Friday, March 25, 2011

Argyle Archaeology

As part of the preparation for the Argyle International Airport, several archaeological teams have been working ay the Argyle site.

A Canadian team led by Margarita De Guzman and Jode Macay, assisted by several international volunteers, have been excavating a Carib Indian site. The photographs below are from the Searchlight Newspaper for March 25, 2011.

In addition, an Egyptian team did an analysis of petroglyphs in the Yambou area to see if they can be moved for preservation. However the unrest in Egypt has made it difficult for them to return this spring.

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New Books

Or at least new to me. I was strolling down Back Street in Kingstown the other day and I noticed a bookstore that was new to me: Jujube Books. I stopped in to look at some books related to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, or at least to the carribean area. I bought a couple whose covers are shown below along with the announcement card of the shop. They had a lot more St. Vincent and the Grenadines related books.

Store card.

Published by Mcmillan

Self published by Jacques Daudin

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

LIAT looks to expand to USA

By Azad Ali

Antigua-based regional airline LIAT wants to operate a jet service to Miami and New York.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves made this announcement following a recent meeting in Barbados, which was attended by host Prime Minister Freuduel Stuart and Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer.

Dr. Gonsalves, who is chairman of LIAT’s three shareholder governments, said it is not beyond Liat to go further regionally and to Miami and even New York with a particular type of aircraft and to do it in a manner, which is facilitating of travel and including tourism.

According to a report by the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) in Bridgetown, Dr. Gonsalves said “in some newer routes in the Caribbean and Latin America, not currently served by any Caribbean airline, perhaps a jet service, in addition to existing turbo-prop service with Dash-8 aircraft, would be useful.”

The three prime ministers met at the Barbados Hilton where they received two detailed presentations from a fleet planning committee, following, which there was agreement in principle that LIAT should begin plans to roll out a new fleet as soon as possible.

Although LIAT made a substantial loss last year, no reference was made about funding for the new planes.
The 18-aircraft fleet now being operated by LIAT is old and was costing the company some $26 million annually in maintenance.


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CT Scanner Donated

Persons afflicted with certain illnesses will be able to save money and at the same time speed up their recovery. 

That was pointed out by Derry Williams speaking on behalf of the Bank of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Williams was at Victoria Park last Friday, March 11. That was when his bank, along with the National Insurance Services, handed over a CT Scan machine to the government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. 

The equipment was bought for EC$1M, a cost  shared equally between the two entities.

Williams outlined that the provision of the new machine “signals an important step forward in the provision of health care in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.” 

He pointed to savings which persons will engender: no expense for airfares to go abroad to use such machines; relieved air ambulance costs, accommodation for relatives accompanying them, and other additional expenses. 

As far as Williams was concerned, the purchase and eventual activation of the CT Scan machine was tantamount to a removal of a “heavy financial burden,” while at the same time speeding up the recovery process.

The machine may result in less business to the bank, but Williams was happy that patients will not have to withdraw from their accounts, or borrow money to attend to their medical needs. 

And even as he referred to the purchase of the CT Scan Machine as a “serious financial investment,” he described the purchase as sustaining the bank’s tradition of contributing to this nation’s social and overall development. 

He urged technicians, doctors and administrators responsible for ensuring the use of the equipment  to take care of it.
Improving quality of service

His sentiments were echoed by Joy Matthews from the National Insurance Services Board. 
She looked at the CT Scan Machine as a useful tool that will contribute to the quality of life here. 

“Health care is not an option but a necestsary prescription,” Mathews indicated. 

Health Minister Cecil Mc Kie welcomed the partnership which led to the purchase of the machine. He looked at the new provision as fitting in with the overall improvement in the delivery of health care. 

He pointed to the costs patients had to endure as a consequence of having to go abroad for CT Scans, citing 300 as the number of persons who had to seek such services overseas, over the last three years.

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves praised Dr Rosalind Ambrose whom he described as a pioneer in the CT Scan services. 

The CT Scan Machine ought to be running by May, according to Dr. Gonsalves. By then, he expects that a second such facility will be in place. 

The Vincentian Prime Minister used the occasion to highlight this country’s “sound primary health care system.”

 For him, secondary health services were excellent, but he pointed out that at the tertiary health care level there “were some deficiencies which must be corrected.”

