Caribbean Report 25-01-1999



Table of Contents

1. Headlines with anchor Ken Richards (00:27)
2. The Windward Islands, Dominica and St. Lucia delay a measure by the United States to impose punitive import duties on European goods. Claire Doyle reports on actions by the US to seek World Trade Organisation (WTO) approval to impose sanctions against European Union companies and how this action failed due to opposition by African and Caribbean banana producing countries. The WTO Director General has intervened in an effort to broker a deal between the competing nations (00:28- 02:17)
3. Concerns have been expressed about Saint Lucia decision to withdraw from the Windward Islands Banana Development and Exporting Company (WIBDECO). Pete Nimvall reports on the future of the banana producing country in WIBDECO. Chairman of the Saint Lucian Banana Corporation Patrick Joseph comments on the impasse suggesting that Saint Lucia is the largest shareholder and biggest banana producer in WIBDECO and should have a proportional voice in the company. President of Saint Lucia National Farmers Association Elias John expresses the view that the country’s action will have dire consequences for Windward Islands banana exports and must be handled with caution and great skill. Former Saint Lucian Prime Minister Sir John Compton states that all Windward Island governments and WIBDECO must address the issue. WIBDECO Chairman Garnet Didier confirms that the issue is not on the agenda for the next scheduled shareholders meeting (02:18 – 08:22)
4. Human rights lawyers are in Jamaica seeking a reprieve for two of three convicted killers scheduled to be hanged. Human rights advocate Dennis Daly is applying for a stay of execution for Patrick Taylor and Anthony McLeod. Amnesty International has also protested against the hangings and spokesman Jonathan O’Donnell appealed to the authorities in Kingston to stop the executions, abolish the death penalty and halt the execution of a third convicted man, Christopher Brown while his petition is pending (08:23 - 09:30)
5. Despite Guyana’s Central Bank intervention to stop the decline of the Guyanese dollar it remains at an all-time low. Colin Smith reports that the injection of fifty million US dollars to meet unsatisfied demand and speculation may alleviate the decline in the short term but local businessmen and analysts are calling on the government to start working on long term measures such as attracting new foreign investments and stimulating exports (09:31-11:41)
6. President Fidel Castro has been successful in his bid to crack down on crime in Cuba. Rosie Hayes reports on actions by the government to remove prostitutes from the streets of Havana including relocation to special re-education centers and employment in the agricultural fields. Police and special brigades have been mobilized to patrol the streets of Havana (11:42 - 13:46)
7. The new cabinet of Barbados Prime Minister Owen Arthur has been installed following the landslide victory (26/2) of the Barbados Labour Party. Bertram Niles reports on the expansion of cabinet with the appointment of three new Ministers, Agriculture Minister, Minister of Social Services and Minister of Housing and Lands (13:47- 15:27)