Tag Archives: Caribbean

How to revitalize Caribbean economies.

Above the logo of the Soualiga Youth Foundation. Profiled on this BLOG in the HOME section.

ST PETERS Sint Maarten: Since 2000 the Foundation Soualiga Youth wrote a detailed report which was presented to then Minister of Education Sarah Wescott Williams. In said report the Foundation outlined a comprehensive plan of action pertinent to Economic revitalization of the Caribbean economies, using Agriculture and Eco-Cultural Tourism as an alternative to the present hedonistic people destructive trend in tourism.The plan was never taken seriously and experts worldwide are predicting the imminent collapse of the Tourism sector as a viable economic pillar regionally. This article is a mirror of what the Soualiga Youth presented to the government of Sint Maarten.

Nov 21, 2012 (Menafn – Caribbean News Now – McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) –There is indeed a continuing conversation in many global quarters pertaining to the type of prescription necessary for the revival of the Caribbean economies. In Washington, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Inter American Development Bank (IADB) are lamenting about the evolving middle class in Latin America and the Caribbean.

While they have exercised much care and caution about defining the specific nations where the middle class is emerging, we must not lose sight of the fact that these two powerful agencies have not substantially addressed the growing poverty issues and decrease in quality of life among certain sectors of the region’s population. In addition, there have been no indicators from these two agencies as to how an emerging middle class will contribute to the control of poverty; improve youth employment and improve the quality of life for the disadvantaged in a sustained manner.

To the great disappointment of many other global observers, the Washington and Geneva multilateralists are aggressively pursuing their selfish development agenda through the deployment of financial resources and development of phony collaborative partnerships with their regional counterparts.
These agencies and their collaborators are yet to come forward with any viable and achievable suggestions regarding the revitalization of our economies; managing our foreign policy reserves by decreasing imports and most important development strategies for a sustainable path that would alleviate the region’s social and economic ills.
Addressing youth unemployment; rural development; access to information technology tools and ensuring there are initiatives that will bring tangible benefits to the disadvantaged are innovations and expectations that should become, key development and policy planks in the region.

As efforts and suggestions are developed for advancing and sustaining the Caribbean economies, there are at least three sectors that require immediate attention and hopefully will result in some improvements. However, it must be noted and recognized that successful and sustainable outcomes will only be derived from a genuine change of attitude, recognition of the need for broad based planning, participation and an acceptance that the global community is changing and Caribbean governments and institutions are obligated to fall in line with these global changes.
Agriculture has long been recognized as the central mainstay of Caribbean economies. Unfortunately, this economy has disappeared and there has been no coordinated or demonstrated effort to revive and sustain it. Short term tourist dollars seem to be the priority. Accumulation of foreign currency in any Caribbean nation should not be dependent only upon tourism.

Many of our small farmers have been abandoned as weak kneed regional policy experts associated with various governments have embarked upon a wild and ill fated chase for tourism dollars, which is unlikely to increase.
While the chase of tourism dollars might be justified by the weak knee policy experts, evidence clearly indicate that Caribbean economies should not rely only on a tourism sector, given global economic uncertainties in Europe and North America. Tourism should not be embraced as the saviour of Caribbean economies. Agriculture should be the priority.

In reviving and sustaining this important industry, there are several factors that require a radical change in thinking and perception about production and market penetration. The application of new information technology tools, identifying and building new partnerships, creation, and sustenance of a strong national marketing board that will assist agricultural stakeholders in exporting and selling their products.

The days of the Geest Line, Harrison Shipping, Atlantic Lines, the Saguenay and Canada Steamship Lines are remembered by many for transporting our agricultural products in better times. Unfortunately, maintenance and sustainability of these exports are disappearing and very little efforts are being advanced for production and export reliability of these products. Like the tourism industry, they are foreign currency income earners and this is why the rationale and need for the agricultural economy is vital to our future.

The tourism industry is an important sector for the region. While the importance of this industry is recognized and encouraged, like the agricultural industry, it also requires radical changes and understanding. The Caribbean tourism industry is very competitive and exceeds the old antique marketing strategy of white sand beaches, bikini clad women with tantalizing physique and beautiful white teeth.

Potential vacationers are looking at affordability, safety, quick, accessible transportation and potential venues or attractions that jug their interests. These expectations require many changes in the management of this industry. Pricing, target marketing, and promotion are very essential if Caribbean nations are interested in holding their niche.

Tourism income earnings are fine and must always be encouraged. However, consideration must be given to a more intricate and sustainable link with our agricultural industry. Tourist vacationers must be encouraged to consume more local foods and other consumption goods associated with the tourist industry. 

The preservation of the local arts and craft industry is of critical importance. This would require effective monitoring and maintenance of existing legislation that addresses trade preference and import of these products. Irrespective of the World Trade Organization (WTO) hype, our local arts and crafts industries should always be protected.

As I examine the plight and future of the region’s disadvantaged, it is crystal clear that unemployment, sexual exploitation, youth delinquency, crime, and lawlessness will continue to confront Caribbean governments. At the same time, many regional individuals have embarked upon further education only to discover after graduation that there are no immediate employment opportunities at home.
Therefore, Caribbean governments need to broaden their perception about another potential foreign income source. Given the decline of the tourism industry, the collapse of the agricultural industry and limited export products, the denial must end and our leaders need to get down to work to address local economic conditions and stop blaming global economic conditions.

Jamaica and Barbados maintain fairly good tourism and trade infrastructures that earn them foreign exchange. However, these two CARICOM nations are actively and aggressively engaged in labour export that provides opportunities for their unemployed skilled workers to seek temporary foreign employment in the United States and Canada. While these two nations, like their other regional colleagues, are engaged in the Canadian seasonal farm workers program, they recognize that it is minuscule and there is need for sourcing other potential opportunities.

Many of our regional governments need to take a page from Barbados and Jamaica as labour export generates good foreign income and also contributes to the improvement of the quality of life. Those regional governments with tunnel vision on labour export must understand that they need to go beyond the seasonal farm workers program.

Our governments can begin exploring new labour market opportunities by putting their consular officials to investigate and identify employment opportunities for skilled unemployed workers in their domain. Canada and other western nations have growing temporary employment opportunities that can utilize the skills of our employed. We need to move beyond the farm workers program.
Recognition and implementation of the above suggestions require our regional Ministries of Labour to become more innovative and forward looking in addressing labour market opportunities in their domain. They might wish to solicit the assistance of the Trinidad-based International Labour Office (ILO) if they decide to become innovative and creative.

SHURENDY ‘TYSON’ QUANT AND HIS NO LIMIT SOLDIERS.

A map of the Caribbean showing the illicit narcotic routes from Colombia and Venezuela.

With the Caribbean basin being so close to Colombia as this map shows, the use of the Caribbean as a drug transshipment point, to Europe and North America, has increased as international pressure continues to ramp up against Mexican drug cartels. William Brownfield, an assistant U.S. Secretary of State in charge of international narcotics and law enforcement affairs said: ―We see this crisis coming we even have some sense as to when it will arrive‖. The crisis is being fueled by Mexican drug cartels who are responding to increased police pressure along their northern border with the United States. But there is also an element of state-supported help as countries antagonistic to the United States, such as Venezuela, work closer with drug cartels, the analysts warned. These sentiments were underscored during a Dec. 15 hearing in front of a U.S. Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on drug trafficking, by Sen. Robert Menendez, D-NJ, who said there seems to be a lack of urgency as violence continues to grow in the Caribbean basin. The problem is becoming so dire in the Dominican Republic, Menendez said, that a presidential candidate in that country recently warned that his country is close to becoming ―a narco-state.‖―He said that the government is incapable of stopping drug traffickers, Analysts with the state department say Colombian narco cartels are increasingly using Caribbean countries as trans-shipment points for drugs headed to the United States and Europe. These routes were highly popular during the 1980s when Colombian cartels made Miami and southern Florida hugely popular entry points for illicit cocaine shipments, the analysts said. ―I have observed with great concern the security situation in this region,‖ said Liliana Ayalde, deputy administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development and a former U.S. ambassador to Paraguay ―Over the last ten years, there‘s been an alarming escalation of homicides in the region, She said. In the 1980s law enforcement began choking off maritime trafficking at the same time that Colombian cartels were being dismantled because of international pressure, according to analysts. Brownfield said this served to shift major drug trafficking activity to Mexico where home-grown cartels used age-old smuggling routes along the porous overland border. But the explosion of violence over the last six years in Mexico has drawn international pressure on the cartels, who are shifting operations further south in neighboring Latin American countries.

He predicted that recent intervention efforts, targeting Central America, will begin to take hold this year, at which time the cartels are predicted to shift the smuggling routes into the waters of the Caribbean, where tiny island nations, are vulnerable and not equipped to deal the volume of money and violence, that the cartels bring with them.―I am neither satisfied with the progress being made on the ground, nor the news and information I am receiving from the region,‖ Menendez said. He noted that in the Bahamas, the murder of 104 people last year set a new homicide record for that island nation that had been set only a year earlier. ―But that pales in comparison to Jamaica, which has become the murder capital of the Caribbean,‖ Menendez said, with more than 1,400 people murdered last year. Early signs support Brownfield‘s prediction. Rodney Benson, an assistant administrator with the DEA, described an operation last July in which the DEA helped the Dominican Republic arrest a member of Mexico‘s Sinaloa Cartel, who had been coordinating cocaine shipments by air from Venezuela to the Dominican Republic. And while the arrest was counted as a successful operation, Benson said, the Dominican Republic was unprepared for the ensuing violence of reprisal that wracked the country. Menendez said that despite this spike in violence, there are troubling signs of the drug cartels staying one step ahead of law enforcement. One example is the amount of money the U.S. government is allotting to this fight. While the focus and the funds are on Mexico and Central America, Menendez noted that funding for anti-drug efforts in the Caribbean are actually expected to drop to $73 million from $77 million a year earlier.―If we don‘t pay attention to the Caribbean,‖ Menendez warned, ―we‘re going to repeat history. The information and statistics above offers well documented proof of a highly organized sophisticated thrust by Narco Cartels, out of Mexico in Collusion with Colombians and other South American countries and most recently Caribbean islands, like Belize, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic and others as transshipment points for drugs destined for Europe and America.

Above top members of MS 13 in a prison in El Salvador. Above the logo of Los Trinitarios.
I indicated since 2003 that the Mara Salvatuchra or MS 13 , and the Trinitarios (the Dominican gang active throughout the US , St Thomas, St Croix, Belize and peripherally through proxies in some Antillean islands), are the proxies of some powerful Mexican ―narco-cartels‖ . Increasingly Caribbean gangs are as I have stated previously, displaying certain characteristics most often associated with terrorist organizations i.e. kidnappings used as a political bargaining chip whilst simultaneously using kidnapping as a revenue stream, their use of highly sophisticated military grade weapons, tactics of dismemberment of rivals and even civilians as a means of sowing terror and fear in their opposition, local populations and the elite within the state apparatus. One of the most recent contemporary examples of a narco-state in the making is Sint Maarten, a former Dutch colony and formerly part of the now non-existent Netherlands Antilles.

