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CONTENTS
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Trump threatens and insults the Caribbean

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Trump's executive order on Venezuela threatening Jamaican economy

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See Shaggy impersonate Trump on SNL

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Puerto Rico abandoned

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Puerto Rico population to drop 14% after hurricane

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UN: Violence against women most prevalent in Latin America, Caribbean

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EU blacklists 17 nations as tax avoidance havens

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US ends temporary permits for almost 60,000 Haitians

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Sugar cane production falls to 27-year low in Guyana

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Antigua not letting US 'off the hook' in WTO case

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New medical tourism facility in Jamaica

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Ganja use & sex

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Reinsurers suffer losses due to powerful hurricanes

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Caribbean hotel insurance rates to increase by 40%  

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Jamaica national soccer coach deserves better

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UNDILUTED pays tribute to John Maxwell by featuring two previous columns by him from the Hot Calaloo UNDILUTED archives:

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Hot Calaloo's Undiluted Vol. 15, "The Audacity of Hopelessness"

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Hot Calaloo's Undiluted Vol. 14, "Cuba's Benevolence versus US Belligerence"

 
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by Michael I Phillips

List Price $11.95 (paperback)
Special Clearance
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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
     goodwillie.org

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.

 

 

Spring 2018

  Trump threatens and insults the Caribbean

Some Caribbean has earned the wrath of the US. They dared to vote their conscience on a UN resolution.

The United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly defied U.S. warnings and voted  to condemn President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move the U.S. Embassy there from Tel Aviv. The resolution passed with 128 member states voting in favor of the resolution, 9 voting against, and 35 countries abstaining.

For: Israel, Guatemala, Honduras, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and Togo.

Notable abstentions included U.S. allies Canada and Australia, as well as others like Mexico and Argentina. However, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago were among the 35 countries that abstained during the vote.

Caribbean countries that voted in favour of the resolution were Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Suriname.

St Lucia and Haiti did not register a vote and it is not known whether they were among the 21 countries that stayed away from that UN General Assembly meeting.

The vote came after U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley issued a stern warning United Nations that the United States "will remember" countries that voted for the measure.

Haley continued the intimidation by warning that the U.S. would be "taking names" of member states that voted to condemn moves to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

As if that threat was not bad enough, days later in a meeting Trump said, according to the Washington Post, "Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?"  The New York Times later reported the same comment, citing unnamed people with direct knowledge of the meeting.

The president was referring to African countries, El Salvador and Haiti, and then suggested the United States should welcome immigrants from places like Norway.

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Editorial

In Jamaica, land of my birth, there is a saying: “ What do you expect from a hog but a grunt”. Well Trump has grunted again. Trump has established his obvious racism a long time ago, so why the hubbub about his insulting of Haiti and African countries. Some even call for an apology. For what?  For saying racist things? He is only doing what racists do and we can expect him to continue doing just that.

And as a white racist president of the United States, we can expect racism to be part of his foreign policy especially when dealing with the non-white world. When dealing with North Korea, Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa and all non-white countries, racism is bound to play a role. Should these countries, or, the entire world for that matter, trust a racist United States president with issues that could involve the destruction and death of thousands? Could this be why more than one half of Puerto Rico is still without electricity several months after destruction by hurricanes?  Is this why he has imposed sanctions on Venezuela? Is this why he announced the moving of the US embassy to Jerusalem, creating  protests from most of the world including US own allies? Is this why he also defies these allies in seeking to withdraw from the Iran nuclear treaty?

But not only in foreign policy. The Justice Department under his fellow racist Jeff Sessions is well on its way to reflect their racist bias. Trump’s decision to kick out of America, the 700,000 DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) kids, over 60,000 Haitians and more than 200,000 El Salvadorans on Temporary Protected Status (TPS), reeks of racism. Not a single one would be kicked out if they were Norwegian.

Let us realize that Trump will not stop until his racist bias  permeates every department of the US government.  Although the American public is now aware of the racism of Trump, they seem to be unaware of its dangerous implications. The bottom line is, we can’t expect justice from a racist. We can expect a grunt. So to quote Trump, “Grunt! Grunt!”

