UNDILUTED pays tribute to John Maxwell by featuring two previous columns by him from the Hot Calaloo UNDILUTED archives:
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a wonderful book about a young girl in the Carribean, the first of her family to go to secondary school.
International Labour Organization (ILO) says based on its latest data,
9.9 per cent of working hours, which is the equivalent of 1.5 million
full-time jobs, in the Caribbean are expected to be lost during the
second quarter of this year due to the impact of COVID-19.
ILO said this employment outlook for the region presents, in line with
the global pattern, a major drop in the second quarter of 2020 from the
last quarter of the previous year.
comparison, during the first quarter the hour loss was estimated at 1.7
per cent or 250,000 in full-time equivalent jobs.
The organisation said these latest estimates include only, due to data limitations, The Bahamas, Barbados, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and the United States Virgin Islands.
hospital in England to be named for Jamaican nurse Mary Seacole
first-of-its-kind COVID-19 recovery community hospital in England will
be named in honor of Mary Seacole. A Jamaican nurse who established a
hospital to support British officers wounded in the 19th-century Crimean
War. The National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom confirmed
that the NHS Headley Court Hospital located in Leatherhead, Surrey, will
be the site of the NHS Seacole Center. The venue has a capacity of 300
beds for patients. Health experts hope that the hospital will
successfully provide capacity necessary to free up beds in neighboring
hospitals so they can handle non-COVID cases.
Seacole was born in Jamaica and was denied official approval from the UK
War Office to travel to the Crimea with legendary nurse Florence
Nightingaleís mission of mercy in the area. Seacole went ahead and
paid her own way to the Crimea and established a hospital there in spite
of the War Office. Seacole also made visits to the battlefield to nurse
wounded soldiers, becoming known as Mother Seacole for her efforts. Her
extraordinary contributions to community healthcare prompted the NHS to
recognize her with the hospitalís name.
Racism Goes International
racism is not limited to America, but is a menace to the world.Traditionally,
Venezuela, like most Latin American countries , have been ruled by white
elites, despite the variety of races in the country. The late President
Hugo Chavez disrupted that. He
was the first Venezuelan leader to embrace his Afro-indigenous heritage,
His successor Maduro also did not come from white elites, with his
indigenous roots. Throughout Latin America, the US has typically sided
with the white ruling class and Venezuela is no exception.
when an overt racist like Donald Trump becomes president of the US, he
ďchastises the non-white Madro government with scorpionsĒ. He has
imposed crippling, but illegal, sanctions on that country. These
sanctions, in their first year alone, have caused the deaths of over
40,000 innocent men, women and children. Why kill them by invasion when
you can starve them to death? As the corona virus has hit Venezuela,
this evil vindictive racist master has increased the sanctions. He has
also taken the unprecedented action of disregarding the election of
Maduro to recognize non-elected member of the white elites, Juan Guido,
as president of Venezuela. He followed that up by seizing the Venezuela
embassy in Washington DC to turn it over to Guido. Simultaneously, he
has put pressure on other countries to recognize Guido.
racism has manifested itself in Bolivia too.
There the first indigenous elected president , Evo Morales, was
overthrown by white elitists to make opposition
ŃŮez, the new president. I
suspect US complicity in this coup. Trump rushed to recognize the
Let us move to
Iran. One of the first things Trump did after he became president, was
to break the nuclear treaty with Iran. None of the other signers,
the UK, France, China, Russia and Germany supported such an
action but actually opposed it. Trump followed this up with harsh, but
once again illegal sanctions, which took a severe economic toll on that
country too. I am sure it has taken more than the 40,000 innocent lives
that it took in Venezuela, but those figures are not available. Also, as
that country has been hit by the corona virus, like this evil president
did in Venezuela, he has increased sanctions also. Iran is a non-white
Muslim country, This is a double whammy as they must deal with a racist
Islamaphobe. Let us not
forget his Muslim ban.
