Bob Marley – Get Up, Stand Up (Live at Munich, 1980) – 40 years ago Bob Marley And The Wailers performing ‘Get Up, Stand Up’ live at The Open Air Festival in Munich, Germany on the 1st of June during the 1980 Uprising Tour. The audio and video have been carefully restored to ensure the […]
Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez on Thursday described as a brutal assassination the death of African-American George Floyd, who was a victim of a white police officer who pressed his neck with his knee in the US city of Minneapolis.
Please read and endorse this conference declaration by sharing a comment on this post or sending an email to the email@example.com with “Endorse the May 31, 2020 Caribbean and Latin American Peoples’ Online Conference Declaration” as the subject.
The peoples of Latin America and Caribbean have a common history. Despite our differences in language which are legacies of colonialism that tend to divide and keep us apart, our history unites us around the common goal of overcoming the vestiges of domination by the metropoles. These vestiges of colonialism include the plundering of our natural resources, under-development of our economies, and the deliberate distortion of ‘our story’ in order to keep us in our places as the ‘hewers of wood and drawers of water’.
It is in this crucible to reclaim our rightful place among humanity, that leaders such as Toussaint L’ Ouverture, Simon Bolivar, Jose Marti, Bussa, Nanny, Sam Sharpe, Paul Bogle, Marcus Garvey, Augusto César Sandino, Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez emerged to unite our people, as a critical step towards integration and cooperation which are indispensable components of our struggle to move forward and bring into reality genuine peoples’ development for Our Americas.
We, therefore, outline in this declaration the following commitments towards carrying forward the mission handed to us in the legacy of our ancestors:
- Build unity among the social forces and peoples’ movements with regard to plurality, diversity and the right to freely choose their own form of organization;
- Strengthen the integration movement by linking and mobilizing broad sectors of societies across the region, especially the farmers, trade unions, students, youth, women, unemployed and other groupings for coordinated action and in solving problems they have in common.
- Develop a communication strategy to bypass the traditional media blackout on issues affecting the daily lives of the peoples within the region, in order to draw us closer together through the use of new communication technologies, including social media. In so doing, we will keep each other abreast of our common challenges and experiences while advocating peaceful solutions for our social and economic development.
- Encourage the broadening and strengthening of the mechanisms of cooperation, integration and communication between countries in the region which we have been forced to utilize for the containment of Covid -19 pandemic.
- Acknowledge Cuba’s internationalist assistance in the global deployment of medical personnel from the Henry Reeves Brigade (currently 26 brigades in 23 countries) and the development of medicines to safely treat Covid-19 patients, based on their fundamental principle that all lives matter and should be saved whenever possible. This Global Medical Mission to save humanity was also seen in action in Cuba’s medical intervention in West Africa which helped to stem the Ebola epidemic. Cuba was the first country to respond with medical and other support tothe Haitian people after the massive 2010 earthquake.
- Join the rest of world in endorsing the proposal and campaigning for Cuba to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for outstanding contribution to the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic
- Encourage and support measures to build resilience against food insecurity, environmental and health threats.
- Endorse the United Nations and World Health Organisation’s call for discontinuation of all military aggression, the dedication of available resources to saving humanity and for the removal of cruel and illegal sanctions against nations such as Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Iran, Zimbabwe, which are among at 39 countries facing such a cruel obstacle to peaceful development.
- Cooperate with necessary measures to end or contain the pandemic while being vigilant in ensuring that the situation is not used as an opportunity to undermine our hard won democratic rights by enforcement of measures that are not in the interest of the majority, such as the unbridled use of force by agents of the state and bypassing of court rulings on the unconstitutionality of previously proposed regulations.
- Advocate economic growth strategies that benefit the majority of people and effectively utilize our available labour and talent, thereby eliminating poverty and unemployment.
- Place a high priority on the protection of workers’ rights across the region, ensuring that violation of our labour laws are not sacrificed on the altar of encouraging investments, whether foreign or local, which have never benefited the majority of people.
- Protect women and children across the region and raise our voices against the increasing murders of women in rising incidents of domestic violence in particular countries in the region and right across the globe during the COVID -19 lockdowns, which has left many women and children at the mercy of their abusers.
