Caribbean News in Brief — May 28-09

OECS SETS DATE

Tortola, British Virgin Islands: The Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) has set June 18, 2010 as the date for the implementation of its Economic Union.

The decision was made at the 49th Meeting of the OECS Authority, which ended last weekend.

The implementation will coincide with the anniversary of the June 18, 1981 signing of the Treaty of Basseterre, which created the OECS.

The OECS Economic Union will see the creation of a single economic space which facilitates the free movement of people, goods, services and capital.

OECS member states are Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands are associate members.

APPEALING POLICY

Bridgetown, Barbados: Caribbean nations have renewed their appeal for a change in the United States’ policy on deportation.

The matter was discussed last weekend during a meeting between U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder and attorneys general from Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member nations.

Under a U.S. law, criminals convicted of offenses ranging from murder to shoplifting can face deportation from the United States.

However, regional governments say the law has contributed to an increase in violent crime because criminals have been sent back to the Caribbean, often with little connection to their native countries.

BELT-TIGHTENING

Havana, Cuba: The Cuban government has called for restrictions on consumption in response to sharp falls in growth caused by the global recession.

Economy Minister, Marino Murillo, forecast growth of 2.5 per cent this year – an earlier prediction had been six per cent. He said the global economic crisis had hit tourism and prices for nickel exports.

The government has announced measures to save electricity and is promoting a campaign of what it calls savings and efficiency.

Correspondents say that Cubans fear a return to the deep economic crisis that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.

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