Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Going Home

We just shipped out some barrels and we leave next tuesday, Oct. 6, for St. Vincent.

Camillo Gonsalves Speaks At UN

Includes the article below and a video of Camillo Gonsalves speech. Quite good.

UN News Centre 9/29/09 4:39 PM
Saint Vincent speaks out at UN debate on efforts to clamp down on tax havens

29 September 2009 –The efforts of major and industrialized economies to crack down on so-called tax havens are just an excuse to spread the blame for the global financial crisis on small nations’ legitimate attempts at development, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines told the General Assembly today.

Camillo M. Gonsalves, the Caribbean archipelago’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, told the sixth day of the Assembly’s high-level segment that is country faces “being stigmatized out of our transition into financial services” by the Group of Twenty (G20) major economies, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and what he called “other non-inclusive bodies.”

Speaking at UN Headquarters in New York, Mr. Gonsalves said the crackdown on tax havens were actually “a pathetic effort to cast a wide and indiscriminate net of blame across a swath of legitimate and well-regulated countries’ development efforts.
“We note the irony of these paternalistic prescriptions from the same countries that are unable to stem corruption and mismanagement within their own borders, where corporations recklessly squander trillions of dollars and a single buccaneer investor can make $50 billion disappear into thin air – an amount greater than the combined annual budget expenditures of the entire CARICOM [Caribbean Community] sub-region,” he said.

Mr. Gonsalves took aim at the G20 for describing itself last week, at a summit in the United States city of Pittsburgh, as the premier forum for international economic cooperation.

“Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is not a member of the G20, nor were we consulted on its ascension to the ranks of arbiters of our economic fate... The G20 faces a serious legitimacy problem: aside from being non-inclusive and unofficial, many of the countries at that table represent the champions of the financial and economic orthodoxies that led the world down the rabbit-hole to its current economic malaise.”

The Permanent Representative also cast doubt on recent reports from some observers that the economy is returning to normal.
“The invisible hand of the market is still clasped firmly around the throats of poor people and the developing countries of the world. We see none of the so-called ‘green shoots’ that populate the fantasies of discredited economic cheerleaders.
“Indeed, the seeds sown by this crisis may produce the strange and bitter fruit of increased poverty, suffering and social and political upheaval. The crisis itself, with its disproportionate impact on the poor, will only widen and deepen the yawning gap between developed and developing countries.”

http://www.un.org/apps/news/printnews.asp?nid=32345 Page 1 of 1

Friday, September 25, 2009

Garifuna Community Forum, L.A.

Just a friendly reminder that the 5th Annual Garifuna Community forum is taking place this Saturday, 09/26/09 at Cal State University L.A. from 10am - 6pm. The forum is free so please tell your family and friends about this event. All day parking $6. Attending and experiencing the 5th Annual Garifuna Community Forum in person is priceless.

Cheryl Noralez

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Discover SVG

Keep an eye on this new blog. It has pictures of Mayereu that I'll never get.


Garifuna Month In The Bronx

Garifuna Heritage Month 2010
Garifuna Coalition USA, Inc.

Start Time:
Thursday, March 11, 2010 at 11:00am
End Time:
Monday, April 12, 2010 at 2:00pm

Bronx Borough President's Office
851 Grand Concourse,:
Bronx, NY

During Garifuna-American Heritage Month, we will celebrate the great contributions of Garifuna-Americans to the fabric of the Borough of the Bronx, and we pay tribute to the common culture and bonds of friendship that unite the United States and the Garifuna countries of origin.

Travel Blurb SVG

The great escape
Looking to get away from it all? Then you could do worse than consider a trip to St Vincent and the Grenadines – 32 stunning islands set in the clear blue waters of the Caribbean

Opted for the wallet-friendly, flight-free 'staycation' this summer? Thanks to the stubborn refusal of the sun to stay out for longer than the duration of one song from an ice-cream van, it's more likely you wound up with an upturned umbrella and soggy flip flops than a tan if you stayed in the UK.

Fortunately it's never too late to soak up some much-needed rays if you know where to look. The Caribbean remains sun-soaked and balmy of evening all year round, and if you're dreaming of eye-wateringly blue skies, talcum-powder sand and swaying palms, you can't beat St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Thanks to an absence of direct flights and mass tourism, this string of 32 diminutive islands is a haven for those looking to get away from it all. Only nine are inhabited: St Vincent, Young Island, Bequia, Mustique, Canouan, Mayreau, Union Island, Palm Island, and Petit St Vincent. The Tobago Cays is a stunning uninhabited marine park, which offers a perfect day-trip for any visitor.