- Ensure that our region remains a ‘Zone of Peace’, in accordance with our CARICOM fundamental principle and the Tlatelolco Treaty of 2014, by resisting any attempt to divide and rule our countries in order to satisfy the interests of foreign powers and multinationals.
- Resist any attempt to violate the United Nations’ international law guaranteeing our inalienable right to self-determination, national sovereignty and non-interference in our internal affairs by external powers as has occurred in Honduras and Bolivia, and is being attempted in Venezuela and Nicaragua.
- Support and participate in the just demand for reparations for the enslavement of African people in the region and lobby for the elimination of its lingering effect which is manifested in the uneven distribution of resources and development opportunities.
- Monitor and support peoples’ struggles globally against all forms of “human wrongs” such as systemic racism, apartheid, genocide, xenophobia and repression, which, in the Americas, affect Black and indigenous peoples to the greatest extent, as reflected in the death toll from Covid 19, unemployment rates, homelessness, incarceration and incidents of excessive use of force by police and the criminal “injustice” system and war .
- Monitor and support the struggles for decolonization and economic independence of all countries within the region and elsewhere across the globe.
A lot of hope—and rightly so—is being placed in what a post-Trump country and world might look like. And yes, almost anything would be better. (As a popular lawn sign reads, “2020: Any Functioning Adult.”) Proposals for union-friendly organizing rights, student debt relief, a wealth tax, a green infrastructure bill (if not a Green New Deal), a rejoining of the Paris Climate Accord undertaken by a new administration would allow most everyone to breathe a sigh of relief. And breathing, in light of the 90,000 plus dead in this COVID-19 crisis, is not a thing to be taken for granted.
The scale and intensity of the crisis, however, and the public’s response to it, will determine what’s needed, party planks now contemplated be damned. With unemployment today at 25 percent or more, the shock to the capitalist system is profound. With a 3-to-1 ratio of African American and Latino to whites deaths, the racial implications are clear. Some, recalling William Patterson’s formula, that when are government is aware of the implications of its policy but does nothing, the result is genocidal. Overcoming these factors will be no small feat. But the question looms: how will this “overcoming” be defined?
International supply chains, for example, have been disrupted and with them perhaps the whole model of just-in-time production. There are now growing calls to bring parts production back home, and rightly so. What that will mean with respect to imperialist globalization is unclear. But it’s not a given that resuming domestic manufacturing will result in job creation. At least that’s the considered opinion of Columbia University professor and Nobel Prize–winning economist Joseph Stiglitz in a recent interview. In his view, potential workers in newly constructed factories will be replaced by robots. In fact, Stiglitz says, the trend toward deindustrialization and a service economy will only deepen.
Big sections of the economy may be radically reshaped. Airlines, for example, along with nursing homes, theaters, restaurants, retail outlets, meatpacking factories, indeed, anything and everything that was done in confined spaces are in for a severe retrofitting. Facebook, Twitter, and Microsoft are fast forwarding work-from-home alternatives, with possibly half of their employees working remotely in a decade.
Surprisingly, even the healthcare industry has been affected, experiencing the second largest job loss in April. According to some, 42 percent of all the current jobs lost will not be replaced.
The country is in the midst of a profound systemic crisis of capitalism.
The very future of work, already subject to restructuring by artificial intelligence, big data, and robotics, has not-too-certain prospects, particularly in light of predictions by Larry Summers, a current advisor to the Biden campaign.
Summers foresees a dramatic downsizing in general, with the airline industry being a case in point. Dismissing subsidizing employers to maintain current payrolls, the former Obama White House official remarked, “What conceivable logic is there to tell Delta Airlines that it has to retain every employee until October 1st? Delta airlines is years away from needing to retain the number of flight attendants that it has now. And there’s zero probability to want to have those flight attendants back.”
Summers went on to call for a strategic market-based culling. “Why does New Haven need 10 Indian restaurants when it only needs 4?” he asked.
The depth of the current crisis, which Summers thinks is at least twice if not three times as severe as the Great Recession, may also threaten the banking system. Stress tests, aimed at measuring a bank’s viability in times of crisis, he argues, are not credible. If Summers is right, Wall Street may be in big trouble.
There’s no going back to the way things were.
