06/11  Closing Prices / revised 06/12/2024 07:53 GMT 06/11 OPEC Basket  $82.36   +$1.43 cents 06/11 Mexico Basket (MME) $72.63  +$0.43  cents  | 04/30 Venezuela Basket (Merey)   $74.91   +$3.93 cents | 06/11 NYMEX WTI Texas Intermediate July CLN24 $77.90  +$0.16 cents  | 06/11 ICE Brent August  BRNQ24    $81.92  +$0.29 cents  | 06/11 NYMEX Gasoline June RBN24  $2.40  +0.1%  |  06/11 NYMEX  Heating Oil July  RBN 24    $2.42  +0.3% | 06/11 Natural Gas July NGN24  $3.12   +7.7%  | 06/07 Active U.S. Rig Count (Oil & Gas)   594  -6  | 06/12 USD/MXN Mexican Peso   18.6503  (data live)  | 06/12 EUR/USD     1.0745 (data live)  | 06/12 US/Bs. (Bolivar)   $36.43850000 ( data BCV)

Caribbean Updates: SVG court sides with workers on vaccine mandate (March 23, 2023)

Just Caribbean Updates; SVG court sides with workers on vaccine mandate
Just Caribbean Updates

The St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ High Court ruled against the Gonsalves administration’s country’s Covid-19 vaccine mandate earlier this month, siding with public sector workers who challenged the requirement.

High Court judge, Justice Esco Henry, said the regulations, under which hundreds of public sector workers were deemed to have abandoned or resigned their jobs in December 2021, for failing to vaccinate, were “unlawful, unconstitutional and void.”

In its ruling, the High Court said public sector workers dismissed under the mandate never ceased to be employed and are entitled to all their wages and other benefits.

The government said it would appeal the decision, provoking protests from public sector unions, this week. Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, who is also the Minister of Legal Affairs, said retired jurists are among those questioning the implication of the decision of the court in the vaccine case. (Loop NewsLoop News)

Racial Justice

  • Racial tensions are growing alongside anti-government anger in Suriname, reports Global Voices. “While Suriname has been known as a tolerant and diverse society, both Creole and Hindustani minorities have always been present, with tensions surrounding the precariousness of each group’s equality, which in practice was not always ensured.

Climate Justice and Energy

  • Michael Lodge, a British lawyer and the head of the UN-affiliated International Seabed Authority, has been criticized by diplomats who claim he has been pushing them to accelerate the start of deep-sea mining. The criticism as the body is expected to receive an application for commercial seabed mining later this year. The authority, which is meeting in Jamaica this week, is still writing regulations that would govern the process, reports the Guardian.

  • As climate change induced extreme weather makes lengthy power outages increasingly common for Puerto Rico’s rickety grid, the small town of Adjuntas has taken matters into their own hands with a new cooperatively-owned solar microgrid that permits 14 local businesses to produce their own electricity, reports TIME.

  • But for some of those involved in the project, those solar panels and batteries also have political implications. “We want to help decolonize Puerto Rico,” says Arturo Massol-Deya, executive director of Casa Pueblo de Adjuntas. (TIME)

  • International lawyer Melinda Janki said the Guyanese government’s carbon credit deal with Hess Corporation violates the constitutional rights of Amerindians to their property and self-government. (Stabroek News)

  • “Strengthening disaster risk management and risk reduction measures, along with enhancing the adaptiveness of safety nets are key to prevent, mitigate and respond to the impacts of climate-related shocks and disasters,” said Joseph Easton Taylor-Farrell – Premier of Montserrat & Chairman of OECS at the Technical Workshop: Mainstreaming the Human Security Approach in OECS Member States

Human Rights

  • More than 530 people have been killed this year by gang violence in Haiti, the United Nations said this week. Many of the deaths were caused by snipers shooting victims at random. “Clashes between gangs are becoming more violent and more frequent, as they try to expand their territorial control throughout the capital and other regions by targeting people living in areas controlled by rivals,” UNHCHR spokeswoman Marta Hurtado said. (AFP)

  • An estimated 5.2 million people in Haiti will need humanitarian assistance this year, up from 4.9 million last year, according to new estimates from the European Commission.

