Rene Simoes Quits as Reggae Boyz Coach
Reggae Boyz soccer coach, Rene Simoes is already back in Brazil. It all happened so fast as:
He is gone but not forgotten. How can we ever forget:
I could go on because he left so many memorable moments. Personally. I think his departure is premature and Jamaica Football Federation should have made a greater effort to keep him. He will be missed. To be sure his successor will have a job on his hands as he must:
But, Simoes went beyond being a brilliant coach. This little Brazilian involved himself and his family in the everyday life and concerns of Jamaica. His deparure is Jamaica's loss and Flamenco's gain. Jamaica's Minister of Sport and Tourism, Portia Simpson, summed it up best at a farewell function for him when she said. " We salute you, 'Prof, for helping to elevate our conciousness of how much we can acheive when we have faith in our abilities to overcome adversity with perseverance and hard work."
(Poem brought back as a tribute to Rene Simoes, technical director of the Jamaica 1998 World Cup soccer team, whose words inspired this poem.)
Dance Reggae Boyz Dance
Our World cup runneth over
Show the world
Yes, dance reggae boys dance
So dance reggae boys dance
by Michael Phillips,
Once again the verdict is out on globalization and free trade. According to a recent
U.N. report, the world's 48 poorest countries are failing to benefit from free trade and
globalization and face worsening poverty, inequality and marginalization. It is but small
consolation that the Caribbean territories, with the possible exception of Haiti, are not
listed among the 48 poorest.
Mega-cruise ships, stay away from my door! Bermuda seems ready to spurn these
ships because of the strain it would put on the island. The government will continue
consultations with the cruise industry before deciding if different sized ships will come
in the future. But, for now, it looks like no Mc Donalds and no mega-cruise-ships for
.......I rounded the curve and below me the Ocho Rios bay lay before me in all its splendor. Three cruise ships lay at anchor, gleaming white in the bright sunshine against the turquoise sea. How magnificent they looked, but they raised a deep concern in me.....
Caribbean countries are turning moe and more cruise ships for more tourist dollars.
These cruise ships are floating hotels and are getting bigger and bigger. As floating
hotels, they compete with real hotels. Compared to real hotels, they bring little income
to these ports of call, often overwhelming the port facilities. I for one ,have witnessed
the transformation of Ocho Rios in Jamaica. The cruise ship tourist dollar has been
described as income from 'a coke and a pizza', as the ship provides all meals for free to
passengers. Not only is the town inundated by the sudden influx of hundreds of ship
passengers, but also is a magnet to every 2-bit hustler, prostitutes, and all sorts of
unsavory tourist leeches. The "coke and pizza" income is not the main
justification, but the hope that tourists will react positively to this brief introduction
and come back and stay in the country. Some probably do, but with the overwhelmed port
facilities and the unsavory port leeches, many might choose to stay as far away as
possible. One bad experience by a tourists can torpedo multimillion dollar advertising
campaigns, because bad news travels much faster.
Rosie Douglas led his Dominica Labor Party to victory over the ruling United Workers Party of outgoing Prime Minister Edison James. The new Prime Minister Douglas vowed to end the highly controversial practice of selling passports to foreigners. During the campaign, he contended the government had been selling passports rampantly to criminals and criminal gangs all over the world which would eventually establish Dominica as a center of international crime. Dominica had instituted that passport selling program to raise funds and to attract capital. However, controversial from the very beginning, it had drawn even more notoriety recently. The US had criticized this policy charging 300 Russians, members of a Russian gang, had Dominican passports. Canada also arrested several Chinese nationals with Dominican passports, all suspected to be involved in a smuggling ring run by Chinese gangs.
The Labour Party won 10 seats, up from 5. The outgoing UWP won 9 and the Dominica Freedom party 2. Although it was a narrow victory, the DLP will be stronger because of a coalition with the DFP, which was agreed upon even before the elections. The new PM Douglas is 56 with a degree in political science from Canada's McGill University. Dominica has a population of about 60,000.
People are getting fatter. Are you a part of that worldwide trend? The number of overweight people in the world now rivals the number of hungry, underfed people, a study of global trends has reported. Drawing on research from a number of agencies and institutions, Worldwatch Institute, an independent research organisation in Washington DC, said in its annual study, "State of the World 2000", that:
Food shortage was found not to be the underlying cause of hunger even in developing countries. It states that 80% of all malnourished children in third world countries in the last decade lived in countries that reported food surpluses. No, the underlying cause is poverty.