Importantly, both economists see the need for generous financial support for unemployed workers in the near term, with Summers arguing that the best stimulus lies in financing health care. But what will happen down the road? Here the two accept that there’s no going back to the way things were in terms of employment levels. Translated, that means the working class one way or another is going to pay the heaviest price.
Are there alternatives? Apparently not, if you’re stuck within the framework of liberal or neoliberal thinking. On the other hand, Jared Bernstein another economic advisor to the vice president say that the presumptive nominee “recognizes the need for an “urgent expansion” that better insulates the American economy from the “shocks that are coming fast and furiously” not as a direct result of the pandemic but from climate change and income inequality.”
Pressure is also coming from trade unions and progressive elected officials. Still demands for shortening the work week, socializing the hospital system or other industries, cancelling all debt—a debt jubilee—radically cutting the military budget, etc., so far have not entered the conversation. And they won’t, without mass public pressure and protest from the very ones most affected by the crisis—the growing army of the unemployed and their unions.
But it’s going to take more than public pressure. Along with such pressure, in fact by means of it, the balance of power in the country must be changed.
At this stage, a new Democratic administration is the only alternative to Trump’s neo-fascist impulse, even if the measures now proposed inadequately address what’s coming. However, for that door to be opened, even partly, the door to the Trump White House must be firmly and completely closed and the current occupant thrown out.
Can we advance if we fear to advance toward socialism?
Clearly, in light of the prognostications of some of the Democrats’ chief economists, the post-November political battlefield will be the site of intense class and democratic struggle. There are but two paths to solve the crisis—either on the backs of the rich or on the backs of the poor. In other words, it’s going to mean either more capitalism or more socialism. Can advances be made without massive public investments in health care, education, infrastructure, industry, housing, and science? Can we really advance if we fear to advance toward socialism?
A lot will depend on what happens in the Congressional elections as well. Recall that in 2008 Democratic majorities in the House and Senate could not prevail in the battle for a larger stimulus.
The crisis today however, is on another scale of magnitude and the caring-for-each-other sentiments, a material force brought to the fore by the pandemic, give us much to build on. In this regard, Joel Wendland writes,
The interventions that have been undertaken, reliance on science, mobilization of public spirit of commitment and sacrifice, the re-organization of activity into necessary and essential services, the sense of solidarity and shared work toward the goal of resolving the crisis, the calls for re-directing production to needed goods, the immediate expansion of aid to workers in the form of extended unemployment, the provision of free test and care for victims of the pandemic, all serve as models for a socialistic model of democratic planning, expansion of publicly operated services for need not for commercial value, and economic waste.
He continued, “For example the collapse of oil markets and finance capital reveal how little we benefit from the existence of those sectors or how little we are harmed when they fall apart. The increased hostility toward price gougers and profiteers could translate into policy.”
In this broad democratic and socialist moment, the sole force capable of seeing this through are the workers and people most affected by the crisis. They, along with the broader movement that brought the new House of Representatives to power in the midterms must give leadership to the fight.
It’s time to, as Bobby Seale once said, “seize the time.”
If the total number of COVID-19 deaths in the United States has not yet surpassed 100,000 when you are reading this, tragically, it soon will. In the space of the first five months of this year, we have long passed the milestone (just under 60,000) of Americans killed in the long Vietnam War. We know, of course, that some people died of the pandemic in the early part of 2020 before health authorities even knew what they were dealing with. We also know that others died at home, their families only at most suspecting what the cause of death might have been.
The United States leads the world in COVID-19 deaths. No advanced country was so unprepared for a health catastrophe as the U.S. under President Donald Trump. It’s hard even to say the numbers will abate in the coming weeks and months. We may not have peaked yet. With the president’s push to “reopen” the economy and secure his re-election in November, tens of thousands more in America could be exposed to the virus and require treatment. In new waves of infection, the death toll will continue to rise.
It seems like no one in the White House ever heard of the Six P’s: Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance (We threw in an extra P in honor of Vice President Pence and his coronavirus task force).
The prize for best preparedness no doubt goes to Vietnam, with a population of about 100 million, which shares a border with China and yet, because of its highly coordinated planning, has registered exactly 0 deaths from the coronavirus. This model needs to be studied closely.
Has your city been wiped out?
