NEWS YOU CAN USE! Vol. 7 No. 1 • July 2010
US and Caribbean Region
To Strengthen Cooperation
To Fight Crime, Improve
Health Care, Promote Trade
T he United States and the countries
of the Caribbean (CARICOM) have
pledged to strengthen their cooperation in
and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados,
Belize, the Commonwealth of Dominica,
the Dominican Republic, Grenada, the
a range of areas including illicit trafficking, Republic of Guyana, the Republic of Haiti,
crime reduction, improved health services Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St.
and the promotion of human rights. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Republic
of Suriname, the Republic of Trinidad
These were among the decisions taken and Tobago, and the Secretary of State of
when US Secretary of State Hillary the United States of America, meeting in
Clinton met last month with Caribbean Bridgetown, Barbados, on June 10, 2010,
Community (CARICOM) leaders and pledge to strengthen our cooperation in
officials in Barbados. The two sides also responding to the challenges we commonly
pledged to work together to increase trade, face, in a spirit of partnership and mutual
mitigate the impact of climate change respect.
and facilitate the reconstruction efforts in
Haiti following last January’s devastating “To meet the common challenges of the
earthquake. 21st Century, we declare our intention to
act in concert to improve the social and
Barbados deputy prime minister Freundel Stuart and US Secretary of State Hillary “We, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs economic well-being of our peoples, to
Clinton share a light moment on her arrival in Barbados last month for a meeting with
and Heads of Delegation of Antigua ensure the safety of all our citizens,
CARICOM heads-of-government. Some fashion writers criticized Mrs. Clinton's choice
of a bright orange pants suit for her trip to the Caribbean. – Continued on page 2 –
“Dudus” Pleads Not Guilty In US Court
Christopher “Dudus” Coke has pleaded not guilty in a Kingston and, in particular the people of Tivoli Gardens
US Court to charges of drugs and weapon trafficking. and above all Jamaica," he said. He said he expected to
be acquitted in the US and to return to Jamaica.
The once powerful Jamaican gang leader was extradited
to the US recently immediately after a court hearing at Hours before his extradition, the Jamaican authorities
which he expressed regret for the fighting that claimed seized Coke's identifiable assets and froze his bank
scores of lives in Jamaica as he evaded capture. accounts.
Coke was flown to the US to face trial for alleged drug Police arrested Coke as he was on his way to the US
and weapons trafficking. He faces a life sentence if embassy in Kingston. He had apparently planned to
convicted. hand himself over to the Americans out of concern for
The leader of the Shower Posse gang, whom US officials his safety. His father died in mysterious circumstances
allege is the head of a crime network that extends from in prison in 1992, in what many Jamaicans believe was
Jamaica to Europe and North America, said he was a murder to stop him talking about ties between criminal
saddened by the more than 75 lives lost in the fighting, gangs and politicians.
mostly in his Kingston stronghold of Tivoli Gardens,
The authorities continue to be concerned about a violent
sparked by the attempt to arrest and extradite him.
backlash. The extradition hearing was held at a military
"I take this decision for I believe it to be in the best Christopher “Dudus” Coke being escorted by DEA outpost and a state of emergency and curfew is still in
interest of my family, the community of western agents after arriving at airport in New York. place in the capital.
Some States Enacting Harsh Obama Praises Caribbean
Immigration Laws, Immigrants’ Efforts To Ensure
Florida May Consider “Their Children Can Achieve
Arizona-type Law Something Greater”
News Analysis By Gail Seeram
S ince the federal government has not proposed comprehensive immigration reform,
some state governments have decided to deal with the issue of illegal immigrants
P resident Barack Obama has said that
the celebration of Caribbean American
Heritage Month represents the triumphs of
on their own, enacting laws which would require, among other things, that immigrants Caribbean Americans who have become
provide proof of legal residence when renting an apartment. leaders in every sector of American life.
Arizona and Nebraska have enacted harsh immigration laws that are being challenged in In a proclamation issued to mark the
the Courts on grounds that these laws violate the U.S. Constitution. This notwithstanding, observance last month of National
Florida may consider enacting similar laws. Caribbean American Heritage Month,
President Obama noted the efforts of
Arizona’s harsh immigration law, “Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Caribbean immigrants to ensure that
Act” (SB 1070), requires state and local law enforcement agencies to check the their children “could achieve something
immigration status of individuals it encounters and makes it a state crime to be without greater.”
proper immigration documentation. There are six pending lawsuits challenging
– Continued on page 9 – – Continued on page 11 –
SBA Partners With
Caribbean American Chamber
To Support Small Businesses IMMIGRATION
! U.S. Citizenship
! Green Cards
! Work/Investor Visas
! Business Visas
! Student Visas
! Appeals & Asylum
Gail S. Seeram ! Criminal Waivers
Attorney at Law ! TPS & Fiancé Visas
Free Initial Consultation – Call Now!
Chamber and SBA officials sign the MOU Orlando: 407-292-7730
The U.S. Small Business Administration North and South Florida District Offices have www.Go2Lawyer.com
**Over 10yrs of Legal Experience**
signed a Strategic Alliance Memorandum with the Caribbean Chamber of Commerce of
Florida, Inc. to provide training and outreach activities for Caribbean American owned
small businesses in Florida.
