Essential Afro-Latino/ Caribbean Current Events

Yehuda

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Jack Rocha is the first black woman elected federal deputy in Espírito Santo

The president of the Workers' Party in Espírito Santo takes office in the National Congress in 2023 and promises to stick to the anti-racist and feminist agenda

Eduarda Mouro
Vitória | October 3, 2022 | 00:39


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Having been born in Colatina, Rocha has had a strong presence in the Workers' Party throughout the state. Photo: Instagram

Known for active participation in social movements, the president of the Workers' Party in Espírito Santo, Jack Rocha, is the first black woman elected federal deputy in the history of the state. With 51,317 votes, she was chosen this Sunday (2) to occupy the seat in the Chamber of Deputies.

Rocha says that “this moment represents, to me, the strength of resistance and the configuration of democracy. I can say that the majority of the Brazilian and Espírito Santo population is now being represented, a majority formed by women and black people”.

The Workers' Party candidate was the first woman to ever preside over the party in Espírito Santo and, according to her, her struggle has always been to bring social movements into institutional spaces, “transforming Brazil from slavery into a country of opportunities, without racism and without sexism”.

Among the priorities as a federal deputy, Jack points out the creation of policies to encourage the participation of women and black people in public spaces. “It's a big challenge, but I count on the base of my party and on the support of Espírito Santo society to represent the needs and fight for the development of the state”, she says.

“I would like to be remembered as a local woman who fought to eradicate racism in the state and to reduce violence against women in Espírito Santo. My election is not a milestone for myself, but a milestone for democracy in Espírito Santo”.

A militant life

Rocha was born in Colatina, in the north of Espírito Santo, and has always been attentive to the causes of minorities. She joined the Workers' Party in 2004 and, in the following year, took over the Municipal Press Office of Colatina.

After standing out in the countryside, she was nominated to compose the Assistant Training Office of the Workers' Party in Espírito Santo and, in 2010, she moved to Vitória. In the capital, she helped form the Youth Office of the Unified Workers' Central (CUT) and became a founding member of the State Youth Council.

She was also manager of the State Government's Solidarity Economy and Microcredit during the administration of Governor Paulo Hartung and, in 2013, was elected the first youth representative of Espírito Santo in the Workers' Party's National Directory.

In 2018, she ran for governor of Espírito Santo and finished third, with 142,654 votes.

Soon after, she was the first black woman elected president of the Workers' Party in Espírito Santo, and ran for vice mayor along João Coser in Vitória in the 2020 elections, where they reached the second round.

Jack Rocha is the first black woman elected federal deputy in Espírito Santo
 

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Black caucus reaches the Legislative Assembly of Rio Grande do Sul and the Chamber of Deputies

Thiago Medina | October 02, 2022

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Elected to the City Council in 2020, members of the black caucus reached the Assembly and the Chamber | Photo: Leonardo Contursi/CMPA

Rio Grande do Sul elected black women in both the state and national parliaments for the first time in history

One of the phenomena of the 2020 municipal election was repeated in the regional and national dispute in Rio Grande do Sul. Of the five black councilors in Porto Alegre, three were effectively elected to the Assembly and one to the Federal Chamber.

It will be the first time that Rio Grande do Sul will have a black woman both as a representative in the National Congress and in the state Assembly. Bruna Rodrigues (Communist Party of Brazil) and Laura Sito (Workers' Party) entered the Rio Grande do Sul parliament, with Karen Santos (Socialism and Liberty Party) as an alternate; Matheus Gomes (Socialism and Liberty Party) also secured a seat as state deputy. Daiana Santos (Communist Party of Brazil) was elected federal deputy.

Gomes was the fifth most voted, with 82,401 votes. Bruna, who puts the Communist Party of Brazil back in the Assembly, obtained 51,865 votes. Laura entered the Assembly with a total of 36,705 votes. Karen amassed 40,553 votes, being the first alternate.

Daiana Santos (Communist Party of Brazil) gained a seat in the Chamber of Deputies, receiving 88,107 votes.

Shortly after the results, three of the newly elected members expressed themselves on Twitter, praising the arrival of the black caucus in the Rio Grande do Sul Legislature:







Rio Grande do Sul also elected Denise Pessôa (Workers' Party) as federal deputy, with 44,241 votes. The current president of the Caxias do Sul City Council, the black councilwoman is currently in her fourth term.

