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Vol. No. 8 · January 2011

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Modest growth projected for Jamaica this year

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amaica Prime Minister Bruce Golding has said that the entire issue regarding the extradition of Christopher “Dudus” Coke was unfortunate and the hiring of an American law firm to lobby the US government was a mistake. In an exclusive interview granted recently to journalist Doreen Hemlock for the Caribbean Sun and the South Florida Sun Sentinel newspapers, Golding projected modest growth in the Jamaican economy during 2011. He also spoke of pending legislation to give Jamaicans in the Diaspora a greater role in national development.

By Doreen Hemlock

Here is the edited text of the interview conducted at Jamaica House in Kingston, the Jamaica capital. Q. Why is Jamaica’s economy basically stagnant and what are your plans to stimulait? A. For years, we pursued a program that was antigrowth: perpetual deficits. When I took office, we had 11 consecutive years of fiscal deficits. We had accumulated huge debt: almost 130 percent of GDP. What created an emergency was the global crisis. Our revenue base suffered severe erosion, three of our four alumina refineries closed, and capital markets shut down completely. –Cont’d on Pg. 10

Proximity to Equator a key advantage

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hen Curacao’s Prime Minister Gerrit Schotte announced at last month’s Miami Conference on the Caribbean that his country will offer commercial flights to space beginning January 1, 2014, many in the audience would have said to themselves…”yeah right”. But the prime minister’s announcement was no Holiday Season joke. Space Experience Curacao (SXC), the company undertaking the project which involves

several stakeholders including KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and the Curacao Government, is moving at full pace to keep the announced launch date.

The flights will be made on the XCOR Lynx suborbital spacecraft.

KLM Chief Executive Officer Peter Hartman says “it is a fantastic project In fact, KLM has already that totally fits the pioannounced plans to sell neering spirit of KLM.” seats on these suborbital Last October, SXC and flights. KLM Royal Dutch XCOR Aerospace of CaliAirlines says it will be sup- fornia signed a memoranporting future suborbital dum of understanding for flights through purchases, SXC to wet lease a producinclusion in their frequent tion version of the Lynx flyer program, inclusion in suborbital spacecraft, future KLM vacation pack- pending United States govages to Curacao, and other ernment approvals to stayet-to-be-named support. tion the vehicle on the island of Curacao. Some US officials are skeptical about such approval being given but SXC officials are optimistic. SXC’s Harry van Hulten told Caribbean Sun “we will only operate spaceflights Cont’d on Pg. 7

FLORIDA CONSIDERS IMMIGRATION BILL

Good Investigative Journalism Dear Editor:

Letters to the Editor

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rinidad and Tobago born Jennifer Carroll was recently sworn in as Lieutenant Governor of the state of Florida pledging in an interview shortly after to embrace her Caribbean heritage and to rely on the values of hard work, discipline and fairness which were instilled in her as she grew up. At the outset we must congratulate this daughter of the Caribbean on her election to this high office and for creating history on so many fronts. Further, she is to be admired for not attempting to hide her West Indian roots and for invoking the values which would have come from her Caribbean heritage. In recent times electorates have become more and more distrusting of politicians. Many politicians give mere "lip service" these days to the aspirations and wellbeing of their constituents. Ms. Carroll says she takes her new responsibilities seriously and will exercise her functions with honesty and fairness. We hope this is not just "lip service". Time will tell. The Lieutenant Governor has taken office at a time when there is a host of issues affecting Caribbean Americans in Florida. These issues include immigration, access to health care, ethnic profiling, restrictions on the import of products from the Caribbean, the treatment of farm and hotel workers and access to scholarships for higher education. While we don't expect "our girl" to resolve all these issues we at least hope that she would become better acquainted with them by engaging from time to time in consultations with Florida's Caribbean American community. During her campaign some Caribbean American community leaders lamented the fact that Carroll is a Republican and expressed some doubt as to whether Caribbean

Americans would support her merely because of her Caribbean heritage. That analysis might not have been totally accurate since some other analysts claim that Caribbean Americans, especially those outside of South Florida, voted overwhelmingly for the Scott/Carroll ticket. Regardless of whether Caribbean Americans voted for Carroll or not, if she is truthful about embracing her Caribbean heritage then she must reach out to the state's Caribbean American communities and at least understand the challenges that confront them. But this process must be a two-way street. The Caribbean American communities must seek to reach out to Carroll as well. They must speak as a unified voice. We can't have Trinidadians bombarding her with their agenda, Jamaicans with theirs and the rest just complaining because they are not part of an agenda. There must be a single Caribbean community agenda which should be clearly articulated to the "good lady" with specific recommendations as to what assistance we would like from her. Florida is a neighbor of the Caribbean region. We expect CARICOM in particular will waste no time in seeking not only to congratulate Lt. Governor Carroll on her election but to engage her in meaningful discussion on the Florida Caribbean bilateral relationship. CARICOM is a major trading partner with Florida and this alone is a reason for engaging Ms. Carroll. As a first step we recommend that CARICOM invites Lt. Governor C arroll t o t hei r heads -ofgovernment meeting in July as a special guest. Perhaps Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar could take the lead on this. To Lt. Governor Carroll we at Caribbean Sun extend our sincere congratulations. Much is in your hands. Let your hands be safe hands.

