2. New Organization will protect, promote interest,
– Continued from page 1 –
conference and identifying action to be taken arising out of the meeting.
Participants had identified the need for a coordinated approach to tackling many of the
problems affecting small businesses both in the US and in the Caribbean, noting that a
number of problems was having a negative impact on trade, investment, access to financ-
ing and permitting and related issues at the local level. Access to information on a timely
basis was also identified as a serious impediment to the sustainability and growth of Car-
ibbean owned small enterprises at both ends of the Caribbean Sea.
According to a concept paper obtained by Caribbean Sun, the US Caribbean Basin Re-
source Network is a non profit organization incorporated as a corporation under the Non-
Profit Corporation Act. The mission of the Network is to foster strategic alliances among
small businesses and to develop partnerships with government agencies and regional in-
stitutions, so as to create an enabling environment for the growth and competitiveness of
Caribbean owned small businesses in the US and the Caribbean Basin.
Work on the development of the Network was started in September 2008 following in
depth research on the problems confronting SME’s in the Caribbean and North America
and the need for the provision of information and other resources to adequately address
these problems. The proposed management team will consist of the board of directors, an
advisory committee, an executive director and a program/membership manager in addi-
tion to an administrative assistant.
Misir announced that Caribbean Sun publisher Wesley Kirton had been identified to serve
as the entity’s executive director. According to the concept paper, the new body is to be
officially launched in September 2009 and will work closely with agencies such as the
United States Agency for International Development (USAID), US Customs and Border
Protection, the Environmental Protection Agency, city and state governments around the
US, Caribbean Central American Action (CCAA), as well as Caribbean institutions such
as the Caribbean Agriculture Research and Development Institute (CARDI), the Univer-
sity of the West Indies, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat and regional
governments and private sector bodies. Many of these institutions participated in this year’s
Caribbean Expo and Conference.
Some 300 people attended the formal opening ceremony and reception of the event which
was addressed by a cast of high powered speakers from both the US and the Caribbean.
This was followed by two days of in-depth discussion and analysis of the opportunities
and challenges to which Caribbean owned businesses are exposed.
This year’s event focused more on the conference given the need for expert analysis and
recommendations as to how best Caribbean owned small businesses might survive the
current financial crisis, the event’s executive director Keith Gooden said.
“We put together some of the best panels ever assembled to discuss the challenges con-
fronting small businesses and the opportunities which are available given the current glo-
bal scenario,” Gooden said.
Last month, the role and functions of the new organization, which is to take over the
planning and operation of the annual Caribbean American Business Expo and Confer-
ence, were discussed in briefings on Capitol Hill and at the White House.
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16 Central Florida’s Caribbean Sun
Caribbean fans stunned by
Michael’s death Caribbean
(Carib World News) -Before there was Barack Obama, there was Michael Jackson, sailing across Horoscope for
color lines and building an unprecedented fan base in every country around the globe, whether
the people there were black or white. And the Caribbean fan base was no exception. Now, many
are crying openly or expressing stunned disbelief that the great MJ had suddenly passed on.
“I cried today because Michael Jackson was a Father that we all lost!” exclaimed Haitian
singer Wyclef Jean in a Tweet. “He lives forever in my heart. I will never forget the day he CANCER (Jun 22 - Jul 23)
came to see me in the studio and I played him music. RIP to Michael Jackson my music God.” Crabs may chaff at the leash this July. Not only do you ache for some time
alone, you need it in order to re-approach, refresh and reassess certain cloying
relationships. Are partnerships giving you what you need? Honesty will be
Jamaican-born reggae music journalist and commentator, Sharon Gordon told the best policy ... unless it is brutal honesty. So be sure to add some sugar to
CaribWorldNews that Jackson’s death “really hurts”; while music writer Stan Smith, like every bitter pill to avoid indigestion.
many others, was still trying to take in the tragic news.
LEO (Jul 24 - Aug 23)
“It is really shocking,” added mas costume creator, Trinidadian Rheba Escalera. Keeping secrets to yourself will not move the needle on the job. Lions with
ambition need to be forthright in their opinions, especially when it has to do
“I feel terrible about it. He was my icon too,” reflected exclaimed Barbadian-born Aubrey with their role in the organization or with the expectations of their co-work-
Campbell of CaribVoiceRadio. ers. Are you meeting or exceeding your agreed upon goals? If not, prepare for
some big changes this month.
VIRGO (Aug 24 - Sep 23)
Sitting at home and eating in front of the television may have its charms at
other times of the year but in July the fates demand that you expand your
social reach and get out of your safe cocoon. Virgins can meet new and inter-
esting friends now who will prove to be pivotal to your future happiness.
Press and impress... and I don’t mean the couch cushions.
LIBRA (Sep 24 - Oct 23)
You are brimming with great professional ideas. Can you get anyone in au-
thority to listen to you? All bets are off this July unless you find important and
powerful folks from other areas of your life to come to your assistance. Libras
are charmers so turn up the heat on your charisma and see how brightly you
can burn. Stop at warm before you become toast.
SCORPIO (Oct 24 - Nov 22)
They say “those who can’t do, teach” but that is plain wrong. Scorps not only
can “do”, they are also able to impart their wisdom effectively. So use July to
spread your word and see how lucrative it will be. Even better, use your knowl-
edge to become and effective leader. Create a new ground swell and use it as
fertilizer for your own victory garden.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov 23 - Dec 22)
Archrs are known for their reckless extravagance and July is no exception.
You are full of love and have no qualms about lavishing your affections and
money on a certain delightful someone. But limit your budget to affordable
treats. Sometimes you can win hearts through good deeds rather than grand
trinkets. Sometimes ....
CAPRICORN (Dec 23 - Jan 20)
You, me or we? That is the question this July. Caps expect to find all the
answers to their life course within another person. But the surprise conclusion
is that you have all the answers you need for your personal happiness all
within yourself. Of course a second opinion from you-know-who can some-
times be appreciated. But it is all icing on the cheesecake.
