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bulletTrump is an enemy of Jamaica
bulletHaiti in turmoil

NASDAQ says Guyana is world's fastest growing economy

bulletStandard and Poor's downgrades T&T  bond ratings
bulletDominica bans single-use plastic bags

Jamaican  detained for 82 days for bringing honey into US

bulletCuba treats Guyana president for cancer

Belize moves to protect banana industry from deadly fungus

bulletFour more free wifi hotspots in Jamaica on the way
bulletInstagram apologises to revellers
bulletAnother medical breakthrough for Jamaica’s Henry Lowe

Contract denies public health doctors’ pension in Jamaica



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.



Nov_Dec 2019

Trump is an enemy of Jamaica

Jamaica is another Ukraine. Trump has robbed Jamaica of its sovereignty and rendered its political leaders, both JLP and PNP, helpless. I did not realize this. So,  I owe Jamaica Prime Minister Andrew Holness an apology. I did not realize that US racist president Donald Trump had put the screws to him. I was perplexed and shocked when Holness chose Trump’s right wing puppet as president of Venezuela over the elected President  Nicolas Maduro, who had done so much for Jamaica. Holness had to do that treacherous dastardly deed to protect Jamaicans from Trump’s reprisals.

Wiih the Ukraine, Trump held up their military aid. In Jamaica, he retaliates by revoking the US visas of prominent Jamaicans, including cabinet ministers.

In 2016 a local company Symbiote Investments Limited, which trades as Caricel applied for a Mobile Carrier license. This would put it in competition with the other two mobile carriers in Jamaica, Cable and Wireless Communications and Digicel. After rigorous investigation the Jamaica cabinet approved  the license and Prime Minister Holness proudly announced this to Jamaica.  So, Symbiote Investments Ltd, became the first fully Jamaican-owned telecom company to be granted a local mobile spectrum license.

But, for some inexplicable reason, the Trump administration opposed this approval. As a US embassy official told the local Gleaner newspaper, "The US is adamant that Caricel is not fit and proper to operate a spectrum license and has made it clear to Jamaica that it will take action if the license is not revoked”. Then the US retaliated by revoking the visitor visas of six prominent Jamaicans. These included three attorneys of Caricel , and a family member of one of the attorneys.  The US refused to give any reasons for the revoking of the visas. After this Prime Minister Holness revoked the license.

In recent months, the Trump administration has yanked the noose he has put around Jamaica’s neck. Once again, without any explanation, he  has revoked the visas of several prominent Jamaicans. They include:

·         Daryl Vaz, a Government Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation

·         Phillip Paulwell - a vice-president of the opposition  PNP and a former Minister of Mining, Science, Energy and Technology

·         Several members of the Jamaica Constabulary force

Now is there any doubt why Jamaica stabbed Venezuela’s elected president Nicolas Maduro in the back by recognizing the right wing US puppet instead? The sad realty is that Jamaica’s sovereignty is history. Prime Minister Holness does not even dare complain. Trump also made sure that the opposition is muzzled too as it deliberately revoked visas of prominent leaders of both JLP and PNP. This is an outrage! Will economic sanctions be next?

I was so naïve. I was under the notion that Jamaica was a sovereign country and that America was one of the good guys.  The racist  Trump now controls Jamaica foreign policy and more. At least Ukraine eventually got its military aid. Jamaica is doomed to obey Trump indefinitely. The extortion of Jamaica should be included in the impeachment hearings.

All this information is open knowledge and is available from the Jamaican newspapers.  See :


Also check out an excellent article by Jamaica’s former ambassador to the UN, Curtis Ward:

Our leaders hands are tied. It is up to Jamaican citizens and friends of Jamaica to rise up and throw off this yoke! Expose this outrage! Let us hope the US Black caucus and other influential friends, who care about justice, come to our aid. I wonder how many  countries  other than Ukraine and Jamaica have faced similar extortion from the Trump regime. I fear Trump is unimpeachable so much worse abuse lies ahead.

I was outraged so I sent copies of the letter to a range of influential persons but the reponse to this has been disappointing and frustrating. I sent copies to:  The Black Caucus, Jamaica New York CongresswomanYvette Clark, my US Senator Chris van Holen of Maryland,  PNP,  JLP, the Hot Calaloo mail list, Council of Hemispheric Affairs, Codepink, Black Democrats,,  Alliance For Global Justice, Global Citizen, NAACP.,Progressive Maryland,Askia Muhammad of Radio WPFW,codepink,,ACLU,ANSWER Coalition, truthout,Kevin Martin of Peace Action, TrueMajority c/o Cohen, Nita Chaudhary, Political Action, ,The,, Civic Action, Stop Mass Incarceration Network, Gov. Howard Dean, Robert L. Borosage Campaign for America's Future, Worldcantwait , among others.

….but answer came there none. I thought Jamaica had friends.

In the meantime, Trump has stepped up visa revocations. These include Ann-Marie Vaz, the MP for Portland Eastern and her mother, plus Senior Superintendent of Police Terrence Bent.