There can be no
question that Trump hated the very thought of a black president of the
USA. First Trump declared himself a ďbirtherĒ. By doing so, he
claimed that Obama was ineligible to be president because he was not
born in America. Now, Trump is doing everything to erase President
Obamaís legacy. President
Trump has done away with nearly 100 environmental regulations in his
first 3 years in office, in effect rolling back Obamaís legacy in that
department. Even worse, he is moving heaven and earth to try to
eradicate Obamacare, even though this would eliminate healthcare for
millions of Americans.
manifestation of racism is probably the worst.
The World Health Organisation
(WHO) Director-General, Dr
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, is not white and hails from Ethiopia. He has the distinction of being the first WHO Director-General
to have been elected from multiple candidates from the World Health
Assembly. As expected, the director-general
has played a prominent role in dealing with the corona virus
pandemic. He has earned the respect and admiration of the world in
grappling with this disaster. Trump has not. Suddenly, Trump announced
that he was withdrawing Americaís money from the WHO, knowing full
well this would be a
calamity for that valuable organization. Shockwaves reverberated around
the world by such
irresponsible mean action in such troubling COVID-19
times. If the WHO director was a blue-eyed blonde from Norway,
Trump would never have taken this callous ruthless act.
The leaders of
non-white countries worldwide cannot afford to forget that they are
dealing with a racist in the Whitehouse. Trump considers them
Ďshitholeí countries and to expect respect and fairness from him is
a pipe dream. Instead, they
can expect to be bullied and threatened if they do not submit
to his ego. Even
Trump-loyal Jamaica is bullied by the
Trump administration by cancelling
visas to America of prominent Jamaicans without rhyme or reason.
Even worse, some
like Venezuela and Iran, might suffer deaths of thousands of their
innocent people because of him. He is on a rampage. Thatís bad enough
but where is the moral outrage?
warns US to lift Cuba embargo or risk many lives to COVID-19
This Thursday, a
consortium of experts from the United Nations released a joint statement insisting
that the U.S. government ďlift its blockade on CubaĒ and ease its
restrictions on other sanctioned countries to facilitate their response
to the current COVID-19 outbreak. The group, made up of special
rapporteurs, independent experts, and UN working groups, emphasized that
the sanctions are impeding Cubaís access to vital food, medicine, and
medical equipment. According to the experts, ďthe lack of will of the
US Government to suspend sanctions may lead to a higher risk of such
suffering in Cuba and other countries targeted by its sanctions.Ē
Similar statements have been issued by
civil society organizations across the Americas. On March 26, CDA and
seven other non-profits with a focus on the Americas issued a joint
call for the U.S. government to
suspend the sanctions to facilitate aid to Cuba during the pandemic.
blocks Emergency Swiss aid for Cuba
organizations recently denounced the
blocking of Swiss humanitarian aid to Cuba according to Swiss news site SwissInfo.
The aid was meant to help the island combat COVID-19. Cubaís medical
equipment management firm MediCuba, along with the organization MediCuba
Switzerland and the Swiss-Cuban
Association, jointly criticized
restrictions that prevented Swiss organizations from making cash
transfers and sending medical equipment to Havana.
According to OnCuba,
Switzerland has openly rejected the U.S. embargo on Cuba since the
1960s. Despite this, Swiss banks have blocked financial
transfers to Cuba in order to avoid the consequences of indirectly
violating U.S. sanctions. In addition, the organizations denounced the
recent purchase of
two major Swiss ventilator producers by the U.S.-based Vyaire Medical
Group, preventing the firms from selling life-saving ventilators to
The news of U.S.
embargo-related complications on the delivery of international aid to
Cuba to combat COVID-19 follows an April 4 statement
by Cubaís Ambassador to China that a medical aid package from
billionaire Jack Maís charitable foundation was prevented from
reaching the island due to U.S. sanctions affecting the air carrier
meant to deliver the aid.
