This is Carnival! - University of ? discrepancies in the last elections ... I saw it and there I was

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The Antigua and Barbuda High Commission Official Newsletter - Issue 135 -- July/August 2009 In This Issue1. Prime Ministers Emancipation Day Message (pages 3 & 7) 2. Antigua and Barbuda receives US$50 Million from Venezuela ( page 12) 3. Educational Past (page 18) 4. Carnival 2009 highlights (pages 1,19 & 20)Queen of Carnival (Shelana George) and her runners-upThis is Carnival!byAndrea ThomasThe lead up to Antiguas Carnival2009 was jam packed with alldifferent events, the mostpopular being the Joe MikesJam session every Thursdaysince the beginning of June. Thiswell attended event previewedthe new and upcoming Antiguanartists to the eager crowds thatgathered. This gave them a tasteof what they could expect to hear,and see, over the carnivalseason.Continue on pages 19,20THE GREEN SHOOTSOF NATIONALISMA few weeks ago I was listening to thenews from home and heard a reportwhich provided details of a marchorganised by the Antigua LabourParty. The White March which tookplace on the 13th August is reputed tohave gathered around 10,000supporters. Listening to the call-inprogramme on Observer Radio in thedays after, I gathered that during themarch many persons carried flags ofother nations in the Caribbean. Thatis when I began thinking. Would thishave happened in any other islandand what really was the objective ofthe march?When I read of the statements of thesome of the speakers this was indeeda march against the perceiveddiscrepancies in the last electionsand the state of the economy. Onemay grudgingly accept arguments fora march on this basis. It mayeven be said that it is acitizens constitutional right todemonstrate to itsgovernment how he/she feelsabout prevailing issues in thecountry. However, I was verysurprised to hear of thepresence of so many foreignflags being waved bymarchers. This really set methinking about ournationalism and the evidenceor lack thereof beingdemonstrated at importantevents in our nations recenthistory.Where do we as Antiguansand Barbudans stand on thisissue? What is nationalismand how do we see it beingdisplayed in our everydaylives. Nationalism, accordingto the StanfordEncyclopaedia of Psychologyis generally used todescribe two phenomena:(1) the attitude that the members ofa nation have when they careabout their national identity and (2)the actions that the members of anation take when seeking toachieve (or sustain) self-determination. (1) raises questionsabout the concept of nation (ornational identity), which is oftendefined in terms of common origin,ethnicity, or cultural ties, and whilean individuals membership in anation is often regarded asinvoluntary, it is sometimesregarded as voluntary. (2) raisesquestions about whether self-determination must be understoodas involving having full statehoodwith complete authority overdomestic and international affairs,or whether something less isrequired.It is always with much admiration thatI observe the Jamaicans, Barbadiansand Americans stand for the singingof their national anthems or swell withpride when one of their fellow citizensdoes well at an international event(for example Usain Bolt at therecently concluded 12th IAAF WorldChampionship in Germany). Let mequickly add, in case someone readilyreminds me, that our own DanielBailey performed exceptionally well. Iknow, I saw it and there I wasbeaming with so much pride as anAntiguans and Barbudans.But does it have to take somethinglike this to show to the world that weAntiguans and Barbudans are a proudof our country? How are we seenwhen, after the news of the latestnegative incident concerning ournation, when we run to the nearestcloset to hide (metaphoricallyspeaking of course)?Let me ask my readers a fewquestions at this point: Do you stand whenever theNational Anthem of Antiguaand Barbuda is played? Do you stand andacknowledge whenever theholders of SeniorRepresentatives of our nation(example the GovernorGeneral, the Prime Minister,Members of Parliament, andMembers of our DiplomaticCorps etc) arrive at afunction? Do we interrupt what we aredoing out of respect for therepresentatives presence? Do we do our best to ensurethat we carry the crest or flagof our nation with dignity andpride? When we go to aninternational event, do weimmediately look to see if ourNational Flag is flyingAntigua and Barbuda High Commission Issue 135 - July/August 20092Continue on page 19The Antigua and Barbuda High Commission Issue 135 - July/August 20093Address to the Nation byHon. Baldwin SpencerPrime Minister ofAntigua and Barbudaon Emancipation DayAugust 1, 2009Building a good citizenryFellow citizens of Antigua andBarbuda today August 1st 2009,represents the 175th anniversary ofthe emancipation of former BritishColonies in 1834 from the horrible anddehumanizing system of slavery.As we come together to celebrate andcommemorate this importantanniversary let us recommit ourselvesto ensure that this crime againsthumanity will not be allowed to everhappen again.As declared in the declaration comingout of a 2001 conference on anti-racism held in Durban South Africaslavery and the slave trade wereappalling tragediesa crime againsthumanity, and should always havebeen so.Therefore celebrating ourEmancipation should inspire us tounite as citizens of the Caribbean toensure that we never allow ourselvesto be subjected to any form of slavery.The theme for this 175thcommemorative celebration andreflection is Emancipation People areminder that we as Africans in theDiaspora are intrinsically linked as apeople with a common ancestry andculture.Africa, the mother land of humanity ishistorically the first continent to initiatethe process of human progress. Ourancestors have developed andmastered the art of agriculture and theuse of tools making it the birth placeand source of civilization.This is evident by the developmentand flourishing of African agriculturebasins, the first religions andmarvelous rock art and sculptures.Through Egypt, at the dawn ofAntiquity Africa remained the leadinginstructor of the entire world with its artof writing and architecturalmonuments such as pyramids.Therefore we are a proud people witha history that started long before ourarrival as slaves in the Caribbean.Antigua and Barbuda shares thevision of the African Union of anaccelerated socio-economicintegration of the African continentwhich will lead to greater unity andsolidarity between African countriesand peoples.This unity and solidarity we see asimportant if we are to identify andadvance common positions about ourexistence and future as African peopleand African descendants.We are keen to engage with theAfrican Union - and as the onlyCARICOM country with observerstatus to the AU we are in theforefront of regional attempts todeepen social and economic ties withcontinental Africa.The OECS is presently involved inpromoting formal relationships with anumber of African countries andAntigua and Barbuda has presenteditself as very prepared to enter andexplore new relationships with non-traditional partners.We think that the time has come for usto promote and defend developmentgoals for our countries - not only in theregion - but throughout the Diaspora.We have much to learn from eachother and much to teach each otherabout the struggle against slavery andcolonialism; about our struggles tomaintain political independence;about our present harsh engagementwith globalization and the transitionsin capitalism a system of economicgovernance that has its roots deep inthe torture and traffic and trade of andin African people.As Africans in the Diaspora it isnecessary for us to take a proactiverole in helping to build bridges andshape the growth and development ofthe Global African Family.In this regard we will become activelyinvolved in the Pan-African Parliamentwhich is designed to ensure the fullparticipation of African peoples ingovernance, development andeconomic integration of the Continent.Additionally, Antigua and Barbuda inthe future will also participate in theAfrican Union Economic, Social, andCultural Council.Citizens and residents of Antigua andBarbuda as we commemorate andreflect on Emancipation 175, be notafraid to promote and teach ourchildren about the rich and variedhistory of this magnificent Continent,we call Africa.Equally important is the need for us tofoster a deeper knowledge of ourStory, as people of the Caribbean whowere bounded by the chains of slaveryand freed through the determination offreedom fighters like kingCourt(Prince Klass), a Coromanteefrom Africa, Tomboy, a Carpenter,Hercules, Jack, Ned, Fortune, Tony,Secundi and Jacko, all principal slaveleaders in the 1736 slave plot inAntigua. This act of liberation wasHonourable Baldwin SpencerPrime Minister of Antigua andBarbudaContinue on page 7The Antigua and Barbuda High Commission Issue 135 - July/August 2009Mango Fest hailed asanother success byAfeefah BeharryAntiguasunonline.comThe annual Mango Fest, which washeld at Christian Valley, wrappedup on the 16th August after severaldays of fun activities thatsurrounded the annual festival.There were several mangocompetitions and other activities,which helped to bring life to thefestival, besides the usual harvestof sweet Antiguan mangoes.Junior Minister of AgricultureChanlah Codrington said he wasextremely delighted to see thecontinuing support from peopleand he hopes that this trendcontinues in years to come."We have stepped up to the plate,especially where our agro-processors are concerned tomarket their products locally,regionally and internationally,"Codrington proudly commented.Meanwhile, CommunicationsOfficer