May 23, 2013 By
May 23, 2013 By
In his book, Guyana: from State Control to Free Markets (2003), John Gafar cites from the 1993 Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES)/Living Standards Measurement Study (LSMS) data and a 1994 World Bank report that shows poverty levels in Guyanese households with children as high as 46.3 per cent, compared with 23.9 per cent in childless households. Based on a 1999 Living Conditions Survey, he states too that it can be estimated that 60 per cent of the poor in Guyana are children.
While these statistics can be termed “not new”, they remain a shocking evaluation of the state of Guyana’s children, which the various humanitarian organisations operating here are no doubt all too familiar with. Truth be told, many were perhaps established after witnessing the poverty endemic in many child-filled communities around the country.
Gafar goes on to cite the World Bank report, disclosing that 28 per cent of all households are headed by women, of which, in the capital city, 45 per cent are headed by females. This circumstance of family structure, he notes, largely accounts for the high incidence of poverty in single-parent households.
Women in Guyana are often less educated, more often unemployed, and if they do have a job, usually paid less than men. Whether a single parent by choice or natural causes, such as the death of the primary income earner, many women have the responsibility of caring for their children alone without adequate income.
Such circumstances have prompted a number of meaningful government and NGO sponsored initiatives aimed at reducing poverty levels in these households through skills training and work programmes that increase the potential of parents, including single parents, to become major income earners through employment or self-employment. However, in addition, women themselves should look at taking control of their own family planning. Numerous studies worldwide have proved that when a woman has the ability to control her family planning, she is much more capable of controlling her life.
Women and couples who delay having children have more time and opportunity to become better income earners, and when they choose to have a child and the number of children they have, their children are healthier and have better educational prospects – two factors critical to the cycle of poverty.
It is not enough to espouse that a woman’s body is her own and no one has a right to tell her what to do with it. It is a woman’s responsibility, with that right, to ensure her child is not one of the 60 per cent poor, by taking the necessary steps to avoid producing children without adequate means of providing for them, which so often results in the state or other entities having to do so.
Women must also take the responsibility of ensuring they are educated and capable of meaningful employment, since the loss of one income earner in the family could reduce living standards. Moreover, an uneducated female is at the mercy of a patriarchal society, leading to her lack of choices that invariably create her and her child’s poverty.
A child in poverty often feels the brunt of the lack of family planning. There are many instances of older children leaving school or regularly absent from school because they are called upon to look after their siblings since parents are too poor to afford day care or a caregiver. There are many instances of children dropping out of school because he or she has to find a job to help support the poor household made up of several other siblings. There are many instances of children running away from home because parental frustration with providing for a large family has made a safe and loving home unattainable.
The sad fact is that these instances often stem from impoverished households with children – economic problems that could be alleviated if adults think responsibly about family planning. And while we often hear the expression “children are Guyana’s future”, with more than half of Guyana’s children existing in poverty, often in large households that require public assistance to feed, clothe and house, that expression appears a mere platitude.
No doubt many children of poor households have gone on to become exemplary members of society and incredible human beings, but none would wish their own child the impoverished life in which they grew up, so it is imperative that families, including single parents, see the necessity of improving and empowering themselves by taking firm control over their family planning.
May 21, 2013 By
Today, in our Parliament we will witness whether, on the cusp of the 47th anniversary of our independence from Britain, our political leaders in the opposition have matured into statesmen or they have remained mired in “vaulting ambition”. On the agenda before the National Assembly is the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Amendment Bill. Guyana has to pass this bill today and, if we do not, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which meets next Monday in
Nicaragua, will place our country on an international blacklist for not doing enough to combat money laundering and financing for terrorism.
Because of the changes in the global financial architecture, the mechanisms to facilitate financial flows have developed so rapidly in the last few decades, it has become a key point of attack in the war against criminal enterprises and terrorism, as well as other financial crimes which have mushroomed during that period. Formed in 1989 by the G7, FATF, as an independent inter-governmental body, has since issued “Forty Recommendations” on money laundering and the nine “Special Recommendations” on Terrorism Financing (TF).