St Vincent is known as "the mainland". The capital, Kingstown, is full of old world charm, its cobbled streets lined with old brick buildings. The market square at the corner of Bay and Bedford Streets is the perfect spot to sample some authentic Caribbean hospitality.

Once you've spent time in the 'big' city, you may like to get away from the hustle and bustle by following the hiking trail to the summit of the spectacular La Soufriere volcano.

La Soufrier volcano on St Vincent. Photograph: PR
Winding through bamboo groves, rainforest and across old lava flows, this three-mile trail ends with spectacular panoramic views and the chance to get up close and personal with an active volcano – the truly intrepid can even descend into the crater to take a mineral mud bath. The island's high altitude and volcanic structure bring regular rainfall and fertile soil, cultivating a landscape of dazzling green, lush vegetation slashed through with gushing waterfalls. The stuff of tropical dreams, this quintessential paradise will feel familiar to fans of the Pirates of the Caribbean film series, as much of it was shot right here. And if it's good enough for Johnny Depp…

The rest of the islands are known as the Grenadines. They're a bit more laid back than St Vincent and by far the best way to explore these beach-fringed beauties is to take to the water. All the islands are close together, so journeys between them are both short and sheltered. Experienced sailors can book a bareboat charter and take to the seas while yachting novices can hire a skippered yacht and let someone else do the hard work.

Whatever your vessel, there are vibrant harbours to explore, secluded bays in which to lay anchor and miles of palm-fringed coastline to discover – and wherever you spend your day, with distances this short you'll always be ashore in time for cocktail hour.

A yacht isn't the only mode of transport on offer: the independent traveller can always flit their way between the islands using local ferries or scheduled or charter flights.

A diver explores the crystal clear waters in St Vincent and the Grenadines. Photograph: PR
Once you've explored the islands from above the water, it's time to discover what lies in those turquoise depths. With warm seas, good visibility and a world-class reef system, St Vincent and the Grenadines is a great place to scuba dive or snorkel and, as on land, there are no crowds to contend with. Unless you're talking about what lies beneath the waves... Located at the meeting point of the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea and swept by the Gulf Stream, the Grenadines are the sealife equivalent of Piccadilly Circus. The waters here are abundant in a diverse range of species from the large (turtles, sharks and rays) to the tiny (seahorses, frogfish and harlequin pipefish).

What's more, the multifarious landscape of this archipelago of inhabited islands, deserted caves and sand bars is as varied below the waters as it is above: the volcanic curves of St Vincent continue beneath sea level, offering vistas of sheer coral-curtained walls; the sloping reefs around the island of Bequia are home to massive schools of colourful tropical fish; and Mayreau's waters hide gardens of swaying grasses and waterlogged tree trunks.

If this beautiful seascape puts you in the mood for romance, St Vincent and the Grenadines is the ideal place to wash up post-dive, with each of the islands offering something different for the luxury traveller.

There are some gorgeous places to stay. Take the Raffles resort on Canouan for example (which is where the winner of our competition will be heading). It boasts an 18-hole golf course, a magnificent spa – with the first two over-water spa treatment suites of St. Vincent and the Grenadines - tennis courts, five restaurants and a fresh-water swimming pool.

So whether you're after romance and relaxation or activity and adventure, St Vincent and the Grenadines has it all. And what's more, you're sure of boarding that plane home with a tan – and not a soggy flip-flop in sight.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

SVG National Trust; Walking






Caricom at UN

Global economy, poverty, crime to top CARICOM agenda at UN General Assembly

Prime Minister Patrick Manning will address the 64th General Assembly (UNGA) of the United Nations in New York on Saturday, joining other Caribbean leaders who are expected to speak on the themes of the global economic crisis, climate change and trans-national crime.

Guyana's Bharrat Jagdeo will lead off the roster of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) speakers when he addresses the assembly on Thursday, one day after the formal opening. Others who are listed to speak this week are the leaders of Haiti, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, Suriname, St Kitts and Nevis, Grenada and the Bahamas.

The prime ministers of Belize, Barbados, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines will address the assembly next week.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ UN Ambassador, Camillo Gonsalves told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) Monday the financial crisis is of top priority for regional governments.

"The region will debate how it’s affecting CARICOM and the need for a more equitable financial system. We will also be arguing for more funds for adoption to climate change because it is already affecting us.

"CARICOM will be calling for an Arms Trade Treaty to regulate the flow of small and light weapons. That’s going to be a major issue,” the diplomat told the CMC.