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See Shaggy impersonate Trump on Saturday Night Live

Check this out


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Trump's executive order on Venezuela threatening Jamaican economy

Jamaica’s Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr Andrew Wheatley, informed the House of Representatives  that Jamaica is being affected by sanctions issued under an executive order imposed on Venezuela in August by US President Donald Trump. He stated that  as a result of the executive order (EO 13808), payments to and from Petrojam, Jamaica's only petroleum refinery, which is jointly owned by the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica(PCJ) and Venezuela's PDV Caribe, a subsidiary of Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), have been subjected to increased due diligence by primary financiers/suppliers of lines of credit, as well as intermediary banks, pending clarification on whether the EO is applicable to Petrojam.

Jamaica has also made it clear that Petrojam is neither wholly owned nor controlled by the Venezuelan government, and is a public company registered in Jamaica and controlled by the government of Jamaica.

So far, the sanctions have cost the Jamaican Government $12.6 billion, or 14 per cent of what it is spending on public debt.

 

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Puerto Rico abandoned

The news from Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria continues to get worse. Not only does the majority of the island remain without power nearly 40 days after Maria made landfall, but the government response remains completely inept and negligent. People still don’t have money to buy the food and supplies they desperately need, and many are dying from contaminated water and a collapse of the health care system. Yet government officials (both in San Juan and in Washington) are awarding and then canceling fraudulent $300 million contracts to random, suspicious companies to rebuild the power grid. All of this does not bode well for improving conditions when it comes to the health, well-being, and safety of the millions of residents living on the island. 

 San Juan mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz was scheduled to meet with FEMA in order to discuss recovery efforts. She made it all the way to Washington, DC, only to have her meeting “suddenly” cancelled

Carmen Yulín Cruz said she was supposed to meet with FEMA Administrator Brock Long to discuss the agency response to the September 20 hurricane, which to this day has left 75 percent of the island without power—only to discover the meeting had been scrubbed and not even been rescheduled after she landed in the U.S. capital. 

“We can’t fail to note the dissimilar urgency and priority given to the emergency response in Puerto Rico compared to the U.S. states affected by hurricanes in recent months,” said Leilani Farha, the U.N.’s special rapporteur on adequate housing.

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Puerto Rico population to drop 14% after hurricane

Puerto Rico's population is set to decrease by 14 per cent to 2.9 million inhabitants by 2019 due to an exodus of residents fleeing the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria in September, a study has found.

The Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College in New York estimated in a report released last month that about 114,000 to 213,000 Puerto Rican residents will leave the island annually "as a result of Hurricane Maria." Between 2017 and 2019, the US territory stands to lose 470,335 residents, it added.

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UN: Violence against women most prevalent in Latin America, Caribbean

A New United Nations report says Latin America and the Caribbean make up the most violent region in the world for women. The UN Women and the UN Development Program (UNDP) found assaults on women persisted in the region, despite severe laws aimed at curbing the phenomenon.

The rate of sexual violence against women outside of relationships is the highest in the world in the region, and the second-highest for those who are couples, the report noted, adding that three of the 10 countries with the highest rates of rape of women and girls were in the Caribbean. ” in Central America and that two out three women murdered died because of their gender.

The report noted, too, that while 24 of the 33 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have laws against domestic violence, only nine have passed legislation that tackles a range of forms of other violence against women in public or private.

 

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EU blacklists 17 nations as tax avoidance havens

The European Union has put 17 non-EU countries on a blacklist of those it deems guilty of unfairly offering tax avoidance schemes. These include Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and St. Lucia. EU Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis said that beyond the 17 nations, over 40 more were put on a “grey list” to be monitored until they are fully committed to reforms. The EU said those blacklisted had refused to cooperate and change their ways after almost one year of consultations.

The seventeen countries are: American Samoa, Bahrain, Barbados, Grenada, Guam, South Korea, Macau, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Namibia, Palau, Panama, St Lucia, Samoa, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia, and United Arab Emirates.

