Saturday, December 31, 2011

Videos on the Internet

Some videos of St. Vincent and the Grenadines:

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Azerbaijani Premier meets Our PM

Baku, December 29 (AzerTAc). Azerbaijan`s PM Artur Rasizade has today met Premier of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Ralph Gonsalves.

The Azerbaijani Premier expressed confidence Ralph Gonsalves`s visit to Azerbaijan would give a new impetus to development of relations between the two countries.

Rasizade said Azerbaijan was interested in successful cooperation with all countries irrespective of their size.
He expressed gratitude to the Premier of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines for the support in election of Azerbaijan as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.

The Azerbaijani delegation is expected to visit Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to expand economic relations in February, 2012.

The Azeri PM briefed Vincentian counterpart Ralph Gonsalves on the Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Rasizade said Azerbaijan supports peaceful resolution of the conflict based on the country`s territorial integrity.
Ralph Gonsalves underlined Saint Vincent and the Grenadines was interested in expansion of economic cooperation with Azerbaijan.

The Vincentian PM said he backs Azerbaijan`s territorial integrity.

Gonsalves added he would give information about the conflict in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, as well as within the UN.

© AzerTAc. All rights reserved.

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Making The List

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – This country has made the lists of two international media’s top travel destinations for 2012
St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) is fifth among nine destinations on CNN’s “World’s top destinations for 2012” and third among 13 destinations listed by Travel+Leisure.
The country is ranked behind England, the World of the Maya, Myanmar (also known as Burma), and Chicago, Illinois.
The other destinations on the list are The Netherlands, Atlantic Canada, Uruguay, and Orlando, Florida.
“What’s not to like about a tropical paradise that bills itself as ‘one destination, 32 gorgeous Caribbean islands’? CNN said in the report published on Tuesday.
“Located between St. Lucia and Grenada, this island chain has long drawn stars and vacationers with deep pockets, but it will become more accessible to a wider range of travellers thanks to a [US]$240 million airport scheduled to open on St. Vincent,” CNN further said of SVG, citing Travel + Leisure.
CNN’s list was based on recommendations from travel experts Robert Reid, U.S. travel editor for Lonely Planet; Martin Rapp, senior vice president of leisure sales at Altour; Anne Banas, executive editor at SmarterTravel; and Jeanenne Tornatore, senior editor for
It also considered suggestion from Travel+Leisure and Budget Travel.
“As always, some places will stand out above the rest when it comes to unforgettable things to do and see,” CNN said of its 2012 destinations.
Meanwhile, SVG was third on a list of 13 places that Travel+Leisure said are the “Hottest Travel Destinations of 2012”.
The country was topped by Sri Lanka and Toronto and came ahead of Guimarães, Portugal; Abu Dhabi, Costa Navarino, Greece; Xishuangbanna, China; Southern Bahia, Brazil; Hamburg, Germany, Panama, Mozambique’s Northern Coast, and Bentonville, Arkansas
Travel+Leisure says that SVG “has long been an under-the-radar getaway for the jet-setting elite.
“But recent developments—including a $240 million airport set to open on St. Vincent next year—are making the region accessible to a broader audience,” the publication said.
The international airport here, being constructed at Argyle, is actually expected to become operational in 2014.
Among SVG’s attractions, Travel+Leisure mentioned the new Buccament Bay Resort, and Mustique, which “remains a playground for the likes of Mick Jagger and Tommy Hilfiger (and was a runner-up honeymoon pick for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge)”.
The report also speaks of the privately owned Petit St. Vincent, which has reopened after a top-to-bottom makeover. The island comprises 22 stone-walled, thatched-roof cottages “done up in earthy tones and driftwood palapas now line the beach”.
Travel+Leisure says that some of its picks for the 2012 destinations “reflect travellers’ increasing thirst for adventure and desire to immerse themselves in local ways.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Message from Ralph Gonsalves

KINGSTOWN – I greet everyone in the name of Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Saviour, whose birthday we celebrate on Christmas Day. Traditionally, our Christmas season is marked with the plea of “peace on earth and goodwill to all men and women”. In that context we urge that in our words and deeds we demonstrate utmost love and good neighborliness to all our fellow human beings. I especially call for an outpouring of love and caring for those who are indigent, marginalised or suffering from illness. The elderly and the children deserve, too, very special consideration at this the season of giving and sharing.


I know that in our society there is much unity and love mixed with divisions and even hatreds. Let us try to put aside any divisiveness whether based on politics, religion, family and business skirmishes. If each of us makes an effort in this regard I am sure that we would all feel better and our nation would be more peaceful, united, and loving. It is not beyond us. Let us sincerely pray for these desirable outcomes and let us act accordingly.

Between now and the New Year let each of us try harder to be better human beings and citizens. I am hopeful that the radio stations, the newspapers, and the mass media generally would lessen the rhetoric of divisiveness and the politics of personal destruction. Generally-speaking this kind of divisiveness and personal animosities make no sense whatsoever particularly in a small village-state like St. Vincent and the Grenadines. At Christmas time it is simply unacceptable. We must make every effort to stop it.


In our midst are a tiny minority of persons who use the Christmas festivities as a cloak or an occasion to steal, rob, and commit crimes of violence generally and against women in particular. If such persons are hearing my voice, I plead with them to stay away from their criminal activities which hurt innocent people and the criminals themselves. Let us all try very hard to make this Christmas season as crime-free as possible. Families, peer groups, churches, the media, the Police and the Law Courts all have major roles to play in this regard.


Traditionally, we eat and drink too much at Christmas time. Too often, too much alcohol is consumed. And then some of us drink and drive, a most dangerous combination. Let us all be moderate and responsible in our conduct, especially at this time. In short, let us be on our best behaviour.


I am not offering a message this year with any politics in it; I am not emphasising anything to do with the economy or any of the usual controversial subjects. I am simply asking all of us to examine our personal conduct, do better, and live a good life of love and respect for each other. This would represent an individual and national cleansing, redemption and reconciliation.


I shall be away from St. Vincent and the Grenadines from December 17, 2001 to January 03, 2012, a total of two weeks, but in reality eight or so working days. I shall be travelling to London, to Bethlehem, to the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Georgia, both of which helped us generously after Hurricane Tomas. The visit to Bethlehem is a spiritual journey to the birthplace of Jesus Christ at the invitation of the President of the Palestinian Authority, His Excellency Mahmoud Abbas. My visits to London, Georgia and Azerbaijan constitute important business on behalf of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. On my way to Bethlehem I shall stop in Jordan.

I wish all Vincentians, at home and abroad, a holy, happy, loving Christmas and a prosperous 2012. I extend my hand of friendship, peace and goodwill to the Leader of the Opposition, his party and supporters at this the season of our Lord’s birth. As always, loving Christmas greetings go out to our Labour family and our nation as a whole.

May Almighty God continue to bless us all!

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Breadfruit is particularly associated with St. Vincent and the Grenadines because it was breadfruit seedings headed for the botanical garden in St. Vincent that contributed to the Mutiny On The Bounty--the water going to the plants was desired by the crew. The breadfruit finally reached St. Vincent and the Grenadines on a second trip and have been characteristic of Vincentian Cusine ever since.

