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Russia sends warning over Essequibo

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Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 

 

December 11, 2023Following contact between Guyana and Venezuela’s foreign ministers, Russia is warning that the neighbors should be left to settle their border dispute peacefully without international interference.

Both countries are at odds over the rights to the Essequibo region, which makes up two-thirds of Guyana’s land and has been found to contain offshore oil reserves.

“We insist that this is a matter of Venezuelan-Guyanese relations, which should be settled in the spirit of good neighborliness by means of peaceful mutually acceptable solutions complying with international law and bilateral agreements, as well as current national laws,” said Maria Zakharova, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson following a diplomatic call between the two countries on December 6th which Russia ‘welcomed.’

The century-long border row erupted again in late 2023, with Venezuela most recently passing a bill in Parliament, declaring that the region is now part of the country’s 24th state.

Venezuela contends that the 19th-century negotiations for the Essequibo region, in which they were represented by the United States, cheated them out of land that was rightfully theirs, and the agreement is now null and void. They want to speak directly with Guyana about where the land border is. Guyana maintains that the initial agreement still stands, and both countries have gone to the UN for a resolution, but that ruling is pending.  Following the discovery of oil offshore, Guyana’s GDP has skyrocketed, and with it, recent Venezuelan interest in Essequibo.

Venezuela’s relationship with the United States is strained, and Russia is warning that there should be no international pressure on either of the countries. It comes as Russia continues a military invasion of Ukraine.

“We object to external pressure and interference in the affairs of sovereign states, moreover when they have sensitive issues in bilateral relations which require ‘prudence’ from third countries both at the public and private levels,” Zakharova told state media house TASS.

Caribbean News

Hurricane Help; Money donated to Jamaica, Barbados, St Vincent & the Grenadines, St Lucia and Grenada

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Garfield Ekon

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, July 19, 2024 – The relief efforts in countries affected by Hurricane Beryl have been bolstered by a donation of US$800,000, from the CAF-Development Bank of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Executive President of the financial institution, Sergio Diaz-Granados said it is hoped that the funds will assist needs during the “critical period” in the immediate aftermath of a “very powerful and destructive Hurricane. The grant serves to address this emergency, through the designated Ministries and official Governmental channels,” in the five countries, he said.

Barbados and Jamaica will each receive $250,000, Grenada, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines will all receive $100,000. The Bank said it is essential that global awareness be elevated about the vulnerability to Climate Change in the Caribbean.

It said “decisive action” needs to be taken to tackle the effects of Climate Change, with emphasis on policies and investments in adaptation, as well as risk management tools, and it will continue to work closely with international partners, to gather data, produce specialised knowledge, innovate, and offer financial solutions to strengthen resilience in the region.

In early July, Hurricane Beryl ripped across the Caribbean, with winds of 150mph tearing roofs from buildings, uprooting trees, and devastating the islands in its path. At least three islands reported that more than 90% of the homes and buildings either destroyed or severely damaged, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency reported. All three are within the chain of Grenadine Islands, where the hurricane roared into the Caribbean on the southern end of the Windwards, between St. Vincent and Grenada.

Since the devastation, the United Nations (UN) and its partners have launched a US$9 million response plan to provide urgent humanitarian aid to 43,000 people in Grenada and Sanit Vincent and the Grenadines.

UN Resident Coordinator for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Simon Springett said “swift action” is imperative to meet the “pressing needs” of people whose homes and livelihoods have vanished overnight, he said.

Mr. Springett, who visited Grenada and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, after they were struck by Hurricane Beryl, said that the devastation is “immense and heartbreaking,” and he spoke to many families, and It is likely that utilities will take a long time to be restored,” the Resident Coordinator stated.

The response plan will help to both support immediate life-saving and early recovery efforts. The UN and its partners, who are supporting the Governments’ response, have identified shelter, food and health care as being among the top priorities.

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Caribbean News

RBC donates $175,000 to Hurricane Beryl relief efforts

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PORT OF SPAIN — In the wake of Hurricane Beryl, RBC Royal Bank (RY on TSX and NYSE) (“RBC”) and RBC Foundation USA announced a donation of C$175,000 to the Canadian Red Cross and the American Red Cross in support of Caribbean and U.S. relief efforts.

The devastating hurricane impacted several Caribbean and U.S. communities where RBC operates, including Barbados, the Cayman Islands, and Tobago.

RBC’s contribution will support emergency relief efforts, including shelters, hygiene kits, and social assistance to those in the affected communities.

“The intensity of Hurricane Beryl this early in the season is concerning and our thoughts are with the individuals affected in the Caribbean communities as well as in the U.S.,” said Chris Duggan, Head of RBC Caribbean Banking.

“At RBC, we believe it is our responsibility to support our communities in times of need. Our donation to the Red Cross, will provide immediate assistance to those impacted, ensuring they receive the necessary resources to recover and rebuild.”

Commenting on the Caribbean generosity as well as that of our larger RBC community, Duggan added: “The response of the RBC Caribbean Banking employees, as well as that of our larger RBC community has been generous and unhesitating. In response to the disaster, our colleagues are coming together in many unique and incredible ways and donating personally to help those affected.”

Those that would like to support the relief efforts can donate to the Canadian Red Cross at www.redcross.ca or the American Red Cross at www.redcross.org.

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Caribbean News

PM Proposes Municipal Status for Negril

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#MontegoBay, Jamaica, July 13, 2024 – Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has highlighted the need for Negril to have its own local authority, which will enable the town to better manage its affairs.

The Prime Minister, who was speaking to members of the Negril business community and other stakeholders on July 12, said the resort town has outgrown its current governance structure, posing challenges both to infrastructure and administration.

“Negril as a town is growing far beyond its infrastructure, it is also growing far beyond the system set up for local governance. Our system is that the towns are within a parish and the boundaries determine which local authority has control over the town,” Mr. Holness said.

“We will now have to do the necessary consultations and make the necessary legislative changes to give Negril its own Municipality. Towns and cities must be managed and managed from a local level,” he added

The Prime Minister said that due to the growth and expansion of Negril, the town has crossed over from Westmoreland into Hanover, leaving the question as to who is in charge.

“Based on all the communications I have received the stakeholders want to do things for themselves in Negril. I know there will be a challenge because of the parish boundaries, but we will have to work that out. Currently both Westmoreland and Hanover can take ownership, leaving the question as to who really is in charge,” he added.

Mr. Holness said that while there have been discussions on the matter in the past, it was time to give Negril its own Municipality.

“I know when we talk about this, especially for those who don’t live in Negril, there are indeed questions as why we would want to do this and upset the governance architecture that currently exist,” the Prime Minister added.

“Where the problem lies is where the solution should be. If the proper structure is put in place, I am convinced you could see an improvement in how the town is managed. Negril is going through what Portmore went through…to manage its own affairs. Any superior authority should empower the residents to do things for themselves. Negril has also outgrown not only it’s physical infrastructure but its management structure,” Mr. Holness further noted.

Negril, renowned for its stunning beaches and vibrant tourism industry, has experienced unprecedented growth in recent years.

 

Contact: Garwin Davis

Release: JIS

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