A number of CARICOM leaders, including Manning, are already in New York and will attend Tuesday’s Special UN Summit on Climate Change.

A statement from the government in Port of Spain said, "Trinidad and Tobago’s participation in this UNGA is particularly significant as we will play host the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Summit in November.”

It added that Manning "will meet with Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma while in New York to discuss matters pertinent to the meeting" adding that the UNGA will afford Manning "the opportunity for crucial bilateral meetings to take place prior to the CHOGM."

A new UN report warns that the global economic crisis continues to push millions of the world’s most vulnerable people into poverty, hunger and early death.

It says the poor in the world's developing world are not affected by the small signs of recovery. UN estimates suggest that the worldwide recession has pushed 100 million more people below the poverty line and 61 million people have been added to the number of jobless over the last two years.

The 'near poor' are becoming the ‘new poor,’” said Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro at the launch of a report called “Voices of the Vulnerable: the Economic Crisis from the Ground Up”.

Migiro said, "Workers in both the formal and informal sectors are being badly hit, particularly in manufacturing, commerce and construction...Youth unemployment is dramatically increasing.” She added that the number of unemployed youth has increased by as many as 18.2 million over the last year.

UN Secretary Generakl Ban ki-Moon, who is convening Tuesday’s Summit on Climate Change, said Heads of State and Government will focus on “the need for urgent action”.

He is urging leaders to show the highest level political, which he said will is needed “to reach a fair, effective, and scientifically ambitious global climate deal” at the UN’s Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen this December.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Christmas Cards for National Trust

As a fundraising venture that initially began last year, the Trust has a series of Christmas Greeting Cards available for sale. They are prints of the banana leaves artwork done by Mr. Raymond “ Bandi” Payne, a Vincentian who now resides in Ethiopia with his family. The cards are being sold at a cost of $4.75 EC each and $55 EC per doz. Please note these cards are available at the Trust Headquarters. Kindly contact us if further information or clarification is needed. Kindly support this worthy cause.

Shelly-Ann Lewis
SVG National Trust
P.O. Box 1538, Heritage Hall,
Carnegie Building Kingstown, St. Vincent
Phone numbers: (784) 45-12921, 496-3217
Email: svgntrust@vincysurf.com

Fish Fry for National Trust

As a fundraising venture the St. Vincent and the Grenadines National Trust will be having a Fish Fry on Friday October 16th from 11am to 7pm at the Old Public Library Yard. Tickets can be bought for $22.oo EC at the Trust Headquarters in the Carnegie Building, Heritage Hall, Kingstown. Kindly support this worthy cause.

Shelly-Ann Lewis
SVG National Trust
P.O. Box 1538, Heritage Hall,
Carnegie Building Kingstown, St. Vincent
Phone numbers: (784) 45-12921, 496-3217
Email: svgntrust@vincysurf.com

Taiwan Trade Mission

Taiwan’s First Trade Mission to Trinidad, St. Vincent and St. Lucia Seen to Boost Trade Relations Within the Region

Monday, September 21st, 2009 at 2:02 pm

TAIPEI, Taiwan–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Taipei The foremost non-profit trade and investment promotion organization in Taiwan, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) has been entrusted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of Taiwan to organize and lead a trade mission to Trinidad and Tobago, St. Vincent and St. Lucia to conduct trade meetings, exhibitions, seminars and other relevant promotional activities, from the 24th of September to the 4th of October.

Bringing with them the latest information as well as new opportunities for business and trade, the delegation comprises dynamic enterprises that represent various industries, ranging from fashion, gifts and stationery, furniture, auto parts, electronics to high tech industries. The trade mission not only serves as a platform for networking and meeting among all enterprises but it is also seen as an ideal occasion for establishing closer trade ties between Taiwan and the countries within the Caribbean region.

The delegation initially begins their trade mission with a 2-day stop in Trinidad & Tobago from Sept. 24 to 25. A seminar on Sept. 25th, which will be held at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Port of Spain, shall present Taiwan’s latest business opportunities. Various trade meetings between the Taiwan delegates and local enterprises will follow after the occasion. From Sept. 28 to 29, the delegates will be exhibiting their products at the Methodist Church Hall in Kingstown of St. Vincent, and from Oct. 2 to 4 the delegates will be exhibiting their products at the Gaiety in St. Lucia.

