Caribbean Briefs for May 7-09


Georgetown, Guyana: The Bel Air residence of deceased presidents, Dr. Cheddi Jagan and Janet Jagan, has been converted into a heritage site.

At a brief ceremony held at the Jagans’ residence last week, their daughter, Nadira Jagan-Brancier, said the home is a simple dwelling where the couple lived most of their lives.

She said her parents moved into the house soon after her father returned to Guyana in the 1950s with her mother and they lived there for long periods until 1992 – the year the People’s Progressive Party won the elections, making her father president. The couple then moved into State House.

After her father’s death in 1997, Janet Jagan moved back to their Bel Air home and lived there until her death in March.


Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago: U.S. civil rights leader, Reverend Jesse Jackson, faces a US$100,000 lawsuit that claims he reneged on a 2007 speaking engagement in Trinidad.

American Entertainment International, a corporate event organizing company based in Massachusetts, filed the lawsuit last week in the U.S. The suit claims Jackson backed out of a speech for the United National Congress (UNC) on November 3, 2007, which caused a loss of nearly US$100,000.

The suit alleges Jackson did not attend because he didn’t want to show favoritism toward the UNC.

A lawyer for Jackson said he “categorically denies the allegations” and intends to fight the lawsuit.


Kingston, Jamaica: The nation’s minimum wage was increased by 10 per cent on Monday. Now, workers will earn a minimum of US$46 a week.

Labour Minister, Pearnel Charles, said the government wants to raise the standard of living of its citizens without hurting employers.

The nation last increased minimum wages in January by nearly 17 per cent.


Kingston, Jamaica: Opposition Leader, Portia Simpson-Miller, wants Jamaica to consider nuclear energy in the search for alternatives to the nation’s high oil import bill.

Simpson-Miller made the proposal during her address to the Budget Debate in parliament last week.

During her presentation, she criticized the government’s management of the economy and said Jamaica must find a way to address its dependence on imported crude oil.

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