Caribbean RoundUp

Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley.
Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley.
Photo by George Alleyne, file


The Barbados government says the offshore licensing round that was originally scheduled to have been launched on Dec. 1, 2022, will now take place in the first quarter of 2023.
The Ministry of Energy and Business said that, “based on the fact that several companies have requested additional time to evaluate the acreage and data,” the government has made the “difficult decision to postpone the permit round for this short period of time in order to comply with those requests and to complete critical amendments to the legislative and licensing frameworks that will allow the country  to improve efficiency and ease of doing business within the sector.
“Barbados continues to be encouraged by the continued sustained interest shown in its offshore acreage and remains unwavering in its commitment to partnering with industry pioneers to realize its offshore petroleum potential.”
The Mia Mottley administration, in offering “sincere apology for any inconvenience caused by the  postponement,” said it welcomes further “engagement, cooperation and dialogue with the industry on issues related to the licensing round.”
The 15-member Caribbean Community  grouping has “strongly” condemned “The violent invasion of government buildings that occurred in Brasilia recently” as it reaffirmed its commitment to the rule of law.
Brazil President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has vowed to punish supporters of the country’s ex-leader Hair Bolsonaro after they stormed Congress, the Supreme Court and surrounded the presidential palace recently.
Police regained control of the buildings in Brasilia after hours of clashes. Police said 300 people have been arrested.
The city’s governor, Ibaneis Rocha, has been removed from his post for 90 days by the Supreme Court.
India recently conferred the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award on Guyana President Dr. Irfaan Ali, the highest civilian honor the government grants to the people of Indian origin in diaspora.
“Dr. Irfaan Ali is the President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana. Through his efforts, he has been able to put aside racial differences in Guyana and has been working to diversify Guyana’s economy from oil and gas dependence to more public welfare-oriented approach,” according to the citation for the award.
The award was conferred on the Guyanese head of state by Indian President Droupadi Murmu at the ongoing 17th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention, the largest gathering of persons of Indian origin living outside of the sub-continent.
President Ali is one of three Caribbean Community  nationals to receive the award.
The others are Trinidad and Tobago judge justice Frank Arthur Seepersada and Suriname’s Dr. Dewanchandrebhose Sharman.
The government of Japan has granted Haiti and emergency aid of Us$3 million in response to the on-going cholera outbreak.
According to Japan officials, the aid will be delivered through the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Programme  (WFP) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
“This emergency grant aid will allow implementing humanitarian assistance in the areas of health, water and sanitation and food in Haiti,” the Japanese Foreign Ministry said in a media release recently.
“Japan will continue to work closely with the international community toward improving the humanitarian situation in Haiti,” it stated.
The St. Lucia Hospitality and Tourism Association (SLHTA) says it intends to remain robust and buoyant this year having recorded several notable achievements over the past year, including supporting policy that leads to the launch of the Community Tourism Agency (CTA), and collaborating with the Citizens for Peace and Prosperity and other key stakeholders on matters relating to crime and security.
Over the past year, SLHTA, the organization president, Paul Collymore, is optimistic about the plans for 2023 adding that the hoteliers will seek further collaboration with other stakeholders to ensure success.
Collymore noted that the performance of the tourism sector in 2022 exceeded expectations and credits the hard work and dedication of those of those involved in the sector for this performance, adding that such efforts deserve recognition.
Despite the uptick in the number of COVID-19 positive cases in Trinidad and Tobago, there will be no lock down for carnival.
If the increased numbers become  threatening with respect to our ability to provide the health that is required, then the government would have to react in a different way, the Prime Minister Keith Rowley said.
“We are going into a carnival where the nature of it is meeting and mixing. We don’t believe that the situation warrants us not to have carnival. But it warrants us taking personal decisions, to limit your exposure and to minimize instances of requirement for healthcare  delivery to you,” the prime minister said recently, as he addressed the first news conference on COVID-19 for the year and after a five-month- long hiatus at the Diplomatic Centre, St. Ann’s.
— Compiled by Azad Ali