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bulletWorld food prices skyrocket causing riots and grave concern
bulletT&T PM sacks Minister
bulletObama speech at biggest rally yet in Philly
bulletRepublican congressman calls Obama ‘boy'
bulletHouse passes Jubilee Act d ebt relief for the poorest countries
bulletAime Cesaire, poet and pioneer of the black pride dies
bulletCash Plus CEO jailed in Jamaica
bulletUK to write-off £5m Jamaica debt
bulletVolunteers perform heart surgery in Jamaica
bulletKites and thieves bleed Jamaica electric company
bulletChevron Oil guilty of polluting the Amazon
bulletEwing elected to Hall of Fame
bulletJamaica unemployment rate
bullet20 migrants drown near the Bahamas
bulletFree health care program - so far, so good
bulletSan Diego organization donates US$5 mil in medical care
bulletJamaican patties in China
bulletChapter V - Don't Blame Slavery on White People in editor's book generates debate 
(See Chapter V - Don't Blame Slavery on White People)



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

List Price $11.95 (paperback)
Special Introductory Offer $9.95

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 $9.95 + $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.



May 2008

World food prices skyrocket causing riots and grave concern

A shortage of rice, grain, flour and other cereals on the world market has sent prices spiraling, causing wide-scale social consequences - from starvation in Indonesia to a burgeoning food black market in Egypt. Price hikes also triggered violent clashes in Peru and Haiti - which holds the ignominious reputation as the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

Anger in Haiti over rising prices had been building for many months with basic food stuffs increasingly out of reach for the poor. It had become so bad that many desperate people were forced to eat cookies made of dirt, salt, and vegetable shortening as a regular meal.

Food riots exploded as:

Tires were set ablaze in the streets and thrown together to form barricades that paralyzed traffic for days.

Numerous businesses were vandalized and looted, especially those selling food, as crowds vented their anger at the perceived indifference to their plight by the nation's elite, including the René Préval /Jacques Edouard Alexis administration.

Broken glass on the streets near targeted buildings and cars became a common sight.

Prime Minister Jacques-Edouard Alexis took the rap and was booted out and replaced by Ericq Pierre, 63, is an experienced international civil servant trained in economics and agriculture.

The government of Venezuela, viewed increasingly as a close friend and ally to Haiti, was among the first to come to their aid by sending hundreds of tons in food stocks which were distributed in short order. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon  has also been vocal in calling for increased food aid to Haiti to avert a crisis; UNOPS is busy meanwhile increasing its distribution of donated food. Since then, OAS has sent rice worth US$1.3 million and other countries have heeded the desperate cry for help.

Jamaica – Rift over rice with Guyana
There is a budding rice shortage crisis. Brazil and some Asian countries have banned the exportation of rice. Guyana export market for rice to outside CARICOM has increased. The Jamaica government has become unhappy with the lack of a 6-month commitment from Guyana to supply Jamaica with enough rice. Consequently, they have applied to CARICOM for a 6-month suspension of the 25% Common External Tariff on 4,000 tons of rice per month. This move is being made to secure enough supplies of tariff-free rice, from outside the region, for Jamaican consumers. Jamaican importers have for several months indicated that they were unable to secure sufficient and consistent supplies from Guyana, resulting in a tightening of supplies on the domestic market. Guyana supplied some 51,000 tons of rice to Jamaica last year, an increase over 2006.
But, not just rice,  the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) is warning Jamaica to cut its dependence on imported foods in general and to produce more local food. In the budget debate earlier, Agriculture Minister Dr Christopher Tufton announced that:


some 61 per cent of the country's basic food items were imported


data from the Statistical Institute of Jamaica showed that the nation's food import bill had increased from US$479 million in 2002 to US$662 million up to November 2007.


a national food-planting program


a PR campaign on the theme on 'Eating What We Grow and Growing What We Eat'.


Expansion of the school garden program. At a cost of $30 million, the ministry will distribute some 200,000 packets of vegetable seeds to each student from grades eight to 11 in every secondary institution. These seeds are expected to be planted at home or within their communities on Labour Day.


Urban Backyard Program in which 400 households will be given free of cost a backyard garden kit, developed by the Rural Agricultural Development Authority.


The benefits of reducing the dependence on imported rice by growing more root crops such as as yam, sweet potato and especially cassava.

