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Guyana helicopter crashes suspiciously; Defence Force finds wreck site, FIVE dead

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer 

 

#Guyana, December 10, 2023 – Guyana is now left in suspicion and concern after a helicopter of the Guyana Defense Force (GDF) went missing near Venezuela this past Tuesday; it has since been found crashed thrusting the country into mourning for five officers.

There are two survivors.  Flags are being flown now at half mast.

The aircraft the GDF says is a Bell 412 Helicopter (8R-AYA) that departed the force’s Base Camp Ayanganna, at 9:23 am and in a release, published on Facebook, the defence force also explained the chopper was carrying three crew members and four passengers; none were identified.

The aircraft reportedly transmitted an Emergency Locator Transmitter Signal not too long after leaving base at 11:20 am from coordinates approximately 30 miles east of Arau on Guyana’s western border, near Venezuela.

In response, GDF in partnership with private sector bait raft operators have launched a search and rescue operation to locate the aircraft, which the release says is affected by adverse weather conditions in the area.

However, despite the circumstances, on the morning of December 7th, GDF announced it located the crash site and that positive signs of life were detected. Troops were sent to the location.

The Force says it will provide more information as it comes, but the men who perished were identified as:  Retired Brigadier Gary Beaton; Colonel Michael Shahoud; Lieutenant Colonel Michael Charles; Lieutenant Colonel Sean Welcome and Staff Sergeant Jason Khan. Survivors were named as: Lieutenant Andio Crawford and Corporal Dwayne Jackson.

The discovery of the crashed helicopter comes in the middle of the growing conflict between Guyana and Venezuela concerning the Essequibo region.  Just days before Nicolás Maduro, the president of Venezuela announced plans to pursue the oil rich land in dispute, taking direction from a referendum in his country where 95% of voters agreed that it is Venezuelan land.  Guyana, however, says Essequibo is theirs and calls the Venezuelan announcement a “threat.”

The lost and injured members of the Defence Force are now being hailed for their selfless service.

In a statement President Irfaan Ali said; “My heart pains and drowns in sorrow at the tragic loss of some of our finest men in uniform. The scale of this loss to the families, our country, the GDF and to me personally is immeasurable.”

Caribbean News

Trinidad Makes Big Energy Commitment

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

 

#TrinidadandTobago#Energy, February 20th, 2024 – To diversify its energy mix as well as its economy, Trinidad and Tobago is putting focus on energy transition for development, working on a solar project which will potentially change energy production for the nation.

This was announced by Prime Minister Keith Rowley at the opening of the Energy Conference and Supply Chain Expo 2024 in Guyana on February 19th.

Expressing that energy is the center of economic development, Rowley highlights why this development is significant. He says in order to transform the energy system to cater to the growing demand for energy while decreasing global emissions, a broad mix of energy is needed.

He further mentions that this is what’s required of producer economies like Trinidad and Tobago for development.

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Caribbean News

Irish Humanitarian Organization in Haiti – Address Hunger Crisis and More

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

 

#Haiti#Crisis#ConcernWorldwide, February 2oth, 2024 – Seeing that Haiti’s humanitarian crisis worsens day by day with too many Haitians, hundreds of thousands, edging the line to severe deprivation of food, Ireland’s largest aid and humanitarian agency Concern Worldwide is addressing major food insecurity. 

 The organization in a release said “ “We are providing food assistance, via electronic vouchers to help families purchase food from local vendors so that they can feed their families and prevent malnutrition in children as the situation worsens.”

They are also working to provide Haitians with clean water and sanitation as the waterborne disease Cholera continues to threaten lives, killing more than 1,150 people in 2023.

And, they provide referrals for cases of sexual and gender based violence in Port au Prince.

Concern is supported by funding from USAID, receiving €2.1 million (euros) to help over 30 thousand people in the hunger crisis as well as €1 million (euros) yearly from the Irish Government for its work in Haiti.

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Caribbean News

Why the Haitian President’s Wife – Martine Moïse – was charged with his 2021 Assassination

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

#Haiti, February 21, 2024 – Martine Moïse, the widow of Haiti’s assassinated President Jovenel Moïse, is being charged for involvement in his July 2021 murder, according to recent reports on Monday February 19th, 2024.

She is charged for complicity and involvement in criminal associations.

In his report, Haitian Judge Walther Wesser Voltaire reveals there were questionable actions related to Martine Moïse as well as statements that simply didn’t add up.

For instance, Voltaire states that she mentions hiding under the marital bed for safety during the attack on her husband, but authorities expressed that this claim is illogical, saying that a giant rat measuring “between 35 and 45 centimeters,” could not fit under the bed.

This is due to the fact that the gap between the bed and the floor was 14 to 18 inches, according to the indictment.

Considering these revelations, Voltaire states that her claims were “so tainted with contradictions that they leave something to be desired and discredit her.”

There are other suspicious actions by Mrs. Moïse, reported by the Judge, as revealed by Lyonel Valbrun, former Secretary General of the National Palace.

Voltiare’s report says Valbrun claimed there was pressure from the late President’s wife to make available to Claude Joseph, former Prime Minister, office space for the organization of a Council of Ministers.  Additionally, Valbrun reported that Martine Moïse dedicated hours to remove objects from the Palace during the days leading up to her husband’s murder.

Joseph, like the former first lady is also being charged for complicity and involvement in criminal associations.  Also, they were both injured during the attack on Jovenel Moïse.

The accusations against Mrs. Moïse, reports say, are also based on information from Joseph Badio, former official in Haiti’s Justice Ministry, who is accused of being involved in planning the Haitian president’s 2021 assassination.

According to the indictment, linked in  Voltaire’s 122 page report highlights Badio “outing” Mrs. Moïse for plotting with others, Joseph included, to kill her husband to gain power.

Joining Joseph and Moïse with charges is Léon Charles, ex-chief of Haiti’s National Police, carrying the worst of the charges including, murder, attempted murder, illegal possession of weapons, conspiracy against the state’s internal security, and involvement in criminal associations.

Haitian-American pastor Christian Emmanuel Sanon, former DEA informant Joseph Vincent, presidential security chief Dimitri Hérard, former senator John Joël Joseph, and judge Windelle Coq, are also among the accused, some already sentenced and some handed over to the US to face Federal charges.

Media reports have exposed that after a two and a half year investigation, there are still unanswered questions.  And, despite going into details about the assassination, it fails to reveal the motive behind it and how it was financed.

A separate case on Moise’s killing is being tried in Miami.

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