New diplomats appointed

Claris Charles – posted to Cuba

Claris Charles – posted to Cuba

A former Foreign Affairs Minister under the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Government, Karl Hood, is Grenada’s new Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China.

Hood served as Minister of Foreign Affairs until his resignation in May 2012 from the Cabinet of ex-Prime Minister Tillman Thomas.

The controversial Hood had refused to vote on a motion of no-confidence tabled by the then Opposition New National Party (NNP) against Thomas and his Congress administration in Mid-2012 days after his resignation from the Cabinet.

Four months later, Hood filed a motion of no-confidence in the leadership of his own party and government but that was never debated in Parliament as it was prorogued.

In the lead up to the February 19 General Election, Hood attended two public meetings of the NNP and thereafter openly announced his support to the NNP for the poll.

His brother, attorney-at-law, Cajeton Hood also landed the prestigious post of Attorney-General with the new Mitchell government.

Hood would be heading out shortly to Beijing to take up his new position, replacing former NDC Ambassador, Stephen Fletcher.

Another former diplomat under the NDC regime to get a foreign posting with the NNP regime is New York-based Derek James, who previously served in the island’s Mission to the United Nations as Honorary Consul between 2008 and 2012.

The Thomas government was forced to bring his employment to a premature end.

In the face of an official communiqué from Washington that James, a naturalized U.S citizen was never properly accredited to serve as a diplomat in New York.

St. George’s blamed former Foreign Affairs Minister, Peter David of not following through on a Cabinet directive to regularize James’ position at the mission.

A press statement put out by the Congress government indicated that, “the fact that Mr. James is a United States citizen renders him ineligible to be appointed to the position of Consul General. His citizenship would properly allow him only an appointment as Honorary Counsel.

Derek James – receives NNP appointment as Honorary Consul General

Derek James – receives NNP appointment as Honorary Consul General

“The government of Grenada has been aware of these circumstances for some time, and in the wake of the US State Department’s most recent representation on the matter has no alternative but to bring an end to Mr. James’ purported appointment”, the release added.

James, a close political colleague of David, is believed to have given support to NNP in the February 19 general election.

The Mitchell government also announced that former Education Minister, Claris Charles will become the island’s new Ambassador to Cuba replacing career diplomat, Raphael Joseph who served in the post for the past four years and is now expected to return home to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In addition, former Ambassador to China, Joslyn Whiteman has been dispatched to serve as High Commissioner to London, a post lat held by Ruth Rose.

Businessman, Hassan Hadeed, the Managing Director of Real Value IGA Supermarket is the south of the island will be sent to Caracas to serve as Ambassador to Venezuela.

The Hadeed family originally from Syria is known to be major financial contributors to the NNP over the years.

According to Minister of Legal Affairs, Elvin Nimrod the appointments of Hood and James who both served under the previous government was in keeping with the NNP’s commitment to a politics of inclusion.

Karl Hood – rewarded with an ambassadorial appointment

Karl Hood – rewarded with an ambassadorial appointment

“We were fortunate of course to be able to appoint these two gentlemen Mr. Karl Hood and of course Mr. Derek James who have substantial experience in the area and look forward to all appointees giving their best service”, he said.

Government has promised to announce soon the persons to fill top diplomatic posts such as Ambassador to the United Nations, Ambassador to the United States and the Organisation of American States (OAS), and High Commissioner to Toronto in Canada.


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