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Slow Posting

The reason I haven't been posting as much is because I have been polishing a book about the future prompted by Keith Olbermann, Wikileaks and that kind of stuff, the Egyptian Revolution, and the Wisconsin Revolution, and the general realization that the middle-, working- and lower-classes have been given more of a hard time than usual. So far The Egyptian Revolution has won and the Wisconsin Revolution went to the fascists. That's because Americans think they live in a democracy. Kieth Olbermann lost, then won, then lost again, then won again, and the final score isn't in yet. The combattants in the Wikileaks confrontation, the US Government on one side and the Anonymous Hackers on the other (they were in Stig Andersson's Millenium Trilogy), have both gone back to lurking in secret. Sometime in the future we'll see a bureaucratic quasi-legal move by the secret parts of the US government and a hacking kind of response from the Anonymous Hackers. Little burps will appear on the surface of the internet. Neither party is really on "our" side, but the American Government is working to keep us down and the Anonymous Hackers don't care about us one way or another but want to be left alone to do their thing. The Hackers won't hurt us as much. In any case they will shape the future eventually and they might as well start now.

This went through several revisions and it is presently sitting at
It needs some additional thinking and I may wait till after the 2012 elections. - Jan 7, 2012

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LIAT Goes Jet?


LIAT, the Antigua-based regional airline is looking at acquiring jet aircraft to operate services to Miami and even New York.
This is the word from Vincentian Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, chairman of LIAT’s three shareholder governments following a meeting in Barbados Monday. The meeting was attended by host PM Freundel Stuart and PM Baldwin Spencer of Antigua and Barbuda.
In an obvious jab at Caribbean Airlines, Dr Gonsalves said, “While others may wish to come into our space, it is not beyond LIAT, for LIAT to also go further regionally and to Miami and even to New York with a particular type of aircraft and to do it in a manner which is facilitating of travel and including tourism.”

Late last year CAL chairman George Nicholas revealed that CAL had plans to operate services into several southern Caribbean island states, including St Vincent and the Grenadines, when it received its new ATR turbo-prop planes later this year.

Dr Gonsalves, according to a report by the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) in Bridgetown said,”…in some newer routes in the Caribbean and Latin America, not currently served by any Caribbean airline, perhaps a jet service, in addition to existing turbo-prop service with Dash-8 aircraft, would be useful.”

The three prime ministers met at the Barbados Hilton where they received two detailed presentations from a fleet planning committee, following which there was agreement in principle that LIAT should begin plans to roll out a new fleet “as soon as possible”.
Although it is known that LIAT made a substantial loss last year, no reference was made about where funding for any new planes would come from.

The 18-plane fleet now being operated by LIAT is aged and was costing the company some (US)$26 million annually in maintenance. Two years ago when the shareholder governments agreed to a fleet renewal, the price tag then was (US)$54 million. However, Dr Gonsalves did not name a price this time around, but when asked about a timeframe for the order to be placed, he said there was still some work to be done before an order was placed.

Three weeks ago LIAT’s pilots complained about the company not complying with the ruling of the arbitration panel, but this was strongly refuted by company officials.

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Friday, March 11, 2011


Skinny Fabulous opens Bacchanal performances
Friday, March 11, 2011

Bacchanal Jamaica will be taking full advantage of the stage as this Friday, March 11, Mas Camp's stage will light up with the first official performance of the 2011 season!
Who better to open the first band night than the Vincy energy god himself Skinny Fabulous.

Gamal Doyle, better known as Skinny Fabulous hails from St Vincent and the Grenadines and is no stranger to the soca scene. As a singer/songwriter, Skinny transitioned into the soca world almost a decade ago. After living and studying at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Skinny Fabulous emerged with a music style that boasts a clever mix of soca and dancehall rhythms. His unique baritone voice coupled with his deejay-style lyrics has made him an instant crowd favourite all over the Caribbean.

However it was in 2008 when Skinny Fabulous officially became a household name. With the release of his crowd pleasing and energetic song "Head Bad" echoing through speakers around the Caribbean, Skinny entered the St Vincent soca monarch competition and walked away with the title.

After that there was no slowing him down. He released another hit in 2009 entitled The Beast Let Go and won the St Vincent Soca Monarch crown for a second consecutive year. He would later win the St Vincent & the Grenadines' Entertainer of the Year. Skinny was also awarded first runner up in the OECS Soca Monarch competition, placed fifth in the 2009 International Soca Monarch competition in Trinidad and was deemed Best New Male Artist at the Soca Music Awards.

Since then Skinny has collaborated with some of our favourite soca artistes such as Machel Montano, Bunji Garlin, Faye Ann Lyons and Destra Garcia.

In 2011 Skinny Fabulous has continued wooing the crowds with two new hit songs Charge Up (Duracell) featuring Machel Montano and Madd Party featuring Destra Garcia. The energetic songs have become favourites among our Bacchanal Friday's patrons and regulars on our DJ's playlists.

