Caribbean RoundUp

Vice-President of Guyana Bharrat Jagdeo addresses an audience at the Royal Empress Hall in South Ozone Park, Queens.
Photo by Tangerine Clarke, file


The Bahamas government says the liquidator of the insolvent Colonial Life Insurance Company (Clico), is proposing to declare payments soon.

“We have been made aware that there has been a settlement with the liquidators and the Trinidadian government or authorities that would make the Clico policyholders whole. The issue we have at the moment is getting the liquidator present to sit down so that we can resolve these things,” Prime Minister Phillip Davis told Parliament.

Previously, Clico (Bahamas) liquidator was given the authority to accept a US$110.827 million settlement that could fully repay all debts owed to policyholders, creditors and the government.

Chief Justice Sir Ian Winder, in what had been hailed as a potential “quantum leap forward” for policy holders, gave Craig A. Gomez, the Baker Tilly Gomez accountant and principal, the go-ahead to accept the sum offered by liquidators for its Trinidad-based parent, CL Financial.

“The official liquidator be at liberty to accept the amount of US$110.827m adjudicated by the official liquidators of CL Financial on Clico (Bahamas) proof of debt filed on May 16, 2018, in CL Financial’s liquidation,” the chief justice wrote in a July 24, 2023, order filed with the Supreme Court.

The figure represents the settlement of the Clico (Bahamas) claim against its Trinidadian parent. CL Financial had guaranteed US$58 million or 79.5 percent, of the monies its Bahamian subsidiary had advanced to another group entity, Clico Enterprises, which subsequently defaulted on the loan repayments.



As dengue fever, Zika and Chikungunya continue to increase across the Caribbean region, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has appealed to people to remain vigilant and take immediate action to reduce the spread of these mosquito-borne diseases as they threaten lives and negatively impact livelihoods.

In a recent release, CARPHA said the diseases have continued to pose a serious public health threat to the Caribbean region, with increased reports of dengue outbreaks, hospitalizations, and deaths in some instances being recorded.

They said, “These mosquito-borne diseases can have a major impact on our way of life and our vital tourist industry, on which most of our islands depend.”

Encouraging member states to remain vigilant, CARPHA’s Ad Interim executive director, Dr. Lisa Indar said, “It is crucial that surveillance, prevention, and control measures are boosted to reduce the transmission of arboviruses in the Caribbean.”

Dr. Horace Cox, assistant director of Surveillance, Disease Prevention and Control, and head of Vector Borne Diseases at CARPHA explained, “These viral infections are transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, a vector known to be endemic to the region.”{

Senior technical officer, Vector-Borne Diseases at CARPHA, Rajesh Ragoo, said, “Community involvement is essential in the fight against mosquito-borne diseases. A proactive approach can help reduce risk and keep communities safe.”



The Guyana government says it has received bids from eight firms to conduct a 3D Seismic study of oil blocks offshore Guyana.

Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo said that once the pre-qualification process is completed, the bidders must submit proposals for the project.

A 3D seismic study is a key tool used in oil and gas exploration to create a three-dimensional image of what lies beneath the Earth’s surface. This makes it easier to pinpoint potential locations of oil and gas reserves.

The Ministry of Natural Resources extended a request for Expressions of Interest for a “reputable and experienced” firm to conduct 3D Multi-Client Seismic Surveys offshore Guyana.

According to the notice, the object of this assignment is to acquire, process and interpret high-quality 3D seismic data to facilitate the exploration and potential development of hydrocarbon resources offshore Guyana, and to ensure that this data is available for effective evaluation during future bidding and licensing rounds.

Jagdeo told reporters that this was not done for the previous licensing round, which concluded in 2023.

The authorities said as a result, the study will be conducted to ensure that block bidders make more informed decisions.

Last year’s auction concluded with 14 oil blocks on offer within the country’s shallow and deep-water areas.



The UN children’s agency said that gang violence in Haiti has displaced more than 300,000 children since March, as the Caribbean country struggles to curb killings and kidnappings.

Children are more than half of the nearly 580,000 people who have become homeless in the last four months.

“The humanitarian catastrophe unfolding before our eyes is taking a devastating toll on children,” Catherine Russell, UNICEF’s executive director, said in a statement. “Displaced children are in desperate need of a safe and protective environment, and increased support and funding from the international community.”

Gangs now control at least 80 percent of the capital, Port-au-Prince, and the key roads leading in and out of it, with more than 2,500 people killed or injured across the country in the first three months of the year.

Many children are living in makeshift shelters, including schools that are in poor hygienic conditions, placing them at risk of disease. School closures are also leading to a higher dropout rate.

The agency said children in Haiti are being forced to join violent gangs to survive as they often lack access to food, health care, clean water and sanitation. Displaced children and teenagers in Haiti also face a higher risk of sexual assault, exploitation, abuse and family separation, according to UNICEF.



Jamaica’s Minister of Transport, Daryl Vaz has dismissed the decision by opposition leader Mark Golding to renounce his British citizenship.

Golding recently announced that he would be revoking his British citizenship after indicating that he is doing so after taking into consideration the views of the public on the issue.

“Comrades we have reached a point now where we have some data on the views of the public on this matter.

“I do not want my status to be something, which could hold the party back, impact the party negatively or any of our candidates who are on the way to victory in difficult seats which we are looking to win to have any kind of disadvantage be- cause of my status,” Golding told a People’s National Party (PNP) meeting.

But in a statement, Vaz said that it was unacceptable that Golding had not given a timetable regarding when he would act on his stated intention to renounce.

Vaz said it was a national disgrace that Golding, who aspires to be head of the Jamaica government, hesitated for approximately 40 days since admitting to his dual citizenship “on the issue of whether to choose Jamaican citizenship only.”

The senior government minister said it was instructive that Golding only announced his intention to renounce after “several calls for his resignation, weeks of obfuscation and two years of not coming clean with the Jamaican people on his status.”

Vaz also said Golding announced his intention to renounce after the possibility of a parliamentary motion and court action was mooted in the public domain.


St. Kitts and Nevis

The St. Kitts and Nevis government says it will be undertaking a comprehensive economic impact assessment of the annual music festival to determine whether changes are necessary to ensure its future sustainability.

The Ministry of Tourism said that following the staging of the 26th edition of the St. Kitts Music Festival the assessment will also include an in-depth look at the current three-night model.

Minister of Tourism, Marsha Henderson, who has responsibility for the festival, said the assessment is critically needed if the product is to remain competitive and attractive to patrons, given the different other festivities in neighboring islands.

“The festivals in the region have different models and so for us to be able to compete we have to look to see whether this model is in fact sustainable.

“If you look at the amounts we spend on the music festival it’s almost like EC$10 million (One EC dollar=US$0.37 cents) and so we need to see if this is sustainable when we consider the economic impact assessment and how we can continue to change the model to make sure that the festival is sustainable as well,” Henderson said.

The authorities hope that the assessment will be completed by October this year.

“The economic impact assessment, all of the other meetings that we are going to do, we intend to do some retreat and observations of other festivals and see how we can tweak ours to make sure that this festival is sustainable,” Henderson added.

The assessment will be led by Crest Analytics, working alongside the relevant stakeholders and Henderson also assured that public feedback will play an important role in their decision-making as well.

She said irrespective of the outcome of the planned assessment, the St. Kitts Music Festival remains an important investment for the Federation, and one that has always accomplished what it was established to do — market the destination to the world.

— Compiled by Devika Ragoonanan