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bulletHonduran captain killed by Ja Coast Guard
bulletTrinidad's first president is dead
bulletRed Stripe might bid Jamaica farewell
bulletPolitical standoff between Anguilla and Britain
bulletRepublicans take away voting rights of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
bulletJamaica PM rebuffs CCJ for Jamaican court
bulletCuba to layoff a million workers
bulletCuba, the real heroes in Haiti
bulletJamaica teachers get part payment
bulletEarthquake shakes T&T
bulletMilitary service age increased from 16 to 18 in Guyana
bulletNorman Manley Law School debate team wins international competition
bulletJamaican takes office as California's AG
bulletGuyana Sugar Corporation moving towards mechanical harvesting
bulletJamaican exports to CARICOM countries increase significantly
bulletRihanna kicks off new year with wins
bulletBikes turned into mini power plants in Guatemala

UNDILUTED pays tribute to John Maxwell by featuring two previous columns by him from the Hot Calaloo UNDILUTED archives:


Hot Calaloo's Undiluted Vol. 15, "The Audacity of Hopelessness"


Hot Calaloo's Undiluted Vol. 14, "Cuba's Benevolence versus US Belligerence"



Boycott Money and Save Your Soul - Launching the Goodwill Revolution
by Michael I Phillips

List Price $11.95 (paperback)
Special Clearance

Not just a book but an invitation to join the Goodwill Revolution against an unfair, unjust and deceptive system that keeps the world poor and without hope. Find out how you can join, quit the rat race, and achieve a happier more meaningful life for yourself and others through goodwill to all.  
For more book info see

Buy through Paypal or  send check for $5 + $3 (shipping) to 
Hot Calaloo
PO Box 411
Columbia MD 21045, USA


cover River Woman by Donna Hemans ... $16.10
  The Rio Minho in Jamaica provides much more than a setting for this potent, accomplished debut by Jamaican-born Donna Hemans.


cover  For the Life of Laetitia by Trinidad -born Merle Hodge  Price: $10.54
a wonderful book about a young girl in the Carribean, the first of her family to go to secondary school.



January 2011

Honduran captain killed by Ja Coast Guard

Killing on the high seas
As senior officials of the Jamaican Government rush to stave off a major diplomatic row with Honduras in the aftermath of an incident which left the captain of a Honduran fishing vessel dead. The matter had been placed in the hands of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, which plans to initiate talks with Honduras through Jamaica's embassy in Mexico. There is no Honduran embassy in Jamaica.

Honduran navy chief Rear Admiral Juan Pablo Rodriguez claimed "excessive force" was used against the fishermen and the foreign ministry should file "the highest-level protest" with the Jamaican Government.

Jamaica’s Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Dr Christopher Tufton, complained that Honduran fishermen plunder the fishing resources of Jamaica on a weekly basis.

"And when they come, they come with 150 people on the boats. So when they go diving, they take everything they can find under the surface." "It's an economic issue, it's a diplomatic issue, it's a national security issue. It's a health issue also because it is not only lobster that they carry on these vessels; they carry wild animals that they trade - parrots, monkeys, that sort of thing. There are lots of issues that have to be sorted out."

Jamaica’s National Security Minister Dwight Nelson claimed that:

bulletThe Honduran vessel was spotted 150 nautical miles south of Jamaica, which landed the boat squarely in Jamaican territorial waters.
bulletContact was made by radio, but the Hondurans failed to respond.
bulletThe Jamaican coastguard sought to use 'amplified means' to get the Hondurans to accede to the commands, but to no avail.
bulletAs the coastguard went in pursuit, the Honduran vessel turned and headed towards the Jamaican ship as if to cause a collision.
bulletAt that point the coastguard fired shots to disable the Honduran vessel.
bulletThe Honduran vessel stopped and communicated by radio, which indicated that they had been hearing the signals of the Jamaican coastguard.
bulletThe Hondurans communicated that three persons were injured on the vessel and one was dead.
bulletThe Jamaica coastguard at that point decided to send a boarding team of eight persons in a small boat to investigate the report that persons were injured or dead.
bulletThere were 16 people on the Jamaican ship.
bulletThe coastguard personnel came across about 100 people on the Honduran vessel who became hostile when they encountered the Jamaicans.
bulletThey put up much resistance (and) would not allow the Jamaicans near where they said the dead and injured were
bulletThey brought two of the injured to the coastguard personnel.
bulletAt this point, the Hondurans were reportedly told that one of the men was in desperate need of medical attention.
bulletThey were told that he would have to be rushed to hospital within five hours, or he would be dead.
bulletThey complied in handing the injured over.
bulletThe injured were airlifted to the Kingston Public Hospital, and the Hondurans were instructed to steer their vessel towards Kingston. However, the foreigners refused.
bulletThe coastguard could have responded with force, but  chose not to as it could have resulted in more injuries and more deaths. 