The organizer of this trade mission, TAITRA, will also showcase winning products of the Taiwan Excellence Gold Awards, as well as numerous promotional materials and catalogs to represent Taiwan’s key business sectors, at the same time offer helpful tips on how to do business with Taiwan. In addition, TAITRA will facilitate in product/supplier sourcing and match-making with Taiwanese manufacturers as well. Therefore, TAITRA welcomes and invites enterprises to take advantage of this chance to learn more about Taiwan and the business prospects that are available on the island.

To meet the Taiwan delegates or to obtain further information, please contact:

Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) Kingstown, St. Vincent and The GrenadinesMurray’s Road, Kingstown, St. Vincent and The Grenadines, West IndiesTel: (+1) 784 456 2431Fax: (+1) 784 456 2913E-mail: rocemsvg@vincysurf.com

Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in St. LuciaReduit Beach Ave., Rodney Bay, Gros Islet, St. LuciaTel: (+1-758) 452 8105, 450 0400Fax: (+1-758) 452 0414E-mail: lca@mofa.gov.tw

Press Release Contacts
TAITRA Chang –huei-Yu, 27255200-1337 huiyu@taitra.org.tw

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

More Pirates

St. Vincent Carrier Freed By Pirates
September 16, 2009
CaribWorldNews, LONDON, England, Weds. Sept. 16, 2009: St. Vincent and Grenadines flag bulk carrier, Irene EM, has been freed by Somali pirates.
The carrier and its 23 Filipino crew had been seized on April 13 in the Gulf of Aden by the pirates, who had demanded a US$2 million ransom. It was unclear whether ship`s Greek-based manager, Chian Spirit Maritime Enterprises, paid the ransom, paving the way for a release Tuesday.
The MV Irene, a 35,000-ton oil tanker owned by Bright Maritime Corp., a major Greek shipping firm but flagged in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, was hijacked by Somali pirates on April 14, 2009 off the Gulf of Aden, a treacherous area for foreign vessels. NATO received a distress call from the St. Vincent and the Grenadines-flagged merchant about the MV Irene hijack incident on April 14. A Canadian warship sent a helicopter to investigate what was happening but it was too late. After MV Irene was hijacked, four more ships were captured in the Gulf of Aden that week.
The MV Irene had picked up its crew in Singapore and headed to China and then to Pakistan before going to the Middle East. Kenya was supposed to be the final stop of the ship`s six-month tour of duty.
Analysts estimate the Somali pirates earn as much as $150 million a year for hijacking foreign vessels.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Garifunas in the African Day Parade

Garifunas will Participate in the African Day Parade
The aim is to create awareness and appreciation of the Garifuna culture

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 15, 2009 Contacts: José Francisco Ávila (718) 402-7700

New York – The Garifuna Coalition USA, Inc. a nonprofit, nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) tax- exempt organization announces that it will sponsor the participation of the Hamalali Wayunagu (Voices of the Ancestors), Garifuna Folkloric and Modern Dance Company at the African Day Parade, on Sunday September 27th, 2009 starting at 10:00 Am at 126th St and 8th Avenue.
The African Day Parade’s objective is to provide a global voice for Africans to showcase their heritage and is a unique opportunity for the African Community and other communities to celebrate their cultures and traditions as well as sharing with the diverse community of Harlem and the United States.

Hamalali Wayunagu (Voices of the Ancestors) Garifuna Folkloric and Modern Dance Company an inter- generational dance company will showcase the Garifuna culture and traditions through singing, dancing, and drumming in vibrant colorful costumes and we invite the Garinagu people of New York City to join us in the parade to promote the Garifuna Heritage and Culture in all parts of the Garifuna Diaspora as well as support the Renaissance of the Garifuna Heritage and Culture in St. Vincent and the Grenadines "Yurumein" the Ancestral Homeland of the Garifuna people.

Participation in the African Day Parade is part of the “Garinagu Wagia Campaign” with the goal of creating awareness and appreciation of the Garifuna culture and its contribution to the culture and society of New York City.
On May 18th, 2001 the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for the first time awarded the title of “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangibles Heritage of Humanity,” to 19 outstanding cultural spaces of forms of expression from different regions of the world. The Garifuna Language, Dance and Music were among those declared “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangibles Heritage of Humanity.

About the Garifuna Coalition USA, Inc.