AQUARIUS (Jan 21 - Feb 19)
There are no secrets at work so avoid long lunches and mental health days.
And if you decide to cheat on your diet there will be no calorie-free option.
The gremlins will gleefully add on the pounds. Aquarians can’t seem to get
away with anything this July, try as they will.So don’t even try. Be honest,
thrifty and clean ... until August.
PISCES (Feb 20 - Mar 20)
Turn your attention to creative pursuits this July. Pisces can expand their ar-
tistic impact by enlisting the help of friends. But an even better, more effec-
tive way of making your mark on the landscape is to join new relevant orga-
nizations that place you in touch with the experts. Ask advice, listen carefully
and then show the world how it is really done.
ARIES (Mar 21 - Apr 20)
Even if your home life is not perfect there is a great deal to recommend it.
Rams find that good thoughts take them far with relatives and in their home
surroundings. And, with domestic knots untangled, you can focus on mani-
festing transformations on the job front. Enlist a friendly helping hand to as-
sist you in your corporate climb. Don’t step on their fingers.
TAURUS (Apr 21 - MAY 21)
Stop talking to yourself or to just your small coterie of rabid fans. July de-
mands that you get your ideas pushed out into the blogosphere as soon as
possible. Many of your opinions have the potential to change the global land-
scape while others are mere potholes that will trip you up. The questions is -
do you know which is which, Bull?
GEMINI (May 22 - Jun 21)
Many Twins lapse into mindgames when they really should take a risk and
deliberate action. The July, confound the experts and get up off your contem-
plative pose. Express yourself with the powers-that-be. Glad handing poten-
tially well endowed benefactors might wind up delivering you a lump sum.
Some folks have all the luck!
Central Florida’s Caribbean Sun 17
Caribbean Profile RECIPES! RECIPES! RECIPES! RECIPES!
E ach issue of the Caribbean Sun newspaper features a brief profile of
a Caribbean country/island provided by welcometothecaribbean.com
Official Name: Aruba Ingredients
Area: 193 square km. (77 sq. miles)
Capital: Oranjestad 7 oz. Dutch Gouda, sliced (approximately)
Nationality: Aruban 2 T. oil
Official Language: Dutch, English is spoken
Population: 90,610 1 Large onion, chopped fine
Currency: Aruban Florin (AF) 4 - 5 lb whole fryer/chicken, stewed
Exchange Rate: U.S. $1.00 = AF$1.79 1 can Delmonte tomatoes with green pepper and onion
Time Zone: EST +1; GMT -4 1/2 large green pepper (seeded and chopped finely)
Phone Code: Country Code (297), plus local 6 digit number 1/4 to 1/3 cup brown sugar, start with 1/4 add more to taste
1/2 cup Ketchup
1 t. Worcestershire Sauce
Aruba is located 1/4 cup corn starch
about 20 miles off
the northern coast of Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pull apart stewed chicken. Place desired amount aside. Place oil
Venezuela. It is ap- in pan, heat, brown onion. Add rest of ingredients, stir well and place in 13 x 9 x 2 baking pan.
proximately 19 Top with sliced cheese. Bake covered loosely with tin foil, 350 degrees for about 60 minutes.
miles long by four
(4) miles wide. Its
rugged interior is
said to resemble the
Australian outback, Cashew Cake
its terrain dotted
with shrubs, hills
and a jagged coast- Cake:
line. Its warm clear waters boast an abundance of seal life and its beaches are lined with
palm trees. The northern part of the island is hilly. The climate is very tropical with * 1/2 cup butter
refreshing northeast trade winds and year-round temperature of about 82 degrees F. * 1 cup sugar
* 3 egg whites
* 1-1/2 cups sifted flour
Aruba was first settled by the * tiny pinch of salt
Amerindians who moved north from * 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
South America. The Spanish discov- * 1 cup whole milk
ered the island in 1499 and it was * 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
colonized by the Dutch from 1636 but * 2 cups ground cashews
held by the British between 1805-
1816. The island was once part of the
Netherlands Antilles but seceded from Frosting: (use a metal bowl)
that group on January 1, 1986 to be-
come a separate entity within the King- * 2 egg whites
dom of the Netherlands. * 1 cup confectionary sugar
* 1/3 cup margarine
* 1 teaspoon almond extract (no artificial flavoring)
Tourism, which contributes nearly 38 per cent of GDP, 70 per cent of total exports and 35 * tiny pinch of salt
per cent of employment is the main economic activity in Aruba. However there is ongo- * 1 cup ground cashews
ing economic diversification to include financial services, telecommunications and a
freezone. The island has been registering economic growth of five per cent annually in Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar until smooth. Add egg whites and
recent years. mix well. Add the rest of the cake ingredients and mix well. Grease and flour a 9" round
People & Culture cake pan and bake for 25 minutes. Let cool.
The Aruban population comprises a mixture of Carib and Arawak Indian, Africans and In metal bowl, beat egg whites with sugar until stiff. Add margarine, salt, almond extract,
Europeans thus offering a rich and diverse culture. salt and ground cashews and beat well.
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18 Central Florida’s Caribbean Sun
5. A look at Immigration Issues
—Continued from June issue—
Firstly, as Binswanger points out, there is no right to protection from job competition -
especially not in America. Secondly, as Roger Lowenstein observes, globalization is just as
much to blame for American job loss as immigration, if not more. Globalization has eroded
borders on goods, services, information, labor, and virtually everything but humans. There
a West Indian?
is no virtual fence being built around American corporations to prevent them from outsourcing
jobs to China or India where labor is even cheaper than imported Mexican labor. On Thursday, June 25, 2009 Dr.
Conrad Robert Murray, the 51 year old
The Economics of Immigration cardiologist, shot onto the world’s
stage when police investigating the
It should be noted that there are valid economic arguments on both sides of the debate. death of the pop icon Micheal Jack-
Economists generally agree that, on the whole, immigration benefits the economy. But son questioned him about what took
disagreement does lie in the analysis of the distribution of the relative impact of immigra- place in the final moments of
tion. While immigration allows middle class soccer moms to pay less for household help, Jackson’s life.