Editors Note: This is very serious.  I thought territorial waters only extended 12 nautical miles so I do not understand how 150 nautical miles south of Jamaica "landed the boat squarely in Jamaican territorial waters". From further investigation, I learnt that under the law of the sea, an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) is a seazone over which a state has special rights over the exploration and use of marine resources. It stretches from the seaward edge of the state's territorial sea out to 200 nautical miles from its coast. Lets hope diplomacy prevails over guns.

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Trinidad's first president is dead

Trinidad and Tobago's first president, Sir Ellis Clarke, died on Thursday December 30, two days after his 93rd birthday. He had been recuperating at his home in Fairways, Maraval, following a stroke last month.
Sir Ellis was Trinidad and Tobago's last governor general and was elected president when the country became a republic in 1976. He served two terms as president between 1976 and 1987.
Sir Ellis received numerous awards during his illustrious career. He was one of the first recipients of the Trinity Cross, the country's highest award, and in 1981 received the Trinidad Express Individual of the Year Award.
He was a strong advocate of constitutional reform and was one of the authors of the Trinidad and Tobago's constitution. His experience continued to be sought after his retirement in the areas of politics and business. Attorney General Anand Ramlogan commented that, "Sir Ellis's death signifies the end of an era and the fall of a giant."

Sir Ellis was Trinidad and Tobago's last governor general and was elected president when the country became a republic in 1976. He served two terms as president between 1976 and 1987.

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Red Stripe might bid Jamaica farewell

Jamaican icon Red Stripe beer is so incensed at the Government of Jamaica raising the tax on alcohol that it has threatened to relocate its export business from Jamaica within the next six months if the Government fails to roll back the newly amended tax measures. Marguerite Cremin, head of corporate relations at Red Stripe, said the company has no option but to increase its price in the new year, following the decision by Finance Minister Audley Shaw to impose the tax on beer and stouts to $1,134 per litre of pure alcohol, reverting from the $960 duty he imposed earlier in the month.

On the matter of the export business, Cremin claimed that pulling out of Jamaica could lead to 300 job losses, $150 million in PAYE losses to the Government, as well as reduced general consumption tax collection. Cremin said Red Stripe has been thrown into a disadvantageous position and warned that a price increase would result in approximately $370 million in lost revenue to the Government.

The increase brings the tax on beers and stouts back in line with the cess on spirits such as those produced by Wray & Nephew. The finance minister appeared to have been forced into revising the measures by pressure from Wray & Nephew, which branded the December 1 measures unfair. According to Shaw the latest revenue measures will earn the Government $60 million, leaving a $100-million hole in the Budget. Shaw said that gap would be plugged through an increased compliance and collection drive by the Inland Revenue Department and Jamaica Customs.

Meanwhile, among the revised measures announced by Shaw on Tuesday is a 15 per cent special consumption tax to be imposed on certain high-energy non-alcoholic drinks, such as Monster and Red Bull.

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Political standoff between Anguilla and Britain

A standoff between the British governor of Anguilla, and the territories government, over the bad state of public finances, shows no sign of abating. The British government has so far refused approval of the island's 2011 budget unless, according to Mr. Hughes, his administration lays off hundreds of public servants and cuts salaries.

The Chief Minister who calls the British attitude dictatorial. Chief Minister, Hughbert Hughes, says the issue may force him to seek independence.

Governor Alistair Harrison issued a new statement on Thursday stating that he would be writing the Chief Minister to propose a solution "that puts Anguilla's public finances onto a more sustainable footing". He said however that the British Government had not indicated that it sought to impose any particular budget settlement.

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Republicans take away voting rights of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands

The Republicans have been quick to show their colors and flex their muscles. the new Republican-controlled US Congress moved immediately to take away the voting rights of  American territories including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The decision was one of the first acts of the new Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the District of Columbia are also affected by the move. Virgin Islands delegate Donna Christensen attacked the decision to remove the vote, calling it a very undemocratic way to start the new Congress.

All six territories provide delegates to the House, with the exception of Puerto Rico, which provides a resident commissioner. These representatives have previously been allowed to vote on bills considered by what is known as the "committee of the whole", but not on final passage. While this provision was largely symbolic, it did provide the territories an opportunity to formally express their opinions. So, the Republicans have effectively shut them up.

In a related matter, the House Republicans have flexed their muscles by renaming several Congressional committees by changing or removing "civil rights" and "labor" from their titles. With the "offending" words gone, The Education and Labor Committee became the Education and Workforce Committee, while the Subcommittee on Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties is set to be renamed the Constitution Subcommittee.