The Garifuna Coalition USA, Inc. is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, 501(c) (3) tax-exempt organization headquartered in New York City. It was founded on May 9th, 1998 and was incorporated as a Domestic not for Profit Corporation on May 28, 1999. The purpose of the Garifuna Coalition USA, Inc. is to serve as a resource, a forum, and advocate for Garifuna issues and a united voice for the Garifuna community. It seeks to find solutions to social problems such as, poverty, immigration and housing affecting the Garifuna people, through grassroots organizing and community development.
Garifuna Pride - Our Voice - Our Vision
Garifuna Pride - Our Voice - Our Vision

Fighting Pirates

North Korean ship fights off Somali pirates
(philstar.com) Updated September 15, 2009 08:00 PM

KUALA LUMPUR (AP) - Somali pirates tried but failed to hijack a North Korean cargo ship when crew members fought back with improvised fire bombs and sped away, a maritime official said today.

Separately, other Somali pirates released a Greek-managed ship with 22 Filipino crewmen after five months in captivity, officials in the Philippines said.

The North Korean ship was adrift off the Somali coast near Mogadishu on Sept. 5 for engine work when the crew saw 10 pirates approaching in two speedboats, said Noel Choong, who heads the International Maritime Bureau's piracy reporting center in Kuala Lumpur.

The North Korean ship immediately started its engine and moved away, and the captain called the bureau for help when the pirates - dressed in military clothing - began firing rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns, Choong said.
The crew fought back with improvised molotov cocktails - bottles filled with kerosene or similar fluid and set alight by a wick or rag. The crew also fired distress rocket flares at the pirates, and the ship escaped "after the captain increased speed," Choong said.

The captain later told the IMB a US warship arrived at the scene, but the pirates had fled, Choong added. He could not confirm it was a US ship.

One of the 30 North Korean crew members was injured, and the ship was damaged, Choong said. The ship was heading to the Middle East when it was attacked. It was not clear where the ship went.

The incident raised the number of attacks off Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden this year to 156. So far, 32 ships have been hijacked and five remain held by pirates along with 102 crew members, Choong said

It was not immediately clear if the five ships still in custody are in addition to the Greek- managed ship that was reported by the Philippine government to have been released.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement Tuesday the information came
from Bright Maritime Corp., the local manning company of the St.-Vincent and
Grenadines-flagged bulk carrier. It was not immediately known when the ship and crew were released.
The ship was headed to India from Jordan when it was seized April 14.

The Philippines supplies about 30 percent of the world's 1.2 million merchant sailors.

Somalia has not had an effective government since 1991 - a power vacuum that has allowed the pirates to operate freely around Somalia's 1,900-mile (3,060-kilometer) east African coastline, along one of the world's busiest shipping lanes.
The US government last week warned of an increase in piracy off Africa's east coast because the monsoon has ended and Somali pirates will have easier access to passing ships.


A Tribute to Joseph Chatoyer
By Karielle Richards

Imagine: A clear blue sky, vibrantly colored flora and fauna, life emanating around you.  Most of the community (both young and old) are walking single-file, singing and laughing, along the winding path that leads to their destination. They get closer and closer until there before them is an opening, revealing a picturesque view of the beach. Everyone is excited to join the other natives who live on the coastal areas.  Life is perfect, more or less, until one day what first seemed like white clouds (ships) touching the sea proved to be showers of destruction (Europeans) descending upon the shores of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

A country with such beauty, fertility and richness was considered a treasure by the Europeans.  Britain and France fought over the ownership of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines when they discovered these islands.  However, long before the arrival of the Europeans, the islands were occupied by the indigenous Caribs.  According to Adrian Fraser (2002) "[t]hey are thought to have arrived since 1000 A.D." (p.10). From these people, Joseph Chatoyer, the chief of all chiefs, was born.

He was a Black Carib (Garifuna), a new race that had emerged from the interbreeding and intermarrying of the Yellow Caribs and Negroes, and as history proves, he was the chief of all chiefs, the paramount chief among these last groups of migrants.
In the late 1700s, the British were eventually victorious over the French in the battle for possession of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.  The rights of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines now belonged to them, but the transition was not as easy as they had anticipated.  No way!  The Black Caribs would not give up their country without a fight.  The determination and resilience of these natives came as a shock to the British, and for two centuries, conflict raged between the two groups.

The first English-Carib War took place in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and lasted for two years, from 1771 to1773 – years of tremendous suffering and loss.  Then, realizing how unwavering and resilient the Black Caribs were in their determination to keep their homeland, Britain, through King George III proposed the Treaty of 1773 which agreed to end the hostilities and promised peace.  This was a first for the British as they were "forced to sign an accord with an indigenous population in the Americas" (www.wikipedia.org). One of the Carib chieftains to sign this treaty was Joseph Chatoyer. 