Numbers are often hard to grasp. Well, the city of Roanoke, Va., has just under 100,000 people. So imagine that the entire city of Roanoke—every single person in town—has been wiped off the earth. If you’ve never been to Roanoke and can’t picture it in your mind, how about Kenosha, Wis., or Clinton, Mich., both of them inching up toward 100,000 population?
Here are the names of most of the American cities with a population between 90,000 and 100,000. Imagine every resident of any one of these cities dead, not to mention whole populations of hundreds of smaller cities. To list them all would be numbing, and most Americans are probably pretty numb already from the staggering loss of human life that could have been avoided so early on with rational, science-based policy coming from the federal government.
Miami Beach, Fla.; Lynn, Mass.; Plantation, Fla.; San Marcos, Tex.; Santa Monica, Calif.; Boca Raton, Fla.; Carson, Calif.; Hesperia, Calif.; Quincy, Mass.; Yakima, Wash.; West Albany, N.Y.; The Woodlands, Tex.; Lawrence, Ks.; Yuma, Ariz.; Roswell, N.M.; Livonia, Mich.; New Bedford, Mass.; Dearborn, Mich.; Brockton, Mass.; Sparks, Nev.; Portsmouth, Va.; South Gate, Calif.; Beaverton, Wash.; Lawton, Okla.; Ventura, Calif.; Vacaville, Calif.; Mission Viejo, Calif.; Allen, Tex.; Flint, Mich.; Tuscaloosa, Ala.; Compton, Calif.; Albany, N.Y.; Spring Hill, Fla.; Richmond Hill, N.Y.; Portsmouth Heights, Va.; Erie, Pa.; Columbia, Md.
Is your city next?
What happens after 100,000? The virus just goes after warm, available bodies. It doesn’t know from numbers. We’ll shortly be recording the next 10,000 deaths.
These cities rank in population between 100,000 and 110,000, in order from low to high. Do you live in one of them? Your city may be the next to go.
Renton, Wash.; San Angelo, Tex.; Davie, Fla.; Greeley, Colo.; Vista, Calif.; South Bend, Ind.; Las Cruces, N.M.; Hillsboro, Ore.; Edison, N.J.; Davenport, Iowa; Rialto, Calif.; Brandon, Fla.; San Mateo, Calif.; El Cajon, Calif.; Tyler, Tex.; Louisville, Ky.; Clovis, Calif.; Lakeland, Fla.; Wichita Falls, Tex.; Santa Maria, Calif.; Green Bay, Wis.; Burbank, Calif.; Sandy Springs, Ga.; Daly City, Calif.; Broken Arrow, Nev.; West Palm Beach, Fla.; Norwalk, Calif.; Boulder, Colo.; Pompano Beach, Fla.; Palm Bay, Fla.; College Station, Tex.; Everett, Wash.; North Charleston, S.C.; Enterprise, Nev.; West Covina, Calif.; Waterbury, Conn.; Pearland, Tex.; Pueblo, Colo.; Richmond, Calif.; Centennial, Colo.; Murrieta, Calif.
Is a cure in sight?
A cure or vaccine for the coronavirus may not come for many months, maybe never. But a cure does exist for numbness. It’s called “action.”
Education, advocacy, sharing on social media, caravans, letters to the editor, communicating with your elected officials, voter registration and voting, campaign contributions, phone banking, precinct walking if and when it’s safe. On-the-job walkouts, sitdowns, strikes, demonstrations. Supporting your family, friends, and neighbors. Expressing gratitude for workers who remain on the job under highly stressful conditions. Writing articles about local developments for People’s World, and supporting PW financially. Solidarity.
And unity. Lots of it. To remember and honor our fellow Americans and those who came to our shores seeking a better life.
To protect life. To save democracy. To stop fascism.
Unity. Unity! Unity!!
Population data: World Population Review.
On Sunday, May 31, 2020, the Caribbean and Latin American professionals and community leaders will convene an online conference to discuss experiences and solutions to fight Covid 19 and future pandemics, especially at the grassroots level.
The pandemic has spread exponentially across South America, with Brazil now having the most significant number of active cases in the world. Political leadership in confronting the pandemic in Brazil has been at best sporadic. The government’s responses have proven ineffective, particularly for those living on the margins of society: the Blacks, poor, seniors, women, young people, and the unemployed. Recent information coming out of Brazil indicates that the indigenous peoples are severely threatened by the pandemic and could face extinction.