I commend your newspaper on good investigative reporting. Your December edition was most informative. I too am outraged about the way law enforcement targets Caribbean people in Florida. I think our community leaders should be doing more to help bring an end to the unfair treatment we face. Our government representatives in Florida should also be helping us. Sincerely, Shireen Jacksonville, Fl. Unfair Editorial Dear Editor: The editorial in last month’s issue of the Caribbean Sun newspaper was very unfair to us who work in various Caribbean community organizations to help charitable causes here and back home. Our organizations are not political and therefore cannot get involved in issues of a political nature. Perhaps those of you who are politically -minded should set up organizations for the purpose of protecting us in the community and promoting our rights. I like your newspaper very much especially when it isn’t full of news about Guyana and Guyanese. Monty Wilson Kissimmee, Fl. Give Us More Details Dear Editor:

Your newspaper article on the Wikileaks cables was good but we need to know more details and specifics. I heard (Prime Minister) Golding’s wife had asked America not to deport “Dudus”. Is that true? I look forward to reading more details about the cables concerning Jamaica in your next publication. Sincerely Pat Ellis Houston, Texas Immigration Alert My family and I read the Caribbean Sun every month. We look forward to it especially for the Immigration Alert article by Gail Seeram. The news about the visa lottery in October was timely. Thanks to Gail and your newspaper for giving us really useful news. Neil Ocoee, Fl. Great Newspaper Dear Editor: Your newspaper is among the best Caribbean newspapers around the United States. It is informative and the articles are professionally written. I get news from your newspaper that I don’t get anywhere else. I have been keeping a file of these papers for over two years since they come in handy when I am doing research papers. What about an on-line edition? Godfrey Nurse

Florida’s Caribbean Sun is published by Caribbean Sun Publishers, LLC 1013 N. Pine Hills Road, Orlando, FL 32808 Phone (407) 374-2979 Email: caribbeansunnews@gmail.com Administrative Manager: Melinda Gordon Advertising: Vanessa Chin Churaman (407) 325-5466 Managing Editor: Laverne McGee Lifestyles Editor: Sharazade Kirton www.floridascaribbeansunnews.com

Florida’s Caribbean Sun

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Says family medicine central to health care delivery

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ith some 24 primary specialties in medicine and the introduction of modern technology, the family physician or general practitioner still has a central role to play in the effective delivery of health care services around the world, says Guyana born Dr. Victor Boodhoo who was recently honored by the University of the West Indies (UWI). Dr. Boodhoo is only the second family physician among some 22 medical practitioners to receive the UWI Distinguished Alumnus Award for service to medicine and the university in the past 22 years.

recognized as a specialty in 1969 in the United States and in 1965 in England. Boodhoo graduated from UWI in 1966 when it was a college of the University of London. UWI, with campuses in Jamaica, Trinidad and Barbados, has graduated over 7,000 doctors since it started in 1948. The awards ceremony was held in Barbados in November.

Boodhoo practiced in Jamaica for seven years before moving to Titusville, Florida where he has been practicing for 32 years. He is a member of the medical staff at Parrish Medical Center where he previously served as president of As a separate honor, Boodhoo also became the the PMC medical staff. Board certified in family first family physician to deliver the UWI interna- medicine and geriatrics, Boodhoo is a Fellow of tional conference keynote address. His presenta- the American Academy of Family Practice and tion entitled “Family Medicine: The Prolonged also of the Royal Society of Medicine. Journey to Recognition” highlighted the struggle He has also been chairman of CME of the Florifor recognition of family medicine as a specialty da Academy of Family Physicians, and has and the contributions of several illustrious genbeen selected every year since 2006 as one of eral practitioners including his fellow country“America’s Top Family Doctors” by the Conman Dr. Hardutt Singh. Family medicine was sumer Research Council.

Dr. Victor Boodhoo (left), received the Award from Dr. Michael Hoyos at the UWI annual meeting in Barbados

amaica is planning a grand homecoming of several thousands of its nationals to commemorate the country 50th Independence anniversary next year. In his New Year’s message, Prime Minister Bruce Golding announced plans for the celebration which he said are “moving into high gear”. Golding implored Jamaicans to begin the New Year with renewed hope.

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"We have been through some tough times. We have had to endure the worst global economic crisis in 80 years but the worst has passed and we have used the time to put in place measures that will position us not just for recovery but for sustained improvement over the medium long term."

that the New Year presents should be grasped to make Jamaica a better place to live, work, raise famil i e s a n d d o b u s i n e s s . The Prime Minister added that preparations will move into high gear for the commemoration of the country's 50th year of independence in 2012.

He called on the nation to face the challenges of the "It is going to be a grand event and a grand homeNew Year with confidence and determination. PM coming with thousands of overseas Jamaicans comGolding continued by saying that every opportunity ing home for the celebrations."

Florida’s Caribbean Sun

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New Executive to be installed Jan 16

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he newly elected executive of the Guyanese American Cultural Association of Central Florida (GACACF) is to be sworn in on Sunday, January 16, 2011 at a special installation ceremony and reception at the Venue, Timehri Banquet Hall in Orlando, Florida. Presiding over the Installation will be Guyana-born Brevard County, Florida District Court Judge Alli B. Majeed. Business executive George Lyking is the new president of the Guyanese American Cultural Association of Central Florida (GACACF). He succeeds Samuel Roberts who served two terms as president. The new executive of the association elected recently is George Lyking, president; Ahmad Manraj, vicepresident; Melinda Gordon, secretary; Ralph Seeram, treasurer and Vanessa Chin Churaman, assistant secretary/treasurer.

affected by last year’s devastating earthquake. The GACACF was set up in 2004 and since its inception has been undertaking a number of events including forums on immigration, real estate, financial planning and health care among other issues. The association has an annual scholarship award and provides financial and other assistance to charitable causes and emergencies in both Central Florida and in Guyana. In 2005, the association raised some $15,000 to assist flood victims in Guyana and through its Carol Pounder Fund has contributed to the Dharam Shala in Berbice, Uncle Eddy’s Home and a children’s home on the Soesdyke-Linden Highway.

Each year the association hosts the Guyana Republic Ball in February and the Guyana Family Day in May. Among special guests at these events over the years have been author Ted Braithwaite, cricketer Alvin Kallicharran, actress Carol Pounder, cultural icon Dave In a letter signed by the new executive members and Martins, Speaker of the National Assembly Ralph sent to Guyanese business owners, former and current Ramkarran, Minister of the Public Service Dr. Jennifer members and other well wishers, the new leadership Westford, Guyana’s Ambassador to the US Bayney Karurged the support and involvement of all Guyanese and ran as well as local elected officials including State SenaFor further information contact: friends of Guyana in Central Florida “as we move totor Gary Siplin and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. wards improving members’ confidence, increasing our Melinda Gordon membership base and developing greater camaraderie A three-member committee, headed by former Guyain the Guyanese American community.” nese diplomat Wesley Kirton and including attorney-at- (407) 374-2979 law Gail Seeram and business/entertainment executive melindagordon09@gmail.com The association is currently partnering with Guyanese Gary Osman, is responsible for planning the installation attorney-at-law Gail Seeram in gathering school and ceremony and reception. related supplies for shipment to Haiti for use by children

Judge Alli B. Majeed

Basil Williams to Visit Orlando
As elections fever heightens in Guyana

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he Vice Chairman of Guyana’s opposition Peoples National Congress/Reform (PNC/R) Basil Williams will visit Orlando January 18-20, 2011 to meet with Guyanese to outline his policies should he be elected president at elections due later this year.

businesses in addition to a private meeting on Tuesday, January 18 with Guyanese American community leaders at the Rotary Club in Orlando.

