The gap between rhetoric and reality

As each day passes, the internal situation in Venezuela deteriorates. Rumours of military coups and unstoppable violence swirl, street protests escalate, ordinary citizens suffer shortages of medicine, everyday foodstuffs, and almost everything else, while enduring rapidly escalating inflation.

Renewing the US relationship

A few days ago the US House Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously agreed a draft bi-partisan bill that seeks to have the administration give greater priority to the US-Caribbean relationship.

Another blow for Venezuela

Last week in Doha, many of the world’s major producers of crude oil tried, but failed to agree to freeze production, in order to stabilise and eventually increase prices.

The fourth industrial revolution and the Caribbean

How well will the Caribbean cope with the ‘disruptive technology’ and ‘disruptive innovation’ that in less than a decade could change structurally, employment, competiveness and consumer thinking in most developed and in many developing nations?

Corruption has become a particular focus

In September a special summit of the United Nations General Assembly held in New York saw 193 nations agree to seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).Their objective was to establish a set of principles that up to 2030 will drive the development policy and programmes of governments and national and multilateral institutions everywhere.

Caribbean likely to suffer collateral damage from tax havens crackdown

A little over a week ago the British parliamentarian, Sir Eric Pickles – a cabinet member until May of this year and a former Chairman of the Conservative Party – told the London Guardian that the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, was determined to have the BVI and the Cayman Islands adopt public registers of beneficial ownership either “through legislation, guidance or naked pressure”.

World Bank rivals raise new issues for the Caribbean

It is probably true to say that the average person has little idea what international financial institutions like the World Bank or International Monetary Fund (IMF) do, beyond knowing that they are in some way responsible for having governments impose tough austerity measures and conditions in return for their support.

The China-CELAC forum

Part 2   A few days ago, Dong Xiaojun, the Chinese Ambassador in Jamaica, wrote a commentary on the recent meetings held in Beijing between China and the Foreign Ministers of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC); the political grouping that includes all of the nations in the Americas other than the US and Canada, and the dependent territories The Ambassador made clear that for China the meeting on January 8 and 9 was “of milestone significance and profound influence.” It aimed, he wrote, to institutionalise overall co-operation and move the relationship to a higher level.

Time for a deeper engagement with Cuba

On December 8, the fifth Cuba-Caricom summit will take place In Havana. Cuba has made clear that it sees the encounter as opening what it describes as an unique space in the hemisphere at a time when the region is moving towards more fundamental integration within the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

Thinking the unthinkable

Hardly anyone now questions the central importance of tourism to the Caribbean, the benefits it brings, or its long-term role in economic development.

Venezuelan civil unrest has implications for PetroCaribe

Across the Caribbean concern is being expressed about the implications of civil unrest in Venezuela and what this might mean for the long term future of PetroCaribe, the concessionary agreement which underpins most Caribbean economies through the supply of oil at concessionary prices on deferred terms.

Brave new world?

Each year since 1971 the powerful and influential of the world, the global super elite, have met in Davos in Switzerland to discuss the challenges facing the world economy.

Limiting air, maritime carbon emissions will affect Caribbean tourism

Two United Nations specialist agencies, the Inter-national Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) and the international Maritime Organisation (IMO) may this year separately agree a basis on which all carriers by sea and air will limit their carbon emissions, reported in the case of aviation to be contributing around two per cent of global carbon emissions, and for maritime transport to be at over three per cent.