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TCI News

TCI: Statement from Oswald Skippings



#Providenciales, November 30, 2018 – Turks and Caicos – The Rt. Hon. Theresa May, Prime Minister of Britain has reached agreement with the leaders of all 27 EU member states on a Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration marking the culmination of the UK’s exit negotiations with the European Union.

What is of extreme importance to us as a Turks and Caicos Overseas Territory, is what Uk Prime Minister considers as the achievements to be gained from this Brexit deal; I quote;

“We will control our own borders and end free movement once and for all”

Interestingly, Illegal immigration which relates to border control and is a direct constitutional responsibility of the British, is not a primary concern of theirs and they have been conspicuously negligent in carrying out that responsibility.

To add insult to injury, we are faced with court decisions that say that we are obligated to grant extended work permits to work permit holders. This is something that could be easily fixed by our immigration minister. As a former minister of immigration I was faced with the same problem 16 years ago. I fixed it but it was unfixed by the then incoming administration.

British Prime minister May’s second declared achievement in the Brexit deal is, and I quote;

“We will protect jobs with a deal that is good for our economy”

That again is strange when we consider the unregulated influx of Brits that has been placed in our Civil Service since the Interim Administration until presently, filling managerial and advisory positions with highly inflated salaries that are way above that of local counterparts. This needs to be fixed and is overdue. So it is indeed strange that the Brits are again fighting to stop something that they are imposing on us.

The third accomplishment referred to by the British prime minister and I quote;

“We will no longer send vast sums of money to the EU so we can spend more on our priorities, like investing in our long-term plan for the NHS”

This again is so interesting and considering the constitutional restraints and other legal impediments such as the Procurement Ordinance that is designed to secure and dump large sums of money into what was labeled the sinking fund and build large reserves while social services such as national health and education suffers and major government infrastructure such as the Parliament building and the Grand Turk airport terminal remain unattended.

Additionally, the public service is deprived of salary increases, gratuities, pensions and other benefits while the elected government is prohibited from usefully utilizing these funds to the benefit of its people and country. Strange indeed! What is good for the British goose is obviously not good for the Turks and Caicos gander.

Another such accomplishment mentioned and I quote;

“We will take back control of our laws, ending the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in the UK”

We need to bear in mind that we have been subjected to the imposition of not only those European laws, but British laws that have been morally and otherwise alien and unacceptable to us as a people.

This is undoubtedly a wake up call for us as a people considering the double standards being displayed by the British. This is particularly important bearing in mind that both governments have been in pursuit of constitutional reform and the present administration is currently engaged in such efforts.

It’s becoming clearer by the day that if we are to overcome the myriad of overbearing colonial and domestic governmental challenges, then we have to be realistic and reconsider our traditional approaches to selecting a government. That old, traditional approach of blind addiction to a particular political party is no longer working in the best interest of our people and country.

It is now obvious that if we are to survive, overcome and achieve the progress, prosperity and the economic and industrial stability that so we desire, we are going to have to seek out the most committed, competent and suitable men and women to represent us as our government in the future.


Release: Oswald Skippings





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Bahamas News

Statement From Hon. Fred Mitchell, MP Minister of Foreign Affairs On the Passing of Colin Powell



#TheBahamas, October 18, 2021 – I learned this morning  of the death of Colin Powell, the American general and diplomat. I worked with him as Foreign Minister in my first term, particularly on issues related to Haiti.

Yesterday in the CARICOM meeting, I recalled while discussing Haiti his role in the crisis of that time. I recall his life, times and work as generally thoughtful and considered. He was also an example of Caribbean success in America, one to emulate. He was the son of Jamaican parents. He was an example of success as a Black man in America. I am saddened by his passing.

On behalf of the Prime Minister the Hon. Philip Davis, the government and people of The Bahamas, and in my own behalf, I extend condolences to the United States of America and his family.



Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Commonwealth of The Bahamas

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Agreement Signed!  Next Foghorns and Three Times the Arrivals



#TurksandCaicos, October 13, 2021 – When the foghorns blare again at the Grand Turk Cruise Center it will be well into the Christmas season, but the scheduled arrival of the Carnival Freedom on November 28, will end a 20-month pandemic imposed pause on cruising, the economic life-blood, of the capital of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

“We have eleven meetings since May to make this happen.  I think it’s a huge, huge improvement on what we’ve had before, speaking to the value of the partnership of the Turks and Caicos Islands Government and Carnival and we look to have a long and fruitful relationship,” said Hon Washington Misick, Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The Turks and Caicos Islands Government today, finally inked a deal with Carnival Corporation, which appeared hinged on the cruise company being granted the green light for an expansion to berthing at the Port, which opened in 2006 on the island of Grand Turk.

The signing of a new Development Agreement followed an October 7 Cabinet approval of the document; the brief ceremony was carried live on Facebook from the Office of the Premier in Grand Turk.