“It is about time we take the bull by the horns and tackle the issues in a fundamental way. We need to approach the situation from the bottom up, instead of from the top down as this has failed us every time,” remarked Mr. Mose Hyde, President of the Christian Workers Union.
This is the first time that a conference of this nature will be spearheaded by civil society and grassroots organizations across the various language groups in the Caribbean and Latin America. It will feature presentations by diplomats, economists, sociologists, doctors, lawyers, trade unionists, journalists, community women and youth organizers, and other interest groups.
“While we reside in different countries, we all share the same history of being torn from Africa, enslavement and colonial domination. It is up to us to play a major role in figuring out what works for us,” added Mr. Hyde.
Mr. David Denny, another organizer, emphasized the importance of establishing the regional peoples’ network to support integration, peaceful cooperation and resilience against threats to the environment and human health. He noted that while the peoples of the region remain relatively isolated from each other, we are weak in facing the common issues that affect us and we are incapable of participating effectively in charting the way forward as a region.
“Our discussion will undoubtedly address the deleterious effects of illegal sanctions and military threats against countries in the region which have been condemned by Caricom, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean (CELAC) States, the United Nations, and the World Health Organisation, the Catholic Pope and most faith-based organisations, including Rastafari,” said Mr. Denny.
A stalwart in the trade union, reparations and peace and solidarity movements in Barbados and the region, Mr. Denny said that he hopes the conference will highlight the need for regional peace and cooperation to address the myriad of social and economic issues unmasked by the Covid19 crisis. He also hopes that the conference will enable peoples of the region to be more aware of subtle and overt threats to our United Nations enshrined right of nations to self-determination and to be free from internal interference in our affairs with the objective of regime change as has occurred in Grenada, Bolivia and Honduras, and is being threatened in Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua. This lack of awareness is hampering the growth of nations in the region and makes us easy pawns in a multitude of games that only serve to keep us in a position of dependence.
“We are in this together, despite our linguistic or regional differences which are legacies of colonialism,” noted Mr. Denny.
The online conference will take place on Sunday, May 31, 2020, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (GMT5/Jamaica time). It is being organised by the Caribbean Peace Movement, the Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration, the Christian Workers Union of Belize, the Jamaica Peace Council and the Global AfriKan Congress, with the support of several civil society and grassroots organisations across the region. The Haitian social movement Konbit ayisyen pou pwogrè (KAP) will be represented at the conference.You may join the conference by clicking on the following link.
Zoom Meeting Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82162618917
Meeting ID: 821 6261 8917
Sign in early to guarantee you place.
If you already have the Zoom app on your device, you may just open it, click on “Join Meeting” and then fill in the Meeting ID and Password when prompted.
For more information contact:
Mr. David Denny
Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration
Tel: 1 246 546 5697 (or) 1 246 286 4052
Mr. Trevor Brown
Member of the Steering Committee, Jamaica Peace Council
International Working Committee Caribbean Representative
Global AfriKan Congress
Tel: 1 876 834 4184
– 30 –
Human Wrongs Watch Cuban doctors held over five thousand consultations in Italy and discharged 210 Covid-19 patients after the severe outbreak in March. Homage to Cuban doctors in Plaza Duomo, Crema, Italy. May 23rd, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/@BrunoRguezP . 25 May 2020 (teleSUR)* — Italian authorities, ecclesiastic representatives, and social organizations acknowledged on May 23 […]
The online conference on May 31, 11:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Jamaica time (real time, not traditional) will kick off the thrust towards creating a Regional Peoples’ Network, from the grassroots right across all levels of society, to support Integration, Peaceful Cooperation and Resilience against Environmental and Health Threats. The theme of the conference is “The Caribbean and Latin American Peoples’ Conference on our COVID-19 Experience and Lessons”.
One of the highlights of the day will be a conversation with noted Jamaican economist Dr. Michael Witter who co-authored the book “Small Garden Bitter Weed” with his late colleague Dr. George Beckford.