Black caucus reaches the Legislative Assembly of Rio Grande do Sul and the Chamber of Deputies
 

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“A Quilombo in the parliaments”: 26 leaders of the black movement are elected in Brazil

Erika Hilton (PSOL-SP) and Benedita da Silva (PT-RJ) are among the anti-racist activists elected federal deputies

Gabriela Moncau
São Paulo | October 04, 2022 | 12:08


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According to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, 56% of the Brazilian population is black. Photo: Igor Carvalho

Of the 120 candidacies linked to the black movement and supported by the “Quilombo in the parliaments” campaign, an initiative of the Black Coalition for Rights, 26 were elected in the 2022 election. Eight will occupy seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 18 in legislative assemblies in the states of Bahia, Minas Gerais, Pará, Paraná, Pernambuco, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Norte, Rio Grande do Sul and São Paulo. Together, the elected candidates received nearly four million votes.

The federal deputies are Valmir Assunção (PT-BA), Dandara Tonantzin (PT-MG), Carol Dartora (PT-PR), Benedita da Silva (PT-RJ), Henrique Vieira (PSOL-RJ), Talíria Petrone (PSOL-RJ), Denise Pessôa (PT-RS) and Erika Hilton (PSOL). The latter, the second most voted Socialism and Liberty Party candidate in São Paulo, will be the first black trans woman to occupy a seat in the National Congress.

“In the entire state of Rio de Janeiro, passionate people took to the streets to fight fundamentalism, fight racism, celebrate diversity and open a window to the future”, said Vieira on his social network. Brasília will have, he said, “a black, artist, left-wing pastor, as the result of a collective project”.

Other candidates active in the black movement, such as Douglas Belchior and Tamires Sampaio, both candidates for the federal legislature for the Workers' Party in São Paulo, did not get enough votes.

Among the elected state deputies, is Renato Freitas (PT-PR) who came to suffer death threats and accusation of breach of decorum during his term as as councilman in Curitiba, for having participated in a demonstration protesting the deaths of Moïse Kabagambe and Durval Teófilo Filho.

With 92,000 votes, Olívia Santana (Communist Party of Brazil), who was the first black state deputy in Bahia, was reelected and is now going to her second term. In the Legislative Assembly of Bahia (ALBA), located in the blackest city outside Africa, Olivia will be — again — the only black woman state representative.

“We are collective beings. And it is as collective beings that we will enter the parliament”, said — at the launch of the “Quilombo in the parliaments” campaign — the executive secretary of the Terreiro People's Council of Rio Grande do Sul, Iyá Sandrali.

“A black movement project for Brazil”

With the objective of reducing white hegemony in the legislative power, electing leaders of the black movement and “contributing to a country project aligned with the fight against racism”, the initiative supported 120 candidacies in 24 Brazilian states. They were nominated by some of the 250 entities that make up the Coalition.

The strategy of expanding the presence of black movement activists in the state apparatus began in 2020 and, in 2022, takes place for the first time in general elections. The actions involved support with communication and the search for funds for the candidacies, which were from Workers' Party, the Socialism and Liberty Party, the Brazilian Socialist Party, the Communist Party of Brazil, the Sustainability Network, the Democratic Labour Party, the Popular Unit and the Green Party.

“It is not about fighting for a country project for black people, but for a black movement project for the whole of Brazil. This struggle is not only the oldest in this country: it is the mother of all struggles against inequality and social injustice”, explains the manifesto of “Quilombo in the parliaments”.

“We, as a movement, play an important role in social monitoring and in building public policies”, says Antônio Crioulo — from the National Coordination for the Articulation of Rural Black Quilombola Communities (CONAQ) — in an article in which the organization supports candidacies from these traditional communities. He concludes by saying: “but the space of representation with the pen implements this will in the processes of policy construction and monitoring”.

Of the total of 14,712 self-declared black candidates in this 2022 election, 525 were elected last Sunday. This number represents an increase of 10.78% compared to 2018.

Editing: Rodrigo Durão Coelho

“A Quilombo in the parliaments”: 26 leaders of the black movement are elected in Brazil
 

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Access to farmlands for Barbados as relations deepen with Guyana


- Pres. Ali says the friendship a good model for CARICOM

By Vishani Ragobeer
Vishani@newsroom.gy
On May 27, 2022 Last updated May 27, 2022


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President Dr. Irfaan Ali (centre) shows Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Mottley (second right) Guyanese produce at the recently concluded agri-investment forum and expo (Photo: Office of the President/ May 19, 2022)

Access to farmlands, promoting tourism opportunities and supporting young people are among the key efforts towards deepening a ‘win- win’ partnership between Guyana and Barbados.