The blame - US and the IMF
It is great that Jamaica is calling for increased local food production. But guess what? On many occasions Jamaican farmers in the parish of ST. Elizabeth particularly, have been forced to let their crops wither and die unsold in the field because of cheap foreign products.

Guess what? Haiti used to feed itself. Thirty years ago, Haiti produced nearly all the rice it consumed. But in the late 1980s, cheap imported U.S. rice inundated the country after a military junta began liberalising the economy with support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The first batches of imported rice were escorted by armed convoys in the Artibonite valley -- Haiti's main rice-producing region. Rice farmers regarded the imported U.S. rice as a threat to their production and livelihoods. As it turned out, their concerns were justified. In 1994, an IMF-sponsored plan cut tariffs on imported rice from 35 percent to 3 percent, the lowest in the region. In one year, the number of rice imports doubled.
While the U.S. government subsidises its own rice farmers, its Haitian counterpart was prohibited from doing so under the terms of their agreement with the IMF. Over the last 20 years, rice production in Haiti has been cut in half, while imports now dominate the market.
Jamaica and many other developing countries could end up like Haiti. I hope they learn from Haiti’s experience. Keep the tariff and protect our farmers from those rapacious foreign agri-business corporations.

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T&T PM sacks Minister

Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Patrick Manning has fired his Trade and Industry Minister Dr. Keith Rowley and replaced him with the veteran politician, Dr. Lenny Saith.politician, Dr. Lenny Saith. The PM , initially, gave no reasons for such drastic action, but later claimed that it was because of ‘atrocious behaviour’ reported to him, according to three other ministers of government. At the time of this writing, these ministers have not been identified by name.
Mr. Rowley entered Parliament in 1989 as an opposition Senator and served as Agriculture Minister from 1991-1995. He also served as Housing Minister and Minister of Planning and Development before assuming the post of Minister of Trade and Industry in the Manning cabinet.

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Obama speech at biggest rally yet in Philly

It is time to hear the actual words by Hot Calaloo-endorsed US presidential candidate, Barack Obama. Notice the message of hope which even political cynics like me are encouraged. Look at the composition of the crowd, full of young people that up until the Obama revolution was missing from politics.

But, there is one thing that fills me with apprehension. Will the empire strike back because Obama has shunned corporate money? This is so admirable and truly revolutionary for American politics, and could herald a loss of corporate domination of American politics.

But, as I contend in my book, "Boycott Money and Save Your Soul - Launching the Goodwill Revolution", Dr. Martin Luther King was not killed by racists. He was not killed by James Earl Ray. (that is official although many knowledgeable people do not know that).He was not killed because of his opposition to the Vietnam war. My book contends that he was killed because he was on the verge of empowering people to challenge corporations by a national boycott.

Barack, by his successful candidacy, is challenging and empowering people to take back their democracy from corporations. I hope he does not suffer the same consequence as Dr. Martin Luther King. but like myself, many fear he could be assassinated. Looking back I have to wonder if Jesus Christ himself was not crucified because he threw the moneylenders out of the temple.

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Republican congressman calls Obama ‘boy"

It’s not been making the TV talk show circuit nor getting thousands of hits on the net. In fact, it has hardly made the news. I wonder why. I am talking about Kentucky Republican Congressman Goeff Davis’s comments about Senator Obama, as he spoke at a Republican Party dinner recently.  He referred to him as a "a snake oil salesman" and further stated  "I’m going to tell you something.  That BOY’s finger does not need to be on the button.  He could not make a decision in that simulation that related to a nuclear threat to this country." The Republican audience hailed the comment with laughter and applause. Boy is one of the traditional American racist derogative term for an adult black male.

He subsequently sent Obama a letter of apology but as we say in Jamaica ‘first word go to law’.

(And they unjustly demonize Rev Jeremiah Wright for telling the truth - See Undiluted Vol 13)

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House passes Jubilee Act debt relief for the poorest countries

A big long battle has been won on behalf of world’s poorest countries. The US House of Representatives by a vote of 285-132 passed the Jubilee Act (HR 2634). The legislation calls the US Treasury Department to negotiate a multilateral agreement for debt cancellation for up to 24 additional poor countries that need cancellation to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

It was that outstanding Maxine Waters again. the Democratic Congresswoman from California along with Spencer Bachus (R-AL)  introduced the legislation in June 2007 and it enjoyed the support of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Jubilee USA Network is an alliance of 80 organizations consisting of leaders of churches, development agencies, civil rights, labor, and human rights groups that has been leading the advocacy for the legislation.