The conference is being organised by the Caribbean Peace Movement, the Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration, the Christian Workers Union of Belize, the Jamaica Peace Council and the Global African Congress. The Haitian social movement Konbit ayisyen pou pwogrè (KAP) will be represented at the conference.
You may join the conference by clicking on the following link.
Zoom Meeting Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82162618917
Meeting ID: 821 6261 8917
NB. If you already have the Zoom app on your device, you may just open it, click on “Join Meeting” and then fill in the Meeting ID and Password when prompted.
You won’t want to miss this online conference. Please share.
A report by Elizabeth A. Gjieli and Ina Vandebroek for The New York Botanical Gardens. Jamaican root tonics are fermented beverages composed of roots, bark, and other parts of various wild harvested plant species, which are consumed to strengthen the body, increase stamina, cleanse the blood, and improve libido. These concoctions are widely popular across Jamaica, […]
Jamaican root tonics are fermented beverages composed of roots, bark, and other parts of various wild harvested plant species, which are consumed to strengthen the body, increase stamina, cleanse the blood, and improve libido. These concoctions are widely popular across Jamaica, and among the Jamaican diaspora in New York City, London, and Toronto. In order to produce the tonics, knowledgeable people collect bark, roots, and vines of plants from the forest, typically three days before or after the full moon. These plant parts are left to dry, and when they are ready for brewing, they are chopped and boiled in water. The boiling process can last a few hours to an entire day, depending on individual preference and the desired strength of the tonic. When this stage is complete, the concoction is stored in a bottle and left to ferment.
Despite their popularity today and an integral part of Jamaican biocultural heritage, the use of wild and (semi-) domesticated plants for these health tonics remains vastly understudied. Dr. Vandebroek and her colleague Dr. David Picking from The University of the West Indies at Mona, Jamaica are actively researching and documenting the ingredients of these tonics. The data collected in this project can be used to investigate the conservation status of these native and endemic species by mapping them in NYBG’s GIS Lab, led by Liz Gjieli.
More than 200 plant species used in root tonics have been recorded across five parishes in Jamaica. Since many species are collected deep inside forests, it is likely that some are vulnerable from a conservation perspective. GIS analysis showed that this was the case for several species, by analyzing the range of their naturally occurring geographic distribution. This is done by compiling all known occurrence records for a species, derived from NYBG’s C.V. Starr Virtual Herbarium and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), a repository of information from major herbaria worldwide. GIS software is used to map all of the known localities of the species and calculate an “extent of occurrence” (EOO) polygon. This polygon represents an estimate of the spatial area that a species occupies. Species with an EOO of less than 20,000 square kilometers, and which are also experiencing severely fragmented habitat or a decline in populations or range, are considered “vulnerable”. This is according to the global authority, the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.
Identifying species that are potentially at risk with this rapid assessment will warrant further “on the ground” investigation into their proper conservation threat status. With this analysis, we hope to contribute to preserving the valuable biocultural plant diversity of Jamaica.
Funding courtesy the National Geographic Committee for Research and Exploration Grant #HJ-161R-17 to Ina Vandebroek.
IUCN. 2012. Red List Categories and Criteria: Version 3.1. Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK: IUCN.
I WATCHED a video of Mark Myers, head of Restaurants of Jamaica, where he speaks to his staff warning of impending lay-offs due to falling sales at his KFC and Pizza Hut locations.
He ends the video by saying how much the team means to him and imploring them to “keep safe”. I have a few questions for Mr Myers:
1) Are your stores losing money on falling sales or simply making less money?
2) How do you expect your employees who will be laid off to “keep safe” if they are not earning?
3) Does Restaurants of Jamaica have no reserves on which it can fall back on during this pandemic?
4) Did you compute the cost of paying your mostly low-salaried workers for a few more months versus the cost of reputational damage your business may suffer as a result of these planned lay-offs?
5) While I can see how your profits would be negatively impacted by shortened business hours, wouldn’t your expenses – light, water, security, etc – be likewise reduced?
6) Can you honestly say that your business had no alternative but to lay off staff? What about just making less profits but being humane?
Mr Myers, my small bucks may mean nothing to your bottom line, but I will spend my money with establishments that show that they value mankind over profits. I wonder if all of Jamaica chose to boycott your stores for even one day if you would then recognise the folly of your ways.