This is a collection of breadfruit recipes and additional information on breadfruit varieties and their history in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

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Set In Stone

Rear Cover

Front Cover

Set In Stone is a survey of the petroglyphs of St. Vincent and the Grenadines written by Kathy Martin and published by the St. Vincent and the Grenadines National Trust. The book is a successor to the book by Dr. Earle Kirby, now long out of print, and it is particularly appropriate now that there has been significan archaeological work done on the site of the Argyle International Airport. As Thomas Huckerby said, St. Vincent and the Grenadines is of particular interest to the student of American Archaeology, and the construction of the airport and its by-pass roads have provided much new material.

I will try to include as much related material as I can in this blog, but there is nothing better than a book like Kathy Martin's, that puts the graphic content into a chronological context.

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Camillo Gonsalves on Development

Reprinted from Caribbean News Now! Published on December 14, 2011

UNITED NATIONS -- Rich countries must honour their pledges of development assistance to poorer nations, especially in the wake of the global economic crisis, said Vincentian Ambassador Camillo Gonsalves at the fifth United Nations high level dialogue on financing for development.

Gonsalves, St Vincent and the Grenadines’ Permanent Representative to the United Nations, told the high-level dialogue that “[Official Development Assistance] is not charity. It is an investment in international peace and security, and it is a necessary counterweight, albeit an inadequate one, against systemic inequalities in global trade and capital flows that are fundamentally unbalanced and disadvantageous to many developing countries, particularly small states.”

Since 1970, developed countries have been pledging to devote 0.7% of their national incomes to development assistance, said Gonsalves. Despite repeating that pledge in 2002, 2008 and 2009, rich nations delivered less than half of the promised assistance in 2010, according to Gonsalves.

“Developing countries that have spoken today to highlight the massive shortfalls between [assistance] pledged and [assistance] delivered are neither blaming nor begging,” said Gonsalves. “We are simply reminding our partners of the longstanding commitments that they made, upon which we rely, and which we expect to be honored.”

“It remains a constant source of amazement that many states can regularly conjure up
billions of dollars to prosecute discretionary wars and unilateral military interventions, almost on a whim, while developmental assistance stagnates, falls short of commitments, and is subject to all forms of creative accounting or empty sloganeering that have no impact on the bottom lines of developing states,” said the ambassador.

The Vincentian envoy also highlighted an “urgent” call for debt relief to be extended to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). He pointed out that five CARICOM states have debt-to-GDP rations in excess of 100%, while another four exceed 70%. However, because of CARICOM states’ “middle-income” status, they were often excluded from debt- forgiveness schemes, a stance that Gonsalves called “shortsighted and ultimately counterproductive.”

Providing negotiated debt-relief to CARICOM states “on a regional basis... is the morally correct, fiscally prudent, and developmentally logical approach to our region’s growing debt burdens,” said Gonsalves.
Although the current high-level dialogue on financing for development is occurring in the shadow of the worst financial and economic depression in decades, the Vincentian diplomat stated flatly that the global meltdown “is not an excuse for failure to meet ODA commitments.”

Citing the outcome of the 2009 United Nations high level conference on the world economic and financial crisis and its impact on development, which was co-chaired by St Vincent and the Grenadines, Gonsalves reminded delegates that the “consensus outcome of the UN conference on the crisis stressed that the crisis, in and of itself, necessitated urgent compliance with existing targets.”

“In this time of global economic recession, the focus should not be on delaying or avoiding the implementation of FFD commitments, but rather on accelerating and strengthening those promises in the assistance of those who played no role in creating the crisis in the first place,” he said.

At the same time, Gonsalves expressed appreciation for “the efforts of all of our development partners – particularly in these times of increased global economic instability.”

However, despite gratitude for the assistance that his country and other developing states have received, Gonsalves
stated that “the inescapable fact is that total ODA is far short of the required or promised minimums.”
Paraphrasing Bob Marley’s hit song “Them Belly Full (But We Hungry),” Gonsalves said “the developmental pot may be cooking, but the food in it is not enough.”

“Development costs money, and while many states have demonstrated an unerring ability to renege on their commitments to assist, our governments cannot renege on our own solemn commitments to the people-centered development and advancement of our populations,” he said.

The fifth United Nations high level dialogue on financing for development was organised under the theme “The Monterrey Consensus and Doha Declaration on Financing for Development: status of implementation and tasks ahead.”

The Monterrey Consensus was the outcome of a 2002 United Nations conference that took place in Monterrey, Mexico. The Monterrey Consensus was adopted by all countries as a blueprint for mobilising and utilising financing for development. The Doha Declaration on Financing for Development was a 2008 follow-up to the Monterrey Consensus, which sought to add greater detail to the broad areas of agreement that were arrived at in Monterrey.

Copyright© 2004-2011 Caribbean News Now! at All Rights Reserved For permission to republish, please contact

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Going To Puerto Rico

We are back home in SVG, a whole day wasted because this was the third time we tried to get from Arnos Vale to the Munoz airport in San Juan, PR, and we haven't made it yet. More details later because we just got home at midnight and we are going to try again tomorrow.

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PM vs Gold Trade

By CMC - Monday, December 12th, 2011.

KINGSTOWN, St Vincent, CMC – Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves says he has instructed the police to arrest and deport foreigners engaged in buying gold here that has been linked to criminal activities. Gonsalves said that those persons were also breaking the island’s immigration and trade laws. He said that two Venezuelans were recently denied entry into the country on these grounds.

“In the earlier period, some Venezuelans, Trinidadians and other people were going about town with impunity but that has come under careful watch of the police, who have instructions to deal with them,” Gonsalves said on radio.
“First of all, to come in to engage in such activities, you need a trader’s licence. And you can’t come in saying that you are coming in as a visitor and get involved in work activities, because you would have lied to the immigration officials.”

Gonsalves said that there are several offences for which people engaging in such activities can be arrested and charged and it is not just a simple issue of people trading in gold. “This is a matter where there is an encouragement of people to snatch the gold,” he said. According to recent media reports, several persons have had their gold jewellery snatched in Kingstown. Prominent trade unionist Joseph “Burns” Bonadie recently fought off an assailant who had bitten him in an attempt to snatch his gold chain. Gonsalves said that both citizens and foreigners alike were trying to recruit people, including 15-year-olds, to snatch jewelry.

“These multiple things have to be death with not in any sequential manner by at the same time. Fighting the criminals is an on-going matter and anybody who things that you have a magic bullet, they are completely mistaken,” said Gonsalves during a general discussion of crime and violence here.

He further stated that with enhanced freedom of movement in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), there was a movement of criminal of Trinidad and Tobago, “where you have a lot of them.”

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Sunday, December 11, 2011

PM Gonsalves says: Matters under control

Author: William 'Kojah' Anthony Published: 12/01/2011

The ‘Party faithfuls’ who braved the heavy rains to attend the Convention. Inset: Dr. Ralph Gonsalves credited the relatively calming period to strong leadership in the ULP government.
Vincentian Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves is under no illusions that it is smooth sailing, but he is taking credit for having matters under control.

Addressing the 18th Unity Labour Party Convention last Sunday at the Campden Park secondary School, Dr. Gonsaslves fired up his charges.

That day was marked by overcast skies and for hours, shower. Pools of water filled the roads and commuters had to be cautious.

The scheduled 8:30am start was not realistic and when it did get going, its was already close to midday. Glimmers of sunshine peeped through occasionally, but that was not prolonged.
Dr. Gonsalves began with a Bible reading from Esther 7. He referred to Haman’s hanging on a 75 foot gallows that he had built for Mordecia.

