BBC Caribbean News in Brief

Mothers demand release

Mothers and wives of Cuban dissidents imprisoned since a March 2003 crackdown have demanded their release.

In a letter to President Raul Castro and former leader Fidel Castro, the group known as “Ladies in White” said their loved ones were guilty only of loving their country.

It was issued on Tuesday, a day before the sixth anniversary of the arrests of dissidents in what has come to be known as Cuba’s “black spring.”

Of the 75 who received prison sentences, 21 were released early and the rest remain behind bars.

Jamaica wants to sell sugar lands

The Jamaica government says it remains in the market for a buyer for its debt-ridden sugar company.

Last year, a Brazilian company signed a US$39 million agreement to lease the island’s sugar plantations for 25 years.

But the global financial crisis forced the company to drop out of the deal, according to Jamaica agriculture minister Christopher Tufton.

He told reporters that the government has renewed bidding for its sugar estates and that 14 unnamed companies were “showing interest”.
British decision of TCI scrutinised

There’s been reaction outside of the Turks and Caicos Islands to the plan by the British government to restore direct rule after a highly critical report on the islands’ leadership.

The premier of Bermuda, Ewart Brown, said he was saddened by the proposal, adding that it was not a happy day for any of the UK’s overseas territories.

In Jamaica, the Gleaner newspaper called the decision the most backward constitutional move by the British in the Caribbean since its 1968 intervention in Anguilla.

The investigation is said to have found evidence of systemic corruption in the TCI though full details of the alleged misdeeds are not expected until a final document later in the year.

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