SKINNY FABULOUS... unique baritone voice coupled with his deejay-style lyrics has made him an instant crowd favourite all over the Caribbean

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Chavez, Carter & Libya

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has proposed including former U.S. President Jimmy Carter in his intended peace mission to Libya, Mexican media report.

Inspired by the recent ouster of authoritarian regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, opponents of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi are demanding an end to his 42-year rule. More than 2,000 people have been killed in clashes that began in the North African country on February 15.

"Carter may well become part of the international mission to resolve the situation in Libya," Chavez said on Friday in Caracas at a meeting of the Political Council of the Bolivarian Alliance (ALBA). "This is a man of goodwill, as Fidel Castro has repeatedly said. Moreover, he played a positive role in resolving the situation in Venezuela in 2002."
Nobel Peace Prize winner Carter acted as a mediator in negotiations between the Venezuelan government and the opposition in 2002, helping to resolve a political crisis that could have plunged Venezuela into civil war.
Chavez has instructed his foreign minister, Nicolas Maduro, to make contact with Carter and inform him of ALBA's proposal.

ALBA was founded by Chavez and former Cuban leader Fidel Castro in 2005 and now comprises nine members - Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Dominica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Antigua and Barbuda.

Chavez's mediation plan has been criticized by the U.S. and French governments, while Russia and China have spoken out against any political or military intervention in Libya.

MEXICO CITY, March 5 (RIA Novosti)

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

SVG Politics ??

Commentary: Exclusively Caribbean - St Vincent and the Grenadines: The natural place to be!
Published on March 9, 2011

by D. Markie Spring
Turks and Caicos Islands

Exclusively Caribbean - the natural place to be? Not anymore.

When I described St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) as the emerging Iraq of the west -- that was no joke! Convincingly, when I asked politicians in SVG to take a text book page from the uprising in the Middle East -- no one listened! Furthermore, I reiterated that our political arena has become repugnant, argumentative and desolate -- this too was not a joke.

Repeatedly, I have encouraged party supporters to be careful of deeply associating themselves with political parties or parties’ representatives. In this sense, I outlined that when a particular party is making the wrong decision these supporters are not be able to dissociate themselves; hence, bad decision making is often well supported and represented. Arguably, one must disassociate oneself from party politics and vote on issues; not on personal attacks.

Having said this, and for the same reason that the New Democratic Party (NPD) supporters are inclined to the notion that SVG does not need an international airport. Some of the excuses uttered by these supporters are that the country cannot undertake such a large project; there are three international airports within reach of SVG and that the environment would be polluted by the introduction of mass transportation -- lame. In this capacity, did these supporters assess the economic sustainability of such project? I do not think so! Another question I must ask is, if the opposing party indicated that the airport is not a sustainable development, would NDP supporters turn around and say that the airport is important? Yes! This would be the case -- fickle.

Conversely, the passing of the new bills - many Unity Labour Party (ULP) supporters are recommending these bills to be passed. Some ULP affiliates even went as far to say that if Parnell Campbell is an expert in law and he said that the bills are good, and these bills would serve well the people of SVG, why anyone should go to the contrary -- this he said. This clearly indicates that as party affiliates we are not able to think for ourselves; therefore, we accept and support anything, politically. Again, let me ask you -- if these bills were being enacted by the NDP would the opposing party be outraged; of course they would - party politics.

With these bills I call upon the Diaspora to harmonize with the citizens living in SVG in initiating a dialogue with the ULP and its government. These bills, in my view, are merciless, terrifying and foreboding in nature. If these bills are passed it takes away enormous rights of citizens and, therefore, it is safe to say that our country is slowly adapting features of socialism - a political system that allows the government to control the people and the way they function -- with this developing, I hope we are not the English-speaking Cuba of the Southern Caribbean.

It seems as though supporters move with the directions of their winds without even assessing these environments they are placing themselves in.

We have become the laughing stock of the Caribbean. Recently, when the House of Assembly convened in Kingstown in convoking the new bills introduced by the ULP and its government, members of the NDP behaved in a such that is unbecoming. Arnhim Eustace, an intelligent and development economist, but who lacks charisma and leadership skills, stood up in the house after being warned by the Speaker to take his seat. Standing up in the House does not make sense and he breaches such regulations -- problems cannot be solved by breaking the rules; for the same reason people were beaten and hospitalized.

