CARIBBEAN NEWS: December 27th – January 2nd, 2015

MISS WORLD CARIBBEAN FIGHTS AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE—12/27/14
Rafieya Husain, Miss Guyana and recently crowned Miss World Caribbean, is using her fame as one of the ten finalists in the Miss World Pageant, to battle against domestic violence. She is the first finalist from Guyana in over 40 years. She won a Beauty with a Purpose award as well for her commitment to ending domestic violence.

PRIVATE EQUITY GOES TO CARIBBEAN RESORTS AS CANADIAN BANKS LEAVE—12/28/14
Private equity firms are raising the level of their investments in Caribbean resort properties as traditional lenders in the region decrease their operations. Canadian banks, including Bank of Nova Scotia and Royal Bank of Canada, close some businesses in the area; private equity firms based in the United States spent a total of US$329 million on hotel development in 2014. This was the highest such investment in ten years.

CARIBBEAN’S SHARE OF GLOBAL TOURISM DROPS—12/29/14
According to a study from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), tourism in the Caribbean region is declining. The study found that tourist arrivals and spending are driven by price and income factors in the source markets. As price and income elasticity for tourism decreased since 2008, there has been a statistically significant change for high-end destinations.

SINGER MIGHTY SPARROW NAMED “PERSON OF THE YEAR”—12/30/14
A magazine based in the United States has named calypso singer Slinger Francisco, known as “The Mighty Sparrow,” as its “person of the year.” He was chosen for the virtues he exemplified in 2014, according to Herman Hall, founder and editor of New York-based Everybody’s magazine. He was selected by the magazine’s readers and its social media friends from among many leaders of Caribbean heritage.

EUROPEAN UNION PROJECT AIDS EMPLOYERS TO IMPLEMENT EPA—12/31/14
A funding project of the European Union (EU) will help employers in the Caribbean to implement the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), which was signed in 2008. The project involves some 1.71 million pounds and will be lead by the International Labor Organization (ILO). It will focus on enhancing the capacity of the Caribbean employers Federation to comply with the agreement.

GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK PARDONS TWO CARIBBEAN-BORN EX-CONVICTS—01/01/15
Andrew Cuomo, the Governor of New York, pardoned two ex-convicts who were born in the Caribbean. Cuban-born  Antonio Argibay, 62, and Guyanese-born Alvaro Khalil Cumberbatch, 33, were pardoned from robbery and drug-related charges. These charges threatened the men’s immigration status. Cuomo cited the positive and active engagement of the men in their community since their release from prison as a reason for their pardons.