Ricardo Blackman’s Caribbean Headlines News 02/17

By Ricardo Blackman | CDN Barbados

Dateline Bridgetown, BARBADOS:

The chorus of calls for the head of Minister of Finance, Chris Sinckler, continues to rise amid a public row between Sinckler and the Governor of the Central Bank, Dr. DeLisle Worrell.  The recently launched political party, Barbados Integrity Movement (BIM) has been the latest to call on Prime Minister Freundel Stuart to fire his protector of the public purse.  Sinckler and Worrell are fighting a battle in court and in public, over the Minister’s attempt to sack the Governor at the behest of members of the Board.  The High Court is expected to decide today whether it would lift an injunction barring Sinckler from firing Worrell.  In advance of the decision, BIM leader, Neil Holder, said both men should be relieved of their duties and he called on Prime Minister Stuart to act swiftly.  Holder’s view was also shared by the Head of the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute for Social and Economic Studies (SALISES), Dr. Don Marshall.

Devaluation never works.  That is the caution coming from an internationally recognised economist, who believes that Barbados should not even be contemplating devaluing its dollar.  John Tammy, a political economy editor at Forbes, has advised that the country does everything to maintain its current 2-1 peg with the US Dollar.

Some 19 Barbadians have been detained under the controversial United States travel ban.  This was disclosed by P[rime Minister Freundel Stuart at the 28th intercessional meeting of the conference of heads of government of CARICOM in Georgetown, Guyana.  While expressing surpise at the detentions, Stuart said the matter is being investigated by his government.

Dateline Kingston, JAMAICA:

The government of Jamaica is examining ways to utilise more effectively, the CARIFORUM European Union (EU) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) to strengthen Jamaica’s trade relations with the 27-member EU.

Dateline Port of Spain, TRINIDAD:

Don’t worry.  Trinidad and Tobago’s drinking water is free of lead and safe to drink.  In an apparent response to public anxiety about contaminated water, the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) in a news release yesterday, assured its customers and the general public that the water it produces “meets and exceeds” guidelines set by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for potable or drinking water quality.”