UNDILUTED pays tribute to John Maxwell by featuring two previous columns by him from the Hot Calaloo UNDILUTED archives:
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Trump is an enemy of 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
the Ukraine, Trump held up their military aid. In Jamaica, he retaliates
by revoking the US visas of prominent Jamaicans, including cabinet
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.
Investments Ltd, became the first fully Jamaican-owned telecom company
to be granted a local mobile spectrum license.
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.
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
Vaz, a Government Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic
Growth and Job Creation
Paulwell - a vice-president of the opposition
PNP and a former Minister of Mining, Science, Energy and
members of the Jamaica Constabulary force
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?
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.
this information is open knowledge and is available from the Jamaican
newspapers. See :
check out an excellent article by Jamaica’s former ambassador to the
UN, Curtis Ward:
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.
answer came there none. I thought Jamaica had friends.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
and Poor's downgrades T&T bond
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'.
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.
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.
bans single-use plastic bags
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.
detained for 82 days for bringing honey into
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
treats Guyana president for cancer
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.
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.
moves to protect banana industry from deadly fungus
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.
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.
Wilt of Bananas is caused by the fungus Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense,
and described as a devastating disease of bananas.
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
more free wifi hotspots in Jamaica on the way
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
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.
apologises to revellers
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.
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
medical breakthrough for Jamaica’s Henry Lowe
Henry Lowe has done it again. This time he has developed a pancreatic
cancer drug which has received US approval.
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
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.
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.
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.
denies public health doctors’ pension in Jamaica
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.
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
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.
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.
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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