The Banana war is over
Caribbean bananas growers have welcomed an agreement between the United
States and the European Union (EU) to end a long-running trans-Atlantic banana
war. The United States will lift $191 million of sanctions on EU exports
under the agreement to end the eight-year dispute over EU banana import
rules. Washington, at the behest of US corporations Chiquita Foods
International and Dole Foods, had launched the banana war against the
preferences the EU gave to its Caribbean former colonies even though it
was so small a share of the market. The Caribbean Banana Exporters
Association, representing growers in the Windward Islands, Jamaica, Belize
and Suriname, said the EU decision to scrap plans for a "first come,
first served" system of distributing banana import licenses would
help small Caribbean growers survive. "On the face of it so far it
is welcome news. We were totally opposed to first come, first served,
which would have destroyed the Caribbean industry," CBEA European
representative Gordon Myers said. Instead the
European Union agreed to allow bananas to be imported through licenses
distributed on the basis of past trade until 2006, when a tariff-only
system will take effect.
Dole unhappy with deal
"If I can't have you, then no one else will" states the bitter unrequited suitor as he kills her for rejecting him. We have all heard that line in the movies or on TV.
Is this what the bitter losing Peoples National Congress (PNC) leader Desmond Hoyte is doing to Guyana? In addition to the violent protests, PNCr supporters have recently burnt down at least 12 businesses in the capital city of Georgetown. A day after, with police barricades around the grim smouldering ruins, and shuttered shops, thousands of protestors took to the streets. No, not to protest the terrorist arson, but to protest the Government appointment of Roger Luncheon as head of the Presidential Secretariat. Let us hope Hoyte will not kill Guyana because he can’t have her.
As Guyana Burned….
Editors Note: Give Guyana the guns and we would have another Kosovo, Ruanda, Bosnia, Yugoslavia on our hands. The irresponsible leadership of the PNM’s Desmond Hoyte to violence, mayhem and aggravation of racial hostility deserves widespread condemnation. Or shall we wait until it too becomes a Kosovo, Ruanda, Bosnia……
HIV/AIDS epidemic in WI
Jamaica's Minister of Information, Maxine Henry, was the bearer of
alarming news recently. The Caribbean has the second highest incidence of
HIV/AIDS in the world and the highest in the Americas. In Jamaica 40
persons per 1,000 are infected. That's 4% of the entire population!
There is a deadly disease out there now which has the potential of devastating the world's population as no other disease has. The disease, of course is AIDS, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. The disease is contagious and transmission by sexual intercourse is probably the greatest means by which it is being spread. Condoms have been recognized as preventing such transmission. Attempts have been made to promote the use of condoms, but in my estimation they have been woefully inadequate, when we consider that the future of our civilization could well be at stake. Condoms are just not accessible enough.
Thank goodness, times have changed and there is much easier access to condoms, but still not easy enough.
For many, spontaneity is a very important aspect of sexual intercourse. On many occasions when a sexual opportunity occurs, to whip out a condom at the critical time often gives the impression of premeditated rather than spontaneous sex.
"Oh, I always carry around a pack of condoms for a rainy day," would probably arouse skepticism.
Besides, even carrying one around for emergencies, so to speak, creates another problem. It is usually carried around in the wallet in the back pocket, where it inevitably serves as an auxiliary cushion, a function for which it is most unsuited. Often, by the time it is needed, it seems to be suffering from dry rot, looks so disheveled, and even its barrier abilities seem doubtful. Instead of preventing a disease, it looks more like it could either cause one or promote abstinence.
An alternative such as, in the heat of the moment to say,
"Uh oh, darling, I have to make an emergency trip to the all-night drugstore. Just hold that position till I return in about 30 minutes."
Now, that's a very safe responsible thing to do but most unlikely. It would never happen. Not only would she not hold that position, she would bar the door so that he would never darken it again. Under these circumstances, there are many who would throw caution to the winds instead and risk death for sex. This is not new as throughout the ages so many have taken incredible risks for sex.
The problem is the condom should not be all the way in the drugstore ,but should be right there when you need it. How? Simple, condoms,like "Savoir faire", should be everywhere. Let us inundate the place with condoms. In some countries, its difficult to get a match, but here everywhere you go you are bombarded with books of matches for free, ostensibly to light carcinogenic cigarettes. One is never out of matches. Well condoms should be distributed like matchbooks, - free, extensive and plentiful. Restaurants, every hotel room, the supermarket, the candy store, vending machines, as promotional advertising - you get the picture. We've got to take these lifesaving devices out of the shadows and put them on guard everywhere. We can no longer pussy-foot around with some false piety or propriety whilst the civilization is threatened. We must act boldly and decisively and we must act now.
Of course, I am sure that they are some who consider free condoms for all to be too expensive. Actually it is a bargain when we compare it with the phenomenal costs for the treatment for Aids. These costs are so high that our entire system of medical treatment could soon be in danger of collapse under this financial burden.
I am not talking about condoms just for a night of stolen passions or for singles only. No, the goal is to promote the voluntary use of condoms for all sexual intercourse except procreation. Married people need protection too. Lets face the facts, extra-marital sex has been, is and will probably continue to be a reality in our society. Of course, your spouse has not strayed, but why bet your life on it? Besides, I strongly believe that when sacrifices are to be made, everyone should be asked to make them. So just as we all use a knife and fork to eat instead of our bare hands, we all will use a condom for sex instead of our bare.....