The Vote:

  Yes No Did Not Vote
Democrats 216 6 12
Republicans 69 126 3
Totals 285 132 15

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Aime Cesaire, poet and pioneer of the black pride dies

Martinican poet, playwright, and politician, one of the most influential authors from the French-speaking Caribbean. Aimé Césaire has died. Revered on his native French Caribbean island and especially in the French-speaking world, Cesaire died aged 94 in hospital in Fort-de-France, after being admitted for heart problems. He formulated with Léopold Senghor and Léon Gontian Damas the concept and movement of négritude, defined as "affirmation that one is black and proud of it". His work celebrated, black pride and the ancestral homelands of Africa and the Caribbean.

my negritude is not a stone
nor a deafness flung against the clamor of the day
my negritude is not a white speck of dead water
on the dead eye of the earth
my negritude is neither tower nor cathedral

it plunges into the red flesh of the soil
it plunges into the blazing flesh of the sky
my negritude riddles with holes
the dense affliction of its worthy patience.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy led thousands of mourners at a state funeral in Martinique. Sarkozy's decision to honour Cesaire with a state funeral was only the fourth time that a literary figure has been accorded such a distinction after Victor Hugo in 1885, Paul Valery in 1945 and Colette in 1954.

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Cash Plus CEO jailed in Jamaica

The Cash Plus saga continues as its CEO, Carlton Hill and his brother have been arrested for fraud. Cash Plus is perhaps the largest, and certainly the most visible, of the several so-called alternative investment schemes that have mushroomed in Jamaica over the past five years, promising so-called club members who place money with the scheme, returns of 10 per cent per month.

During this time Cash Plus, which over the past year announced several major real estate purchases and other ventures, including sponsorship of Jamaica’s National Premier Football League, This means there will be no awards or prize money incentive for the top football league of Jamaica. Of the J$28m that is required to complete the season, J$10m was for the awards ceremony and prize money, another J$10m for the Premier League Clubs Association (PCLA), the clubs and referees and match commissioners. Seaga said the PLCA has secured $8m from a sponsor,

Cash Plus was apparently already in trouble for some time. It was unable to meet an estimated J$4 billion debt to its investors.

Police raided Cash Plus and seized documents which according to unconfirmed reports showed accounts in the British Virgin Islands, Britain, Spain, Kuwait and China. There was close to US$7 billion in these accounts.

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UK to write-off £5m Jamaica debt

The United Kingdom is to write off £5 million (J$708.2 million; US$ 9.8 milion) in debt incurred by Jamaica. The UK minister for international development, Shahid Malik, says the debt write-off should allow the Jamaican Government to spend more on improving public services.

Jamaica national debt  (Dec  2007 )

J$ billions US$ billions
Domestic 558.43 7.73
External 432.37 5.98
Total 990.80 13.71


Foreign Debt (as of March2007) J$ billions US$ millions
USA 18,050 249.83
United Kingdom 1,930 26.71


560 7.75
Germany 4,480 62
Japan 10,820 149.7
Venezuela 880 12.17
Global Bond Holders 222,590 3,080.83
Other commercial entities 9,940  137.58
International Dev Bank 36,100 499.8
World Bank 25,510 353.08
CDB 7,500 103.8
EU Comission et al 4,604 63.72

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Volunteers perform heart surgery in Jamaica

Ten Jamaican children will get a new lease of life as three teams from the Florida-based Jamaica Children's Heart Fund Inc are now on the island conducting open-heart operations. The three Florida-based teams comprise four physicians, eight intensive-care-unit nurses, two operation nurses and a physician assistant. The voluntary group was flown into the island courtesy of Air Jamaica, one of the newest sponsors of the program.

This year's team is led by Dr Richard Perryman, director of cardiothoracic surgery and Dr Gerald Lavandosky from the Division of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine at the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital in Hollywood, Florida.

Gwen Grant, executive director of the Jamaica Children's Heart Foundation, lamented that the list of screened children who require heart surgery was constantly growing and now stands at 350 cases. She also said there was an excellent screening system that was constantly updated to ensure that children with the greatest need were given priority.

Since 1996, the Florida-based teams have successfully completed 126 heart surgeries.