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 Haiti in turmoil

At least 42 people have died and 86 have been injured as tensions have escalated since the latest round of protests began on 15 September.. The vast majority suffered gunshot wounds. Reports indicate that security forces were responsible for 19 of the deaths while the rest were killed by armed individuals or unknown perpetrators. Among those killed was at least one journalist. Nine other journalists were injured and many have reportedly been threatened.

Since the beginning of the school year in September, most children across Haiti have been unable to go to school. Roadblocks and violence have meant that people, particularly in regions outside the capital, have had serious difficulty accessing food, drinking water, medicine and fuel. The health sector has been hit particularly hard, with shortages of electricity, fuel, supplies, and the inability of many medical personnel to reach their places of work. The closure of judicial institutions and other public institutions is having a severe impact in the country, especially on vulnerable groups. For example, the alarmingly high number of detainees in prolonged pre-trial detention has further increased due to the closure of many local courts for security reasons.

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NASDAQ says Guyana is world's fastest growing economy

According to the world's second largest stock market, NASDAQ, Guyana as the fastest growing economy in the world.  In a report, NASDAQ said that with a projected growth rate of 16.3 per cent during the four-year period 2018-2021, Guyana is the fastest growing economy in the world.

NASDAQ says that with a GDP size of US$3.63 billion (2018 Rank: 160), a growth rate of 4.1 per cent in 2018 and 4.6 per cent in 2019, Guyana's economy is expected to grow by 33.5 per cent and 22.9% in 2020 and 2021 respectively.

The report added that Guyana is a middle-income country that has an abundance of resources. The report also pointed to the ExxonMobil discoveries in Guyana and the income that will come to the country when oil production begins next year.

Exxon is expected to start producing up to 120,000 barrels of oil per day from the Liza Phase 1 development next year and the country is projected to be among the world's largest per-capita oil producers by 2025.

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Standard and Poor's downgrades T&T  bond ratings

The credit rating agency Standard and Poor's (S&P) overview has lowered Trinidad and Tobago’s long-term for­eign and lo­cal cur­ren­cy sov­er­eign cred­it rat­ings to 'BBB' from 'BBB+' and are af­firm­ing  short-term for­eign and lo­cal cur­ren­cy sov­er­eign cred­it rat­ings at 'A-2'.” S&P's transfer and convertibility assessment, the overview stated, would also be adjusted to 'BBB+' from 'A'.

The credit agency's downward revisions for Trinidad and Tobago were adjusted for “lower-than-expected energy production and economic growth” which it anticipates will soften the country's revenue base and impede the planned balancing of the budget by fiscal year 2020-2021.

The review also cited delays in the “institutional reforms to strengthen revenue collection and improve the provision of timely economic data” as reasons for its revision.


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Dominica bans single-use plastic bags

Prime Minster Roosevelt Skerrit has announced a ban on single-use plastic bags will take effect from 2020. He said that about a 100,000 re-usable shopping bags will be imported and will be provided to households on the island.

Skerrit said that the government is removing taxes and duties on bio-degradable items in order “to make it more affordable to every Dominican to have access to biodegradable items”. He also  said it is not about international obligation or press, but it’s about doing things that are fundamentally beneficial to Dominica.


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Jamaican  detained for 82 days for bringing honey into US

Here we go again….

A Jamaican man was detained for nearly three months in the United States after bringing in bottles of honey from the Caribbean island that customs agents mistakenly believed to be liquid methamphetamine.

Leon Haughton had visited family back in Jamaica every Christmas since taking up residence in Maryland about a decade ago. Haughton's long ordeal began December 29 2018 at Baltimore-Washington International Airport when customs agents had a dog sniff his bags. Inside they found three bottles duly labelled as honey that Haughton, a 45-year-old father of three, uses to sweeten his tea.

According to the charging document, the agents suspected him of transporting liquid methamphetamine, and placed him in detention. Laboratory results from Maryland took more than two weeks to arrive: they were negative. The bottles were sent to a second laboratory in Georgia after the first was judged to be insufficiently equipped to analyse the liquids.

Although he had a green card granting him legal residence in the United States, Haughton's arrest set in motion a detention process with the US immigration service.

The tests in Georgia, meanwhile, finally confirmed that Haughton was indeed transporting honey. He was freed on March 21, 82 days after he returned from vacation. Unable to work for three months and far from his children, Haughton lost his two jobs as a cleaner and construction worker.


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Cuba treats Guyana president for cancer

Guyana’s President David Granger traveled to Cuba to undergo treatment for -Hodgkin Lymphoma cancer. Since his diagnosis, the 77-yesr-old Granger has undergone several rounds of radiotherapy treatment. He returned there in July this year after having been given the 'all clear' by his team of medical specialists in Cuba. His last trip October resulted in good news. His cancer is in remission.

However, in keeping with the strict medical procedures of the Cuban health system, he is expected to return to Cuba for another scheduled routine medical check in January 2020. Thereafter, the next evaluation will be in June 2020.


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Belize moves to protect banana industry from deadly fungus

 The Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) says it has been holding discussions with several stakeholders in the banana industry in a bid to prevent the Fusarium Wilt of Bananas, which has been detected in neighbouring Colombia from entering the country.