More heroes

Former Prime Minister Robert Milton Cato came in for tribute from Dr. Gonsalves, and if Dr. Gonsalves gets his way, Cato will be one of the persons considered for national Hero status next year.

Cato’s one time rival Ebenezer Theodore Joshua is also being touted as a potential national hero as well as George Augustus McIntosh.

Those issues will be put before the public and Dr. Gonsalves expects the debate to be made “dispassionately.”

He wants citizens to be “mature,” and “reflective,” and he is looking at the addition of the national heroes as a healing process.

“It would help us to bind the divisiveness in this country,” he outlined.

The Vincentian Prime Minister added: “It would be a way of signaling an era of greater unity,” Dr. Gonsalves stated.

Strong leadership

Mindful that the world faces its worst economic period for eighty years and foreign investors are not as adventurous as before, Dr. Gonsalves retraced the backdrop to the unfolding situation.

He reflected on the financial down turn triggered in 2008 which affected Clico and British American Insurance Companies and highlighted problems created in the financial sector by Hurricane Tomas in October 2010 and torrential rains and flooding in April 2011.

“In addition to the pre-existing problems, we are still standing… surviving and thriving amidst the challenges,” he boasted.

Dr. Gonsalves credited the relatively calm situation to leadership of the ULP government. He alluded to the theme of the Convention and pointed out: “A leader must know the times. That is why we have to build the resilience.”

He used the opportunity to urge citizens to work hard. “We must have a resolute and hard working people,” he said.

He chided the outbreak of violence and condemned the persistence of laziness and echoed his call for persons to “lift our productivity.”

The question of the banana industry occupied the Prime Minister’s attention and he promised spraying “later this year or early next year.”

Dr Gonsalves spoke also of the Alba bank loan for 25 years at two percent interest. Some of that money goes towards the construction of the Argyle International Airport and some to Central government.

He rehashed some of his more recent activities, including the official opening of the Electricity Generating Plant at Lowmans Bay.

Sunday, December 04, 2011
Greater unity means that together every one achieve more, even the bible condemn laziness, the ants is the smallest insects yet work hard to provide food all summer long to store for the winter season, so what is our excuse, stop depending on the government for every thing and start doing something for our selves, God give us land and tallent so lets get together and use it, ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country, killing each other only bring more course to our selves and our country, do not for get the good book said to love your neighbors as you love your selves, do unto others as we want done unto our selves. Parents, do not for get that our children are the future teach them well and let them lead the way show them all the beauty they possess inside give them a sense of pride to make it easier let the children's laughter remind us what we use to be, always set good example for our children to follow so that their future would be brighter in the land that the Lord thy God giveth thee. Banana is one of St. Vincent's main crop, people's livelyhood depend on it the government should act now not next year to help the people produce healthier banana crops. The Prime Minister should also take into consideration that the people of St. Vincent are over charged for high cost of electricity and should regulate electricity and high cost of telephone charges in St. Vincent, raising property taxes so high that people cannot afford to pay it is not helping our economy, it just leave more people homeless. Let us all work hard together to make St. Vincent a better place to live and for a better future for our children and grand children......PEACE,LOVE,UNITY TO ALL.

noel james
Sunday, December 04, 2011
GIVEN THE CURRENT ECONOMIC CHALLENGES FACING SVG (many have to do with poor fiscal management at the local level); AND GIVEN THE TRACK RECORD OF THE ULP GOVERNMENT, led by Dr. Gonsalves, can one honestly say that he is a "Leader of The Times"? I do not think so.

Angus E. T. Johnny
Thursday, December 08, 2011
We are living in a world where prominent countries are facing economic collapse due to sovereign debt, their banks are over exposed to one toxic asset or another and if the state does not commit tax payers money to saving these banks they will collapse with catasthropic consequences for that country.... Austerity is the name of the game at the moment, hard pressed peoples are being asked to bear the burdens of economic collapse while those(the Bankers) who triggered this world economic recession get away with it.... SVG's population of just over 100,000 people would be on the receiving end of this global recession, no matter which party is in Government, it can't live in a bubble with one section of society pointing an accusing finger at the other and blaming them for all the ills of this world.... There is a hard slog ahead for most countries on this planet, if things get worse, ie, the Euro collapses, a global depression akin to the 1930's will be upon us. It's time to cast politics aside in a small economy like SVG, work together for the betterment of the country and hope that the economic hurricane looming on the horizon is not realised.

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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Pompey's Opinion of the LIAT situation

If Sally hadn't been caught in the middle I might not have followed this so closely..................

The Things That Are LIAT's Pilots - Part I

This commentary seeks only to present a professional and managerial perspective and not necessarily to refer to the “…MERITS or DEMERITS” of circumstances, bringing about the “…FATE” of former Senior LIAT’S PILOT, CAPTAIN MICHAEL BLACKBURN.

The seemingly “…CALCULATED INEVITABILITY” such as that the resulted from alleged egregious actions of “…LIAT’S SHAREHOLDERS” through its apparent “…RUBBER STAMPED BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND/OR MANAGERS.” Such appeared to have been concluded by the travelling public and peoples around the region. Except in alluding to “…CAPTAIN BLACKBURN” and his “…PILOT BAND OF WARRIORS” (coined for this commentary only), who should know “…where to gamble; …when to count money; and …when and where to run,” this commentary was neither intended as reflections of their thoughts, nor are its contents representative of their individual and/or collective views, but a representation of most of the citizens of Antigua and Barbuda.

Mankind has been taught many “…VALUABLE LESSONS” and many “…GOLDEN RULES had been established. Frequently, however, man has become “…AN ISLAND” unto himself; behaving erratic and/or taking irrational decisions, seemingly provoked or prompted by “…EMOTIONALISM, VICTIMIZATION AND/OR FEAR.” Invariably, it was the latter of man’s greatest concerns - “…FEAR,” “…REAL OR IMAGINARY.” Since the full facts were not known, readers who may be “…SEIZED OF THE FACTS” may draw their own conclusions. In doing otherwise, these may be mere speculations and/or insinuations.

According to the Gospel it has been repeatedly taught to “…Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.” Then there is the “…GOLDEN RULE” to “…Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Consequently, some nations, and there was no doubt that the people of “…ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA AND ST VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES” in their collective wisdom, with some degree of solemnity and deep convictions, have not only proclaimed, but have also acknowledged the “…SUPREMACY OF GOD.”

Since this appeared to be so, then LIAT’S policy-makers might wish to be seen as being so guided; …that such might be reflected in their “…DECISION-MAKING PROCESSES.” Thus, being guided by the“…BIBLICAL TEACHINGS” and the “…GOLDEN RULE,” may help to inspire confidence in leaders, their judgment, integrity and decisions made and ultimately, in realizing what many leaders appeared not to appreciate, “…REGIONAL INTEGRATION, UNITY, COOPERATION.” In short, they may wish to follow the precepts and “…RENDER UNTO THE PILOTS, THE THINGS THAT ARE THE PILOTS.”  

The tendency to speculate on sensitive issues, such as “…marriage and divorce; …dismissal and reasons; …opulent and promiscuous lifestyles; …and politics and religion, without “…IRREFUTABLE FACTS,” has often led people to conflicts and fights. Man, since his creation, has been known to be mischievous, unruly, and disobedient. Some, whether or not in leadership positions, have been known to be “…BRUTAL, RECKLESS, and RUTHLESS.” These qualities usually occur in mankind’s dealings with, and/or treatment of his fellowmen. These manifestations have not only been many in scope, size, and effects, but their seemingly repetitive occurrences have often been seen as “…militating against good managerial skills and competence; …good human relations; and …counter-productive to organisational and/or institutional goals and/or objectives.