within the ministry OnikaCampbell stated the Mango Festcommittee must be given specialmention for the work they did inexecuting the festival."There was great support from thepeople on both days," Campbellsaid.Some of the competitions that wereheld around the display and sale ofmangos included the mango eatingcompetition, the ringside game,ice-cream making, tug-o-war andexplore the mango trail.This year, the organisers of MangoFest were hoping to promote it asan opportunity for the hotels to dobusiness with the farmers.Mango Fest promotes theadvantages of utilising as muchlocal produce as is available fromfarmers by the hotels andrestaurants.It also serves to further highlightthe move towards furthering thelinkages between tourism andagriculture.4Some mango facts and myths The mango is known as the 'king of fruit' throughout the world. The name 'mango' is derived from the Tamil word 'mangkay' or 'man-gay'. When the Portuguese traders settled inWestern India they adopted the name as 'manga'. Mangos originated in East India, Burma and the Andaman Islands bordering the Bay of Bengal. Around the 5th centuryB.C., Buddhist monks are believed to have introduced the mango to Malaysia and eastern Asia - legend has it thatBuddha found tranquility and repose in a mango grove. Persian traders took the mango into the middle east and Africa,from there the Portuguese brought it to Brazil and the West Indies. Mango cultivars arrived in Florida in the 1830's and inCalifornia in the 1880's. The Mango tree plays a sacred role in India; it is a symbol of love and some believe that the Mango tree can grantwishes. Mangos are bursting with protective nutrients. The vitamin content depends upon the variety and maturity of the fruit,when the mango is green the amount of vitamin C is higher, as it ripens the amount of beta carotene (vitamin A)increases. There are over 20 million metric tons of mangos grown throughout the tropical and sub-tropical world. The leading mango producer is India, with very little export as most are consumed within the country. Mexico and China compete for second place, followed by Pakistan and Indonesia. Thailand, Nigeria, Brazil, Philippines and Haiti follow in order.Source: antiguamangofest.comA variety of mangoes were on display at Mango FestThe Antigua and Barbuda High Commission Issue 135 - July/August 2009Friends of FiennesInstitute (FOFI)FOFI was established to support theFiennes Institute by assisting withthe provision of goods and services,In order to make life better for thosewho are residents and those whocare for them.The Fiennes InstituteThe Fiennes Institute which formany years was known as the PoorHouse was established in 1929 bythe then Governor of the LeewardIslands, Sir Eustace Fiennes.It was established at the time solelyto provide a home for the aged anddestitute who were unable to provideor care for themselves. Over theyears the focus has changedsignificantly and continues to do so,to the extent that the aim now is toprovide an upgraded, modern facilitywhich meets the needs of the elderlyboth for residential and day careservices.Over the past few years there hasbeen some significant changes tothe management structure.Recently a new Director wasappointed and together with thematron and Deputy Matron (aformidable woman who gets thingsdone) changes have begun to takeplace. Already there has been amarked improvement in the physicalappearance the general ambience and the operational efficiency of theestablishment. Staff and residentsappear to be much more settled andthere is a general feeling that thingscan only get better.The Managements vision is to bringthe Institutions standards to that ofa modern geriatric facility,embracing a holistic approach to theprovision of care for the elderly bythe development of suchprogrammes that may beappropriate, improving the workingenvironment, the quality of care andtraining and development of the staff.Earlier this year, in April, the FiennesInstitute held its 80th AnniversaryCelebration. During the weekscelebration the Prime Minister, theHon Baldwin Spencer, Minister ofHealth the Hon. Wilmoth Daniel andother notable dignitaries attendedsome of the celebrations. Also atthat time a National Conference onCaring for the Elderly was convenedand attended by delegates from thepublic as well as from the privatesector and from other non-governmental organisations fromother Caribbean countries. It ishoped that from the conference willcome a document which will beadopted by the government ofAntigua and Barbuda as its policy onthe provision of care, both residentialand day care, for the elderly in ourtwin island state.Currently, however, the Governmenthas promised to do all it can tosupport the Fiennes, but hasrecognised that Government will notbe able, on its own, to meet all theneeds of the Institute, due to itsfinancial constraints. It was thusdecided to formally establish asupport group Friends of Fiennes(FOFI) to assist in the provision ofitems that are needed over andabove what Government is able toprovide. Although over the years anumber of us here in the UK, in theUSA and Canada and of courseback home in Antigua, have beendoing our bit our efforts have notbeen co-ordinated. In establishingFOFI it is hoped that this will changeand that we will be better able toassist the Fiennes by providing asmuch as possible of what is neededand when it is requested. Of course,it does not mean that people cannotcontinue to liaise and contributedirect to the Fiennes, if they wish tocontinue doing so. FOFI is howeveroffering the opportunity forinvolvement in an organisedsupportive body.Since FOFI was set up in May 2009,I have sent out a number of beggingletters to my family and friends.They have almost all responded andgenerously and we have been ableto send to the Fiennes so far, aquantity of bedding equipment and acouple of wheelchairs. We plan tosend much more and, where it wouldbe more cost effective to purchasesome items in Antigua.FOFI will be applying for CharitableStatus as we plan to expand ourarea of search for funds, bothnationally and internationally. Ourintentions are to establish a DayCare facility at the Fiennes wherenon-residents can be cared forduring the weekdays, as well asimproving the present facilities forresidents.We have a Working Committee,proper accounting procedures are inplace and we have the support of SirRanulph Fiennes The Grandson ofthe founder of the Institute and whovisited the Fiennes in December2008.Please help us to help others andmake the Fiennes a place we can allbe proud of as Antiguans andBarbudans. If you require furtherinformation or want to discuss anyissue in relation to the Fiennes,please give me a ring or send me ane-mail.In the meantime if you would like tomake a donation please make acheque (for any amount) payable toFriends of Fiennes Institute andsend to the address as shown below:Cliff WalkerChair FOFI1 Apple Tree CloseYaxleyPeterborough PE7 3JYTelephone: 01733 242748Email: walker.cliff@btinternet.com5The Antigua and Barbuda High Commission Issue 135 - July/August 20096StatementbyThe Hon. Minister ofFinance, Economyand PublicAdministrationHarold Lovell7th August, 2009As the world continues to grapple withthe effects of this economic andfinancial crisis there is yet anotheremerging challenge that confronts us.There has been an upward surge inthe price of oil over the past threemonths.The price for a barrel of oil rose fromUS $44.00 per barrel at the beginningof the year to US $69.00 per barrel inJune 2009. And, notwithstanding theincreases recorded for the year so far,the forecast is that the price of oil mayincrease further as we approach theactive part of the hurricane season orwith geopolitical developments insome of the major oil producingcountries.As was the case with the high pricesexperienced during 2008, Antigua andBarbuda remains vulnerable to theeffects associated with persistent andsustained increases in theinternational price of oil. TheGovernment is placed in a precariousposition trying to strike a balancebetween maintaining fiscal disciplinein the current global environment,while at the same time mitigating theeffects of rising oil prices on thepopulation.In 2008 for example, the Governmentsubsidized the retail price of gasoline,diesel and liquefied propane gas(LPG) (cooking gas) by approximately$40.0m.With respect to retail prices, the cost(cif) for a gallon of gasoline increasedby 57.0 per cent and the cost (cif) fora gallon of diesel grew by 43.7 percent since the retail price of bothcommodities was reduced to $9.50 inFebruary of this year.At the current retail price of $9.50 theGovernment is subsidizing the price ofgasoline by $2.00 per gallon and theprice of diesel by $1. 