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.
rocks and heals Baltimore
Come one. Come all
to see the new musical play about the late reggae icon, Bob Marley. The
play is so powerful, I had to see it twice. It rocked the house. It
deserves international exposure. From you step into the lobby of Center
Stage you are immersed in Jamaica of the 1970’s. And the impressive
creativity of the play continues from there.
and Lyrics by Bob
Book by Kwame
The play boasts an
international cast with many Jamaicans among the 32 members. Bob Marley is
outstandingly played by Dutchman Mtchell Brunings, a former Netherlands
Voice TV winner. (Watch his winning performance on The Voice:
elects new leader as PPP loses
David Arthur Granger has become the new president in a very close
general elections in Guyana. Granger’s party, A Partnership for National
Unity and the Alliance for Change (AFC) coalition party
garnered 207,200 votes to the incumbent PPP’s 202,694. It took a
long five days to count the votes. . APNU+AFC won Region Four by a large
margin as well as Regions 7, 8 and 10. The PPP/C won the six other
After taking the oath, Granger, who will become the newest member of the Caribbean Community, CARICOM, insisted that he will be “president of all of the people” of Guyana, a clear reference to the racial divide that exists in the South American nation.
elects new government
In recent elections, the main opposition Anguilla United Front (AUF)
led by Victor Banks won six of the seven seats with 85.7 percent of the
votes cast. The Independent Party took the one other seat with 14.3
percent of the votes. This meant that Anguilla’s incumbent Anguilla
United Movement suffered a resounding loss in elections held on the
British-Caribbean territory on April 22nd. The AUM, which was contesting
all seven seats, did not secure one seat in the general elections.
Medical practitioner Dr Ellis Lorenzo Webster who took over the
leadership of the AUM after Hubert Hughes, 82, stepped down after 40 years
in active politics, suffered the massive loss. He also failed to win his
own seat, losing to independent Pamovan Webster, a lawyer and businessman,
who polled 460 votes compared to his 412.
Opposition Leader suspended from Parliament
Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) Opposition
Leader Dr Keith Rowley has been suspended from the Parliament and
therefore will not be allowed to return to the House for the remainder of
the session. Parliament will automatically dissolve by June 17.
revolutionary Uruguay leader steps down
Uruguay's president, Jose “Pepe” Mujica, a former guerrilla who
shunned the presidential palace to live on a farm and gives most of his
salary to charity, is stepping down after five years in office. He is
ending his term as one of the world's most popular leaders ever. Mujica,
79, is leaving office with a 65 percent approval rating. He is
constitutionally prohibited from serving consecutive terms.
After Latin America’s anti-drug war proved a failure, the South
American country became the first in the world to fully legalize
marijuana, with Mujica arguing that drug trafficking is in fact more
dangerous than marijuana itself.
One of the most progressive leaders in Latin America. Muijica also
legalized abortion and same-sex marriage and agreed to take in detainees
once held at the notorious Guantanamo Bay. Six former US detainees, who
were never charged with a crime, came to Uruguay in December as refugees.
The six included four Syrians, a Palestinian and a Tunisian. Although they
were cleared for release back in 2009, the US was not able to discharge
them until Uruguayan President offered to receive them.
Among his other accomplishments are:
Mujica, a former leftist Tupamaro guerrilla leader, spent 13 years in
jail during the years of Uruguay's military dictatorship. He survived
torture and endless months of solitary confinement. Majica said he never
regretted his time in jail, which he believes helped shape his character.
His kindness is the stuff of legends. With the prevalence of pompous
leaders all over the world, Mujica's kindness speaks volumes. He refused
to move to Uruguay’s luxurious presidential mansion to live in a farm
outside Montevideo with his wife and a three-legged dog named Manuela. He
gives away about 90 percent of his salary to charity, saying he simply
doesn't need it. He drives an 1987 Volkswagen Beetle.
Last year, Mujica turned down a $1 million offer from an Arab sheik who
offered to buy his blue car. Pepe refused to sell the vehicle, saying it
would offend "all those friends who pooled together to buy it for
Editor’s Comment: Now, there is a true leader, the type of
leader the Caribbean needs!
to cancel Haiti’s debt but..
French President Francois Hollande has announced that France will
cancel Haiti’s debt of US$81.2 million. However he balked at paying
Haiti, which became the world’s first black republic after winning
its war of independence in 1804, was forced to
pay France the equivalent of US $40 billion in gold in exchange for
official recognition from France in 1825. This extortion was delivered to
the country by 12 French warships armed with 528 cannons. France refuses
to pay this back in reparations and even helped depose President Aristide
when he demanded it.
French President Francois Hollande has also promised to finance a large
scale education program to modernise the country’s education system.
Hollande also promised to sign
several agreements with Haitian President Michel Martelly including one
that will allow the exportation of organically grown bananas to Europe.
at risk for 80 million people in Latin America, Caribbean
Financial experts and policy makers have warned Caribbean countries
that in the absence of reforms, members of the growing middle class may be
vulnerable to poverty in their old age.
The experts discussed the future of pensions in Latin America and the
Caribbean at a panel discussion organised by the Inter-American
development Bank (IDB).
