Regional News Briefs
Prince Charles for Caribbean tour next month
CASTRIES, St Lucia (CMC):
Britain’s Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, are due have a Caribbean tour next month.
It said that the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, will arrive in St Lucia on March 17 and will be guests of honour at an event to mark the island’s 40th anniversary of political independence from Britain.
St Lucia gained its independence on February 22, 1979.
Governor General Sir Neville Cenac and Prime Minister Allen Chastanet will welcome the royal visitors.
The visit forms part of a March 17-29 Caribbean tour that will take the royal visitors to Barbados, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Kitts-Nevis and Grenada, Cuba and the Cayman Islands.
The visit to Cuba will be the first for members of the British Royal family.
Haitian President says gangsters won’t force him out
President Jovenel Moise says he will not step down from office and has promised Haitians he has no intention of putting the country in the hands of armed gangs and drug traffickers.
In a television broadcast on Thursday night, Moise, who is under pressure from opposition parties to step down, acknowledged that “the crisis we are going through is very serious.
“It threatens the foundation of the country, it has a lot of consequences for the country. There are people who do not make democracy … who want to impose on the nation something that is not good for them. It is clear to all that it is only the dialogue with all the forces of the nation that will help us get out of this situation,” he added.
Opposition political parties have been staging street demonstrations in support of their calls for Moise to step down, after accusing him of not investigating allegations of corruption in the previous government over billions of dollars worth of unaccounted for PetroCaribe oil. At least seven people have been killed in the protests so far. Several others have been injured in clashes with police.
Cuban doctor, wife jailed for forged passports
GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC):
A Cuban medical practitioner and his wife were sentenced to 12 months in jail after they were found to be in possession of forged Peruvian passports.
Chief Magistrate, Ann McLennan, imposed the sentence on Dr Alexey Vasquez, 38, and his wife Julia Sanchez, after admitting they had presented the forged documents to an immigration officer on February 13.
An investigation later revealed that the couple travelled to Guyana using the same forged document that was not detected on their arrival at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport.
However, as they attempted to cross over to Suriname on Wednesday, the Immigration Officers at Moleson Creek realised that the documents had been forged.
Vasquez told the court that he obtained the forged document through a contact from one of his patients in Cuba. He said he paid US$2,500 for the fake passports.
After listening to the man’s pleadings, the magistrate accepted the guilty pleas by the couple and sentenced them both to 12 months in jail and ordered that they be deported after completing their sentences.
OECS Chairman pleased no member state on EU blacklist
ST GEORGE’S, Grenada (CMC):
Chairman of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell says he is pleased that no member state has been included in the European Union 2019 financial blacklist of countries with weak anti-money laundering and terrorist financing regimes.
“We know we are living in a world in which we cannot afford not to undertake certain fundamental responsibilities, but we are all happy to be removed from the list,” said the Grenada Prime Minister, who also confirmed that each member territory had received notice indicating that sub-regional countries are being monitored by the EU to ensure that compliance is maintained.
The OECS groups the islands of Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Kitts-Nevis, Montserrat, Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands.
Earlier this week, the Bahamas government said it regrets the decision of the European Union College of Commissioners to include the country in a list of high risk third countries for Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing deficiencies.
Trinidad and Tobago is the only other Caribbean Community country listed on the EU list that Europe says is to protect the EU financial system by better preventing money laundering and terrorist financing risks.
The EU named 23 countries from various jurisdictions, including the United States, Asia and Africa that are not in compliance with the measures.