37 per gallon.The respective prices of the 20lb andthe 100lb cylinders of LPG, haveremained unchanged for more than 15years.At the current prices of $20.95 and$108.00 for the 20lb and 100lbcylinders respectively, theGovernment is subsidizing the price ofa 20lb cylinder by $5.79 and the priceof a 100lb cylinder by $29.41. In eachcase, the current price of LPG is lessthan the total cost of the product. Thecurrent cost to safely deliver a 20lbcylinder of LPG to the consumer is$27.00 while the cost of the 100lbcylinder of LPG is $138.00.As a part of our commitment at thelevel of the Monetary Council of theEastern Caribbean Central Bank andmore recently, as a part of the NationalEconomic and Social Transformation(NEST) Plan, the Government iscommitted to adopting a flexible pricemechanism for gasoline and diesel.Under this framework the retail price ofgasoline and diesel will adjust withevery shipment based on the averageContinue on page 8The Honourable Harold LovellMinister of Finance, Economy andPublic AdministrationSigning Ceremony atNew YorkHeadquarters of AUApaves the way forVeterinary School inAntiguaPrime Minister Baldwin Spencer andMinister of Education, Dr. JacquiQuinn-Leandro returned to thecountry on Wednesday 19th Augustfrom New York City where theyattended the official signingceremony for a new VeterinarySchool at the American University ofAntigua.The Memorandum of Understandingwas signed at the AUAHeadquarters between President ofAUA, Neil Simon, Dean of Virginia-Maryland Regional College ofVeterinary Medicine, GerhardtSchurig and Prime Minister Spencer.Prime Minister Spencer in hisremarks welcomed Virginia Tech tothe shores of Antigua and Barbudaand hailed the new partnership withAUA as a great step in theglobalization of education.The American University of Antiguahas already made significantcontributions to the islands ofAntigua and Barbuda since openingits doors in January 2004, saidPrime Minister Spencer. This newschool and its relationship withVirginia Tech elevate Antigua as apremier provider of healthcareeducation for the Caribbean and theU.S.Presenting on behalf of the Ministryof Education, Minister of EducationDr. Jacqui Quinn-Leandroexpressed the Ministrys enthusiasmat this new venture stating: For aContinue on page 11The Antigua and Barbuda High Commission Issue 135 - July/August 2009Mount Pleasant PostOffice showcasesCultural DiversityAntiguan and Barbudan members ofstaff at the Mount Pleasant Post Officejoined other members of staff inputting on a cultural diversity exhibitionrecently.The idea was to showcase the diversecultures and ethnic groups currentlyemployed at the post office. Eachgroup presented a stall with theirvarious dishes, costumes, provisions,drinks and anythingthey believeaccuratelyrepresented theircountry.The Antigua blackpineapple was flownin direct from homealong with sweetpotatoes, sweetcorn, ginger andkidney mangoes.Black pudding,doucouna andsaltfish with chap-up,bakes, ginger beerand a special cakedecorated inthe colours ofthe nationalflag were used to represent thetwin island state.Mrs Avenella Hasewood proudlywore her national dress.Special thanks to the staff of theHigh Commission of Antigua andBarbuda and also to Sandra Dyerof Stoke Newington Travel fortheir invaluable assistance.The team consisted of Roland Mayers,Steven Farquhar, Janet Rose,Avenella Hasewood and Hugh Smith.Submitted byHugh Smith (Smithy)7Continued from page 3characterized by historians as a lesson insolidarity and collaboration.It is for this reason that as an emancipatedpeople we need to continue the process ofcreating social, economic and politicalmechanisms that will further our regionaldevelopment agenda.As we celebrate 175 years from social andpolitical emancipation, let us heed thewords of Bob Marley, who constantlyremind us to Emancipate ourselves frommental slavery, none but ourselves canfree our minds.The need for personal emancipation fromthe negatives values and counterproductive habits is a prerequisite inmolding responsible citizens.Therefore we should strive to emancipateourselves from the shackles of violence,irresponsible behaviour, selfishness,greed and crime.I do believe that all citizens and residentsalike should seek to promote good civicvalues and develop systems that willpromote good citizenship.At the time of Emancipation it was believedthat the people from the plantations wouldautomatically convert to free andresponsible citizens.However, the European formula thatassumed the provision of work, theacquisition of property, support for familyand the provision of education wouldautomatically give rise to a goodgovernment and good citizenry proved tobe incorrect.The existing plantation society did notpermit the conditions for this formula towork for most people.It is for this reason that my Government inthe future will look seriously at developingmechanisms and promoting initiatives thatwill seek to cultivate and nurture goodcitizenship.Emancipation from mental slavery willfurther our efforts as a developing societyto nurture a citizenry responsible for theprotection of the rights of individuals andpromotion of the common good.Emancipation from mental slavery calls fora citizenry that has moral responsibility,self-discipline, respect for individual worthand human dignity, respect for law andorder, civic mindedness and patriotism.I therefore want to encourage allAntiguans and Barbudans to seek peaceand harmony as we continue thecelebration of our emancipation throughthe creative energies of Carnival.Let us celebrate as people full of pride forcountry and a commitment to uphold thevalues and principles enshrined in ourconstitution.Special word of gratitude to the Committeefor its efforts to bring new meaning andincreased significance to the struggles ofour fore-parents that led to Emancipationon 1st August 1834 one hundred andseventy five years ago.Thank you and may God continue to blessour nation on this Emancipation Day.Pictures display theDiasporas pride in the culturalheritage of Antigua andBarbudaThe Antigua and Barbuda High Commission Issue 135 - July/August 20098Government Moves toProtect Policy-holders, Investorsand Workers ofBritish AmericanInsurance CompanyLimitedIn response to widespread publicconcern regarding the financialstability and viability of BritishAmerican Insurance Company Limited,the Government of Antigua andBarbuda, in conjunction with otherOECS governments, continues to takedecisive action with a view toprotecting the economies of theEastern Caribbean and the interests ofthe companys policy-holders andinvestors generally. As the first step ina plan to craft solutions for the ailingcompany, on 30 June, 2009 the ActingSuperintendent of Insurance inAntigua and Barbuda, Mr. TrevorMathurin, under the direction of theFinancial Services RegulatoryCommission, officially intervened intothe operations of British Americansbranch operations in Antigua. Furtheron Friday, 31st July, 2009 a CourtOrder was sought and obtained by theSuperintendent to place the Branchunder judicial management. Mr. Cleveland Seaforth, ManagingPartner of KPMG Eastern Caribbeanhas been appointed as JudicialManager of the Antigua Branchoperations of British American andhas accordingly taken overmanagement of the Branch withimmediate effect.These actions are part of a regionalcommitment of the OECSgovernments to manage the riskposed to the OECS and its residentsby the financial challenges beingexperienced by British American. Insimilar actions judicial managers havealso been appointed in other OECSStates while applications remainpending in still other States. It isanticipated that over the next severalweeks the judicial managers fromacross the region will act bothindividually and collectively to confirmand flesh-out an OECS plan that would be most advantageous to thegeneral interests of policy-holders andinvestors.The Government of Antigua andBarbuda reaffirms its commitment toputting people first as it works with itsOECS partners and othergovernments within the Caribbean tofind ways to protect the interests ofBritish American policy holders aroundthe region. Though British Americanis a private company, it plays asignificant role in the economies of theEastern Caribbean by virtue of thesize and extent of local and regionalinvestments in the company. Forthese reasons the Government ofAntigua and Barbuda is satisfied thatjudicial management of BritishAmerican is the best approach that willpave the way for a new entity asenvisioned by the OECS to managethe Eastern Caribbean operations ofthe company.This bold and innovative regionalinitiative is in no small part the result ofdiligent efforts by technicians withinthe Ministry of Finance, the Ministry ofLegal Affairs and the FinancialServices Regulatory Commission ineffective collaboration with theirregional counterparts. Moreover,such action is made possible by theplanning and vision of the Governmentof Antigua and Barbuda in passing theInsurance Act, 2007 which, through itsjudicial management provisions,provides new and advanced optionsfor reorganization of insurancecompanies in crisis.While there remains a great deal ofwork to be done, the Government ofAntigua and Barbuda wishes to assurethe public that it will continue todiligently apply its most capable andcreative resources to bring thisregional initiative to satisfactoryculmination, while at all times keepingthe interests of Antigua and Barbudaas its foremost priority.Continued from page 6cost (cif) of the three most recentshipments.The Government will also be adjustingthe price of LPG to ensure that theprice of the product is at leastequivalent to the cost of delivering theproduct to consumers. As we seek tomaintain job levels in the public sectorand meet our commitments, we mustadopt a more responsible approach totax administration and tax collectionas well as how subsidies aredistributed to the population.Subsidies are necessary but must bedistributed to ensure the greatest goodto the greatest number and targetedtowards educating our youth, caringfor the elderly, stimulating theproductive sectors of our economyand providing relief for the mostvulnerable groups in society. To thisend, the Government cannot continueto use revenue collected from othertaxes to subsidize the retail price ofpetroleum products.It is against this backdrop that theGovernment will increase the price ofgasoline to $11.50 per gallon and theprice of diesel to $10.90 per gallon.The price of the LPG will also beincreased to $32.00 and $155.00 forthe 20lb and 100lb cylinderrespectively. These price adjustmentswill take effect on Friday August 7th,2009.With respect of LPG, the Governmentwill receive revenue of $5.00 from