Monday, February 28, 2011

Gonsalves on Lybia

Kingstown, St. Vincent – St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has said that the uprising against the Muammar al-Gaddafi regime in Libya is no reason for St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) to break relations with that North African nation.

According to a report from I-Witness News, Gonsalves who was at the time speaking at a press briefing on Monday, 28th February, said there was no reason for Kingstown to cut diplomatic ties with Tripoli as some sections of the Vincentian population have suggested.
Dr Gonsalves also said that his administration did not break relations with Egypt, where protest action, which began on 25th January, forced from office the regime of Hosni Mubarak.

This media house was informed that the Housing and Land Development Corporation in the capital Kingstown Monday 21st February received from Tripoli, for hurricane recovery, EC$667,500 (US$250,000), which the main opposition New Democratic Party has described as “blood money”.

Gonsalves said the hurricane aid funds were secured long before the uprising began.

He further said that the United States and Britain have not severed links with Libya although the Americans have frozen the assets of Gaddafi and his family and British Petroleum have strong business links with the country.

“They (Gaddafi and his family) don’t have any assets here,” he added.

Gonsalves said that while his administration is concerned about the developments in Libya, with which Kingstown has warm relations, his government was also in communication with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) as CARICOM prepared to issue a joint statement on behalf of the member states of the regional bloc.

“I look at the unfolding events … in Libya with more than great disquiet. No one can support the killing of innocent protestors,” he said.

“You have in Libya what is evolving as a virtual civil war and we in CARICOM, and certainly we in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, we said let us work together as one on this. … I know we (CARICOM) were all moving on the same page to issue a condemnatory statement in the way in which it has been issued,” Gonsalves added.

Meanwhile, CARICOM leaders at their just concluded summit in Grenada called for peace in the Middle East and North Africa in the wake of a wave of anti-regime uprising sweeping the Arab world.

“The Community calls for an immediate end to the violence and looks forward to a resolution of the situation through dialogue and actions which would allow the free exercise of the fundamental human rights by the people of that Region,” the leaders said in a statement.

Regional heads said they have observed with grave concern, the recent developments which have been sparked by the desire of the people of that Region for change.

“Very often in international relations, there are some black and white positions which are taken and sometimes there are greater subtleties and shades which have to be accommodated,” Gonsalves said.

He further said that his government is in daily contact with its ambassador to the United Nations as it monitors the developments in North Africa.

“…we are an enemy of nobody and we are friends of everybody. That is how we seek to use our foreign policy to enhance our capacity to deal more capably with our external environment in the interest of our people — but to do so against the backdrop and upon the platform of the principles laid out by the Charter of the United Nations and our respect for democracy, independence, territorial integrity, sovereignty, human rights,” Dr Gonsalves stated.

He added that a violation of these principles by a state does not mean that St. Vincent and the Grenadines should not have relations with that government.

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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Spirit-Filled and Emancipated Living

Meditations by a lay-preacher in the methodist church of St. Vincent and the Grenadines

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Caribbean Trailblazers

Essays on persons important to the history of St. Vincent and the Grenadines

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cuban Crafts

We didn't get a chance to see the Cuban craftspeople at the Tourist Pier, but Ben Harrison did this story for The Vincentian. We agree with the editorial content, There are competent craftspeople in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and it would be a good thing if they were given better marketing facilities, particularly around the Tour Ship Dock.
Here's the text from Ben's story: sorry the pictures didn't scan well enough.

Tourists and Visitors:- Opportunities for local artisans
Author: Ben Harrison - International Correspondent Published: 02/17/2011

Tourists visiting a new country leave with memories; memories fused by what they have seen and experienced. Visitors to St. Vincent & the Grenadines return to their homes with digital photos of our beautiful shorelines, interesting architecture, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Montreal Gardens and the warm friendly greetings and smiles of our people.

Only the unadventurous and unimaginative travellers are impressed with transplanted North American fast food mentality signs, advertising McDonalds or Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets. Those who need reminders of a lifestyle they left behind for a few short annual vacation days or weeks perhaps should have stayed home.