American housecleaners theoretically face more job competition and lower wages.
But who is Dr. Conrad Murray?
However, there is debate over the extent of the impact on poor Americans. Economist George
Borjas believes that, using the theory of supply and demand, he has proved that immigrants According to the Trinidad Express,
hurt native workers - an increase in the unskilled labor force translates to a greater supply of reports are that Dr. Murray was born
such labor and subsequently lower wages. Conversely, economist David Card maintains in San JuanTrinidad and he migrated
that from an economic standpoint, the impact of immigration is negligible. with his family to the US when he was
in fifth standard. Prior to his migra-
According to Card, 21 million immigrants held jobs in the United States in 2006, yet there tion, Murray attended, according to
were only 7 million unemployed U.S. citizens. Therefore, most immigrants could not reports, Febeau Government Primary
possibly have “taken” jobs from Americans. At least 14 million immigrants, he says, were School and helped set up the Cardiac
working in jobs that wouldn’t have existed if there were no immigrant presence. To Card, Cauterisation Lab at the St. Claire
this shows that, although the Supply curve shifts out, “the Demand curve also shifts out,” Medical Center.
effectively balancing the effect on the market.
Dr. Murray filed for bankruptcy in
Furthermore, Mexican immigrants, who are both the largest and probably the most stig- Riverdale, CA in 1992 and it is re-
matized immigrant group in the United States, tend to seek jobs that most Americans are ported that he currently has judge-
too educated to do. ments totalling $435,000 against
him or his company. At the time of
this writing, Dr. Murray was not
Profile of an Immigrant considered a suspect in the death of
More than 30 percent of immigrants to the United States are of Mexican origin and more
than 60 percent of Mexican immigrants are high school dropouts. In this sense, Luciano S
fits the profile of a typical undocumented worker in the United States.
At 17, he dropped out of high school and paid a coyote $1200 to arrange his passage on
foot from Mexicali to Los Angeles. His situation in Mexico was not desperate, but he was
tired of life in that country and the financial hardship his family was facing at the time. He
planned to stay and work for two years, save money and go back home to study, so there
seemed to be no need to go through the hassle of all the paperwork required to obtain a
visa. Now, nine years later, he regrets that decision.
His life would be much easier if he were in the U.S. legally. With the onset of the recession he
has seen a reduction in work hours induced by a reduction in jobs and mounting credit card
bills. Yet when asked if he would consider returning to Mexico, he replies, “But what would I
do in Mexico if I don’t have anything?” Luciano prefers to stay and look for work in the United
States where, “one way or another, there is work.” That is more than he can say about Mexico.
After nine years in the United States, Luciano says he sometimes feels as if he had been
born and raised in this country. He doesn’t want to leave - not even to see his parents, who
he misses very much - because it would be too difficult to get back in. He knows that, even
without papers, his life is better in America than it would be in Mexico. And he has not yet
given up hope that future immigration reform in this country will benefit him.
Although he has not seen anything concrete from the Obama administration in terms of
immigration reform, Luciano is waiting to pass judgment until after he sees its proposal.
Ideally, he would like to see an amnesty similar to the one granted in 1986. “First amnesty;
then reform,” he says. Before you can change policy for newcomers you must address the
issue presented by those already in the country. But reform is also necessary, because, as
Luciano says, “even if they close the border, immigration won’t stop.” Policy makers have
to develop policies that deal with reality.
“Economic salvation is in immigration reform,” Luciano jokes, referring to the economic
boost that all the fines would give to the U.S. Treasury. This is, of course, in addition to the
money that Luciano and millions of other undocumented immigrants have been consis-
tently paying into the coffers of the U.S. government, mostly in the form of social security.
Perhaps this economic contribution is a factor in the difficulty economists seem to have in
finding real evidence of actual harm that is traceable to immigration.
Where to go now
Regardless, “immigration policy has never been based on economics.” Although eco-
nomic fears have played a role in the rejectionist sentiment exhibited in the exclusionary
acts against the Chinese in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the quotas aimed at
Southern and Eastern Europeans in the 1920s, and the current outcry against illegal immi-
grants from Mexico, xenophobia has actually been a much greater driving force behind all
of these waves of anti-immigrant sentiment. This is illustrated by Luciano’s question:
“Why when they talk about illegal immigrants do they only mean Mexicans?”
Xenophobia and racism need to be identified and rejected in any comprehensive immigra-
tion reform package. Obama has said that “if the American people don’t feel like you can
secure the borders, then it’s hard to strike a deal” that includes a path to citizenship for
those who are already here.
But this is the wrong jumping off point for immigration reform, which needs to take a more
human approach. While the validity of international borders is disputable, they are generally
recognized. But the vulnerability, in human terms, of those affected by Washington’s immi-
gration policy must also be recognized and respected. There is a distinction between civil
and criminal law, and crossing the border is not a criminal offense. No country should be
more aware of this than the United States, a nation built and made prosperous by immi-
grants. As Arlington, Texas Police Chief T. Bowman said at a press conference on the impact
of legislation allowing police to conduct immigration related investigations, “Justice” is
more than “just ICE” - the U.S. Homeland Security agency responsible for deportation.
Central Florida’s Caribbean Sun 19
6. Caribbean Selman Lewis
Nationals Must Memorial
Participate In The Scholarship Fund
2010 Census Miami Carnival Inc. has established a Scholarship to honor the memory of the late
Selman Lewis. Selman stood as an example for the community - excelling in the pro-
motion, marketing and production of Miami Carnival and other Carnivals throughout
CaribPRWire, NEW YORK, NY: How many Caribbean nationals are there in the U.S.? It the diaspora,and promoting the culture of his beloved native land, Trinidad & Tobago.
is impossible to say for sure because while, there are several different ways an individual Scholarships such as this are critical to the immediate and long term health of our Car-
could self-identify on the U.S. Census form, including, for example Samoan, those who ibbean students.
identify ourselves proudly as Caribbean or West Indian, cannot.