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Jamaica PM rebuffs CCJ for Jamaican court

Jamaica Prime Minister Bruce Golding has rebuffed the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) in proposing instead a Jamaican court of final appeal to replace the Privy Council. However, the People's National Party is in favour of the (CCJ), which has yet to be established in the Constitution in its appellate jurisdiction.

This Golding proposal comes at a time when Jamaica is already paying for the functioning of the CCJ. Hot Calaloo shares the opinion of prominent attorney-at-law Bert Samuels that it would be a backward step for Jamaica to establish its own final appellate court.

"I think it is a disservice to the region and the Caribbean for us to want to have our own final appellate court," he said.

According to Samuels, all that has to be done is to pull on the best legal minds in the Caribbean so we can have a very strong CCJ. Meanwhile some Caribbean governments have expressed disappointment at Jamaica’s decision, which is bound to undermine the CCJ and Caribbean unity.

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Cuba to layoff a million workers

Big changes are underway in Cuba. Last September, President Raul Castro announced plans to lay off around up to a million state employees, and encourage them to find work in the private sector.

The first layoffs in the Government's program to cut the jobs of 500,000 state workers have started. The initial job cuts are occurring in the sugar, agriculture, tourism, health and construction sectors. The layoffs are expected to affect 10% of the Government's work force.

These job cuts are part of an economic overhaul the authorities in Havana say is aimed at slashing government expenditure. Half of those posts are to go by the end of March,

Restrictions on private enterprise are being eased, with small businesses allowed to employ staff, borrow money, and sell services to government departments. They will also have to pay tax. Thousands of Cubans have already been given licenses to set up private businesses, and more are registering every week.

Since taking over from his brother Fidel in 2006, Raul Castro has taken steps to reduce the state's almost total control of the economy, which has been gripped by a severe crisis in recent years precipitated by factors such as:

bulletThe world recession
bulletA fall in the price for its main export, nickel
bulletA decline in tourism.
bulletGrowth has also been hampered by the 48-year US trade embargo.

The Government insists that the "socialist character" of Cuba's political system will not change.

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Cuba, the real heroes in Haiti

Castro’s doctors and nurses are the backbone of the fight against cholera.
As country after country renege on their promise of aid, the Cuban doctors and nurses are emerging as the real heroes of the Haitian earthquake disaster, the human catastrophe on America’s doorstep. A medical brigade of 1,200 Cubans is operating all over earthquake-torn and cholera-infected Haiti, as part of Fidel Castro’s international medical mission which has won Cuba many friends, but little international recognition.

Observers of the Haiti earthquake could be forgiven for thinking international aid agencies were alone in tackling the devastation that killed 250,000 people and left nearly 1.5 million homeless. In fact, Cuban healthcare workers have been in Haiti since 1998, so when the earthquake struck the 350-strong team jumped into action. And amid the fanfare and publicity surrounding the arrival of help from the US and the UK, hundreds more Cuban doctors, nurses and therapists arrived with barely a mention. Most countries were gone within two months, again leaving the Cubans and Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) as the principal healthcare providers for the impoverished Caribbean island.

Figures released last week show that Cuban medical personnel, working in 40 centres across Haiti, have treated more than 30,000 cholera patients since October. They are the largest foreign contingent, treating around 40 per cent of all cholera patients. Another batch of medics from the Cuban Henry Reeve Brigade, a disaster and emergency specialist team, arrived recently as it became clear that Haiti was struggling to cope with the epidemic that has already killed hundreds.

Since 1998, Cuba has trained 550 Haitian doctors for free at the Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina en Cuba (Elam), one of the country’s most radical medical ventures. Another 400 are currently being trained at the school, which offers free education – including free books and a little spending money – to anyone sufficiently qualified who cannot afford to study medicine in their own country.

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Jamaica teachers get part payment

Jamaica’s public-school teachers have been paid a portion of their retroactive salaries after a long period of rows with the Government. The educators were paid $500 million of the $8 billion owed them.

The education ministry said the cheques for teachers' salaries - including retroactive sums - at non-bursar-paid schools, have been sent to the regional offices of the Ministry of Education. The sums for bursar-paid schools were uploaded on Monday by the National Commercial Bank (NCB).

The Industrial Disputes Tribunal had ruled in October that the Government should this year pay $500 million of the $8 billion owed to public-sector teachers, and the remaining $7.5 billion in three equal installments over the next three financial years.

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Earthquake shakes T&T

An earthquake measuring 5.1 shook Trinidad and Tobago on Sunday December 27, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injury. The National Earthquake Infor-mation Center at the United States Geological Survey said the quake occurred at 9 p.m. local time and was located 15 miles northwest of Port of Spain in Trinidad and 70 miles west-southwest of Scarborough  in Tobago. The quake, which was located 10.765 north and 61.691 west at a depth of 59 kilometres, was also felt in Guiria and Carupano in Venezuela.