In many Caribbean territories, sugar is the chief agricultural product. However, many of them still import refined sugar. In Jamaica, sugar producers are complaining about the competition from imported sugar. A new regime allows the importation of refined sugar as a raw material. The local sugar costs J$28 per kilo while the imported costs J$82. Despite the high cost of the imported, local manufacturers claim that it deprives them of J$259 million annually. Besides cutting into their sales, they contend they drive the price of sugar up. Their request for a 40% tariff was rejected by the government.
Imports have created another crisis in eastern St. Elizabeth. Carrots, cabbage, and
tomatoes rot in the field unreaped. Why? Because competition from imports make it
uneconomic to reap them, so a bounteous harvest becomes wasted food for worms.
Correction - Singh Still There
Thanks to reader Mr Newton Wright for correcting an inaccurate statement in last month's Hot Calaloo. The report that Trinidad and Tobago's Minister of Local Government, Dhanraj Singh, had quit, was in error. The source of the story on the resignation was the Caribbean News Agency (CANA) which had cited the Trinidad Sunday Express as its source. Not only has Mr. Singh not quit but continues to play an active role in the Panday government.
Ottey Returns With A Bang
Bang! Went the starters whistle, and when the 60 m race was over in Valencia, Spain, Merlene Ottey had won in 7.14 seconds. Yes, Jamaica's 39 year-old veteran sprint queen, Merlene Ottey is back. Her form is back. Her speed is back. But, is she back to stay? The Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association investigated and cleared Ottey for testing positive last summer for the banned substance nandrolone. Ottey has steadfastly maintained her innocence and vowed to not "go quietly into the night" without a fight for her innocence, her dignity and her hard earned reputation.
However, the International Amateur Athletic Federation is threatening to reimpose the ban on Ottey. It has rejected a proposal by the British governing athletic body to suspend disciplinary action against athletes who have testified positive for nandrolone. Something has to be wrong when last year alone as many as 343 athletes tested positive for this banned substance. The British body exonerated its athletes including Linford Christie. How come this amazingly sudden rise? Investigations have found that a food supplement which is supposed to be innocent has created these positive tests. The British body, and probably the Jamaican one too, came to the obvious conclusion that athletes were unwitting and innocent victims of this food supplement in lifting the ban.
I have been told that when Cocoa Cola was first introduced it was a phenomenal hit? It had a secret ingredient. Cocaine! But, ignorance was to blame and not a deliberate marketing strategy. I suppose the IAAF would have these unsuspecting consumers of this pioneer Cocoa Cola arrested for drug abuse!
Lara Quits As WI Captain
'Tis the time for quitting, first Simoes, now Lara. Brian Lara recently announced that he is stepping down as captain of the West Indies cricket team. I think this is one of the best moves Lara has made as captain. West Indies cricket is the worst it has ever been. The batting is especially bad and world record holder batsman, Lara, will be able to concentrate on his batting. As I had predicted, his ruthless pursuit and acceptance of the captaincy placed too much pressure on him. I predict that it won't be long before he is back on top of the batting world, again where he belongs. Now, the West Indies, in complete disarray, must find a captain. For the once mighty West Indies has had a great fall and the new captain will have his job cutout for him. He will have to use great leadership skills to put the West Indies "back together again". My pick..Jimmy Adams.
Flash: Jimmy Adams has been selected to captain the team. Unfortunately he won't have the services of Brian Lara for the upcoming series against Zimbabwe at home. Lara has decided to take some time-off from international cricket.
Jamaica Cricket Champions
Jamaica defeated the Leeward Islands in the final of the Busta Cup at Sabina Park in Jamaica to claim the Championship of West Indies cricket in 4-day competition. Although the match ended in a draw, Jamaica won on the basis of their 1st innings victory. Scores were :
Ist Innings - Jamaica 333 (Wavell Hinds 127) Leeward Isles 142
The residents of Linstead in Jamaica threw a big thank you dinner for the police in that area. The ceremony was organised by Mrs Ivy Hin and was well attended by a wide cross section of the community. Mrs. Hin acknowledged the difficult job the police had and also their willingness to listen and cooperate with everyone.
In direct contrast, not far away in the town of May Pen, the police there were targets of denunciation and vehement protest action. Unrest erupted when a man was shot and killed by a policewoman. Angry protestors forced the closure of most businesses in the town. There were conflicting stories. The crowd alleged that the deceased was killed deliberately in cold blood. The police version said he attacked a female officer who was left behind to watch the squad car while other officers went in search of alleged robbers. A struggle ensued and the gun went off accidentally and killed the attacker. It took days before peace was restored.
The nominees for the 42nd Grammy music awards for the best reggae album of 1999 were:
And the winner is ........ Calling Rastafari by Burning Spear!
Jamaica seems to be a popular spring break destination for American college students. It is not small potatoes. The tourist board expects about 34,000 and that they will spend an estimated US$24 million.