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June 2000

CBI Bill passes in the US

There is joy in Jamaica and the rest of the West Indies. The CBI Bill passed both the US Congress and Senate to become law. This means that garments assembled in Caribbean and Central American countries countries, using American-made fabric, will receive duty-free access to US markets. It is expected that the parade of such garment manufacturing companies which have abandoned Jamaica in recent years for NAFTA member Mexico, will halt their exodus and new ones will even come in. This was part of the Africa, Caribbean trade Bill. The bill was a controversial one which saw traditional supporters of the Caribbean both on the pro and against side right to the very end. The Caribbean wanted it, but critics contend

  • It is too limited, restricted to garments made with American fabric
  • Requires countries to adhere too strictly to repressive IMF guidelines
  • Requires outside multi-national to be accorded the same treatment as small local investors

Editors Comments: I remain skeptical of any policy which restricts even further Caribbean governments’ right to decide their own trade policy for the benefit of their citizens and also leaves local small investors even more unprotected from big rapacious multinational corporations.


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Ominous sign - Jamaica imports bananas

The banana war with the US over the WI banana trade with Europe is not enough. Banana farmers in Jamaica are enraged by the importation of 70,000 pounds of peeled green bananas from Costa Rica by a banana chip manufacturer, ironically named Native Food Packers. The growers see this as a threat to their already beleaguered industry. There is also grave fears that this might bring in new banana diseases. A spokesman for the banana chip manufacturing company said the shipment of bananas had already been cleared by Ministry of Agriculture officials, and had been used. However, a contradictory story came from the Quarantine Division of the Ministry, who claimed that they had not issued and would not be issuing any permit for importation of bananas, peeled or unpeeled.

Hot Calaloo considers this an ominous development. The same "dollar" bananas of Chiquita and other American multinational corporations, which are trying to replace West Indian bananas from the EU market could make their way to Jamaica. Since they are reportedly much cheaper, they could be imported to Jamaica, undersell the local fruit and wipe out the industry in time.


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WTO rules menace new Jamaican law

Will the World Trade Organisation (WTO) allow this new Jamaican law or will they take punitive action. The Government of Jamaica says no. Foreign imports have been battering the local manufacturers in Jamaica and almost driving them out of business. So, the Government in an attempt to protect them will introduce a bill, the Safeguards Measures Bill, this July. The bills sponsor, Minister of Commerce and Technology, Phillip Paulwell, says it would give :

  • Government thre right to curtail certain imports that have been undermining local producers
  • Jamaican producers a specific time frame to achieve international standards and competitiveness

Although Mr. Paulwell considers this bill to be "WTO-compatible", there is still fear in some circles that the free trade provisions of the WTO might bring Jamaica in line for punitive action. The WTO does not care if Jamaican producers become extinct. This is irrelevant to them, regardless of the catastrophic consequences to Jamaica. This is typical attitude to most countries, and is why the WTO, more and more, is hated all over the world. Next they will be forcing Jamaica to import Costa Rican and Chiquita bananas or face sanctions!


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US wealthier but gives less foreign aid

As America grows richer, the portion of U.S. funds going to the world's poorest nations is headed for the lowest level ever, according to two anti-poverty research groups. Other donating countries also are giving less aid in proportion to their wealth, but they all are now ahead of the U.S., said the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in a report Tuesday. The center, which generally deals with domestic poverty issues, is looking at U.S. nonmilitary assistance abroad for the first time. The Clinton administration's $10.7 billion foreign aid request for fiscal year 2001 - which Congress is likely to slash - ties a post-World War II low in the percentage of federal funds going to foreign aid. As a share of the overall budget, foreign aid would be 0.6%, compared to 0.92% in the 1980s.


