Caribbean Round Up

By Taharka Carrington

T&T Police probe warning about ISIS bombing

Police are currently investigating the authenticity of two audio recordings now circulating on social media, warning of a threat by ISIS operatives to detonate bombs at local shopping malls here in Trinidad.

In the first recording directed to a What’s App group, the man uses the word “batch” which is commonly used by soldiers, and makes reference of information he says came out of the camp he is in.

The man then says the word reaching the camp is that ISIS is planning to detonate bombs in the malls sometime between Thursday and Sunday.

Police are in possession of the recording and are seeking to determine whether it is authentic or a hoax.

Meanwhile, National Security minister Edmund Dillion has described the allegations as rumors and has called for calm in the twin island republic.

Top US General John Kelly, Commander of the Miami-based US Southern Command, warned earlier in January that ISIS members pose a huge threat to the Caribbean and can “commit acts of terror in Caribbean nations.”

The Trinidad Guardian reported earlier this year that at least 89 Trinidadians are currently fighting with ISIS.

G’da Mourns former head of state

Grenada is mourning the death of its former head of state, Sir Reginald Palmer, saying that he will be remembered and appreciated for his years of service to the island.

Governor General Cecile La Grenade led the tributes for the 93-year-old former head of state, who died on Monday, May 23, saying that the fourth Governor General was instrumental in the establishment of the highly sought after AA La Grenade Award Shield, given to the top performing student in Technical and Vocational subjects at the CSEC level of the Caribbean Examination Council.

Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell said that Sir Reginald will be remembered and appreciated for his years of service to Grenada, ultimately becoming Head of State on August 6, 1992, a post he held until August 8, 1996.

“While many of recent vintage knew Sir Palmer as Governor General, he was also a distinguished educator, holding various positions in the public service, including school Principal and Chief Education Officer,” Mitchell added.



Dominica Defends Citizenship by Investment Programme

The Dominica Government has defended the controversial Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP) saying that it has contributed significantly to the socio-economic development of the island.

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, speaking at a meeting on Monday night to discuss a new resort for the southern village of Soufrierre, said that there have been much misconception of the program through which foreign investors are provided with Dominican citizenship in return for making a significant investment in designated areas in the country.

“We are running in this country a legitimate economic citizenship program that meets the international standards for due diligence and ensuring that those who acquire Dominican citizenship are citizens who can stand the test of scrutiny anywhere in the world,” Skerrit said.

He told the meeting that “there is absolutely no shortcuts whatsoever in the due diligence process before we provide approval for any applicant.

Many citizens have raised concerns about the status of the foreigners who qualify for these programs and their motives for coming to Caribbean Islands like Dominica.

T&T & Jamaican Govts seek solutions

The Jamaica government says more than 300 nationals were deported from Trinidad and Tobago last year, and that more than 100 have been denied entry into the oil rich Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country during the first quarter of this year.

Foreign Affairs and Foreign trade Minister Kamina Johnson Smith told the Senate last Friday that 326 Jamaicans were denied entry to the twin-island republic in 2015 and that 113 Jamaicans have so far been denied entry during the first three months of this year.

The two CARICOM countries in negotiations particularly after Port of Spain deported 12 Jamaicans last month, claiming that they would have been a drain on the local economy. Port of Spain has said that several thousand Jamaicans are living there illegally.

In retaliation to the deportation of Jamaicans to Trinidad, Jamaica has since refused to import many Trinidadian Products. Jamaica is one of Trinidad’s largest export markets.

Both countries are signatories to the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) that allows for the free movement of goods, services, labor and skills across the 15-member regional group.

The Foreign Minister said that Jamaica has sought to deal with the issue at both the bilateral and regional levels, and that following talks with Port of Spain, a commitment had been given by the Trinidad and Tobago government to resolve the issue “as expeditiously as possible.”