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New CARICOM initiatives on tourism and ICT

CARICOM Heads of Government meeting in Georgetown have agreed to give greater priority to tourism, the development of a regional ICT programme, and to addressing the issue of pan-Caribbean crime. Of all the matters discussed at the inter-sessional summit held on February 16-17 under the Chairmanship of Guyana’s President, David Granger, the issue most likely to have a timely outcome…

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Guyana set to be major Americas oil producer

ExxonMobil has announced that it is preparing to drill a further offshore well in its deep water Stabroek Block this month, located about 100 miles off the Guyanese coast. The announcement comes as industry analysts and the international media have begun to recognise that Guyana is likely to become a major western hemisphere oil producer following earlier finds in the…

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Moïse stresses hope for improved Haiti-DR relations

Haiti’s President-elect, Jovenel Moïse, has said that once in office he intends to strengthen relations with the Dominican Republic, and will ensure that undocumented Haitians living there receive the documentation they need to regularise their presence in the country. Speaking to the media at the Presidential Palace following a meeting with the Dominican President, Danilo Medina, the Haitian President-elect expressed…

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Big challenges face Haiti’s new President

Haiti’s new President, Jovenel Moïse, will be sworn in on February 7 following confirmation on January 4 of his landslide first round victory in the country’s November 20 elections. Mr Moïse took 55.6% of the vote, but voter turnout of just 21% suggested that most Haitians have become disillusioned with professed political solutions, and fear that Mr Moïse, like his…

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Guyana begins to ready country for oil bonanza

As rumours swirl in Guyana of another large offshore oil find, the country has begun to put in place the legislation necessary to regulate the vast income that the industry is expected to generate for the country. Speaking on December 1 at the Annual Awards ceremony of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael…

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Trump threatens as Cuba mourns

The US President-elect, Donald Trump has said that ‘if Cuba is unwilling to make a better deal for the Cuban people, the Cuban/American people and the US as a whole, I will terminate deal’. His tweet, which used language seemingly designed to drive a wedge between Cuba and the US and end President Obama’s policy of détente, followed the death…

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Region reacts with caution to President-elect Trump

Caribbean governments have reacted cautiously to the election of Donald Trump as the next President of the United States. While all governments sent congratulatory messages, in some cases indicating a willingness to work with the incoming administration, most were restrained. In an editorial, the Jamaica Observer noted that the single thread running through the Caribbean response was uncertainty, commenting that…

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Venezuela to lose strategic refining hub in Curaçao

The Chinese largely state-owned Guangdong Zhenrong Energy Co (GDZR) has said that it is planning, with support from some of China’s leading energy and financing companies, to invest more than US$5.5bn in upgrading the Isla refinery on Curaçao. Until recently Venezuela’s state owned oil company PDVSA had planned to renew its lease on the facility, which expires in 2019, and…

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Jamaica hoping for accelerated growth

The Jamaican Government has agreed a new three year US$1.7bn standby programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). It hopes that the new programme will enable it to take forward its economic recovery and lead to accelerated growth. The staff level agreement, which requires formal IMF Executive Board ratification in November, will replace the country’s existing IMF Extended Fund Facility…

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Matthew displaces thousands in Haiti, hits Bahamas

After causing severe damage to the south-western peninsula of Haiti, Hurricane Matthew, the fiercest Caribbean storm in almost a decade, has gone on to inflict severe damage in parts of the Bahamas. As Insight went to press, the Bahamian media was reporting “life-threatening” and “catastrophic conditions across Nassau.” Tribune 242 said on October 6 that Hurricane Matthew was steadily intensifying…

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