Figures 1-2: In photo‘s Shurendy Quant and his Dutch Goth celebrity lawyer Inez Wiske. A potent example of the preceding and the impact of Urban American gang-culture on the Caribbean is that of the No Limit Soldiers (NLS), a crime syndicate originating in Koraalspecht Curacao. Their exploits can be read about, in most Dutch media outlets in Holland and the islands of the former Dutch colonies in the Caribbean. The crime syndicate is involved in various criminal enterprises, ―Another major activity of the gang are contract killings. The gang is known for operating murder-for-hire squads that are used to eliminate rival drug trafficking operations in Curacao as well as in the Netherlands. Colombian crime groups as well as criminal organizations from the Dutch Penose are known for doing business with the Afro-Curaçaoan gang in the committing of contract killings‖.
Wikipedia, not the most reliable information source on the internet, contains clear facts that can be gleaned from police reports, local and international media. In April of 2013 Arthur Hall Senior News Editor of The Gleaner a leading Jamaican publication wrote an article on April 16 2013 wherein it was stated that: ―Curacao National Sent Home From Jamaica Awaiting Further Deportation.
The Curacao national who was deported from Jamaica under controversial circumstances last week is now in custody in that country awaiting deportation to the Netherlands to answer several charges. The 30-year-old Shurandy Quant, otherwise called ‘Tyson’ and ‘Padmore’, was taken into custody immediately on arrival in Curacao last Thursday.” He is wanted in Holland to answer charges so the authorities there asked Jamaica to arrest him, and they deported him back to the country from which he arrived, so they sent him here,” said Norman Serphos, public relations officer for the Public Prosecutor in Curaçao.”He is being held here while we await the green light from Jamaica, where the matter is to be settled,” added Serphos.The matter that has to be settled relates to efforts by lawyers representing Quant to prevent his deportation. Attorneys-at-law Carolyn Reid-Cameron and Chukwuemeka Cameron have argued that Quant was deported despite a Supreme Court order that he should be allowed to stay in the island until the case was settled. Due process not followed.
They contended that due process and the rule of law were not followed. But the police are claiming that while they were aware of an application in the Supreme Court, they received no instruction that impacted the deportation order signed by National Security Minister Peter Bunting. The lawyers have indicated that they have been instructed to initiate contempt of court charges against Bunting. Quant is described as a very violent, wealthy and sophisticated world drug trafficker who fled to Montego Bay, St James, to avoid capture. According to international law-enforcement agencies, members of his organization are tattooed ‘NLS – No Limit Soldier’ on their hands and ‘TRU – The Real Underworld’ on their chest back or head.

Figure: Photo a bonafide NLS member, poses proudly in the heart of NLS, territory in Koraalspecht Curacao © Sinaya Wolfert. They also wear chains with the associated insignia NLS/TRU.
It is feared that Quant would use his considerable wealth earned through the illegal drugs trade to corrupt the local police.”I know that he is wanted for trial in connection with a drug case, but there are others,” Serphos told The Gleaner.Quant subsequently won the case enumerated above. Now the question in my mind is which, street gang has the financial wherewithal and the obvious legal representation that Shurendy Quant and his No Limit crime syndicate has available to them? Certainly not in the case of Afro-Caribbean males in the impoverished Caribbean context. Shurendy Quant is unequivocally one of the executives of a well-oiled, sophisticated, money generating enterprise.There are clear facts that can be gleaned from police reports, local and international media and the various snitches, that have absconded from NLS. One such snitch/rat being Anthony Bertinus aka ―Pencho‖. Bertinus stated publicly in an interview with Margriet Martinus who worked for the Dutch magazine ® Niuewe Revu, the photographer for the piece was Sinaya Wolfert.Bertinus stated in an interview with the Volkskrant a Dutch newspaper that he knows who ordered the hit on Helmin Wiels; I will include excerpts from the interview herein. The article was written by Charlotte Huisman dated 8, September 2016. The article was of course written in Dutch, I have translated said article for my readership. The article was captioned as follows: ―How Three Rich Casino Bosses made 600,000 Euro‟s available To Assassinate Helmin Wiels‖.Who gave the orders to assassinate Helmin Wiels? Anthony Bertinus knows first-hand. He told his story to the judicial authorities on Curacao, but his name was ―leaked‖ to the press. ―My death sentence‖, Anthony stated that‘s why I want to tell my side of the story‖. ―Anthony Spencer Bertinus (50) is

in a Dutch jail, behind the glass in a freezing cold room. Bertinus is in jail for an armed robbery on a Marijuana plantation, which he committed several years ago, while he resided in Holland. He was extradited to Holland to serve his sentence. He will talk to us about, his intimate knowledge of the assassination plot, to liquidate Helmin Wiels and the principals and financiers of said plot‖.―Bertinus gave a detailed statement to the Public Prosecutor on Curacao, „with the understanding that my name would not be revealed‟, but the Public Prosecutor named him in an earlier hearing as a „witness‟. His name appeared in a report in the local newspaper Amigoe on Curaçao, as a witness‖. Commenting on the report in Amigoe Bertinus said: “That felt like my death sentence, now that it doesn‟t matter anymore, I want to tell my side of the story”.―Even behind bars in the Netherlands Bertinus is not safe. He was threatened recently, by a fellow inmate from Curaçao. The man said to him that: „Pencho I know that you are marked for death. There is a price on your head and I want to cash it!‖―Bertinus begins to talk….about the most volatile question on Curaçao, ‗who murdered Helmin Wiels?‘ Bertinus says that he grew up in Koraalspecht with Burney F aka ‗Nini‘, the former campaign manager of Jorge or George Jamaloodin. Jamaloodin was a former Finance Minister in the Cabinet of the then Prime Minister Gerrit Schotte.

in a Dutch jail, behind the glass in a freezing cold room. Bertinus is in jail for an armed robbery on a Marijuana plantation, which he committed several years ago, while he resided in Holland. He was extradited to Holland to serve his sentence. He will talk to us about, his intimate knowledge of the assassination plot, to liquidate Helmin Wiels and the principals and financiers of said plot‖.―Bertinus gave a detailed statement to the Public Prosecutor on Curacao, „with the understanding that my name would not be revealed‟, but the Public Prosecutor named him in an earlier hearing as a „witness‟. His name appeared in a report in the local newspaper Amigoe on Curaçao, as a witness‖. Commenting on the report in Amigoe Bertinus said: “That felt like my death sentence, now that it doesn‟t matter anymore, I want to tell my side of the story”.―Even behind bars in the Netherlands Bertinus is not safe. He was threatened recently, by a fellow inmate from Curaçao. The man said to him that: „Pencho I know that you are marked for death. There is a price on your head and I want to cash it!‖―Bertinus begins to talk….about the most volatile question on Curaçao, ‗who murdered Helmin Wiels?‘ Bertinus says that he grew up in Koraalspecht with Burney F aka ‗Nini‘, the former campaign manager of Jorge or George Jamaloodin. Jamaloodin was a former Finance Minister in the Cabinet of the then Prime Minister Gerrit Schotte.

Figure: Anthony  ‘Penchu‘ Bertinus.
Gerrit Schotte‘s party the MFK is now once again a part of the government in Curacao‘s Parliament. Gerrit Schotte is the same individual that the criminal Penchu and many other‘s including the Public Prosecutor‘s on Curacao, has linked to the murder of Helmin Wiels, why then is this individual a participant in the political process? The insanity of the matter boggles the mind.

Wiels center campaigning in better times.

Above the body of Helmin Wiels lying on Marie Pompoen beach where he was murdered, shot at point blank range with an AK-47.

Bertinus specifically named lotto boss Robbie Dos Santos, the Sint Maarten based casino boss Francesco Corallo has been (named as an „important person in the Sicilian Mafia‟ by the authorities in Italy), and a third unnamed person, as being the principals in, financing, authoring and ordering the assassination of Mr. Helmin Wiels‖.―More than three years after the murder of Helmin Wiels, the Public Prosecutor on Curacao, launched a preliminary hearing against “Nini. The Public Prosecutor claims that “Nini”, is the link to the three big bosses and the hired killers. Bertinus and “Nini” know each other from their younger years growing up in the same No Limit Soldier stronghold, the Koraalspecht neighborhood”. Bertinus said that “Nini”, was good friends with his elder brothers.

Bertinus said in his statement to the Public Prosecutor, that “Nini”, confided in him that: „The three gambling bosses each contributed 400,000 Antillean Guilders, which amounted to 1.2 million guilders the equivalent of 600,000 Euro or 650,000 US dollars. “Nini”, told me that Wiels did not keep his mouth shut, about the corruption in the gambling and casino industries on Curacao, which led to his assassination. “Nini” thought that I would adhere to the „no snitching‟ code. What he didn‟t know was that my father had been friends with Mr. Wiels‖.―Bertinus told us his life story‖ (some of which I have excerpted in the following). ―When I was 17, I moved from Curacao to Rotterdam. In Rotterdam I started a career as an armed robber. I was eventually locked up in prison. After having been released from prison. At the age of 23 I was the European Kickboxing champion. In Rotterdam with its large Antillean community, he met people from his old neighborhood Koraalspecht. Some of them were members of the No Limit Soldiers (NLS)‖.―After his father died Bertinus returned to Curacao. He saw how drastically Curacao had changed. Barely a week after he returned, Helmin Wiels was murdered by members of NLS from his neighborhood‖.―Bertinus went to work as ‗security‘ at the ―Haifu Minimarket‖, in Koraalspecht. He also did odd jobs, for Michael L a member of NLS. One day Michael told Bertinus to go to ―Nini who they heard had contracted NLS members to execute the contract on Helmin Wiels‘ head.

Figure: The Haifu Minimarket clearly visible.The executives in NLS were furious that their people were involved in the hit and wanted to see money! They demanded that ―Nini‖, pay them 25,000 Euro. ―We know that you were instrumental in orchestrating the hit”. Bertinus told „Nini‟.―In the case file of the hearing on August 2014, there are three statements by Bertinus against the organizers of the Wiels hit. The actual statements were made by Bertinus in February, 2014. Then he was imprisoned, on suspicion of the attempted extortion of ‗Nini‘. Bertinus claims that he has changed his life and wants to do well by his island, Curacao. He says that: ―I was shocked, to see children as young as, 13 and 14 years old, walking around with guns and openly sympathizing with the No Limit Soldiers. The new generation of gangsters, do not have an ethical code. There is

only senseless violence. He said that Curacao is held, too tightly in the grip of the mafia. Everything is being taken over and robbed, by criminals, the harbor, water and electricity companies, the casinos. My island is the scapegoat, everything is becoming more expensive and there is hardly anyway one can make an honest living. The youngsters in Koraalspecht see the expensive cars, that the gangsters ride around in and they also want to be gangsters. While the gangbangers continue to do the dirty work for the, crime bosses’. I stand by what I say; even if it costs me my life, the crime bosses must not evade justice this time. I do not want my beautiful island to be ruined”.