thesale of a 20lb cylinder and $17.00 fromthe sale of a 100lb cylinder. At thecurrent consumption levels this willresult in total revenue of $2.0m peryear from the sale of LPG.The Government however, willcontinue to monitor the changes in theprice of petroleum products in Antiguaand Barbuda and will seek to conductthe necessary means testing and toimplement policy measures wherepossible, to reduce the effects of highfuel prices on the most vulnerablegroups in society.The Antigua and Barbuda High Commission Issue 135 - July/August 20099Dwight Gardinertakes the helm asChairman ofregional MaritimeOrganizationMr. Dwight C.R. Gardiner of Antiguaand Barbuda was elected Chairman ofthe Caribbean Port State ControlCommittee at the organizations 14thannual meeting in St. Johns, Antiguaon July 22, 2009. The Caribbean PortState Control Committee is anorganization established pursuant tothe Caribbean Memorandum ofUnderstanding (CMOU) on Port StateControl.Mr. Gardiner has been involved in themaritime sector for over 25 years andis the Director and Registrar Generalof the Antigua and BarbudaDepartment of Marine Services andMerchant Shipping and the Antiguaand Barbuda International ShippingRegister. He previously held thepositions of Vice Chairman of theCMOU on Port State Control from2003-2008 and Interim Chairman from20082009.The Caribbean Memorandum ofUnderstanding (CMOU) on Port StateControl is an agreement between 13Caribbean States to achieveuniformity with respect to rules andstandards relating to maritime safetyand security and the prevention ofmaritime pollution by ships. Theprimary means of enforcing theserules and standards is by theinspection of foreign ships in nationalports in order to verify that thecondition of the ship and its equipmentmeet the national, regional andinternational maritime requirements.This process of inspecting foreignships is known as Port State Control.The Caribbean Port State ControlCommittee consists of 13 membersStates; Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba,Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, CaymanIslands, Cuba, Grenada, Guyana,Jamaica, Netherlands Antilles,Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.In addition to the member states thereare six Observer States; Anguilla,Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St.Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines,Turks and Caicos Islands. TheSecretariat of the organization basedin Jamaica and its information centreknown as the Caribbean MaritimeInformation Centre (CMIC) is locatedin Suriname.There are some nine establishedregional port State controlorganizations and Memoranda ofUnderstanding on port State controlcovering most of the worlds oceans.(r to l) Honourable John Maginley, Minister of Tourism, Culture andEnvironment - Mr Dwight Gardiner, Chairman of the Caribbean Port StateControl Committee and Jodie Barrow, Secretary of the OrganizationThe Antigua and Barbuda High Commission Issue 135 - July/August 2009Many around the world look to the UNconference on the global financial andeconomic crisis with great expectations, asit should be the start of a process thatcould bring the UN into the forefront oftackling the greatest economic crisis in halfa century.The epi-centre of the crisis is in Wall Street,a few blocks from the UN headquarters.But the developing countries that have norole in causing the crisis have suffered themost severe collateral damage, with aloss of 6 percentage points of grossnational income, as their economic growthis expected to fall from 8.3% in 2007 to1.6% in 2009 on average. Moreover, thisaverage figure hides the fact that many ofthem are already in severe recession.There has been some international actionon the crisis, but much of it has been by theG7 developed countries or the G20, whichis an exclusive grouping. The UNconference on 24-26 June is thus the firsttime all the countries have gathered todecide what to do about the crisis. It isespecially important for developingcountries which have no other forum thanthe UN to mitigate the effects of the crisisand ensure it does not happen again.The Conference is discussing two mainactions -- how to help developingcountries cope with the crisis, and reformof the international financial system. Thefocus should be on taking internationalinitiatives and reforming the global systemto meet the needs and interests ofdeveloping countries.There are six key issues for the Conference.First is the foreign exchange shortfallfacing developing countries, which couldrange from up to $1 trillion (World Bankestimate) to $2 trillion (UNCTAD estimate).Besides falling exports and capital outflows,many countries are also facing increasingdifficulties in obtaining fresh credit, all ofwhich affect their foreign reserves position.The efforts so far to help developingcountries are not enough. They needgreater amounts of quick-disbursing,unconditional external financing.Furthermore, they should not be burdenedwith additional debt in order to respond tofallouts from a crisis they cannot be heldresponsible for. These objectives can bestbe achieved by a special and sizeableSDR allocation.The agreement reached in the G20 summiton SDR allocation brings no more than $20billion to low-income countries, but theyneed several times more. Since many ofthese countries are on the verge of fallinginto an unsustainable debt trap, this shouldbe provided through a no-cost special SDRallocation.The additional financing needed by middle-income countries reaches several hundredmillions of dollars. This should be providedthrough a reversible SDR allocation, to berepurchased when the crisis is over. Thus,it will not generate inflationary pressuresnow or in the future.Second is the need for developingcounties to avoid a new debt crisis. TheWorld Bank and IMF have estimated thatclose to 40 developing countries arevulnerable to difficulties in having enoughforeign exchange to service their loans orto pay for essential imports. The list can beexpected to grow.For countries facing debt servicingdifficulties, there should be a moratoriumon their official debt, including deferral ofprincipal and interest payments with noadditional cost. This is an establishedpractice, used in the past in response todisasters such as the Asian Tsunami of2004.Countries experiencing large andsustained capital outflows should have theright to exercise temporary debt standstillsand exchange controls, and should begranted statutory protection in the form ofstay on litigation.An international debt court should beestablished within the UN system in orderto settle sovereign debt disputes withprivate creditors. Under this system ofdebt arbitration, a country should be ableto declare a debt standstill, and be grantedimmunity from litigation, while the courtarranges for debt arbitration andrestructuring with the creditors, and theroad is open for new credit to the country.This system had been proposed byUNCTAD a decade ago and by the IMFsecretariat in the early 2000s. It shouldnow be discussed again.The international community has beenmuddling through the official debt of low-income countries for a decade and a halfwithout being able to bring a lastingsolution. The current crisis is adding to thedebt overhang, making the existingapproach even less tenable. The time hascome to look for a new strategy. Debtassessment and sustainability analysesshould be done independently from theIMF and entrusted to an independent bodywhich is itself not a creditor, with theagreement of both creditors and debtors toimplement its recommendations.Third, developing countries should begiven the policy space to enable themto take policy measures to address thecrisis. For many countries, this space hasbeen blocked by conditions attached toloans from international financialinstitutions that usually impose pro-cyclicalpolicies (fiscal austerity and tight monetarypolicy) that worsen the recession; forbidcontrols over capital outflows and debtstandstill; and impose low tariffs (with oftendevastating effects on local production).Some free trade agreements also haveclauses that hinder some required policies.These policy conditionalities should bequickly reviewed and changed. The rightof developing countries to take counter-cyclical macroeconomic policies, and ifnecessary capital controls and temporarydebt standstills to deal with the crisis,should be recognized and barriers toexercising their rights removed.Fourth are the reforms needed to theglobal financial and economic systems.Developing countries at the moment havelittle say over the decision-making processbut suffer the ill effects when the systemsmalfunction. The required changesinclude: The governance, policiesand roles of the IMF andWorld Bank,10Six Key Issues in the UN Conference on Economic CrisisEditorial Note: The South Centre in its many activities during the UNconference on the global economic crisis put forward proposals on six keyissues for the conference to resolve. The following is a brief paper that wasused by the Centres Executive Director Martin Khor, as the basis for theCentres press conference and for his presentation at the Conferences panelon mitigation of the crisis.The Antigua and Barbuda High Commission Issue 135 - July/August 200911 Regulation of financial markets and capital flows, Strengthening internationalsurveillance of developedcountries policies, Creation of a newinternational reservessystem.On this last point, the present internationalreserves system based on nationalcurrencies is known to be inherentlyunstable, susceptible to generatingunsustainable payments positions andexchange rate gyrations in countriesenjoying reserve-currency status. It isessential to