Caribbean Report 03-07-2003



Table of Contents

1. Headlines (00:00-00:31)
2. Four Caribbean countries Barbados, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines as well as Trinidad and Tobago have decided to press ahead with political integration. Much is to be worked out for an agreement but they have identified areas where they can move quickly. One political analyst offers an explanation for this initiative despite the existing CARICOM integration movement (00:32-04:04)
3. The Bahamas is asking for understanding from the rest of CARICOM over the issue of US soldiers getting exemptions from prosecutions at the International Criminal Court (ICC). Six countries which ratified the ICC are to have US military aid cut off. Some at the 2003 CARICOM Summit however, wanted the group to show principled opposition to America’s snub of the ICC (04:05-06:44)
4. In Dominica, high court judge, Dunbar Cenac has harshly criticised the outgoing Director of Public Prosecutions, British lawyer Roger Pinfold. The judge described Mr. Pinfold as ineffective and incompetent. The island’s bar association is to meet in an emergency session to discuss the matter (06:45-08:25)
5. Saint Lucia’s Parliament has voted to stop MPs swearing allegiance to Queen Elizabeth. Elected members will now swear loyalty to Saint Lucia and its people. One Independent Member of Parliament lent his support to breaking with the monarchy but there were dissenting voices (08:26-10.19)
6. A group of Montserratians who were advised to leave their homes near the Soufriere Hills volcano is calling on the island’s government to allow them to return. They are claiming about two and a half million dollars in lost wages and business and are asking the government to work out compensation packages for everyone affected by the evacuation (10:20-13:23)
7. Bermuda’s upcoming general elections will be fought mainly between the island’s two political parties, the governing Progressive Labour Party (PLP) of Premier Jennifer Smith and the opposition United Bermuda Party (UBP). Both have named a full slate of candidates and the two main election issues are said to be housing and education (13:24-15:04)
8. Hurricane Claudette is being monitored as it develops off Jamaica and advances toward Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula. Updates continue in the next BBC Caribbean Report (15:05-15:30)