Caribbean Report 01-04-1994



Table of Contents

1. Headlines with Yvette Rowe (00:00 - 00:29)
2. Cuba is to hold a key parliamentary session to discuss the economic reform next month. The country’s parliament, the National Assembly, will meet to discuss laws aimed at cutting the budget deficit. The laws could bring major changes in the way Cubans conduct business. For example, the laws will do away with some of the free services the Cubans have had, such as free admission to sporting events. Lionel Martin reports (00:30-02:16)
3. Cuba is to receive Russian oil in return for sugar. Russia will supply 2.5 million tonnes of oil in exchange for a million tonnes of raw Cuban sugar. The decision was made after trade talks between the two countries but a final decision is still to be made. Cuba and China have signed a trade protocol for 1994, it includes provisions for the sale of Chinese food and medicine in return for Cuban sugar. The agreement was signed by Cuban trade minister after the end of a week-long session with Cuba-China Joint Economic Commission in Havana (02:17-02:55)
4. Ken Valley, Trinidad and Tobago’s Trade minister outlines the country’s decision to place itself in the queue for NAFTA. Analyst Dr. Anthony Bryan, Director of the Caribbean Programme, North/South Centre at the University of the Miami, discusses how realistic this move is and whether it is premature (02:56-06:10)
5. Belize’s formal protest to the Greek government over the treatment of Belize’s High Commissioner to London at an international meeting in Athens, has led to a renewed focus on Guatemala-Belize relations. In yesterday’s programme, Belize’s foreign minister Dr. Ursula Barrow blamed Guatemala for requesting that Belize be removed from the guest list of European Union and Central America officials. Belize’s foreign minister said yesterday Guatemala’s behaviour in Greece has given a new perspective on relations between the two countries. The news correspondent reports on the worsening relations between the two neighbours (06:11-09:05)
6. Ecuador is to host a meeting of banana producing and consuming nations unhappy with the new European Union banana arrangements next week. Costa Rica, Venezuela and Columbia reached an agreement with the community on the issue earlier this week. Nicaragua is also expected to sign soon. Under the agreement these countries will share just over 49% of the Latin American quota for banana imports into the European Union market (09:06-09:28)
7. CARICOM’s Secretary General Edwin Carrington admitted that the regional community has been damaged by the split vote on Sunday for the new Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS). On Sunday some Eastern Caribbean States and Guyana backed César Gávaria. The rest of the region stuck to an earlier decision to vote for Costa Rica’s candidate Bernd Niehaus. The split vote has stirred up some issues which CARICOM must deal with. Edwin Carrington and Clement Rowe, Guyana’s Foreign Minister, are interviewed (09:28-10:50)
8. Journalist Ricky Singh believes CARICOM could have negotiated a much earlier deal using the leverage the OAS votes provided. In his view, the US exercised enormous pressure on the small state (10:51-12:39)
9. Guyana’s President Cheddi Jagan leaves for a state visit. Orin Gordon looks at the possible implications of the trip following Guyana's controversial vote at the OAS meeting (12:40-14:22)
10. Recap of headlines (14:23-14:37)
11. Theme music (14:38-14:52)