Figure: a Facebook photo: In this photo Dangelo Damascus left and Elvis Kuwas right in photo. The two persons shown above are the ones held responsible for the murder of Helmin Wiels. Both are being described by the Prosecutors Office on Curacao as members of the No Limit crime syndicate.


The naming of Elvis Kuwas and Damascus as bonafide members of the NLS does not fit with the proven image of the NLS. The NLS is a very modern, highly regimented and organized criminal syndicate that is consciously, franchising, branding and consolidating small street gangs both on Sint Maarten and in Holland. A real NLS member is either branded with a tattoo like the one above on the right shoulder of the man in the photo, or they wear the syndicate‘s logo of the tank on their chain. Within that gangs culture only highly ranked members are allowed diamonds and other precious stones in the medallion of the tank logo, more diamonds and precious stones marks the wearer as a shot-caller (general) within the crime syndicate. The two men Elvis Kuwas aka Monster and Dangelo Damascus were not identified in the media as having any specific tattoos indicating their allegiance to or membership within the NLS crime syndicate. There is however evidence that proves Kuwas, was being used as an assassin by the group, specifically to hunt down Erwin Juliana, the highly ranked BVC shot caller, who was killed in 2015 at the Hato International Airport, Curacao. Juliana was not killed by Kuwas, the specifics of the hunt for Juliana was highlighted in the corporate media and I will highlight some of the excerpts here.To date Burney Fonseca aka ‗Nini‘ was sentenced to 25 years for having orchestrated the murder of Helmin Wiels.An explosive, detailed report in the police magazine Blauw/Blue gave detailed information culled from police reports in the city of Rotterdam and elsewhere, on the activities of the No Limit Soldiers (NLS), Buena Vista City (BVC) and a gang called Kura Piedra/Army, in the city of Rotterdam. Published on the 28 March 2015 captioned: Bendeoorlogen Binnen Het Koninkrijk/Gang Wars in The Kingdom, and written by Marielle den Breejen all photos are from the Rotterdam Eenheid or the Unit Rotterdam and ANP, here are some excerpted highlights from the report: ―Members of the No Limit Soldiers and Buena Vista City street gangs, regularly come to Holland to flee rivals in Curacao and to further their criminal activities.


The gangs are caught in a fierce ongoing, violent gang war. Wherever rival factions meet, they immediately open fire on each other‖.―Curacao has a chronic problem involving criminal gangs whose members are often complicit in, armed robberies, illicit narcotics trafficking, rip-deals, and gun running. The gangs are in possession of huge arsenals of weapons. The most dominant of these gangs are the No Limit Soldiers (NLS), from the Koraalspecht area and Buena Vista City (BVC), from the Buena Vista neighborhood‖.―A year and a half ago the Recherche Samenwerkings Team (RST) the English translation for RST is Investigative Cooperation Team (ICT), warned us (the Dutch police) that members of the NLS and BVC, were leaving Curacao for the Netherlands, according to Edward Van Meel national information coordinator of the recently established info-cel Caribbean‖.―In a section entitled: ‗Moordcommando‘/Murdersquad or the Hitteam, it was stated in Blauw that: ―De KMar op Schiphol treft op 26 Februari 2012 zes Kilo cocaine aan in de vleugel van een vliegtuig uit Bonaire/Curacao.

On February 26, 2016, at Schiphol International Airport, personnel of the special KMar unit discovered six kilos of cocaine in the wing of a plane that transited Bonaire made a stop on Curacao, with its final destination being Schiphol. The subsequent investigation that followed consisting of Customs, KMar and FIOD, exposed a drugs-pipeline that led to the Caribbean. Eighteen suspects were arrested, among those arrested were personnel of the Schiphol International Airport and persons in the Caribbean.

The Justice Department in Amsterdam made their findings public. They took that course of action, when it became clear that people within the crime syndicate responsible for the drugs transport, were blaming some of the persons responsible for the shipment of illicit narcotics with theft, such an accusation is usually cause for the accused being killed. Some of the suspects were members of No Limit Soldiers (NLS). In October of that year (2012), the investigation unit uncovered a plot led by members of NLS to liquidate a BVC shot caller (Erwin Adriano Juliana). The detectives warned Juliana that he was being hunted. In the beginning of November (2012) one of the leaders of NLS, went to Schiphol International Airport to pick up a hit man flown in from Curacao, subsequently a second hit man arrived days later. It became apparent to the investigative team, through listening to the hit teams cellphone conversations, that they were unable to find Juliana, thanks to the detectives‘ previously warning him, Juliana was off the grid .Towards the end of November (2012), the (Koninklijke Marecheussee)/ KMar, the FIOD led by several arrest units, conducted a series of raids multiple suspects and the hired hit men, were arrested, firearms and illicit narcotics were found, several seized cellphones contained pictures of the suspects posing with firearms, money and drugs. A case was being built by the Public Prosecutors office against eight of the suspects for the establishment of and membership in an ongoing criminal enterprise. NLS head honcho Shurendy Quant aka Tyson Q, was among those arrested, however due to insufficient evidence, the presiding judge in Haarlem, ordered his predetention lifted. The following is documented evidence from previously classified information, from the national investigation unit in the Netherlands, which proves a definite NLS presence on Sint Maarten.

Sint Maartens judicial authorities and police force has yet to acknowledge the chronic problems created island wide since NLS, began operating on Sint Maarten. What follows is damning evidence of the scope and extent of the operations of NLS on Curacao, Sint Maarten and the Netherlands: ―The No Limit Soldiers is a criminal syndicate with a military‘, hierarchy in Curacao, Sint Maarten and the Netherlands. The general‘ and the colonel‘ are at the head of the organization, further down several lieutenants (shot callers) issue orders to their subordinates soldiers‘. Specific women called ‗princesses‘ are used to fulfill supportive roles and carry out important tasks within the NLS crime syndicate one such female was Latoya Flanders (Source: DRIO Rotterdam).

Figure: Above Latoya Flanders, aka “Nuta” and Urvin Nuto Wawoe, a shot-caller within the No Limit Gang aka Tru from Koraal Specht Curacao. Flanders proudly wears a white T-shirt with the alternate name of NLS/TRU The Real Underworld.

Above Latoya Flanders the deceased paramour of Urvin ―Nuto‖ Wawoe. Flanders was murdered in Sint Maarten on Thursday, September 5, 2015. She was liquidated in a reprisal shooting, in the ongoing war between Buena Vista City (BVC) and the No Limit Soldiers (NLS), both of which originate out of Buena Vista (BVC) and Koraal Specht (NLS) on the island of Curacao.

Figure: Above a No Limit Soldiers promotion instead of the aforementioned TRU is used the organization is one and the same. The website shown koraalspechtcity.com is their official site. On their FB page Latoya Flanders is eulogized by Urvin Wawoe in poetic verse he refers to her as “Nuta” and himself as “Nuto”.The war being waged by the gangs have transcended the narrow confines of their neighborhoods on Curacao and have taken on a regional, international character. The following is quoted from Sint Maarten News online (SMN): ―Based on the information SMN News received from persons within the community that know some of the gang members they said the spate of killing started after NLS leaders ordered the execution of two men at Curacao’s Airport. While Urvin ―Nuto‖ Wawoe was caught with a large amount of illegal drugs that landed him in prison on St. Maarten and a huge prison fight led authorities to send him to a prison in the Netherlands for his own safety, the other gang members are hell bent on getting revenge for the assassination of two of their members‖. The two men referenced in the excerpted quote are BVC shot-caller Erwin Adriano Juliana aka Jais and his nephew. The event that precipated the ongoing war between the both factions mentioned previously, dates to when the gangs were in a pahse of ―cooperation‖, and were essentially allies, is as follows: ―NLS is a crime syndicate that is being used by certain narco-cartels based in Colombia. As a franchise that is, essentially a muscle and protection source when huge quantities of cocaine is being shipped from Colombia to Curacao or Sint Maarten in multi-kilo drug trafficking operations into the Netherlands and the United States. The so called Snowflakes case was just such an operation. In the Snowflakes case 623 kilos of Cocaine was shipped to Curacao and Sint Maarten, we speak here of a transshipment operation, the ultimate destination being Europe and America. The local police on Sint Maarten―discovered‖ 170 kilos of Cocaine in a house in Cole Bay which led to the arrest of Miguel Arrindell and several other men, some of those men were members of the NLS. The so called Benzi case is also linked to the Snowflakes case. The Benzi case began with the theft from NLS, of several kilos of Cocaine by Buena Vista City (BVC) shot caller, Erwin Adriano Juliana aka ―Jais‖, this led to a contract being placed on his head by the executives within NLS. Juliana was liquidated at the Hato airport on Curacao, in the first half of 2014. Another spurious tale being spun by the corporate media in the Netherlands Antilles is the lie that NLS travel to Colombia and purchase huge quantities of Cocaine. Due to the nature of the narcotics trafficking terrain in Colombia and the dominance of Colombian cartels outsiders rarely travel to Colombia if at all to purchase narcotics. The volume of Cocaine in the Snowflakes case point‘s to the fact that Miguel Arrindell was a Warehouser of Cocaine for a Colombian cartel, NLS being a franchise that is closely linked to a cartel, functioned as muscle and security in the operation. That operation spiraled out of control resulting in the so called Vesuvius investigation which I went into at length in the post ―The No Limit Soldiers Organized Crime in the Netherlands Antilles.

The people who facilitate the operations of gangs and narco cartels within the former Netherlands Antilles are persons like Michael Römer above. Römer is a former head of the (VDC) Veiligheidsdienst Curacao or the English translation of the Secret Service of Curacao. In the local media throughout the Caribbean and in the Netherlands, the saga of Römer played out here then is proof of extreme corruption and how it facilitates narco cartels and even the murder of political rivals. Römer was appointed by the then Prime Minister of Curacao Gerrit Schotte as head of the VDC on Curacao. Römer as a vassal of Schotte, who was in turn the slave of mafia figurehead Francesco Corallo , allowed Colombian criminals access to sensitive information, contained on computer hard drives at the VDC headquarter, all of the computer were destroyed and the hard drives were wiped clean of their contents.

Above Gerrit Schotte the former Prime Minister of Curacao became Primem Minister after having orchestrated the murder of Helmin Wiels, who was the legitimate Prime Minister of Curacao at the time. Here are some quotes from the Curacao Chronicle, further substantiating what was previously enumerated: ―ROMA, WILLEMSTAD – Justice in Italy confirms that they have found some incriminating documents in Francesco Corallo‟s possession, linking the former Prime Minister of Curacao, Gerrit Schotte with the mafia boss. This is according to Korant Veridiko. Corallo was arrested in August on suspicion of fraud at Banco Popolare. Apparently there are 150 million euros involved.


