Caribbean News in Brief – July 30-09

SEEKING ANSWERS

Castries, St. Lucia: Opposition leader Dr. Kenny Anthony has reiterated calls for the government to state the conditions set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to provide funding to the island.

Dr. Anthony said that during the 2009-2010 budget presentation, Prime Minister Stephenson King announced the government’s intention to seek financial support from the IMF’s Exogenous Shock Facility, which provides policy support and financial assistance to low-income countries that have experienced events which have a negative impact on their economy.

Anthony said, however, no information has been given about the terms and conditions.

VYING FOR LEADERSHIP

Georgetown, Guyana: Four candidates will challenge opposition leader Robert Corbin for leadership of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), at the party’s internal election in August.

Former PNCR chairman Winston Murray, executive members Aubrey Norton and Aubrey Armstrong, as well as former health minister Dr Richard Van West Charles are seeking to unseat Corbin, who has been criticized for his leadership of the party in recent months.

The elected candidate will lead the party to the next general election, due in 2011.

CHARGED IN ARSON

Georgetown, Guyana: Two individuals have been charged in the arson which destroyed the country’s health ministry building on July 17.

Two others have escaped from police custody, however, resulting in the arrest of a police officer.

Police have not named any specific organization responsible for the fire, but Police Commissioner Henry Greene said a carefully organized and executed plan was hatched by a group of individuals with anti-government motives.

TURNING OFF

Havana, Cuba: The United States has turned off a news ticker at the U.S. diplomatic mission in Havana.

The facility has long irritated the Cuban government by streaming news, political statements and messages blaming Cuba’s problems on the country’s communist system and socialist economy.

The news ticker had infuriated former president Fidel Castro when it was turned on in January, 2006.

Western diplomats see the move as a sign of efforts to improve relations with the Caribbean nation.

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