Caribbean RoundUp

Barbados leads Caribbean debt
Barbados Opposition Leader Mia Mottley.
Photo by George Alleyne


Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley has announced that 1,500 public servants would be sent home in the first major cut since her Barbados Labor Party (BLP) took office last May.

In an hour-long national address, Mottley laid out more details of a recovery plan that now includes cuts in the public service.

The cuts, she said will occur over the next few weeks with workers leaving with checks covering severance, vacation pay and compensation in lieu of notice.

The retrenched workers are expected to be absorbed in a range of projects ranging from a $100 million road project, digitization of government records and private sector projects.

An extensive retraining will also be undertaken to re-equip workers for new jobs.

Mottley urged Barbadians to come to grips with reality if Barbados is to be lifted up out of the economic crisis.


The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has reserved its ruling on two applications by the Council of Legal Education (CLE) and CARICOM to dismiss the legal challenge by a Trinidadian law student to the quota system, which limits the number of law students with non-University of the West Indies (UWI) law degrees (external degrees) into the regional law school.

The hearing of Jason Jones’ application took place at the CCJ, Port of Spain-based headquarters recently.

Jones’ lawsuit at the CCJ is against the CLE and two regional bodies, the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD) and the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED), of CARICOM. It has invoked the CCJ’s original jurisdiction.

In that original jurisdiction, to which Trinidad and Tobago is a signatory, the CCJ functions as an international tribunal interpreting the regional bloc.

Lawyers for the CARICOM bodies argued that the CCJ could not entertain a claim against the council.


Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has received an honorary degree from the privately-owned US-based Duquesne University in recognition of his leadership and advocacy on climate change.

The conferment of the Degree of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa, took place during a ceremony and was conferred by the President of the University, Dr. Ken Gormley.

The university said that its honorary degrees are awarded to individuals “in recognition of distinguished service and commitment to the institution, humanity and academia.”

The university which was established in 1878 and is ranked among the country’s top Catholic universities, also conferred on individuals who have made valuable contributions to society and the world.

Skerrit announced shortly after the passage of Hurricane Maria last year that he would move to make Dominica, the first climate resilient country in the world and has since established the Climate Resilient Execution Agency for Dominica (CREAD), a task force designed to execute this vision.

Skerrit has been in Government for the past 18 years after being first elected to parliament in 2000.


Grenada police have confirmed that “Cripa” or “Creepy,”,a powerful strain of marijuana grown from plants native to Europe and the United States, was recently discovered on the island and two persons have bene held in connection with the find.

According to police report, Ken Stanisclaus, 39, and Angela Pierre, 32, have been jointly charged with possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana, trafficking in a controlled substance, illegal drug possession, illegal possession of a firearm and possession of ammunition.

They were held recently following a search of their home where they found the cocaine and the “creepy” marijuana.

Police said when compared to other marijuana plants, this particular strain has up to 20 percent higher levels of THC, the active psychoactive ingredient in the plant.

St. Kitts

St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister, Dr. Timothy Harris has said that the Barbados-based Regional Security System (RSS) was invited to deploy forces across the federation to ensure the safety of citizens.

In an address to the nation recently, Harris said this is yet another initiative undertaken by his administration to enhance the safety and security of all persons on St. Kitts and Nevis.

He said there must be a reduction in the incidences of criminal acts in the federation.

The prime minister said after consultation with the police high command and other technocrats in the Ministry of National Security, Cabinet approved the recommendation to invite the RSS.

He said the shortage of manpower affects the ability of the Police to properly execute their strategic plan and has prompted the call from them for the RSS to augment the number of security personnel on the ground.

Dr. Harris said RSS members are already deployed throughout the communities with local national security personnel, and it is believed that their presence will help local law enforcement to expand their coverage of the country.

He said the RSS will remain in St. Kitts and Nevis for as long as necessary until the security forces advise that their presence are no longer required.

St. Lucia

Companies in the United States and Canada have expressed an interest in starting medical marijuana projects in St. Lucia.

This was disclosed by chairman of St. Lucia’s Cannabis Movement, Andre de Caries, who said one of the investors wants to plant 2,000 acres of marijuana on the island.

According to Caires, the investors indicated interests up to three years ago, while another just this year expressed interest.

Caires has expressed concern that St Lucia could miss the boat, as it is still to legalize marijuana.

He said five investors- four in Canada and one if the United States- have expressed interest in the marijuana project.


New United States ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago Joseph N Mondello has arrived in Trinidad to take up his post, according to a statement from the US Embassy in Port of Spain.

He officially took up duties last week after presentation of his Letter of Credence to President Paula Mae Weekes.

Mondello, 80, replaces former ambassador John Estrada, who resigned in 2016 following the election of President Donald Trump.

Trump appointed Mondello on July 2, after being confirmed by the Senate on June 28.

Before becoming ambassador, Mondello enjoyed a long and distinguished political career, the US Embassy said.

— compiled by Azad Ali

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