"But who will pay for this and how will we get public acceptance" are questions which spring to mind. And there are answers to them, but the objective of this article is to obtain a commitment to these novel ideas so that from this commitment the means of implementation will be sought and executed.
Finally, "condom" is an ugly sounding name with historically negative connotations. So lets change the name to something more positive, a name which emphasizes its mission. Instead of "condom", how about APD, the acronym for Aids Protection Device. It fits right in to this technological computer age of acronyms and as we know with condoms, fit is very important.
Amnesty International condemns Ja Police
Next to South Africa, Jamaica has the world's highest rate of police killings per capita. The figures cited Jamaica, with about 2.6 million people, police killed 140 people in the year 2000, is equal to a rate of 5.4 people per 100,000.
Jamaica Govt. response
Hot Calaloo response
But, happily, things are different now and such police action would be investigated and not tolerated today. Commissioner Forbes deserves credit (and has received credit from Hot Calaloo) for his campaign to reduce police brutality. His job is complicated because this brutality was firmly entrenched in the police over many years. I am sure among senior officers he has faced opposition, (just like the Commissioner of Prisons in his department). Just recently, with the Commissioners blessing, support, and assistance, the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce's Innercity Development Committee have published and distributed widely a 28-page document outlining a code of conduct for police-citizens relations. The book outlines the appropriate conduct for citizens if they are being approached, arrested or charged by the police and the appropriate conduct for the police too.
At the same time, Jamaica is waging a battle with the extremely high crime wave. The number of police killed this year could well be amongst the highest in the world. Other problems the Jamaica policeman faces are:
Amnesty International was out of line
Killer bees sting Guyana farmer to death
A Guyanese farmer died after he was attacked by a swarm of killer bees, the latest casualty since the fierce strain of African insects reached the South American nation in the 1980s. The 47 year old farmer was engulfed by the swarm of honey bees on a Friday while working in a small agricultural community just west of the capital Georgetown, relatives said. After the bees attacked him, he stumbled some 2-1/2 miles from the farmland to his home, where his sons took him to a local hospital. He died that Sunday.
S. African leader visits Elian Gonzalez
South African President Thabo Mbeki stopped in on 7-year-old Elian Gonzalez during a visit to Cuba, visiting his school and hugging the boy who spent months at the center of an international custody battle. Mbeki greeted Elian outside his second-grade classroom in the coastal city of Cardenas. Cuban President Fidel Castro was also present and leaned down and spoke with the boy. Mbeki left Cuba after a three-day visit aimed at strengthening ties between the two already friendly nations. Gonzalez was found off the Florida coast on Thanksgiving Day 1999 after a boat wreck killed 11 other people including his mother. He was seized by federal agents and returned to his Cuban father, after a months-long fight by his Miami relatives to keep him in the United States.
Segregation persists in the US
Segregation persisted in big cities over the past decade amid the USA's growing racial and ethnic diversity, said a report that provoked calls for stronger enforcement of laws against housing discrimination. Distinct living patterns continued to hold sway in large urban centers where most of America's blacks, Hispanics and Asians are located, said the report released by the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University. With forecasts suggesting even greater diversity in the future, advocacy groups urged federal and local governments to step up enforcement of fair-housing regulations and upgrade education in minority neighborhoods. Blacks and whites were most likely to be segregated in the Detroit metropolitan area, the study said, while whites, Hispanics and Asians were most likely to live separately in New York. Recently released Census 2000 data showed that Hispanic, black and Asian population growth far outpaced that of whites over the 1990s. The Hispanic population drew virtually even with non-Hispanic blacks as the nation's largest minority group.
Americans arrive to study in Cuba
A U.S. flag was flown and the American anthem was played as Cuba welcomed eight young Americans arriving here to study medicine courtesy of the government. The six women and two men from minority families arrived in Havana earlier this month. They are the first Americans to attend a free six-year program to become physicians originally designed for impoverished students in Latin America. President Fidel Castro offered to extend the free medical training to include up to 500 Americans when he met last May with a delegation from the Congressional Black Caucus. The U.S. State Department later said it would not oppose the program, saying that it had been American policy to encourage contact between ordinary Cubans and Americans.
Editor's Note: Have Caribbean students participated in this program and if so how many?
Email to HotCalaloo.
Actor Steven Seagal inna-rub-a-dub style
Steven Seagal is more than just a butt-kicking action film star - he's also a musician, a reggae musician. Seagal's debut album will include songs recorded with some of the leading names in Jamaican music. "Doing movies took up all of my time but music has always been my first love," Seagal, star of the action dramas such as "Marked for Death", "Under Siege" and his latest release "Exit Wounds," told the Gleaner newspaper recently in Kingston, Jamaica. Seagal, who plays guitar, has recorded songs with Beenie Man, who won a Grammy this year for best reggae album ("Art and Life") and singer Toots Hibbert. He's also recorded a cover of Bob Marley's "Redemption Song."
WI lose Test Series to South Africa
The West Indies did something they had never done before against South Africa in cricket. They won a test match. Unfortunately they lost 2 to allow SA to win the series 2-1. They went into the third test already trailing 1 to 0. They drew this test, but it was a moral victory for SA. as the WI surviving two batsmen resorted to all sorts of delaying tactics which were unsportsmanlike and definitely not cricket.
The score for the last three tests are as follows:
TEST 3 (draw)
TEST 4 (SA won by 82 runs)
Test 5 (WI won by 130)