In a raid on the home of former Prime Minister in Willemstad, his office in the parliament building and the MFK party headquarters there were probably some documents found that indicate a link between Corallo and Schotte. The Public Prosecutor in Willemstad, at the mouth of press spokesman Norman Serphos indicated that they will not give any comments on ongoing investigations. The Italian media have so far made no mention of the relevant documents.


Casino ownerFrancesco Corallo is a well-known casino owner in the Caribbean. He owns the Atlantis World Group, which operates several casinos in the region. In St. Maarten there are the Atlantis World Casino in Cupe Coy, Paradise Plaza in Simpson Bay and Beach Plaza in Philipsburg. The company also owns the Paradise Plaza Casino in Curacao and three casinos in the Dominican Republic. Since June 1, 2011, Corallo‟s holding company is registered as a Cypriot company. Central Bank of Curacao and St. Maarten in the spring of 2011, Corallo was in the news on the islands of Curacao and St. Maarten. Baetsen Rudolf, CFO of the Atlantis World Group, was supported by the Prime Minister of Curacao as possible candidate for Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Central Bank of the two islands. Many saw this as a part of Corallo’s attempts to turn things into his favor to make an end to the unwelcome gambling tax. The islands also feared the influence of the Italian Mafia, which Corallo is widely known for. Corallo ambassador FAO A report from the Italian Bank in June 2011 provided the basis for a thorough investigation for certain loans to gaming companies, including those of Corallo.

In raids in November, he relied on his diplomatic immunity by virtue of his ambassadorship to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on behalf of Dominica. At its headquarters in Rome, however, they had no ambassador by that name. Atlantis / Betplus then gave a press release stating that Corallo gave up his immunity to cooperate with the judicial investigation. According to the Italian Foreign Minister, he is not even an ambassador, as he does business in Italy, and “it is inappropriate in our country as someone with business interests also enjoys diplomatic immunity.” Italian arrest warrant on June 2012, the Italian tax police arrested the former chairman of Banca Popolare di Milano (BPM) in connection with an investigation into questionable loans from this bank. Massimo Ponzellini (1950), which left the Milanese bank in late 2011 and is now chairman of a construction company Impregilo, was one of three persons for which an arrest warrant was issued because of suspicion of involvement in a criminal organization.

The other two arrest warrants were related to Francesco Corallo, who is considered by the investigators as the owner of Atlantis-BPplus, and

Antonio Canna Lira, also active in the gambling business and closely related to Ponzellini. Bribes Milan prosecutors hypothesized that there are very substantial loans provided, which departed from the evaluation procedures at the bank in exchange for 5.7 million in bribes. In searches in offices and homes owned by Ponzellini in November 2011, it proved that one of the suspicious loans was 148 million Euros to Atlantis BPplus. This was granted after the company was granted a contract with the Amministrazione Autonoma dei Monopoli di Stado (AAMS). AAMS‟ responsibilities are overseeing gambling and issuing permits”. By Dick Draayer (Persbureau Curacao).

Above Francesco Corallo and Theo Heyliger , Corallo is at right in the green shirt, a scowling Heyliger sits opposite Corallo in a blue stripped shirt. Heyliger is the political boss of the UP party on Sint Maarten. Heyliger has been implicated in several scandals and is called ―Mr. Ten Percent‖, by the Dutch politicians on the islands and in the Netherlands.

Corallo and his lackey Schotte are both shown in this picture.

The criminal Corallo being led to a court hearing, after being arrested here on Sint Maarten.

The mafia stooge Theo Heyliger, campaigning for his mafia bosses and their interest‘s. The actions of these people are the real cause of the new criminal trend amongst the poorer classes in the former Netherlands Antilles. Gerrit Schotte and his lackeys used the gang profiled herein the No Limit Soldiers to murder their, political rival Helmin Wiels, thereby empowering that organization. The gang has furthered their criminal pursuits far beyond their home turf of Koraal Specht Curacao, and are very active in many Caribbean islands and in Europe specifically Germany and the Netherlands. The Netherlands has a large Afro-Curaçaoan community; cells of the gang (NLS) are appearing in large Dutch cities such as Rotterdam, The Hague, Amsterdam, Lelystad and Dordrecht. Members from Curaçao cooperate with gang members living in the Netherlands to smuggle cocaine they obtain from Colombian as well as Jamaican narco-trafficking cartels, into major Dutch cities. From there the narcotic is distributed to smaller dealers. NLS as the evidence shows is a franchise that is being used as a distributer or a Distro, in the popular parlance. They are also being used as muscle to ensure the huge shipments of Cocaine coming out of Colombia to specifically Curacao and Sint Maarten are not tampered with by local cowboy criminals. The incidence of NLS absorbing certain local street elements is a brilliant move and is testament of their franchise model. NLS have and are establishing a strong local presence as is attested by their, transformation of prison politics at the Pointe Blanche Prison and their restructuring and strengthening of gang-culture locally, corporatizing it and stressing on obedience to the orders of the executives within NLS.

Above a CD cover bearing the NLS tank logo and a now deceased member Lil Homie. The very name Lil Homie is an Urban American ghetto term, it is alien to the language and true culture of Curacao. As I have wrote innumerably, both in Blog‘s essays and in all of my books, American urban culture specifically gang culture, is being exported globally by corporate America which is overseen by rich middle aged and older white males, but the poison that they export is cheerlead by young African American males and females. The Afro-Caribbean young people identify with the colour of their American peers and subsequently imitate the worst aspects of their culture. American urban culture and its derivative gang culture, is a negative and dangerous culture of death, made palatable by corporate greed and clever marketing tricks, in slick glossy magazines and expensive videos. The terrorism that the American corporate machine has unleashed on the world through their so called Hip-Hop music industry is nothing short of criminal. Since that culture began being adopted by Caribbean youth, the region has undergone unalterable changes that are absolutely devastating and far reaching, the impact is generational. Bear witness then to our reality in the Caribbean.

Above the public face of the NLS crime syndicate. Note the jewelry worn by Nuto, a lieutenant/Shot caller within the syndicate. Such jewelry encrusted with diamonds can easily cost anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 dollars. Such wealth has allowed the syndicate to expand their operations, to Sint Maarten my island, and they are wreaking havoc here. Read in the following the devastation being wrought by this syndicate on Curacao. The is from my Blog: NO LIMIT SOLDIERS AND BUENA VISTA CITY WAGING COSTLY WAR THAT IS DEVOURING CITIZENS OF THE FORMER NETHERLANDS ANTILLES. The former Netherlands Antilles is being portrayed in travel blogs, tourist related magazines et al, as idyllic vacation havens while that may have been the case 30 years ago, our contemporary reality is anything but ideal. The corporate media in their insane attempt to ―protect‖, a failed one pillar economic activity called ―tourism‖, have been under-reporting the true reality that citizens of the former Netherlands Antilles exist in today. In my previous blog posts on this site and my Lionzman website http://nazaritze-lionzman.blogspot.com/I have methodically deconstructed the false narrative that, these islands are ―safe‖ places and are idyllic vacation spots. As a result of the state in the former Netherlands Antilles being abysmally and endemically toxic, criminal and corrupt, unable to govern and the state itself is a human-trafficking entity as I have shown with numerous posts on all of my sites. The state itself is a narco-trafficking entity with politicians, their family members and proxies engaging in every type of criminal activity, including prostitution and drug smuggling. This post will be limited to the creation of the narco-states in the former  Netherlands Antilles. The child of unchecked gambling based and prostitution tourism is the street gangs and crime syndicates that have sprung up in the wake of the aforementioned. These new entities though they garner much front page and headline, news they are mere bit players in the narco trafficking industry in the former Antilles. The old-guard Syrian, Lebanese, Anglo-European, Chinese , Arab multi-millionaire and billionaire families who have entrenched themselves in these islands generationally for decades are the ones importing, exporting and transshipping, voluminous amounts of illicit narcotics, human beings and automatic as well as semi-automatic weapons to and from these islands in their attempt to hold onto their hegemony, both within the illegal narcotics trade and their lucrative human trafficking trade which is tied into the prostitution sector throughout the Caribbean. The local Afro-Caribbean crime syndicates such as NLS and BVC are mere bit-players and pawns in a grand scheme beyond their comprehension.
Since the Afro-Caribbean gangs are the ―front line soldiers‖, in the war for hegemony in the region‘s ongoing narco-wars, I want to focus on a crime syndicate that is literally devastating Curacao and Sint Maarten‘s young and vulnerable. The name of the syndicate is the No Limit Soldiers (NLS), NLS and their primary rival Buena Vista City (BVC), have both established themselves in major cities throughout Holland and it is a documented fact that NLS is operative in all the Antillean islands, Holland and other European countries and maintain strong ties to crime syndicates in Jamaica, Miami and Haiti. My primary goal in these posts is to inform and educate people about the lived reality of the law abiding citizens of the former Netherlands Antilles. Another objective is to promote the ideology of independence as the only seriously viable option to our present neo-colonial status. My third objective is to gather a body of fact based verifiable data that will eventually be used to bring a case to the United Nations, for the total independence of Sint Maarten from Holland, not with the present criminal clans ruling the island, but with an enlightened body of leader‘s who will take the island into independence and beyond. I will now show from evidence gathered within the public domain that, the NLS is in fact an instrument that is being used to further enslave and destroy our youth. The NLS crime syndicate is consistently being portrayed as a ―street gang‖, yet their tactics, political clout, financial wherewithal and international, transnational and regional scope of activities place NLS, in the realm of an international organized crime syndicate, with its own media arm, that has the ability to perpetrate terrorist attacks, assassinate politicians, liquidate highly placed rivals, bribe public officials, traffic illicit narcotics through the region et al. They also serve as muscle for the transshipment of illicit narcotics, from Colombia and Mexico to the former Antilles heading to Europe. The resultant turf wars, rip-deals and drive by shootings continue unabated, claiming the lives of gangsters as well as the innocent, even children and the unborn are not exempt from the touch of death in this brutal saga.To those who will learn I want to paraphrase my prediction from 1999 when I lived in Groningen. I wrote the following in a Souliga Youth publication in my capacity as President of said foundation :Ladies and gentlemen: The so called Antillean in Holland is being marginalized and discriminated against not only because they are so called buitenlanders (aliens) but also because the Antillean is being used as a primary tool of advancement of the criminals that control the cocaine trade. Any people who in large numbers in any community in the world will sell Crack Cocaine as a means of livelihood will always be despised and looked upon as men of little or no worth at all‖. I wrote further that ―The incidences of youth on Sint Maarten murdering their peers is as a direct result of the self-destructive policy of the illegally installed ―government‖ since the children of those whose interests the politicians represent are not part of the prison population it may bode well for the average person to pay keen attention to what is written herein and develop some sort of awareness as this book is in fact a teaching tool which will not only highlight problems but it will offer solutions that will attempt to solve some of the most pressing of those problems. A way to ensure that the government of Sint Maarten becomes an actual public service organ that functions in the best interest of the population at large would be to, for a special interest or pressure group government of Sint Maarten before the United Nations Tribunal of Human rights and charge the individuals within the so-called government with Human rights violations.If such a charge is properly launched it will gain international prominence and it is on this platform that the real country Sint Maarten can be formed.In the event of an actual formation of an independent government and country the entire population would have to literally be re-educated and deprogrammed from the miseducation and racist genocidal policies of the present system of government.