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Kites and thieves bleed Jamaica electric company

The Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) has indicated that it has lost approximately $216 million in damage and repairs due to poor kite-flying practices this year. The light and power company further stated that the practice has also been the cause of about 40 power outages across the island. The JPS said Monday that earlier this month, approximately 16,000 customers in the Portmore and Central Village communities of St Catherine experienced three power outages caused by kite tails becoming tangled with power lines. The company is, therefore, advising residents to fly their kites in open spaces and away from power lines.

Kite damage is by accident but electricity theft by illegal hook-up is not. Thousands of residents have caused the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) to incur approximately $4.8 billion due to electricity theft in 2007. And to make matters worse, legitimate customers had to fork out an additional $2.8 billion to cover the cost. In 2006, the figures stood at J$4.1 billion. Approximately $2.3b was underwritten by JPS and $1.8b by customers. This is because both JPS and its customers bear the costs associated with electricity theft.

JPS estimates that there are in excess of 110,000 illegal 'throw-up' lines or illegitimate connections in communities across the island, primarily found in inner-city and poor rural communities. But, there were several high profile customers and business places caught also. More sophisticated methods include meter tampering, meter bypass and line taps. JPS claims it is spending over $300 million each year towards both preventing and detecting the theft of electricity.

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Chevron Oil guilty of polluting the Amazon

A court-appointed expert suggested last week that Chevron Corp should pay up to US$16 billion for allegedly polluting the Ecuadorean Amazon - big bucks. The San Ramon, California-based company is being sued by 30,000 jungle settlers and Indians in a class-action over all the toxic wastewater left in the jungle.

Oil prices is soaring on the world market and the only thing keeping up with them are oil prices. Chevron's net profits was US$18 billion last year.

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Ewing elected to Hall of Fame

Jamaican-born basketball player Patrick Ewing has been elected to US basketball’s Hall of Fame. Also among the class of 2008 to be inducted on September 5 in Springfield, Massachusetts, home of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, were coach Pat Riley, players Hakeem Olajuwon and Adrian Dantley, coach Cathy Rush, NBA team owner Bill Davidson and broadcaster Dick Vitale.

Ewing was the 1986 NBA Rookie of the Year and an 11-time All-Star in a 17-year pro career. He was named to the NBA's 50th anniversary team and won two Olympic gold medals in 1984 and 1992.

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Jamaica unemployment rate

The Economic and Social Survey Jamaica 2007, published by the Planning Institute of Jamaica, shows that there are 124,500 unemployed persons in the labour force, with females accounting for 65.4 per cent. Jamaica's youth unemployment rate is three times that of adults, at 23.6 per cent.

The latest Labour Force Bulletin, compiled in October 2007, also showed that the 14- to 24-year-old age group had the highest number of persons outside the labour force, at 39.2 per cent, or 267,000. Males accounted for 37.1 per cent of that number.

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20 migrants drown near the Bahamas

the U.S. Coast Guard recovered the bodies of 20 migrants recently from the sea near the Bahamas after their boat apparently capsized. The bodies of 19 Haitians and one Honduran were recovered and three survivors — two Haitians and one Honduran — have been found. Authorities in Florida are interviewing the survivors to determine what happened. The search-and-rescue mission began after fishermen heard people screaming in the water.

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Free health care program - so far, so good

After three weeks, Over 100,000 people have benefited from the no user fee policy in public hospitals. Reports from the Jamaica health ministry show that some 152,569 patients have benefited from the new policy - hospital registration accounted for over 90,000 while just over 70,000 were registered at type three to type five health centers. Some $24.3 million in hospital registration fees has been waived.

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Operation Certification helps inner city residents in Jamaica

Operation Certification is an Inner City Basic Services Project (ICBSP) launched by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) in January in 14 inner-city communities islandwide, geared at improving access to innumerable basic services where many encounter challenges. One such service is facilitating the acquisition of civil registration documents as well as creating opportunities for inner-city persons to gain access to services and programs provided by state agencies that will help to enhance and improve their quality of life.

During the four-month project, 


1,200 birth certificates were obtained from the RGD at a subsidised cost of $100 for people who could not afford the $750 fee.


Thirty-two children from the Little Angel Early Childhood Basic School in Spanish Town received their birth certificates and are now able to complete their school registration.


Through a subsidy of $1.3 million, the 12 ICBSPs were provided with their civil registration documents.