As with many other jurisdictions, Guyana has already set in place legislation and other legally-binding measures that fulfil most of the two sets of recommendations. The present bill before the House seeks to plug loopholes in our present regulations and processes identified by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF), which is an associate member of FATF. If we are placed on the blacklist, officially known as the list of “Non-Cooperative Countries or Territories” (NCCTs), then overseas banks will have to observe a more stringent check on transactions originating or terminating in Guyana.
All of this will necessitate more time being spent on those transactions. In the modern world of global business which demands a seamless flow of information and data, time means money: money that will have to be paid by local users of the financial system. Today, this does not mean only businesses but the individuals that send US$400 million as remittances into our economy. At the macro level, Guyana will be stuck with a label of being an undesirable location for doing business that is certain to cloud our record on attracting Foreign Direct Investment.
With all of this, and more, at stake for our country, one would have hoped the opposition would rise to the occasion and eschew their usual penchant for scoring cheap political points. And this is what the just-announced excuse of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) – that the president should have passed on two weeks earlier, a letter from CFATF demanding the changes by May 27 – amounts to. The recommendations of CFATF, more like demands, have received wide coverage and comment in the Caribbean during the last decade because of its sub rosa rationale to clamp down on off-shore banking, which was very prominent in several regional jurisdictions. As a matter of fact, the possibility of Guyana becoming such a centre was raised a decade ago and was shelved because of the new, onerous regulations.
As this newspaper has pointed out, the opposition is unfortunately not cutting its nose to spite its face – it is cutting Guyana’s nose and spiting Guyana’s face. Its action on the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Amendment Bill is reminiscent of their action in the 1960s when they betrayed the united nationalist independence movement and collaborated with foreign forces with their own agendas, to oust the then legally-elected People’s Progressive Party (PPP) government. Their selfishness and callousness plunged our beloved country into a virtual civil way, from which we are only now recovering after 20 years of focused work by a new PPP regime.
It is said that history repeats itself – first as tragedy and then as farce. The second time is “farce” not because it is not as tragic, but because we refuse to learn from the first occurrence.
May 20, 2013 By
The attainment of independence by the Anglophone Caribbean is now a matter of history for the majority of its citizens who were either not born in the 1960s or were too young to remember the event in their respective territories. Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica commemorated 50 years of independence last year and Barbados and Guyana have just three more years before they achieve that milestone.
But as one looks around the Caribbean, it appears that most of the leaderships are still fixated in the past and agonising over events and personalities that by now should have been merely of historical interest. In Guyana, for instance, there is a very heated debate going on about the role of their first “independence” Prime Minister Forbes Burnham, in the fight against apartheid in South Africa. Significantly, the debate was precipitated when two Pan-African academics of Jamaican origin protested South Africa’s announcement that they were going to honour the Guyanese leader for that role.
The debate revealed that the events of the independence era can still stir heated passions here. It leads to the question as to what relevance those events have with the challenges the region is now confronting in a world that is radically different from the one of that time. Take South Africa as a starting point. At the time of the independence struggle in the Caribbean, South Africa was under a system that had taken the colonial logic to its ultimate, inhuman conclusion. The white rulers who had assumed the imperial mantle, operationalised the colonial theory that colonial subjects were not only unfit to govern themselves because they needed “tutelage”, but they were ontologically unfit by their very nature.
It was therefore not a coincidence that in every independence movement, from Asia to the Americas, the question of South Africa loomed very large. South Africa brought all the contradictions of colonialism to the fore in its most graphic form. But those contradictions have more or less morphed into very new forms that are being ignored as we remain fixated on the past. South Africa today is one of the members of BRICS, the grouping of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa that is actually poised to take over the lead from the old colonial “white” countries that we are still agonising over.
Most of the vocabulary that we are deploying in our struggle to develop our countries in the Caribbean locks us into strategies and mindsets that are guaranteed to leave us underdeveloped. For instance, Jamaica’s present and Barbados’ and other Caribbean countries’ upcoming negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) should be of a qualitatively different nature from those that took place in the 1970s; not only because many of the nostrums handed down by that institution have been shown to be actually harmful (such as “no capital controls”) but some of the old colonial powers and their allies that control its purse strings are now being forced to deal with such conditionalities as “austerities”, which are making them question their efficacy.
