Caribbean News round up March 31, 2016

Caribbean News round up March 31, 2016

Fidel criticizes Obama’s visit

Retired Cuban leader Fidel Castro accused US President Barack Obama of sweet-talking the Cuban people during his visit to the island last week and ignoring the accomplishments of communist rule in an opinion piece titled “Brother Obama” carried by state-run media in Cuba on Monday.
“One assumes that every one of us ran the risk of a heart attack listening to these words,” Castro said in his column, dismissing Obama’s comments as “honey-coated” and reminding Cubans of the many US efforts to overthrow and weaken the Communist government. “We don’t need the empire to give us anything,” Castro wrote in his piece.
Castro blasted Obama for not referring in his speech to the extermination of native peoples in both the United States and Cuba, not recognizing Cuba’s gains in health and education, and not coming clean on what he might know about how South Africa obtaining nuclear weapons before apartheid ended, presumably with the aid of the US government.
Castro also took aim at the tourism industry in Cuba which has grown further since Obama’s rapprochement with Raul Castro in December 2014. He said the industry was dominated by large foreign corporations which took for granted billion-dollar profits.
Obama’s visit was aimed at consolidating a détente between the once intractable Cold War enemies and the US president said in a speech to the Cuban people that it was time for both nations to put the past behind them and face the future “as friends and as neighbors and as family, together.”
After the visit, major obstacles remain to full normalization of ties between Cuba and the United States.
“The president made clear time and time again both in private meetings with President Castro, but also in public when he delivered speech to the Cuban people, that the US commitment to human rights is rock solid and that’s not going to change” said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

St. Vincent
SVG Opposition leader primes  for new vote

St. Vincent opposition leader Arnhim Eustace has told supporters of his New Democratic Party (NDP) to prepared for fresh general elections a mere four months after the last vote.
The NDP President and leader of the opposition said fresh elections could result from the election petitions that the party has filed.
“We believe that we have evidence in our petitions. We believe that we will win those petition” Eustace told supporters at his annual beach picnic.
The NDP, which electoral officials say lost the December 9th vote by a single seat, is challenging the results in Central Leeward and North Windward.
The ruling Unity Labour Party has asked the court to throw out the petitions, claiming they were improperly filed but the courts have decided to proceed with the matter.
Since the results of the last December’s Elections, the NDP lawmakers have not been participating in Parliament because they are not convinced that they lost the election.
Eustace and his party has maintained that the December 11th election was stolen.

Interim Haitian Pres names  Cabinet

Haiti’s Interim President Jocelerme Privert has sworn in a 15-member Cabinet promising citizens of the country that his administration would push ahead with the planned presidential elections scheduled for next month.
In mid March, the Parliament approved Enex Jean-Charles, a 55-year-old professor of Administrative Law, as the new interim prime minister after it had earlier rejected the first nominee, economist Fritz-Alphonse Jean.
The interim government has to organise the second round of presidential and legislative elections scheduled for April 24, according to the agreement signed by former President Michel Martelly and leading lawmakers in February.
Last October, Jovenel Moise, who was favoured by Martelly to succeed him, won the first round of presidential voting with 33 per cent of the ballots as against 25 per cent for Jude Celestin, who along with opposition parties denounced the results.
A scheduled January 24 runoff between Moise and Celestin was cancelled when Celestin refused to participate unless widespread electoral reforms were enacted, and following violence and protests.