Caribbean and Diaspora News in Brief
Of Carnivals and costumes - Rihanna, Caribana
Politics and Independence - Trinidad and Jamaica
Diaspora Watch - Jamaican nurses honoured
Quote of the week - PetroCaribe
Of Carnivals and costumes
Rihanna – Queen of Crop Over: Rihanna has proved once again that she is Barbados’s biggest global asset after her appearance in Crop Over made global headlines.
Across daily newspapers, celebrity magazines and social media, most of the attention paid to Barbados’ annual event was focused on Rihanna and THAT costume.
Twitter messages agreed on two things: “Rihanna looked great” and “I’m doing Barbados Carnival next year”.
There were a few comments on Twitter on Kadooment Day, complaining about the headline coverage that called Crop Over “carnival”.
However, Caribbean Intelligence© is pretty certain that the Barbados Tourism Authority is not complaining.
Caribana – An 18-year-old man who fell from a mas’ truck was then hit by the vehicle and died, in the only incident reported at Toronto’s carnival, Caribana.
Police say they’re still investigating the incident and viewing footage reportedly filmed at the incident scene. Organisers said that they would review safety measures.
A check by Caribbean Intelligence© on official sites indicates that apart from this incident, Caribana was a great success, attracting around a million visitors.
Politics and Independence
In the face of continued IMF scrutiny and doping tests for athletes and footballers, Jamaicans found positive ways to mark their independence anniversary.
Last year, they were at the centre of global attention as Usain Bolt smashed Olympic records on the eve of Jamaica’s 50th independence celebrations.
This year, Jamaicans’ social media comments urged one another to put away the economic woes and enjoy the day.
The country’s Gleaner newspaper had one of the most positive approaches to marking independence in grim economic times – winning thumbs-up on Facebook and Twitter for its Independence Day front page, showcasing articles on what was doing well in Jamaica.
Now, that is patriotism!
Trinidad’s political debate has continued over the governing coalition’s drubbing at the Chaguanas West by-election by former UNC party bigwig Jack Warner.
Some called it nothing but one of Trinidad’s passing wonders (as veteran commentator Raffique Shah said in his column) while others predicted the beginning of the end for the People’s Partnership.
The resignation of two high-profile UNC members since the by-election has helped to fuel the speculation.
Trinidad’s neighbours looked on, accustomed to the twin-island republic’s lively form of political to-ing and fro-ing.
The Jamaican Observer said in a 7 August editorial that “the scene is set for political bacchanal in which, like Carnival, nobody knows for sure who is playing mas in which band”.
“The most intriguing possibility posed by the election of Mr Jack Warner is the emergence of post-racial politics in Trinidad,” it went on to say.
“It would be a healthy development. However, we must be cautious in our contemplation, because it is not the first time that such a possibility has existed.
“Recall the 1986 election victory of the National Alliance for Reconstruction.”
Still in politics, Turks & Caicos former Premier Michael Misick fired a broadside from his Brazilian prison cell after speculation that he was seeking to plea bargain.
Both a TCI blog and a British Caribbean news outlet had claimed that the former premier had been negotiating plea agreements with the authorities in Britain and the US, including information on officials from other British overseas territories.
The story had been picked up by media outlets in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.
Mr Misick’s response, sent in a letter to his brother on 1 August and published in the TCI Sun, described the reports as “a bunch of bull****.”
“All I can do is keep on praying and be patient that God will soon deliver me from prison, either home or free here in Brazil,” his letter continued.
Jamaican nurses, recognised by the Queen in the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, were honoured by the Windrush Nurses and Beyond Foundation.
Figures from the Jamaica High Commission indicate that as many as 100,000 nurses from the Caribbean and Africa came to train as nurses in Britain’s National Health Service between 1948 and 1973.
The average age of the so-called Windrush nurses had been 19 and many of them worked for more than 40 years in the NHS.
Twelve Caribbean nurses received the Queen’s Medal for contributions to the community. Out of those, four Jamaican nurses were honoured at a ceremony at London’s Dorchester Hotel at the end of July.
Quote of the week:
“Overall, Jamaica must realise that as economic conditions change around the world over time, we will gradually lose preferential agreements.” UWI economics lecturer Dr Andre Haughton, in Jamaica’s Gleaner newspaper, on speculation that Venezuela’s PetroCaribe programme is set to double interest rates on its loans to Caribbean and central American countries in October.