Then there is our reflexive insistence to look towards the old “masters” to help us and refusing to accept the new world order. Around the time of the independence struggle there was the call for a New World Economic Order, which, under sustained attack by the colonial powers, quickly wilted. But today the possibility of the new order is being realised concretely with BRICS. Rather than flogging the dead horse of genuflecting to the whims from up north, we ought to be cementing ties with emerging powers that shared our colonial experience, such as China and India. It is a retrograde throwback to the “looking backwards” syndrome that there is so much hysteria over the Chinese-led development in the region and deep angst that the former colonials are not repeating their exploitation.
A half-century of independence is enough time to grow up.
May 20, 2013 By
Globally, one million people die as a result of committing suicide every year. According to official statistics, in the last 45 years, suicide rates have increased by 60 per cent worldwide. It is one of the three leading causes of death among those in the age group of 15-44 in some countries, and the second leading cause of death in the 10-24 age group.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that although traditionally suicide rates have been highest among elderly males, rates among young people have been increasing at such an alarming speed that they are now the group at highest risk in a third of countries in the world.
Guyana is no different. Almost weekly, we hear of someone committing suicide or witness some kind of incident, reminding us that there is need for more work to be done across the country to address the various ills affecting our citizens. Region Six, in particular, has experienced the highest number of suicide rates when compared to the rest of the country.
Just a few days ago, a murder/suicide of a young couple rocked the country, leaving many of us to ask the question: What is really going on in the minds of our young people? Last week, we reported that a 24-year-old man, Vijay Arjune, allegedly shot his pregnant teenage fiancée, Parbattie Raghoo, then took his own life in what was apparently a premeditated act. From all indications, the man’s mother was not in favour of the relationship he was involved in and may have put some pressure on him to end it.
Whatever the case was, it is indeed a sad story as both persons were very young and the way their lives ended calls for much introspection from all concerned, including state agencies, civil society actors, religious institutions, and more importantly, the family. Is there an explanation for this – like what could have caused the young man to shoot his pregnant girlfriend and then turn the weapon on himself? Could there have been any intervention at the level of the religious community or the ministry that could have avoided such a tragedy? What were the warning signs? These are all questions which must be answered and it would be helpful for an analysis or investigation to be done, with the aim of providing the kind of data that stakeholders can use as a future guide in their work on suicide prevention and treatment.
Surely, the incident brings into question the role of the religious community and the family as important institutions in the society when we consider the kind of future that we hope to create for young people. Weighing in on the issue recently, Reverend Kwame Gilbert made some interesting comments in relation to our local context. He noted that the family unit is most important in fostering a safe and well rounded society. We certainly agree that the family is critical, because that is where every individual receives their first level of socialisation. In essence that is where the value systems are first of all established.
Dr Gilbert’s view is that, not that the family has failed society, but there are a number of conspiring factors that have contributed to what is being played out in the local context. For example, while the role of the male as a father figure in the family is critical, in the absence of such, the second most important institution – the religious organisations – must step in. If the family becomes dysfunctional for some reason, the religious institutions should provide a safety net that will seek to ensure that the value systems and the socialisation that are required for the development of boys into men and girls into women are present.
That being said, the government and a few non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have undertaken some useful initiatives in the past to address the issue of suicide. For example, a local NGO, St Francis Community Developers, has started its own programme to tackle suicide in the Black Bush Polder community. The organisation has since developed a comprehensive programme called “Reforming Education, Skills, and Capacity for Ultimate Empowerment (RESCUE).”
It is evident that these interventions, even though limited, have produced some positive results and perhaps they should be replicated in other parts of the country. There is certainly need for action on all fronts to drastically reduce the suicide rate in Guyana, we cannot afford to lose our best resource in this manner.
May 18, 2013 By
Diseases – conditions that adversely affect the functioning of our bodies – have always been with man. But AIDS is one that was literally created and became a global pandemic within a single lifetime. First detected in 1981 in the U.S., we had our first local diagnosis in 1987. With the Guyanese diaspora centred in the U.S., this was not surprising in view of the way in which the disease is transmitted: an “exchange of body fluids”, primarily through sexual contact.
The acronym “AIDS” stands for “Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome” and refers to the body’s inbuilt mechanism that generally makes us “immune” to the constant attacks of pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and single-celled animals. For all of mankind’s history, this auto-immune system failed only because of specific internal malfunctions. After the infected patient with AIDS, it was discovered that a new virus, if contracted, was causing the immune system to fail.