look into possibilities ofestablishing an international reservessystem not based on national currencies,and the role that a redefined andbroadened SDR could play in that respect.Fifth is the need to address the lack ofa proper system or mechanism forglobal economic governance, in whichdeveloping countries have a fairrepresentation.This crisis has shown once again thatglobalisation has resulted in growinginterdependence not only among countries,but also among various issues of concernto the international community includingdevelopment, trade, investment,employment, money, finance, climate,technology and property rights. At theglobal level these issues are addressed byspecialized institutions established byintergovernmental agreements. Thiscreates systemic incoherence becausethere can be trade-offs among theobjectives pursued by different agencies,and failure in certain areas of global policyhas broader implications for themultilateral system as a whole.Efforts to improve coherence of policies insuch diverse but interrelated areas remainsporadic and ineffectual in large partbecause they rely on ad hoc cooperationamong specialized agencies. There is thusthe need to establish a mechanism suchas a global economic council to securepolicy coherence and coordination. Thistask falls on the United Nations as the onlyuniversal and democratic forum with anexplicit mandate and purpose to resolveinternational problems of an economic,social, cultural and humanitarian character.Sixth, there is the need for theConference to set up a clear follow-upmechanism to take forward the decisions,proposals and issues arising from theConference and translate them into action.The issues the conference will discuss aremany and complex. There were only lessthan three months between establishingmodalities of the conference to the actualconference, not enough time to come to anunderstanding of the actions needed. Theconference itself would be a success if itdefined the issues arising from the crisisand gave directions on the way forward inmitigation its effects and in working outbroadly the reforms needed to the system,but it will not be able to make concretedecisions on many points.The Conference should thus set up aworking group under the GeneralAssembly itself, to further elaborate theissues and measures, the discussion onwhich the Conference started butunderstandably could not conclude. Theworking group could then work out ingreater detail the actions needed andreport back to the General Assembly forthe decisions to be taken.It is imperative that the Conference doesnot become a one-time event with littleeffect. For the developing countries thatdo not have any other international venuefor discussion and action on this crisis, thiswould be a disaster. Whether to have astrong follow-up mechanism is thusperhaps the most important decision thatthe conference participants will take.Reprinted from South BulletinReflections and Foresights7 July 2009, Issue 386th Annual Sizzling SandsBeach Volley Ball Tournament -25th to 27th September 2009Continued from page 6small island developing state likeAntigua and Barbuda with a relativelysmall population in an idyllicgeographical location, the prospect ofopening up our shores to hundreds ofeducational tourists seeking to pursuehigher degrees is a significant feat forour small twin island state. Dean ofVirginia-Maryland Regional College ofVeterinary Medicine, Gerhardt Schurigin his response stated In five shortyears, AUA has proven its ability toeducate both medical doctors andnurses. Its desire to expand intopreparing future veterinarians for theirclinical phase at Virginia-MarylandRegional College of VeterinaryMedicine creates another avenue forus to attract qualified students and wewelcome it.New students in Veterinary Sciencewill begin their degrees in Antigua atthe AUA campus from January 2010.The Antigua and Barbuda High Commission Issue 135 - July/August 200912Prime Minister TheHonourable W. BaldwinSpencerAddress to the Nationon the receipt ofUS$50 Million from theBolivarian Republic ofVenezuela13th AUGUST, 2009Citizens and Residents, the task ofgoverning a country is challenging in thebest of times. Recently, the extent of thechallenge has been exacerbated by anumber of developments which includethe global financial crisis, the Stanforddebacle, the CLICO/British Americandilemma, a general decline in theconstruction sector and the increase inunemployment resulting from these andother developments. While some withinour society have sought to capitalize onthese extrinsic factors by using them as ameans of gaining cheap political mileage,those of us entrusted with the governanceof this country do not have the time or theinclination to trivialize matters of suchgrave national and regional importance.You may be aware that the economy ofAntigua and Barbuda accounts for 25% ofthe Eastern Caribbean Currency Union.When our economy is strong as it wasunder the stewardship of the UnitedProgressive Party until the global financialcrisis all the OECS territories realizedspin-off benefits. Now that we are beingchallenged by the largely extrinsic shocksto our economy, our OECS neighbourshave rallied around us in support. Thesupport which my administration enjoyscomes not just from our Caribbeanneighbours but also from our brothers andsisters in ALBA.&nbs p; In particular, I wishto single out the Bolivarian Republic ofVenezuela.Approximately four weeks ago, Iapproached the Minister of Foreign Affairsof Venezuela with a request to discuss thepossibility of getting assistance withAntigua and Barbuda fiscal problem. Theinitial response was favourable. Last week,officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairsand the Ministry of Finance travelled toCaracas where they engaged in intensenegotiations with their Venezuelancounterparts. Following those discussionsmy Government submitted an officialrequest for an immediate injection ofUS$50 million. Today, I am pleased toadvise the nation that at one oclock thismorning President Hugo Chavez signedthe necessary paperwork to approve theimmediate transfer of the full amount ofUS$50 million to the Governments callaccount at the Eastern Caribbean CentralBank.This immediate and unconditional supportfrom Venezuela can be attributed to theprinciples which underpin ALBA i.e.complementarity as an alternative tocompetition; solidarity as opposed todomination; cooperation as areplacement for exploitation; and respectfor sovereignty rather than corporaterule. It was my governments firm belief inthese principles which led Antigua &Barbuda to join ALBA in June this year.Less than two months after becomingofficial members of ALBA, Antigua &Barbuda has received this most tangiblebenefit from the alternative developmentmodel which it promotes.Citizens and Residents, as your ChiefServant and one who is fully committed tosafeguarding the quality of life for allAntiguans and Barbudans, I want to assureyou that this significant financial supportprovided by the friendly nation ofVenezuela is completely withoutprecondition. Based on the urgent natureof our request and the terms proposed bythe Ministry of Finance, President Chavezhas issued instructions for the transfer offunds to be initiated immediately.While I will leave it to the Minister ofFinance to present the details of theprecise use to which the US$50 million willbe put, I assure each and every Antiguanand Barbudan that every penny of thisamount will be dedicated to improving thequality of life in our country. To civilservants who have been anxious aboutmaking preparations for the new schoolyear at a time when salaries are late, I saythat you can expect a reprieve; to theunemployed construction workers, Iassure you that these funds will help tocreate new jobs for you; to the localmerchants who have been providing thegovernment with goods and services, youcan expect payment on your accounts. Ingeneral all citizens and residents areexpected to benefit from the injection ofthis US$50 million into the economy.Citizens and Residents, even as weexpress our appreciation for the supportreceive d from Venezuela, it is important toacknowledge that we are not out of thewoods. We must continue to be prudentand to make the necessary adjustments inkeeping with the harsh realities that willcontinue to confront us as the financialcrisis continues to play out on the worldstage. This race is certainly one that willnot be won by the swift or by those whoworship at the altar of political expediencybut rather by those who persevere to theend.My Government has already engaged thecitizenry on the creation of the NationalEconomic and Social Transformation Plan.We will continue to fine tune and implementthat plan. We will continue our quest toidentify and implement improvements toour revenue collection while applying thesame level of diligence to the task ofcurtailing government spending. However,I assure you that at all time yourgovernment will ensure that the socialsafety net is preserved. All practicablesteps will be taken to cushion the mostvulnerable in society from increasingprices and other challenges. Therefore,while it was absolutely necessary toincrease the price of LPG, my Governmentwishes to announce that instructions havebeen issued to PDV Caribe Antigua &Barbuda Ltd. (the company set up tooperationalize the PetroCaribe Initiative) toidentify a mechanism for providing atargeted subsidy to those householdswhich simply cannot afford to sustain theprice increases.I hasten to point out that, despite the planto introduce a targeted LPG subsidy, noneamong us should proceed with the naveexpectation that it can be business asusual in this environment. Changes mustbe made if we are to survive and thrive inthis new environment. The Chinesesymbol for crisis is a combination of twosymbols i.e. danger and opportunity. Icall on all Antiguans and Barbudans toprove to the world that, as a nation, wehave the ability to seize the opportunitythat can be found amidst the danger; toshow that our love for country far exceedspartisan politics; that patriotism is not justan outer garment which we put on when itis fashionable to do so, but rather th at it islike the blood that courses through ourveins fundamental to our life.In closing, I take the opportunity to thankGod for his continued guidance andblessing; to thank the Government andPeople of Venezuela for their generosity;to thank civil servants and suppliers whohave had to endure the hardship of latepayments; and finally to thank the staff inthe Ministries of Finance and ForeignAffairs who worked diligently to maketodays announcement possible.May God continue to bless Antigua andBarbuda and all who truly love her!