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US ends temporary permits for almost 60,000 Haitians

Sixty days before temporary status for the Haitians was set to expire the Trump administration declared that  it was ending a temporary residency permit program (TPS). This program has allowed almost 60,000 citizens from Haiti to live and work in the United States since a 2010 powerful earthquake shook the Caribbean nation.

The Homeland Security Department said conditions in Haiti have improved significantly, so the benefit will be extended one last time — until July 2019 — to give Haitians time to prepare to return home. Advocates and members of Congress from both parties had asked the Trump administration for an 18-month extension of the program. Haitian President Jovenel Moise's government also requested the extension.

Advocates for Haitians say conditions in the island nation haven't improved nearly enough for Haitians to be deported. While Haiti has made advances spurred by international aid since the quake, the Caribbean nation remains one of the poorest in the world. More than 2.5 million people, roughly a quarter of the population, live on less than US$1.23 a day, which authorities there consider extreme poverty.

The United Nations last month ended a peacekeeping mission in Haiti that, at its peak, included more than 10,000 troops. Its new mission is comprised of about 1,300 international civilian police officers and 350 civilians who will help the country try to reform a deeply troubled justice system. Since taking office, Trump has ended temporary permit programs for Sudan and Nicaragua. He postponed until next July a decision on how to deal with a similar program for 86,000 residents from Honduras.

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Sugar cane production falls to 27-year low in Guyana

 Sugar output in Guyana is expected to fall by nearly a quarter from last year, as the Caribbean trade bloc's largest sugar-producing nation struggles with a decline in demand from the European Union.

State-run Guyana Sugar Corporation, known as Guysuco, said Sunday that the nearly 140,000 metric tons produced in 2017 are the lowest in 27 years.

The decline comes as Guysuco struggles with a debt load of more than $500 million and prepares to permanently shutter three of its six industry facilities and fire about 4,000 of its 15,000-member workforce by December 31.

Guysuco, which was run by Bookers Corp. in the United Kingdom before it was nationalized in 1976, said most of its sugar cane plants have already been harvested and production won't climb significantly higher during the last week of the year.

Sugar was once the country's largest source of foreign exchange, with an average of around 300,000 tons produced yearly up to the early 1990s.

But the crop has been in steady decline over the last decade due to crippling labour strikes, manpower shortages, unseasonal weather and the massive decline in demand of the European Union.

The company said it will sell about 60,000 tons of sugar to the bloc next year, down from 170,000 tons five years ago. Earlier this year, Europe eliminated its system of sugar production quotas and minimum pricing, opening up the sugar beet market and reducing dependency on raw cane sugar from Guyana and other Caribbean countries.

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Antigua not letting US 'off the hook' in WTO case

The Antigua and Barbuda government says it has no intention of letting the United States “off the hook” for its internationally-binding obligation to allow internet gaming into the country until fair compensation is paid for the 14 years of damage done to the island’s economy.

Antigua and Barbuda’s lead negotiator, Sir Ronald Sanders, made the statement as he addressed the World Trade Organization (WTO) Dispute Settlement Body (DSB. Sanders told the DSB, comprising over 100 countries, that “it continues to be most unfortunate that, despite 14 long years of deprivation, Antigua and Barbuda has to appear before this body, year after year, to report that the United States has not seen it possible to offer fair and equitable terms to my small country for the significant losses in trade revenues that it has suffered as a result of US violation of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS)”.

He also rejected a US submission that it had offered Antigua “a broad range of useful suggestions to settle this dispute in November 2013” but that the government ignored it “before finally indicating that it was not acceptable”.

Sanders pointed out that successive Antigua and Barbuda governments had refused the offer because it did not add up to two million US dollars when the trade losses to the country in the matter totaled well over US$200 million.

 

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New medical tourism facility in Jamaica

According to Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness, “Jamaica is ideally poised for this growing market, which was valued approximately US$20 billion in 2016 and is estimated to reach approximately US$47 billion by 2021” .