This virus was named “Human immunodeficiency virus” – HIV. There was, and remains, no cure. To our credit, the government immediately established the National AIDS Programme to coordinate the country’s response to what was soon established as a burgeoning epidemic. Preliminary figures indicated that the HIV infection rate was 1.3 per 100,000 inhabitants. In 1989, the National AIDS Committee was formed to advise the Ministry of Health on prevention and control of HIV/AIDS.
Since there was no cure for AIDS, there was a furious upsurge in research to discover one in the face of the ensuing pandemic. Several treatment regimes that includes a mixture (“cocktail”) of “anti retroviral” drugs (ARV’s) were discovered, which fought and delayed the fatal effects of HIV/AIDS. But these cost at least US$10,000 annually to treat an individual and were obviously out of the reach of most third world countries like Guyana.
By the beginning of the millennium, Guyana had recorded an average of about 500 cases annually and was facing a catastrophe of immeasurable proportions. In 2001 however, the Indian pharmaceutical company CIPLA challenged the western patent lockdown on ARV’s and introduced a combination at a fraction of their (western) cost.
In Guyana, the NEW GPC INC, immediately collaborated with several Indian companies and began manufacturing the ARV’s right here in Guyana at the cheaper, treatment prices of less than US$1 per day. The government was now in a position to offer the treatment to all infected Guyanese free of charge.
This historic intervention by the NEW GPC INC allowed the government to increase the number of treatment centres from the one in Georgetown to a dozen countrywide.
In 2002, AIDS-related deaths accounted for 9.5 per cent of all deaths but by 2008, this was cut by more than half to 4.7 per cent. Presently, more than 3500 persons are in Guyana’s HIV/AIDS treatment programme and are being treated with a new regimen of ARV’s. The prevalence of the disease is now down to one per cent according to the National AIDS Programme Secretariat (NAPS) well within the UNAIDS target of 1.3 per cent.
But the fight against AIDS cannot be confined only to treatment: the focus must also be on preventing the spread of the HIV virus. At its point of origin, AIDS is a social disease, since it is spread overwhelmingly through sexual contact. Education about the dangers of “unprotected” sex, ie not using condoms and then making individuals move from knowledge to action is key. Initially, because the disease was associated with men that had sex with men, there were two unfortunate consequences. Firstly, that women were not at risk. This has been shown to be false and today women represent about half of those with AIDS. Secondly, because male to male sex has a great stigma attached to the practice that has been transferred to AIDS.
The entire country needs to remove this stigma and see AIDS as another disease that must be fought.
May 17, 2013 By
About 30 years ago AIDS was terrifying, deadly and spreading at a rapid rate, but today, we have a chance to end this epidemic once and for all. In reviewing the progress made since the 2001 Special Session on HIV/AIDS, the United Nations (UN) had pointed out that new infections had dropped by 20 per cent, and HIV was on a steep decline in some of the most-affected countries, including Ethiopia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe, which had cut infection rates by one quarter in the last 30 years.
Countries again pledged in 2011 to take specific steps to achieve ambitious goals by 2015. While some have already achieved measurable progress and are closer to achieving the targets agreed to, there is still a far way to go for others.
According to a report by UNAIDS, 34 million people around the world are now thought to have the virus that causes AIDS. The head of UNAIDS, Michael Sidibi, in a recent update said that 25 countries have reduced the number of new infections by more than 50 per cent. In his estimation, the world has moved from a phase of political rhetoric to effective programmes being implemented which are certainly having a positive impact.
It should also be noted that many more people with HIV are now receiving life-saving drugs which help to keep the virus under control. In the Caribbean region, we can boast of several successes in relation to our HIV response. Programmes to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission, reduce new HIV infections and treat people living with the virus have yielded encouraging results. For example, from 2009 to 2011, there was a 32 per cent reduction in the number of babies contracting HIV from their mothers.
Additionally, the Caribbean is the only developing region that has approached the near-universal coverage of antiretroviral medicines to prevent mother-to-child transmission. Some 79 per cent of pregnant women living with HIV now access treatment to prevent passing on the virus. This is certainly quite an achievement by any standard.