The rules of the house stipulate that the Speaker regulates the house and members should not be standing while another member is on the floor. If Mr Eustace cannot subdue leadership in the house how can he rule the nation? Moreover, a female NDP representative in the House was cheeky, ridiculous, irritating and often sarcastic. Other members shouted at the Speaker, who became confused, lost control and grabbing for words. I must highlight that the prime minister, in my opinion, was careful and complied with the instructions given by the Speaker; no other member on the ULP pavilion behaved in such disrespectful manner.

Hitherto, are you surprised that many of our citizens behave in a similar fashion -- you should not. Our politicians are our leaders and if their attitudes are devious then our people, especially, young people will behave in similar fashion.

Again, our nation is characterized by intelligent people and we must seek to behave in that manner as much as practicable, even on the political platform. We cannot make our political affiliations control our aspirations.

Are you NDP? Are you ULP? Rather, you should be Vincentians. For me, I am still standing in the middle and looking for issues, not personal information. It is urgent that we assess our political environment and make the necessary changes -- changes that would positively impact our lives.

It is time that our politicians stop! Listen and take a new direction.
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Dear Mr. D Markie Spring

I liked your article, and respect your opinions. I personally don't support political parties; they have all proven themselves corrupt from where I'm standing. However Vincentians love politics, it's in there or should I say our blood. YOU WOULD find all this reckless politically motivated behaviour in all the poor black countries, and many people have come to see that change isn't going to come. Hence the brain drain, hence the ever growing Diaspora forsaking the fun in the sun and looking for better opportunities. Politics is simply mashing up the country, and because it's so deep in the people, it makes many of them easy to control (Not generalizing here). My previous statement is debatable, seeing the elections were 8-7. Moving on.... There are some pointers in your article I disagreed with.

"With these bills I call upon the Diaspora to harmonize with the citizens living in SVG in initiating a dialogue with the ULP and its government."

I think it's fair to say, if you are permanently or temporarily living abroad, that although entitled, the Diaspora should have minimal say in what happens in St Vincent. That should be left that for the Vincentians on Vincy soil that regularly have to deal with the problems that face St Vincent. The Diaspora on the other hand are full with the Problems of America, Canada, and England.... you know, buying clothes, watching plasma TVs, fighting to pay rent, fighting with the phone company, hiding from immigration (not generalizing here), looking out for terrorist, racism!

I agree with your opinion of the bills; however Saint Vincent in no way can be compared to Cuba. Saint Vincent is not a highly oppressed nation. We have our freedom to do what we want, when we want to and however we want to do it as the law allows. It is very possible if Vincentians probably take the initiative to implement new ideas and businesses (becoming independent people), we can get rich under the watchful eye of the Government and the FIU (fools investigating you). I also agree with you that many Vincentians just support party for party sake. It reminds me of the Jim Jones in Guyana saga.... the results of supporting someone to the very end.

Another statement that I disagreed with was... "Our politicians are our leaders and if their attitudes are devious then our people, especially, young people will behave in similar fashion." I take it you hold the opinion that young people are VERY impressionable, easy to lead, etc. While this might be so in some cases, it is not so in all! Jamaica and America probably has more influence on Vincentian youth than the Government, e.g. tight pants, Scarves, Dancehall music, (Vybz Kartel, Movado), the way they speak. That's why when elections season comes, Ralph books the popular Jamaican artist in an effort to catch some young votes. Didn't you know?

Good luck Warding off the crowd! Oh and great article, no need to say what I liked. It was great all over.


Nora Martin:
Any comments on the Harlequin Resort in Buccament Bay St Vincent and also any firm date for when is the airport likely to be completed ?

Simon Anderson:

However, since I am not Markie, I would respond differently.

Let us go back to my opening statement that I would do exactly what Markie is doing - if I were in his place.

Markie is a reasonably young, intelligent, and educated Vincentian. That being said, let me explain my understanding of his writing since I consider myself to also be reasonably young, intelligent and educated as well.

What most young intellectually gifted Vincentians do, is to venture overseas to further their education, since for many years that opportunity was not available at home many years ago. Today, this is a little easier, but ultimately one really needs to leave St Vincent in an effort to further their education and careers. That is what Markie, Dane and I did many years ago.

We did this because we had a significant amount of ability and AMBITION. In other words, WE ALL had the intention of returning to the country of our birth in future and making a solid contribution to its development. We expected that with the additional amount of education and experience we were able to gain in the diaspora, that we would return and be the recipient of "a good job".

If Markie is honest, he would admit that he would like to return to St Vincent and become a politician, probably the Prime Minister, one day.

If Markie does not wish to become a "politician", he could support any party, and be able to become the Ambassador to the United Nations or to any country of his choice.