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  Antigua nurses' strike

With Antigua and Barbuda's main hospital significantly affected by atwo-day nurses strike, government and nurses are in a last last-ditch effort to end the work stoppage. They were huddled in talks up to late in the night. The state-run Holberton Hospital was said to be a virtual ghost town since 30 Cuban nurses -- recruited by the health ministry to beef up local health services – were called off the job as they were being viewed as strike-breakers.

Grenada teachers to strike

Grenada's 1,500 teachers are going on strike. The teachers are withdrawing their labour to force government to agree to their demands for a 17 per cent pay hike over five years. They staged a series of sickouts in recent weeks to protest governments offer of a four per cent increase.

Trinidad nurses end 3-month strike action

After a long three-month protest thousands of Trinidad and Tobago nurses are back on the job. They returned to work following a marathon meeting. They agreed with the Regional Health Authorities to issues such as hiring of local and foreign nurses to deal with the staff shortage, improved nursing pool payment rates, better working conditions and new equipment.

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Ja. Gov’t gives prostitutes money management help

The scourge of AIDS threatens the whole world. Jamaica is no exception. But, the government of Jamaica deserves to be congratulated in their pragmatic battle against this dreaded disease. One of the most vulnerable groups are ladies of the oldest profession, prostitutes, or as they are now termed, commercial sex workers (CSW’s). Excuse me! The government has recognized quite rightly that prostitutes are here to stay, and that these persons need special protection not only for their own good but also for that of the nation.

Public Health officials of the National HIV/STD Prevention and Control Program are teaching prostitutes how to manage money wisely. This is because they recognize that these CWS are not in the profession for fun but engage in that high risk activity for the money. They hope to make enough money to get out. They often do make a lot of money, but, since they do not know how to manage money, they fritter it away, and end up trapped in that profession indefinitely.

This agency has tried before to get them into other jobs. However, income from these jobs could not compare and the CWS ended up back on the street. Now, through this new program, they receive money management training and education in protection against HIV and STD’s (sexually transmitted disease). Groups meet in Kingston once a week and the National HIV/STD Prevention and Control Program hopes to expand to St. Catherine too.

The latest statistics from the Epediomology Unit of the Health Ministry:

Category 1997 1998 1999
AIDS deaths n/a 378 549
AIDS cases 609 643 892


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Ex Grenadian coup leader’s wife on parole in Jamaica

Phyllis Coard, the wife of Benjamin Coard, both officials of the ill-fated People’s Revolutionary Government, which overthrew the elected government of Grenada in the eighties, is now in Jamaica. The coup installed its popular leader, Maurice Bishop, as Prime Minister. However, then deputy leader, Bernard Coard, overthrew and replaced him as leader. Mrs. Coard, was among 17 PRG officials and soldiers jailed for life in connection with the subsequent murder of Maurice Bishop.

Mrs. Coard is on parole in Jamaica to receive treatment for cancer. The revolutionary Mrs. Coard is not a native Grenadian, but is from Jamaica. She is expected to resume imprisonment at the end of her medical parole which expires in September. A new play on the imrisonment of Mrs. Coard, titled "Sitting in Limbo" opened in London in 1998.

Correction : Source of this article referred to Phyllis Coard as Bernard Coard's widow. However, a reader, Dawn Penso, (one of the co-writers of the play about Phyllis Coard, "Sitting In Limbo")  pointed out that Bernard Coard is still very much alive, so Phyllis is still his wife. Hot Calaloo appreciates this correction and invites readers input as more errors like this might slip through the cracks.

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German help for Guyana's forestry sector

Germany plans to provide up to US$4 million to boost Guyana's forestryconservation program. The support package will target a pilot project in the Bartica area in Region 7 (Cuyuni/Mazaruni), Klaus-Jurgen Hendrich, the head of a six-member German parliamentary team which was on a two-day visit to Guyana, said. Hendrich said his country was keen on supporting conservation of tropical forests in Guyana and the Caribbean, because of its importance to mankind.

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Jamaican curried goat

Eighty six percent of goat meat consumed in Jamaica is produced overseas.