__._,_.___The Antigua and Barbuda High Commission Issue 135 - July/August 200913STATEMENTbyHon. Harold LovellMinister of Finance, theEconomy and PublicAdministrationOn Receipt of US$50 Millionfrom the Bolivarian Republicof VenezuelaThe Government of Antigua andBarbuda is indeed very grateful for thisgenerous and timely financial supportfrom the Government and People ofthe Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.Like many developing countries,including our Caribbean counterparts,Antigua and Barbuda has been facingconsiderable fiscal pressures as aresult of the global economic andfinancial crisis, which has reducedeconomic activity and led to asubstantial decline in the level ofGovernment revenues. The past fewmonths have been extremelychallenging for the Government andpeople of Antigua and Barbuda. Inresponse to these challenges, thisGovernment, under the unswervingleadership of Prime Minister BaldwinSpencer, has been exploring anumber of options in an effort toensure that Antigua and Barbuda caneffectively manoeuvre these difficulteconomic times. As indicated by theHonourable Prime Minister, wepresented a proposal for assistance tothe Government of the BolivarianRepublic of Venezuela on Thursday6th August 2009 and were heartenedto receive a positive response withinseven days.This injection of funds will beextremely instrumental in allowing theGovernment to close the fiscal gap in2009. In particular, the resources willbe utilized in a manner that will helpthe Government to meet its recurrentobligations and to undertake a numberof activities that would provide someeconomic stimulus, enhance revenueadministration and collection, improveexpenditure management, andprovide some social protection for thepoor and unemployed.The purposes for which theGovernment intends to utilize theUS$50 million include:1. US$35 million will be used asbudgetary support and will allow theGovernment to meet basic financialobligations such as payment of wagesand salaries, and other payments thatwill allow the Government to functionon a day to day basis.2. US$7 million will be used foreconomic stimulus. Specifically, thiswill involve construction projects withparticular emphasis on renovation andrefurbishment of Governmentbuildings. This will create immediatejobs for many Antiguans andBarbudans and, upon completion ofthese renovation and refurbishmentprojects, the Government would bebetter positioned to reduceexpenditure on rental payments foroffice spaces through the utilization ofits newly renovated properties. Theresources saved in this regard willthen be channeled into other areas.3. US$6.5 million will be used forenhancing revenue administration andexpenditure management this willentail the acquisition of property tohouse the Inland RevenueDepartment (IRD). The IRD iscurrently facing significant challengeswith effective tax administration due tosevere limitations in respect of itsoperating environment. It is expectedthat with a new base of operations anda comprehensive reorganization andinstitutional strengthening exercise,the Inland Revenue Department willbe able to boost its level of revenuecollection by at least 2 percentagepoints of GDP. The Governmentintends to complete the relocation andreorganization of the Inland RevenueDepartment by October 2009.Further, the resources allocated forthis purpose would be utilized tofinance the implementation of afinancial management system acrossall Government Ministries. TheIntegrated Financial ManagementSystem will afford the Ministry ofFinance greater control overexpenditure by line ministries andthereby allow for better managementof fiscal accounts.The remaining US$1.5 million will beused to fund activities andprogrammes that provide socialprotection for the poor andunemployed.It should be noted that while thisinjection of US$50 million will be ofenormous benefit to the Governmentand People of Antigua and Barbuda,there still remain significantchallenges that must be addressedover the coming months. As a nation,we will need to make some sacrificesin order to overcome these difficultiesand emerge a stronger, moreprosperous nation.In this regard, the Government isabout to finalize the elements of itslonger term strategy to restructure itsdebt and undertake some key fiscalreforms that are essential to ensuringthe long term fiscal and economicsustainability of Antigua and Barbuda.The implementation of this strategywill require considerable technical andfinancial resources. As such, theGovernment has engaged partners indiscussions at the bilateral, regionaland international levels in an effort tosecure the requisite technical andfinancial support.On behalf of the People andGovernment of Antigua and Barbuda,I wish to thank the Government andPeople of the Bolivarian Republic ofVenezuela for this unambiguousexpression of goodwill and solidarity.There can be no question that theprovision of this support isdemonstrative of an innovativeapproach to social and economicpartnership a partnership that isclearly premised on the principle ofshared development. We lookforward to finalizing the terms of thisarrangement, which will involve somegrant element and a loan on veryconcessionary terms.Once again, I wish to say thank you tothe Government of Venezuela. Also,I wish to extend this Governmentsappreciation to the people of Antiguaand Barbuda for their patience andcontinued support. By workingtogether with the shared purpose ofcreating a better nation, we will notonly overcome these trying times butwill secure a bright future for Antiguaand Barbuda.__._,_.___The Antigua and Barbuda High Commission Issue 135 - July/August 200914Antigua and Barbudahosts South Africanmission to studyremote gamingpoliciesThe Antigua and Barbuda FinancialServices Regulatory Commission(FSRC), the Division of Gaming fora week ending August 14, 2009 werehosts to the National Gambling Boardof South Africa (NGB), who were on afact finding mission.The NGB is the regulatory body withinSouth Africa responsible for nationalpolicy and development for landbased gaming and will also beresponsible for the supervision ofinteractive gaming and interactivewagering.It is a first visit of this nature by theNGB to Antigua and Barbuda and it isin an effort towards strengthening theirties with gaming regulators worldwide.South Africa in July 2008 enactedremote legislation and is now in theprocess of developing the supportiveregulations. The jurisdiction of Antiguaand Barbuda is one of threejurisdictions selected by the NGB toassist in the development of theirlicensing and regulatory regime.The NGB Deputy Chairman andActing CEO, Mmathebe (Thebi) Mojastated, The NGB as a member of theInternational Association of GamingRegulators recognises the FSRC,Division of Gaming of Antigua andBarbuda as a leader in remote gamingregulation, and therefore NGB haschosen to understudy their detailedpolicy and regulatory framework tostrengthen before implementation ofour legislation that sees to legaliseand regulate online gambling."Ms. Mojo extended her appreciationfor the gracious hospitality providedduring this fact finding mission.The FSRC Chairperson, Althea Crickexpressed her pleasure in receivingthe NGB, and stated, I am particularlyheartened by the selection of thejurisdiction by the NGB as itunderscores the confidence placed bythe international community on ourregulatory and supervisory machinery,it also is a demonstration of the inter-connectivity of the global regulatoryregime, sharing and working togetherto achieve and sustain internationalbest practices.The delegation was exposed to aseries of presentations covering abroad range of regulatory, licencingand supervisory policies, inclusive ofmeetings with the Minister of Finance,the Economy and PublicAdministration, Harold Lovell, theFSRC Board of Directors, keygovernment agencies, officials andgaming operators.At the culmination of the exercise theNGB received an understanding of theissues surrounding interactive gamingand interactive wagering as theyintend to license operators in thefuture, adding to the already existingservices within South Africa such asland based casino, pari-mutuelwagering on horse racing, bingo andpayout slot machines.Kaye McDonald, Director of Gamingcommented that she was pleased thatthe jurisdiction was selected with otherinternationally recognized jurisdictionslike the United Kingdom and Alderneyinvolved in licencing and regulatingremote gaming.The Director of Gaming views thisinitiative as undoubtedly anopportunity to advance the profile ofAntigua and Barbuda internationally asa highly regarded and well regulatedremote gaming jurisdiction.National Gambling Board (NGB) Delegation and Financial ServicesRegulatory AuthorityThe