BAHA said that the discussions with the stakeholders, including the Ministry of Agriculture and partner organisations, are to develop a comprehensive strategy to keep the disease out of Belize.

Fusarium Wilt of Bananas is caused by the fungus Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense, and described as a devastating disease of bananas.

“Once infected, the plants die rapidly and the disease spreads quickly within farms and then throughout an industry. It originated in South East Asia in the early 1960s and is now prevalent in that region causing devastation to banana plantations. The disease has been detected as well in Mozambique, Jordan, Israel, and Australia,” BAHA said in a statement. BAHA said that its Quarantine Department has initiated actions at the Philip Goldson International Airport through the placement of shoe disinfection mats for visitors potentially coming from countries where the disease is present and that other actions will include a comprehensive surveillance programme for early detection and eradication.


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Four more free wifi hotspots in Jamaica on the way

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Fayval Williams, says four more free public Wi-Fi hotspots will be established in Jamaica by the end of 2021. They will add to the seven locations across the island where public Wi-Fi has already been installed She said that the provision of free Wi-Fi service is in keeping with the Government's commitment to bridging the technological divide and “ensure that no citizen gets left behind”.

“So far, we have over 300 community Internet facilities, which we call community access points (CAPs)….  We have allocated $50 million to finance projects aimed at using technology to improve the quality of life of persons with disabilities. This is technology at your service,” she added.


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Instagram apologises to revellers

Popular social networking service, Instagram (IG) has apologised for blocking Caribbean carnival-related material from its platform. According to Canadian news agency, Vice, several revellers were taken aback when they realised that Instagram issued a community guidelines regulation violation notice when they viewed hashtags like #fuzionmas, #stluciacarnival, #trinidadcarnival2020, #xuvocarnival, and #ehtshirtmas (representing carnival events in St. Lucia, Trinidad & Tobago, and Antigua), after the St Lucian carnival ended on July 16.

“Recent posts from (hashtag) are currently hidden because the community has reported some content may not meet Instagram's community guidelines,” read the photo-sharing platform's message. However, the operators of the nine-year-old app, owned by Facebook, have backtracked and are regretting the “mistake”.

Instagram confessed that the hashtags #xuvocarnival and #trinidadcarnival2020, among others, were restricted in error before restoring them to full visibility. They apologised for the mistake. Over a billion people use Instagram every month. This did not stop some revellers from expressing their outrage at the occurrence.

Carnival is celebrated throughout the Caribbean. However, while Trinidad's party is the biggest and most famous, there are other great carnival celebrations including Vincy Mas in St Vincent and Crop Over in Barbados. Carnival celebrations take place just before the beginning of Lent and the Easter season, but there are events happening nearly all year round.


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Another medical breakthrough for Jamaica’s Henry Lowe

Dr. Henry Lowe has done it again. This time he has developed a pancreatic cancer drug which has received US approval.

Flavocure LLC, the pharmaceutical research and development (R&D) company founded and managed by world renowned Jamaican scientist and entrepreneur Dr Henry Lowe, has received an exclusive patent from the US Government's Patent Office for the use of Caflanone to treat pancreatic cancer. Also, Flavocure, which is based in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, subsequently received its second orphan drug approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration for the use of Caflanone, also for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

Caflanone is a cannabis-based flavonoid that was developed from a very rare cannabis plant strain discovered in Jamaica. This particular plant has relatively high concentration of flavonoids peculiar to cannabis. The drug was subsequently synthesised through proprietary methodology and is now available in commercial quantities for clinical trials.

Lowe, the executive chairman of Flavocure, noted that the greatest challenge to take the drug to commercialisation is the high costs involved. Flavocure is a member of Dr Lowe's R&D Commercial/Eden Gardens Group of Companies. The company was founded in 2015 and is one of two science-based institutions established in Maryland by Dr Lowe, for the development of novel non-cannabinoid pharmaceuticals for the treatment of cancers and neurodegenerative diseases.


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Contract denies public health doctors’ pension in Jamaica

The injustice of contract employment is affecting even doctors in Jamaica. Contract type employment is a scheme to deny employees benefits that permanent employees are entitled to.

Head of the Association of Government Medical Consultants (AGMC) Dr Konrad Lawson says that the complement of overworked and underpaid doctors in the island's public hospitals is attributable to the Government's refusal to get rid of an outdated job post system.

Dr Lawson said that the current complement of posts in the public health system dates back to the 1970s and is now holding back scores of young medical professionals who are often hired on contract.

“What has been done is that, instead of creating the posts that have to be funded into pension, they put the doctors into contract positions for two or three years and renew that contract religiously for 20 to 25 years every two to three years. These doctors often have to work long hours with little supervision, shoddy equipment, among other things, in an overburdened free health care system. Dr Lawson highlighted the fact that with 'contract work', doctors are given allowances that far exceed their basic pay but are not pensionable.

The doctors that work in the health centres, receive a basic salary and a few allowances. However, even though these allowances add up, they do not go toward a pension for doctors. So, instead of promotions, they receive these allowances which are not included in the determination of the amount of their pensions. So, too many doctors  have retired and are in dire straits and have to continue working in private practice because the pension alone, based on how it is calculated, is insufficient for them.

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