Phone/Web Consultation Worldwide
The signing took place June 22nd at the Disney Entrepreneur Center at 315 East Robinson LL.M. Taxation, New York University School of Law, 2003
St., downtown Orlando. Juris Doctorate, Hofstra University School of Law, 1998
The Strategic Alliance Memorandum (SAM) stresses the importance of the U.S. Small BBA in Accounting, Hofstra University, 1996
Business Administration (SBA) and Caribbean Chamber uniting to help start, maintain Admitted to the NY & CT Bars – Offices: Florida & New York
and expand small businesses across the State of Florida. The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements. Before you decide,
ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience.
Under the formal partnership agreement, the Caribbean Chamber and SBA will agree
to hold joint training and outreach activities for small business owners as well as work
More Than 20 Storms,
closely with one another’s resource partners to assure Florida small businesses receive the
maximum benefit from both organizations.
10 Hurricanes Predicted
“We are very excited to enter this partnership with the Caribbean American Chamber of
Florida,” said Wilfredo J. Gonzalez, SBA North Florida District Director. “A partnership
such as this allows two strong entities to join forces in order to better assist the small
business community of Florida. We look forward to the ongoing relationship with the
Caribbean American Chamber and look forward to building a strong small business
Francisco “Pancho” A. Marrero, SBA South Florida District Director said “This
new partnership will introduce the SBA and its services to an important audience of
entrepreneurs. The economic contribution of Caribbean American business is significant
in the State of Florida and we are very excited about the possibilities this partnership
The Strategic Alliance Memorandum was signed by Wilfredo J. Gonzalez, SBA North
Florida District Director, Francisco A. Marrero, SBA South Florida District Director,
and Carol A. Singh, President and Sandra Fatmi, Treasurer of the Caribbean American
Chamber of Commerce, Inc
US and Caribbean Region
To Strengthen Cooperation
To Fight Crime, Improve
Health Care, Promote Trade
ART Executive Director. Dr. Teo Babun, (L) and Laparkan’s CEO, Mr. Glen Khan
sign the Memorandum of Understanding.
– Continued from page 1 – The 2010 Atlantic hurricane season could be even more active than initially forecast, with
new estimates of more than 20 storms and 10 hurricanes including five at Category 3 level
to advance towards a secure and clean energy future, and to defend and strengthen our or higher.
democratic institutions,” said the end of meeting communiqué.
Both government and private forecasters in Florida and the Caribbean predict an intense
Crime and the traffic in illicit drugs and human beings were top priorities as both sides hurricane season that could wreak havoc in the islands of the Caribbean, Florida and the
acknowledged “our common concern over the growing strength and capabilities of Gulf Coast.
transnational criminal organizations and drug cartels, their attempts to distort and weaken
our economies and democratic systems, and the effects which their activities and presence New forecasts issued late June add two storms and one
have on the safety of our citizens and the levels of violence in our societies. We also Hurricane to previous predictions released in May. Government and private disaster
pledge to work together through CBSI to address the social and economic factors that preparedness and relief organizations are planning for the effects of an intensely active
contribute to crime in our societies.” season.
In the area of health, the countries expressed their commitment “to work together to
promote the health and development of our people. We note the continuing HIV/AIDS Teo Babun, executive director of the Miami-based Americas Relief Team (ART), a
emergency in the region, and reaffirm our commitment to implementing the United grouping of private sector companies that work with governments and international
States-Caribbean Regional HIV and AIDS Partnership Framework. The Framework will agencies on the logistics of disaster relief, told Caribbean Sun his organization is working
strengthen the efforts of governments, regional organizations, and national health systems on a plan to pre-position disaster relief supplies in an effort to ensure responses are timely,
in reducing the incidence of HIV and AIDS among populations most at risk and provide if the need arises.
treatment to those affected by the disease. The Framework will strengthen the efforts of
governments, regional organizations, and national health systems to reduce the incidence Babun said ART earlier this year signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with
of HIV and AIDS among populations most at risk and provide treatment to those affected Laparkan Shipping for cooperation in disaster relief efforts and that Laparkan was making
by the disease.” available space in its new Miami warehouse for an emergency response center.
2 Florida’s Caribbean Sun
First Hotel in Guyana
Georgetown Marriott Hotel to
open in 2013; Guyanese in Florida
welcome this development
Marriott International, Inc. has announced that it will open its first Marriott branded hotel
in Guyana in 2013 and Guyanese business and travel executives in Florida have welcomed
“ The160-room Georgetown Marriott Hotel is on track to receive LEED® (Leadership in
Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council
(USGBC) and is on track to be Marriott’s first LEED hotel in the Caribbean & Latin
America. It will operate under a management agreement with Atlantic Hotel Inc (AHI).
AHI is currently owned by the Government of Guyana (GoG) as part of a public-private
partnership between the Government of Guyana and private sector investors.
“We are thrilled to partner with AHI and the Government of Guyana to open our first
Marriott Hotel in the country, representing Marriott’s presence in another Capital city in
Caribbean Americans Urged
South America,” said Laurent de Kousemaeker, chief development officer for Marriott
International in the Caribbean & Latin America. “This will also be Marriott’s first LEED-
hotel in the region, and we are confident that it will play an instrumental role in the
To Support “Right Sizing”
continued economic and commercial development of Guyana.”
Speaking on behalf of the Government of Guyana, President Bharrat Jagdeo, said, “Guyana
looks forward to a first class branded quality hotel operated by Marriott International.
This public-private partnership project will transform the hospitality landscape and can be
expected to encourage more travel and tourism development for our nation. The project will
be more an integrated entertainment complex ideally located at the corner of the Atlantic
Ocean and Demerara River with a casino, night club, restaurant, and boardwalk.”