Election fever is heightening in Guyana with several candidates vying to seek their party’s nomination to contest Williams, an attorney-at-law, is one of five candidates for the post of president. President Bharrat Jagdeo is seeking to become the PNC/R’s candidate for president. not up for re-election due to the two-term limit set by The other candidates are former Chief-of-Staff of the Guyana’s Constitution. Guyana Defense Force Brigadier David Granger, former The governing Peoples Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) is government ministers Carl Greenidge and Dr. Faith Harstill to elect its presidential candidate. Among those that ding and 30 year-old attorney-at-law James Bond. have indicated their candidacy are the party’s general The PNC/R candidates have been visiting North America secretary Donald Ramotar, Speaker of the National Asto whip up support but Williams is the first to visit Flori- sembly (Parliament) Ralph Ramkarran, Home Affairs da to meet with Guyanese. He will hold a public town Minister Clement Rohee and former Information Minishall meeting on Wednesday, January 19 at the Venue, ter Moses Nagamootoo. Timehri Banquet Hall, 7365 West Colonial Drive. He is also scheduled to visit a number of Guyanese owned

BASIL WILLIAMS

FLORIDA CONSIDERS IMMIGRATION BILL
By Gail Seeram
s we turn the page into a new year, we also have new state and federal government leaders. In the State of Florida, we have a new governor, Rick Scott (R), who has promised to bring an Arizona style immigration law to the State of Florida. Other Florida legislative leaders, such as Bill Snyder (R), support this idea of implementing an immigration law in the State of Florida. Rep. Snyder has drafted a Florida immigration

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bill that will be introduced in the Florida legislature this spring. If Florida follows in Arizona’s footsteps in trying to implement an immigration bill at the state level, then Florida will have a costly legal challenge as the federal government will likely file a lawsuit against Florida as it did in Arizona. Currently, Arizona is defending against seven lawsuits and the key provisions of its immigration bill have not been implemented. The federal govern-

ment will challenge any type of immigration bill implemented in Florida based on the grounds that the Federal government has jurisdiction over immigration policy implementation and enforcement under the U.S. Constitution. The question is whether Florida wants to alienate itself from immigrant workers, face boycott from potential business, and carry a costly legal defense bill. Read more in Immigration Alert, page 6.

ntiguans and Barbudans are to benefit from improved infrastructure during 2011, Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer announced in his New Year’s message. Among the benefits will be a new airport terminal, expanded and reliable supply of electricity, improved supply of potable water and a community center on the island of

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Barbuda. These improvements, the prime minister said, follow improved infrastructure which was put in place last year.

and illuminated major road corridors across the nation.

PM Baldwin Spencer
Florida’s Caribbean Sun

“We have advanced work on a new 30 megawatt power plant, a new water reservoir at “Some major infrastructure projects were Gray’s Hill, as well a fisheries complex and a started and completed in 2010. The most community center on Barbuda, “ the prime massive street lighting program in the histo- minister announced. ry of our country has positively transformed

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The new United States Ambassador to Jamaica says her top priority is strengthening relations between the two countries. Ambassador Pamela Bridgewater, a career American diplomat, took up her appointment late last year. She identified the expansion of trade and commercial relations as a key component of the strengthened ties between the two countries. Last month, business executive and former diplomat Wesley Kirton visited Jamaica during which he held discussions with the new US ambassador at a dinner he hosted at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel. Here, Ambassador Bridgewater is greeted on arrival at the Pegasus Hotel by its General Manager Eldon Bremner in the presence of Mr. Kirton.

INTERNATIONAL Reggae star Buju Banton will make his long-awaited return to the stage at the highly anticipated Before the Dawn Concert taking place in South Florida during Martin Luther King, Jr Weekend. Banton, who is currently out on bail and awaiting retrial in February, has not performed live in over a year. Produced by Rocker's Island Entertainment, the Buju Banton & Friends Before the Dawn Concert will also feature performances by some of Jamaican music's elite: Stephen Marley, Wayne Wonder, Sly & Robbie, Gramps Morgan, Shaggy and Freddie McGregor.

The Buju Banton & Friends Before the Dawn Concert is set for Sunday, January 16 at Bayfront Park Amphitheater in downtown Miami. Buju last month won an appeal against a Court order which sought to deny him the right to perform at this concert. The concert is expected to attract thousands of patrons. The acclaimed artiste has received his fifth Grammy nomination in the Best Reggae Album category for his prophetic new project, Before the Dawn. Recorded mostly at his own Gargamel Music studio in Kingston, the album boasts some of the most powerful songs written by Banton since his professional entry into the music business over twenty years ago.

The concept is to reunite with the fans and thank them personally for the tremendous level of support they have shown to me during these turbulent times," explains Buju. Banton was previously acknowledged by the Recording Academy for his albums Rasta "I look forward to touching the stage once more and coming together with the mass- Got Soul (2009), Too Bad (2007), Friends for Life (2004) and Inna Heights (1999). es in a spirit of togetherness, harmony, unification and solidarity."

