CARIBBEAN DANCE, MUSIC PERFORMED IN PARIS VENUE—01/03/15
The music and dance of Cuba and the Caribbean were showcases at one of the top venues in Paris, France, in a program featuring the rhythms of the area. The show was performed at the Amphitheater of the Paris Congress Palace, as a group of artists from the Caribbean took a variety of rhythms from the region and combined them to show the scope of Caribbean musical art.
CARICOM CHAIRMANSHIP ASSUMED BY BAHAMAS—01/04/15
The Bahamas is now the official head of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). The new chairman is the Prime Minister of the Bahamas, Perry Christie. Christie stated that it was his “duty” to cooperate with other CARICOM heads of government, as well as Secretary General Irwin LaRocque, to create a basis for a new strategic plan for the organization.
NEW CORAL REEFS GROWING IN BONAIRE—01/05/15
An island in the Caribbean is successfully growing new coral reefs, while the reefs in other locations in the region are under serious threat. Bonaire has grown new reefs through its Coral Restoration Foundation. This involves planting over 3,000 corals in five different restoration locations on the island. A new coral nursery is capable of producing some 500 Staghorn and Elkhorn corals every year.
MASSIVE HYDROPOWER PROJECT CLOSE TO LAUNCH—01/06/15
According to President Donald Ramotar, the Amaila Falls Hydro Power project is very close to launch. The government of Norway has provided $80 million in earnings from a partnership with Guyana to the Inter-American Development Bank to finance part of Guyana’s equity share in the project. The project includes the construction of a hydropower plant in west-central Guyana where the Amaila and Kribrong Rivers meet.
WEATHER AGENCY, FISHERIES INSTITUTE CREATE LIONFISH WEB PORTAL—01/07/15
Managers will receive help in the battle against the invasive lionfish through a new tool development by NOAA and the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute. A web portal will provide researchers, managers, and the public with up-to-date information on the extent of the lionfish invasion in the Atlantic Ocean. Lionfish were introduced to the region in the 1980s and have aggressively damaged much of the native fish populations.
BAHAMAS DEFENDS IMMIGRATION POLICY—01/08/15
The poor economic conditions in the Caribbean were further damaged in 2014 by the high rates of illegal immigration. The Bahamas has made a strong defense of its immigration policy, while critics have called it “dehumanizing” and “unconstitutional.” The policy went into effect on November 1, 2014, and requires foreigners to provide proof that they have permission to live or work in that country. Fred Mitchell, Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister, stated that he wanted to counteract charges that the new policy damaged the reputation of the Bahamas, but by the end of 2014, the government had to defend allegations that is herded illegal immigrants “like cattle.”