The hotel’s state-of-the-art architectural and interior design concept will be created by the Caribbean Americans in Florida are being encouraged to support an amendment which
firm of Urbahn Architects (New York). would repeal the “hard and inflexible” class size limits which are due to be implemented
this fall. Amendment 8 is a plan to “right size” the number of students in classrooms in
Several Guyanese business and travel industry executives in Florida have welcomed
schools throughout Florida.
the investment in the country’s hotel sector pointing to the need for high-end hotel
accommodation and service.
A coalition of legislative, education and business leaders recently announced surprise
But some bloggers on news web sites have questioned whether the hotel can sustain unanimity among Florida’s major candidates for governor on the most important
occupancy levels to be a viable operation. education and budget issue facing Florida and its voters this year. In a rare reflection
of consensus, Florida’s leading candidates for governor are supporting Amendment 8,
the plan to “right size” Florida’s class size amendment. Florida Chief Financial Officer
‘Swipe Fee’ Legislation Will
Alex Sink, Democratic candidate for governor; Republican candidates Attorney General
Bill McCollum and businessman Rick Scott, and independent candidate Bud Chiles are
Help Small Business, Customers
endorsing the amendment to provide local districts additional flexibility to meet class size
Sen. Don Gaetz, of Niceville, who previously served as a school superintendent in Okaloosa
Recently, the U.S. Senate passed historic financial reform legislation, which included debit County said “school districts statewide are bracing for a wave of chaos and confusion that
and credit card swipe fee reform, a major win for small businesses and their customers. the original class size amendment will bring this fall. This proposed amendment is about
Now, as the House and Senate come together to pass the final version of the bill, local providing local educators with increased flexibility to make staffing, operations and other
7-Eleven franchisees are calling on Representative Alan Grayson to ensure that the swipe decisions. It’s about keeping class sizes at a level where teachers can teach and children
fee reform amendment stays intact in the legislation. can learn.”
This swipe fee reform will save small business owners and consumers millions of dollars.
7-Eleven store owners in Florida, some of whom are Caribbean American, are asking their Sen. Gaetz notes that Amendment 8 before voters this fall maintains Florida’s commitment
customers to contact their members of Congress to ensure that the swipe fee amendment to smaller class sizes. Instead of the hard, inflexible class size caps instituted by the 2002
stays in the legislation. amendment, the Constitutional amendment proposed by the Florida Legislature would
“Last summer, we collected 30,632 petition signatures from our customers in the North implement class size caps as a school average and provide flexibility for the schools to add
Orlando area asking Congress to take action on these unfair debit and credit card fees,” 3 seats in pre-K to 3rd grade classrooms and 5 seats in grades 4 through 12 if necessary to
said Roger Van Sluis, owner of a local 7-Eleven franchise. “The Senate listened, and we meet unforeseen enrollment changes.
are grateful for their brave vote to help out small businesses like mine. Now, we need
Representative Grayson to help us make sure the House finishes the job.” While the 2002 class size amendment only received the support of 52.4 percent of voters,
Last month, a large bipartisan majority in the Senate voted 64-33 to add Sen. Richard the measure on the November ballot will require approval of 60 percent of voters to
Durbin’s (D-IL) swipe fee reform amendment to the financial reform package, directly become law. Under the 2002 Class Size Amendment, hard classroom caps of 18 students
benefiting American merchants and consumers. Because similar reform language is for grades PreK-3; 22 students for grades 4-8; and 25 students for grades 9-12 are
not included in the House version of the bill, the conference committee must commit to scheduled to take effect at the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year.
keeping it in the final version of the bill as they work to reconcile the two versions during
the next month. “Together with our customers, we’ve done our best to make our voices “This would require the construction of additional schools, even though Florida already
heard in Washington,” said Joe DePinto, President and CEO of 7-Eleven, Inc. “We’re has 825,000 student stations sitting empty. Those stations are in every district and at every
very close to a victory that will help lower costs for me and other small business owners grade level. If left unreformed, the hard caps in Florida’s 2002 class size law would create
and allow us to offer discounts to our customers. We just need the leaders in the House – expensive and chaotic logistical problems for school districts across the state,” officials
including Representative Grayson – to get us across the finish line by keeping the swipe say.
fee reform intact.”
Caribbean Sun Shines Again
Area 7-Eleven stores are asking their friends and neighbors to contact Rep. Grayson and
tell him to finish the job by keeping Senator Durbin’s swipe fee amendment in the Wall
Street Reform bill.
“Swipe fee reform is the one provision of the financial reform package that has direct A newspaper is integral to any society, especially immigrant communities in large cities
and tangible benefits to local small businesses and consumers,” said DePinto. “Our and states. For over six years Florida’s Caribbean Sun had been informing, educating and
customers are keeping an eye on what’s going on in Washington, and they’re counting on entertaining the Caribbean American community in Florida, particularly Central Florida
Representative Grayson to make sure that reform stays in the final bill.” before its recession induced hiatus.
For years, the credit card companies have been profiting off the backs of merchants and
consumers by charging them excessive fees each time a credit or debit card is used. As the In popular Caribbean parlance “you never miss the water till the well run dry” and indeed
credit card companies and banks collect $2,000 per minute in swipe fees, one consumer we did not recognize the value of our community newspaper until we did not have it. How,
will pay an average of $400 per year in hidden credit and debit card swipe fees. These in recent months we longed to read what’s happening in our community, the latest on
fees have tripled in the past nine years, and cost American consumers and merchants $48 immigration issues and to be kept abreast about sports and politics? We really missed the
billion in 2008. Sun...we missed the news we need to use and that is why we, members of the community,
worked to have the Sun shine again.
