UNDILUTED pays tribute to John Maxwell by featuring two previous columns by him from the Hot Calaloo UNDILUTED archives:
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 .
by Donna Hemans ... $16.10
---------------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.
New Ganja law passes in Jamaica
out: WEED 3: The Marijuana Revolution with Dr. Sanjay Gupta
In Jamaica a new ganja law has been passed. The new ganja (marijuana)
law will make possession of two ounces or less of marijuana a non-arrestable,
ticketable offence, that attracts no criminal record.
Where the person found in possession of a small quantity of ganja is a
minor, or an adult who appears to be dependent on the substance, they are
to be referred to the National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA) by the police
officer issuing the ticket.
Additionally, the Bill prohibits the smoking of ganja in public places,
and makes provisions for the granting of licences, permits and other
authorisations to enable the establishment of a regulated industry for
ganja for medical, scientific, and therapeutic uses.
It also provides for the creation of a Cannabis Licensing Authority,
which will be responsible for developing the regulations governing the
medical marijuana industry. The Government is hoping to see significant
economic gains from the decriminalisation of ganja, particularly in the
area of medicinal use, which is a US$2.5-billion market in the United
The bill was spearheaded in the parliament by minister
of national security Peter Bunting. With regards to the outcome, Bunting
added that the law “begins to correct decades of criminalizing
tens of thousands of Jamaicans, mostly poor young black males, for
possession of a little ‘spliff,’” a term for a joint prepared with
cannabis and tobacco. The change means Jamaicans will be able to
cultivate up to five marijuana plants on a single premises without facing
Tourists who are prescribed medical marijuana abroad will
also be able to apply for permits allowing them to buy small amounts of
Jamaican pot. Jamaica joins a growing number of countries around the
world, including in Latin America, that have moved towards
decriminalization but is the first Caribbean nation to do so. Argentina,
Colombia and Mexico have all decriminalized the possession of small
amounts of pot. Guatemala has proposed legalizing the drug while Chile and
Costa Rica have considered allowing medical marijuana use.
The Bill was tabled
in the House of Representatives on February 10.
records TT$328m budget surplus
In the last three months of
2014, the Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) Government recorded a budget
surplus of more than TT$328 million. This was a marked improvement from
the TT$1 billion deficit Government was expected to realise after oil
prices plummeted on international markets.
A statement from the Ministry of Finance on Central Government
fiscal operations said “Even as economies around the globe come to
grips with the impacts — both negative and positive — of the dramatic
downward slide in oil prices, the Trinidad and Tobago economy continues to
adjust to the new realities. Our macroeconomic fundamentals remain strong
and allow an adjustment to the new level of energy prices prevailing
The ministry said data at the end of December 2014 showed:
“This was primarily due to lower than anticipated receipts from
taxes on Goods and Services and International Trade, a drop of 15.5 per
cent and 12.1 per cent respectively. While revenue derived from Other
Taxes (11.5 per cent) and Non-Tax Revenue were higher than anticipated by
11.5 per cent and two per cent respectively.”
Preliminary expenditure figures over the same period fell below budget projections by 14.3 per cent from $12.4 billion (budgeted) to $12.4 billion (actual expenditure).
stop-over in Jamaica on the
way to Summit of the Americas
Barack Obama became the first sitting US president to set foot in
Jamaica since 1982. While there Obama visited the Bob Marley Museum -- the
former home of the superstar musician. The US president -- accompanied by
aides including National Security Adviser Susan Rice -- took a brief tour
of the Kingston landmark.
"I still have all the albums," the US president was
heard to say, as he checked out a wall of framed records and awards.
Jamaica's Prime Minister Portia Simpson took the opportunityto ask
President Barack Obama to
exonerate black nationalist leader Marcus Garvey, who was convicted in the
U.S. on a trumped up charge of mail fraud in the 1920s and remains a
prominent historic figure on the island, the US and many other parts of
Jamaica was a stop on Obama’s way to Panama, for
a landmark meeting with Cuba's President Raul Castro during a
conference of regional leaders Summit
of the Americas.
Obama announced in December that he was seeking to renew diplomatic
relations with Cuba after half a century of strife, including eventually
opening embassies in Washington and Havana.
The U.S. economic embargo, which has blocked nearly all trade between the two nations for the last five decades, is firmly in place despite virtual unanimous opposition from the UN General Assembly year after year after year. Obama is expected to inform Congress within a few days he is taking Cuba off the terrorist countries list, which would free the island from some economic sanctions.