Amount: $500.00 Description: This scholarship will be awarded to a student attending college who is pursuing legal or international studies Eligibility: The student must meet the following requirements: 1. Be a former Guyanese national (born in Guyana) or a child of Guyanese parents or grandchild of Guyanese grandparents 2. Cumulative GPA of 3.0 Application Process: Submit the following to Gail@Go2Lawyer.com: 1. Name, phone number, email address. 2. Submit proof of Guyanese heritage (copy of birth certificate of qualifying relative) 3. Academic transcript 4. 500 word essay describing how your Guyanese heritage impacted your academic studies or career path Deadline: January 31, 2011

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Florida’s Caribbean Sun

President Barack Obama has said the international community must now fulfill the pledges it made to Haiti to ensure a solid and strong long term rebuilding effort. In a statement to mark of first anniversary of the devastating earthquake, Obama said that though progress had been made, too many people are still living in tents and too much rubble continues to clog the streets.

and reconstruction and respond to new challenges, such as the outbreak of cholera and Hurricane Tomas. This global effort, led by the Haitian government, continues today and has been matched by the tremendous compassion of the American people, who in difficult economic times have given generously to help.

Over the past year, countless lives have been saved and many Haitians affected by the earthquake now have better acHere is the text of President Obama's cess to food, water and health care than statement: they did before the disaster. Still, too much rubble continues to clog the As we mark one year since the catastreets, too many people are still living in strophic earthquake in Haiti, we honor tents, and for so many Haitians progress the memory of the quarter of a million has not come fast enough. As we have Haitians who were lost, along with more said all along, helping the poorest nation than one hundred Americans, many Unit- in the Western Hemisphere recover from ed Nations personnel and citizens from one of the worst natural disasters ever to dozens of nations. strike our hemisphere will take years, if not decades. We recall how Americans, civilian and military, joined with people from around So on this day when our thoughts and the world in one of the largest humaniprayers are with the Haitian people, my tarian efforts ever attempted. And we message is the same as it was last year. continue to be inspired by the Haitian Haiti can and must lead the way, with a people, and our vibrant Haitian American strong vision for its future. The internacommunity, who have faced unimagina- tional community must now fulfill the ble loss with extraordinary courage and pledges it has made to ensure a strong faith. and sustained long-term effort. And as they forge ahead with the hard work of Since the first moments of the disaster, rebuilding their proud country, the peothe United States has helped to rally in- ple of Haiti will continue to have an enternational support for Haiti’s recovery during partner in the United States.

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By Laverne McGee

da, proudly embracing her Caribbean heritage as lieutenant commander after 20 years. she embarks on the responsibilities of her new office. As a woman who was raised with a strict Caribbean upSpeaking with Caribbean Sun’s Managing Editor Laverne bringing, she says she grew up with the mindset that Mc Gee shortly after taking the oath of office Carroll said “hard work will always get you ahead. There is no room for people to try to live off the system or be left behind. her Caribbean background has helped shaped her core My hardworking Caribbean background comes up in my values of hard work, discipline and responsibility. core values when I am making decisions about the pubCarroll, Florida’s first black Lt. Governor said “ I am hum- lic. I believe in giving people the opportunity to help bled to have been chosen by Floridians to be their 18th themselves.” lieutenant governor, the first elected female and the first Carroll has identified job creation, education and the black Caribbean Lt. Governor in the state of Florida. I welfare of children among her top priorities as she seeks take this responsibility very seriously for I know that I to help improve the quality of life in Florida. Her belief is too will be making a way for women to one day walk in that parents should be a big part of their kids’ education, my shoes.” and that families should have a choice when it comes to Carroll was born in Trinidad in 1959 and moved to New the school their child goes to.

rinidad and Tobago born Jennifer Carroll has York when she was eight years old. She later enlisted in been sworn-in as Lieutenant Governor of Flori- the army starting out as a jet mechanic and retiring as a

At the inauguration in Tallahassee, she was surrounded by her two sons and daughter. One of her sons has dreadlocks, and some jokingly remarked that this was not the usual hairstyle for Republicans. Her son is also a professional football player with the Miami Dolphins. Carroll’s shoes were also a big hit. She wore blue high heels with a fancy design that had many people talking. But friends and associates of Carroll say her sartorial elegance and beauty should not be taken for granted since she is a strong, experienced woman who will be able to stand up to lobbyists and others who try persuade the government to do things that are not in Floridians’ best interest. Carroll also says she is looking forward to meeting more Caribbean nationals here in Florida.

Jennifer Carroll takes Oath of Office surrounded by family members

Governor Scott with Carroll A moment in prayer

HAITI – ONE YEAR LATER by Gail Seeram

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aiti has been a soft spot in my heart since my travels to this poor country in 2008. The oneyear anniversary of the January 12th earthquake in Haiti is approaching and Haiti is still in despair. To date, we know that only about 10% of all monies pledged or given to Haiti have actually been deployed. Also, we know that 2% of the rubble created by the earthquake has been removed. There is no visible progress against the challenges of homelessness, hundreds

of thousands of new orphans, the cholera outbreak, and the critical brain and resource drain. Haitians who have the means are cutting losses and emigrating to the U.S. and other countries. However, those that remain need the friendship and partnership of the international community to lead them to a new future.

and treat others, as we would have them treat us. As an outreach to our Haitian brothers and sisters, please consider donating school supplies and toiletry items during the month of January. These supplies will benefit children at the following homes and schools: St. Joseph Homes for Boys, Wings of Hope and Trinity House. All items may be dropped off at the Law Offices of Gail SeeSome may say, “Haiti is not my problem,” but whether ram located at 1013 N. Pine Hills Road, Orlando, FL we live by religious principles or basic humanitarian prin32808. For more information, call 407-292-7730. ciples, we have a duty to love our neighbors as ourselves Below: Haitian students pray before meal