The bipartisan swipe fee amendment passed by the Senate would ensure that the fees
that small business and other entities are charged for accepting debit cards are reasonable
and proportional to the costs incurred by banks and credit card companies. This vital Caribbean Sun is our newspaper.....the Caribbean American community’s voice in Florida
reform will limit payment card networks from imposing anti-competitive restrictions on and we need to make sure that we never let the Sun set again.....recession or no recession!
businesses that accept cards and will give merchants the freedom to give discounts to their We look forward to the advertising support of the business and civic community and to
customers for using less expensive forms of payment. working with all of you out there in a mutually beneficial partnership.
Florida’s Caribbean Sun 3
2*"#$3%!"#$4!56+"78()'95*% Immigration Alert .:$8%6;<;%
COURT RULES CRIMINAL ATTORNEY MUST ADVISE OF DEPORTATION
On March 31, 2010, the U.S. The Kentucky Supreme Court client whether his or her plea carries
Supreme Court ruled in Padilla v. denied Mr. Padilla post conviction a risk of deportation. The Court
Kentucky, 599 U.S. (2010), that in relief based on a holding that the stated: “Our longstanding Sixth
light of the severity of deportation Sixth Amendment’s guarantee of Amendment precedents, the
and the reality that immigration effective assistance of counsel does seriousness of deportation as a
consequences of criminal not protect a criminal defendant from consequence of a criminal plea, and
convictions are inextricably linked to erroneous advice about deportation the concomitant impact of
the criminal proceedings, the Sixth because it is merely a “collateral” deportation on families living lawfully
Law Offices of Amendment requires defense consequence of his conviction. in this country demand no less.”
Gail S. Seeram, P.C. counsel to provide affirmative,
The U.S. Supreme Court disagreed This ruling by the Supreme Court is
competent advice to a noncitizen
with the Kentucky Supreme Court monumental because it imposes a
Florida Office: defendant regarding the immigration
and agreed with Mr. Padilla that duty on criminal defense attorneys to
consequences of a guilty plea, and,
1013 N. Pine Hills Rd. “constitutionally competent counsel understand their client’s immigration
Orlando, FL 32808 absent such advice, a noncitizen
would have advised him that his status and to provide competent
Tel. 407-292-7730 may raise a claim of ineffective
conviction for drug distribution made advice to their clients regarding the
Fax. 407-292-7735 assistance of counsel.
him subject to automatic immigration consequences of a guilt
Email: Gail@Go2Lawyer.com In Padilla v. Kentucky, the petitioner deportation.” The Court observed plea. Before this decision,
was a lawful permanent resident that “[t]he landscape of federal permanent residents (or green card
In US & Worldwide:
immigrant who faced deportation immigration law has changed holders) were taking pleas in
after pleading guilty in a Kentucky dramatically over the last 90 years.” criminal cases without any advice
court to the transportation of a large from their criminal attorney as to
Fax. 1-877-416-2060 Based on these changes, the Court
amount of marijuana in his tractor- immigration or deportation
Conducting Phone/Web concluded that “accurate legal
Consultations Worldwide trailer. In a post-conviction consequences of the guilty plea.
advice for noncitizens accused of
proceeding, Mr. Padilla claimed that
crimes has never been more The Padilla case also opens a door
• Gail S. Seeram is a member his counsel not only failed to advise
important” and that “deportation is of opportunity for permanent
of the New York and him of this consequence prior to his
an integral part—indeed, sometimes residents (or green card holders) to
Connecticut Bar. entering the plea, but also told him
the most important part—of the challenge old criminal convictions
that he “did not have to worry about
• She received a LL.M. in penalty that may be imposed on where they were not advised by their
Taxation from New York
immigration status since he had
noncitizen defendants who plead criminal attorney of immigration
University School of Law, a been in the country so long.” Mr.
guilty to specified crimes.” consequences.
Juris Doctorate from Hofstra Padilla stated that he relied on his
University School of Law, counsel’s erroneous advice when he The Court held that, for Sixth If you would like to know how the
and a B.B.A. in Accounting pleaded guilty to the drug charges Amendment purposes, defense Padilla case applies to you, call Gail
from Hofstra University. that made his deportation virtually counsel must inform a noncitizen Seeram at 407-292-7730.
• Add a highlight or your point of
PROPOSED FEE INCREASE FOR IMMIGRATION APPLICATIONS/PETITIONS
On June 11, 2010, U.S. Citizenship USCIS encourages formal Below are the current and proposed
and Immigration Services (USCIS) comments on the proposed rule fees for some commonly filed
The federal government
announced a proposal to increase through www.regulations.gov. The applications:
needs to act swiftly to
the filing fees for immigration comment period runs for 45 days,
reassert its authority applications and petitions by a beginning June 11, 2010 and
Application to Replace Permanent
over immigration law and Resident Card – proposed fee
weighted average of about 10 ending July 26, 2010. At a time
policy in light of Arizona increase from $290 to $365
percent but would not increase the where the country is in a recession
and Nebraska's effort to fee for the naturalization application. and unemployment is quite high, Application to Register Permanent
legislate in the area of The last fee increase by USCIS was USCIS should not be considering Residence or Adjust of Status –
immigration. in 2008. such a fee increase, but should proposed fee increase from $930 to
focus on reducing related costs and $985
Nebraska passed USCIS is a fee-based organization expenses.
immigration law that Application for Status as a
with about 90 percent of its budget Temporary Resident – proposed fee
prohibit businesses and coming from fees paid by applicants Applicant should keep in mind that
landlords from hiring or increase from $710 to $1,130
and petitioners to obtain immigration fee waivers requests will continue to
renting to illegal benefits. USCIS’s fee revenue in be considered by USCIS. USCIS Petition to Remove Condition on
immigrants. ACLU plans fiscal years 2008 and 2009 was has the ability to waive fees on a Residence – proposed fee increase
to file suit as law violates much lower than projected, and fee case-by-case basis for “inability to from $465 to 505
U.S. Constitution's revenue in fiscal year 2010 remains pay.” In determining “inability to Naturalization Certificate Application
Supremacy clause and low. According to USCIS, the fee pay,” USCIS officers consider all – proposed fee increase from $460
the 14th Amendment. increase is necessary to ensure factors, circumstances, and to $600
USCIS recovers the costs of its evidence supplied by the applicant.