Who is this Joseph Chatoyer and what is said of him?

"Brave", "Rebellious", "Outstanding warrior", "Stubborn", "Ruthless", "Fierce", "Charismatic", "Formidable", "Tactful" are some of the numerous words  (Choose between "used to describe" and "associated with") Saint Vincent and the Grenadines' first national hero, Joseph Chatoyer.  He paid the ultimate sacrifice by dying in battle as he fiercely defended his country against attempts by the British to colonize his people's homeland.   (choose between "paid the ultimate price" and "made the ultimate sacrifice")

In 1795, twenty-two years after the Treaty of 1773 was signed and agreed upon, distrust and tension still existed between the Black Caribs and the British settlers. That year Britain broke the Treaty which they had made with the natives of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.  Their sole purpose was to make the people subject to their power, and the intelligent and skillful diplomat, Joseph Chatoyer was cognizant of this fact. With the country under the governorship of James Seton, Chatoyer (the paramount chief) along with another chieftain, Du Valle, began the movement of resistance. Their open rejection of the plans by the British to build more inland roads, thus forcing the natives further into the interior of the island, eventually led to the two-year war known as the Second Carib War. This revolt against the British was led by Chatoyer, who, seeking justice and liberty for his people, wisely formed an alliance with French rebels from Martinique.

Joseph Chatoyer used the diplomatic skills he possessed to his advantage.  He understood the geo-politics of his time and never failed to negotiate with the different nations and neighboring communities. Fraser (2002) reports that "[t]he respect which Chatoyer earned,  particularly for his leadership and strategic skills appeared to be evident from the fact that the French were prepared to let their men serve under his command"(p.28).

Being an astute and outstanding warrior, Chatoyer not only enlisted the assistance of the French, but planned his campaign logically.  Instead of pillaging and destroying the property of the British, he directed his rage and fury only at the settlers themselves (www.svgtourism.com). As the attacks continued, Chatoyer led the rebellion on the leeward side of the island and delegated Du Valle to lead on the windward side. Working their way along the coast, their forces met at Dorshethill where they planned to launch their attack on Kingstown.

However, on March 14th, 1795, an army of British soldiers, which had recently arrived by warship, under the command of General Ralph Abercromby, marched toward Dorshethill and defeated the Carib and French rebels, in particular Joseph Chatoyer. This fearless leader fought fiercely to the very end before he was killed that same night by Major Alexander Leith.
Mystery surrounds the life of Joseph Chatoyer.  No one knows for certain the date of his birth, exactly how he lived, details of his family or the true nature of his death. There is a lot untold and unknown about this historical figure but from the findings gathered one cannot refute this: Two hundred and eleven years ago, in the year 1795, Joseph Chatoyer led a revolt against the British influence in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.  He was killed as he bravely defied Britain, defending his people's territory.  Because of this patriotic, courageous act he is considered the National Hero of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Thank you Joseph Chatoyer!  The blood you shed is a symbol of the contribution you have made to the freedom we have to day.  Indeed you paid the ultimate price.  Again, thank you.

Bibliography and References
Fraser, A. (Dr.) (2002). Chatoyer (Chatawae) the First National Hero of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Galaxy Print Ltd.
 Retrieved on May 17, 2006 www.svgtourism.com
 Retrieved on May 17, 2006 www.wikipedia.org

Karielle S. Richards holds a BSc. from Caribbean Union College in Trinidad and Tobago. Recently graduated, Ms. Richards majored in Psychology and minored in English. She is currently employed as a guidance counselor and graduate lecturer by the Ministry of Education in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and is based at the Lowmans Leeward Secondary School.  

This was extracted from the current issue of Strategy, Forethought and Insight, The Little Caribbean Journal of Ideas, published weekly as email by irhondaking@sfisvg.com. You may write her to subscribe.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

SVG Constitution

St Vincent ponders change to republic

Guyana, Dominica and Trinidad and Tobago among Commonwealth Caribbean nations have done it.

Now St Vincent and the Grenadines is being asked to follow suit and ditch Queen Elizabeth of Britain as the country's head of state.

The people of the a multi-island State comprising inhabited and uninhabited islands, islets and cays, will vote in a referendum in November to change the constitution handed down at the island's independence in 1979.

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves hopes it will be replaced by what he called a "nationalist, home-grown constitution".
He said: "The end of the monarchical system and its replacement by a home-grown, non-executive President is of immense practical and psychological significance.