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San Diego organization donates US$5 mil in medical care

Some US$5 million worth of medical equipment, supplies and health care has been delivered free of charge to the people of Jamaica recently by 80 medical volunteers from the San Diego-based Miles Ahead organization. The medical team of specialist doctors, pediatricians, surgeons and dentists donated their services to local communities, in close collaboration with Jamaica's Ministry of Health, at four mobile clinics as 200 more volunteers, in conjunction with local churches and community organizations, conduct sports clinics, deaf education workshops, school assemblies and rebuild local elementary schools.  

The medical team reports that the clinics are stocked with state-of-the-art equipment and supplies. They will deliver dental care and equipment, pharmaceuticals, eye glasses, orthopedics, and general health care. A unique feature of the outreach is the team's mobile pathology laboratory, which can test a tissue sample for cancer and return results in 24 hours.  

The volunteers are part of Miles Ahead, an outreach organization founded in 1992 by Pastor Miles McPherson, a former NFL professional football player who has family ties to the island.   Miles Ahead is currently on the island as part of Jamaica Broilers Group's 50th anniversary celebrations and three major family-oriented festivals, under the Best Dressed 50 Fest banner, presented in Mandeville, Montego Bay and Kingston through May 4.    The Miles Ahead organization has plans for additional outreach activities throughout the Caribbean region. 

Pastor Miles McPherson many accomplishments include:


Leading the 10,000-strong Rock Church and Academy in San Diego


Is the President of Miles Ahead which has organized events in 18 cities, including Canada and Africa


is an author


Is an Emmy Award winning producer for the documentary Master Meth, which examines the abuse of crystal methamphetamine.

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Chapter V "Don't Blame White People for Slavery" feedback

(Not unexpectedly, controversial Chapter V "Don't Blame Slavery on White People" from my book, "Boycott Money and Save Your Soul - Launching the Goodwill Revolution" got some interesting feedback. So much so that I am repeating that chapter in the serialization of the book in this Hot Calaloo update. My email dialogue with Cheryl Henry culminated in a very interesting video that she sent me which I urge my readers to view.  I repeat, "View the video". )

Date: Thursday, April 17, 2008, 4:51 PM Cheryl Henry wrote:
Hi Michael,
 I can understand that it was the wealthy whites who manipulated and distorted their fellow man into the acceptance of slavery.  However, I do not agree that "ordinary" (as you call them) white people are not to blame for supporting it.  Africans are reported to have sold their brothers and sisters into shattle slavery.  Are they blameless because they were not aware of what was happening to our ancestors?  We are all responsible for what we do or do not do, say or do not say, and the choices we make.
By going along and playing the game, these "ordinary" white people have secured the survival and a better future for their generations. You can observe this today.  Those of us in the Afro Diaspora, who are aware of what is going on and willing to do something about it, are working hard to change the negative effects of slavery: the manner in which we treat each other and the negative views of us nationally and internationally.

 For me, TRUTH is more vital toward change than goodwill that is here today and gone tomorrow. No matter how much we attempt to lie and manipulate, the naked truth is always there waiting to be exposed (seen).  I support the survival of the human race and its many cultures.

 Your words are worthy of consideration, except taking away blame where blame lay.
 Kind regards,
 Cheryl Henry 


My Reply  

Hi Cheryl,

I'm glad to get your response. The majority of white people were poor and could not afford slaves. Slaves represented cheap labor who probably took their jobs. I think the damage blaming white people is that the real culprits hide behind that generalisation. That sort of thing goes on today in other atrocities that I mention in the book. My point is to focus on these real culprits in order to really expose them, for that's the only way to make a difference.

Truth is very valuable, but the Goodwill Revolution is the only way to resolve the multiple conflicts and problems, from personal to national to international. I regret that my book has not done a good enough job at getting that point across. I am working on a sequel to really make a stronger case.

I hope you read the whole book to get the full impact of the Goodwill Revolution.



Hi Michael,

 I wanted to share this video with you sent to me by a friend in the states: .  

You see, your book is definitely focused in the right direction!   Remember though, don't take away our responsibility for the choices we make.  Without doing so, we will not grow.  Keep TRUTH flowing.

 Much respect,



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Jamaican patties in China

A new Jamaican-owned restaurant, called Uncle Mike's Jamaican Patties, is now serving up the popular meat pastry and other Jamaican and Caribbean staples in China.

Owned by a firm called Tradersco, the restaurant opened for business March 17 in Shanghai as the first Jamaican eatery there, said a release from the one-year Caribbean Association in China.


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