting that there are some teachers and some administrators who are still beating our children.

The minister told social workers at the Child Protection and Family Services Agency Field Services Agency administering discipline, such as corporal punishment, which demoralizes and dehumanizes, will not improve the behavioral challenges identified for the children to function in society.

Terrelonge assured that the government will continue strengthening the law to ensure that people abusing children are decisively dealt with.


Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders are to meet in Port of Spain this week to discuss security issues within the 15-member regional integration movement.

Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Rowley, chairman of Security Council for CARICOM and Law Enforcement (CONSLE), will chair the 19th Special Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community on Security.

A government statement said the one-day meeting will focus on recommitted efforts of the various stakeholders for implementing the Regional Security Framework,

“The overall purpose of the Nineteenth Special Meeting on Security is to foster mutual knowledge, analysis, debate and exchange of ideas related matters in attempts to better contribute to the safety and security of member states at the regional level,” the statement said.

“These issues include but are not limited to transnational crime, terrorism, cybercrime, narco-and gun trafficking, trafficking in persons, intelligence cooperation between member states and the region’s capability to analyze, predict and respond proactively to organized criminal networks,” it stated.