Caribbean News in Brief for December 13, 2010


Washington D.C., USA: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called on Haiti’s leaders to heed a U.S. senator’s call for the freezing of American aid to Port-au-Prince.

Last week, Patrick Leahy, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, called for Washington to freeze U.S. aid to Haiti’s government and deny travel visas to its top officials in order to force a fair outcome of the recent poll.

On Monday, Clinton said the Haitian government should do more to help end a crisis sparked by the disputed presidential elections.

She also said there is growing frustration in America over a lack of coordinated response from the government in Haiti.


Georgetown, Guyana: Opposition political parties in Guyana are debating whether there should be a change in the method of selection of parliamentarians.

Under the Proportional Representation System, the 65 candidates are submitted and the party leader or the representative of the list selects who sits in the House.

The minority Alliance for Change has recommended priority listing of candidates to signal who would first become MPs.

However, the vice chairman of the opposition People’s National Congress\Reform, Basil Williams, says priority or closed listing may hurt party activism.


Charlotte Amalie, U.S. Virgin Islands: The Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands has announced that his government will examine ways to better monitor an oil refinery on St. Croix after reports of emission problems.

Last Friday, health authorities said people who live near the Hovensa refinery should avoid drinking water from cisterns because of possible contamination.

A day earlier, students and teachers from a school near the refinery were examined at a hospital and released after being exposed to hydrocarbon fumes.

The school was closed for two days.

Hovensa has blamed the problem on a malfunctioning valve.

Governor John DeJongh said that his planning commissioner will soon provide a report on new steps to evaluate operations of the refinery, the largest private employer in the U.S. territory.


Havana, Cuba: The U.S. Coast Guard says a group of Cuban refugees rescued by a cruise ship were returned to their homeland at the weekend.

The Coast Guard said the six emigrants were picked up by a Royal Caribbean cruise ship off the Bahamas and were among 17 Cubans repatriated Saturday.

The others were rescued earlier in the month by the crew of a Coast Guard cutter.

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