This is according to President Dr. Irfaan Ali who also beleives that this can become a development model for the wider Caribbean.

The underpinning message as President Ali delivered the feature address at the opening of Barbados’ Agro-Fest on Friday, was that Caribbean countries need stronger ties with each other.

He believes that Guyana and Barbados are already illustrating how those deeper ties can yield significant benefits for the region.

“…We are convinced that once we can show the results of this model, it is a model that can be replicated across the region to create a win-win scenario and position for us,” the Guyanese Head of State told those persons gathered at the Bardados Queen’s Park.

He added, “We cannot see ourselves as competitors.”

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President Dr Irfaan Ali, today, met with Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley at her official residence. Prime Minister Mottley was joined by the Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Lisa Cummins and the Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Dale Marshall (Photo: President Irfaan Ali/ Facebook page/ May 27, 2022)

Already, the two countries are collaborating on numerous agricultural initiatives in keeping with the Caribbean Community’s (CARICOM’s) ambition of cutting regional food imports by 25 per cent by 2025.

With the two countries working together towards this goal, President Ali related that young people from Barbados were in Guyana, benefiting from training on establishing and maintaining shade houses.

In another month’s time, the first tranche of Guyana-made shade houses will be shipped to Barbados and those young people will be tasked with setting them up.

Additionally, the Guyanese Head-of-State announced that 50 acres of land in Guyana will be allocated to young people in Barbados for agricultural purposes.

This comes as Guyana, earlier this year, launched a new youth agriculture and entrepreneurial initiative, wherein young people are producing high-end vegetables in shade houses.

The black belly sheep initiative, where sheep from Barbados are being imported in Guyana, is another key agriculture partnership between the two countries.

Under this initiative, another 50 acres of land, the President said, have been allocated to young people.

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President Dr Irfaan Ali and Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Dr Keith Rowley during a visit to the shade houses constructed at NAREI, on the East Coast of Demerara (Photo: DPI/May 21, 2022)

While increased food production is key, President Ali reminded the gathering that the two countries are establishing a food terminal that will allow for the easy transport of food between the two countries.

That terminal is also expected to serve as a transshipment point for food exports to other regional and extra- regional territories.

Agricultural initiatives, however, are not the only areas of deepening cooperation between the two countries. Tourism is another area of collaboration.

“We are working on merging our tourism product and we are working on operational efficiency and tourism efficiency by marketing Guyana and Barbados as a singular tourism product.

“We are looking at creating a winning formula for both Guyana and Barbados,” Dr. Ali emphasised.

Though it was previously stated that the two countries will push each other’s tourism products, the President announced that Guyana has offered accommodation to Barbados’ tourism agencies in its Consulate Office in the Brazilian state of Roraima.

Through this arrangement, Barbados would gain access to a large population and attract those people to the eastern Caribbean island.

Effectively, Dr. Ali said, a direct link between northern Brazil and Barbados would be created.

While the two governments are engaged in a raft of initiatives, the Guyanese Head of State also noted that emphasis has been placed on connecting the two countries’ private sectors in a bid to spur mutually beneficial investments.

Meanwhile, in brief remarks, Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley backed President Ali’s assertions, sharing her belief that the “time is right” for the two countries to move forward.

She related that the two countries are now also exploring a partnership in prawn and shrimp farming.

She underscored that all the initiatives must be underpinned by action on resolving regional transportation issues and the importation of products.

Access to farmlands for Barbados as relations deepen with Guyana
 

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Black caucus reaches the Legislative Assembly of Rio Grande do Sul and the Chamber of Deputies

Thiago Medina | October 02, 2022

loc_4248__1_-17647825.jpg

Elected to the City Council in 2020, members of the black caucus reached the Assembly and the Chamber | Photo: Leonardo Contursi/CMPA

Rio Grande do Sul elected black women in both the state and national parliaments for the first time in history

One of the phenomena of the 2020 municipal election was repeated in the regional and national dispute in Rio Grande do Sul. Of the five black councilors in Porto Alegre, three were effectively elected to the Assembly and one to the Federal Chamber.

It will be the first time that Rio Grande do Sul will have a black woman both as a representative in the National Congress and in the state Assembly. Bruna Rodrigues (Communist Party of Brazil) and Laura Sito (Workers' Party) entered the Rio Grande do Sul parliament, with Karen Santos (Socialism and Liberty Party) as an alternate; Matheus Gomes (Socialism and Liberty Party) also secured a seat as state deputy. Daiana Santos (Communist Party of Brazil) was elected federal deputy.

