Caribbean Report 08-05-1997


There is continuing uncertainty in Suriname following the closure of a pyramid scheme or a pyramid style investment scheme that is believed to have attracted millions of dollars worth of investment. Next, Caricom leaders are to make one final effort over the weekend to persuade the American President not to pursue the American challenge to the preferential quotas enjoyed by Caribbean bananas in Europe. After consultation among the leaders in Barbados it is agreed that the banana issue has emerged as a great divide between the Americans and the Caribbean ahead of the Summit. The leaders discuss the banana issue as well as the shiprider agreement affecting the region. The three members of the European Parliament on a fact finding visit to the Caribbean have been hearing from the banana industry officials and farmers about the problems facing the industry and the threatened survival of the banana dependent Windward Islands. However, the Members of the European Parliament dismiss any suggestions that the tour is providing false hope to a doomed industry and say that while they cannot make any promises to farmers they are unwavering in their commitment to pressure the European Commission to appeal the World Trade Organisation’s ruling. Next, a new bill is to be introduced into the US Congress could prove to be good news for Caribbean sugar producers. If the bill becomes law it would phase out government subsidies and open up the United States market to heavier imports. Finally, stories of Caribbean interest appearing in the British press.


Table of Contents

1. Headlines (00:00-00:27)
2. Closure of the pyramid scheme in Suriname. Robert Plummer reports (00:27-02:30)
3. Caribbean leaders determine to press for President Clinton to change his mind on Caribbean banana preferences. Prime Minister of St Lucia, Vaughn Lewis, Prime Minister of Grenada, Keith Mitchell, Foreign Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Ralph Maraj, Labour Party Member of the European Union, Glenys Kinnock, Member of the European Union, Terry Wynn are interviewed. Bertrand Niles and Ken Richards report (02:31-11:29)
4. Attempts to phase out United States sugar subsidies. Leslie Goffe reports from New York (11:30-13:12)
5. Stories of Caribbean interest appearing in the British press (13:13-15:26)