05/12  closing prices/ revised 05/16/2022 11:38 GMT  | 05/12   OPEC Basket $112.37  +3.34| 05/13    Mexico Basket (MME)  $106.36  +4.22| 03/31 ▲  Venezuela Basket $88.12  (Estimated OPEC) | 05/13   Brent July BRN00 $111.55  +4.10| 05/13 WTI  Texas Intermediate Jun CL00  $110.49  +4.36 | 05/13   Natural Gas May NGM22  $7.663  -0.076| 05/13 Gasoline Jun RBM22    $3.9578  +0.1661 |  05/13 Heating Oil  Jun  HOK22   $ 3.9212  -0.0051 |  06/13  Active U.S. Rig Count (Oil & Gas)  714  +9 | 05/16   USD/MXN Mexican Peso  $20.1013  Live data | 05/16  EUR/USD $1.0430  Live data | 05/16  USD/Bs. (Bolivar)  $4.77050000  |  –        05/12  closing prices/ revised 05/16/2022 11:38 GMT  | 05/12   OPEC Basket $112.37  +3.34| 05/13    Mexico Basket (MME)  $106.36  +4.22| 03/31 ▲  Venezuela Basket $88.12  (Estimated OPEC) | 05/13   Brent July BRN00 $111.55  +4.10| 05/13 WTI  Texas Intermediate Jun CL00  $110.49  +4.36 | 05/13   Natural Gas May NGM22  $7.663  -0.076| 05/13 Gasoline Jun RBM22    $3.9578  +0.1661 |  05/13 Heating Oil  Jun  HOK22   $ 3.9212  -0.0051 |  06/13  Active U.S. Rig Count (Oil & Gas)  714  +9 | 05/16   USD/MXN Mexican Peso  $20.1013  Live data | 05/16  EUR/USD $1.0430  Live data | 05/16  USD/Bs. (Bolivar)  $4.77050000  |  –        05/12  closing prices/ revised 05/16/2022 11:38 GMT  | 05/12   OPEC Basket $112.37  +3.34| 05/13    Mexico Basket (MME)  $106.36  +4.22| 03/31 ▲  Venezuela Basket $88.12  (Estimated OPEC) | 05/13   Brent July BRN00 $111.55  +4.10| 05/13 WTI  Texas Intermediate Jun CL00  $110.49  +4.36 | 05/13   Natural Gas May NGM22  $7.663  -0.076| 05/13 Gasoline Jun RBM22    $3.9578  +0.1661 |  05/13 Heating Oil  Jun  HOK22   $ 3.9212  -0.0051 |  06/13  Active U.S. Rig Count (Oil & Gas)  714  +9 | 05/16   USD/MXN Mexican Peso  $20.1013  Live data | 05/16  EUR/USD $1.0430  Live data | 05/16  USD/Bs. (Bolivar)  $4.77050000  |  –       

Just Caribbean Updates (April 22, 2022): CARICOM pushes back against international banking system

CARICOM pushes back against international banking system
 
CARICOM has banded together to inform the international banking system that its policies on banking in the region are unacceptable and there should be greater dialogue, reports Newsday. This week Barbados the hosted Caribbean Financial Access Roundtable, attended by CARICOM leaders. 
 
The full-day roundtable focused on concrete proposals to tackle the challenges that small island states face due to the continued reduction of the availability of trade and financial services for their economies and people. Chairwoman of the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services, Maxine Waters joined Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley to co-host. (U.S. Embassy)
 
Caribbean countries are “unflinching” in their support for international efforts to stop crime and terrorism, as well as the financing of them, Mottley stressed at the opening of the Caribbean Financial Access Roundtable. (St. Lucia Times)
 
Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Keith Rowly said the region faces undue sanctions based on suggestions that the regional system was vulnerable to terrorists and money launderers, an issue of grave concern for Caribbean countries. He said decisions about Caricom banks were being made by people who were not listening and Caricom had deemed the problem to be significant, reports the Trinidad Express.
 
The loss of correspondent banking, increase of the unbanked and disruption of the flow of remittance will pose serious threats to the economic and social stability of the Caribbean, said Guyanese Prime Minister Mark Phillips. (Department of Public Information)
 
Chair of the CARICOM Commission on the Economy Professor Avinash Persaud called for urgent reform on the way countries are blacklisted. Speaking during the opening session of the Caribbean Financial Access Roundtable, Persaud said small countries in the Caribbean were being unfairly blacklisted and that the current structure was actually encouraging money laundering as opposed to fighting it. (Barbados Today)
 
 
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African Union-CARICOM direct contact
 
President Paul Kagame of Rwanda paid official visits to Jamaica and Barbados last week. He was in Jamaica from April 13-15 and in Barbados from April 15-17. In both countries, Kagame spoke of the need to strengthen the direct contact between the Caribbean and Africa.
 