Department of Justice operations.
immigration VISA BULLETIN FOR JULY 2010
prosecutions in March Family-Sponsored Preference USCIS Field Office
2010, up 30% from Family All Chargeability CHINA- INDIA MEXICO PHILIP- ORLANDO, FL
February and more than Areas mainland PINES Processing Backlog
any month since July Except Those
2009. Form Processing Cases
1st 01APR05 01APR05 01APR05 01APR05 01NOV92 Receipted on:
Hillary Clinton, US Sec of 2A 01JUL08 01JUL08 01JUN07 01JUL08 01JUN07 I-600 Feb. 14, 2010
State, says the White 2B 01MAY03 01MAY03 01MAY03 01MAY03 15JUN92 I-600A Feb. 14, 2010
House will sue Arizona 3rd 01SEP01 01SEP01 01SEP01 01SEP01 01MAR92 N-400 Dec. 1, 2009
over the controversial
4th 01JAN01 01JAN01 01JAN01 01JAN01 01MAR95 N-600 Dec. 1, 2009
immigration law Arizona
1st: Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older) of U.S. Citizens
Arizona trying to deny US 2A: Spouses and Unmarried Children (Under Age 21) of Lawful Permanent Resident
citizenship to children 2B: Unmarried Sons and Daughters (Any Age) of Lawful Permanent Resident
born in the US to illegal 3rd: Married Sons and Daughters (Any Age) of U.S. Citizens
immigrants. 4th : Brothers and Sisters of U.S. Citizens (21 years or age or older)
4 Florida’s Caribbean Sun
Alumni at QC Brunch At QC Brunch
(L) Wilmott Chan, Andre Pestano, Tommy Smith, Donald Churaman, Dr.
Omawale, Maya Trotz, Chantal Boodhoo, Roger Zitman, Paul Daly, Dr.
Victor Boodhoo, Front Rene Sumner Maya Trortz receives a hug from Terry Viera
At At Guyana Family Fun Day
L-R) Pamela Carre, Yves Carre, Sheila, Theresa Martins
It was Vintage Sparrow … in Orlando
Prominent Guyanese Attorney Nigel Hughes (m) with his wife
Cathy Cholmondeley Hughes (L) and Brian Chin
By Melinda Gordon
A vintage Mighty Sparrow recently
performed to a capacity crowd at the new
Timehri Banquet Hall. By the end of his two-
set performance those attending the show-a
mixture of youth and seniors-had enjoyed a
night of calypso at its best.
The show, put on by Back To Back
Productions, afforded patrons an opportunity
to see and hear this aging yet superior talented
Caribbean legend “dish out” a variety of his
music including some love ballads.
Sparrow performs one of his classics. Appreciative audience at Sparrow show.
Sparrow, at age 75, continues to have a strong and melodious voice and he had the crowd on its feet from the time he hit the stage. Patrons danced and sang along as the ‘Birdie’ sang
from ‘Congo Man’ to some of his more contemporary hits.
In true Sparrow style, he had the audience “in stitches” from time to time with his very suggestive humor. He is too old now to gyrate as he used to but there were no shortcomings
in his vocal and comedic performance.
The audience had a good time and Timehri Banquet Hall provided the perfect setting for a fine evening of calypso at its best.
The Caribbean Sun newspaper interviewed Sparrow during his visit to Orlando. That interview will be published in our next edition.
Family Fun Day
The Guyanese American Cultural Association of Central
Florida (GACACF) 2010 Family Fun Day Fundraising
event held on Sunday May 30, 2010 at the Central
Florida Fairgrounds was a tremendous success with
more than 1000 turning out for the event.
Guyanese enjoyed free quality entertainment and
Dave Martins performs “Not a blade of grass”. an opportunity to get together in a safe and friendly The kids take time out for games.
environment. The estimated attendance was between
1600 and 2000 people of all ethnicities and ages including
children. Attendees were treated to performances by
Creig Camacho’s two –man band, the new Guyanese
band RAAG, Leon Caldero, the legendary Dave Martins
and Tony Ricardo. There were also performances from
Hippie Chic Belly Dancers, the Buxton Heritage Group
and Back To Back Productions DJ.
The event’s main sponsors were Caribbean Supercenter
supermarket, Caribbean Airlines, The Law office
of Gail Seeram, Laparkan Shipping, Rosen Hotels,
Seafreight Agencies, Sunshine Beverage and Flavors,
The Highland Agency and Paul and Anita Singh.
