2018 will test CARICOM’s collective resolve

In 2018, unless Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries eschew their tendency to pursue narrow ‘national interests’ in the conduct of their international relations, each of them individually and all of them collectively will be buffeted by larger and more powerful countries and regions. The CARICOM states that accede or succumb to lures or demands of bigger countries may secure short-term economic gains, but in the longer-term they will severely compromise their independence and sovereignty. Events toward the end of 2017 demonstrated that both the United States and the European Union have no qualms about using a big stick to get their … Continue reading

Flawed WTO Arbitration remains better option, despite US view

The new United States Trade Representative, Mr Robert Lighthizer, made his first appearance at a Ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Argentina on December 10. Mr Lighthizer’s remarks provoked serious consideration of the usefulness of the WTO for small countries, particularly when he questions whether the “current litigation structure (of the WTO) makes sense”. After 14 years of trying unsuccessfully to get the office of the USTR, through the administrations of Bush, Obama and Trump, to honour an award made by the litigation structure of the WTO, the small nation of Antigua and Barbuda, has good reason … Continue reading

Flawed WTO Arbitration remains better option, despite US view

The new United States Trade Representative, Mr Robert Lighthizer, made his first appearance at a Ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Argentina on December 10. Mr Lighthizer’s remarks provoked serious consideration of the usefulness of the WTO for small countries, particularly when he questions whether the “current litigation structure (of the WTO) makes sense”. After 14 years of trying unsuccessfully to get the office of the USTR, through the administrations of Bush, Obama and Trump, to honour an award made by the litigation structure of the WTO, the small nation of Antigua and Barbuda, has good reason … Continue reading

Deliver the Golding Report on CARICOM

What has become of the Report of a Jamaican Commission that reviewed the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM)? It has been almost 9 months since the Commission’s Chairman, Bruce Golding, submitted the report to Jamaica’s Prime Minister, Andrew Holness on March 30. But, there has been silence ever since. Maybe, the report can be delivered by December 30 when the period of expectancy will have gone its full-term. The report is important. When Prime Minister Holness announced the formation of the Golding Commission in June 2016, he created a great deal of anticipation among supporters and detractors of CARICOM … Continue reading

Comply or else: The EU blacklist

The Council of the European Union (CEU) published its much anticipated ‘List of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes’ on December 5. This particular EU blacklist refers more particularly to what they have described as “Base Erosion and Profit Shifting” (BEPS). It is aimed particularly at companies that enjoy low or no tax status because they are offshore entities, or they operate in a special free trade zone where taxes are not paid, or they are foreign-owned and are given tax concessions not provided to similar domestic operations. Many of the countries on the list, which includes Barbados, Grenada, St Lucia, … Continue reading

Look Poverty! Celebrate?

By William Joseph The period since Independence may well be described as ‘the guilty years’ for a Nation that has not worked seriously at reducing poverty. Public policy has skirted the subject, under-educating the poor and under-financing poverty reduction! So, the womb of poverty remains pregnant from generation to generation. Now, Grenada’s young poor have taken ‘comfort’ in crime, anti-social strikes and lodgings at Richmond Hill! Whereas children in some countries spend their lives in war; here, many children spend their lives in poverty. Even as the evidence mounts and leaders are declared guilty, political parties seeking to form the … Continue reading

Climate Change consequences worsening

The effects of Climate Change, particularly sea-level rise, is an overwhelming problem for the Caribbean that needs urgent attention. Delay in putting in place sustainable plans for resilient building, that could secure international financial support, will cost the region dearly. The problem has become multi-faceted and addressing it requires collaboration among structural and mechanical engineers, accountants, economists, environmentalists and designers of tourism plants. The trick is going to be how to merge defences against sea-surges and flooding with the aesthetics necessary to maintain the Caribbean as a sun, sea and sand destination. 2017 has witnessed back-to-back Category 5 hurricanes that … Continue reading

NDC 30th anniversary celebrated in New York and Grenada

By Helen Grenade The National Democratic Congress (NDC) celebrated its 30th anniversary with many activities held in Grenada and New York to mark the special occasion. Two of the NDC candidates were in New York for the festivities, Mr Adrian ‘Persuader’ Thomas, the caretaker for St David’s constituency, and Ms Claudette Joseph, the caretaker for the town of St George’s. Some of the planned activities included a meet and greet event, a cocktail reception, a fundraising event, church activities and a farewell reception. At an emotional and wide ranging town hall meeting in New York, a lively exchange took place … Continue reading

Mugabe: a Graceful Coup

When independence was finally wrenched from Britain in April 1980, Zimbabwe was described as the “jewel of Africa” by Tanzania’s President Julius Nyerere. Thirty-seven years later, the country is in economic ruin. Its 93-year old leader, Robert Mugabe, has been ousted by the military and is under house arrest after almost four decades of mostly despotic rule, supported, incidentally, by the very military that removed him from office. Caribbean leaders fought for Zimbabwe’s independence, for one-man, one-vote and for an end to white minority rule in what was then Southern Rhodesia. The pantheon of Caribbean leaders included Guyana’s Forbes Burnham, … Continue reading

Cheating the Elections before they are called

By Ray Roberts The public declaration by Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell in the Constituency of St. Patrick East, telling the residents that Pamela Moses’ seat will be declared by midday (on election day) followed by Tobias Clement of St. George North East raises suspicion of a rigged General Elections whenever they are called. At a Press Conference in September, the Prime Minister questioned how a party in government – Congress – in control of the election machinery could lose all 15 seats in 2013. Is Dr. Mitchell sending a subtle message that a party is power should never lose … Continue reading