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Kadafi's son trained by Ben Johnson

Now 26 year old Al Saadi Gadaff wants to emulate his inspiration, Diego Maradona. The son of Libyan leader Muamar Kadafi, has hired Jamaican-born Canadian Olympic sprinter Ben Johnson to help him improve his fitness and speed. He is a striker for the national soccer team. Maradona, at present in Cuba recovering from his latest heart scare, recommended Ben Johnson when he visited Tripoli last year to give advice to the team. Maradona's coach from the 1986 World Cup-winning Argentina side, Carlos Bilardo, is masterminding the whole project.


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(New - Check Hot Calaloo for daily sports updates instead of monthly)

WI clinch Test series vs Pakistan in a nailbiter

Jimmy Adams in a heroic captain’s role, guided the West Indies to a exciting nailbiting victory in the 3rd and final test by the slimmest 1-wicket margin. The previous two Tests had ended in draws, which set up a dramatic 3rd Test, which exceded all expectations especially on the last day where the game teetered between both teams. In the first inning Pakistan scored Pakistan 269, Yousuf Youhana 183no. The West Indies followed and just when it seemed they were poised for a big advantage at 214 for 3, suddenly they slumped to 273 all out, a puny lead of 4 runs!

In the second innings, Pakistan scored 219, setting the West Indies the modest total of 21 6 to win. The West Indies started the final day at 144 for 4, needing 72 runs to win. With wickets tumbling around him, Adams batted with grit and determination. The West Indies had sagged to 197 for 9, when bowler and non-batsman Courtney Walsh joined him. Things looked bleak for the West Indies. But, Adams sheltered Walsh by "farming" most of the strike until 73 minutes and 19 runs later, a thrilling victory was gained. Walsh scored a most valuable 4 n.o and skipper Adams a dogged 48 not out His 48 runs score was a methodical determined knock, which lasted 337 minutes and 212 balls, did not contain a single boundary, but consisted of 38 singles and five two’s.

The man of the match was Pakistani fast bowler Wasim Akram who took 11 wickets for 110. This marks the fifth time he has taken 10 or more wickets in a test match.

Let us hope the West Indies cricket is on the way back to glory. After recent humiliating defeats, the team under Adams as skipper, seems unified and dedicated, has a high morale, and best of all, now has two consecutive winning test series. The batting is still inconsistent. However there are signs of a bright future as newcomers Jamaican Wavell Hinds and 19 year-old Ramaresh Sarwan impressed. The 23 year-old Hinds scored 165 and 52 in the 2nd Test to be named man-of-the match. Sarwan debuted in that test with a score of 84 not out. In the 3rd test, Hinds was run out for 26 and a 2nd inning top score of 63 earned him man-of-the-series honors.

Now it’s off to England. For the West Indies. Jimmy Adams got his wish. Star batsman, Brian Lara, has cancelled his retirement to join the team. His bat certainly will help, but unless he has become a true team player, put the past behind him, and becomes a positive influence, he will help neither the West Indies nor himself.

Scoreboard of Tests

1st Test - draw
Pakistan 288 (Inzamam-ul-Haq 135, Abdur Razzaq 85, Ambrose 4 for 43); WI 222 ( Chanderpaul 46 n. o.)
Match abandoned as rain from Day 4 onwards

2nd Test
- draw
1st innings – Pakistan 253 (Yousuf Youhana 115, Walsh 5 for 22); WI 398 ( W. Hinds 165, R Sarwan 84 n.o., Saqlain Mushtaq 5 for 121)
2nd innings – Pakistan 419 for 9 declared (Imran Nazir 131, Mohammad Wasim 82, Abdur Razzaq 72, King 4 for 82) WI 132 for 4 ( Hinds 52)