"This act of historical reclamation is part of the process of our people coming of age ...."
In effect, the Queen, represented on St Vincent by a native Governor-General, would be replaced by a largely ceremonial president.


Also along these lines, is the proposal to make it easier to replace the British Privy Council with the Caribbean Court of Justice as the final court of appeal for St Vincent and the Grenadines.

The Prime Minister has promised a vigorous campaign to gain the necessary two-thirds majority to implement the new constitution, which was prepared after lengthy public consultations.

NDP leader Arnhim Eustace is of the view that politics has got in the way because general elections are not too far away.
The last elections were in December 2005, when the governing Unity Labour Party won a second successive term.
Mr Eustace has also rubbished the government's claims that the new constitution will usher in an era of far-reaching reforms.
Dr Gonsalves insists that it better secures the fundamental rights and freedoms of islanders, and among other things, strengthens and reforms parliament (to be called the national assembly) and reduces the role of the prime minister.

No confidence vote

For the opposition, many of these changes are merely cosmetic. "I see no fundamental provision that markedly reduces prime ministerial power."

On that point, the government cites the following provision to effectively outlaw snap elections as one example of a major diminution of power: General elections cannot be called before the expiration of four years and nine months after the first sitting of the National Assembly after the previous dissolution of parliament.

Separate conditions apply in the event of a successful no confidence vote in parliament.

The head of government will also have limitations on the size of his cabinet and will lose the authority to appoint statutory service commissions in favour of the president acting "in his own deliberate judgement."

Also of interest is a revamped electoral system with a mix of the traditional first past the post system and proportional representation (PR).

If approved, members of parliament will be elected in the usual way - 17 of them - with another 10 chosen on a PR formula from submitted party lists.


One of the more controversial areas of the constitution is the retention of the death penalty and new clauses to insulate it against "judge-made restrictions".

Dr Gonsalves, along with many Caribbean governments which retain the Privy Council, has been angered by rulings which have effectively ended hangings in much of the region.

Local and international human rights activists have, as expected, strongly criticised this recommended change.

But the Prime Minister insists that 90% of the 100,000 or so Vincentians already support capital punishment.

He also referred to another sensitive subject that is thought to have overwhleming backing among locals - the entrenchment of marriage as a union between men and women.

The independent Delhi-based Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, while acknowledging that the new constitution makes significant progress on human rights, said the ban on same sex unions has "overtly homophobic implications."

The stage is therefore set for a spirited campaign for the 25 November referendum.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Visit From US Consular Officer

Reprinted from Caribbean Net News

US Consular Officer to visit St Vincent and the Grenadines
Published on Friday, September 11, 2009

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados -- A Consular Officer from the United States Embassy in Barbados will visit St Vincent on September 23-25, 2009.

Office hours are as follows: Wednesday, September 23, 11AM to 12PM and 1PM to 4PM, Thursday, September 24, 9AM to 12PM and 1PM to 4PM, and Friday, September 25, 9AM to 12PM at the Peace Corps Office in New Montrose, Kingstown. An appointment is required to meet with the Consular Officer. To make an appointment, please call (246) 227-4000, ext. 4193. The Consular Officer will be providing American Citizen Services and taking applications for US passports, and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad. Visa cases will not be discussed.

Fees are: Child’s passport (under 16) US$85, first adult passport US$100, CRBA US$65. Persons seeking to renew a ten-year passport issued less than 15 years ago, and who can present the expired passport, may apply by mail directly to the Embassy; the fee is US$75. (Fees are payable by international money order or bank draft, made out to “US Embassy, Barbados”). All passport applicants who cannot present a previous ten-year passport issued less than fifteen years ago must appear for an interview with the Consular Officer. Both parents must appear with a child under 16 if both are listed on the birth certificate.

All passport applicants must provide a completed passport application and proof of US citizenship; such as previous US passports, US birth certificates, or US Naturalization Certificates. Bring current passports, birth certificates, parents’ passports (along with photocopies of descriptive data pages of parents’ passports) and two passport-size photos. A prepaid air waybill (FedEx, DHL, QuikPak, etc.) is required in order to post passports back to St Vincent.