Gomes was the fifth most voted, with 82,401 votes. Bruna, who puts the Communist Party of Brazil back in the Assembly, obtained 51,865 votes. Laura entered the Assembly with a total of 36,705 votes. Karen amassed 40,553 votes, being the first alternate.

Daiana Santos (Communist Party of Brazil) gained a seat in the Chamber of Deputies, receiving 88,107 votes.

Shortly after the results, three of the newly elected members expressed themselves on Twitter, praising the arrival of the black caucus in the Rio Grande do Sul Legislature:







Rio Grande do Sul also elected Denise Pessôa (Workers' Party) as federal deputy, with 44,241 votes. The current president of the Caxias do Sul City Council, the black councilwoman is currently in her fourth term.

Black caucus reaches the Legislative Assembly of Rio Grande do Sul and the Chamber of Deputies

I'm surprised by this because isn't RGDS heavy Bolsonaro territory?.... This is positive. I'm also surprised this is only the first time Espirito Santo has a black representstive considering it is in the Nordeste... All positives though. Black population in Brazil realizing their voting power.
 

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I'm surprised by this because isn't RGDS heavy Bolsonaro territory?.... This is positive. I'm also surprised this is only the first time Espirito Santo has a black representstive considering it is in the Nordeste... All positives though. Black population in Brazil realizing their voting power.

Espírito Santo is in the Southeast
 

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PetroCaribe – Beginning of the End, or End of the Beginning?


October 12, 2022 12:38 pm

PetroCaribe is in the news again, with a former Jamaica energy minister and the current president of the island’s manufacturers...

PetroCaribe is in the news again, with a former Jamaica energy minister and the current president of the island’s manufacturers and exporters association calling on the Andrew Holness administration to swiftly reinstate its oil pact with Venezuela under the PetroCaribe Agreement.

The calls were aired in print in The Gleaner under the headline: ‘Burdening Energy costs trigger yet another call to re-engage PetroCaribe talks.’

Like everywhere across the Caribbean, from Jamaica to Guyana and Barbados, the rupture and necessary realignment of energy supplies for certainty is demanding that governments and private sector entities ‘wheel-and-come-again’ on the issue of where they source energy from, most demonstrably ready to put aside and even dump previously-long-held positions that created political and ideological barriers in the way of what should be normal trade.

Today, all CARICOM nations, including Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad & Tobago, have had to take a brand-new look at their energy policies, whether from a standpoint of the new and burgeoning oil-based Guianas, or the necessary readjustment policies forced upon the region’ once-upon-a-time sole petroleum exporter, Trinidad & Tobago.

But CARICOM’s energy problems didn’t start with the COVID Supply Chain hiccups, or the fighting in Ukraine.

Instead, it goes back decades ago to the mid-to-late 20th Century, when the world’s petroleum industry was taken-over by seven huge oil multinationals, mainly based in the USA, which manipulated world oil prices, with Saudi Arabia and other member-states of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Counties (OPEC) through a global oil cartel called The Seven Sisters.

The cartel comprised vertically integrated oil companies that dominated the world oil industry from the 1920s to the 1970s, five in the UDSA and two in Europe.

The five American companies were: Standard Oil Company (New Jersey) which became Exxon in 1972; Standard Oil Company (California) that was later renamed Chevron; the Texas Company which became Texaco in 1959; Socony-Vacuum Oil Company which became Socony Mobil in 1955 and then renamed Mobil in 1966; and Gulf Oil Company.

Chevron bought Gulf in 1984 and in 1998 Exxon and Mobil merged to form Exxon-Mobil.

The other two Big Oil sisters were the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (which changed its name to Anglo-Iranian in 1935 and to British Petroleum in 1954) and the Royal Dutch/Shell group.

The British government held a majority share in British Petroleum (BP) from 1914 to the 1980s, when Margaret Thatcher’s conservative government sold its shares to private investors.

Although ownership was divided between Dutch (60%) and British (40%) interests, Shell had its operating and commercial headquarters in London and was therefore legally regarded as a British company.

The internecine relationship between the Seven Sisters was indeed incestuous, mothers mixing-and-matching to create brothers and sister by way of new offshoots for territorial control in different parts of the whole wide world — until circa 2000, when Venezuela and Cuba decided to challenge the prevailing much-more-sophisticated Status Quo at OPEC.