3rd Test
– WI win
1st innings – Pakistan 269 (Yousuf Youhana 103 n.o., Ambrose 5 for 83); WI ( Chanderpaul 89, Adams 60, Akram 6 for 61);
2nd innings – Pakistan 219 (Inzamam-ul-Haq 68, King 4 for 48) ; WI 216 for 9 ( Hinds 63, Adams 48 n.o., Akram 5 for 49)

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Reggae Boyz lose at home finally

Jamaica’s national soccer team under new coach, Sebastiao Lazaroni,  got off to a rocky start  after Panama beat Jamaica 1-0 in a friendly international at Jarrett Park, Montego Bay, Jamaica. This was Jamaica's first loss at home in over five years, the last time being in December 1994 when the Jamaican team was beaten by German Division One club Borrusia Dortmund.
And the losses continue
Concern has to be mounting as the World Cup playoffs begin for Jamaica in July. They cannot buy a goal much less a win. The best they have done recently is to tie Roumania 0-0 in Florida. But, then they played Colombia in Giant Stadium, in front of a crowd of 41,000, to lose by a convincing 3-0. Then it was off to a 4-team tourney in Morocco. They started off with a 0-1 loss to hosts Morocco. Next, they played Japan, who had lost on penalty kicks, after tying in regulation time 2-2, the defending World Cup champs, France. Japan then revenged their 2-1 loss in the World Cup finals to Jamaica by trouncing the Reggae Boyz 4-0 to take 3rd place. France won the tournament by defeating Morocco 5-1.
Bring on Wolde Harris
With the obvious inability to score, it seems that Wolde Harris, who is having a good season as striker for the US Major Soccer League’s New England Revolution should be added to the roster.

Jamaica's Recent Games Summary

Jamaica Panama 0-1
Florida Roumania 0-0
New Jersey, USA Colombia 0-3
Morocco Morocco 0-1
Morocco Japan 0-4


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CONCACAF World Cup Preliminaries over

T&T, Barbados, and St. Vincent lead the way to Round 2
Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and St. Vincent have won their respective pool groups in the CONCACAF Caribbean zone preliminaries   as shown in table below. T&T, the favorite, has been mowing down opposition, but next will move up to face really stiff opposition in the next round from other Group C opponents, Mexico, Canada and Panama. The top two teams of this round advance.
In July too, Jamaica begins its World Cup campaign in Group D against El Salvador, St. Vincent, and the winner of Hait/Honduras playoff.
Barbados competes in Group E, where they too must finish in the top two against thr US, Costa Rica and the winner of Antigua & Barbuda versus Guatemala.

Group C - Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico, Canada, Panama
Group D - Jamaica, El Salvador, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Haiti or Honduras
Group E - Barbados, USA, Costa Rica, Antigua & Barbuda or Honduras

In the just completed preliminaries the runners-up in each pool played  either Canada or one of the runners-up in the two Central American groups to make up the numbers, also as shown.Teams in the Caribbean Zone were drawn into home-and-away, knock-out pairings, grouped into three pools, as shown below. The winners of each group automatically went through to the 12-team Semi-final Stage, which took the form of three groups of four.
Cuba, St. Vincent and Trinidad & Tobago were seeded as head of the respective pools (based on their results in the 1998 qualifying).
All matches were played over two legs - home and away. Scores appearing in (brackets) are final aggregate scores. 1998 World Cup finalists Jamaica, Mexico and the US got a bye for the prelims, but start their campaign in the next round.

Pool One
Cuba (4)     Cuba (1)     Cuba (2)     Barbados qualify
for Semi-finals

Cuba v Canada
to qualify

Cayman Islands (0)  
St. Lucia (1)     Surinam (0)  
Surinam (1)  
Aruba (6)     Aruba (1)     Barbados (2)
(**Barbados qualify)
Puerto Rico (4)  
Barbados (5)     Barbados (7)  
Grenada (4)  

Pool Two
St. Vincent (14)     St Vincent (3)     St Vincent (5)     St Vincent qualify
for Semi-finals

