Caribbean RoundUp

Mia Amor Mottley, Prime Minister, Minister for National Security and the Civil Service addresses the 76th Session of the U.N. General Assembly at United Nations headquarters in New York, on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021.
Mia Amor Mottley, prime minister, minister for National Security and the Civil Service addresses the 76th Session of the U.N. General Assembly at United Nations headquarters in New York, on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021.
John Angelillo /Pool Photo via AP/File

BARBADOS

Former deputy speaker of the Barbados Parliament and government legislator Neil Rowe will reappear in a magistrate court on Jan. 30 next year, after he appeared in court last week on a rape charge.
Rowe was not required to enter a plea in the indictable charge when he appeared before magistrate Deirdre McKenna in the Ostins Magistrate’s Court.
Rowe, who was alleged to have committed the offense on Sept. 18 was granted Bds$10,000 bail after the prosecution raised no objection to his bail.
Kings Council Roger Forde, one of two lawyers representing  Rowe, told reporters after the court hearing he had concern about information regarding the case which had been placed in the public domain via the social media.
He said such leaking of information some of which alleged from the content of a police station diary, could prejudice that the position of any females in Barbados who wanted to.make reports to the Barbados Police Service.
Prime Minister Mia Mottley said she has “every confidence in the independence and integrity of the Barbados Police Force,” after the member of the ruling Barbados Labor Party (BPL) was detained by police last week.
Earlier, Mottley had indicated that the member of Parliament for St. Thomas, Cynthia Forde, will be nominated for the position of the deputy speaker in the House of Assembly, soon replacing Rowe.
BAHAMAS 
President of the Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) Robert Sands said the hoteliers are planning to meet with Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) this week to discuss ways to mitigate the effects of the increase fuel surcharge for hotels and large property owners.
He said the tourism stakeholders would be discussing a possible tax break of some for some hotels in the future among others consideration.
The industry has set up a meeting with the leadership of BPL.
Sands told reporters that there where ideas on mitigating the effects of the increase in the rise in the BPL fuel surcharge that BPHTA will be proposing to BPL.
The BHTA president said he will be speaking about the reliability within Family Island properties going forward.
CARIBBEAN
CARICOM and the African Export-Import Bank have signed an agreement to facilitate co-operation- according to a statement issued by the office of the Guyana President.
The brief statement said that the agreement was signed at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport  last week by Guyana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-oporation-and Hugh Todd and the Afreximbank President, Prof Benedict Oramah and witnessed by President Irfaan Ali and Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley.
According to statement, the agreement aims to facilitate  co-operation support and provide assistance of all types and nature, to enable the promotion and financing of South-South trade between African countries and CARICOM member states.
The statement said that before the signing of the agreements, Guyanese delegation led by Ali and the Barbadian delegation led by Mottley met with a team from the African Export-Import Bank.
DOMINICA 
The Dominican government says it remains optimistic that the island’s transition to geothermal energy will become a reality in the near future as equipment for the project arrived on the island last week.
Minister of Renewable Energy, Dr. Vince Henderson, speaking on state-owned DBS radio, said as Dominica develop an as the economy expand “we are seeing  the demand for more power.”
“We have the capacity here in the Roseau Valley to generate enough power to supply Dominica for the foreseeable future and this is exciting and this is why the government continues to remain focus.”
During the national budget presentation in July, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit provide an update on the geothermal project being developed by the Dominica Geothermal Company for a 10-MW capacity in Laudat, a small village in the interior of the island, located between three mountains in the Roseau  Valley.
The authorities hope that signing of the commercial agreement and start of the construction could be done within this year.
GUYANA
The Guyana government announced last week that it is recalling its High Commissioner in India, Charrandas Persaud, even as Georgetown had earlier indicated that “allegations of sexual abusive words” leveled against the diplomat had “not been substantiated.”
In a broadcast, President Irfaan Ali said he had spoken with the High Commissioner, who related to him that this was an incident that occurred to him last year and the video was “not a true reflection of what took place. “
Ali said this matter had been communicated to him and it was dealt by the relevant authorities in India.
He said there was no evidence of any misconduct and, as a matter of fact, he was cleared of any accusation of sexual harassment. He also shared with me the letter that substantiate his statement.
Ali said the ongoing High Commissioner has agreed “to take full responsibility for his action and will return from his posting.”
According to the posting on  social media, a 63-year-old woman claimed she was “sexually harassed and her modesty was outraged and insulted by Charrandas Persaud, Guyana’s High Commissioner to India.
TRINIDAD
Two Trinidad and Tobago nationals have been charged with sending a shipment of high-powered assault rifles and pistols through Piarco International Airport, through a courier in Trinidad.
The US Department of Justice said last week, that these persons were members of a Caribbean arms trafficking ring.
A statement from the US Attorneys Office for the middle district of Florida said Tevin O’Brien Oliver, 29, a Trinidadian living in Homestead, Florida, Jamael Kaia Phillip, of Trinidad and Tobago, as well as Edward Solomon King III, 31, Tampa, Florida, have been jointly charged with conspiracy to smuggle goods from the US. If convicted, each faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison.
The indictment stated that Oliver, Phillip and King allegedly exported firearms, components and related items, from Florida to Trinidad and Tobago between 2019 and 2022.
The firearms were concealed within boxing/fight equipment, speakers and other household items, the statement said.
On April 22, police were called in at Piarco International Airport and after searching packages at a courier bond, seized those firearms making one of the single largest arms find in recent years.
They all appeared in Federal Court and were remanded in custody.
— Compiled by Azad Ali

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