Thus, the resultant effects of these have often proved “…DETRIMENTAL” either to the “…COMMON GOOD” and that of “…NATIONAL INTERESTS" - for instance, movement of people, Trade, Finance and the Economy. As these affect the region, they impact on “…CARIBBEAN IDENTITY, INTEGRATION, UNITY, DESTINY AND PROSPERITY.” There was no doubt, that developments within the regional airline LIAT, may have the potential for further “…RIFTS” between regional countries and peoples and governments that follow “…DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLES” with respect for the “…RULE OF LAW".

History has shown that those seemingly obsessed with “…AUTOCRATIC GRANDEUR” have a propensity to rule by “…OPPRESSIVE MEASURES," thereby inducing fear in minds of peace-loving, responsible and law abiding people. The fact that people may resort to actions to achieve their freedoms and liberties do not necessarily mean they are danger to society. For if it were so, then the KING COURTS, URIAH "Buzz” BUTLERS, MARCUS GARVEYS, MARTIN LUTHER KINGS JR, ROSA PARKS, MAURICE BISHOPS and the NELSON MANDELLAS, EBENEZER JOSHUAS, ROBERT BRADSHAWS, and the VERE CORNWALL BIRDS would have all made vain sacrifices. They had experienced oppression, subjugation, humiliation, and frustration, yet they showed resilience and perseverance and have left “…LEGACIES,” not necessarily of substance, but a “…WILL AND A SPIRIT TO FIGHT FOR THAT WHICH IS RIGHT.” CAPTAIN BLACKBURN, though singularly, may not be triumphant against an army of apparent desperate warriors themselves, seemed to have been left with such LEGACY.

It was obvious that some regional Leaders and peoples appeared not to have appreciated the essentiality of the “…ROLE OF REGIONAL PILOTS.” Additionally, and except for ST.KITT/NEVIS and GRENADA that have already “…CRIED FOUL,” that their economic survival was heavily dependent upon Regional Air Services, “…CRAPAUD IS LIKELY TO SMOKE THEIR PIPES” not only of their peoples, but collectively, those of the wider OECS - “…Organization of Eastern Caribbean States.” The region’s more prosperous countries have their own airlines and now BARBADOS with RED JET. Without capital and/or financial resources to own and operate air services, cash-strapped governments and OECS peoples, are likely to be  placed in a position likened like to a “…fish away from their natural habit.”

LIAT, now being regarded as a regional “AIR CARRIER,” was said to have been established by a private astute entrepreneur, now deceased, CAPTAIN FRANK DELISLE.” An experienced pilot, he became a visionary and seemingly adept, he used his entrepreneurial skills and boldly embarked upon this commercial venture with some measure of success... Seemingly in maintaining its viability and/or sustainability, it may have become a financially burden-some entity for a single individual to operate and to source the requisite capital in ensuring an adequacy of flights and route in servicing the region, with a passenger and air cargo services. It was said that regional governments in their collective wisdom, sought in 1974, with limited liability operations, and funded its operations. Such services were spread throughout the region from Guyana to Trinidad and Tobago to Jamaica, the British and US Virgin Islands and French and Dutch Territories. Hence, LIAT was transformed not only into a regional carrier, but was accorded the prestigious status of “…REGIONAL

It is irrefutable that “…LIAT’S TURBULENT PAST” had not only caused regional peoples some degree of anxiety, but more importantly in appreciating its services in spite of being accused of “…LEAVING ISLAND AT ANY TIME” (LIAT). Although such had caused some travelers to remain in places they had not planned for or missed flights to ultimate destinations, such was their expectations that they could “…CATCH A FLIGHT AT ANY TIME”. Hence, a passenger arriving late at regional airports to complete departure formalities can be sure to catch one of “…LIAT’S DELAYED FLIGHTS.”

The connotation, nonetheless, may not be taken away from its registered Company name “…LEEWARD ISLANDS AIR TRANSPORTATION” (LIAT) 1974 LIMITED.” The very name showed “…where LIAT had started; …where it was, and still headquartered; …where its administrative and operational activities are conducted.” Now forced into a “…competitive environment” by the advent of the concept called “…GLOBALIZATION,” the regional Air Carrier’s future seemed to be only in the hands of PRIME MINISTERS DR RALPH GONSALVES and DR BALDWIN SPENCER. Both primary shareholders may either “…MAKE IT or BREAK IT” and if there may be any signs of such disposition, then it may be seen from the “…UNEXPECTED TERMINATION” of the professional services of one of the region’s most skilled and experienced pilots, CAPTAIN MICHAEL BLACKBURN, and the seemingly “…VEXED ROLE OF THE CHAIRMAN OF LIALPA - Leeward Islands Pilots Association.

There was little doubt that the struggling air carrier LIAT had faced many challenges and had to overcome hurdle after hurdle and obstacles after obstacles. Seemingly, when it was not a case of “…FINANCIAL CHALLENGES, it was one of “…COMPETITIVE CHALLENGES” with the fiercest of battles being waged against “…LIAT’S SHAREHOLDERS” forcing LIAT’S Chairman DR. RALPH GONSALVES to cry foul for what he had passionately described as “…PREDATORY PRICING.” Lest We Forget, “…IRONICALLY” the battle had begun not in on American soil, but at LIAT’S HEADQUARTERS. The SHAREHOLDERS had seen some seemingly “…AVARICIOUS AND/OR OPPORTUNISTS    PILOTS” being wooed away for among other things; “…ENHANCED” working conditions; …higher remuneration and better privileged.

Such was clearly not the doing of CAPTAIN MICHAEL BLACKBURN and his “…FAITHFUL PILOT BAND OF WARRIORS,” who remained loyal and faithful to LIAT, until his recent sudden demise. Instead such was the doing of “…FINANCIAL AND INFLUENTIAL EXPLOITS” of former Texan Financier and Billionaire, alleged Ponzi Schemer, the depraved R ALLEN STANFORD with his “…CARIBBEAN STAR AIRLINES,” reportedly, introduced to the region at the expense of unsuspecting investors. Notwithstanding LIAT’S mounting financial, managerial and/or “…PILOT TROUBLES, “…regional peoples are in hope and expectation” that even with the advent of “…RED JET, LIAT may survive even among its fiercest competitors.”

There was no doubt of the invaluable services being rendered by LIAT. However placed into its true perspective “…LIAT IS ONLY BUT AN ENTITY WITH FLYING MACHINES.” Removing its pilots, that entity is as helpless as a soldier losing both hands and feet in a vicious battle. There is also no doubt that the SHAREHOLDERS of LIAT have been engaged in a vicious battle that could see LIAT’S PILOTS becoming victors and that the entity also becoming a “…NONENTITY” if a “…TRUCE” is not sooner declared and the troubling issues were not “…AMICABLY RESOLVED.”

Clearly, only the PILOTS and LIAT could find solutions to end what may now been seen as their “…PROTRACTED AND UNRESOLVED EMPLOYER/EMPLOYEE WORK-RELATED ISSUES.” Everyone knows that when “…DIRECTORS: and/or SHAREHOLDERS” desirous of “…RUNNING ORGANIZATIONAL AFFAIRS BY REMOTE CONTROLS,” weak Managers usually become “…IMPOTENT and INEFFECTIVE” as they might be disposed to securing their tenure. Consequently, most Managers have subjected themselves, either to “…SUBSERVIENCE” or “...AVOIDABLE EXPLOITATION.” This is so, irrespective of whether or not the “…PRICE IS RIGHT” and more particularly, when employers consider whether or not the “… ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS.”