Guyana, in particular, is being lauded by key stakeholders for its remarkable progress in fighting HIV/AIDS. Guyana/Suriname UN HIV/AIDS programme coordinator, Dr Roberto Luiz Brant Campos, recently said that Guyana is on track for the achievement of Goal Six of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which seeks to combat HIV/AIDS by 2015.
He pointed to the outstanding feat of Guyana in decreasing its HIV prevalence in pregnant women in the last 10 years from 2.6 to 0.9 per cent. This was achieved through the prevention of mother-to-child transmission programme, which has received accolades internationally and is now being used as a best practice in many countries.
The UNAIDS representative also lauded the fact that access to HIV/AIDS treatment is now readily available to 80 per cent of the population in need. This country has also seen a steady decrease of HIV/AIDS cases from 2006. According to the National AIDS Programme Secretariat (NAPS), the number of reported HIV/AIDS cases in Guyana has been reduced to one per cent of the total population, complying with the UNAIDS target of 1.3 per cent.
Guyana is currently pursuing a trajectory of eliminating HIV/AIDS by 2020, as outlined in its strategic plan. Health officials in Guyana said the country is on a path to achieving a collective goal of having zero new infections, zero stigma and discrimination, zero AIDS-related deaths and zero mother-to-child transmission by 2020.
That being said, the region, including Guyana, cannot become complacent. In order to sustain the advances made, governments and international donor partners need to put more money and effort towards ensuring that their HIV programmes can be sustained. As advised by UNAIDS Caribbean Regional Support Team Director, Dr Ernest Massiah, more needs to be done to address the prejudice and social inequities that operate to make some people, both more vulnerable to HIV infection and less likely to access prevention, testing, treatment and care services. Young people, men who have sex with men and sex workers are among the populations that need targeted investments and more protective environments.
While we must be proud of our successes, it is necessary for us to continue to press governments, civil society and the private sector to work together to ensure that past commitments to achieve universal access to life-saving treatments were met and that the elusive pandemic was stopped in its tracks once and for all.
May 17, 2013 By
While the opposition, led by the leader of the Alliance for Change (AFC) Khemraj Ramjattan has chopped the budgetary allocation for the Specialty Hospital that was to be constructed at Liliendaal and effectively placed the entire project in jeopardy, other countries in the region are rushing to satisfy the burgeoning and lucrative medical tourism market.
The latest has been an announcement from Jamaica that a “five star” 200-bed specialty hospital will be constructed at an eventual cost of US$200 million. Under the first phase of the project, a 50-75 bed facility will be constructed to offer plastic and cosmetic surgery, bariatric (obesity surgery) services, and dental specialties. The project, which is headed by Jamaicans from their diaspora is integrated within the government’s Health and Wellness Tourism Policy, which seeks to lay out the framework for positioning Jamaica as the newest destination for medical and wellness tourism. The Jamaican Cabinet recently approved the mechanism for the development of the medical tourism industry and will be establishing a steering committee with major industry stakeholders to guide the finalisation of the policy and regulatory framework.
Locally, this move by Jamaica was noted by former People’s National Congress (PNC) presidential aspirant Dr Faith Harding who bemoaned the refusal of the local opposition to put their narrow private and partisan interests aside and work for the national good. Noting some of the concrete benefits that would accrue to the country if such a facility could be built here. She felt that the opposition might be too fixated on the “messenger” (former President Bharrat Jagdeo) and not on the “message” (the hospital). Some of the identified benefits were “modernising and improving health services, upgrading specialist skills” and of course, boosting the economy. Globally, the medical tourism industry raked in over US$40 billion in 2010, with major markets in the industry generating over 1.5 million medical tourists.
What makes the opposition’s vindictive move more unbelievable is that while the Jamaican 200-bed facility was to cost US$200 million (admittedly with ancillary facilities and accommodations that truly make it “upscale”), the local facility with 250 beds would have cost only US$20 million with US$18.1 million provided through a soft loan from India. The medical facilities in the local proposal would have been just as “five star”. We would be attracting the middle tier of medical tourists who would not mind staying at the new Marriott being constructed. Obviously the opposition was talking through their hats when they complained about the costs of the preparation of the site, which was to be underwritten by the government. Even with their wildest estimates, the cost to Guyana would not have been more that the US$1.9 million on top of the loan to bring the project to completion at US$20 million.