Worldwide opposition to Obama’s Executive Order against Venezuela
an Open Letter addressed to President Barack Obama, over 121 U.S.
academics, activists and NGOs called on their head of state to rescind his
Executive Order declaring Venezuela “an unusual and extraordinary threat
to U.S. national security”. On March 9, 2015, President Obama invoked
his executive powers to decree a national emergency based on the alleged
“threat” represented by Venezuela. The Executive Order also imposed
sanctions on Venezuelan officials with potentially far-reaching
U.S. citizens and NGOs are joined by leaders
from over 138 countries and prestigious multilateral organizations
worldwide in their demand for President Obama to rescind his measures
against Venezuela. Latin American and Caribbean nations have unanimously
rejected President Obama’s Executive Order against Venezuela and have
firmly called for its reversal. A powerful statement issued March 26, 2015
from the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) which
represents all 33 countries in the region, expressed “its rejection of
the Executive Order issued by the Government of the United States of
America on March 9, 2015,” considering “that this Executive Order
should be reversed.”
The United Nations G77+China group, which
represents 134 countries, also issued a firm statement opposing President
Obama’s Executive Order against Venezuela. “The Group of 77+China
deplores these measures and reiterates its firm commitment to the
sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of the
Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela...The G77+China calls on the Government
of the United States to evaluate and put into practice alternatives of
dialogue with the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela,
under principles of respect for sovereignty and self-determination. As
such, we urge that the Executive Order be abolished.”
In addition, regional organizations -- such as
the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) representing 12 South
American states, the Bolivarian Alliance of the Peoples of Our America
(ALBA) representing 11 Latin American and Caribbean nations, and the
Common Market of the South (MERCOSUR) -- issued powerful condemnations of
President Obama’s measures against Venezuela. One hundred British
parliamentarians have also repudiated the Executive Order and called on
the U.S. government to rescind its actions against Venezuela.
is not dead
Venezuelan Government, amidst its own cash flow turmoil due to the
dramatic fall in oil prices, has committed to strengthen the PetroCaribe
agreement with Jamaica, regardless of the price of crude oil.
International Monetary Fund (IMF) last year warned Caribbean and Latin
American countries that have co-operation agreements, such as PetroCaribe,
with Venezuela, that it could mean trouble for their economies if the
South American country's external liquidity problems get worse.
minister of science, technology, energy, and mining, Phillip Paulwell
reported that Venezuela had made it clear at a special heads of state
meeting in Caracas recently that its agreement with Jamaica was on solid
footing. Venezuela has also dedicated a US$200-million fund to assist
PetroCaribe states with projects that are aimed at lowering their use of
crude oil, and moving towards greater use of renewable energy.
Mexican workers replace Jamaicans at Jamaican hotel
This is unbelievable. Jamaica with an unemployment rate hovering at
about 15% is importing Mexicans to take the jobs of Jamaicans.
Mexican company Palace Resorts bought Jamaica Grande hotel in Ocho
Rios, St. Ann last year. It is
being remodeled and will reopen as the Moon Palace Jamaica Grande. The
jobs of Jamaicans on the site, were being threatened by the recruitment of
Mexican workers with work permits issued by the ministry. Minister of
Labour and Social Security Derrick Kellier says that the need for Mexican
hoteliers, Palace Resorts, to meet their April deadline, has led to the
increased employment of Mexican construction workers on the hotel site. He
admitted that the hotel has employed a number of Mexicans to complete the
refurbishing of the hotel to meet this deadline.
Recently construction workers withdrew their services today, claiming
that the management of the hotel was planning to replace them with
But Sandals on the other hand
Butch Stewart , his son Adam, and their staff officially opened Sandals
Ochi Beach Resort in Ocho Rios -- that's the former Sandals Grande Riviera
which underwent a US$60-million renovation. The over 100-acre property now
offers guests 16 restaurants, 11 bars, the Caribbean's largest rock
climbing wall, and 529 villas, luxury rooms and suites -- including Romeo
and Juliet villas each fitted with inside pools.
The renamed and relaunched property is one of 15 Sandals, three Beaches
and two Grand Pineapple resorts operated by Sandals Resorts International
across seven Caribbean islands, the majority of them in Jamaica --
Stewart's country of birth.
In total, the 20 resorts provide jobs for 13,000 people throughout the
Caribbean. That, Stewart said, makes his organisation the single largest
private employer in the Caribbean, the exception being The Bahamas.
"We earn for Jamaica more foreign exchange than any other
organisation here," Stewart said and, by virtue of the size of
his operation here, he added that his company pays more taxes in Jamaica
than any other firm.
Sandals was founded in
Montego Bay in 1981 with a hotel of 99 bedrooms and promoting Jamaica
heavily. That achievement includes Sandals resorts dominating the
prestigious World Travel Awards each year, taking the coveted prize of
World Leading All-inclusive for 20 consecutive years.