Ranked 6 in World Press Freedom Index
Jamaica has the distinction of being
ranked as No. 6 in the world in the Freedom Press Index. The rankings
are compiled by Reporters Without Borders and are based on the degree of
freedom that journalists, news organizations, and citizens have in each
country. The Index doesnít gauge the quality of the journalism but
does measure the efforts by leaders in each country to respect that
The Index ranked 180 countries. Since
Feb. 2009, no serious threats to media freedom or violence to reporters
have been reported. Findings also showed that there were some attempts
to undermine the press by officials. Jamaica increased its ranking to 6th
when it was listed as No. 8. By Comparison, the
UK ranked 35 and the US 45.
The Freedom Press Index
advocates globally on behalf of journalists and a free press. The
international organization is non-governmental and non-political.
Rankings are based on a number of criteria that includes transparency,
media independence, infrastructure, self-censorship, and
attacks/violence against the media.
No. 6 ranking in the Freedom Press Index is an indication of the value
that the nation and its people place on honesty, transparency, and truth
from its TV and radio stations, and newspapers. As in any society,
journalism in Jamaica still has problems to overcome and is working to
do so with integrity.
Scandanavian countries Norway, Finland
Denmark and Sweeden came 1.2.3. and 4. Other Caribbean countries,
is the world's newest petrostate
Guyana is set to
become one of the worldís best performing economies in 2020 thanks to
6 billion barrels ó and counting ó of offshore oil deposits found by
ExxonMobil. The discovery is sufficient to completely transform the
economy of this small South American country.
Ocean Cleanup awards US$1 million to clean up
Jamaicaís Kingston Harbor has been
awarded $1 million in funding from The Ocean Cleanup organization. The
funds will be used in a multi-year project designed to help clean up
Hunts Bay that empties into Kingston Harbor, the islandís most
The Ocean Cleanup organization was
founded by Dutch inventor, Boyan Slat, when he was just 18. He launched
the initiative from his hometown of Delft, Netherlands and it has grown
to encompass a team of more than 90 scientists, engineers, researchers,
and computational modelers focused on ridding the worldís oceans of
The funds will be used to install an
Interceptor, a floating barrier that attaches to a floating processing
plant. The Interceptor funnels plastic waste to the plant where itís
fed to a conveyor belt and extracted from the water. The Interceptor is
100 percent solar-powered and is scalable to accommodate individual
situations. The installation will be performed in collaboration with
Recycling Partners Jamaica.
Cruise Line announced Monday it will start cruising again, from Florida
and Texas, beginning in August. These Caribbean trips will be the
company's first new itineraries since the coronavirus pandemic forced a
near-total pause in the global cruise industry. The ships will sail from
the ports of Miami, Cape Canaveral and Galveston, Texast. The eight
ships named by the company have itineraries showing stops in the
Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, Jamaica and Mexico, among other places.
The US State Department began warning against cruise travel on March 8, and the CDC issued a no-sail order on March 14, which was extended and set to expire on July 24. The order prompted several countries to reject cruise ships suspected of carrying infected passengers and crew members, stranding some ships at sea for weeks.
Jamaican company Quality Incorporations VII Ltd. made history recently by packing and shipping Jamaicaís first shipment of toilet paper to the United States. There has been a shortage of toilet paper in retail outlets in the United States since the COVID-19 pandemic. This shortage is mainly due to consumer hoarding and supply/demand issues.
Bolt becomes a father
an eight-time Olympic gold medalist, world-record holder and fastest man
in history has becme a father. Boltís longtime girlfriend, Kasi
Bennett, gave birth to a baby girl.
Small, the Jamaican singer who introduced the world to ska with her hit
My Boy Lollipop in the 1960s, died yesterday in England. She she
suffered a stroke.and was 73. Producer
and founder of Island Records Chris Blackwell, who along with Ernie
Ranglin produced the song ó Jamaica's first million-selling
single ó described Small as a special person.
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