The Scholarship Fund is hosted by Dade Community Foundation. The Advisory Board
Caribbean nationals are currently forced to ignore their ancestry or origin and fit them- for the Fund includes representatives of the Dade Community Foundation and also in-
selves only ethnically into categories - African American, Asian American or written in, in cludes Selman’s widow, Janet, as well as Jerry Nagee, well-known for her contributions
the OTHER box. This of course makes it impossible to statistically measure their true to our community over the years.
numbers in America, their political impact and of course their economic contribution.
The Scholarship is designed to financially assist qualified applicants in obtaining degrees
While Caribbean nationals have been in America since slavery, their contribution remains from accredited academic institutions of higher learning in the fields of arts and sciences.
largely unmeasured, which has resulted in the ignoring of the community on the ‘main- The program is open to any high school student of Caribbean heritage preparing to enter
stream,‘ by not just the private sector but by many politicians. The continued dismissal is an accredited degree-granting college or university.
linked largely to the inaccurate count.
To make contributions to the Selman Lewis Memorial Scholarship Fund, please visit one
Come March 2010, the Caribbean community has a chance to change this trend. The call of the two following websites:
from CaribID, the movement started in 2008 by Felicia Persaud, founder of
CaribWorldNews, to get Caribbean nationals accurately counted and most importantly, http://www.MiamiCarnival.Net (Link on Home Page directly to Dade Community Foundation)
their own ancestry category on future Census forms.
This will allow for a win-win situation for the community and for the black and Asian
communities of which many Caribbean nationals ethnically identify. Or send a check payable to Dade Community Foundation at the following address:
To date, Carib ID has been able to secure the Caribbean Count bill, through its lobbying efforts. Dade Community Foundation
200 South Biscayne Boulevard Suite 505
Miami, FL 33131-5330
Specializing in West Indian
And Chinese Dishes
The historic bill was introduced on April 23, 2009 by Caribbean American Congresswoman,
Yvette Clarke. On May 20th, Senators Chuck Schumer and Kristin Gillibrand answered CaribID‘s ONLY WE
call and introduced the companion U.S. Senate bil, while African American Congressmembers, HALAL HAVE
Charles Rangel and Gregory Meeks, signed on as co-sponsors to the House bill.
MEATS WINE &
Unfortunately, these bills will not become law in time for 2010 so CaribID is urging all USED BEER!
Caribbean nationals to truly ‘stand up and be counted,‘ by writing in their country of origin
under question 8 of the form, tick ‘No Not Hispanic,‘ and fill in their race under question 9.
The push is to ensure that a clear message is sent, that like Hispanics, Caribbean nationals
too want to identify their ancestry and get back some of the millions of dollars they are
paying in taxes each year to their communities.
Data generated by the census is used not only to determine voter representation, but also to
help equitably distribute federal funding from a wide range of government programs, includ-
ing for class room sizes, health care in communities, immigration services, among others. (407) 291-2047
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the U.S. and global markets.
This means that Caribbean media, event promoters and community organizations and
churches must join the effort and become ambassadors to spread the word, since they all Monday - Thursday 11 am – 10 pm
stand to benefit from an accurate count of the Caribbean population. Friday - Saturday 11 am - 2 am
Undocumented immigrants too are urged to fill out and return the Census form, which
will be mailed to all U.S. households in March of 2010. Especially because filling out a WE ACCEPT VISA MASTERCARD
form ensures you proof that you are living in the U.S.; proof you can now use to apply for
a green card when immigration reform is approved by the Congress. President Barack
Obama is insisting that he wants to push the immigration reform agenda for a vote this fall
and advocates are optimistic earned legalization that could help the undocumented living
in the U.S. without legal working papers, to get on the path to a green card.
CaribID officials also are calling on the many organization heads, Caribbean diplomats
and others in all spectrum of the Caribbean Diaspora, to join in spreading the word and
lending their support to the movement, since as a unit there is tremendous strength. advertisers . . .
Tell them you saw their ad in
To donate, volunteer or help email email@example.com. For more information, log on florida’S caribbean sun!
20 Central Florida’s Caribbean Sun
7. Caribbean Perspectives
A monthly column on Caribbean issues
A monthly column on Caribbean issues
CHALLENGING TIME FOR CARICOM LEADERS
education and health, including progress towards the establishment of a Caribbean Public
Health Authority and the Pan Caribbean Partnership for HIV. In education, CARICOM
vocational qualifications have been established. There has also been stepped up coopera-
tion on climate change issues.
By Sandra Ann Baptiste As well, the CARICOM Development Fund was established and attracted contributions of
approximately US $ 70 million of the US $ 250 million target set. The Fund will be used to
provide financial and technical assistance to disadvantaged countries, regions and sectors.
The CDB president feels if the region’s governments honour their commitments to the
multi-pronged Jagdeo Initiative on Agriculture, this will result in farming being more
CARICOM leaders meet in Guyana for their annual Summit against the backdrop of an commercially viable and distribution and marketing of agricultural products more effi-
economic slowdown and projected negative growth this year in several Member States, cient. In the early 1980s, his predecessor William Demas urged that concrete steps be
tensions over immigration policies, trade disputes, an upsurge in crime and expectations taken to put a dent in the unacceptably high annual food import bill, now at US 3 billion
that they must deliver on programs to pull the region out of the current economic slump. dollars. After endorsing it in 2004, CARICOM leaders agreed in 2007 to implement the
Jagdeo Initiative over an 18 month-period.
The region’s leaders also have to contend with lethargy among some members within the
group in the drive towards the full implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and The credit crunch has affected Caribbean exporters, who are feeling the pinch of reduced
Economy (CSME) and the failure to honour several timetables they themselves set, in- working capital and demands by suppliers for up-front payments for raw materials. At the
cluding in the area of agricultural reform and development. recent CDB annual meeting, Dr. Bourne proposed that measures by regional governments
include interest rates reduction, special credit lines at development institutions, an expan-
Summit host and incoming Chairman, Guyana’s President Bharrat Jagdeo and CARICOM sion of trade credit facilities and government loan guarantees.