We can produce

In addition to the ever present flora, fauna and natural beauty, visitors to our island also look for local crafts that they can take home and display to family and friends. Handcrafts are an expression of a people. Many are handed down through generations and depict an earlier simplicity of life; a snapshot of the way life was.

Unfortunately in St. Vincent & the Grenadines there is a dearth of original, indigenous crafts, created by skilled local Vincentian craft makers and artisans. Crafts that are made from natural products found right here on our island at no cost to the craftsperson. We do have a few street vendors of limited crafts and paintings, and we have a poorly advertised crafts centre that may or may not be open when visitors call. With a new airport and larger resorts and hotels about to become a reality, we should become serious about developing a home-grown craft industry, complete with a training and exhibition centre and marketing support.

Cometh the Cuban

THE VINCENTIAN visited and was impressed by three Cuban artisans (two of whom were mother and daughter), who visited St. Vincent this past week, displaying Cuban crafts that are readily available to visitors to that island republic. They displayed and offered for sale examples of their work in three booths at the Kingstown Cruise Terminal. Their quality of work was excellent and the prices were very reasonable.

On display were hundreds of collectible items made from readily available natural products in Cuba, including a variety of woods, bones, pieces of leather and horns from cows; shells, seeds and flowers. From these materials they created imaginative, creative colourful costume jewellery, wood, bone and horn carvings and sculptures as well as contemporary artwork.

It has been said that those who work with their hands are labourers; those who work with their hands and head are craftsmen and those who work with their hands, heads and hearts are artisans. It’s time for the craftsmen and artisans to realize that they are major contributors to the success of our tourism industry; to make themselves and their works readily available to tourists and visitors to our shores.

Our Ministry of Tourism should take note: An active, successful craft industry will not happen by itself. It will require your support to become an established sector, and your marketing assistance to make it self sustaining.

Text available on:
Pictures are in the Vincentian of 2/18/2011

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Travelogues about St. Vincent and the Grenadines

You can find a number of videos, mostly travelogues, about St. Vincent and the Grenadines on the site at:

That site was closed

What you can do is open You Tube and put "Grenadine Islands" in the search box. It will direct you to a bunch of videos
about St. Vincent and the Grenadines. I may return to this source in the future and sort out the good ones -Jan 7, 2012


Another Orchid


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Book Signing

KINGS-SVG Publishers is pleased to announce the formal launching of two books by Vincentian editors/authors, which were published in 2010. The first is "Caribbean Trailblazers: St. Vincent and the Grenadines" (SVG) which chronicles the lives of 15 persons who have made substantial contributions to SVG or its diaspora.It is edited by Baldwin King and Cheryl Phills King. The second is "Spirit-Filled and Emancipated Living" by Laura Anthony Browne which is a very inspirational work about living a Christian -driven life. The launching will take place at the UWI Open Campus, Richmond Hill at 5 pm on Tuesday, February 22, 2011. Books will be on sale and available for signing. All are welcome. Refreshments will be served.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Garifuna Culture Gala

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Vincentian Coffee

Normally I don't feature commercial products in this blog, but this one is a bit different.

This coffee is grown, roasted and sold here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. According to the package (which I got in the Sunshine supermarket across from the airport) St. Vincent and the Grenadines was the second country in the Americas to grow coffee. We were the biggest supplier to the U.S. in the colonial period and coffee continued to be an important crop till we got seduced by the banana.

The coffee is sold in quarter-kilo foil bags for $48 EC ($19US) which is expensive, but it compares favorably with the best coffee I've had anywhere. I'll let experts compare it to Jamaica Blue Mountain, but I'm sure it is in that class. It certainly isn't too expensive for a souvenir and it should get through the customs in the US.

You can get more information by emailing

Thursday, February 10, 2011

More Orchids

Some more of Sally's Orchids.

It has been raining or cloudy a lot lately so I haven't had the opportunity to photograph anything.