“Indeed as the Premier has stated, we met 11 times and many times in person, you were in every meeting and sometimes with members of Cabinet, the Attorney General and we worked on something that we will all be proud of for many years to come,” said Giora Israel, Senior Vice President Global Port & Destination Development.

Strongly intimated, by Premier Misick, that this expansion had been stalled.  Definitely stated, also by Premier Misick, it is full steam ahead for a resumption of cruising.

“We are confident that cruise ships filled with visitors will be back in time for the high season 21/22. We are not stopping there. Government is investing heavily in the improvement of the Cruise Port and infrastructure in Grand Turk including: Acquisition of a Property to be converted into a Vendors Market. $1.5m dollars has been allocated to refurbish and improve the property. Additional properties will be acquired and developed to accommodate vendors who depend on the cruise industry for their livelihood. 2-million dollars will be spent to construct a floating dock for the Water Sports Operators. We are providing up to $1 million in grants to eligible operators to help them prepare for the reopening of the Cruise Industry,” said the Premier during a National Address on September 23.

Three cruises to Grand Turk are booked for November and December 2021 and if all goes according to schedule – or better – the cruise calls on November 28, December 11, December 12 and December 26 will usher in a happier holiday season for the dozens of companies left in limbo with the crash of cruising in March 2020.

“I really want to thank our employees at the Port.  We have had employees who stayed here for the last two years working hard to maintain the port,” said Mr. Israel as he acknowledged the enthusiasm shown by the TCI Government to complete the deal; he added, “But I also want to thank the Community of Grand Turk.  We are a part of this community; we have been welcomed as a part of this community.  The Community has embraced us and we have embraced the Community, the business community and we need to look at this as a partnership,” expressed Mr. Israel during the live stream.

Outside of cruise tourism, Grand Turk draws dive enthusiasts from around the world and is increasingly experiencing popularity in the luxury villa market.  Nonetheless, these other distinctions for the island which is home to the Parliament and the Governor’s Residence, fall a distant second and third place to the thousands of cruise visitors travelling on four, five and six day itineraries; Cruising is what really brings the boom.

“We’ve had a long partnership of 20 years and this partnership is just getting better.  New horizon, new opportunities and when I look at this magazine, which is a magazine we issued when the port was opened, we expected that the biggest ship would be 1,800 passengers.  Within 90 days of today, we are expecting ships that will be able to carry three times the number of passengers…”

The Development Agreement gives Carnival Corporation the permissions and perimeters to begin a $25 million dock expansion project.  The Turks and Caicos Cabinet informed that the signatories represented:  the Crown, the Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands, Grand Turk Cruise Terminal Ltd and Carnival Corporation.

Details of the Agreement were not revealed, therefore the scope of the expansion remains unknown.   What has been made clear is upon completion of the new dock, the largest ships in Carnival’s fleet will be able to moor in Grand Turk with the high probability that cruise passenger and crew arrivals to the islands of Grand Turk and Salt Cay, will triple.





Carnival elation Dec 11

Carnival Freedom Nov 28, dec 26

Carnival freedom Dec 12

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Bahamas News

CARPHA Team undertakes Assessment of Guyana’s National Surveillance System for Non-communicable Diseases



October 14, 2021 – The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) conducted a technical mission to Guyana from September 22nd – 25th, 2021 to undertake site visits as a part of an ongoing assessment of six (6) Member States’ systems for the national surveillance of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and their risk factors. This activity was implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Health Guyana through an Agence Française de Développement (AFD) – funded project.

The aim of the assessment s to provide evidence in support of the development of a Regional Surveillance System for NCDs, a priority under the regional health framework Caribbean Cooperation in Health IV (2016-2025).

During the mission, the CARPHA technical team reviewed the capacity of existing surveillance mechanisms in Guyana to collect, analyse and report on the NCDs and risk factor indicators proposed for the regional surveillance system. These indicators were recommended by a multi-stakeholder meeting series convened in 2020 under the AFD project, which reviewed global, regional, and sub-regional mandates, targets and practices in surveillance for the prevention and control of NCDs.

The CARPHA Team along with senior officials from the Ministry of Health conducted visits to two (2) health centres, the National Cancer Registry, Ministry of Health Surveillance, and Statistics Unit.  The results from the overall assessment will be presented to the Ministry of Health Guyana and will also be reviewed alongside results from similar assessments in Anguilla, Aruba, Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname to inform the finalisation of the regional surveillance system design through a regional stakeholder meeting.

The regional NCDs surveillance system would facilitate the reporting and availability of data to inform policy development, planning, and tracking of progress towards meeting for targets NCDs at Regional and National levels.

Through funding from the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), CARPHA is leading the Region in Strengthening Strategic Intelligence and Partnership Approaches to prevent and control NCDs and Strengthen Regional Health Security in the Caribbean. This project, signed in 2019 with a value of €1,500,000.00, demonstrates the commitment of the Government of France and the French people to supporting the public health priorities of the Caribbean Community through CARPHA.

More information on the Project can be found at:

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