A section of the large crowd at Family Day Old friends Tony Ricardo & Alan Khan reunite
Florida’s Caribbean Sun 5
Some States Enacting Harsh Immigration Laws,
Florida May Consider Arizona-type Law
– Continued from page 1 –
the constitutionality of this Arizona law. a legal immigration status check - before immigrants. Rep. William Snyder, a Stuart is clear that only the Federal government
In addition, President Obama publicly renting an apartment or home. There is an Republican and former police officer, says can act in certain areas and immigration
objected to the Arizona law and his increasing trend among state governments, he would “unequivocally” support such a is one of those areas; thereby, the state
administration has decided to file a lawsuit like Arizona and Nebraska, to propose law in Florida. government cannot legislate or act in an
to strike down the Arizona law aimed at measures designed to control and manage area that would be in conflict with the
deporting illegal immigrants. When the The pending lawsuits seeking to challenge Federal law (in this case the Immigration
immigration. Until the federal government the Arizona and Nebraska law will argue
U.S. State Attorney files suit against enacts comprehensive immigration and Nationality Act).
Arizona, there will be a fierce national that state and local governments’ regulation
reform, there will be many more attempts of immigration and criminalizing illegal The Obama Administration and Congress
debate over how the United States should by state and local governments to pass
enforce immigration policies. immigrants is unconstitutional because it must put the immigration issue squarely
overreaching unconstitutional immigration violates the Supremacy Clause, the First back where it belongs - in the halls of
More recently, Fremont, Nebraska bills. In Florida, the head of the Florida Amendment, the Fourth Amendment, Congress and on the desk of the President
passed an ordinance that requires among House’s criminal justice committee the Due Process Clause, the Privileges of the United States.
other things that renters apply for an says he’s considering the introduction and Immunities Clause, and the Equal
occupancy license - which also requires of an Arizona-style law against illegal Protection Clause. In short, the Constitution
Family Policy Must
The current economic crisis has put untold pressure on thousands of families including
several Caribbean American families in Florida. This has led to a significant increase in
marital separations and divorce which has severely impacted family life. This is true for
both poor and “better off” families.
While there are programs serving disrupted families by trying to improve children’s
lives, and helping children often translates into “family” policy, far too often, the notion
of “family” translates into a focus on mothers and children. According to a new report
from the Center for American Progress (CAP) entitled “Low-Income Fathers Need to Get
Connected,” the focus of family policy needs to include fathers as well.
According to the report men are able to financially contribute to their children’s well-
being and help lift them out of poverty in the short term. They also provide care and
emotional supports that can improve children’s life outcomes and help break the cycle of
poverty in the long term.
Unfortunately, far too many low-income men, and especially men of color, face
barriers to playing these roles in their children’s lives. This paper reveals how fathers
are disproportionately disconnected from some extremely vital domains, and how these
disconnections harm them, their children, and families more generally.
The report offers the following recommendations for how the Obama administration’s
proposed Fatherhood, Marriage, and Families Innovation Fund should be used to help
• Further include men within the notion of “family” for policy purposes
• Reduce poverty by addressing the known disconnections and challenges of fathers
• Offer comprehensive solutions that address the complexities arising from men’s various
• Relieve stressors that divide families, which would provide them with greater freedom
to make personal choices about family formation and maintenance based on reasons other
than those associated with poverty
Many immigrants from the Caribbean are of the view that the US legal system is geared
to punishing men and this has led to disconnect on the part of fathers, says Orin Gordon, a
Dominica-born sociologist. He agrees that family policy lacks sufficient focus on fathers
and advocates a revision of policies and laws that would encourage greater respect and
encouragement for the role of the father in family life.
Postponed Jamaica Diaspora
Confab slated for June 2011
The postponed fourth Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference, originally scheduled for
June 14 to 17 at the Sunset Jamaica Grande, Ocho Rios, St. Ann could be rescheduled for
The conference was postponed due to the state of emergency in Jamaica brought on
by violence associated with the hunt for alleged drug lord Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke.
There were mixed reactions among Jamaicans in the Diaspora to the postponement of the
Chair of the Diaspora Conference Planning Committee and General Manager of Jamaica
National Building Society (JNBS), Earl Jarrett, said the Conference may be held June,
As I understand it, we are going to continue with the convention theme, which is to host
it right here in this hotel, Jamaica Grande, in Ocho Rios, Mr. Jarrett told a Forum on
Diaspora matters, organized by the United Kingdom Diaspora group on June 16, at the
Jamaica Grande Hotel.
Florida’s Caribbean Sun is published by
He said the 5th Jamaican Diaspora Convention is being contemplated for London, Caribbean Sun Publishers, LLC
England, in 2012, at the same time of the Summer Olympics.
1013 N. Pine Hills Road, Orlando, FL 32808
2012 is the 50th Anniversary of Jamaica's Independence. It is also the year in which Phone (407) 374-2979
you'll have the largest concentration of Jamaicans in any one place, when they turn up Email: email@example.com
in the UK to beat the colonizers in athletics. We hope to be in London in 2012 in large Administrative Manager: Melinda Gordon
numbers, showing the best of Jamaica, he stated. Advertising: Vanessa Chin Churaman (407) 325-5466
Florida’s Caribbean Sun 9
New Peoples’ Government in
Trinidad and Tobago has a new peoples’
government and for the first time a woman
is at the helm of government in the twin-
island Caribbean republic.
Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla
Persad-Bissessar was swept to power as
part of an opposition coalition, toppling
the PNM government in recent national
elections. Former Prime Minister Patrick
Manning called surprise elections midway
in his five year term following several
scandals which beset his administration.
Manning has since stepped down as
leader of the Peoples National Movement
(PNM). The new Opposition Leader is Dr.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar Keith Rowley.
