Colombia says Venezuela imposes Cuba-like embargo

BOGOTA (Reuters) – Colombian President Alvaro Uribe accused Venezuela yesterday of imposing an illegal trade blockade similar to the US embargo on Cuba after his Andean neighbour said Colombia was engaged in “psychological war.” The criticism was Uribe’s strongest yet since Venezuela and Colombia began sparring several months ago in a dispute that has damaged their $7 billion a year in bilateral trade and heightened fears of a violent clash along their frontier.

EU says banana deal near, some producers unhappy

GENEVA (Reuters) – A deal is close for an end to “banana wars”, the world’s longest-running trade dispute, the European Union’s farm trade chief said yesterday, but some producers made it clear they were not happy at the prospect.

Bajan cleric in dressing down on skimpy clothing 8

(Barbados Nation) A high-ranking Catholic cleric, Monsignor Vincent, has condemned young people’s wearing of skimpy clothing and low-hanging trousers, exposing their underwear in public.

‘Scholarship’ list withheld by T&T Govt obtained

(Trinidad Express) A secret list of those who received State grants totalling TT$46 million from the Ministry of Culture and Gender Affairs during the period 2003 to 2007 has finally been revealed.

Varying views on Manning’s plan to store carbon

(Trinidad Express) There were varying views on Monday from an environmentalist, physicist and geologist, on Prime Minister’s Patrick Manning’s controversial plan to capture and store carbon emissions to reduce global warming.

Latin American leaders divided by Honduras election 1

ESTORIL, Portugal (Reuters) – Latin American countries meeting here with Spain and Portugal struggled with their response to the Honduras election, with large South American countries saying failure to condemn it could spur political instability in the region.

Chavez threatens to nationalize Venezuelan banks

CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuelan President Hugo  Chavez warned the nation’s private bankers yesterday that they  must comply with the law or face nationalization, regardless of  their banks’ size.

Former guerrilla favoued to win Uruguay election

MONTEVIDEO (Reuters) – A former guerrilla fighter  was poised yesterday to become the next president of Uruguay,  pledging to maintain the ruling leftist coalition’s moderate  policies in one of Latin America’s most stable economies.

Commonwealth builds momentum for climate deal

PORT OF SPAIN (Reuters) – Commonwealth nations  representing one-third of the world’s population threw their  weight behind accelerating efforts to clinch an “operationally  binding” UN climate deal in Copenhagen next month, their  leaders said yesterday.

Commonwealth leaders launch push for climate deal 22

PORT OF SPAIN (Reuters) – Commonwealth countries representing more than a quarter of the world’s population launched a diplomatic push yesterday to drum up momentum for a comprehensive UN climate deal in 10 days’ time.

Vincentians reject new constitution 3

(BBC) – The Vincentian government suffered a major defeat on Wednesday, in its bid introduce a new constitution for the country.

Brazil says won’t recognize new Honduran government 2

MANAUS, Brazil (Reuters) – Brazil will not recognize the winner of this weekend’s election in Honduras as a legitimate president, Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim said yesterday, setting the stage for a potential showdown with Washington.

BBC Caribbean News in Brief

ACP group demands compensation A deal to end Europe’s long-running trade war over taxes on banana imports might not come before World Trade Organisation talks in Switzerland next week.

UN hails Obama but says rich promises fall short

OSLO (Reuters) – The United Nations welcomed on Wednesday a plan by US President Barack Obama to attend a UN climate meeting in Copenhagen next month and urged rich nations to promise deeper cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

More bodies found at Philippine massacre site

AMPATUAN, Philippines (Reuters) – Philippine security forces found 11 more bodies yesterday at the site of an election-related massacre in the south of the country, taking the toll to 57 dead, officials said.

BBC Caribbean News in Brief

Vincentians vote in referendum Vincentians voted yesterday on whether to adopt a new constitution.

Cubans scamper to avoid dreaded blackouts 5

HAVANA (Reuters) – Cubans are scrambling to turn off lights and appliances and children are going door to door reminding them to do just that under a government threat of dreaded blackouts if energy consumption is not reduced through the end of the year.

BBC Caribbean News in Brief

Jamaica says it won’t default Jamaica’s Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, has fended off suggestions that the island might default on its debt repayments.

Missing teen found selling sexual favours

(Jamaica Gleaner) – At least one, and maybe more, of the young girls reported missing under the Ananda Alert system are in St Catherine, working as prostitutes on the Port Henderson strip, better known as ‘Back Road’.

Ahmadinejad tests Lula diplomacy in Brazil visit

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in Brasilia yesterday seeking support for his controversial nuclear programme, the first leg of a South American tour that critics say could dent Brazil’s ambitions on the global diplomatic stage.