On the other hand, I was delighted to read a story about Lloyd Pearson and Lloyd’s in Montego Bay; Mr Pearson said he will continue to pay his staff fully and just wants to sell enough to meet payroll demands. This commitment to his team must mean the world to them, and they are blessed to work for a man with such compassion and empathy for the plight of the common man.
Here is a small establishment – when compared to the mighty KFC – but a businessman who clearly has a heart and conscience and loves his ‘team’ not just by word, but by action.
Jamaica is a funny place, though: such is the hypocrisy that one can look for honours to be bestowed on Mr Myers in the months ahead, or perhaps his appointment to government think tanks or task forces, while poor Mr Pearson will have to await his well-deserved reward, hopefully, many decades down the road, in the afterlife.
Donkey was right when him seh di world nuh level.
Two recent letters to a Gleaner newspaper have compelled me to respond. One is titled ‘Social distancing an uptown phenomenon’ and the other ‘Examine NHT matches-box housing’.
These letters bring into sharp focus the inequalities in housing that exist in our island. They bring to mind what our politicians of the past have spoken about, the “haves” and the “have-nots”.
In the not-too-distant past, three houses were burnt to the ground. One had 70 occupants, one had 55, and the other had 40 occupants. A total of 165. These houses were originally built for a family of six. (One of these was in Sirgany in east Kingston).
Jamaica has 753 squatter settlements, which house over 800,000 squatters, identified by the Ministry of Housing. This approximates to 30 per cent of our population.
There are 3.4 million acres of land in Jamaica. Each acre can be divided into 10 housing lots, thereby creating 34 million housing lots in Jamaica. If the Government allocated a housing lot for every Jamaican, there would still be 31.3 housing lots left (or over 3 million acres of land).
The statistics show that 90 per cent of our crime emanates from our ghetto/inner-city/garrison communities. This costs the nation 7.5 per cent of gross domestic product, which translates to multiple billions of dollars annually.
The Rt Excellent Marcus Garvey in 1929, as the president of the People ‘s Political Party, championed the creation of an egalitarian society. Fast-forward to today, we have a deeply divided and crime-filled society.
We indeed have two Jamaicas today. One in which a family of four lives on an acre of land, and the other where 70 persons live on a quarter of an acre plot.
The challenge ahead for us as a nation is to create a homogenous society, where equal rights and justice prevails for ALL. Where equal opportunities are the societal standards. And where, as our anthem demands, true respect for ALL is the order of the day.
HERU ISHAKAMUSA MENELIK
UNIA and ACL
The inequalities of birth persist.
The haves will never understand what it is to be a have-not.
We save poor people from COVID-19 and then leave them to die of starvation.
Surely we can do better.
TeleSUR La Nueva Televisión del Sur C.A. (TVSUR) RIF: G-20004500-0
Statements by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba, Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla
As the Ministry of Foreign Affairs timely informed, around 2 o’clock today, that is, in the early hours in the morning of today, Thursday, April 30, 2020, a terrorist attack was perpetrated against the embassy of the Republic of Cuba to the United States in Washington. An unidentified individual shot at the building of the Cuban embassy in the US using an assault rifle.
None of the members of the staff of the mission was injured, who is safe and protected, but some material damages were caused to the building as a result of the numerous gunshots.
Cuba’s diplomatic mission in Washington has a security and protection system in place against any threat that may jeopardize the diplomatic officials, their relatives and the facilities.
The individual, whose identity has not been reported to the Cuban government, was arrested by the local authorities and remains under their custody.
We appreciate the professional behavior of the law enforcement agency officers who very quickly arrived at the scene of the incident.
Today, at noon time, I summoned the Charge d’ Affairs of the US embassy in Havana, Mrs. Mara Tekach, to discuss this serious incident.
I stated our strongest protest for the grave terrorist attack perpetrated against the Cuban embassy. I asked her: How would the US government react to such an attack against any of its embassies? I remember the unfair actions and threats made by the US Government without a minimal explanation or evidence on the so call “acoustic attacks” supposedly against American diplomats.
It is the obligation of all States to take all appropriate steps to protect the premises of a diplomatic mission accredited to that country against any intrusion or damage and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of the mission or impairment of its dignity or its normal functioning, as established by the Vienna Convention about Diplomatic Relations of 1961.