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Florida’s Caribbean Sun

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again, what would you do differently, and what lessons have you learned from the experience? A. The whole extradition matter was unfortunate. In terms of what we would have done different, we certainly wouldn’t have taken measures to engage external assistance (a law firm) at a political level, because that has proven (a) not to have been helpful and (b) to have created enormous controversy… Relations So, we had to take some tough de- with the US were hampered by the fact we didn’t have an ambassador here for cisions. We slashed the budget for almost two years. the first time in our history, and we Q. What about the way the security forcdid a debt exchange to lower debt es were handled? service payments from an average A. Some vindication of the strategies we pursued is that unlike previous occasions, rate of 16-17 percent. we didn’t have any significant casualties Q. But how in a crisis can you slash involving women and children. People in the budget, when stimulus is gen- the community were forewarned. And erally the answer? since that time, and with intense security A. We had no choice. If we had de- operations across the island, we have seen cided to borrow more from where a 43 percent reduction in homicides. Up to May, we were averaging 149 murders we could, it would have been from each month. We are now down to approxthe domestic market at rates even imately 80. We have to try to sustain that higher than 28 percent. And we effort and bring murders down to a level acceptable by international standards. refused to print money, because Q. What about lessons related to extraonce you do that inflation rises, dition, why not just extradite some of and inflation is the most punitive tax these dons? on the poor. A. There are still areas in our extradition We had no wiggle room at all. In the midst arrangements that need to be perfected. of all of this recession, we had to impose In this three separate tax packages within a year. particuWe have had to ask the country to make lar case, the sacrifice. there is A. But the country hadn’t been growing no even before that. doubt Q. We needed to do what should have that been done 15 years ago, but was postproviponed because the strength of will was sions of not there: to put the country in macroour laws economic shape to grow. were Even in the ‘90s, when developing countries were growing even faster than the developed world, Jamaica wasn’t growing. breached. We are working It’s almost like having a child and no with U.S. authorities to see how matter how you feed the child, the child won’t put on weight. Now, we’re trying to we can avoid any such breach in the fuget our system in order, to get our finan- ture. cial framework right. We’re trying to build And let me explain the nature of the breach. Under extradition arrangements confidence, where people will know this with the US, we have an obligation to cocountry can’t go off the rails again, beoperate and provide information that can cause there are laws in place to govern how much deficit, how much debt we can be used as evidence. That information comes in various forms: witness stateaccumulate. Q. When do you see Jamaica’s economy ments, bank records, photographs and intercepted communication. growing again? For interA. We had expected to come out of the recession in the second quarter this year. cepted We didn’t. The reason had to do with the communiunrest we had in May. We were hoping to cation, there’s a at least break even in the third quarter, but we’re worried by the huge costs of the special regime. recent flood rains. We certainly expect next year to return to growth. It’s going to Our Constibe slow. We don’t expect more than 1.5 -2 tution guarantees “Dudas “ Coke in disguise percent. But it will be a beginning. Q. You mentioned the unrest in May over the right to privacy of the extradition of drug lord Christopher communication. Parliament can infringe “Dudus” Coke, which left more than 70 on that right in certain circumstances: people dead. If you had it to do over

“We should not have hired law firm”

Doreen Hemlock

“I pray” Golding

criminal, money-laundering.. .. but a (procedure) must be followed. It involves going to a judge, getting an order and getting permission to whom can that information intercepted be disclosed. In this case, the Jamaican authorities did not get permission to provide the information to the US authorities. That’s where it went wrong. We didn’t refuse the US application. We said (to the Americans), “Do it right. Go to a judge and (ask) to make the (intercepted) information available.” Q. Why not go government to government? Why lobby through a law firm and your political party? A. We tried, but we found ourselves talking to bureaucrats who were adamant that they were not going to review anything. As far as they are concerned, they have put the matter before us, and they’ve never had any problem before. It was that sort of terse, unpleasant response. Q. What would the implications have been had you just said no, because more than 70 people died? A. If we had refused that application, we would never have been able to convince anyone that the reason was not Christopher Coke’s connection in Tivoli Gardens, which is the constituency I represent, and my party.… The whole thing was overtaken by the perception that we were contriving various, unsavory means of protecting Mr. Coke from extradition… You know what is so funny. Mr. Patterson’s government faced a similar situation in 1993, where somebody was extradited with a breach of the treaty. He suspended extradition with the United States for three years, until he could get a review. The difference is.. in that situation, the person extradited was not identified as a supporter of Mr. Patterson’s party. And there was no suggestion he was “protecting one of his own.” That’s the dilemma I faced: Do I stand for the law and what is right and risk being accused of trying to protect my own, or do I say, since it is going to come down on me that I am misusing my office to protect a criminal, I better send him off -- even though the law has been breached? Q. But the problems of crime, poverty, gangs are extraordinary and predicated on economic growth. A. I’m trying to lay down the foundation, so that in 20 years time, whoever sits in this chair can give you a much, different report, because we did the hard things in the year 2010. Q. But on the street, there’s such dissatisfaction over the economy and extradition. There’s even talk whether you should resign. What are factors to consider in deciding whether to resign? A. The most important factor is whether you have the will to offer the country the kind of leadership needed. And in the

present circumstances, that’s not necessarily the kind of leadership that expands your popularity, because you have to make tough decisions: tough, tough, tough. Look at the types of things that upset people: the sale of Air Jamaica, for example. The money Jamaica was losing each year is the same amount we need to repair damages from recent floods. Government’s central function is to provide a secure environment, make sure we have proper education and health facilities, maintain our roads and infrastructure.. So, why am I spending US$120, 130 million a year to keep Air Jamaica flying? We said, “We’re going to sell it.” It made me vastly unpopular. Q. But the man on the street would say why are you losing money? Why aren’t you making a profit? Since when is government supposed to be adept at running commercial enterprises efficiently. That’s not the business of government. That’s the business of private investors. Q. About the diaspora, what can be done to give Jamaicans overseas a more direct, more productive role? I’ve heard complaints about too much taxes, too much bureaucracy. A. Let’s not underestimate the role that they play now, particularly in the financial system and construction activity. There’s the question of giving them the right to vote, which they are very passionate about that. It’s something I support. The problem is it can only work in a presidential system, which is a system that I favor but (my party) rejected. In a presidential system, we can have polling booths in Florida for Jamaicans to vote. But in our (parliamentary system) it’s where you live that determines which representative you vote for. And it’s the representatives, who then decide who will be the Prime Minister. So, if someone lives in South Florida or wherever, we can’t fit them into a constituency in Jamaica. What I offered as an alternative (is) to expand the number of seats in the Senate and reserve one or two of the additional seats for the diaspora. The challenge is to find some democratic way in which the diaspora can choose their representatives. That requires a constitutional amendment. It’s part of a package that what would go to the people in a referendum, for which a date has not been set. Q. Is there a tentative date, say for like next year? I can’t give a time. I don’t have a twothirds majority in parliament, and it requires a two-thirds majority. So if the opposition doesn’t support it, then it can’t pass. Q. How do you handle the stress that comes with these challenges? Do you do yoga.. A. I pray.