Antigua and Barbuda High Commission Issue 135 - July/August 200915Unemployment benefitprogramme to beresumedMinister of Finance, Harold Lovellsays the program will commenceshortly and will be funded through aUS$50 million bail out fromVenezuela.The Social Security Board will managethe Unemployment Assistance Fundon behalf of the government.All applications for benefits should besent in to the Social Security Board forreview. To qualify, an applicant mustbe a citizen, temporary resident, orlegal resident residing in the twin-island state for no less than threeyears.The applicant must have contributedfor one year prior to thecommencement of unemployment tothe Education Levy, Social Securityand Medical Benefits Scheme andmade all relevant personal income taxpayments for a minimum of 12 months.Other stipulations: candidates mustbe out of work for at least four weeks,candidates cannot be of pensionableage, and they have been employed bya company that downsized due to theongoing economic crisis or afterOctober 1, 2008. Applicants arerequired to provide proof of lay-off,citizenship, temporary residency orlegal residency and registration at theLabour Department. Unemploymentassistance payments will range from$300 weekly or $1,200 monthly for theperiod of unemployment, up to amaximum of 13 weeks for any 52-week period.Minister Lovell says the Governmentwill still formally approach theInternational Monetary Fund forassistance. The Minister noted thatthe recent US$50 million cashinjection will help solve short-termeconomic problems but theGovernment will still have to seekoptions for the long-term. TheGovernment is open to pursuing allavailable avenues.Dearest FlorenceYou are gone, but never to be forgotten. Tributes were given, songswere sung and prayers said. Tears were shed, but smiles were seen aswe remembered you fondly. Your lifelong friends spoke glowingly of you.Oh what a pleasure it was when you visited your former colleagues amere two and a half weeks before you were no longer.Goodbye friend, colleague ... No more sorrow, no more pain.The Master is come and calleth for thee. John 11. Verse 28Mrs Florence Louise Cash (nee Crump), former Tourism Officer,passed away on 27th July 2009.Antigua DanceAcademy ToursEuropebyObserver Entertainment News -A contingent of 23 artistes from TheAntigua Dance Academy took part inthe Billingham International FolkloreFestival one of international danceand song with lots of colour. Thisevent runs from August 1 to 8 eachyear, and features Folk dance andtraditions from the Cook Islands toPoland alongside an internationalcraft fair.It was the first stop of a near month-long tour of Europe for the Antiguanperformers ranging in age from 10 up.The group, who joins dancers fromPoland, Peru, Thailand and severalEnglish counties, seem to be hitting itoff very well with the eventsorganisers as ChoreographerVeronica Yearwood says her dancersare getting a lot of work.We are the group with the youngestdancers and theyre so impressedwith the fact that we have such youngchildren that theyve been using usevery day, she said, backstagebetween performances.The Antigua Dance Academys nextstop after Billingham is France foranother international folk dancefestival.A lot of these European countrieshave these festivals so we seize theopportunity to participate, Ms.Yearwood said.The Antigua Dance Academyspecialises in Caribbean folk danceperformed not with recorded musicbut accompanied by percussionistsand singers.The contingent returned to Antiguaand Barbuda on August 22.The Antigua and Barbuda High Commission Issue 135 - July/August 200916The facts of the CaseAttorney-General andNational Parks Authorityvs Gaston Browne andVere Bird Jr.High Court ClaimNo. 0351/2005Attorney General and NationalParks AuthorityvGaston Browne and Vere C Bird Jr.Gaston Browne had purchased 3acres of Crown lands at EnglishHarbour within the Nelsons DockyardNational Park at the Cabinet-established concessionary price ofEC$25,000 an acre. He paid for thelands on February 12, 2004, six daysbefore the Cabinet decision to sellhim the lands on February 18, 2004.No valuation of the land was donebefore the sale, and in 2006, it wasassessed at a value of EC$1.4M in2004, the year of purchase.The lands were subject to theNational Parks Act but no approvalhad been requested or obtained fromthe National Parks Authority asrequired by section 22(1) of the Act;additionally, although section 24(2)required the Crown to consult with theAuthority before disposing of thelands, there was no record of anysuch consultations taking placealthough the evidence indicated thatsome of the members of the Boardhad been told by the Chairman whowas aware of Mr. Brownes interest inpurchasing the lands.The Court found that there was noevidence of misfeasance in publicoffice against either defendant giventhe fact that the sale was inaccordance with an established andpreviously followed Cabinet policy,and that any issue with the policywould have to be brought against theentire Cabinet, and not just twomembers, one of whom had benefitedfrom the approved transaction. TheCourt however found that neitherconsultation with or approval by theNational Parks Authority had beenobtained for the subdivision of thelands and the subsequent sale toGaston Browne of the subdividedparcel, and therefore both thesubdivision and the sale had beenbad in law and that Mr. Brownesregistration as owner would have tobe cancelled. However, the Courtheld that the approval to sell havingbeen given by Cabinet, thesale/purchase agreement subsists,subject to the required approval fromand consultation with the NationalParks Authority being sought.The case was heard in June 2008,and decision delivered on July 312009. For the reasons given in thejudgment, the High Court ordered asfollows:1. That the subject parcel of landfalls under the National Parks Act,cap. 290 and forms part of theNelsons Dockyard National Park;2. Consultation with the ParksAuthority is required in thecircumstances of this case, undersection 24(2) of the Act;3. Prior written approval by theParks Authority is required in thecircumstances of this case undersection 22(1) of the Act;4. No adequate or sufficientconsultation in respect of dealingswith the subject parcel of land tookplace on the facts of this case tosatisfy the provisions of the NationalParks Act and more specificallysection 24(2) of the Act;5. There was no prior writtenapproval or other adequate orsufficient approval by the 2nd namedClaimant in respect of the subjectparcel of land to satisfy therequirements of section 22(1) of theAct;6. No case of misfeasance in publicoffice or any other case having beenmade out against the 2nd Defendant,the case against him is herebydismissed with costs, pursuant to theCPR 2000; 7. No case of misfeasance in publicoffice having been made out againstthe 1st Defendant, the case againsthim for misfeasance in public officeonly is hereby dismissed withjudgment for the Claimants on thisissue in the claim;8. Judgment for the Claimantagainst the 1st defendant on the claimthat the subdivision, sale, transferand registration of the parcel of landwas in contravention of the NationalParks Act;9. The sale, subdivision, transferand registration of the land, to wit,parcel 404 of Block: 35 2580A inRegistration Section: English Harbourto Gaston Browne was effectedwithout prior written approval orconsultation with the National ParksAuthority, contrary to section 20(1)and 24(2) respectively of the NationalParks Act; Therefore:(i) the transfer of the parcel ofland is void ab initio;(ii) the registration of the saidparcel in the name of Gaston Browneis null and void ab initio;(iii) the subdivision of the saidparcel of land is null and void ab initio;(iv) as a result of the abovedeclarations and findings, GastonBrowne is to deliver up the landcertificate in respect of the said parcelof land to the Registrar to be dealtwith in accordance with the law;(v) the Cabinet decision and theGovernments agreement for the saleof the said parcel of land to GastonBrowne is valid and still subsists,subject to the National Parks Act andthe law;(vi) that Gaston Browne be atliberty to cause compliance with theNational Parks Act. The Courtexpresses no opinion on the processor its outcome; and(vii) that success in the matterbeing evenly balanced, each party tobear its own costs.Senior Counsel Anthony Astaphanrepresented Gaston Browne andKelvin John represented Vere Bird jr.Representing the Attorney Generaland the National Parks Authority, whobrought the action, was the AttorneyGeneral himself and with him CrownCounsel Ms. Alicia Aska.__._,_.