The new prime minister has named a 25-member cabinet. In making the announcement,
the prime minister said the team possesses diverse skills and expertise. She also sought
to warn ministers that they should neither become aloof nor accept mediocrity. Never
become aloof, stay grounded, keep connected to the people, earn their respect, she said,
adding there is no room for personal egos.
This is not about us, it is about the people, they have the power to dismiss us, she said,
warning also that there is no room for arrogance and no time for personal agendas.
Among those taking the oath before President George Maxwell Richards was the Vice
President of FIFA, Austin Jack Warner, who is also chairman of the United National
Congress. He was sworn in as Minister of Works and Transport, while former head of
the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force, Brigadier John Sandy was named Minister of
right0The former President of the powerful Oilfield Workers Trade Union, Errol Mcleod,
was named Minister of Labour, Small and Macro Enterprise Development. Former Central
Bank governor and leader of the Congress of the People party, Winston Dookeran, was
sworn in as Minister of Finance, while former independent senator Mary King was given
the portfolio of Planning, Economic and Social Restructuring and Gender Affairs.
Controversial former High Court judge Hubert Volney was sworn in as minister of justice,
while attorney Prakash Ramadhar was named Minister of Legal Affairs. Former speaker
of the Trinidad and Tobago parliament, Dr Rupert Griffith was named minister of tourism,
while the new Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs is the former national swim coach and
talk show host, Anil Roberts.
The newly created Ministry of Tobago Development has been handed to Vernalla Alleyne
Toppin, the successful Tobago Organisation of the People (TOP) candidate, while Nizam
Baksh, a long serving legislator, has been named Minister of Community Development.
Stephen Cadiz is the new Minister of Trade and Industry, while the Minister of Energy
and Energy Affairs is Carolyn Seepersad Bachan.
Former mayor of Chaguanas, Surujrattan Rambachan is the Minister of Foreign Affairs,
while Dr Roodial Moonilal is the Minister of Housing and the Environment. Vasant
Bharath, who was not considered among the candidates to contest the elections has been
sworn in as the Minister of Food Production, Lands and Marine Affairs, while Chandresh
Sharma is the Minister of Local Government. Former calypso monarch, Winston 'Gypsy'
Peters, is the Minister of Arts and Culture, while the Minister of Public Utilities is
New Trinidad and Tobago Cabinet
• Prime Minister and Minister of Information and Communication:
Kamla Persad Bissessar
• Attorney General: Anand Ramlogan
• Minister of Finance: Winston Dookeran
• Minister of Works and Transport: Austin Jack Warner
• Minister of Education: Dr. Tim Goopeesingh
• Minister of Justice: Hubert Volney
• Minister of Legal Affairs: Prakash Ramadhar
• Minister of Labour, Small and Macro Enterprise Development: Errol Mcleod
• Minister of Housing and Environment: Dr. Roodial Moonilal
• Minister of Trade and Industry: Stephen Cadiz
• Minister of Arts and Culture: Winston Peters
• Minister of National Security: Brigadier John Sandy
• Minister of Energy and Energy Affairs: Carolyn Seepersad Bachan
• Minister of Foreign Affairs: Surujrattan Rambachan
• Minister of Public Administration: Nan Ramgoolam
• Minister of Science, Technology and Tertiary Education: Fazal Karim
• Minister of Public Utilities: Emmanuel George
• Minister of Health: Teres Baptiste Cornelius
• Minister of Food Production, Lands and Marine Affairs: Vasant Bharath
• Minister of Planning, Economic Social Restructuring and Gender Affairs: Mary King
• Minister of Local Government: Chandresh Sharma
• Minister of Tourism: Dr. Rupert Griffith
• Minister of Peoples and Social Development: Dr. Glen Ramdharsingh
• Minister of Community Development: Nizam Baksh
• Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs: Anil Roberts
TELL THEM YOU SAW THEIR AD IN
• Minister of Tobago Development: Vernalla Alleyne Toppin FLORIDA’S CARIBBEAN SUN!
10 Florida’s Caribbean Sun
Obama Praises Caribbean Immigrants’ Efforts To Ensure
“Their Children Can Achieve Something Greater”
– Continued from page 1 –
Following is the text of the Proclamation: All have strived to ensure their children which included vital contributions from NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK
could achieve something greater and have countries throughout the Caribbean. As OBAMA, President of the United States of
preserved the promise of America for Haiti recovers, we will remain a steady America, by virtue of the authority vested
Our Nation is linked to the Caribbean by future generations. and reliable partner. in me by the Constitution and the laws of
our geography as well as our shared past the United States, do hereby proclaim June
and common aspirations. During National During the month of June, we also honor 2010 as National Caribbean-American
the bonds of friendship between the This month, we celebrate the triumph
Caribbean-American Heritage Month, of Caribbean Americans, a diverse Heritage Month. I call upon all Americans
we pay tribute to the diverse cultures United States and Caribbean countries. to celebrate the history and culture of
This year’s devastating earthquake in community that encompasses many
and immeasurable contributions of all Caribbean Americans with appropriate
Haiti has brought untold grief to the nationalities and languages. They have
Americans who trace their heritage to the ceremonies and activities.
Haitian-American community, many become leaders in every sector of American
who continue to mourn the loss of loved life while maintaining the varied traditions IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto
Throughout our history, immigrants ones as they help rebuild their homeland. of their countries of origin. Caribbean set my hand this twenty-eighth day of
from Caribbean countries have come These families and individuals remain Americans enrich our national character May, in the year of our Lord two thousand
to our shores seeking better lives and in our thoughts and prayers. The United and strengthen the fabric of our culture, ten, and of the Independence of the United
opportunities. Others were brought States has proudly played a leading role and we are proud they are part of the States of America the two hundred and
against their will in the bonds of slavery. in the international response to this crisis, American family. thirty-fourth.