Secretary-General, Edwin Carrington are nevertheless upbeat about the regional integra-
tion movement as it marks its 36th anniversary. They are both confident that the Heads of Since the region does not have the resources to finance many of the initiatives the
Government will take steps to address the mounting challenges resulting from the impact CARICOM leaders will review, they are focusing on resource mobilization and will have
of the global economic and financial turmoil on the small and vulnerable economies of the discussions during the Summit with representatives of key International Institutions (IFIs).
region, including rising unemployment.
On the tourism front, for the 2009 winter season, some CARICOM countries experienced
a double-digit decline in tourist arrivals including in The Bahamas (15.3%), Antigua and
...Bourne feels the drive towards the Single Barbuda (13.6%), St. Vincent and the Grenadines (12.9%) after a lackluster performance
in 2008, which saw steep declines in arrivals from the U.S. and Canada for several desti-
Market and Economy has been a bumpy one and nations. Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham, who has lead responsibility for tour-
ism, will provide an update that will include proposals emanating from the recent high-
level Caribbean tourism think thank held in Washington.
will only become smoother if there is progress CARICOM sources indicate that the membership application from the Dominican Repub-
in the thorny issue of movement of labour lic is more or less when rather than if, bearing in mind the close working relationship that
exists through CARIFORUM and that this is likely to proceed in 2010. Some CARICOM
observers note that the relationship between CARICOM and the DR has not been entirely
whereby decisions are actually implemented. smooth and that widening the movement, in this case, will likely bring with it more chal-
lenges than benefits.
President of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Dr. Compton Bourne, who re-
cently highlighted the need for “national economic leadership” to steer the region out of On External trade negotiations, a meeting between CARICOM Ministers and Canada’s
the current crisis precipitated by the global recession, notes that there have been more International Trade Minister, has more than once been postponed and is scheduled for
“exhortations than implementation and support” in many areas. September to lay the groundwork for what the region hopes will be a trade and develop-
According to Bourne, after reviewing the proposed solutions from the various task forces
and other studies, which the Heads of Government will consider, they need to identify mea-
sures that are “well thought out and speedily implemented.” Bourne headed one of two task
CARICOM leaders will also map out their
forces that focused on the implications for the region of the sharp global contraction. The
other task force, led by Barbadian economist Delisle Worrell, will provide the CARICOM
approach to upcoming talks with U.S. President
leaders with “ a strategic framework and action plan for implementing priorities”.
To date, Bourne feels the drive towards the Single Market and Economy has been a bumpy
Barrack Obama, with issues such as crime and
one and will only become smoother if there is progress in the thorny issue of movement of
labour whereby decisions are actually implemented.
security, assistance for debt relief, climate change,
The pubic statements on immigration and the Jamaica -Trinidad trade dispute by the gov-
ernments involved have only helped to fuel anti-CARICOM sentiments in those coun-
trade and the reform of multilateral financial
tries. The Jamaican patties were initially denied access to the Trinidadian market and
other Jamaican products faced a similar fate in Belize and Barbados. In the case of Barba-
institutions expected to be on the agenda.
dos, exporters there feel there is a “tit for tat”, claiming many of their containers are being
held up deliberately in Kingston. While there are known mechanisms to settle trade dis- ment agreement. The leaders have to decide on a replacement for the head of the Carib-
putes, venting on the airwaves as the first course of action, is hardly a reflection of the bean Regional Negotiating Machinery (CRNM), which is being incorporated into the
kind of leadership to which Dr. Bourne has referred. CARICOM Secretariat and is about to be relocated to Jamaica. In the process, CRNM has
lost its head, veteran Caribbean trade negotiator, Henry Gill and some other staff members
On another vexing issue – the outcry in both Barbados and Guyana over the new Barba- are not too keen on moving to Kingston. A former Jamaican diplomat with international
dian immigration policy of weeding out illegal Guyanese, and concerns by some Eastern trade experience is the leading candidate to replace Gill as Director-General.
Caribbean leaders over the treatment of their nationals, it is interesting that that Barbadian
Prime Minister David Thompson is using the “interference in the internal affairs” strategy CARICOM leaders will also map out their approach to upcoming talks with U.S. Presi-
used in the past by some CARICOM Governments, notably Guyana. dent Barrack Obama, with issues such as crime and security, assistance for debt relief,
climate change, trade and the reform of multilateral financial institutions expected to be
Separate and apart from the Barbados immigration policy, CARICOM nationals need an on the agenda. A working group from both sides is meeting within weeks for initial discus-
update on the progress towards the movement of labour, an integral part of the CSME. sions on security cooperation and discuss projects under the US $ 45 million allocated for
Regarding “hassle-free” travel of CARICOM citizens within the region, all twelve coun- the region, $US 15 million more than announced by President Obama in Trinidad in April.
tries participating in the CSME have put in place the CARICOM passport that entitles the
holder to a six-month stay, something that immigration officers need to uphold. The Heads Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow recently rated the performance of CARICOM as a six
of Government will hopefully provide information on the status of CARIPASS, which or seven out of ten. No details were provided on what areas of progress contributed to the
entitles qualifying frequent Caribbean travellers to bypass immigration lines. 60 to 70 per cent scorecard. Perhaps the three-member CARICOM Bureau, which meets
in between Summits and will now be headed by the energetic and no-nonsense Jagdeo,
One of the encouraging CARICOM developments that Bourne cited is the harmonization will keep the public informed on CARICOM’s track record, something that the donors
of regulations to facilitate capital movement in the region. will undoubtedly be monitoring.
There have been several positive developments in functional cooperation, specifically in Sandra Ann Baptiste is a Business Consultant and Specialist in Caribbean Affairs.
Central Florida’s Caribbean Sun 21
8. 22 Central Florida’s Caribbean Sun
9. Real Estate Q & A Guidelines:
It is not necessary to meet a minimum income requirement in order to qualify for a FHA
with Barbara Ashley-Jones loan but debt ratios specific to the state in which the home will be purchased have been put
into place to prevent borrowers from getting into a home they cannot afford. This is done
through a close analysis of income and monthly expenses.