Presidents Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro led a move that created the PetroCaribe mechanism that countered the extractive over-pricing the oil majors had traditionally forced on non-oil producing nations in the developing world, particularly in this case, the wider Caribbean grouping of English, French, Dutch and Spanish-speaking nations washed by the Caribbean Sea, including along the South American coastline.

Through the Petrocaribe Agreement, Venezuela offered petroleum and related products at amazingly low prices compared to that charged by traditional American and European suppliers — and most CARICOM nations (except Trinidad & Tobago and Barbados) joined the pact and benefitted greatly from provision of high-quality, low-priced petrol and petroleum products.

All was going well, and the CARICOM nations involved felt okay with the long-term low-interest repayment arrangements involved – until the US started offering Shale and Fracking gas to CARICOM member-states, as an alternative to PetroCaribe.

None other than then US Vice President Joe Biden summoned CARICOM leaders to Washington in 2015 to urge them to dump PetroCaribe fuel and adopt US gas, totally ignoring the cost to governments and people of hurried conversion of energy supplies from oil to gas.

With the 2016 US Presidential elections around the corner, the CARICOM governments politely asked Biden to put the issue on hold.

Five years later in March 2019, with another US Presidential election approaching, then President Donald Trump decided he would score big where Biden failed and invited five CARICOM leaders to Mar-a-Lago to essentially open the way for dismantling the Petrocaribe Agreement — from within.

Jamaica was among the first to have frozen PetroCaribe’s ability to continue to help oil the Jamaican economy affordably, the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Haiti and Saint Lucia also following-up with application of restrictions on Venezuela’s embassies in the respective countries.

The US-backed minority ‘Lima Group’ of Organization of American States (OAS) member-nations applied Washington’s imposed sanctions against Venezuela with more verve, including the CARICOM five, led by Jamaica and Saint Lucia.

Trump would lose office in 2020, but President Biden was no less inclined to preside over Petrocaribe’s end, eventually banning trade with Venezuela (and Cuba) in US currency, thereby effectively preventing CARICOM nations from paying Venezuela for PetroCaribe deliveries, as that would now be declared illegal by Washington – and with all the implied threats of punishment.

The Biden sanctions on PetroCaribe effectively killed the implementation of the agreement, but it’s spirit and intent were never weakened – and Caribbean governments and people, facing the hard and harsh realities of the multiplicity of energy problems today, are starting to re-think their earlier forced hands-off position voluntarily adopted under the looming threat of the cumulative effects of US sanctions.

Today, Jamaica’s manufacturers and exporters are verily calling on the Holness administration to take a page from President Biden and bite his lips, virtually swallow his vomit, and send clear friendship signals to Caracas, never mind 2019.

This after President Biden, more than twice this year (in June ahead of hosting the Summit of the Americas and last week following the blowing-up of Russia’s pipelines to Europe through Germany.

So, is it the beginning of the end of US efforts to kill PetroCaribe, or the end of the efforts began by then Vice President Biden in 2015 to force CARICOM nations to dump a good economic deal with Venezuela, for geopolitical reasons.

Recent developments suggest both questions can have the same answer.

PetroCaribe – Beginning of the End, or End of the Beginning?
 

trap101

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Espírito Santo is in the Southeast
My bad I fukked up.:hubie:.. could've easily looked at a map too.. ...... on another note who is shawty in your pic? Eventhough her choice of attire is questionable.... :eldiego:
 

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Suriname legalizes illegal border crossing with Guyana


October 23, 2022
By
CMC News

The government of Suriname has declared the illegal border crossing in Nickerie with neighboring Guyana, an official border crossing on Friday.

The authorities have tolerated this informal border crossing for decades as thousands of Surinamese and Guyanese made use of it because of its convenience. Dubbed the ‘Back Track route,’ the crossing with small speedboats is faster than using the official ferry connection and in turn, boat owners, among others, had a means of living by transporting people and goods via the route.

Over the years, successive governments have made attempts to legalize the Back Track route because of the high level of illegality along it, including the smuggling of goods, drugs, and weapons as well as the illegal trafficking of persons.

Now government agencies such as the Immigration Service, police, and customs will be permanently present at the designated border crossing point.

“The illegal cross-border activities that took place on the ‘Back Track’ route in Nickerie are now a thing of the past. There will now be orderly border traffic for the benefit of Suriname and Guyana,” President Chandrikapersad Santokhi said on Friday during his visit to Nickerie.

The head of state indicated that the route, which connects the two countries, will have many benefits for both.