Thus, while Managers responsibility is to EMPLOYERS, managers must address managerial/employees; …employees/employees; or …employees/customers problems.” Invariably, most are usually found “…WOEFULLY WANTING” and may be seen more of “…LIABILITY” than “…ASSET.” Frequently, some are placed as “…SATELLITE or FIGURE-HEADS.” Such are a danger to peace and stability within an entity. Management functions are said to be “…manipulating resources” to achieve organizational goals and/or objective. Therefore, effective Managers resolve issues expeditiously and amicably and/or as circumstances dictate or allow; …Managers reconcile differences. Thus, “…Managers do not antagonize, humiliate, agitate or frustrate employees. They create environments that are conducive to the entity’s success and employee’s enthusiasm and feeling of being a stakeholder in such entity.

Seemingly, from reasonable inferences that may have been drawn from “…public disclosures” and media reports, many may have perceived that “…AN UNHAPPY STATE OF AFFAIRS” existed within the regional airlines known as “…LIAT.” Such had been described as a combination of “…FINANCIAL, ADMINISTRATIVE AND OPERATIONAL CHALLENGES.” From Staff grumblings, such appears to b affecting both LIAT as the EMPLOYER and its COMMITTED EMPLOYEES.” It has been touted by clearly disaffected employees, that there may have been some untenable situations existing within the LIAT’S ENTITY.

There are usually serious consequences either for “…ACTS” or “…OMISSIONS.”  These are COMPOUNDED, (reference points), particularly when conceived women/and girls were waiting “…URGENT MEDICAL ATTENTION” or when Medical Practitioners appeared to have “…OVERWHELMED WITH CASES OR OVER PRESCRIBED FOR PATIENTS.” Frequently, these appeared to have been occasioned and frequently for some reason, culprits walked free. Such was not the case of DR. CONRAD MURRAY, Physician for the late and internationally renowned Pop Super Star, MICHAEL JACKSON and now a convicted felon. The Court had suggested that the accused’ eyes appeared to have been fixed upon his “…MEDICAL FEES” than on the “…HEALTH” of one of the world’s most singing and performing art sensations.

There was no doubt that the “…PARENT/PATIENT/BABY SCENARIO” along with TenMan’s “…PERSISTENT ADVOCACY” appeared to have played out with “…DEVASTATING CONSEQUENCES” in the current LIAT FIASCO and the apparent questionable termination of;Firstly, a seemingly highly, professional, efficient, competent, skilled, experienced PILOT; …Secondly, a deeply committed, devoted and conscientious “…EMPLOYEE; Thirdly, seemingly as CHAIRMAN OF “…LEEWARD ISLANDS PILOTS ASSOCIATION-LIALPA,” he appeared highly influential over the Pilots he represented. There appeared to have been a certain amount of charisma and personality traits, evidenced by a resolute and forceful disposition.

He appeared very passionate about his dual-role of “…LIAT’S EMPLOYEE” and CHAIRMAN OF THE PILOTS ASSOCIATION,” a role that may have ran counter of the policies and visions of Shareholding Governments. Such an unenviable position, necessarily involved “…SHARED LOYALTY” between both Employer/Employees.” As an individual, he owed it to himself to fight for what is right, fair and just for his well-being. Collectively, he must lead the charge for those he represented. All Employers, Shareholders, Directors and Managers are aware of this position. Yet in a seemingly “...TWIST OF FATE,” he had become a victim, not as a result of his inability to discharge his responsibilities, but of circumstances, either concocted and/or orchestrated against his forthrightness and his resolve in serving the pilots he represented and the safety of passengers they have been entrusted to fly across the region’s airspace.

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Friday, December 09, 2011

More On LIAT

ST JOHN’S, Antigua – LIAT returned to the skies Thursday after some of the pilots who staged a two-day sickout reported for work.
The pilots were standing in solidarity with Chairman of the Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association (LIALPA) Chairman Captain Michael Blackburn, who was terminated on Monday.

The company said the outspoken senior pilot had irreparably damaged the employer-employee relationship with his public comments about the airline’s safety record among other matters deemed vexing.
The resumption of service was anything but smooth sailing though with LIAT Chief Executive Officer Brian Challenger putting passengers on notice that it would take a minimum of two days for normality to return to the schedule.

Reports indicate the passengers’ frustration remained at a high across the region as travellers stranded since Tuesday had to queue up, in some instances, behind those booked to travel yesterday.
LIAT said that 50 per cent of the flights scheduled to leave Antigua took off.
Meanwhile, media reports out of Barbados and Dominica provided a snapshot into some of the chaos caused by the protest action.
Ticketing agents at Grantley Adams International Airport in Barbados had to call police to keep order. Irate travellers in Dominica were equally boisterous as they vied for the limited seats.

Passenger dislocation and catching up with the schedule were not the only kinks remaining on Thursday.
Representatives of LIAT and LIALPA met for a marathon session mediated by Minister of Labour Dr Errol Cort.
Sources told OBSERVER there was no agreement reached and the session will resume on Monday.
Meanwhile, the Trade Union Congress (TUC) weighed in on Blackburn’s termination, calling it absurd and unacceptable.
The TUC said LIAT’s management violated “decent labour relations process” and assured LIALPA of “unequivocal support.”
Whereas the TUC’s support was solid, there were signs that the membership of the Antigua & Barbuda Workers Union (ABWU) was on less certain ground.
A source told OBSERVER that at a meeting on Wednesday night, while some people were staunch in support, others wanted to know what would happen if Blackburn is reinstated.
The source said the ABWU decided it would continue to press on with the issues directly impacting its membership.

Meanwhile, reports also surfaced yesterday of a cold front between LIALPA and the Leeward Islands Flight Attendants Association (LIFAA) after the later declined to join the two-day protest.

Another twist in the salvo came from Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines Dr Ralph Gonsalves.
Speaking on OBSERVER AM yesterday, he expressed the desire to liquidate LIAT and move to another iteration, LIAT 2012, with additional shareholders.
Gonsalves specifically mentioned Dominica and St Lucia, saying he was aware that the leaders of those countries are keen to invest in the regional airline.
In addition to St Vincent, the other shareholder governments are Antigua & Barbuda and Barbados.

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LIAT pilots report for work

By OBSERVER News - Thursday, December 8th, 2011.

ST JOHN’S, Antigua – LIAT returned to the skies Thursday after some of the pilots who staged a two-day sickout reported for work.
The pilots were standing in solidarity with Chairman of the Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association (LIALPA) Chairman Captain Michael Blackburn, who was terminated on Monday.

The company said the outspoken senior pilot had irreparably damaged the employer-employee relationship with his public comments about the airline’s safety record among other matters deemed vexing.
The resumption of service was anything but smooth sailing though with LIAT Chief Executive Officer Brian Challenger putting passengers on notice that it would take a minimum of two days for normality to return to the schedule.
Reports indicate the passengers’ frustration remained at a high across the region as travellers stranded since Tuesday had to queue up, in some instances, behind those booked to travel yesterday.
LIAT said that 50 per cent of the flights scheduled to leave Antigua took off.
Meanwhile, media reports out of Barbados and Dominica provided a snapshot into some of the chaos caused by the protest action.

