Ricardo Blackman’s Caribbean Headlines News 02/13

By Ricardo Blackman | CDN Barbados 

Dateline Bridgetown, BARBADOS:

Minister of Finance, Chris Sinckler has sought to dismiss Central Bank Governor, Dr. DeLisle Worrell, but the High Court, meeting last night, has brought an injunction to prevent him from doing so. Worrell, who was deputy governor during the 1991 economic crisis, has been credited with helping the then Erskine Sandiford-led administration to carve out a strategy to save the country from possible economic collapse when it had just four weeks of import cover.  However, with the country’s foreign reserves said to be at their lowest level in 14 years and the economy on the brink again, Worrell has apparently run afoul of both Sinckler and his fellow members of the Central Bank Board who verbally communicated their dissatisfaction at a formal meeting with Sinckler.  During a live TV discussion on the state-run CBC at the start of the month, the Governor had sought to publicly warn government that it must stop the recent practice of printing money.  “We cannot continue to have a deficit and we cannot continue to have as high a wage bill  simply because the only way we are able to do that is by the Central Bank providing financing” he said then, while seeming to deliberately throw his immediate boss under the proverbial bus.

The controversial Hyatt Hotel has been given the green light.  Declaring that the decision was in fact taken in the seven day time frame he had promised almost three weeks ago, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart told a constituency branch meeting that he had given the necessary planning permission for the 11-storey hotel to go up on Bay Street, St. Michael, in part of the UNESCO World Heritage site.

Dateline Kingston, JAMAICA:

“It is anticipated that we will have a smooth transfer,” Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Audley Shaw told the official signing ceremony for the transfer of the assets from the government-owned Caymanas Park Limited (CPL) to SVL, which will now assume the name Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited.  Shaw said the official date for the takeover of assets by the private company is March 7 and it is expected that in the course of that transition, racing will not be affected.

Dateline Roseau, DOMINICA:

Police have released legislator, Dr. Thomas Fontaine but Fontaine has been told that he should return to the Police station by 9.00 a.m. today.  He has been released pending further investigation.  After the release, Fontaine was greeted by a jubilant crowd of supporters who shouted “Free Dr. Fontaine” and “(Prime Minister) Skerrit Must Go”.  He was carried through the streets by those in the crowd.  On Sunday evening, Fontaine was picked up by members of the Special Security Unit (SSU) moments after he left his radio station Q95.  On Saturday, his home was searched by Police.

Dateline St. John’s, ANTIGUA:

The Antigua and Barbuda Financial Services Regulatory Commission, in exercise of its powers under the law, has removed three of the directors from the Board of Meini Bank (Antigua) Ltd and appointed Cleveland Seaforth, managing partner, KPMG, Eastern Caribbean, as the official administrator of the bank.  The Commission has assured depositors and creditors of the bank that the regulatory action being taken is intended to protect and safeguard their interests.

Dateline Port of Spain, TRINIDAD:

The Opposition People’s Partnership is today again under the spotlight as a government returns to Parliament with legislation needed to make Trinidad and Tobago compliant with the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which will go once more to a vote.

National Security Minister, Edmund Dillon, says failure is not an option for him and therefore he will not be stepping down, although Trinidad and Tobago’s murder rate continues to spiral.  Dillon says he is a person who never gives up. “I never surrender.  Failure is not an option for me.  I will do my best and let God do the rest.” Dillon said.

Dateline Panama City, PANAMA:

Jurgen Massack and Damian Fonseca, the founding partners of the law firm at the epicenter of the Panama Papers documents leak scandal, have been arrested by Panamanian authorities on suspicion of money laundering.