More of this interview in next month’s edition
Florida’s Caribbean Sun 10

CARIBBEAN PERSPECTIVES

An in-depth focus on Caribbean issues
Sandra Ann Baptiste

The writer is a business consultant and specialist in Caribbean Affairs STEERING THE REGIONAL INTEGRATION BOAT

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he Caribbean Community will in 2011 have a new Secretary-General, who will have the unenviable task of steering an organization whose governance structure is in need of an overhaul and in the face of waning commitment to regional integration on the part of some of its 15 Member States.

basis. The proposal for the regional Commission was the centre piece of the 1992 “Time for Action” report of the West Indian Commission chaired by Sir Shridath Ramphal.

As Communications Consultant to the Commission, I recall the many interventions at public consultations Outgoing Secretary-General Trinidadian-born Edwin Car- throughout the region where private and public sector rington has indicated that during his 18-year tenure there groups as well as Non-Governmental Organizations have been significant accomplishments as well as disap- (NGOs) sang one tune that was familiar – regional govpointments. Undoubtedly, there have been positive initi- ernments were not delivering the goods. The lyrics are atives under Carrington’s watch, many of them in the pretty much the same two decades later. functional cooperation area. One regional consultant who has done several regional To address the continued lag in implementing decisions, integration studies for CARICOM Governments supports at the end of August this year, CARICOM leaders agreed the proposal for a Commission-type arrangement, where to the establishment of a Council of Ambassadors. Jamai- the Secretary-General would serve the political direcca’s Prime Minister Bruce Golding explained that the Am- torate such as Heads of Government and the COTED, bassadors will head regional integration units in the indi- while a Commission would deal with Executive matters. vidual Member States “to follow up, make sure that do“This separation of functions is key to a proper functionmestic action is taken to give effect to the decisions of ing of the body. Concern is expressed about the cost of the Heads.” this but there is room for cutting out a lot of fat to make Will the Committee have the authority to nudge Ministhis workable since the Secretary-General and his staff ters who are not following through on decisions taken by would be much smaller and the bulk of the technical peothe CARICOM leaders or will they report directly to their ple would go to the Commissioners,” the consultant recHead of Government and what options will be available ommended. for fast tracking implementation? Perhaps the terms and “The present system of waiting for domestic parliaments conditions of the Ambassadors and when exactly they to approve all decisions into law is not working. In this will begin functioning will clarify this. new dispensation, I would get rid of the Bureau, which in The current scenario where at meetings of the Council any case, is just another wasteful bureaucratic layer and for Trade and Economic Development (COTED), there would be no role for a permanent committee of ambassadors as that can only function well if all countries There is a growing consensus among CARICOM technohave a representative in Georgetown,” he added. crats and analysts who have been part of the regional integration process that it is time to re-examine the pro- Apart from the fact that several governments oppose the posal for a CARICOM Commission, similar to that of the idea of a Commission, the question that arises is how it Brussels-based European Commission on a scaled-down will be financed given the challenging economic circum-

stances of member countries, many of whom are finding it hard to come up with the funds for the implementation of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union and other initiatives, including the regional marketing fund for the tourism industry. Another key issue that needs to be addressed is more autonomy for the Office of Trade Negotiations (OTN), formerly the Regional Negotiating Machinery (RNM). CARICOM watchers familiar with the agency feel it has lost some of its “teeth” and the spirit of the technical staff has been affected in the process. On the issue of a successor to Carrington, it would be interesting to know the credentials being considered and in particular whether there will be term limits, a different mandate, a requirement to be multi-lingual and reduced travel. Candidates for the post being mentioned include the current CARICOM Assistant Secretary-General, Trade and Economic Integration, Irwin La Roque, former Deputy CARICOM Secretary-General Dr. Carla Barnett, current OECS Director General Dr. Len Ishmael, and Vincentian Ambassador to the Organisation of American States (OAS) Elsworth John. In addition to the search for a new Secretary General, a replacement will have to be found for Dr. Edward Greene, Assistant Secretary-General, Human and Social Development, who has resigned and word is that Colin Granderson, responsible for Foreign and Community Relations, may not be around for too much longer. In 2011, there will hopefully be more visible movement in three areas – the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), EPA implementation and the trade negotiations with Canada, which are reported to be bogged down on the CARICOM side.

conducted within the applicable safety and security regulations both at the international level and in conformity with requirements under Dutch and US law. This specifically includes regulations pertaining to appropriate certification of the spacecraft and licensing of the crew so as to ensure the safety and security of all space flights.”

a venue for scientific space research and development and a viewing post for the launch of flights to space.

ment for this space port project?

A major benefit of launching such space flights from Curacao, the prime minister told Caribbean Sun, “is the islands close proximity to the Equator. The island’s flat terrain, weather conditions and proxThe projected price for a 45 mi- imity to a shoreline are also key nute trip to space from Curacao is advantages.” working on combined marketing US $95,000 and according to the Harry van Hulten told Caribbean campaigns. We will use a rocket prime minister this project is Sun that “payloads which need to plane. among bold new initiatives being escape Earth’s gravitational well taken to stimulate the economy. can achieve orbit using less fuel CS: How many flights per day/ Space tourism is expected to de- from launch sites closest to the week/month are projected and many crafts velop into a major industry with Equator where Earth rotates more how will be used? more than 20,000 space tourists quickly.” annually by 2020A Space ExperiHvH: The XCOR Lynx can fly 4 ence Center, designed to become Here is the edited text of an exclu- times a day. We will start operaa major tourist attraction in the sive interview with SXC’s Harry van tions in 2014 with approximately Caribbean, is expected to be a part Hulten: 200 flights. These flights will slowof the project. It will also serve as CS: What is the $$$ level of invest- ly increase to approximately 850 in

2020. HvH: USD 5M required to start op- CS: How many passengers will be erations. The rest will come from accommodated per flight? pre-sales. HvH: One space tourist per flight. CS: Is it KLM that will offer these CS: Has there been advanced flights to space and will the craft(s) bookings for these flights? The PM used be rockets or planes? said the cost per person will be $95,000 for a 45 HvH: No, KLM is a strategic partner and bought a limited number minute trip. Will passengers have of space tickets. KLM has offered to undergo special training and if their sales channels and we are so is this included in the price? HvH: We are taking reservations and are currently starting our sales program. So yes, there are already bookings for the first flights. We are targeting a ticket price of USD 95,000 per flight. Passengers will undergo training, which is included in the ticket price. CS: Who will sell these flights? Travel agents? HvH: KLM and a selected number of sales agents.

