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.
Killer floods submerge Guyana
"Water, water everywhere
Since December 26, 2004 and for most of January the skies have dumped over 40 inches of rainfall on Guyana with calamitous results. This is the heaviest rainfall in over 100 years. By January 19 rising flood waters:
The government has set aside $1 million (Guyanese $200 million) to deal with flood relief, and government agencies and the opposition jointly began distributing food to flood victims but that was not nearly enough and appeals for international aid had to be made.
What makes these floods worse than any other is that the waters rise up flooding roads and buildings and they do not go back down for weeks. Some roads and buildings remain under water, for more than two weeks. The water remains high so there is no return to normalcy. The water has to be pumped out because of the topography of Guyana.
Ironically, Guyana means 'Land of Many Waters' in Amerindian, the language of Guyana's indigenous population. Guyana comprises three main geographical zones: the coastal plain, the white sand belt, and the interior highlands. The coastal plain occupies only about 5 percent of the country's area, but is home to more than 90 percent of its inhabitants. So these heavily populate areas are where the disastrous floods hit. Because much of the coastal plain floods at high tide, efforts to dam and drain this area have gone on since the 1700s.
Swamps and areas of periodic flooding are found in all but the mountainous regions, and all new land projects require extensive drainage networks before they are suitable for agricultural use. The average square mile on a sugar plantation, for example, has six miles of irrigation canals, eighteen miles of large drains, and eighteen miles of small drains. These canals occupy nearly one-eighth of the surface area of the average sugarcane field. Some of the larger estates have more than 350 miles of canals; Guyana itself has a total of more than 5,000 miles. Even the capital Georgetown is below sea level and must depend on dikes for protection from the Demerara River and the Atlantic Ocean.
So pumping out the water is not that unusual but with such a flood, the government pumps were inadequate. The Government sent out an international appeal for help and for pumps in particular. They have received some pumps but even with some 50 pumps working 24 hours a day, in many areas water levels have receded only slightly even after more than two weeks. In addition to the pumps, there is a desperate need for drinking water,food and medical supplies, portable shelter material, water tanks and water purification systems, generators, trucks and boats for transportation, portable sanitation facilities and retractable bridges.
The call went out far and wide, but with attention riveted to the tsunami in Asia, response has been relatively slow. So far sources of aid received include:
Pledges have been made which include:
For more information and other details on flood relief see special section titled "Guyana Flood Relief".
Shirley Chisolm is dead
"I stand before you today as a candidate for the Democratic
nomination for the Presidency of the United States. I am not the candidate
of black America, although I am black and proud. I am not the candidate of
the women's movement of this country, although I am a woman, and I am
equally proud of that. I am not the candidate of any political bosses or
special interests. I am the candidate of the people."
Tributes to her bravery and dedication to the cause of civil rights, women's rights, and the poor came from all sides. She was never afraid to speak her mind and fight for the issues she cared about and has made an indelible mark in history and to the very end lived up to her early campaign slogan, "A fighting Shirley, unbossed and unbought."
Seaga quits Jamaican Parliament
The former indispensable leader of the Jamaica Labour Party, Mr. Edward Seaga, has resigned as Opposition leader and as Member of the Jamaican Parliament. Mr. Seaga served as MP for West Kingston for 43 years and was Prime Minister between 1980 and 1989. Some highlights of his illustrious career and life includes:
Among his top accomplishments are
Mr. Seaga had already resigned as leader of the opposition JLP months ago so that the next JLP leader would be able to consolidate the opposition party before local government elections scheduled for 2006.
There has been vicious fighting within the party for successor for leadership of the party especially between Pernell Charles and Bruce Golding. After the smoke cleared, Golding has emerged as heir apparent and Charles has withdrawn his bid. Golding has also been selected to run for Seaga’s Western Kingston seat. Until Golding becomes an MP, Dr. Ken Baugh will serve as interim opposition leader.
Mr. Seaga will return to UWI as a staff member. He has received many glowing tributes for his marathon service in Parliament.
Editor’s Comment: Mr. Seaga is awash in many tributes but Hot Calaloo is on record for calling for his resignation several months ago. His accomplishments are tarnished by his ruthless tactics of trying to gain political power by making Jamaica ungovernable. He has toured the island preaching defiance to the police and used the fierce loyalty of his followers to incite violence almost bringing Jamaica to anarchy. Jamaican institutions which had no hesitation in criticizing his political opponents, were strangely silent on criticizing Seaga. He is a big part of the tribalism which mars Jamaican politics and let us hope that his successor does not follow that path.