In addition, the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI)
-- the world's leading scuba diver training organisation -- has named
Sandals among the world's top five companies with the best scuba diving
floods kill six, damage thousands of homes
The first heavy rains of the wet season flooded parts of the Haitian
capital Port-au-Price leaving
at least six dead and damaging 8,000 homes Raging floodwaters swept two
children aged three and seven to their deaths in the Delmas district of
the capital, and a 24-year-old woman was killed when a church wall
collapsed on her house. Three more people died in the western, coastal
Carrefour district of the city.
Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere, is prey to
torrential Caribbean storms and Port-au-Prince's garbage-choked drainage
channels struggle with the worst downpours.
Some citizens are still living rough or in substandard housing five
years after a devastating earthquakes killed more than 200,000 people and
levelled entire neighborhoods.
The head of civil protection in the capital region, Nadia Lochard, said
that more than 8,000 homes had been flooded in the latest rains, mostly in
the Cite Soleil slum and Tabarre suburb.
fire causes havoc in Jamaica
Riverton City sounds
like a lovely place. It is not . It is a dump. It is the Kingston city
dump. It caught fire and it took several days to put it out. As much as 60
acres of the 120-acre site was ablaze. Dense black smoke from the fire
blanketed a wide area of Kingston and St Andrew, extending as far as
Portmore, St Catherine and St Thomas. The
smoke which created
havoc such as:
THE National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) absolved itself
from total blame for the massive fire claiming that they used all
available resources to put it out. A 36-member crew and six fire units
worked around the clock for over 8 days to extinguish the blaze.
These type of fires are very costly. This one is estimated to run well
over J$75 million. Last year, a major fire at the dump resulted in a
$75.9-million effort to put it out, and in February 2012 the Government
spent $25 million on another major blaze, although the initial estimates
were for $65 million. In July last year, Local Government Minister Noel
Arscott told the Jamaica Parliament that fires at the landfill had cost
the country $128 million since 2011.
PM credits US Black Caucus’s support for IMF
PRIME Minister Portia Simpson Miller has expressed appreciation to the
United States' Congressional Black Caucus for its support which, she says,
was critical to Jamaica obtaining an Extended Fund Facility (EFF)
agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in May 2013.
"I thanked members of the Congressional Black Caucus while I
attended the Caribbean Energy Summit in Washington this past January.
Today, I am pleased to place on record in this Parliament my thanks to my
dear sister and friend, the distinguished United States Congresswoman
Maxine Waters. I also wish to thank Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, daughter
of Jamaican-born former New York City Council Member Una Clarke. I express
the appreciation of the Government and people of Jamaica to the members of
the US Congressional Black Caucus, who spoke up on behalf of Jamaica.”
Shaggy 'pon top on iTunes
THE growing popularity Shaggy's latest single, I Need Your Love, is
having a ripple effect on some of his previous tracks. According to iTunes
Reggae chart, It Wasn't Me and Angel, currently hold the top two
positions, respectively. Both are from his 2000 album Hot Shot.
Hot Shot was the highest-charting studio album of 2001 on the Billboard
Year-End Album Charts, and dethroned The Beatles on Billboard's 200 album
chart in February 2001. Bob Marley & the Wailers (Three Little Birds),
Matisyahu (One Day) and UB40 (Red Red Wine) complete iTunes top five.
I Need Your Love is currently holding the number 39 spot on the
Billboard charts. The track features Australian singer/songwriter Faydee,
Romanian singer/songwriter/producer Costi Ioni and Swedish-Congolese
Bajan pop star Rihanna
Not only is Bajan pop star Rihanna:
but now she is the first black lead of a 3-D computer-animated
buddy comedy film. Rihanna is now the voice Gratuity “Tip” Tucci,
a savvy curly-haired youngster who ends up with an alien on the run
from his own people who lands on Earth. The alien makes friends with the
adventurous Gratuity, who is on a quest of her own in “Home,” a
DreamWorks Animation film.
The film opened at US theaters on March 27 and also includes
the voices of Jennifer Lopez, Steve Martin, and Jim Parsons. It is
based on Adam Rex’s 2007 children’s book The True Meaning of Smekday.
The movie soundtrack’s lead single is also by Rihanna and is titled
“Towards the Sun.”
“Tip” is DreamWorks Animation’s third female protagonist and
their film “Kung Fu Panda 2,” directed by Korean-American Jennifer Yuh
Nelson, was a smash hit in the U.S. China, and South East Asia.
Let us know what you think. Email us at email@example.com