I demand utmost cooperation from the US government authorities to clarify the facts and the assurances that such incidents will not happen again or remain unpunished, including this incident that has just occurred
This attack against the Cuban embassy in the United States has in any case been encouraged by the increasingly hostile rhetoric against our country that has both publicly and systematically involved the US Secretary of State as well as high officials of that Department in charge of relations with the Western Hemisphere, and even the US embassy in Havana.
It is impossible not to establish a connection between such action and the strengthening of the aggressive and hostile policy that the US applies against Cuba, or the tightening of the blockade, which includes non-conventional measures even in times of the COVID-19 pandemic, which affect the whole planet.
The accts to instigate violence against the Cuban medical personnel in third countries, as was the case recently in Bolivia, even with the participation of US officials; the slanders and demonization of the health staff, also encourage violent actions.
At the moment of the attack, as I expressed to the US diplomat, there were ten Cuban officials and diplomats inside the building, who were in grave danger.
It is likewise impossible to separate this type of actions from the effect of policies and speeches of hatred that promote division and social violence.
There have been serious historical antecedents of violent and hostile actions, including terrorist actions, against Cuban diplomatic officials assigned to the United States, both at the Washington mission and at the Cuban Permanent Representation to the United Nations in New York.
I also remembered that several groups and individuals have operated for many years and are still operating inside the US territory with impunity, who have in the past committed terrorist actions against Cuba, something that is well known by the law enforcement agencies of the government of the United States.
I am surprise to see that more than 15 hours have elapsed from the attack against our embassy and neither the official US government authorities or the State Department have contacted our authorities; there has not been any official statement, not even tweets, which are so frequent when referring to Cuba, from any US official or its embassy
I urge the State Department to adopt, with the utmost urgency, the measures necessary to ensure full compliance with the responsibilities it is entitled to under the Vienna Convention and ensure the security and safety of the Cuban embassy, the Cuban Permanent Mission to the United Nations, and the staff that works at both missions and the relatives accompanying them.
Finally, I offer the cooperation of the Cuban authorities to carry out the appropriate investigation.
Thank you, very much.
By Shermain Bique-Charles
“It has nothing to do with us”, said Prime Minister Gaston Browne, about a decision by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to approve US $65.6 Million for Dominica, Grenada and St Lucia to address Covid-19 challenges.
Browne, who has had a wishy-washy relationship with the IMF, wrote to the financial entity earlier this month, requesting debt write-offs and grants to help the twin island state fight the coronavirus pandemic, but received no favourable response from the world body.
“We requested debt write-offs and grants. That is what the Caribbean needs, not loans,” he said
While the prime minister appeared to be grateful for what he called “small concessional loan windows”, he insisted that it cannot solve “our problem”.
“That cannot solve our financial problems that have been created over decades, by and large by repeated hurricanes recovery costs and exogenous shocks,” he added,
Furthermore, an adamant Browne said high debt and debit service ratios requires debt relief and grants to place these countries on a sustainable fiscal and financial pathway.
Meantime, the funding for Dominica, Grenada and St Lucia is being made available under the Rapid Credit Facility.
IMF financing support provides resources to the countries’ authorities for essential health-related expenditures and income support to ease the impact of Covid-19 on the population.
Dominica will receive US $14 million, while St Lucia gets US $21.4 million, and US $22.4 million goes to Grenada.
Tao Zhang, deputy managing director and acting chair of the IMF, said these countries are small states that are very vulnerable to shocks, including large natural disasters, with Dominica in particular still recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Maria in 2017.
“The Covid-19 pandemic poses a major challenge to Dominica, Grenada, and St Lucia. Their key tourism sectors have been hit hard by the shock. The contraction in tourism is expected to have a major impact on their economies, by causing ripple effects across all economic sectors, eroding fiscal revenues, and creating urgent balance of payments pressures. In addition, these three small states are also highly vulnerable to natural disasters,” Tao said.
The IMF, according to him will continue to engage these countries and stands ready to provide policy advice and further support as needed.
Dominica, Grenada, and St Lucia are members of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU), and the disbursements would support macroeconomic stability and facilitate the subsequent economic recovery of the region.