If that is not his desire, he could become the Chairman of several Boards of Directors, if he wished! Markie could even become an "Advisor" to the Prime Minister. THIS IS A POSITION THAT HE HAS SAID ON THIS FORUM HE WOULD LOVE TO OCCUPY.

So Markie Spring's position/intention is crystal clear!

Let us now look at the political landscape in St Vincent today. The ULP has already been in office for the last ten years, and they are expected to be there for five more. They may or may not win the next general elections. If they don't, then the opposition will form the next government. .....And this will be Markie Spring's opportunity - to return home.

WHEN MARKIE SPRING RETURNS, HE WILL GET HIS BIG JOB because he is educated, experienced, and has staunchly supported the NDP while he was overseas.

Markie has written extensively in support of the NDP. He has written exclusively against the ULP, and he has perpetually posted his picture for everyone to see. Probably because my forte is MARKETING, I have observed the method of his "production". He has marketed himself well!

So Markie Spring is looking at the odds.

Sooner or later, the ULP will lose the elections. That is the way our political system works. All democracies work that way, regardless of whether we are talking about the UK, the USA, Canada, or Grenada. The ULP will most likely lose in 2015, in 2020 or in 2025. This is when Markie is prepared to to return.

Why should he return to St Vincent and support the ULP government if they are expected not to be forming the government in the near future?

In other words, Markie Spring is prepared to return to St Vincent when the opportunity arises to support the P I P (Party in Power) in an effort to feather his own nest. ...And there is NOTHING WRONG with that.

The problem arises when he becomes dishonest and falsely criticizes the government ALMOST at every turn.

I have said it before, Markie is no fool. I have also said that I would do exactly what he is doing - if I had Markie's thoughts.

Inquiring Minds:
I have only one question for Markie. What rights and freedoms are taken away from Vincentians by the passing of these bills? Please explain to everyone who read your article in detail the Bills and their negative impact on Vincentians. It is not fair to make such a statement without backing it up with the details.

Looking forward for your response Markie.

I too have a question for you Markie Spring.

Why is it that the NDP cannot attract a crowd for the portests? Could it be that Vincentians are not convinced that the Bills are bad or is it that they have lost confidence in the Leadership of the NDP?

The author of a number of published works, D. Markie Spring was born in St Vincent and the Grenadines and now resides in Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos Islands. He has an MBA from the University of Leicester, England, and a BA from Saint Mary's University, Canada

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Photos- not

There are some interesting SVG photos at:

Sorry, nothing at the address I gave

Education Laptops

The most recent complement to the developments taking place in the education sector in this country is the 'One Laptop per Student' initiative. On Friday, December 3rd, 2010, over two thousand laptops arrived in the state and were officially handed over to Dr. the Honourable Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
On Monday February 28, 2011 another shipment of just under 13,000 net books is anticipated to arrive at the E.T. Joshua Airport. During the month of March 2011, the Ministry of Education will deliver an aggressive public awareness effort at the level of the educational institutions. 

The Ministry will convene orientation sessions encompassing an introduction to the net book as well as discussion of pertinent documentation which has been developed to facilitate the phased introduction of this component of the thrust in use of digital technologies to enhance teaching and learning. The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers' Union, Primary and Secondary Principals and Heads of other educational institutions including the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College, will participate in these orientation sessions commencing on February 25, 2011. During the month of March, orientation of Teachers and students will be undertaken on a zonal level. Distribution of the net books to educational institutions under phase 1 of the initiative will be completed by April 2011.

The governments of Portugal and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela have collaborated in donating the net books to the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and have also pledged their support to the integration of Information and Communication Technology into the curriculum. 

This initiative, which seeks to ensure that there is equitable access to educational services and resources by all students, is a corollary to the 9th EDF Project currently being implemented here and whose objectives include the improvement of Education through the use of Information and Communication Technology. Under this project approximately five million dollars has been awarded in contracts to deliver computers to all educational institutions throughout the St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Distribution of these items will also commence in late March 2011.

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Sunday, March 06, 2011

Yachting Photos

There are photos, and some english text, by finnish yachting people on

Travel Photos

There are some photos, many of the Chateaubelair area, on:

Friday, March 04, 2011



Wednesday, March 02, 2011


Listed below are organised tours for Saint Vincent and the Grenadines provided by some of the leading tour companies in the industry. For convenience, we have organised these into country-wide tours, regional tours and special interest tours, as well as multi-country overland tours incorporating Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (where available). For further details and to book your tour, click "details & booking" to visit the tour company website.

Country Tours of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

There are no country tours currently available for Saint Vincent and the Grenadines......

Oh, well....