What Dr Harding was probably too polite to mention, or possibly did not know, when she expressed her disbelief at the opposition’s action, was the naked and venal self-interest of the AFC’s Ramjattan. The Specialty Hospital would also have saved poor Guyanese millions of dollars (not to mention their dignity as they had to beg for those millions) because they would not have to go abroad for their more complicated surgical procedures. And against this service to the poor and to the country’s fortunes, the sad truth is that Ramjattan has opposed this boon to Guyana because one of his clients did not win the bid to build the hospital.
In any other parliament in the world, Ramjattan would have been hauled before the Parliamentary Committee of Privilege and suspended for abusing his office as an Member of Parliament to further the interest of his client. Ramjattan disingenuously claims that he has not collected any money from his client, which is an oxymoron. One cannot be a lawyer’s client until one has paid a fee. We hope the Guyanese people are listening.
May 15, 2013 By
Secretary General for the Caribbean Community (Caricom) Irwin LaRocque, addressing the opening session of the 16th meeting of Caricom’s Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR) in Port of Spain last Monday night, declared that despite its remarkable achievements and milestones to date, the regional grouping “is well aware that it is also evolving and the landscape in which we operate has changed, requiring a new modus operandi.”
We are happy that once again, we are being promised a “new modus operandi” for Caricom. But noting that this July will mark the 40th anniversary of the founding of the organisation, we would like to review how Caricom has fared as far as accomplishing its own stated objectives. We would like to believe that the “remarkable achievements and milestones” would be centred on those objectives.
From its website, Caricom has the following objectives: (a) improved standards of living and work; (b) full employment of labour and other factors of production; (c) accelerated, coordinated and sustained economic development and convergence; (d) expansion of trade and economic relations with third states; (e) enhanced levels of international competitiveness; (f) organisation for increased production and productivity;(g) the achievement of a greater measure of economic leverage and effectiveness of member states in dealing with third states, groups of states and entities of any description;(h) enhanced coordination of member states’ foreign and [foreign] economic policies; and (i) enhanced functional cooperation, including (i) more efficient operation of common services and activities for the benefit of its peoples; (ii) accelerated promotion of greater understanding among its peoples and the advancement of their social, cultural and technological development; and (iii) intensified activities in areas such as health, education, transportation, telecommunications.
Now that is quite a comprehensive agenda for an organisation that was conceived by its founders as a vehicle for achieving nothing less that, as its name declares, a “Caribbean Community”. Moving from its earlier incarnation as the Caribbean Free Trade Area (CARIFTA) – launched in 1968, Caricom was self-consciously designed against “what might have been” if the ill-fated West Indian Federation of 1958-1962 had survived and evolved.
While in an absolute sense, Caricom has made progress in each of its stipulated goals, relative to where it began its journey. However, compared to the achievements of other small states similarly positioned then, such as Singapore and Hong Kong, one would be hard pressed to describe its milestones and achievements as “remarkable”. What makes the achievement even more depressing is the quantum of funding that is expended to run the Caricom Secretariat and its host of ancillary units. In the opinion of most Caricom citizens, the organisation simply provides a sinecure for a large swathe of bureaucrats from the member states.
Let us take what has been stated as the very raison d’être of the organisation, encapsulating most of the above objectives, to be achieved first by 2008 then deferred to 2015 – a Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME). Without any explanation to the people of the Caribbean, two years ago, the leaders of Caricom announced that the CSME was on “pause”. What this means is that none of the stated goals mean anything beyond the words on paper. Against this background, we find it difficult to speak of “remarkable” achievements when for all intents and purposes Caricom is adrift in a most turbulent sea of change in a fast changing world.
A report card for Caricom will never get a “pass” mark unless the central contradiction which was pointed out decades ago – the lack of a governing body with authority and responsibility to execute the decisions of the heads of government – has been rectified. In the absence of such a body, we will continue to have the well-paid bureaucrats of Caricom do what they do best: schedule and hold meetings that will produce reams of paper for the shelves of the Caricom Secretariat.
May 14, 2013 By