Caribbean trade hopes take a dive
Former US Undersecretary of Commerce, Charles Cobb, says allowing
special and deferential treatment for countries trying to hold on to trade
tariffs should not be done based on the size of a nation state.
T&T to the rescue of LIAT
T&T Prime minister has pledged $120 million to bail out another ailing Caribbean airline, LIAT. The money will come out of the $300 million fund set up by the Manning administration to assist Caricom countries with their social and economic needs. More cost-cutting measures, including staff cuts, are also expected by LIAT management in an effort to keep it flying.
Filipino nurses for Caribbean
The Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Washington D.C. (POLO-WDC) is on a mission to expand work opportunities for overseas Filipino workers to the three Caribbean countries, labor attache Arturo Sodusta, told Business World.
The POLO-WDC began marketing Filipino manpower in the Caribbean last
year. From 2000 to 2003, he told the publication, Filipino manpower
extended to Guantanamo Bay in Cuba and to the Bahamas. It was only in 2004
where the Turks and Caicos Islands, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago
became a part of the market.
Haitian terrorist chief sued in the US
The notorious terrorist leader of the Front for the Advancement and Progress of Haiti (FRAPH), Emmanuel "Toto" Constant, has been sued by three Haitian women here in the US. They are charging him with rape and beatings that they received from members of his group when he rampaged in Haiti in the 1990’s. The was filed on behalf of the three Haitian women by the Center for Justice & Accountability, a San Francisco-based group that works to deter torture and other severe human rights abuses around the world by helping survivors hold their persecutors accountable.
The plaintiffs have not been named to protect them from reprisals. All three women gave horror stories of the rapes and beatings they received from Constant’s men just because they were supporters of President Aristide.
Constant, 48, is currently fighting a deportation order. He emerged as
FRAPH's leader after Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was toppled
in 1991. Human rights groups allege that between 1991 and 1994, FRAPH
terrorized Aristide supporters, who were killed by the thousands.
PNM landslide in Tobago
The ruling Peoples National Movement captured twelve of thirteen seats of the Tobago National Assembly in recent elections. The other seat was won by the Democratic Action Congress.
Grenada has severed all ties with Taiwan to establish diplomatic relations with the Peoples Republic of China, thus recognizing China as the sole government. This ends a 15-year relationship with Taiwan. Grenada first established diplomatic relations with China in October 1985. China decided to suspended its ties with Grenada in August 1989, about two months after the latter openly recognized the Taiwan authority.
Guyana/China agreement to generate power
Guyana and China have signed a US $32 million agreement as part of
efforts to modernise that Caribbean territory's sugar industry. A
massive steam and power plant will be built under the agreement - the
single largest between the Chinese Export Import (Exim) Bank and a South
Once again the Pope John Paul II has condemned the continued U.S. embargo against Cuba. The occasion was the Pope’s meeting with the new Havana ambassador to the Vatican, Raul Roa Kouri, on Jan. 10, 2005. The George Bush administration last year tightened restrictions against Cuba, making it tougher now for Americans to travel there.
Marley song for GRAMMY Hall of Fame
Bob Marley’s "No Woman No Cry" has been indicted into the GRAMMY’s Hall of Fame.The Recording Academy announced Marley’s classic hit among the newest additions to its Hall Of Fame recordings, a timeless list that now includes 659 titles. His was the only reggae song selected and it was also the only song by a Caribbean singer listed among this year’s honorees."The Hall Of Fame serves as a celebration and reminder of the triumphs and achievements of the recording arts," stated Academy officials. "Selections are drawn from all major categories of music, acknowledging the diversity of musical expression for which The Recording Academy has become renowned."
FIFA World Cup regional Finals begin Feb 9
T&T Soca warriors are the standard bearers as they are the lone representatives of the Caribbean as they get set to take on the other ffive qualifiers for the CONCACAF finals for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. The other five qualifiers are Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Trinidad & Tobago and USA.
The top three finishers will qualify to move directly to the finals in Germany. The CONCACAF fourth-place finisher will compete in a home-and-away playoff against the fifth-place finisher of the Asian Football Confederation, for one of the last berths into the FIFA event. These games will take place in 12/13 and 16 November 2005.
T&T will be tested right away as they start on February 9, 2005 against top rated US in Port of Spain. Birmingham City striker Dwight Yorke is due to return to the Trinidad and Tobago team. He has not played for Trinidad and Tobago since quitting international football in June, 2001, during the last World Cup qualifying campaign.
The game will be televised here in the US on ESPN2. For the complete fixtures see below:
Group Fixtures (Home team first)
Let us know what you think. Email us at email@example.com