VA Guaranteed Mortgage Loan
This program was designed to assist eligible veterans with obtaining mortgage financing.
• 100% financing for eligible veterans
How do I know what financing is •
4% allowable seller contribution towards closing costs
Competitive fixed mortgage rates
best for my circumstances? • Debt to Income ratio of less than 43% of adjustable gross income
• No Mortgage Insurance required
• Veteran can use entitlement multiple times
I receive calls all the time from people wanting to know the best solution to their borrow-
• Loan is assumable
ing needs and often I end up educating people on programs they are not familiar with. For • Loans up to $147,000 throughout Central Florida
those of you who are finally getting off the fence and making the move to purchase a home
or refinance your existing home I have done some information gathering for you. Al-
though rates and closing costs vary from program to program I encourage you to call or First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit
email me anytime to determine what program and term bests suits your needs.
This program was designed to stimulate the real estate industry through a tax credit.
USDA Rural Development Home Loan Details:
This program is designed to appeal to home purchasers selecting homes in rural classi- • You purchase and close a primary residence before December 1, 2009
• You have an adjusted net income of less than 75K / Single or 150K / Joint
• You have not owned a home in the past 36 months
• No down payment needed • You receive a credit for 10% of the home price up to 80K
• US Citizen or Permanent Resident • You do NOT have to pay back the Tax Credit if you maintain the home as your primary
• Have an adjusted annual household income that does not exceed the moderate income residence for more than 3 years
limit established for the area where home is located • You can claim your tax credit by: Filing an amended 2008 tax return or claim the tax
• No explanations on credit when FICO score of 620+ credit on 2009 tax return
• Total debt divided by gross monthly income must be equal to, or less than, 41 percent
Benefits: Neighborhood Stabilization Program
• Unrestricted gifts for down payment assistance This program was created to respond to rising foreclosures and property abandonment.
• Guaranteed loans can be made on either new or existing homes
• No Maximum purchase price limits, No PMI, No reserves needed Details:
• Finance as much as 102% of the homes appraised value
• Can not currently own a home
• Must meet certain income guidelines
• Must have a minimum credit score of 620
FHA 203(b) • Two years must have lapsed from: foreclosures, bankruptcy, judgment, etc.
• INVESTORS are not allowed to purchase under this program
The most popular FHA home loan is the 203(b). This fixed-rate loan often works well for • Must have legal right to reside in the USA
first time home buyers because it allows individuals to finance up to 97 percent of their
home loan which helps to keep down payments and closing costs at a minimum. The Benefits:
203(b) home loan is also the only loan in which 100 percent of the closing costs can be a
gift from a relative, non-profit, or government agency. • Up to $35,000 down-payment assistance
• Buyer contribution as low as 1.75% of purchase price
Insurance on FHA mortgages are often rolled into the total monthly payment at 0.5 per- • 0% interest 15 year second held by Orange County
cent of the total loan amount which is roughly half of the price of mortgage insurance on • Purchase prices up to $219,000
a conventional loan. After five years or when the loan balance reaches 78 percent, the
additional mortgage insurance is typically met and therefore drops off the total monthly For answers to any real estate or mortgage financing questions call or email me anytime!
payment. Seller contributions up to 6% firstname.lastname@example.org • Mobile - (407) 448-5450
Central Florida’s Caribbean Sun 23
10. Caribbean American leaders meet
White House briefing, Capitol Hill forum among key activities
By Tem Kudakwashe Of note, Dr. Lewis feels that with the opening up of other tourism ventures in other regions of
the world, the Caribbean may seize the opportunity to export the “Know How” on tourism.
Caribbean American elected officials, business and community leaders from around the
country gathered in Washington, DC last month for the annual Caribbean American Shawn Ricks of the Department of Commerce’s Western Hemisphere International Trade
Legislative Forum at which a range of issues affecting the Caribbean American commu- Administration, spoke on the advantages and pitfalls of Free Trade Competitiveness for
nity and the Caribbean region was discussed. the Caribbean. She noted that the 2009 Americas Competitiveness Forum was coming up
in Santiago Chile later this year and that at the time of her speaking, it appeared that
Organized by the Institute of Caribbean Studies (ICS), the week’s activities were high- attendance by Caribbean delegates was lacking. She did said that the Chilean Government
lighted by a briefing at the White House which included presentations by Valerie Jarret, should be encouraged to promote or create an atmosphere for the conference that would in
senior adviser and assistant to the president for intergovernmental affairs and public en- turn inspire participation by Caribbean delegates.
gagement, Van Jones, Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation for the
White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), teams from the Department of Mr. Wesley Kirton, publisher of the Florida Caribbean Sun, was a member of this panel
Commerce headed by Assistant Secretary of Commerce Dr. Walter Bastian which made and symposium and covered the topic of Small Business Concerns. He expressed much
presentations on the 2010 census and on trade with the Caribbean and a team from the concern over the apparent lack of inter-agency coordination that seriously impacts some
White House which focused on immigration issues. import products from the Caribbean. The agencies referred to were the US Customs and
the ATF. For example he said, a product designated as cooking wine and cleared by the US
The briefing which provided for interaction between presenters and participants was chaired Customs for grocery shelves, lead to hefty fines on grocery store owners by the ATF,
by Michael A. Blake, Deputy Associate Director, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs & because of the alcohol content. Worthwhile noting also is his note about US bound ship-
Public Engagement at the White House. This briefing was followed by a forum on Capitol ping containers being broken into and their integrity compromised, without breaking the
Hill involving Congresswomen Barbara Lee, Yvette Clarke and Donna Christensen and seals. Mr. Kirton was mystified as to how such is done, and cautioned that importers
Congressman Gregory Meeks. should be aware of such possibilities.