Migration

  • The Dominican Republic has stepped up deportations of Haitians, expulsing thousands of people back to the crisis-racked country. Haitians say they are also often subjected to physical abuse by Dominican law enforcement amid an increasing climate of anti-Haitian prejudice in the DR, reports the Miami Herald. (See last Thursday’s Latin America Daily Briefing.)

  • There are an estimated 800 irregular migrants in the Dutch Caribbean island of Bonaire, says Caribsch Netwerk, adding, “Migration is one of the themes in upcoming local elections in Bonaire. For a residence permit, people will have to take a compulsory Papiamento test.” — Americas Migration Brief 

Gender Rights

  • The World Bank highlights five trends in gender equality in the Caribbean: Academically, women outperform men but struggle to transition from school to work; Despite rising employment rates, women still hold low-paying jobs; while female entrepreneurship rates are comparatively high, women are usually microentrepreneurs and need more access to finance; women in the Caribbean are often disproportionately affected by natural hazards, which can significantly impact their businesses and livelihoods; women’s political representation has significantly improved in the Caribbean, but their agency remains limited.

Human Rights

  • Over 90 nationals of Trinidad and Tobago, including at least 56 children, are unlawfully detained in life-threatening conditions as Islamic State (ISIS) suspects and family members in northeast Syria, Human Rights Watch said today. The government of Trinidad and Tobago has taken almost no action to help them return, denounced Human Rights Watch, last month.

Diplomacy

  • Several Caribbean countries will participate this week in the Blue Justice Conference 2023, billed by organizers as the largest global high-level event on transnational organized crime in the global fishing industry, according to the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism.

  • A bipartisan group of U.S. senators introduced a bill that would end the commercial blockade on Cuba while maintaining other U.S. laws that impose human rights-based restrictions on the island nation. The proposal, which has been perennially reintroduced since 2015, is unlikely to pass, but gives space for those seeking “rethink a policy toward Cuba that’s remained essentially static for more than half a century,” reports The Hill.

  • The Washington Office on Latin America and the Center for Democracy in the Americas welcomed “the senators’ continued efforts to push for an overhaul of U.S. policy towards Cuba as well as the bipartisan nature of both the bill and letter.”

Corruption

  • Dominican Republic authorities arrested 19 people in a sweeping corruption case that accuses a well-known former presidential candidate and three former officials of embezzling nearly $350 million and illegal campaign financing, reports the Associated Press.

Food Security

  • “Across the region, there is a growing movement of young, dynamic agri-entrepreneurs who are not only succeeding in agriculture, but are influencing their peers to get involved too,” writes Daphne Ewing-Chow in Forbes.

Culture

  • Guadaloupean author Maryse Condé has been long listed for the Booker Prize, for her novel The Gospel According to the New World. The “Grande Dame of Caribbean literature” is the oldest author ever nominated for the prize, reports Repeating Islands.

  • Throughout her four-decade literary career, Condé “has explored a global vision of the Black diaspora, and placed Caribbean life at the center,” writes Anderson Tepper in the New York Times.

  • The grapefruit is the first citrus fruit to originate in the Americas— on Barbados. The fruit reportedly emerged as an accidental cross between the Jamaican sweet orange and the Indonesian pomelo fruit, according to Forbes.

Opportunities

  • Apply to the UNLEASH Plus incubator program for early-stage social entrepreneurs.

  • Apply to the Inter-American Commission on Human RightsFellowship for the Rapporteurship on the Rights of Afro-descendants and against Racial Discrimination.

  • Sign-up for Climate Tracker’s Caribbean Climate Justice Brief

Events

  • 1 April — “Understanding Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Caribbean Context” — Virtual Workshop — ERAO SVG — Register

Just Caribbean Updates
https://caribbeannewsupdates.blogspot.com/

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