The panel explored different policy approaches to ensure greater
coverage and sustainability of pension systems in the region. The experts
felt that the most widespread practice to bridge the gap in pension
coverage is expanding the so-called non-contributory pensions. These
government subsidies help reduce inequality and poverty, but will pose a
fiscal challenge as the population ages and the number of beneficiaries
increases. Today there are eight people of working age for every retiree
but, by 2050, the rate will drop to 2.5, close to the OECD average of 1.9.
Population ageing will lead to higher spending on pensions in Latin
America and the Caribbean; at the same time, the high number of workers in
the informal sector, who do not make contributions, put the adequacy of
pension benefits at risk. Currently, only 45 out of every 100 workers
contribute to a retirement plan, and this ratio has hardly changed in
Many countries in the region still lack systems and institutional
capacity for sound management of pensions, both contributory and
non-contributory. In that sense, larger investments in systems and reforms
of institutional frameworks are important steps towards achieving greater
pension coverage and sustainability.
companies to invest $400m in Cuba
British companies will invest $400 million in Cuba initiatives, in
areas that reportedly include agriculture, tourist infrastructure and
energy, a business delegation has reported. Agreements were signed in Cuba
during an economic forum that brought together 32 British companies.
Local media reported that the investments would be made in agriculture
as well as energy and tourist infrastructure, including a new golf course.
Bilateral trade between Britain and Cuba totaled $168 million in 2013,
according to latest figures. Britain sends more tourists to Cuba than any
other European country, with around 150,000 visitors per year.
Minister, industry leaders to launch STEM academies in
Jamaica’s Education Minister Ronald Thwaites has appointed several
industry leaders to spearhead the transformation of selected technical
high schools into Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics, or STEM
academies that will produce people qualified for employment in several
sectors of the economy.
A STEM academy is generally an institution that uses science,
technology, engineering and mathematics as the base for the structuring
and time-tabling of its programs. In the upper school -- grades 10 and 11
-- students will be offered competency-based training to make them
"job ready". In the lower grades STEM, along with Technical
Vocational Education and Training (TVET), will be emphasised in the
curriculum. Over time the school is expected to be transformed into a STEM
Academy, the ministry said.
Schools slated to become STEM academies include St Andrew Technical
High, Kingston Technical High, Jamaica College, St Mary Technical High,
Dinthill Technical High, and Dunoon
Park Technical High
The education minister charged education officials and school leaders
to ensure the infusion of the STEM methodology in the school curriculum
according to the skills and competencies identified by the industry
|was established 11 years ago when a professor brought a group of students to the rural community.|
|has benefited from volunteers who serve for periods ranging from a week to as much as a year-and-a-half.|
|is further supported by long-serving volunteers, dubbed ambassadors,
as well as some local staff. |
Another noteworthy feature of the project is the income-generating component, as the community benefits from the increased spending such as the voulunteers:
|pay to stay in the homes of the residents|
|make majority of their purchases at the local shops.|
|employ local drivers and cooks, etc.|
|buy all their products from the community (businesses), and with 156 volunteers, plus the ambassadors that is a lot of income generated for the residents|
|form women groups who
are assisted in making eco-weave handbags from scandal bags which are
sold to the volunteers and in the United States. “That not only
generates income ,but it helps to keep the plastic bags off the
The project provides educational support such as :
|has established a computer lab at the BMP community centre as well as at Penlyne and Minto primary schools. The lab at Minto Primary is equipped with 25 computers, while that at Penlyne Primary has 12.|
|This also enables the students and staff to keep in contact with the Ministry of Education via the Internet.|
|Has provided a fully functional library|
|has set up an after-school homework program for the community children|
a free two-week- long summer camp each year. |
The BMP also has an education ambassador who works closely with the
teachers at Minto and Penlyne primary schools, and design Internet based
programs to coincide with the schools’ curriculum. “He works with the
teachers and backs up what they are doing in the classrooms by making
lesson programs that help to reinforce what the teachers are doing.
Jamaica ships bamboo charcoal to the US
A new industry is born. Jamaica has begun exporting bamboo charcoal to
the US. Jamaica’s first major supply of internationally certified
organic bamboo charcoal totalled 9,600 pounds. The charcoal, valued at
approximately US$4, 800, was transported from Kingston to Houston, Texas.
The supply of bamboo charcoal, which has been certified for export to the
US under the US Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Programme
(USDA/NOP), has been provided through a partnership involving three
entities, two local, and the other, American.
The overall engagement forms part of the Ministry of Industry,
Investment, and Commerce’s Bamboo Products Industry Project, being
administered by the Bamboo and Indigenous Materials Advisory Committee (BIMAC)
at the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ). The BIMAC is chaired by
Gladstone Rose, who is also the BSJ’s Senior Director for Technical
The project is consistent with the Government’s Job Creation and
Economic Growth strategic priority, focusing on the development and growth
of key productive sectors; development of micro, small, and medium sized
enterprises; and facilitating protection of the natural environment.
Global trade for bamboo is estimated to value approximately US$10
billion. A total of 19 million pounds of charcoal are being targeted for
production and export over the next two years, under the bamboo project.
Data from BIMAC’s registry of suppliers indicates that upwards of 3,000
acres are currently available for charcoal export production.
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