This forum addressed issues in trade and energy, health care, and the 2010 census and a Panel member Mr. Ainsley Gill is founder and Managing Member of The AGA Group
number of recommendations emerged from the deliberations. Among the speakers on the and seasoned entrepreneur whose firm is dedicated to advancing international policy
trade and energy panel was Wesley Kirton, publisher of the Caribbean Sun newspaper who interests in the US. He is a consultant to the Trinidad and Tobago government but
was recently named executive director of the new US/Caribbean Basin Resource Network. works with other governments such as Equatorial Guinea. With respect to energy
sources he said that the use of fossil fuels will be continue for at least another fifty
Speaking on the panel on Issues in Trade and Energy, Dr David Lewis, Vice President of years. Mr. Gill made it clear that “We need energy Policies,” going ahead. And to the
Manchester Trade, spoke on the subject of US-Caribbean Trade Relations. He expounded surprise of many he stated that one southern state had gas reserves enough to supply
on where the Caribbean fits into US pursuit of international trade agreements. He ex- the entire US for eleven years. However, he noted that it was not yet feasible to ex-
plained that as early as 1983, the Caribbean was given special trade preferences with the tract such gas. He added that the government of T&T, along with its creating new
US via the Caribbean Basin Initiative. However, US trade relations with other countries energy opportunities for business, was taking into account the energy needs of its
have since outstripped such advantages. The English speaking Caribbean for example, Caricom partners.
now has service economies as against manufacturing, and this poses new challenges since
the current US administration is not likely to give much attention to preferences for ser- The panel was chaired by Anton Edmunds, Executive Director & CEO of Caribbean Cen-
vice economies, Lewis said. tral American Action, an independent corporation that promotes private sector-led eco-
nomic development in the Caribbean & Central America.
“ The Caribbean (among others) cannot expect to export its way out of a recession,” Lewis
said. However, he said that hope lies in the new Obama Initiative on new energy sources. Tem Kudakwashe is a Caribbean American businessman from Central Florida.
The panel on trade and energy in session on Capitol Hill. Michael Barnes (left), White House Associate Director for Inter-governmental Affairs
and Public Engagement welcomes Caribbean Sun Publisher Wesley Kirton to
the White House for the briefing.
The Orange County Board of County Commissioners Immigration Attorney
is soliciting bids (IFB) and proposals (RFP) for a
variety of goods and services, construction, and Citizenship • Deportation • Family Petitions
architectural/engineering services. Interested parties • Residency • Business Visas
may receive documents via the internet at ★ Attorney Handles Cases Personally ★
orangecountyfl.net. A list of open solicitations is also
available on the County’s Bid Hotline at (407) 836-0011, Call (407) 678-2224
or view Orange TV, TWC cable channel 9.
Nadine A. Brown, Esq.
NEW FEATURE: 1073 Willa Springs Drive, Suite 2053
Visit our web site (orangecountyfl.net)* and sign up for Winter Springs. Fl 32708
electronic notification of County solicitations. On the
web site, select Services Online and click on Vendor
Registration System. For assistance, please email
email@example.com or call (407) 836-5635. The hiring of a Lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you
decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience.
24 Central Florida’s Caribbean Sun
11. Tampa Bay Carnival was
full of excitement!
(PERFORMACES BY: ALLISON HINDS, SEAN PAUL, LEON COLDERO, ROGER
GEORGE, AND CODE 868)
By Yvette Ramkissoon portion of the Carnival.
If you missed the Tampa Bay Carnival on June 14th then you should do yourself a The Official Tampa Bay Carnival takes place every year in mid June and every year it
favor and make sure your there next year! It took place in the historic district of St. attracts people of all walks of life by the thousands. This year there was well over 12,000
Petersburg in the beautiful Vinoy Park over looking the Sea. The weather was per- people who attended the Carnival Sunday, not mention the Saturday night which was
fect, the people were enthused, the performers put on quite a show, and the vendors geared toward the Latin American Community and featured performances by the Salsa
were delighted. King: Gilberto Santa Rosa and attracted at least 10,000. MC Smallie did a phenomenal
job at introducing the performers and keeping the crowd entertained between performances,
Although the parade route was a lot shorter than usual this year the bands came out in as did a host of talented dj’s who were in the park. Carnival Sunday in Vinoy Park was the
full force which is the real reason of having Carnival. Much do respect goes to the main feature for the weekend and the show started off right when Leon Coldero, Roger
band leaders and masqueraders who took part in the Tampa Bay Carnival this year. George and Code 868 lit the fire with all of their energy and charisma. Then when they
The largest Band on the Road was a band called: “Shottas” brought to you by Shottas passed the torch to the Soca Diva herself Ms. Allison Hinds out of Barbados the crowd
Entertainment Inc. with the music provided by: Powerline Sounds HD out of Orlando, went wild as she performed all of her hit songs like: Bumpers, Obsessive Winers, Role it
and Dj. Spice out of Tampa. The “Tribe of Pride” band was also representing from Gyal, and Chocolate & Vanilla just to name a few. Sean Paul also rocked the park with his
Orlando and was recognized as being the most elaborately decorated mas band this reggae chants & lyrics as the fans sang along and nearly broke down barricades just to get
year which was brought by the “Man Gone Mad Crew” of D’ Mas Camp Bar & a closer glimpse of the Reggae superstar. TampaBay Carnival has the perfect combination
Restaurant. The band “We Dutty” was brought by Natural Mystic SoundSation from of music, people, culture, families, fun, and vibes and I highly recommend it to anyone
Orlando. There were also several other smaller bands that participated in the parade that is looking to have a great carnival time!
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Central Florida’s Caribbean Sun 25
Stanley Ming’s Guyana 21
Action Plan to expand
the US and Caribbean
Participants in the 4th Caribbean-American Business Expo and Conference in Orlando,
Florida are formulating an Action Plan after two days of intensive discussions on strate-
gies to improve and expand trade and investment with the Caribbean region.
The June 10-12 Forum, with the theme “The Caribbean American Relationship in this Era
of Change”, organized by Florida’s Caribbean Sun, with sponsorship from a wide range
of Caribbean businesses, examined trade, investment, social and other issues against the
backdrop of the current global recession..