Antigua v Guatemala to qualify

US Virgin I. (1)  
St. Kitts (8)     St. Kitts (1)  
Turks & C. I. (0)  
Guyana disq.     Antigua (1)
(*Antigua qualify)
    Antigua (2)  
Antigua & Barb.  
British Virgin I. (1)     Bermuda (1)  
Bermuda (14)  

Pool Three
Trinidad & Tob. (6)     Trinidad (4)     Trinidad (4)     Trinidad qualify
for Semi-finals

Haiti v Honduras to qualify

Neth. Antilles (1)  
Dominican Rep. (6)     Dom. Rep. (0)  
Montserrat (1)  
Dominica (1)     Haiti (13)     Haiti (2)  
Haiti (7)  
Anguilla (2)     Bahamas (0)  
Bahamas (5)  

Results Round-Up

Caribbean One
March 5 Cuba

4 - 0

Cayman Islands
March 5 St Lucia

1 - 0

March 5 Barbados

2 - 2

March 11 Aruba

4 - 2

Puerto Rico
March 18 Grenada

2 - 3

March 18 Puerto Rico

2 - 2

March 19 Surinam

1 - 0

St Lucia
March 19 Cayman Islands

0 - 0

April 1 Aruba

1 - 3

April 1 Cuba

1 - 0

April 16 Surinam

0 - 0

April 16 Barbados

4 - 0

May 7 Cuba

1 - 1

May 21 Barbados

1 - 1

Caribbean Two
March 5 St Vincent

9 - 0

US Virgin Islands
March 5 British Virgin Islands

1 - 5

March 18 St Kitts & Nevis

8 - 0

Turks & Caicos
March 19 Bermuda

9 - 0

British Virgin Islands
March 19 US Virgin Islands

1 - 5

St Vincent
March 21 Turks & Caicos

0 - 6

St Kitts & Nevis
April 16 St Vincent

1 - 0

St Kitts & Nevis
April 16 Antigua

0 - 0

April 23 Bermuda

1 - 1

April 23 St Kitts & Nevis

1 - 2

St Vincent
May 7 Antigua

2 - 1

St Vincent
May 21 St Vincent

4 - 0

Caribbean Three
March 4 Trinidad & Tobago

5 - 0

Netherlands Antilles
March 5 Anguilla

1 - 3

March 5 Dominican Republic

3 - 0

March 11 Haiti

4 - 0

March 18 Netherlands Antilles

1 - 1

Trinidad & Tobago
March 19 Dominica

1 - 3

March 19 Montserrat

3 - 1

Dominican Republic
March 19 Bahamas

2 - 1

April 1 Haiti

9 - 0

April 1 Trinidad & Tobago

3 - 0

Dominican Republic
April 16 Dominican Republic

0 - 1

Trinidad & Tobago
April 16 Bahamas

0 - 4

May 7 Trindad & Tobago

3 - 1

May 19 Haiti

1 - 1

Trindad & Tobago

* Through on away goals

** Through on penalties

More on T&T’s new soccer coach - Ian Porterfield

The 52 year old Scot straddles the fence better than most, having experienced life on both sides of it. Still known around the world for the goal which helped Sunderland lift the FA Cup in 1973 at the expense of Leeds, he was a club manager at Sheffield United, Rotherham, Reading, Aberdeen and Chelsea.

After leaving Stamford Bridge in 1993, he helped Zambia recover from an air crash, in which several members of the national squad were killed - taking them to within a point of the 1994 World Cup finals. He then coached in Saudi Arabia and made a brief return to Britain with Bolton in 1996 before becoming national coach of Oman in the Middle East.

Porterfield's extensive CV attracted Jack Warner, vice-president of FIFA and a driving force for football in the Caribbean, who wanted him to oversee the nation's football development. Trinidad and Tobago are widely accepted as having outstanding technical players in the region, but are often let down by a lack of organisation and overindulgence in tricks and pretty passing.


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