Above Erwin Juliana, the BVC shot-caller liquidated by NLS on the HATO International Airport, Curacao.

Figure: Destry Juliana shown above from a still shot of a YouTube video, eulogizing him. Destry Juliana, who was the brother of Erwin Juliana, was killed by an NLS hit-squad in the ongoing BVC, NLS war.

Figure: Shafien Mauricia: who was killed by Teke Teke Snack bar in Cay Hill. He was an active member of NLS, originally from Curacao but he was operating on Sint Maarten at the time of his murder.

Figure: Above a photo taken with a cell phone and posted to Facebook by Latoya Flanders. Boss Lady can clearly be seen on the medallion on her chain TRU another handle that the so-called No Limit Soldiers (NLS), use for their crime syndicate in their media and on their clothing and tattoos. The clearly visible tank on her chain marked her in that gang’s culture as a “made”, member of the syndicate. The Five stars tattooed on her breast branded her as a person who was highly placed within the crime syndicate. Judging from the evidence that the “victim” provided of her lifestyle i.e. deathstyle, I see incontrovertible proof of the young woman in question being a bonafide member of NLS who had made her bones.

Figures 1-2: The images shown above bare salient testimony to the, sophistication, organization, education and thorough understanding of modern technology and its use, for the purposes of self-promotion and branding, demonstrated by the top-tier within the No Limit crime syndicate. The fantasy being perpetuated by the ―corporate‖ media, that No Limit is a ―street gang‖, will be shattered herein. No internet attention seeker I come from the St Peters area on Sint Maarten a place known for its share of drug dealing and recently gang related liquidations and activity and I still reside in St Peters. I have not seen any public support of No Limit within my environment, however there is in areas such as Dutch Quarter and Mount William Hill a definite affiliation with the organized crime syndicate.

Figure: Above  top a still from one of the videos produced by one of the many NLS YouTube accounts. Luigino Victoriano Martina, aka Small V.

Figure: Luigino Victoriano aka Small V.  Bottom chains with diamond encrusted medallions all bearing the No Limit logo, testament to the financial wherewithal of NLS.

Figure: The No Limit logo. NLS in Curacoa’s official logo, of course an imitation of Master P’s logo. The diamonds and gold are real though.

Figure: Luigino was shot to death in a reprisal attack, led by members of Buena Vista City (BVC), on Curacao.

Figure: Above is a photo of Janishairah Jano the young woman of Curacaolinian parentage born in Holland, who was murdered earlier this year in a drive-by shooting on Curacao. Janishairah died in a hail of bullets, as the result of a revenge killing, in the ongoing war between No Limit Soldiers (NLS) and Buena Vista City (BVC). The ongoing war stems from the liquidation, in 2014 of BVC shot caller Jais and his nephew at the Hato International Airport in Curacao.J anishairah was the girlfriend of a BVC linked man, whose brother was said to be one of the shooter‘s that killed this man, Luigino Victoriano Martina. Four young children were in the car with Janishairah and her boyfriend; two of the children were seriously wounded. The man driving the car was flown to Rotterdam Holland for medical treatment, where he subsequently died as a result of his severe wounds.

Above graphic proof of the toll, the imported Urban American culture is wreaking throughout, the former Netherlands Antilles. Janishirah and her boyfriend, were riddled with AK-47 bullets in a reprisal shooting, for the death of Victoriano Luigino.

Janishairah received multiple gunshot wounds to her head, resulting in the horrific photo above, where brain matter is clearly visible on the gurney sheets.

Figure: Above in photo a young boy who was one of four young boys in the car with the two adults shown previously, being held in the arms of an unidentified male. One of the young boy‘s is on the ground with another on the stretcher above; the fourth child is not in the photo. The oldest boy was no older than 6. All of the children were severely wounded except the boy being held by the man wearing shorts in photo. One of the boys subsequently died as a result of his wounds. As I have written previously the imported gang-culture brought to this region, by the corporate American money machine is the harbinger of many of the most brutal and dastardly acts ever witnessed in these islands. Although drug dealing was evident throughout the region. The appearance of young organized criminal gangs such as NLS and BVC masquerading as Hip-Hop labels are a new phenomenon, directly adopted and imported from North America, via their rap music industry. The sophistication of gang-culture in the Caribbean and its subsequent brutality is as a result of imitation of and exposure to American Urban gang-culture. I have written extensively on the culture and its dangers to the Caribbean and the linkages of gang elements, with terrorist elements in prisons the same holds true for the former Netherlands Antilles. Readers of my Blogs know that I use the present day reality, in the former Netherlands Antilles to advocate the total independence of Sint Maarten from Holland, which is a country directly responsible for much of the corruption and exploitation of the populace by the so-called leaders, which creates the hopelessness that in turn creates space for gangs like NLS and BVC to operate preying off of the leadership void in said communities.

MILITARY GRADE WEAPONS THE NORM ON THE STREETS OF THE CARIBBEAN: HOW TERRORIST’S IN THE CARIBBEAN CAN WREAK HAVOC ON CIVILIANS AND SECURITY PERSONNEL.

St Peters-Sint Maarten: Yesterday on Trinidad (August 9, 2017,) officers of the Criminal Gang and Intelligence Unit (CGIU) the Southern Division and the Canine Branch, conducted an anti-crime exercise in Couva between 5 am and noon on Wednesday.

More than 800 rounds of ammunition and nine guns were found by police in Couva yesterday.

According to reports, officers of the Criminal Gang and Intelligence Unit (CGIU, the Southern Division and the Canine Branch conducted an anti-crime exercise in Couva between 5 am and noon on Wednesday.
Acting on a tip-off, the officers searched a busy area at Todd’s Road, Milton Village, Couva, and found nine guns, including a Russian-made assault rifle, a Remington rifle outfitted with a scope, an Uzi sub-machine gun and six pistols.

They also found over 800 rounds of assorted ammunition.
Police issued a press release yesterday that stated no arrests had been made in connection with the find, which was described as a major weapons and ammunition haul.

Take note of the extended clips for the pistols and remarkably two or a double drum magazine. Some drum magazines like the Beta C-Mag has a carrying capacity of a hundred rounds, the type of assault rifle shown above and an AK-47, (standard fare on the streets in the Caribbean), can fire up to 600 rounds a minute, an AR-15 another standard weapon for sale throughout the Caribbean on the street level, can fire 25 rounds in 2.5 seconds, with a single drum magazine or a double magazine like the ones shown above a single well trained terrorist like the ones returning from Iraq and Syria to the Caribbean, can wreak havoc on civilians as well a security personnel. The pandemic of gun crime throughout the Caribbean is a facilitator for terror strikes regionally, that can be more terrifying than our worst nightmare. Security organizations regionally have not announced any regional approach to the pending threat, much less a local one. Where are the OAS, OECS, and CARICOM in the face of this 21st-century threat to regional security?

CARICOM WAS WARNED ABOUT THE THREAT OF MUSLIM EXTREMISM FROM GUYANESE MUSLIMS.

NOTE TO READERS: This material was published previously by me on other platforms. However, the content remains relevant and even more so than when it was first published.

In the presence of representatives from more than 25 countries, the international and regional community had been warned, that should there be any Caribbean involvement in terrorist activities. That the likelihood that there would be black Guyanese involved was almost 100% certain. The warning was made in 2005 by a Guyanese delegate who had made a study on the structure of Islam in Guyana, at an international Caricom seminar for a Small Business training program. The majority of black Guyanese men he noted were converted to Islam while in prison. The disaffected poorly educated men in prison are fertile soil for radicalization. Above left Abdul Kadir is the exact opposite of the profile given for radicalization by the delegate. Kadir is a former Guyanese parliamentarian, who was arrested along with his cohorts in the middle and right, in the plot to blow up the Kennedy International Airport in New York. Before he was arrested Kadir had repeated contacts with Mohsen Rabbani (an Iranian cleric involved in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish synagogue in Argentina), and Adnan Shukrijumah, using his extensive influence as a former parliamentarian Kadir was able to help Shukrijumah secure a Guyanese passport.

Above top FBI’s most wanted poster for Adnan El Shukrijumah, a Caribbean citizen of Guyanese extraction. It is uncertain where he was born since his father was a cleric in Saudi Arabia. Both his father and mother are from Guyana. Above an FBI most wanted poster for Osama bin Laden, Ayman al Zawahiri, and Adnan El Shukrijumah.
The ―plot‖ to blow up the Kennedy Airport was brought to Kadir and his blundering cohorts by convicted drug dealer Aaron Francis, Francis agreed to lure the men into a CIA masterminded the plot, whose aim was to entrap Shukrijumah. Kadir was targeted because he was an influential, educated Guyanese who had extensive ties in Iranian diplomatic circles and was seen as a threat by the US.April 2004, Muhammad Hassan Ebrahimi, an Iranian Shiite cleric affiliated with Guyanas International Islamic College of Advanced Studies (IICAS, received large amounts of money from the Iranian government ), was abducted by armed unknown assailants (whether his murderers were CIA or others is not known). His decomposed remains were discovered a month later buried in a shallow grave. More Iranians are beginning to make use of the Caribbean, due to the nonexistence of background checks before diplomatic passports are issued. Some Iranians have been given passports of Caribbean island nations as in the case of St Kitts, which issued a Kittitian diplomatic passport to Iranian Alizera Moghadam, he claimed to have paid $1million for the passport, en route to Canada he was detained in transit. While the prime minister of St Kitts and Nevis Denzel Douglas maintains that, it is impossible to obtain a diplomatic Kittitian passport through payment, reports coming out of various sectors in St Kitts and Nevis refute his statements. Apparently, under the ‗Citizenship by Investment‖ program, Moghadam was granted his passport, in other words, he did pay for his passport. The potential for criminals, terrorists, and others to make use of the ―citizen by investment‖, are enormous the ramifications of this practice will be felt throughout the western hemisphere in years to come.

Sheik Abdullah Al Faisal the Jamaican-born, a former Christian who converted to Islam at the age of 16, he was deported from Britain in May 2007 after having spent four years in a British prison and is now on the no-fly list. He was accused of inciting racial hatred and soliciting murder. He is said to have influenced the ―shoe bomber‖, Richard Reid, Germaine Lindsay (Lindsay like Faisal is of Jamaican descent), responsible for the 2005 underground train bombing in London, in which he and 26 other others died, Faisal Shahzad, the failed Times Square bomber was also named as one of the people he ―inspired‖. In 2010 the Sheik was arrested in Kenya and accused by the government thereof of entering the country illegally. His arrest sparked deadly riots and reprisals in Kenya that lasted well over a week. The Kenyan authorities later spent well over 500,000 dollars to have him flown back to his native Jamaica. The Sheik at the age of 16 traveled to Saudi Arabia where he spent eight years, he is believed to have converted to Islam in Saudi Arabia. He took a degree in Islamic studies before coming to the UK. An Associated Press, an article published on Fri May 27 2011 by David McFadden stated: ― U.S. diplomats have expressed concern that an Islamic cleric convicted of whipping up racial hatred among Muslim converts in Britain might do the same thing in his homeland of Jamaica, according to a leaked cable from the island‘s U.S. Embassy‖.The following are excerpts and quotes from Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA), The Project for the Research of Islamic Movements (PRISM.The report stated that the region’s Muslim population consists largely of South and Southeast Asians, with their roots stemming back to the colonial period, in the last decades the region has also witnessed an increase in migrants from the Middle East. According to the report, there is a growing number of Muslim converts in the Caribbean amongst disenfranchised populations of African descent. Many of the Caribbean people of African descent converting to Islam are perceiving Islam as a ―rite‖, of political empowerment as well as an adaptation of a ―suitable‖ identity. Many are adopting Islam as Christianity is being increasingly viewed as a ―white man’s religion‖, particularly by young men of African descent regionally. Recently across the region where Islamic communities have been entrenched for decades, a clamor for the Arabization of the society is taking place. The Arabization process is specifically being felt in the growing demands that Arabic be taught in primary and secondary schools. South Asia and the Middle East is impacting the region politically, culturally, and religiously, as Islamic missionaries from both regions are being sent to the Caribbean, while Caribbean Muslim students are studying in increasing numbers in the above-mentioned Islamic regions. The report highlighted what it referred to as the: Sunnification and Islamization process in Guyana. According to the Central Islamic Organization of Guyana (CIOG), there are 150 formal and informal mosques throughout Guyana. There are several Islamic organizations active in Guyana most notably, the Hajatul Ulamaa, the Muslim Youth Organization (MYO), the Guyana Islamic Trust (GIT), the Guyana Muslim Mission Limited (GML), the Guyana United Sad‘r Islamic Anjuman (GUSIA), the Tabligh Jamaat, the Rose Hall Islamic Center and the Salafi Group. In mid-1988 Guyana became a permanent member of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC). In 1966 after Guyana won its independence it established diplomatic relations with Arabic countries including Egypt, Iraq, and Libya all of those countries opened embassies in Guyana. Guyanese Muslims, presently travel to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Libya to study Islamic theology and Arabic. The Guyanese Muslims upon returning to Guyana began and still continue to introduce Wahabism (a strict Saudi Arabic interpretation of Islam), into Guyanese society. The report cited a growing concern in Trinidad that elements of some Islamic groups have traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan and have fought in both countries in support of radical Islamists in those nations. What governments regionally nor internationally seem not to comprehend, is the Guyanese and TNT Muslim population are mainly of a Sunni Islamic persuasion, the Wahabist doctrine that has been spread, clandestinely throughout the Caribbean for years, mainly through Islamic organizations sponsored by Saudi Arabia, has borne fruit and are manifesting at present in Caribbean Sunni‘s from a broad spectrum of Caribbean nations joining the fight in Syria and Iraq in aid of their Sunni brethren in IS.

VIRTUAL SECURITY CONFERENCE 2020.

From 27 – 31 July, 2020, CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) will host the first-ever Virtual Security Conference in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), under the heading of ‘Securing Our Caribbean Community Within The Era Of Covid-19 and Beyond’.

The crisis presented by coronavirus (COVID-19) is unprecedented in CARICOM. In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Governments across the Region imposed several measures, including social distancing, restrictions, border closures and suspension of non-essential services to prevent the spread of the pandemic. In support of these measures, law enforcement and security officials played a crucial role to prevent and control the spread of the virus, while at the same time managing and operating within the changing multi-dimensional security environment.

In an effort to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the security environment and the operations of law enforcement and security officials, as well as to identify best practices that can be applied to similar situations in the future; CARICOM IMPACS will bring together a network of practitioners, security experts, government officials, academics, private sector representatives and civil society officials to discuss the challenges, impact and implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Security of our Region. The Virtual Conference will address the following thematic areas such as:

 

 

  • Peace, Security & Development – A Roadmap For The Future In The Context of COVID-19;
  • Criminality & Organised Crime During COVID-19: Present and Future Trends;
  • Policing In The Time of a Pandemic- Lessons Learnt;
  • Enhancing Cyber Security In The Age of COVID-19;
  • COVID-19 & the Future of Borders;
  • Crisis and Gender Based Violence;
  • Climate Change and Security- Building Resilience in Small Island Developing States (SIDS)
  • Impact and Implications of COVID-19 on Prisons and Correctional Services; and
  • Maritime Security and the Blue Economy

CONFERENCE OBJECTIVES

The CARICOM Virtual Security Conference will gather leading representatives from government, regional and international agencies, academia, private sector and civil society organisations to discuss the impact and implications of COVID 19 and measures to respond.

Specifically, the Virtual Security Conference will:

  • Consider how COVID-19 is shaping the security landscape today and in the future;
  • Identify how COVID-19 has impacted criminality and organized crime and the implications for the future;
  • Facilitate constructive exchange of information, best practices and lessons identified during the COVID-19 outbreak, so that states can strengthen their abilities to continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare and response to future pandemics;
  • Assess and evaluate the threats and opportunities created by the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Explore how the pandemic impacted law enforcement and security officials roles, responsibilities and standard operating procedures, resilience and food security among other issues;
  • Provide a consultative forum for discussion between leading practitioners and representatives from the government, regional and international agencies, academia, private sector and civil society. This is especially important when speaking of Border Security and border movements post pandemic.

CONFERENCE OUTCOME

The Virtual Conference will serve as source material for the development of a “Lessons Learnt and Guidance Document for Preparing for and Responding to Threats such as Pandemics and other crises”. 

 

Caribbean Countries among those benefitting from UN SDG Financing.

Media Release Courtesy UN Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean

Bridgetown, Barbados – As Eastern Caribbean countries strive to build back better from COVID-19 and accelerate progress toward attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),  support is being provided as part of a historic United Nations Joint SDG Fund US$60 million grant launched to close the SDG financing gap and foster more inclusive, sustainable and resilient countries across the world.

In response to a global call, United Nations Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, in collaboration with the governments of Barbados, Grenada and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, has been awarded a USD$1 million Joint SDG Fund Grant after successfully submitting a proposal for a joint programme entitled ‘Harnessing Blue Economy Finance for SIDS Recovery and Sustainable Development’. 

The initiative will support the efforts of the three participating Eastern Caribbean governments to develop financing strategies in the Blue Economy and create an enabling framework for SDG investment. The successful proposal was among 62 joint programmes selected from 258 submissions supporting interventions in over 100 countries.

The two-year USD$1,140,000 Joint Programme will be led by the United National Development Programme (UNDP), with participation from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). It will also benefit from counterpart funding of USD$140,000 from the three participating UN agencies.

The joint UN SDG Fund is a critical facet of the ongoing global UN reform, which enables the UN Sub-regional team in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean to access funding for SDG acceleration support to countries, working under the leadership of the Resident Coordinator, by leveraging the individual strengths of specialized funds, agencies and programmes, to ‘deliver results as one’ and ensure that no one is left behind.

In welcoming the new joint initiative, that exemplifies the UN’s approach to ‘deliver as one’, UN Resident Coordinator, Didier Trebucq noted:

“This presents another opportunity for the UN development system working cohesively, to deepen its partnerships with Governments of the Eastern Caribbean and to foster blue economic growth through innovative financing mechanisms, while ensuring that the SDGs are at the forefront of national policy and no one is left behind.”

With the Blue Economy engaged as a driver for regional economic recovery and development, emphasis will be placed on creating an enabling environment for Blue Economy financing by identifying policy gaps, key opportunities and specific financing mechanisms for achieving resilient growth. This catalytic investment will address the current financial challenges of the beneficiary countries, including the additional financial burden arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, and build on existing partnerships with the private sector and development financing institutions, as well as existing UN projects on Blue Economy and other SDG-related areas in-country.

Speaking on the significance of the initiative, UNDP Resident Representative Magdy Martinez-Soliman stated:

“The COVID-19 crisis has affected the Caribbean’s ambitions to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. It has drained away resources that were much needed to finance the SDGs. This Joint Programme will support Barbados, Grenada and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, in their efforts to develop financing strategies in the Blue Economy and SDG investments. The three countries are at the vanguard of the Blue Economy “wave” in the region.”  

The UN investments in 62 Joint Programmes around the world will offer pragmatic solutions, all assessed as relevant in the context of the COVID-19 crisis: from addressing reduced fiscal space to align with the SDGs amidst COVID-19 recovery and financial planning to co-creating a new generation of risk-sensitive and responsive Integrated National Financing Frameworks. The results of the investment in SDG financing interventions will begin to materialize in the first quarter of 2021, and a second component is expected to be launched by the Joint SDG Fund soon that would allow other countries to benefit.

Learn more: SDG Financing portfolio.

COVID 19’s Effect on Emerging Market and Developing Economies.

St Peters Sint Martin: By Wade A Bailey.

 

 

I cite the World Bank 2020 report listed below under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 IGO license (CC BY 3.0 IGO) http://creativecommons. org/licenses/by/3.0/ igo. Under the Creative Commons Attribution license.

 

World Bank. 2020. Global Economic Prospects, June 2020. Washington, DC: World Bank. DOI: 10.1596/978-1-4648-1553-9. License: Creative Commons Attribution CC BY 3.0 IGO.

ISSN: 1014-8906 ISBN (paper): 978-1-4648-1553-9 ISBN (electronic): 978-1-4648-1580-5 DOI: 10.1596/978-1-4648-1553-9

 

What follows are various citations and highlights from the report listed previously, the report is used in documenting pertinent facts, that will highlight the dire looming possible economic crisis, that could engulf the global economy. The dire economic scenario presented previously, proves the unsustainability of the ‘one pillar’ economic model used, in the past by regional governments including Sint Martin, its inability to sustain the island’s populace, in a post-Covid19 world.

Global Outlook: Pandemic, Recession: The Global Economy in Crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic has, with alarming speed, delivered a global economic shock of enormous magnitude, leading to steep recessions in many countries. The baseline forecast envisions a 5.2 percent contraction in global GDP in 2020—the deepest global recession in eight decades, despite unprecedented policy support. Per capita incomes in the vast majority of EMDEs are expected to shrink this year. The global recession would be deeper if bringing the pandemic under control took longer than expected, or if financial stress triggered cascading defaults. The pandemic highlights the urgent need for health and economic policy action—including global cooperation—to cushion its consequences, protect vulnerable populations, and improve countries’ capacity to prevent and cope with similar events in the future. Since EMDEs are particularly vulnerable, it is critical to strengthen their public health care systems, to address the challenges posed by informality and limited safety nets, and, once the health crisis abates, to undertake reforms that enable strong and sustainable growth. Regional Macroeconomic Implications of COVID-19. The rapid rise of COVID-19 cases, together with the wide range of measures to slow the spread of the virus, has slowed economic activity precipitously in many EMDEs. Economic disruptions are likely to be more severe and protracted in those countries with larger domestic outbreaks, greater exposure to international spillovers (particularly through exposure to global commodity and financial markets, global value chains, and tourism), and larger pre-existing challenges such as informality. Growth forecasts for all regions have been severely downgraded; Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and Europe and Central Asia (ECA) in particular have large downgrades partly because of the size of their domestic outbreaks and exposure to global spillovers, while South Asia’s substantial downgrade is primarily the result of stringent lockdown measures. Many countries have avoided more adverse outcomes through sizable fiscal and monetary policy support measures. Despite these measures, per capita incomes in all EMDE regions are expected to contract in 2020, likely causing many millions to fall back into poverty. This edition of Global Economic Prospects also includes analytical chapters on the short- and long-term growth impact of the pandemic, as well as on global implications of the recent plunge in oil prices. Lasting Scars of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has struck a devastating blow to an already-fragile global economy. Lockdowns and other restrictions needed to Executive Summary COVID-19 has triggered a global crisis like no other—a global health crisis that, in addition to an enormous human toll, is leading to the deepest global recession since the second world war. While the ultimate growth outcome is still uncertain, and an even worse scenario is possible if it takes longer to bring the health crisis under control, the pandemic will result in output contractions across the vast majority of emerging market and developing economies (EMDEs). Moreover, the pandemic is likely to exert lasting damage to fundamental determinants of long-term growth prospects, further eroding living standards for years to come. The immediate policy priorities are to alleviate the ongoing health and human costs and attenuate the near-term economic losses, while addressing challenges such as informality and weak social safety nets that have heightened the impact on vulnerable populations. Once the crisis abates, it will be necessary to reaffirm credible commitment to sustainable policies—including medium-term fiscal frameworks in energy-exporting EMDEs suffering from the large plunge in oil prices—and undertake the necessary reforms to buttress long-term growth prospects. For these actions, global coordination and cooperation will be critical. xvi address the public health crisis, together with spontaneous reductions in economic activity by many consumers and producers, constitute an unprecedented combination of adverse shocks that is causing deep recessions in many advanced economies and EMDEs. Those EMDEs that have weak health systems; those that rely heavily on global trade, tourism, or remittances from abroad; and those that depend on commodity exports will be particularly hard-hit. Beyond its short-term impact, deep recessions triggered by the pandemic are likely to leave lasting scars through multiple channels, including lower investment; erosion of the human capital of the unemployed; and a retreat from global trade and supply linkages. These effects may well lower potential growth and labor productivity in the longer term. Immediate policy measures should support health care systems and moderate the short-term impact of the pandemic on activity and employment. In addition, a comprehensive reform drive is needed to reduce the adverse impact of the pandemic on long-term growth prospects by improving governance and business environments and expanding investment in education and public health. Adding Fuel to the Fire: Cheap Oil during the Pandemic. The outbreak of COVID-19 and the wide-ranging measures needed to slow its advance have precipitated an unprecedented collapse in oil demand, a surge in oil inventories, and, in March, the steepest one-month decline in oil prices on record. In the context of the current restrictions on a broad swath of economic activity, low oil prices are unlikely to do much to buffer the effects of the pandemic, but they may provide some initial support for a recovery once these restrictions begin to be lifted. Like other countries, energy exporting EMDEs face an unprecedented public health crisis, but their fiscal positions were already strained even before the recent collapse in oil revenues. To help retain access to market-based financing for fiscal support programs, these EMDEs will need to make credible commitments to a sustainable medium-term fiscal position. For some of them, current low oil prices provide an opportunity to implement energy-pricing policies that yield efficiency and fiscal gains over the medium term.

The COVID-19 pandemic has, with alarming speed, delivered a global economic shock of enormous magnitude, leading to steep recessions in many countries. The baseline forecast envisions a 5.2 percent contraction in global GDP in 2020—the deepest global recession in eight decades, despite unprecedented policy support. Per capita incomes in the vast majority of emerging market and developing economies (EMDEs) are expected to shrink this year, tipping many millions back into poverty. The global recession would be deeper if bringing the pandemic under control took longer than expected, or if financial stress triggered cascading defaults. The pandemic highlights the urgent need for health and economic policy action—including global cooperation—to cushion its consequences, protect vulnerable populations, and improve countries’ capacity to prevent and cope with similar events in the future. Since EMDEs are particularly vulnerable, it is critical to strengthen their public health care systems, to address the challenges posed by informality and limited safety nets, and, once the health crisis abates, to undertake reforms that enable strong and sustainable growth.

Summary The COVID-19 pandemic has spread with astonishing speed to every part of the world and infected millions   The health and human toll is already large and continues to grow, with hundreds of thousands of deaths and many more suffering from diminished prospects and disrupted livelihoods. The pandemic represents the largest economic shock the world economy has witnessed in decades, causing a collapse in global activity   Various mitigation measures—such as lockdowns, closure of schools and non-essential business, and travel restrictions—have been imposed by most countries to limit the spread of COVID-19 and ease the strain on health care systems. The pandemic and associated mitigation measures have sharply curbed consumption and investment, as well as restricted labor supply and production. The cross-border spill overs have disrupted financial and commodity markets, global trade, supply chains, travel, and tourism. Financial markets have been extremely volatile, reflecting exceptionally high uncertainty and the worsening outlook. Flight to safety led to a sharp tightening of global and EMDE financial conditions. Equity markets around the world plunged, spreads on riskier categories of debt widened considerably, and EMDEs experienced large capital outflows in much of March and April that bottomed out only recently. Commodity prices have declined sharply as a result of falling global demand, with oil particularly affected (Figure 1.1.D). Many countries have provided large-scale macroeconomic support to alleviate the economic blow, which has contributed to a recent stabilization in financial markets. Central banks in advanced economies have cut policy rates and taken other far-reaching steps to provide liquidity and to maintain investor confidence. In many EMDEs, central banks have also eased monetary policy. The fiscal policy support that has been announced already far exceeds that enacted during the 2008-09 global financial crisis. In all, the pandemic is expected to plunge a majority of countries into recession this year, with per capita output contracting in the largest fraction of countries since 1870. Advanced economies are projected to shrink by 7 percent in 2020, as widespread social-distancing measures, a sharp tightening of financial conditions, and a collapse in external demand depress activity. Assuming that the outbreak remains under control and activity recovers later this year, China is projected to slow to 1 percent in 2020—by far the lowest growth it has registered in more than four decades. Due to the negative spillovers from weakness in major economies, alongside the disruptions associated with their own domestic outbreaks, EMDE GDP is forecast to contract by 2.5 percent in 2020. This would be well below the previous trough in EMDE growth of 0.9 percent in 1982, and the lowest rate since at least 1960, the earliest year with available aggregate data. EMDEs with large domestic COVID-19 outbreaks and limited health care capacity; that are deeply integrated in global value chains; that are heavily dependent on foreign financing; and that rely extensively on international trade, commodity exports, and tourism will suffer disproportionately. Commodity-exporting EMDEs will be hard hit by adverse spillovers from sharply weaker growth in China, and by the collapse in global commodity demand, especially for oil. With more than 90 percent of EMDEs expected to experience contractions in per capita incomes this year, many millions are likely to fall back into poverty. With advanced economies contracting, China experiencing record-low growth, and EMDE growth savaged by external and domestic headwinds, the global economy is expected to shrink by 5.2 percent this year in a baseline forecast. This would be the deepest global recession since World War II, and almost three times as steep as the 2009 global recession.

The 2020 global recession is expected to be the deepest in eight decades, and the subsequent recovery will be insufficient to bring output to previously projected levels. Amid heightened uncertainty, worse outcomes could arise if the pandemic and economic disruptions persist or cascading defaults amid high debt lead to financial crises. A lack of space is constraining fiscal responses in many EMDEs. Building resilient health care systems is critical to prevent similar crises. With ongoing recessions exerting scarring effects on potential output, pursuing reforms that bolster long-term growth prospects will be essential.

 

The forecast assumes that the pandemic recedes in such a way that domestic mitigation measures can be lifted by mid-year, adverse global spill overs ease during the second half of the year, and dislocations in financial markets are not long-lasting. Although a moderate recovery is envisioned in 2021, with global growth reaching 4.2 percent, output is not expected to return to its previously expected levels. Since uncertainty around the outlook remains exceptionally high, alternative scenarios help illustrate the range of plausible global growth outcomes in the. In particular, the baseline forecast for 2020 could prove optimistic. If COVID-19 outbreaks persist longer than expected, restrictions on movement and interactions may have to be maintained or reintroduced, prolonging the disruptions to domestic activity and further setting back confidence. Disruptions to activity would weaken businesses’ ability to remain in operation and service their debt, while the increase in risk aversion could raise interest rates for higher-risk borrowers. With debt levels already at historic highs, this could lead to cascading defaults and financial crises across many economies .Under this downside scenario, global growth would shrink almost 8 percent in 2020. The recovery that follows would be markedly sluggish, hampered by severely impaired balance sheets, heightened financial market stress and widespread bankruptcies in EMDEs. In 2021, global growth would barely begin to recover, increasing to just over 1 percent. In contrast, in an upside scenario, a sharp economic rebound would begin promptly if pandemic-control measures could be largely lifted in the near term, and fiscal and monetary policy responses succeed in supporting consumer and investor confidence, leading to a prompt normalization of financial conditions and the unleashing of pent-up demand. However, even with these positive developments, the near-term contraction in global activity of more than 3 percent in 2020 would still be much larger than during the global recession of 2009, and EMDE growth would also be negative. Once pandemic control measures are fully lifted, global growth would rebound markedly in 2021, to above 5 percent. Policymakers face formidable challenges as they seek to contain the devastating health, macroeconomic, and social effects of the pandemic. During the last global recession, in 2009, many EMDEs were able to implement large -scale fiscal and monetary responses. Today, however, many EMDEs are less prepared to weather a global downturn and must simultaneously grapple with a severe public health crisis with heavy human costs. Particularly vulnerable EMDEs include those that have weak health systems; those that rely heavily on global trade, tourism, and remittances; those that are prone to financial market disruptions; and those that depend on oil and other commodity exports. EMDEs where poverty and informality are widespread, including many low-income countries, are also vulnerable, since their poor have limited access to proper sanitation and adequate social safety nets, and often suffer greater food insecurity . An arsenal of macroprudential support policies has been deployed in EMDEs to maintain financial sector resilience and promote lending during the crisis. These include relaxing capital and liquidity coverage requirements, allowing banks to draw down capital and liquidity buffers, and encouraging banks to offer temporary loan repayment holidays to distressed borrowers. Further, many countries have initiated debt moratoria and government guarantees on bank loans to strengthen bank balance sheets and support distressed borrowers. Policymakers would, however, need to carefully balance some of these actions against jeopardizing the future stability of the financial sector. Once economic activity begins to normalize, they will also need to prudently withdraw the large-scale policy stimulus provided during the crisis without endangering the recovery. Meanwhile, many EMDEs have introduced fiscal measures to expand social safety nets and protect those most vulnerable, including wage support to preserve jobs, increased access to unemployment benefits, and targeted cash transfers to low-income households. In EMDEs with wider fiscal space, the policy response has been markedly greater than in those more constrained by higher debt levels. For many energy exporting EMDEs, fiscal balances are deteriorating as oil prices have fallen below fiscal break-even prices. Elevated debt burdens in some low- and middle-income countries also underscore the need for temporary debt relief. In this context, global coordination and cooperation—of the measures needed to slow the spread of the pandemic, and of the economic actions needed to alleviate the economic damage, including international support—provide the greatest chance of achieving public health goals and enabling a robust global recovery. In the near term, COVID-19 has underscored the need for governments to prioritize the timely and transparent dissemination of accurate information in order to stem the spread of the disease, and to build public trust. In the long term, the pandemic has laid bare the weaknesses of national health care and social safety nets in many countries. It has also exposed the severe consequences of widespread informality and financing constraints for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in many EMDEs   There is a critical need to invest in resilient health care systems that prioritize national health security, in order to prevent and mitigate similar crises   It is also necessary to put in place social benefit systems that can provide an effective, flexible, and efficient safety net during disasters. Such systems can be augmented by measures to deliver income support and emergency financing to vulnerable groups such as the poor, urban slum dwellers, migrants, and informal firms. In particular, digital technologies can enhance the provision of cash transfers and other critical support measures, as well as facilitate the flow of remittances. In many countries, deep recessions triggered by COVID-19 will likely weigh on potential output for years to come. Governments can take steps to alleviate the adverse impact of the crisis on potential output by placing a renewed emphasis on reforms that can boost long-term growth prospects.

More to follow.

 

 

 

 

Regional Mobility actors charged to ‘Get Started.

(Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Press Release, 25 June 2020 |Bridgetown, Barbados) –  Stakeholders in the energy and transportation sectors were charged not to wait until a comprehensive plan and perfect conditions are available in order to get started on the Regional Electric Vehicle Strategy during an online discussion, which focused on innovation opportunities and the Caribbean reality.

The discussion, which was hosted by the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE) and the Energy Unit of the CARICOM Secretariat, saw more than two hundred and fifty stakeholders gathered to hear from regional and global experts in the field. Stakeholders also had the opportunity to express their opinions and have their queries addressed.

The Need for Regional Coordination

During the online event, attendees in majority identified cost as the most important factor when deciding on an electric vehicle (EV) purchase versus an Internal Combustible Engine (ICE) vehicle. In response, panelist Xavier Gordon shared that the total cost of ownership of an EV was lower when compared to an ICE vehicle, as global market trends show a decline in EV costs.  He warned, however, that there was a need to produce economies of scale in the region, which could, in turn, further reduce costs for CARICOM Member States and consumers, particularly procurement costs.

Mr. Gordon added that both public-private partnerships, particularly in the installation of charging infrastructure, and regulator-utility collaboration for the development of attractive charging prices for consumers, were key innovative approaches to support the adoption of EVs. To stimulate market response in the region, project implementation and demonstration were important, panelists shared.  Antonio Sealy of the Barbados Light and Power Company Limited revealed that when the Electric Bus Project commenced in Barbados, they began to receive significant interest from global EV service providers.

Innovation Opportunities & Challenges

Head of the CARICOM Energy Unit, Dr Devon Gardner, responded to the charge to “get started” by sharing that CARICOM, with the financial support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ) implemented TAPSEC Project, was in the process of having a Regional Electric Vehicle Strategy (REVS) prepared. Project implementation will continue at the same time, with a view to having relevant projects inform the strategy. This was in line with another recommendation from panelist Andrea Denzinger, who suggested that the region implement pilot projects and allow them to create data and build trust.

In their quest to support the development of the sustainable transport sector, the CARICOM Secretariat – through its Energy Unit – and the CCREEE have established a Regional Electric Vehicle Working Group to produce the Regional Electric Vehicle Strategy Framework. Having been presented with an overview of the framework, eighty-five percent (85%) of participants joining the discussion indicated that they were sufficiently convinced of the need for such a strategy. Nonetheless, there were cautions in light of the financial implications of the COVID-19 pandemic. Panelist Xavier Gordon shared that he completed the region’s first empirical meter reading study in 2017 and, the results show that electrification makes sense for the region. Nevertheless, he noted that access to finance may be significantly slowed as countries and donors redirect available funds.

The Caribbean Reality

Within the region, several opportunities exist to propel a transition towards wide-spread use of electric mobility, according to panelists. Sharing on the Barbados experience in implementing the Electric Bus Project where 33 electric buses are being procured, panelist Antonio Sealy told attendees that there was tremendous value to the transport sector, through electrification of public transportation. He maintained that cost benefits were to be found through fueling and maintenance, with estimated savings of BBD $2M annually for the current project. Improved comfort and commuter experiences, as well as reduced environmental impact through lessenend noise and greenhouse gas emissions were also identified as advantages.

The University of the West Indies is also supporting the electric mobility sector through their Electric Vehicle Research and Development Platform (EVRDP) and, an application developed to control charging time, to avoid congestion in the electrical network. Professor Chandrabhan Sharma explained the characteristics of EV charging, noting that uncoordinated charging could put significant stress on the power system, whereas providing power from a vehicle to the grid could contribute to stabilising the power grid and improve contribution of intermittent renewable energy supply to the electrical network.

This discussion was another step toward the development and implementation of the Regional Electric Vehicle Strategy which will lean on lessons learned from other jurisdictions and projects; and incorporate plans and approaches to produce economies of scale, within CARICOM. This is all to be accomplished with the ultimate goal of transforming the regional energy sector, for the benefit of Caribbean people.

Research Training for Multi-Dimensional Poverty underway in the OECS.

Regional trainers develop skills to train others in research methodology

 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017 — Training seminars that build the capacity of public servants, and community representatives, in data collection on multidimensional poverty, are currently being held in select OECS Member States.

 

The OECS Commission, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Sub-regional Office for the OECS and Barbados, is conducting Training of Trainer Workshops in Participatory Action Research on multi-dimensional poverty.

 

The initiative, which forms part of the Multi-dimensional Approaches to Poverty Eradication Project (MDAPP), has successfully completed training in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, and Antigua and Barbuda. Additional training sessions are scheduled to continue in Dominica and St. Lucia in the weeks to come.

 

UNDP Project Coordinator at the OECS Commission, Dr. Julie Xavier, said the MDAPP intends to leave each project country with trainers who will be equipped with the skills to train others in the implementation of this research methodology. Participants were targeted from various social service ministries, as well as Departments of Statistics.

 

Project Coordinator at Grenada National Organisation of Women (GNOW) Ms. Jacqueline Pascal said that, despite her years of experience in the field as a researcher, the training highlighted areas for development.

 

“I have experience in doing research, both qualitative and quantitative, as well as interviewing techniques at the highest level. This gives a person a bit of complacency [with regards to] their knowledge base but, coming here, I have realized that I was on a learning curve as far as research is concerned,” Pascal said.

One participant from St. Vincent and the Grenadines commended the comprehensive nature of the new approach stating that “participatory action research encourages community participation and ensures that some specific action comes out of the research.”

 

Overall, the project is aimed at promoting greater awareness of the multi-dimensional nature of poverty through the development of policies and programmes that move away from the traditional focus income or employment, and underscore the importance of other dimensions of holistic human development such as experiences in health, housing, education, and feelings of safety and security.

 

The MDAP project is sponsored by the Government of Chile through the Agency for International Cooperation and Development (AGCID).

Agricultural Revolution underway in the OECS.

OECS Media Release

 

Thursday, June 22, 2017 — The Agriculture Sector in OECS Member States is on the brink of a new era in collaborative production for regional and international trade. A comprehensive grouping of regional agriculture stakeholders, which include Ministers, Manufacturers, Traders, representatives from the Bureau of Standards and the OECS Commission, are working together to ensure the success of the initiative.

 

The virtual OECS Agri-Export Working group began in June of 2016 and, only one year later, has seen many achievements due to the influence and reach of the agricultural stakeholders involved, paired with the technological nature of the ongoing online meeting, which facilitates speedy action and decision making.

 

Main achievements of the Agri-Export Initiative to date include:

 

three refrigerated boats traversing the OECS and the wider Caribbean with agricultural produce and livestock;

improvement of phytosanitary standards;

change in production packaging from bags to boxes;

forging new purchasing links with Trinidad and Tobago, Martinique, the United States and Canada;

joint production to fulfill shipment quotas for international trade;

development of an app to connect producers, traders, supermarkets and hotels virtually;

identification of high value crops for each Member State with a view to increase production in these areas for regional and international trade; and

identification of designated Agriculture point persons in each OECS Member State to ensure quick implementation of projects and timely feedback.

Regional trade has been greatly facilitated with the service of the MV Sea Rambler, the MVC American Liberty and the Iron Cat, which export a range of fruits and vegetables from as far north as the British Virgin Islands to as far south as Trinidad and Tobago.

 

Minister for Agriculture in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Hon. Saboto Caesar, said that while regional trade is a priority as the OECS strives to lower its food import bill, it is also important that Member States aim to be self sufficient.

 

“At all costs, we should try not to import goods which can be produced on the island – whether from the OECS or extra regionally.”

 

“National agricultural platforms need to step up and produce more. We should aim for self sufficiency and collaborate to consolidate exports for extra regional trade,” Minister Caesar said.

Joint production for international markets is an area of great potential for regional integration and the continued development of OECS economies.

 

OECS Director General, Dr. Didacus Jules, said that the extensive achievements that the working group was able to cover in the space of a year was not only testament to inter-regional collaboration but the strong desire of the group to fulfill the economic aspirations of the OECS farming community with new commercial opportunities via the shipping initiative.

 

“Agricultural prosperity remains paramount to the OECS, not only in terms of economic advancement and reducing the unacceptably high food import bill but ideally we want to move to a stage where we, as a region, can produce a marketable surplus for export markets,” Dr. Jules said.

Farmers in Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines recently worked together to fulfill a shipment quota of dasheen to the United States, an order which Minister Caesar said would not have been possible without collaboration.

 

Since the start of the initiative, St. Vincent and the Grenadines has shipped 3,325 50lb boxes of dasheen to the United States; and Dominica, on its first shipment, successfully exported a 20ft container comprising 425 50lb boxes of dasheen.

 

Opportunities to increase extra regional trade have also recently been strengthened by the B767 cargo aircraft service to St. Vincent and the Grenadines which offers 220,000 lbs of cargo space per week. The aircraft also services Grenada which, in addition to securing loaders for goods, plans to invest in refrigerated containers for cold storage.

 

Projections for agricultural production in the region are expected to show a marked increase as Member States prepare for smart production aimed at efficiency and competitiveness, and innovative stakeholder collaboration in the sub region continues.