Caribbean News Round-up

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Central Bank says Trinidad officially in recession

Downtown Trinidad[CMC] – The Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago Friday said that the oil-rich twin island Republic is “officially in a recession” after it failed to post any economic growth for any quarter of 2015.

Central Bank Governor, Jwala Rambarran, addressing the Fifth Monetary Policy Forum organised by the Downtown Owners and Merchants said the country is “facing austere economic circumstances.

“The economic priorities in 2016 must be aimed at supporting a firm enough recovery through appropriate monetary and fiscal policies, setting forth a medium-term framework which balances consuming, saving and investing energy wealth.:

He said that the appropriate monetary and fiscal policies can only come from the Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance working together.

 

HE’S A TERRORIST

Ibrahim[Trinidad Express] – In a first of its kind ruling, national Kareem Ibrahim has been declared a terrorist by the Trinidad and Tobago High Court.

Ibrahim was convicted in the United States and sentenced to life in prison in 2012 for plotting to blow up the John F Kennedy Airport in New York.

Justice Nadia Kangaloo yesterday granted an application which was made by the Office of the Attorney General and the Central Authority Department under Section 22(b) of the Anti-Terrorism Act (2005) to have Ibrahim, 70, listed as a terrorist and to put a freeze on his assets.

The order came just days after the application was made at the Hall of Justice in Port of Spain as the State seeks to implement existing legislation to combat the issue of terrorism given the increase in terrorist activities internationally.

 

Venezuela urged to hold free and fair election

[AFP] – Spain on Friday urged Venezuela to hold fair, transparent elections on Sunday and expressed concern over the conditions under which the polls will be held.

“What I would like…is that they will be fair, inclusive and transparent and that all the parties involved can work in equal conditions,” said Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria.

She said Madrid was “concerned” by a warning from the Organization of American States, a regional grouping, which recently questioned whether the elections in the former Spanish colony will be fair.

In October, Venezuela rejected a request from the OAS to send an observer mission to monitor the elections.

OAS secretary general Luis Almagro has warned that opposition parties are having trouble getting air time on the media ahead of the vote in the crisis-hit major oil producer.

For the first time in 16 years of “Bolivarian revolution” under late president Hugo Chavez and his successor Nicolas Maduro, polls show their rivals could now win a majority in Venezuela’s National Assembly.

But many analysts fear the government will refuse to recognise its defeat, and the country could be engulfed in violence.

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