Delegates committed to preparing a follow-up Plan to pursue the many recommendations
emerging from the Conference and will circulate their report to Caribbean governments,
the U.S. administration as well as Caribbean and American business organizations, and
the CARICOM Secretariat.
The Expo and Conference heard from United States Agency for International Develop-
ment (USAID) Representative for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, James Goggin,
Chief of Staff of the Office of Orange County Mayor, George Rodon, former U.S. Ambas-
sador Harriet L. Elam Thomas as well as representatives from the Florida Governor’s
Office and the University of the West Indies (UWI).
Mr. Goggin, speaking on behalf of Acting Administrator of USAID, Alonzo Fulgham,
told the opening ceremony that the U.S. will provide stepped up financial assistance for
education programs, focusing on youth in an effort to address violence in the Caribbean,
which he identified as the number one social problem in the region.
Guyanese businessman Stanley Ming was among Caribbean entrepreneurs coming to Or-
lando for the recent Caribbean American Business Expo. During his visit, Ming, a former
member of parliament took the opportunity to meet with Guyanese and update them on
developments back home particularly in the area of infrastructure development and in-
Ming gave a power point presentation on the Guyana 21 plan, a development plan put
together by private sector leaders aimed at propelling Guyana’s development in the 21st
century. He pointed out that notwithstanding deficient leadership in government, Guyana
remains a potentially rich country with lucrative investment opportunities in sectors such
as land development and agribusiness including the processing of fruits and vegetables.
Here, Ming (4th from left) is pictured with from left Mark Bannister, John Caby, Tommy He also highlighted the negative effects of crime on business, tourism and attracting for-
Smith, Lloyd Phillips, Jerry King and Sammy Roberts. eign investment.
In addition, Mr. Goggin noted that U.S and Caribbean security officials will be meeting within
the next month to start working out the framework for increased cooperation on security.
Address to Florida Caribbean He also announced that the U.S. administration will be making available funds for small
businesses in the region.
Business Expo & Conference Ambassador Thomas advised that the region should adopt a unified approach to the U.S.
Government and seek to engage senior officials of the Barack Obama administration.
– Continued from page 9 –
Participants at the Forum heard from the U.S. Customs officials who emphasized the need
portant results which are being used to help inform public policy. Please allow me to for training in the region in certification in order to comply with United States Department
share some of these results with you. of Agriculture (USDA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations.
We found that almost half of Jamaican households received remittances in 2006. Some U.S. Shipping officials highlighted the challenges they face in terms of screening con-
71% of recipients use remittance transfer companies, while 16% obtained remittances tainers from the Caribbean for drugs and the exorbitant costs involved.
through relatives and friends - defined as informal means. Females headed households
received more remittances than those households headed by males. For those receiving The Business Forum heard calls for USAID to provide funding for regional organizations
remittances in money form only, one third reported receiving these funds monthly, 16% such as the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), in particular its Special Development Fund
quarterly and 17% occasionally. Those households who received goods only, 38.4% re- (SDF), Caribbean Export and the Caribbean Association of Industry and Commerce (CAIC).
ported that they received goods annually, while 17.5% received half yearly. About 70%
Both panelists and participants were harshly critical over the pace of regional integration
of cash remittances are used mainly for consumption purposes, while other major uses and the delay in the full implementation of programs announced by CARICOM leaders,
were for education (10%), health (10%) and entertainment (3.2%). In terms of the main including the Caribbean Court of Justice and the CARICOM Single Market and Economy
migrant host countries from which remittances are sent, 64.7% of remitters reside in (CSME). The Caribbean Diaspora urged that the CARICOM Heads of Government, at their
USA, 18.7% in UK, 6.5% in Canada and 3.6% in Cayman Islands. annual meeting in Guyana next month, send a strong signal that they will “put their house in
order” to take advantage of the new opportunities presented by the Obama administration.
Unfortunately, due mainly to financing constraints, we have not yet studied the non-
English-speaking Caribbean, but this represents an area of interest given their impor- The Forum identified a number of impediments to doing business in the Caribbean, espe-
tance. In addition, we have focused exclusively on the remittance recipients, and not the cially the length of time it takes to gain approval for various permits.
remitters; this is an area of research which we are targeting and exploring the possibilities
of partnerships with US institutions, in both the public and private sectors. The Trinidad and Tobago-based Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Insti-
tute (CARDI), updated participants on developments to reinvigorate the region’s agricul-
We are interested in broadening the scope of our work to examine factors that impact the tural sector and the drive to attract investment for agricultural development, including
senders of remittances. In this particular period of world economic crisis, we assess that several new initiatives to grow exports to the U.S. market.
this is a critical area of study which will better equip us to make more informed policy
recommendations with respect to both the recipient as well as remitter aspects of the There were spirited exchanges over the issue of criminal deportees to the Caribbean and
its impact on crime in the region. The Conference called on the U.S. administration to
remittance transfer phenomenon. revisit its policy on notification to regional governments and to ensure that assistance is
available for rehabilitation programs for deportees.
In conclusion, while we cannot exhaust the discussion on the Caribbean Diasporic economy
at this Caribbean-American Business Expo and Conference, this forum provides an im- The Action Plan, to be put together within the next few weeks by a Conference Committee,
portant opportunity for us to establish a framework for productive alliances and positive will include plans to lobby the U.S. administration, including Congress, on the deportees issue.
future outcomes to mutually enhance the Caribbean as a migrant source country and the
USA, more particularly Florida, as the migrant destination country of choice. The De- The Caribbean-American Business Expo and Conference, which commemorated the ob-
partment of Economics, UWI and the wider UWI community stands ready to play an servance of Caribbean-American Heritage month, is the brainchild of Wesley Kirton, CEO
integral role in this exercise. of Florida Caribbean Enterprises Inc, which publishes Florida’s Caribbean Sun.
26 Central Florida’s Caribbean Sun
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Central Florida’s Caribbean Sun 27