___The Antigua and Barbuda High Commission Issue 135 July/August 200917The Antigua and Barbuda High Commission Issue 135 - July/August 2009Educational Past Mico Collegeby E.T. HenryAt the time of emancipation in Antiguaon the 1st of August 1834 some 23,350men and women passed from slaveryinto freedom. A freedom which was byfar more beneficial to their ownersthan it was to the slaves themselves.The Sugar Planters received from theBritish Treasury by way ofcompensation for the slaves they lost,four hundred and fifteen thousandseven hundred pounds sterling. Inaddition they received a large andcaptive workforce who had no choiceother than to accept the poor wagespaid to them. The erstwhile slaves,received no restitution for the ills doneto them, yet all was not lost. Evennotional freedom was moreacceptable than the brutal captivity inwhich they were held by theplantocrats. In spite of repressive lawscleverly designed to keep them ascaptive labour for the sugarplantations, many of them were armedwith the ability to read and write andwere considered to be far bettereducated than their counterparts onother islands.This happy circumstance came aboutas a result of the dedicated andarduous effects of he Moravians, theMethodist, and to a lesser extent theAnglicans who for decades precedingemancipation had worked among theslaves, in the face of serious odds.They managed to maintain schoolsand provide adults as well as childrenwith secular and religious education.In 1836 there were small schools allover the island and a grant from theBritish Government the year beforehad to some extent eased thepressure placed on the religious bodies.In the 1840s a fortuitous event tookplace in the educational systems of thecolonies when Mico colleges wereestablished in the region. The fundsfor the Mico Trust were derived fromthe will of a certain Lady Mico, anEnglishwoman. In 1666 shebequeathed a sum of money andproperty to her nephew Samuel oncondition that he married one of hernieces. If the marriage did not takeplace, the money was to be used tohelp free Englishmen enslaved by thepirates off the coast of North Africa.Samuel did not marry any of hiscousins and the money remaineduntouched for over a century and ahalf. When Lady Micos will wasexamined it was discovered that theestate had grown to the value of onehundred and twenty thousand poundssterling. By this time there were nomore victims of the Barbary coastraids to be freed and the authorities ofthe Mico Trust were persuaded to putthe money to the education of theex-slaves in the West Indies.1840, the Mico Charity was operating196 schools in most of the islands,with colleges for the training ofteachers in some of them. There canbe no doubt that the Mico institution inAntigua played an important role andprovided a service of the highestquality in its educational establishmentduring these early years. A ReverendJohn Horsford writing in St Vincent in1856 had this to say, Education is stillin some places a work of the future,but the Mico institution in Antiguafurnished an admirable academy forthe training of youth. Mico continuedits service to the islands contributing tothe education of teachers and religiousleaders. Many a teacher in St Kitts,Barbados, Trinidad, Tobago,Windward Islands owed hisoutstanding performance in hisprofession to the education hereceived at the Mico Training Collegein Antigua.In 1886, the 50th anniversary of theestablishment of the Trust, theSecretary of the Mico Charity, theReverend I. W. Gedge M.A., paid avisit to the West Indies and on hisreturn prepared a very favourablereport on the Antigua institution.However, all good things will come toan end oft times seemingly too soon.The end of the century saw the end ofthe Mico Charity in Antigua. Thefoundation for a solid education futurehad been laid down. In 1899 theproperty was put up for sale and wasbought by the Moravians who on the29th March 1900 established there theTheological Seminary known asBuxton Grove. Later these buildingswould be occupied by the AntiguaGirls High School.1835 After emancipation, Micofunds of the 17th century used foreducation of slave children.1838 A Mico formal schoolestablished which continued until 1899.1839 Mico Charity sponsored 8primary schools with 635 students.1839 A Mico school opened inBermuda Valley. Another plantationschool.1839 Mico school opened on UnionEstate 50 enrolled, only 5 schooledbefore.1839 Mico Charity infant schoolopened at Tomlinson for under 8 years.1850 In schools of the establishedchurch there were 1,850 children,Moravian: 994 Methodist: 537 Mico:243.1856 The Mico institution was atBuxton Grove.1876 Mico Model School rankedbest primary school by HorsfordsAlmanac.1891 The Mico School turned out asupply of teachers.1899 1890s average attendance atthe Mico Training College was 20 andat Spring Gardens 13.1900 29th Mico property was boughtby the Moravians, established theTheological Seminary known as theBuxton Grove.1902 The Moravian Mico schoolwas the headquarters of a DebatingSociety.Reprinted fromThe Historical & ArchaeologicalSociety Newsletter No. 106Museum of Antigua and Barbuda18The Antigua and Barbuda High Commission Issue 135 - July/August 2009Continued from page 1Carnival officially started on the 25th Julyunder the theme of Its yours, Its minewith the usual parade around town. Theprocession was then led into theAntigua Recreation Ground where socaartists and calypsonians performed tothe crowds. Many people attended theshow and it left them anticipating therest of the music and pageantry events.The first music show was the childrenscarnival, which saw lots of people comeout to support the young childreninvolved. The Queen of Carnival asusual, was a successful event, but dueto bad weather, on the night, theCostume segment was not judged. Thiswas due to the first delegate beingknocked to the ground by the strongwinds which caught the large carnivalcostume she wore and pulled her down.Other than this mishap, the show waswell staged and very entertaining. TheTeen Splash pageant followed in suit ofthe Queen Show and showed promisingperformances from students fromdifferent schools in Antigua and Barbuda.Wednesday was the night when thegrounds of Carnival City were trulypacked with soca lovers. The crowdsflocked to see regional stars KevinLyttle, Shurwayne Winchester and IwerGeorge amongst other Antiguan Artistsat the Melting Pot extravanganza. Eventhe rain that fell in the early hours of themorning did not deter the attendeeswho swayed and jumped-up to the socabeats. Melting Pot was followed byPanorama which crowned LIMEHellsgate Steel Orchestra, captained byMarlon Dyer, the winners of the pancompetition. The show, as usual,involved different renditions of popularsongs and also some original pieces.The final pageantry show was JayceesCaribbean Queen Show which broughtall the regional queens together. Therewere singing, dancing and otherwonderful talents which made the showa spectacular event. The winner of theshow was Antiguan Queen, 21 year-oldShelana George. George had had only4 days to prepare for Jaycees afterwinning the Queen of Carnival onMonday night.With popular artists, Tizzy and ClaudetteCP Peters not participating in the muchanticipated Party Monarch show,spectators didnt know what to expect.But with both the jumpy and groovycategory of the show jam packed it wasno surprise that it was a great,entertaining evening for all that camealong. The popular 24-year-old, TianWinter, was reigned winner of both thecategories.The final show was the CalypsoMonarch Competition and well knownCalypsonian King Zacari was given thetitle of calypso monarch. Runners upwere Ivena and De Bear who both gavestrong and entertaining performances.It was now time for the parading andjudging of the troupes, which those of allages look forward to. To kick off theparades was of course, Jouvertmorning, which had returned to theoriginal route around town but endedearlier than usual much to the dismay ofthe revelers. However there was stillplenty of music playing, whether from ahi-fi, a live band or an iron band andpeople jammed right through. Of coursethe jamming continued right throughMonday and Tuesday as mas playerstook over the streets of St. Johns intheir flamboyant and colourful costumes.Locals and tourists alike flocked to theside streets to show their appreciationand admire the lovely costume parade.The winners of the different sectionswere awarded on Tuesday evening inthe Antigua Recreation Ground beforethe crowds returned to the streets forthe traditional Last Lap. At midnight thesound systems were cut off and thejamming came to a halt which signifiedthe end of Antigua Carnival 2009.With little trouble but lots ofentertainment over the two weeks ofCarnival, it was a great success and leftpeople thinking and feeling positively ofthe Carnival season. It was mine, it wasyours, it was Antigua Carnival 2009.Continued from page 2 [I always maintain that wehave the best designednational flag in the world(smile)].If the answer to all of these is anunconditional yes, then the greenshoots of nationalism are showing.But I can sadly state that on a numberof occasions I have observed theconverse. Not too long ago, I was at anational event when our nationalanthem was played. Barely half ofthose present bothered to move.Some of those present were onlyprompted into action when theirneighbours acted. I also noticed onanother occasion how reluctantlysome persons stirred when theGovernor General entered a particularfunction.As a trained member of the JuniorChamber International Senate Body(some of you may remember thisorganisation as the Jaycees, I havealways heard of the axiom, showrespect for the office even though youare at variance with the person whoholds that office for the moment.What else can we do to nurture thesegreen shoots of nationalism? I offerjust a few of my thoughts: Ensure that Antigua andBarbuda is recognised forgood things Ensure that our ParliamentarySystem is grounded onHonour and GoodGovernance, made up oftransparency, accountabilityand integrity Offer support for otherAntiguans and Barbudans inall laudable undertakings Rally fellow Antiguans andBarbudans wherever they areinto potential influencinggroups for the furtherance ofour national objectivesIf each of us attempt to be guided bythese ideas and to offer our fullsupport, whether financial orotherwise then the green shoots ofnationalism will indeed blossom into afully grown tree of National Pride. Letus therefore work together for thecommon good and this strong ideal.The Antigua and Barbuda High Commission Issue 135 - July/August 200920Pictures above of Jouvert morning revellers and below -Troupes and GroupsAbove - Carnival revellers and below - Queen of Carnival receiving prizesScenes of Antigua Carnival 2009