Caribbean Report 23-07-2002



Table of Contents

1. Headlines (00:00–00:32)
2. There have been demonstrations outside the Magistrates Court, in Georgetown, Guyana. Colin Smith reports that these demonstrations are due to a three-week postponement of the trial of Mark Benschop and Philip Bynoe. The accused are being tried for treason after storming the Presidential Complex (00:33-02:45)
3. The bloody confrontation at the Presidential Secretariat is one on many incidents linked to political and ethnic strife in Guyana. The Police Commissioner, Mr. Floyd Mc Donald is accusing talk show hosts of inciting violence. One talk show host, Roger Moore, has been critical of the Government and Police but denies inciting violence (02:46-05:48)
4. Prime Minister Owen Arthur proposal that the Caribbean has its own cruise line, has been met with mixed reaction. His argument is that 56% of cruise take place in the Caribbean and such a regional line will be beneficial for the Single Market and Economy. Sir John Compton says the region never had a success story in shipping and is skeptical of such a move (05:55-08:14)
5. A businessman from St. Maarten, tried to board a flight with a loaded gun. He was found guilty of arms possession in the District Court. The man originally from Iran was on his way to Washington, when airport security found the gun in his luggage. The businessman manages a cement company in St. Maarten. He will be sentenced in October (08:15-08:41)
6. The Netherlands Government is to announce a replacement for the Suriname born Junior Minister, who resigned soon after being sworn in. Philomena Bijlhout stepped down after it was revealed that she was a member of Desi Bouterse militia, which ran Suriname for much of the 1980s and part of the 1990s. According to correspondent Geraldine Cochrane the Dutch were critical of the Secret Service’s failure at properly screening Ms. Bijlhout for the candidacy (0843-14:17)
7. Venezuela is to resume oil shipment to Cuba after a four-month suspension. Ken Richards reports that the shipment of 53,000 barrels were suspended during the brief overthrow of Hugo Chavez. Investment Minister for Cuba said this development was good news for Havana (14:18-15:23)