Caribbean News in Brief – January 20/11


Port-au-Prince, Haiti:

Duvalier arrived in Port-au-Prince on Sunday in the midst of ongoing political tension over recently held elections.

Chairman of CARICOM’S Community Council of Foreign Ministers, Denneth Modeste, told the opening of a council meeting that “the return of Baby Doc would be an unwelcome distraction”.

Modeste told the council that the former president had returned “just when the international community is trying desperately to sustain the fragile security gains in recent years”.CRITICIZED

Bridgetown, Barbados:

St Lucia-born Thompson is the widow of the late Barbadian Prime Minister David Thompson. She is running as the candidate of the governing Democratic Labour Party, hoping to win the seat left vacant by her husband’s death.

A week ago, Arthur, the leader of the Opposition Barbados Labour Party, said a Barbadian woman who was married to a St. Lucian politician could not run for office in St. Lucia on the grounds that she was seeking to be “the queen”. Some of Thompson’s supporters have referred to her as “the queen”.

St. Lucia Prime Minister Stephenson King has described Arthur’s comments as unfortunate. St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said Caribbean leaders should be wary of making such comments.

However, Arthur remains unapologetic and said his criticism of Thompson has nothing to do with her nationality or gender.ADDED TO LIST

Bridgetown, Barbados:

The programs allow American employers to bring foreign nationals to the U.S. to fill temporary agricultural and non-farm jobs.

Jamaica, Belize and the Dominican Republic are among the 53 nations approved under both programs.

Eligibility for the programs took effect on Tuesday.ACKEE WARNING

Kingston, Jamaica:

Health minister Rudyard Spencer said 35 people have fallen ill since last month after eating unripened ackees, the nation’s national fruit.

Ackees produce a compound known as hypoglycin that can reach dangerous levels when it is picked too early and is not ripe.

The toxin can cause a drop in blood sugar, vomiting and, in rare cases, death.

Spencer said all of the poisoning cases involved ackees cooked at home.

Following an increase in poisoning cases, Jamaica is warning the public to be diligent when preparing ackees.Barbados is among 15 countries added to a list of countries eligible to participate in two United States foreign worker programs, known as H2A and H2B. Former Barbados Prime Minister Owen Arthur has been criticized for his remarks about Mara Thompson, who is seeking office in today’s by-election. The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has expressed concern about former Haitian President Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier’s return from exile.

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