It Was Hot … Hot … Hot at Tampa Bay Carnival
By Michelle Allman
The internationally famous Shaggy, Daddy
Yankee and Allison Hinds thrilled the
crowd at Tampa Bay Caribbean Carnival
but Orlando’s own Leon Caldero with
his Code 868 band was not to be outdone
sending revelers wild with his body
Thousands braved the almost 100 degree
temperature to enjoy two days of genuine
Caribbean culture which was enriched with
the presence from Trinidad and Tobago of
Deperadoes steel orchestra, considered the
best steel band in the world.
The diversity of the Caribbean culture
was displayed further with performances
by the Tampa tassa drummers, junkanoo
masqueraders, bands from Haiti and
Dominica and an evening of top shelf
The Tampa Bay Caribbean Carnival
Association kicked off its 2010 Carnival Tampa Tassa Drummers
event with a Reggaeton/Latin event in the
park on Saturday, June 12th with a live performance by Ramón “Raymond” Luis Ayala 1st place with Bunji Garlin for the Young King title. One of his most popular hits is “Mor
Rodríguez better known as Daddy Yankee, the Latin Gammy Award winning Puerto Tor” featuring Trini soca star Machel Montano. In 2007 he released hits such as “Aj Bhi
Rican recording artist. Jeena” and “Bodekidal.” His latest hit is Barman.
Daddy Yankee was born in Río Piedras, the largest district of San Juan on February Allison Hinds then hit the stage to send the crowd into a frenzy with an almost hour-long
3, 1977, where he became interested in music at a young age. As a youth he became performance during which she “dished out” several of her hits.
interested in baseball and aspired to become a Major League Baseball player, but was
unable to continue that sport when he received an injury to one of his legs, leaving him Born June 1st, 1970, Hinds is a Barbadian female soca artist. She is known as the
unable to walk correctly. He then became involved with underground rap which is today undisputed Soca Queen and one of the most popular soca singers worldwide, from which
Reggaeton. Having received lessons from several artists within the genre, he developed she got her nickname “Queen of Soca.” Hinds had produced many popular songs such as
his own independent career, first recording in a production title Playero 37. He’s known “Ragamuffin, Aye Aye Aye, Twister, Faluma, Togetherness, DJ Ride, Sweetest Wine, Iron
as one of many pioneers of the reggaeton genre. He has been generally reticent to discuss Bazodee, Fireworks, Roll It Gal and Love Affair, Soca In My Body,” that have topped the
his personal life, but publicly expressed the importance of his wife and children to him. charts, even in countries which don’t widely listen to soca.
Outside of his music, he also worked as an actor and producer.
Hinds has recorded songs with many famous artists such as Admiral T, Beenie Man,
Then on Sunday, June 13th the road mach started with all the mass bands on the road Calypso Rose, Burning Flames, Drupatee Ramgoonai, Wyclef Jean, Canibus, Red Rat,
and later that afternoon there were live performances by Rikki Jai who is a Trinidadian Shaggy, Sparrow, Denise Belfon, Ken Marlon Charles (KMC), Destra, Walker Hornung,
Chutney/Soca artiste In 1988 his debut hit single Sumintra, told the tale of an Indo- Vybz Kartel, G-Unit, Black Stalin, David Rudder, Buju Banton, Mr. Vegas, Doug E.
Trinidadian woman from Debe who informed her boyfriend of her preference of soca Fresh, Pitbull and Machel Montano and many more.
over the music of Indian artist Lata Mangeshkar. Jai returned the following year with the On Sunday, May 30th, Hinds was in Orlando to share in the second anniversary
song “Pumping, then Bolo and Show Me Yuh Motion. celebration of Karibbean Under One Magazine. She is slated to perform at this year’s
Miami Caribbean Carnival.
Then in 1993 another hit Wine on a Bumsee signaled Jai’s exit from the soca world,
opting for the “chutney soca” arena, in which he currently performs. In 2001 he tied for The headline performer Orville Richard Burrell, known as Shaggy performed for less
than 30 minutes- much to his own disappointment. He told the large crowd that he was
in Tampa Bay all day long just waiting for the call to hit the stage. But he did not hit the
stage until about half an hour before closing time. Nevertheless he gave his audience an
enthusiastic performance, sending them into prolonged laughter when advising them to be
like Bill Clinton rather than Tiger Woods in proclaiming…..It Wasn’t Me.
A Jamaican born dancehall/reggae singer, Shaggy is known for his distinctive, raspy
sub-baritone voice. In 2000 his fifth album “Hot Shot” proved much success with the
misogynistic hit single “It Wasn’t Me,” featuring guest vocals of singer RikRok, which
tells of advice from one friend to another to just deny it when your girlfriend catches
you with another woman. That single became Shaggy’s first No. 1 hit in the US, with the
follow-up single “Angel” with guest vocalist Rayvon, which hit No. 1 and helped “Hot
Shot” achieve multi-platinum status.
In September 2007 Shaggy released his eighth studio album Intoxication, on his own
record label Big Yard Records and is still going strong as we saw at 2010 Tampa Bay
MC’s for the event were Ian ‘Degoose’ Eligon and Orlando’s own ‘Mad Man Smallie’ of
De Whoops Massive/The Vybes.
Section of the crowd enjoying themselves.
Florida’s Caribbean Sun 11