Caribbean RoundUp

Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne.
Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne.
Gov’t of Antigua and Barbuda


Security officials recently conducted an operation to search the multi-million dollar Alfa Nero that has been anchored in Falmouth Harbour since the start of the year. In a statement, Minister of Foreign Affairs, EP “Chect” Green said the operation was led by an officer of the ONDP and supported by a multi-agency task force comprising the police, defence force and customs. The yacht and its Russian owner, Andrey Guevara are on sanction lists issued by the US, the UK and the European Union. It is reported that in March, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Antigua and Barbuda government advised all local companies not to transcend any business with any people, any business, or any other entities, which appear on these sanctions list.
Consequently, the Alfa Nero was not provided with any fuel, except emergency supply to keep it secure — both for the vessel and the safety of Falmoth Harbor. According to Greene, on Aug. 12 , “pursuant to a request under our Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT), the government of the United States sought the help of the government of Antigua and Barbuda to conduct a search of the vessel and to interview its crew.” Recently, after the Attorney General and the director of Public Prosecutions had completed reviews of MLAT request and after further consultant with the US authorities, DPP Anthony Armstrong made an application to the High Court of Antigua and Barbuda, which then issued and order to board the Alfa Nero and to search and seize relevant material and to question the crew.

The Barbados Rum And Food Festival will be returning after a two year hiatus due to the end of the pandemic. The Feed the future themed the event will run from Oct. 27 to 30, and will comprise a series of activities featuring 28 chefs and mixologist.
The festival had already been pre-launched in all of Barbados’ major tourism source markets including New York, the United Kingdom, Washington and Canada, and according to Minister of Tourism and International Transport Lisa Cummins  there would also be with an airline partner in the coming days.
She said as part of this year’s festival, Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc has partner with Life-Style Travel magazine, Conde Naste Traveler, which will provide further international exposure for the festival and the opportunity for one of the island’s chefs to visit its New York City office.
The Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) said it will take the Trinidad and Tobago government to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) regarding the non-payment of millions of US dollars linked to the collapsed of Trinidad-based insurance companies CLICO and British Insurance Company (BAICO) in 2009.
Chairman of the ECCU Sub-committee on Insurance, Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne, said the decision to take Dr. Keith Rowley’s administration before the Port of Spain-based CCJ was made over the weekend.
The ECCU groups the islands of Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Prime Minister Browne said the meeting agreed unanimously to take the T&T government to court after three failed attempts to get them to pay the outstanding funds.
The Guyana government has announced plans to probe into the erroneous immigration and registration of citizens who ended up in the hands of a political party.
The data was supplied to Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) during the national recount of ballots during 2020 general and regional elections.
The announcement was made by Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Mohabir Anil Nandlall, who said the decision was made as the Issue continues to be peddled as a narrative in the public domain by the main opposition party.
“Perhaps, we should have done it before, but it is not too late. These conceited and fabricated allegations continue to be made by that rigging cabal who tried relentlessly to provoke those elections. They manufactured records from the Immigration Department and the GRO office,” Nandlall said on his weekly television program.
“Many of these people who claimed they were dead were also found in North America, but voted.”
Kendall said the police or the relevant agency will have to investigate and tell the public where the document came from, who compiled it and who gave direction for its compilation.
Jamaica Prime Minister Andrew Holness said the government intends to pursue Vernamfield in the Central Parish of Clarendon as a viable option for a new international airport.
Vernamfield, is a former World War II US Army Air Force airfield located in that area that was closed in 1949.
Speaking to reporters and stakeholders following a tour of the Sangster International Airport in the western city of Montego Bay, St. James, Holness said that despite the infrastructure upgrade at the island’s three international airports, there is strong argument to be made for a modern facility to be built from scratch.
“Jamaica will have to build another airport and we have been discussing this for sometime with Vernamfield as a cargo facility,” the prime minister said.
Work has commenced on the runway extension at the Sangster International Airport with the establishment of runway and safety areas. The extension work is part of a US$70 million runway expansion project.
When completed, the runway is expected to reposition the airport to accommodate larger and more powerful planes, while significantly reducing arrival and departure times.
The St. Lucia government says it is anticipating investments in the tourism industry to surpass US$120 million as a result of negotiations with  various investors during the first eight months of this year.
Prime Minister Phillip J. Pierre told the 58th annual general meeting of the St. Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLTHA) “that investors were showing a high level of confidence in St. Lucia’ s economic prospects. This is evident of the level of tourism investment, which have been recorded for the period January to August 2022.”
He said during that period, Cabinet approved 20 projects for tourism incentives “amounting to projected investments of EC$326 million ($US120.08 million).”
Pierre, a former tourism minister said that the Jamaica-based Sandals group has started renovation on one of its properties here, while another has re-opened under new management.
Trinbagonians are expecting fuel prices to rise again as the government look to cap the fuel subsidy one billion.
In his presentation at the spotlight on the economy at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Port of Spain last week, Minister of Finance, Colm Imbert said the fuel subsidy is estimated to cost the government TT $2.6 billion for 2022 at the current energy prices.
He observed for the month of March, when oil prices were at US$130 the government fuel subsidy was $309 million. In May it was US$310 million.
In June it was US$341 million.
“We’re going to end this year with the government having to have spent US$2,6 billion on fuel subsidies in the last 12 months,” Imbert said.
He said the government had expected a fuel subsidy of about $800-$900 million. “Nobody ever expected prices to remain at that level- $105, $110, and $120 that sort of thing,” he added.
— Compiled by Azad Ali