Florida’s Caribbean Sun

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Sports roundup
he City of Ocoee Parks and Recreation Department located just outside Orlando in Orange County will be holding registration for the 2011 Ocoee Youth Basketball League on Saturday January 8, from 9:30am 5:00pm and on Saturday January 15, from 9:30am - 5:00pm at the Jim Beech Recreation Center, 1820 A.D. Mims Road. The league is open to youths ages 6 to 17.

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he Caribbean will be the venue for some very competitive international cricket later this year when the West Indies take on Pakistan and then India in a number of test, one-day and T-20 matches.

All interested participants must register, have a jersey fitting, perform a skills test, show a birth certificate and bring proof of residency. Practice will start January 25 and games will begin on February 5. The program will include a 7-game schedule and tournament, certified referees, team jerseys and shorts, trophies for first-place finishers, T-shirts for the tournament champions and a participation award for all others.

The cost is $75.00 for the 1st child and $65.00 for the 2nd child (residents), and $100.00 for the 1st child and $90.00 for the 2nd child (non-residents). The City of Ocoee is also seeking volunteer parent coaches. All interested volunteers must attend a coaches meeting on January 18. The meeting will be held at the Jim Beech Center from 7:30pm - 8:30pm. For more information, call 407905-318

************************ Here are the fixtures for the tour. Keep them handy to follow the matches DIGICEL SERIES 2011
Pakistan in West Indies April 18: Pakistan v Vice Chancellor’s XI (50 over ) – Beausejour Cricket Ground April 21: Digicel Twenty20 – Beausejour Cricket Ground Digicel ODI Series April 23: First Digicel ODI – Beausejour Cricket Ground April 25: Second Digicel ODI – Beausejour Cricket Ground April 28: Third Digicel ODI – Kensington Oval May 1: Fourth Digicel ODI – Kensington Oval May 5: Fifth Digicel ODI – Guyana National Stadium May 8 – 9: Pakistan 2 day practice match – Bourda Cricket Ground May 20 – 24: Second Digicel Test – Warner Park India in West Indies June 4: Digicel Twenty20 – Queen’s Park Oval Digicel ODI Series June 6: First Digicel ODI – Queen’s Park Oval June 8: Second Digicel ODI – Queen’s Park Oval June 11: Third Digicel ODI – Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Grounds June13: Fourth Digicel ODI – Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Grounds June 16: Fifth Digicel ODI – Sabina Park Digicel Test Series June 20 – 24: First Digicel Test – Sabina Park June 28 – July 2: Second Digicel Test – Kensington Oval July 6 – 10: Third Digicel Test – Windsor Park

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ack Warner has been elected for an eighth consecutive term as president of the Caribbean Football Union.

All remaining incumbent members of the Executive Committee have also been nominated unchallenged in their current capacities. Warner, also president of CONCACAF, received multiple nominations from the CFU’s 30-nation membership. Warner, who has served as the president of the CFU since its inception in 1982, described the development as both humbling and invigorating. “I am humbled today by the trust bestowed upon me by my Caribbean

brothers and sisters; this trust that you my family has placed upon me has invigorJack Warner ated my spirit and my soul to continue to serve you to the best of my abilities," he told the press.

Digicel Tests ************************************** May 12 – 16: First Digicel Test – Guyana National Stadium

Florida’s Caribbean Sun

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Caribbean Horoscopes
January 2011
Aries (21 March - 19 April) Your career and also your home - where, how, or with whom you live; or a focus on other property you may own; or a family matter - will all be on your mind this month. Of the two, however, your career will get top billing.

Taurus (20 April - 20th May) You are in the mood to travel. Any trip you would take now (or any actions you take) would have special implications for your future. The start of new ventures things, in a very vivid, exciting way!

Gemini (21 May -21 June) .You had money on the brain most of last year, but trust that this near-obsession of yours will end sometime soon because good news will come in to soothe you and give you reason for celebration. Cancer (22 June - 22 August) The New Year begins by opening a door to a new experience. You will be coaxed to take steps to build a more mature relationship with someone important. You will find the courage to move forward.

Leo (23 August - 22 August )After years of having difficult surprises in regard to money, January could bring you one staggeringly wonderful surprise. A bounty of cash is likely to come to you, and when it does, it could go far to help you stabilize your financial life. News would come quickly, too - almost the moment the year takes off.

Virgo (23 August - 22 September) You are simply bursting with romantic opportunity during January's first three weeks. Whomever you meet, or if attached, news you receive could bring an improved change to your lifestyle for months - even years - to come! You will have everything you need to enjoy a richer, happier life.

Libra (23 September - 22 October) You are entering a pivotal month, where decisions you mull over now will stay with you for a long time. Matters involving your home / property and family will top your list of actions to take, and your career will get a large share of your thinking, too. You'll have to be very decisive, because it's an ideal month to make key decisions. You'll be so productive that you will be amazed.

Scorpio (23 October - 21 November The month will take off with a bang. A quick trip may sound really good. You may be going on a romantic, spontaneous trip with your sweetheart / spouse. Even if you have to travel for business, you'll love being out of the house and driving in a new setting, even if you can't stay long Sagittarius (22 November - 21 December) .What an amazing month! Every once in a while, everything you could ever want to happen, happens, in just the right way, in just about every area of your life. Problems you assumed wouldn't be fixed for months or years, or wishes you thought would never come true, suddenly will be delivered now - poof, in the blink of an eye! This month may well seem like a dream. Capricorn (22 December - 16 January) This month will offer you a glittering array of opportunities to make your life feel fresher and more relevant to the more mature you that you've become. You had little choice but to listen to quite a bit advice from various sources over the past 18 months, but this month, birthday time, you have the Sun protecting you, so you will get to speak your mind clearly and confidently. Aquarius (20 January - 18 February) You would be wise to be off by yourself in early January and not to tell any others about your plans. You won't need to seek others' advice for most of life's questions, for your intuition will be working overtime. Instinctively you will come to all the right answers. Heed that small voice within, dear Aquarius, even if you have no idea why you feel the way you do, nor why you should follow your intuition. You are being given night vision now, and you'll want to use it.

