Caribbean RoundUp

Vice President of the United States Kamala Harris
Vice President of the United States Kamala Harris speaks during the 9th Summit of the Americas at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles,
CA. Ben Solomon/U.S. Department of State/File
Barbadians will have to pay a slight increase in electricity bills shortly due to intern rate rate increase in granting to the Barbados Light and Power Company (BLPC) by the Fair and Trading Commission (FTC).
Speaking at a news conference recently chief executive officer of the FTC Dr. Marshal Artherley-Kochi said the interim rate had been granted to the utility provider, while the substantive application for a rate increase will be discussed during a series of hearings planned for this month.
The United States government will provide US$28 million to boost food security in the region under Zero Hunger Caribbean Plan, said a White House statement last week.
“As follow up to the commitment at the Summit of the Americas, the US government is providing the Caribbean with US$28 million in assistance to address urgent food security needs.”
This came just after the prime ministers and other CARICOM leaders met US Vice President Kamla Harris in Washington to discuss energy, and food security.
Those present included CARICOM Chairman, Suriname President Chandrikapersad Santoki, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley, Guyana President Dr. Irfaan Ali, and the Dominican Republic President, Luis Avinda.
The White House listed near-term action on food security to be followed by medium-long-term action.
The treasury will work with the Multilateral Development Banks to (MBDs) to expand access to development finance country for countries three ways.
The Grenada government through the Ministry of Agriculture is intensifying  efforts to increase the production of spices with the launch of a spice replanting program.
During the recent launch in the southeastern parish of St. David, it was announced that the government wants to have 1,000 spice plants in different locations around the island.
Before Hurricane Ivan in 2004, St. David cultivated various spices, including nutmeg, cocoa, pimento, cinnamon, sapote and tonca bean.
The project will not concentrate only on the traditional and locally known as spices, but it will also allow for the introduction of new spices to Grenada.
Trade between Guyana and China is estimated at US $950 million for the the first half of this year ,as the government and the private sector move to engage Chinese investors in  bid to secure creative investment and partnership in the future.
Vice Chairman of the China Council for the Protection on International Trade (CCPIT) Zhang Shaong speaking at a virtual China investment opportunities seminar recently, said the trade so far this year represents a 23 percent increase in trade between these two countries.
In 2021, trade between Guyana and China stood at US$ 7.10 million and the CCCPIT officials said that of the near one billion US trade so far this year, Chinese import from Guyana totaled US$720 million as confirmed by China Customs Authority.
US investigators say they have noticed an increased in the number and caliber of weapons being smuggled from Florida to Haiti in recent months.
Anthony Salisbury, chief of the Homeland Security Investigations office, said agents are increasing efforts to stop the trafficking, noting the increase in gang violence around Haiti’s capital.
Salisbury said the guns included the 15 caliber sniper rifle, and other machine guns not usually seen.
Homeland Security said it continues to investigate the increase. The violence comes as gangs continue to fight for power following the July 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moise.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Trinidad and Jamaica recently which which it is hope will improve of ĺtrade between the two nations.
In a media release Jamaica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kamina Johnson-Smith and Trinidad and Tobago Minister of Foreign Affairs,  Dr. America Brown signed the MoU establishing a trade complaints mechanism that will create a venue “for the expeditious resolution of complaint.”
At a media conference recently at the Diplomatic Center, St. Ann’s the prime ministers of both countries said the MoU will strengthen size between the nation, with Dr. Rowley saying in the last six years trade relationship between the two went from a two to an eight on a scale of zero to 10.
In 2016, Dr. Keith Rowley was çalled to Jamaica by Prime Minister Andrew Holness amidst planed boycott of T&T goods. Rowley said the issue was a result of bureaucratic obstacles fueled by those he refused to name.
Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said he met with Commissioner of Police, Colin John and senior police officers “dealing with crime” amidst the recent spate of killings that have pushed the murder toll so far for this year to 32.
“We did a review as to what is being done now and and what we can do different, better and more effectively,” Gonsalves said on his state owned NBC Radio.
“There are a series of things we have decided upon, I wouldn’t talk about them except to say that if certain bystanders witness what are happening, they will know that it relates to what I mentioned here now,” said Dr. Gonsalves, who is also minister of National Security.
He told radio listeners that what might be “particularly unfortunate” was that innocent bystanders might be caught in the crossfire.
— Compiled by Azad Ali

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