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Internet Remark


Are the Caribbean islands considered third world (non developing) countries??
Pardon my faux pas, I meant underdeveloped country, not non-developing.
Sadly, the answer is yes.
From the 1600’s through the 1800’s, and on into the early 1900’s European nations (and the US) pulled millions of dollars worth of resources from the Caribbean. Sugar from sugarcane, Rubber, Chocolate, Vanilla. The UK in one year from one country Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, pulled in about 30 million pounds worth of sugar which they then sold all over the world. And they had lots of Islands. This money funded their industrial revolution. That money if converted into todays terms, would be something like 45 Billion pounds.
When it became politically incorrect to own these countries, they pulled out their infrastructure, and most of the money, and left the people to get on with it. They didn’t return any of the Billions of dollars they had stolen from the indigenous people, neither did they give reparations to the thousands of people who were ripped from their homelands to work as slaves in those islands.
And people wonder why those in the Caribbean get so upset.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Art Exhibit

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

More Videos

There are more videos of St. Vincent and the Grenadines than I thought. Here's a group that I ran across.


Vincy Mas

Judy Boucher


The Harmonites

I was looking for something else and found The Harmonites, a band that you might find playing on the street in Kingstown or at a hotel barbeque in Villa or even at a private party.

video 1

video 2

video 3

barrouallie whalers

Daniel Lanier photographs: On the harbor and on the Stan Hugill Stage:

Look here

Originaires de Saint Vincent des Grenadines, les Barrouallie Whalers, pêcheurs de balaine se sont produits au Festival des Chants de Marins à Paimpol, le 8 août 2009

Listen here

Monday, September 07, 2009

Life before IKEA

Life before IKEA
BY Michael McMillan

BOTH MY parents came to England in the early 1960s from St Vincent and the Grenadines, and I was born in High Wycombe – the unofficial capital of the Vincentian diaspora in the UK.
I grew up learning that ‘Cleanliness is next to godliness’, and that no matter how poor we were, if the front room looked good we were respectable.
As children, we weren’t normally allowed into the front room unless there were guests, or it was a Sunday and it had been ritually hoovered and polished on the Saturday in readiness for some unknown visitor.
Air freshener and furniture polish would mask the smell of the paraffin heater coming from the passage, and ‘big people’ would be chatting over the mellow voice of Jim Reeves crackling from the radiogram.
My mother would invite me in to meet a relative who I had never met before, who would tell me how big I had got. They would continue chatting about people they know in England and back home: “You hear Miss Smart die?”
I would get Mum two rarely used gold-rimmed glasses, lying amongst many, from the glass cabinet. Then I would wheel over the drinks trolley, from which she took her favourite drink, a bottle of Stone’s Ginger Wine, and ice from the plastic pineapple ice bucket.
I’d sit down obediently on the plastic covered settee, which stuck to my skin. I would stare at a picture of a blue-eyed Jesus looking at me disapprovingly from ‘The Last Supper’ on the floral-papered wall that didn’t match with the floral-patterned carpet, and notice a fly fooled by the plastic flowers and colourful crochet on a fake marble coffee table.
As the sun shone through the pressed lace curtains and I’m about to fall asleep, I might overhear, “I don’t know why she marry him” and I am ordered out of the front room to check the on rice and peas cooking in the kitchen.
If any of this story resonates, you could like myself wax lyrical about the front room and how it embodies growing up in Britain at a particular moment.
It followed post World War Caribbean migration to England when West Indian men and women arrived dressed in their Sunday best with dignity and respectability packed deep in their suitcases, or ‘grips’.
They saw themselves as British citizens coming to the ‘mother country’, though dreams of better opportunities soon evaporated in the face of racism.
From one-room rented accommodation, many used the pardner hand to save for a deposit on a house in which the front room was ‘created’. Dressed by women and used by men, the West Indian front room in Britain was an aspirational space with the same furniture and ornaments as many English working-class families.
Professor Stuart Hall argues, “The front room is a conservative element of black domestic life, which is more complex and richer than the generality of the society ever realises”. And while Caribbean families in Britain were being demonised as social problems waiting to happen, the front room expressed their values, religious identities, domestic practices and familial connections.
With the arrival of the television and more politically orientated black urban music being played on the ‘Blue Spot’ radiogram, the front room became the site of intergenerational conflicts that saw the emergence of black British identities.
* The Front Room: Migrant Aesthetics in the Home by Michael McMillan is published this month by Black Dog Publishing.
For more information about The Front Room visit: www.thefrontroom.org


The Green Legacy of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

The Green Legacy of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

A Pictorial Tribute To the oldest Botanic Garden in the Western Hemisphere and one of the world's first pieces of Environmental Legislation

Edited by Inga Rhonda King


Friday, September 04, 2009

Garifuna Forum

Gaifuna Forum

I just got an email reminding me that the 5th annual Garifuna Forum is being held on September 26th at Calstate University in Los Angeles. For more information go to their fascinating website at: