No one who has followed Caribbean history over the last century could miss Fidel’s important role in helping Caribbean people to access their condition. Fidel had his faults.
However, his achievements surpassed his shortcomings and that is the salient point.
Fidel was to the 20th century Caribbean what Toussaint was to the 18th and 19th centuries. CLR James noted: “Castro’s revolution is of the 20th century as much as Toussaint’s was of the 18th…West Indians became aware of themselves as a people in the Haitian Revolution.” Continue reading ‘The Challenge of Ideology’
IN response to a request from one young reporter for me to comment on Fidel Castro after the legendary Cuban leader died last Friday, I blurted out: he was a colossus of the Caribbean who walked the world stage tall like a giant.
I don’t know if my one-sentence summary of the complex character that was Fidel was original, but I certainly think it was accurate. Never before in the history of the Caribbean had we seen a leader of his stature. And, like him or loathe him, the titans who straddled the world stage during his 50-year tenure at the helm of Cuba dared not ignore him, with many of them grudgingly respecting him. Continue reading ‘Castro: colossus of the Caribbean’
The findings of a Commission of Inquiry into the murder of Guyanese intellectual and political activist Dr Walter Rodney, 36 years ago, are an indictment not only against the Forbes Burnham dictatorship that ruled Guyana for 21 horrible years, but also other Caricom governments and countries that never condemned Burnham’s atrocities. Continue reading ‘Rodney’s ghost haunts Guyana’
Reporter JANELLE DE SOUZA reviews the debate over the rise of the Zika virus in the Caribbean, as Trinidad and Tobago joins the list of countries reporting cases of the mosquito-borne illness.
Could the use of a popular pesticide to control the mosquito population be responsible for the most feared outturn of Zika, head and brain deformity in babies born to mothers who were afflicted by the virus? Can the Zika virus be transmitted through sexual intercourse? These were among the most pressing fears as another of those big diseases with the small names manifested its entry into Trinidad and Tobago last week. Zika’s arrival plus the global debate over its spread and consequences deepened national concern and stimulated emergency measures that were laid down by the Health Ministry several weeks ago as the relatively new virus preoccupied countries far and near, with health emergencies and intense action to contain it. Continue reading ‘Zika, sex and pesticides’
The historic diplomatic reality that the Obama administration has decided to re-establish a US embassy presence in Havana, Cuba on 20th July, 2015, signals a new geopolitical policy of the United States toward Cuba, albeit “Charting a New Course on Cuba.”
Firstly, by this diplomatic policy decision the Obama administration is renouncing the geopolitical decision by then US President Dwight Eisenhower to severe diplomatic ties with Cuba on 3rd January, 1962. Continue reading ‘New US-Cuba Rapprochement’
I confess I was surprised when, last Wednesday, announcements from Washington and Havana confirmed that the United States and Cuba had agreed to restore diplomatic relations and work towards the normalisation of other relations, especially trade and travel between the two countries.
THE SITUATION in Guyana is one with which all nations in the region should be concerned. Guyana is an important trading partner. Trinidad and Tobago, for instance, exported an estimated $1.1 billion worth of products to the country over the period 2007 to 2010 and for that period imported $596 million in products. Additionally, both governments have recently partnered on initiatives and incentives to reduce the food import bill and boost production, with plans to make large tracts of land in Guyana available to Trinidad and Tobago agriculturalists. Continue reading ‘Keeping Guyana calm’