Kagame has called for solidarity among African and Caribbean countries saying they must work together to advance their common positions and interests globally. He spoke at a joint sitting of Jamaica’s Houses of Parliament and said Africa and the Caribbean must open direct lines of communication. (Caribbean National Weekly)
 
Closer contact between the Caribbean and Africa has also been the expressed goal of CARICOM leaders in recent years. But achieving a deeper, direct relationship between CARICOM and its member states and the African Union (AU) and its member states “will take planning and work to get it right. It will not be an overnight thing,” writes Elizabeth Morgan in the Jamaica Gleaner.
 
Diplomacy

A planned visit by the British Earl and Countess of Wessex to Grenada has been postponed just one day before the couple embark on their six-day platinum jubilee tour of the Caribbean. The unusual move comes weeks after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s controversial visit to the region, reports the Guardian. (See March 24’s JCU)

Prince Edward and his wife are thought to have had Grenada removed from their itinerary — whicgh also includes Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Antigua and Barbuda — over fears that it would be defined by topics such as republicanism and slavery reparations, as was Prince William and Kate Middleton’s recent trip, reports The Times. (See March 24’s JCU)

CARICOM states led the way in the Organization of American States on Thursday in a historic vote to suspend the status of the Russian Federation as a Permanent Observer to the Organization. “There is an important lesson to be learned from the votes of the 12 small CARICOM states and five of their counterparts from Central America,” writes Sir Ronald Sanders. “They showed that small states, too, have a legitimate and strong voice in the hemisphere, and the world, to speak out for right and for justice.”

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Ambassador I. Rhonda King reflects on her country’s membership of the Security Council (2020-21), covering the role of small states in the Council, the genesis of the A3 plus 1, the role of regional organisations and the changing nature of security. (Interactive Dialogues
The U.S. and Cuba held direct migration talks this week for the first time in four years. The U.S. Biden administration seeks to stop an overwhelming surge of migrants at the southern border, in which Cubans have become the second-largest group of those seeking unauthorized entry through Mexico, reports the Washington Post.

Democratic Governance

Haitian President Jovenel Moïse’s violent, early-morning murder “embodied and exacerbated the two challenges that most stubbornly torment Haiti: a broken political system and the deep connections between politicians and criminals,” writes Renata Segura in Foreign Affairs.

“In addition to highlighting the country’s political dysfunction, the assassination reflected the murky dealings and webs of impunity that unite Haiti’s visible world of politics and business with its underworld of heavily armed gangs, crooked police officers, and criminal syndicates.”

Debt, Finance and Economics

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is making Cuba’s three-year-old foreign exchange crisis worse as import costs jump. The situation is undermining the island’s incipient economic recovery and threatening more hardship for residents, reports Reuters.

Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne recently chaired a meeting of a United Nations multi-nation group to begin discussions to establish the Multi-Dimensional Vulnerability Index. This new device is intended to replace the GNP per capita device now utilized to determine eligibility of states for concessional financing. (Antigua News Room)

Human Rights

Angry protesters set up blazing barricades in Kingston’s Denham Town after a man was killed in an alleged confrontation with Jamaican soldiers, reports the Jamaica Gleaner. Controversial shootings are not an unfamiliar narrative in Denham Town, which has a storied history of gang warfare and confrontation with the security forces. The Jamaican military said it had commenced an internal investigation into the death and committed to cooperate with INDECOM.

Human rights advocates are urging Jamaica’s government to revisit its policy ban on the employment of ex-convicts in the public sector if it is serious about rehabilitation and reintegration, reports the Jamaica Gleaner. The call is being made against the backdrop of the recent dismissal of an ex-inmate who secured employment as a judge’s orderly at the Supreme Court but was quickly relieved of his duties after it was uncovered that he had been previously convicted of robbery with aggravation.

Climate Justice and Energy

Southern Caribbean energy producers are on the frontline of a global geopolitical realignment. “In the decade ahead, the Southern Caribbean is likely to play a much more prominent role on the global energy map, something local leaders will have to weigh carefully,” write Georges A. Fauriol and Scott B. MacDonald in Global Americans.

The University of the West Indies published “10 urgent takeaways for the Caribbean from the UN IPCC’s latest report on climate change.”

Guyana’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “systematically and knowingly” violated the law, according to  environmentalist Simone Mangal-Joly, who said the environmental permit issued for ExxonMobil’s Yellowtail Development Project is “illegal and invalid” as a result. (Stabroek News)

Drug Policy

The Grenada government said it would hold its final public consultation on the decriminalisation of marijuana on Friday as it moves ahead with plans to amend the existing Drug Act as part of the initiative. (Nation News)
Racial Justice and Diaspora

The New York-based National African American Reparations Commission (NAARC) said it would hold a special dialogue on Friday with members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Reparations Commission (CRC). (Caribbean National Weekly)

“BlackTalk,” by Barbados native Andy Knight, offers an “ethnic, modern, inclusive and informative” take on the Black experience for listeners of all backgrounds. (University of Alberta)

Events

25 April — The Fight Against Illicit Trafficking of Firearms in Latin America and the Caribbean — ABA and Caribbean Policy Consortium. Register here.
Opportunities

Support campaign to help the United Maroon Peoples (UMP) represent their communities/peoples/nations to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII).

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