This new facility for that purpose, the GWest Centre is located  in Fairview, Montego Bay. GWest has put the Jamaica in an ideal position to capitalise on that market. In short, this is a shopping mall for medical services and in a quality internationally accredited environment.

The GWest Centre was established by a group of Jamaican medical and business professionals. It is housed in a modern multi-purpose commercial complex and provides a wide range of high-quality medical services in the same location.

Already the building houses the second location of Kirlew's Radiology West imaging practice, Dr Doon Quah's Facial and Oral Surgery Associates, Zierlich International Dialysis Centre operated by UK-trained dialysis practitioner and Jamaican businesswoman Dainty Powell, the Heart Smart Centre operated by cardiologist Dr Claudine Lewis, the GWest General Medical Practice suite for resident and visiting doctors, and North Coast Imaging offering MRI services.

 

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Ganja use & sex

A study by investigators at the Stanford University School of Medicine indicates that, despite concerns among physicians and scientists that frequent marijuana use may impair sexual desire or performance, the opposite appears more likely to be the case.

The findings, published online in the Journal of Sexual Medicine in October, are based on an analysis of more than 50,000 Americans ages 25-45. And they're unambiguous, a recent release said.

“Frequent marijuana use doesn't seem to impair sexual motivation or performance. If anything, it's associated with increased coital frequency,” said the study's senior author, Dr Michael Eisenberg, assistant professor of urology. The lead author is Dr Andrew Sun, a resident in urology, the release said.

“The overall trend we saw applied to people of both sexes and all races, ages, education levels, income groups, and religions, every health status, whether they were married or single, and whether or not they had kids,” he is quoted as saying in the release.

The study is the first to examine the relationship between marijuana use and frequency of sexual intercourse at the population level in the United States.

 

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Reinsurers suffer losses due to powerful hurricanes

The trail of death and destruction left across the region following the passage of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, have had a devastating impact on the financial results of international reinsurers.

According to the Association of Trinidad and Tobago Insurance Companies (ATTIC), local insurers should anticipate being faced with significantly higher reinsurance costs, which will in turn have an impact on local market rates.

In a statement  ATTIC noted that most of the reinsurers are major providers of protection in the Caribbean, and based on the significant financial losses attributed to the hurricanes as well as earthquakes in Mexico, leading international experts have indicated that there will be a global increase in premium rates and not just for loss-affected territories.

One company, Munich Re, the world's largest reinsurer, recently reported overall losses of US$3.8 billion for the third quarter from the hurricanes and other natural catastrophes. The three hurricanes made up the bulk of the losses for the quarter, with losses expected to be US$3.2 billion. The global reinsurer posted a loss of US$1.65 billion for the period July to September 2017, and further noted that recent catastrophe losses will jeopardise its profit target for 2017.

Swiss Re, the world's second largest reinsurer, also reported losses of US$3.6 billion, and realised a net loss of US$468 million for the first nine months of 2017.

Scor, Another top five reinsurer, reported overall losses of US$310 million for the same period, with combined losses of US$696.0 million

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Caribbean hotel insurance rates to increase by 40%  

  Caribbean hoteliers should plan now for an increase in insurance premiums anticipated to range from 10 to 40 percent following two Category 5 hurricanes, which struck several destinations in the region in September. The increases will affect the entire region, not only those islands that were struck by the hurricanes. 

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Jamaica national soccer coach deserves better

Whitmore has been among the best football coaches Jamaica has had. The bias towards foreign coaches is  shameful. The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) makes all sorts of resources available to foreign coaches, but not so for Whitmore. I remember how he was unable to get a friendly match with World Cup game imminent. He lost his whole backline for that game and still produced a competitive performance against a strong US team.
This prophet should not continue to go unrecognized in his own country. He is a valuable coach and deserves a salary comparable to foreign coaches, not the insulting one offered so far. Shame on JFF!

 

 

 

 

Hot Calaloo editor releases new poetry book

 
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