Caribbean Report 19-02-2003



Table of Contents

1. Headlines with anchor Bertram Niles (00:00-00:25)
2. Political leaders in Saint Kitts and Nevis work towards full autonomy for Nevis and pledge to negotiate a new constitution to govern two islands only two miles apart. Sam Condor, Saint Kitts and Nevis’ Deputy Prime Minister and also Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitutional Reform, explains what the aim is politically. BBC’s Bertram Niles reports (00:27-03:27)
3. Dominica’s air and seaports are seriously affected as a thousand public servants go on strike to persuade government to abandon its new austerity measures. Government’s proposal includes a six and a half percent wage cut and layoffs. Thomas Letang, General Secretary of the DPSU says his organization is willing to find a solution and Charles Savarin, acting PM says the government is not withdrawing its proposal. BBC’s Paul Charles reports (03:28-05:07)
4. Trade unions in St. Lucia warn of escalating worker agitation in the Caribbean if governments fail to consult more with them and also fail to move apace with the changing global environment. In Jamaica, teachers are asking for a thirty percent increase but the government is offering just three percent while awarding itself a one hundred and three percent pay hike. Judith Spencer-Jarrett, Past President of the Jamaica Teacher’s Association sees this as a negative forecast for the future of industrial relations. BBC’s correspondent Pete Ninvalle reports (05:08-06:54)
5. Edward Seaga, leader of the Opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) defends his party’s decision to suspend cooperation talks with the government over the Omar Davies affair. He claims to have had enough of wrongdoing by the government. BBC’s Bertram Niles reports (06:55-09:55)
6. Popular Haitian radio station, Radio Métropole stages a broadcast blackout for twenty-four hours in protest for an attack on one of the station’s top journalists. Radio Métropole News Director François Rothschild, believes that pro Jean-Bertrand Aristide government supporters are responsible. Moreover, two journalist have been killed within the last two weeks. BBC’s Karen Weir reports (09:56-11:59)
7. The British government announces the postponement of a meeting between Foreign Office Minister Baroness Amos and CARICOM’s tourism ministers. Philip J. Pierre, St Lucia’s Tourism Minister states that this regional industry is facing strong global competition and ministers need to explore joint marketing within Britain to increase the Caribbean’s market share. BBC’s Bertram Niles reports (12:00-14:43)
8. A Cuban court sentences two dissidents to eighteen months in prison for resisting the authorities. They were campaigning for the Varela Project, an initiative for political reform in Cuba. Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas, project leader and political activist says that the sentences are unreasonable and unjustified. BBC’s Bertram Niles reports (14:44-15:29)