Ticketing agents at Grantley Adams International Airport in Barbados had to call police to keep order. Irate travellers in Dominica were equally boisterous as they vied for the limited seats.
Passenger dislocation and catching up with the schedule were not the only kinks remaining on Thursday.
Representatives of LIAT and LIALPA met for a marathon session mediated by Minister of Labour Dr Errol Cort.
Sources told OBSERVER there was no agreement reached and the session will resume on Monday.
Meanwhile, the Trade Union Congress (TUC) weighed in on Blackburn’s termination, calling it absurd and unacceptable.
The TUC said LIAT’s management violated “decent labour relations process” and assured LIALPA of “unequivocal support.”

Whereas the TUC’s support was solid, there were signs that the membership of the Antigua & Barbuda Workers Union (ABWU) was on less certain ground.
A source told OBSERVER that at a meeting on Wednesday night, while some people were staunch in support, others wanted to know what would happen if Blackburn is reinstated.
The source said the ABWU decided it would continue to press on with the issues directly impacting its membership.
Meanwhile, reports also surfaced yesterday of a cold front between LIALPA and the Leeward Islands Flight Attendants Association (LIFAA) after the later declined to join the two-day protest.

Another twist in the salvo came from Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines Dr Ralph Gonsalves.
Speaking on OBSERVER AM yesterday, he expressed the desire to liquidate LIAT and move to another iteration, LIAT 2012, with additional shareholders.
Gonsalves specifically mentioned Dominica and St Lucia, saying he was aware that the leaders of those countries are keen to invest in the regional airline.
In addition to St Vincent, the other shareholder governments are Antigua & Barbuda and Barbados.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

More On LIAT Sickout

December 7, 2011 By Glenn Pew, Contributing Editor,

Pilots at LIAT, a Caribbean airline, this week took action, crippling their employer with a sickout that cancelled at least 110 flights when their union leader was fired shortly after suggesting that pilots' pensions had been mismanaged and lost by the airline. Captain Michael Blackburn had worked for LIAT for more than 35 years and chaired the Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association (LIALPA).

In November, Blackburn, as head of LIALPA, sent a letter to LIAT management stating that the carrier's decision to invest pilot pension funds into a now-failed investment program went against a court order and took place without consultation of company pilots. Blackburn also made public derogatory statements about the airline. Soon thereafter, the veteran captain was accused of a safety violation. Monday, he was dismissed. His fellow pilots responded, Tuesday, with a sickout action that cancelled nearly all LIAT flights. The union has vowed that the fight is not over.

In his letter, Blackburn said that a court had ordered the pilots' pension money to be paid into a provident fund. He said that because the carrier ignored the order and the pilots pensions were subsequently lost to a bad investment, the carrier should be held liable for all contributions to date, plus interest. Blackburn then found himself under investigation, according to the Antigua Observer, for allegedly ignoring instructions from air traffic controllers and forcing another aircraft to take emergency measures. Blackburn claimed no knowledge of the alleged incident and threatened legal action.

"If anybody makes any allegation against me that they can't prove, I am going to sue them. And I don't make idle threats," he said. During this timeframe, Blackburn also stated on a radio program that LIAT was less safe than it had been in years past, when it had fewer managers. Roughly one week after his comments, Blackburn was fired. LIAT published a press release on the firing, stating it took the action based on legal advice.

According to LIAT, Blackburn's efforts constituted "a deliberate attempt to bring the company into public disrepute." Union leaders believe the firing was punitive and based on Blackburn's actions while working in his capacity as a union leader. They are seeking immediate reinstatement of Blackburn. A coalition of unions has sent a letter to LIAT CEO Brian Challenger, stating that they will take any action necessary to achieve this objective.

LIAT Statement
ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, December 07, 2011 – On Tuesday 6th December and Wednesday 7th December, members of the Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association (LIALPA) called in sick throughout the LIAT network, effectively shutting down the company’s flight operations and stranding thousands of passengers throughout the region. On both days only one flight was able to operate moving from Antigua and Trinidad respectively.

This action was a response by LIALPA to the summary dismissal by LIAT of Captain Michael Blackburn, a senior pilot within the company. This action by the company, taken after long and careful consideration, reflects the advice received from various legal sources that Captain Blackburn’s behavior, and in particular his recent statements on the radio, had effectively destroyed the requirement for professional respect expected between an employer and its employees. In this case, summary dismissal as contemplated under the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Code was recommended as the appropriate course of action.

In particular it is felt that Captain Blackburn’s statements with regard to the safety standards of the airline and the capability of its management were a deliberate attempt to bring the company into public disrepute. These statements, including those relating to safety have received widespread publicity throughout the region, and indeed the world, painting an unfair and distorted picture of LIAT’s operations and bringing the safety and reliability of the airline into question.

These actions can only hurt LIAT. In that regard the action by the pilots, while we may understand the emotions involved, are at best misguided and at worst selfish.  We are all aware of the economic crisis which the world faces. LIAT’s own situation is particularly grave given the intense competition that it now faces and the overall economic situation in the region. All around us companies in the region and throughout the world are undergoing staff reduction and other austerity measures forced upon them by the current economic downturn. During this time actions which needlessly alienate our customers and rack up huge cost cannot be condoned.

We therefore urge LIALPA to seek appropriate remedies for its grievance under the established procedures of the Labour Code and other legislation. Sick-outs and other forms of industrial action will not achieve the desired ends and will cost the company millions of dollars which it cannot afford at this, or any other, time.

In particular the company wishes to place on record that the recent action in relation to Captain Blackburn does not represent any attempt by the company to interfere with the collective bargaining process. The company will continue to attempt to engage with its 10 union representative bodies in a manner which allows for respectful dialogue and exchange aimed at promoting the advancement of the company and its employees.
LIAT is one of the leading Caribbean airlines. It is owned by regional shareholders, with major shareholders being the Governments of Barbados, Antigua & Barbuda and St. Vincent & the Grenadines. More information about LIAT may be found at

| Desmond L. Brown | Corporate Communications Manager | LIAT (1974) LTD | Head Office, Coolidge Business Complex | Sir George Walter Highway | Antigua | Telephone: +1 268 480 6222 | fax: +1 268 480 5638 | email: |

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LIAT warned of more industrial action as pilot’s sickout continues

Chairman of the LIAT shareholder governments, Vincentian Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, said the sickout is putting the financially-struggling airline at risk of losing “hundreds of thousands of dollars”.
ST JOHN’S, Antigua, Wednesday December 7, 2011 - Industrial action by LIAT pilots has dragged into a second day; unions warn it could spread to other departments of the Caribbean airline.

The sickout has disrupted the airline’s morning flights, and the company said those scheduled for later in the day could be affected as well.

The pilots are demanding the immediate reinstatement of their colleague Captain Michael Blackburn, who has worked with the airline for more than 35 years, and also chairs the Leeward Islands Pilots Association (LIALPA).

Blackburn was informed Monday, the day he was fired, that this was due to inappropriate statements he made to the local media about management and airline safety.

LIALPA said the action is “unprecedented” since the chairman was speaking as a trade unionist at the time.

“Captain Blackburn was not afforded the opportunity to confirm or deny these charges. The Antigua and Barbuda Labour Code speaks to the procedures for dismissals of employees and the laws of nature justice were not followed,” the group said in a media release.