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Military service age increased from 16 to 18 in Guyana

Guyana has increased the minimum age for military service from 16 to 18. This brings the country into compliance with international conventions on children's rights. It also raises the age for enlistment with consent from an adult from 14 to 16 years of age. According to a government statement, the opposition People's National Congress Reform party rejected the Bill because it lets those younger than 18 enlist. The Guyana Defence Force (GDF) has about 2,000 members and was founded in 1965.

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Norman Manley Law School debate team wins international competition

The Norman Manley Law School, located at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, recently beat 36 law schools from across the world to win the second annual World Human Rights Moot Court Competition, recently held in Pretoria, South Africa.

The competition, which was held at the University of Pretoria on December 8 and 9, saw the Norman Manley Law School defeating the University of Sydney, Australia, in the finals of an extremely close contest.

Three teams each from five regions - Africa, Asia, Western Europe and others, Eastern Europe, and Latin America and the Caribbean - were selected by a panel of experts which assessed arguments based on hypothetical cases submitted by law faculties in the various regions.

Norman Manley's debating team, which defeated Trinidad's Hugh Wooding Law School and the University of Puerto Rico while en route to the finals, were also crowned winners of the Latin America and Caribbean region.

Merrick Watson, of the three-member team that also included Lori-Ann Green and Gabrielle Elliot-Williams, was voted the competition's best oralist, with Green taking fifth place.

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Jamaican takes office as California's AG

Kamala Harris, daughter of Jamaican professor and economist Donald Harris, took the oath of office as California's first female and first minority attorney general. Harris's inauguration attracted a sizeable crowd that included many African Americans. Her father was a Stanford University economics professor from Jamaica, her mother a cancer researcher from India.

In her first speech as attorney general, Harris called herself the daughter of Brown v Board of Education - the historic US Supreme Court decision that struck down school segregation. She said she would model herself after the man who headed the court at the time - and who once served as both attorney general and governor of California - Earl Warren.

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Guyana Sugar Corporation moving to mechanical harvesting

Guyana agriculture minister, Robert Persaud, told reporters that two major strikes over pay are partly to blame for an estimated 500,000 tonnes of sugar cane left uncut in the fields. He also noted that if the cane had reached the factories, it would have resulted in sugar production of 274,000 tons. He explained that the cane would be harvested and processed in the first crop of next year, but with the amount of time they were left in the fields, he doubted that the desired sugar production would be achieved.
The minister added that problems with workers saw a poor turnout in the second crop, with an estimated attendance figure at 48 percent. The Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) was hoping to boost production over the Christmas holiday weekend, but only one percent of the workers turned out on Monday, and on Tuesday it was a mere 8 percent.
Prsaud said that such problems are forcing the Corporation to turn to mechanical harvesting to cope with absent cane cutters.

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Jamaican exports to CARICOM countries increase significantly

Jamaican exports to Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries grew more than 70 percent during the 2009-2010 financial year, as the island exported products valued at US$209.1 million under various trade agreements.
The Trade Board disclosed that local exports to the 15-nation CARICOM grew by 73 percent, reflecting an increase in sales of cement to the region.
There was a five percent increase in applications for the importation of refined sugar, reflecting modest growth in the juice and other industries that utilise sugar as input, while applications for the importation of milk powder grew by 94 percent, due to the development of new products, forward buying as a result of the high demand on the world market, and price instability.

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Rihanna kicks off new year with wins

Sexy Bajan star, Rihanna has started 2011 with a bang. Coming off of a superb 2010 that included chart toppers, her own book and fragrance, Rihanna picked up three Peoples Choice Awards. Showing the fans are definitely in her corner, the `Loud` singer took home the award for Favorite Pop Artist. She also won Favorite Song and Favorite Music Video with Eminem for `Love The Way You Lie,` making her among the biggest winners at the award ceremony.

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Bikes turned into mini power plants in Guatemala

Here is a lesson in innovation that could be adapted to serve the Caribbean well. In Guatemala, unwanted bicycles are being sent from the United States and Canada to be made into power sources that drive corn grinders and water pumps. An organization called Maya Pedal is the force behind the effort to help poor people increase their corn grinding potential greatly so they can have more food, and sell their corn or corn products more easily. Maya Pedal also converts old bicycles into threshers, tile makers, nut shellers, blenders, trikes and trailers.

Just to be clear, it is humans who pedal the old bikes once they have been converted, so it is human power, but the bike technology is the means for doing the work that otherwise is done by hand.

Maya Pedal has several partners in Guatemala to help them provide bike machines to people in need to help them produce more food and save time. In North America, Bikes not Bombs in Boston, Working Bikes in Chicago, and Pedal Energy Development Alternatives in Vancouver, Canada have all collected and shipped old, but functional bikes to Guatemala for this project.


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