Pisces (19 February - 20 March) This will be a magical and enchanting month, this month will be all about you, dear Pisces. You will feel as though someone opened the window to let in the fresh air. Suddenly life will have a new and very different feel, and although you may feel that recently you've been pounded by life, conditions will change dramatically enough to give you reason for optimism. Florida’s Caribbean Sun 13

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he film Reason to Hope (Global Film Network, 2010) is available for classroom use beginning this month, the one year anniversary of Haiti’s devastating earthquake. This 45-minute film chronicles some of the real life situations following last January's devastating earthquake in the French-speaking Caribbean island. "Despite all the heartache and misery the film concludes that there is still Reason to Hope," says producer Regge Life. The earthquake that struck Haiti in January of 2010 brought tragedy to an island that has seen more

than its share of sorrow. Within days, the worldwide media descended on the island and just as quickly departed as other stories were deemed more important. Independent film and television producer Regge Life presents a film featuring CBS journalists, correspondent Bill Whitaker and producer Erin Lyall George, who had the fortune to remain in Haiti for a month, witnessing more than any other network journalists. Regge Life holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from New York University School of Arts. He is the founder of Global Film Network, Inc. and Executive

Producer/Director for Doubles and After America. . . After. Life produced his first work in Japan in 1992; the film was called Struggle and Success: The African American Experience in Japan. Life has worked with CBS News’ “Saturday Night with Connie Chung” and NBC’s “Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.” He is the recipient of many awards including four CINE Golden Eagles. He was honored by the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame and chosen a Sony Innovator in 1991.

Straight out of Florida on Trinidad’s WACK Radio 90.1fm every Sunday
ISLAND SATURDAYS SPECIAL EDITION DJ RECONN’S PRESENTS AT CLUB LIMELITE 367 N. Orange Ave Orlando, FL 12 YEAR ANNIVERSARY BASH Saturday, January 15, 2011 Ladies free until 11.30 pm Men $10.00 before 12 a.m. 407-217-4667 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> K.O.L. ENTERTAINMENT & PROFESSOR G.T. PRESENTS IN CONCERT DEMARCO AT Royal Santa Fe 630 Emeralda Rd Orlando, FL Sunday, January 16, 2011 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> "THE VENUE" TIMEHRI BANQUET HALL Will be having an “OLDIES DANCE” Friday, January 28, 2011 Admission: $5.00 Time: 8pm to ? 7371 West Colonial Drive Orlando, FL >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> VALENTINE’S DAY BASH AT “THE VENUE” TIMEHRI BANQUET HALL 7371 West Colonial Drive Orlando, FL Saturday, February 12, 2011 Doors open @ 8pm Show @9pm Tickets: $10./advance. More at door Surendra: 407-446-6996 Leon: 321-228-6552 Timehri:407-291-2047 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> GACACF ANNUAL REPUBLIC BALL “THE BALLROOM” AT CHURCH STREET Saturday February 19, 2011 7:00PM—2:00AM Tickets $ 60.00 Contact : Vanessa 407-325-5466 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> ORLANDO COCONUT GROVE 5233 Old Winter Garden Road Orlando, FL PRESENTS “CULTURE MIX” Reggae band EVERY SATURDAY NIGHT AT 8 PM AND INDIAN KARAOKE LIVE SINGERS EVERY SUNDAY NIGHT AT 5 PM 407-440-6100 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> GRENADA INDEPENDENCE GALA AT THE HOLIDAY INN, HOTEL & SUITES 5905 Kirkman Road Orlando, FL Saturday, March 19, 2010 Time: 7 pm-1 am Tickets: $55.00 in advance only Contact: Val @321-303-9345/Rita @407299-8316 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

By Lyma Dunbar
The show Straight out of Florida was successfully launched on the Trinidad radio station Wackradio901fm the first Sunday of the New Year 2011. WACK Radio, which has a strong on-line presence around the globe, as well as on the dial in Trinidad and Tobago, is known for its motto “we are culture crazy”, and bringing information that is important to Trinidadians and Tobagonians firstly then disseminate such to its West Indian counterparts. The concept of Lyma Dunbar of Oildown Productions, the program, Straight out of Florida, has a focus to bring information and ideas to West Indians wanting to reside or vacation in the state of Florida. Hosted by Lyma and Kevin “Triniboy” Amoroso, the show boasts a blend of music, talk and information, and guests, Attorney Wayne Golding, and Prince of Prestige Real Estate have started the ball rolling with this pertinent information. Utilizing a talented team of DJs in Militia, Fyah Squad and Kemis the Mixologist, the latter of which also edits and produces the show; Straight out of Florida brings a fresh new approach to West Indian talk radio; the difference, is that the show crosses over from the boundaries of Central Florida and interacts with an international audience through WACK Radio. Oildown Productions wants to credit its current sponsors, Dollar and More, Upper Level Sounds and Island Riddum Radio with climbing aboard, and welcome incoming sponsors to its program. Log on every Sunday on www.wackradio901fm.com from 1-2 pm Eastern Standard Time, please be advised that with the upcoming Daylight Savings time, the new time will be 2-3 pm. For more information on how you can become a sponsor, please contact Lyma @ lymadunbar@gmail.com or 321-263-9939.

WE COME TO YOU

((407) 350-4888

Florida’s Caribbean Sun

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Florida’s Caribbean Sun

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New Orange County Mayor, Theresa Jacobs after receiving the gavel from Mayor Crotty at the Oath of Office Ceremony held January 4, 2011 at the Orange County Convention Center

Above & Below: Enjoying Caribbean Supercenter’s Holiday party

Above: Tiffany Moore Russell being sworn in as Orange County Commissioner, District 6

Right : Ole Time Carolers, Members of GACACF revisit Christmas time in GT

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