“LIALPA insists that LIAT (1974) Ltd rescind the letter of termination of employment to Captain Michael Blackburn and reinstate him with immediate effect. LIALPA is requesting assistance of the other unions in this process.”

That call has been answered by the body that represents all LIAT unions, which is also demanding the “immediate and complete withdrawal” of Blackburn’s termination and his full reinstatement.

“We are prepared to take any and all actions necessary to achieve this objective and the pilots are assured of our collective solidarity,” stated Chester Humphrey, head of the coalition of unions, in a letter to LIAT CEO Brian Challenger.

The industrial action resulted in disruptions and cancellations of the airline’s 110 daily flights on Tuesday.

Chairman of the LIAT shareholder governments, Vincentian Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, said the sickout is putting the financially-struggling airline at risk of losing “hundreds of thousands of dollars”.

“You don’t close down an airline because a pilot has been dismissed…The pilots are shooting themselves in the feet,” Gonsalves said on a local radio station.

“LIAT is already, as a financial operation, marginal. It does a tremendous essential service across the region. … The pilots have to be responsible. You don’t pull a sickout; you don’t pull a strike in circumstances where, essentially, you have an essential service,” Gonsalves said.

The governments of Barbados, Antigua & Barbuda and St. Vincent & the Grenadines are the majority shareholders in the Antigua-based airline.

As a result of the action, LIAT said customers who wish to rebook can do so without charge for up to a week from the date of their original scheduled travel.

“Following the one-week grace period, passengers will be required to pay applicable fare and change fees when re-booking. Passengers who are unable to travel as planned due to the industrial action, at their request, will be issued a full credit for future travel,” it stated, adding that terms and conditions would apply. Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)

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Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Second Failure of LIAT to get to Puerto Rico

LIAT had a protest sickout and that kept Sally from having her eye treated in Puerto Rico. This was our second try at getting to Puerto Rico, the first time we were abandoned in Saint Lucia. We'll try again and I'll explain in more detail. Here's one of the news stories.

Regional airline LIAT's pilots all called in sick yesterday, disrupting the carrier's flights across the Caribbean.

"As a result of the industrial action, all of the company's (yesterday) morning services have been disrupted. This is also likely to affect the rest of (yesterday's) flights," the airline said in a statement out of its St John's, Antigua corporate offices yesterday.

The pilots were said to be protesting the firing of LIAT pilot Capt Michael Blackburn.
LIAT announced his termination of employment on Monday on its website. The airline gave no reason for his dismissal. 

Customers affected by the flight disruptions yesterday will be allowed rebook without charge for one week from the date of their original scheduled travel, the airline said. St Vincent Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves urged the pilots to return to their jobs, saying their action could result in the airline losing "hundreds of thousands of dollars" in revenue. He said their action was "unfortunate". 
LIAT is owned by regional shareholders, with major shareholders being the governments of Barbados, Antigua & Barbuda and St Vincent & the Grenadines.
It operates to 21 destinations including Trinidad and Tobago.

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Sunday, December 04, 2011

LIAT Pilot Arrested

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves says he is saddened by the recent arrest of a Vincentian pilot in Barbados on drug trafficking charges.

Gonsalves, who is the lead CARICOM prime ministerial spokesman on aviation, said he was equally disappointed that pilot Keith Allen was an employee of LIAT, in which his government is a major shareholder.

“I am personally saddened, I know the family [of the pilot] involved. These are people of good standing, God-fearing people, so this has personally affected me,” he told the SUNDAY SUN in an interview.

Allen, 34, of Arnos Vale, appeared in court here Friday where he admitted to smuggling $130 000 worth of marijuana in eight packets through Grantley Adams International Airport on November 23.

Barbados SUN

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Friday, December 02, 2011

Publications by the Kings

"Introduction to Chemistry and the Environment" by Baldwin King (2002)
"Michael Manley & Democratic Socialism : Political Leadership and
Ideology in Jamaica" by Cheryl L. A. King (2003)
"Search for Identity : Essays on St. Vincent & the Grenadines" edited by:
Baldwin King, Kenneth John & Cheryl L. A. King (2006)
"Quest for Caribbean Unity : Beyond Colonialism" edited by:
Kenneth John, Baldwin King & Cheryl L. A. King (2006)
"Home Sweet Home : Musings on Hairoun" edited by:
Kenneth John, Baldwin King & Cheryl L. A. King (2007)
"Pioneers in Nation-Building in a Caribbean Mini-State"
by Sir Rupert John with a new foreword by Karl John
Published by KINGS-SVG (2009)
"Timescape and Other Caribbean Poems"
 by Dr. Lance Bannister and Marcia Harold Hinds.
Published by KINGS-SVG (2009)
"Caribbean Trailblazers: St.Vincent and the Grenadines" edited by:
 Baldwin King and Cheryl Phills King (2010)
"Spirit-Filled and Emancipated Living" by Laura Anthony Browne
Published by KINGS-SVG (2010)
 “From Shakers To Spiritual
Baptists: The Struggle For Survival of the Shakers
of St. Vincent and the Grenadines” by
Adrian Fraser.
Published by KINGS-SVG (2011)

"Caribbean Trailblazers: St.Vincent and the Grenadines" Vol. 2 edited by:
 Baldwin King and Cheryl Phills King (2011)

For more information about the above publications please contact:
Dr. Baldwin King at:

"The International Encyclopedia of Revolution and Protest "
article entitled ""Manley, Michael (1924-1997)" by Cheryl L. A. King (2009)

Visit the Kings Website at:

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New Book from KINGS-SVG

KINGS-SVG Publishers is pleased to announce the publication of
 “Caribbean Trailblazers: St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Volume 2".
The new book is edited by Baldwin King and Cheryl Phills King and contains 
biographies of eighteen persons (14 men and 4 women) who have made 
significant contributions in St. Vincent and the Grenadines itself or in the diaspora.
 The individuals profiled are Roy L. Austin by John Horne,
Eileen “Betty” King by Rudolph Baynes, Jr., Kerston M. Coombs by Baldwin King,
Hubert E. A. Daisley by George E. Daisley, L. Jeanette “Jean” Duncan by Hayden Duncan,
Edward G. Griffith by Kenneth John, Ellsworth McG. “Shake” Keane by Philip Nanton,
Errol G. King by Roy Austin, Christian I. “Cims” Martin by Roy Austin,
George A. McIntosh by Kenneth John, Kerwyn L. Morris by Kenneth John,
Nora E. Peacocke by Nan Peacocke, Patrick E. Prescod by Fred Prescod,
Alphonso Roberts by Kenneth John, Nelcia Robinson by Carleen Marshall,
Randolph B. Russell by Gwendoline Russell,
George Owen Walker by Yvonne Walker Andrew and
Daniel Williams by Kenneth John.                                    
The retail price of the book (paperback, ISBN: 0-97778981-8-0) is US$24.95
plus shipping and handling (US$4 in the USA, US$5.50 to Canada and
US$10 to the Caribbean and the UK by airmail).
To order, please send name, address and payment
(check or money order payable to Baldwin King) to Baldwin King, P.O. Box 702, Madison, NJ 07940, USA.
You may also order through our website: (Click on Bookstore).
Our email:

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Latin and Caribbean leaders challenge US

Posted on Thu, Dec. 01, 2011
Latin and Caribbean leaders challenge US role in region


The hemisphere is throwing a party, but not everyone’s invited.
On Friday, the leaders of 33 Latin American and Caribbean countries are gathering in Venezuela to forge a new organization that will include every nation in the region — except the United States and Canada.

Some are hoping the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, or CELAC, will blunt U.S. influence in the region and replace the Organization of American States, the only group that’s opened to all countries in the hemisphere. The OAS, which promotes democracy and development in the region, has been accused by some nations of being a U.S. mouthpiece.

The new body comes to life as Latin America is flexing its muscles on the world stage and the region is expected to see economic growth of almost 5 percent this year on the back of surging commodity prices. It also comes amid hand-wringing over waning U.S. influence in the region.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez — the event’s host and promoter — has called the CELAC a “historic” organization that will bring the region closer together as it shakes off the United States’ imperialist pretensions. The event culminates Saturday with the signing of the Caracas Declaration that formally launches the bloc. Chile will head the organization in its first year, followed by Cuba in 2013.

The administration is not worried that the organization will someday replace the OAS, said Dan Restrepo, President Barack Obama’s senior advisor on Latin America.

“The notion that you can create an organization simply to be anti-American is not viable over a sustained period of time,’’ Restrepo told The Miami Herald on Thursday.

Despite the flailing U.S. economy, it’s still the hemisphere’s powerhouse and the principal destination for most Latin American exports, including Venezuela’s. And unless the CELAC receives solid financial backing, such as the OAS receives from the United States, it’s unlikely to flourish, said Dennis Jett, the former U.S. ambassador to Peru and a professor at Penn State University.

“This organization will probably last as long as Chávez is willing to underwrite it,” Jett said, “and I’m not sure how much longer he can do that.”

While the CELAC is a regional effort, it’s Chávez’s baby. Originally scheduled for July, the formation of the CELAC was delayed as Chávez traveled to Cuba to undergo treatment for an undisclosed form of cancer.

He says that he’s cured and has stepped up his public appearances, but that hasn’t stopped reports that his condition is far more serious than he lets on. In that sense, the CELAC marks Chávez’s return to the world stage as he eyes a tight presidential race in October.

While the full impact of the organization won’t be known for years, some worry that it could become a tool for governments that have bristled under international criticism.

Ecuador President Rafael Correa is proposing the creation of a human rights venue within the CELAC that would supplant the OAS’s influential Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

“It’s not possible that Latin American conflicts have to be dealt with in Washington, where the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights is, when even United States doesn’t recognize the commission,” he said in a statement. “Sooner rather than later [the CELAC] should replace the OAS, which has historically been distorted.”

While it’s true that the United States has ignored commission rulings — most notably to close the Guantanamo detention facility — the body has been a powerful voice in the hemisphere.

The commission and the OAS’s Inter-American Court “have been essential in protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms in the region,” said Jose Miguel Vivanco, the director of the America’s division of Human Rights Watch.

Correa’s call for an alternative forum comes after he has effectively muzzled dissent at home by consolidating power and attacking the press, Vivanco said. The OAS recently held a special session to look at deteriorating press freedoms in Ecuador.

“Now Correa feels like it’s time to take it a step further and openly propose to restructure the international mechanisms we have to promote and protect human rights,” Vivanco said. “The more serious and democratic governments that are participating in this meeting should not echo this type of initiative.”

The OAS did not respond to interview requests, but in a press release said it looked forward to cooperating with the CELAC.

Just what kind of organization the CELAC will become remains to be seen. While moderate, free-market nations such as Brazil, Chile and Peru have the economic power to make the CELAC viable, it’s countries like Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia that have been some of its biggest backers.

“If you look at who is really pushing the organization, it’s countries that don’t want the United States to have any dominant kind of role in the region, but equally, and more importantly, they don’t like to be criticized by international organizations,” said Susan Purcell, the director of the Center for Hemispheric Policy at the University of Miami. “This is a way of setting up an alternative world where they have more control over who can say what about them.”

The initiative comes as some see signs of waning U.S. influence in the region.

“Without a doubt, this has not been a wonderful time for U.S.-Latin American relations,” said Sally Shelton-Colby, the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Latin America, a former ambassador in the Caribbean and a diplomat in residence at The American University. “The U.S. is focused like a laser beam on the Middle East, South Asia and China for reasons of national security.”

But that doesn’t mean it’s disengaged. Latin America does four times more trade with the United States than it does with Asia or Europe, and the U.S. pours millions into defense in Mexico, Colombia and parts of Central America, she said. Free trade deals were recently signed with Colombia and Panama, and Brazil and the United States recently hammered out a defense pact.

“If you examine Latin American relations with the U.S., you will see a huge amount of interconnectedness,” she said.

To complicate matters, the U.S. has not had an Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere since Arturo Valenzuela stepped down in July. His replacement, Roberta Jacobson, is facing resistance from congressional Republicans who are threatening to hold up her nomination until the administration takes a stronger stance on Cuba.

Even so, the United States will have a chance to strengthen ties again when President Barack Obama returns to the region in April for the Summit of the Americas in Colombia, and the OAS has survived such threats before.

“People have been predicting the demise of the OAS for a very long time,” Shelton-Colby said. “Has it disappointed? Yes. But it’s still there.”

Ultimately, the CELAC will be measured not by its rhetoric but on “wether it does anything concrete to make the lives of the people in the Americas better,” Restrepo said. “If it does, it will be a success.”

El Nuevo Herald’s Antonio Delgado contributed to this report

© 2011 Miami Herald Media Company. All Rights Reserved.

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Thursday, December 01, 2011

Bank of St Vincent & the Grenadines

Bank of St Vincent & the Grenadines Officially Opens Reigate Premises

The Bank of St. Vincent & the Grenadines (BOSVG), subsidiary of East Caribbean Financial Holding Company Ltd. (ECFH), officially opened its new Reigate Building on Sunday November 13th 2011. The new headquarters located on Granby Street in the capital Kingstown, is a clear demonstration of the Bank’s promise to redefine the commercial banking landscape of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The distinguished guest list included Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, Honorable Prime Minister of St. Vincent & the Grenadines; Sir Dwight K Venner, Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB); Dean Patrick McIntosh; Mr. Errol Allen, Chairman of the Board of BOSVG; Mr. Robert Norstrom, Group Managing Director of ECFH; Victor Eudoxie, Chairman of the Board of ECFH and other leading local and regional professionals, senior officials of ECFH, customers and members of the public.

Derry Williams, Managing Director of Bank of St. Vincent & the Grenadines, in his closing remarks welcomed customers to the future of banking in St. Vincent and the Grenadines which further reinforced the Bank’s tagline, “The Bank that give me more.” Robert Norstrom, ECFH Group Managing Director and Ms. Helen Soleyn, a long standing employee of over 32 years, officially declared the Reigate premises open following the symbolic ribbon cutting ceremony.

The ultra-modern structure houses the Bank’s corporate and administrative offices, an upgraded branch; and promises to deliver special, individualized services to customers with greater privacy and comfort. The highest standard of customer care and service is a top priority for Bank of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and the Reigate building is the reality of the promise to build and grow the abilities of the bank as it seeks to redefine the commercial banking landscape.

The Bank of St. Vincent & the Grenadines was officially launched, following the acquisition of the former National Commercial Bank by ECFH in November 2010. Under the tag line, ‘The bank that gives me more’, Bank of St. Vincent and the Grenadines promises a suite of innovative financial products and services that are tailored to meet the needs of its individual and business customers.

Contact: Corporate Communications
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