Santokhi urged the boat operators to follow the instructions of the authorities stationed at the location.

“We are convinced that this back track meets an enormous need. But as a government, it remains our job and responsibility to ensure that things are done safely and in accordance with legal regulations,” said the head of state.

According to him, this will bring many benefits to Suriname, especially in the tourism sector.

The president called on the residents of Nickerie to develop such activities that should result in increasing the earning capacity of the area.


CMC/

Suriname legalizes illegal border crossing with Guyana
 

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Barbados Seeking To Forge Stronger Links With Algeria


by Sheena Forde-Craigg | Oct 21, 2022 | Top Stories

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Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Dr. The Most Honourable Jerome Walcott (right), greets Algeria’s Ambassador to Barbados, Abdelkader Hadjazi, at their courtesy call, today. (S. Forde-Craigg/BGIS)

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Dr. The Most Honourable Jerome Walcott, has signalled Barbados’ interest in forging stronger ties with Algeria.

Senator Walcott expressed this today during a courtesy call with the new non-resident Ambassador of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria to Barbados, Abdelkader Hadjazi, at the Ministry’s Culloden Road office.

He noted that Barbados and Algeria have had diplomatic ties for over 40 years and most of their interaction has occurred in the multilateral fora, including the African Union, International Labour Organization, United Nations, and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

Ambassador Hadjazi, who resides in Caracas, Venezuela, complimented Barbados for its clean environment, organisation, and security, and agreed to strengthen ties.

He noted that Algeria is the largest nation by area in Africa and the Arab world, and there is an innovative agricultural initiative in the desert, which makes up most of that country.

The two envoys also spoke about COVID-19 vaccines, oil and gas, renewable energy, tourism, and the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27).

Possible areas of cooperation between the two countries include a double taxation agreement, an air services agreement, a bilateral investment treaty, and a visa abolition agreement.

Also present at the courtesy call were Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Simone Rudder; Foreign Service Officer, Craig Brathwaite, and Director of the Barbados Language Centre at the Barbados Community College, Paul Blackman.

Barbados and Algeria formally established diplomatic relations on April 18, 1979.

Barbados Seeking To Forge Stronger Links With Algeria
 

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Cuba to maintain support for Jamaica's healthcare system

Published: Saturday | October 22, 2022 | 11:05 AM

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The documents were signed by Jamaica’s Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton and the Minister of Public Health of Cuba, Dr José Angel Portal Miranda on the sidelines of an international heath conference in Cuba this week. -Contributed photo

Jamaica and Cuba have signed documents aimed at maintaining cooperation on healthcare through the provision of eye care services and health professionals for the local public health system.

The two governments have signed a letter of intent for a technical cooperation agreement with the Cuban Government for the continued provision of a medical brigade of health professionals.

A similar letter was signed for the renewal of an agreement for the operation of an Ophthalmology Centre, to continue supporting eye health for Jamaicans.

The signing was done by Jamaica's Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton and the Minister of Public Health of Cuba, Dr José Angel Portal Miranda on the sidelines of an international heath conference in Cuba this week, a ministry statement said.

Tufton said the medical brigade from Cuban mainly provides nurses to assist in public hospitals. He noted that the eye care agreement is being renewed after it was suspended primarily because of COVID-19.

"I am very excited about the second agreement because we intend, hopefully, to expand the services, not just to the curative measures, but also to prevention in our schools,” Tufton said, noting that the Jamaica/Cuba cooperation reflects Cuba's commitment to serving public health as a public good.

“I want to commend you and the people and the government and the leadership of the Republic of Cuba for this tradition, a tradition that we in Jamaica appreciate and have benefited from and which I believe the world has benefited from,” he said.

In response, the Cuban health minister noted that Jamaica would continue to enjoy his country's support. “These two letters of intent will help us to deepen even more the relationship of our two countries. You can always count on the solidarity of the Cuban people."

The letters of intent lay the foundation for the negotiation and implementation of the full terms of the technical cooperation agreements.

The first cooperation agreement for the establishment of a Centre of Excellence was signed between the two states in July 2009 and the following year, Jamaica welcomed the first of four medical brigades from Cuba.

The Jamaica-Cuba Eye Care Programme was launched in January 2010.

Between 2010 and 2019, more than 35,000 Jamaican patients were examined.

At least 17,000 persons have had avoidable blindness averted through the programme, the ministry statement said.

Over time, the cooperation agreements also allowed for the interweaving of Cuban medical professionals into all levels of Jamaica's health system.

Cuba to maintain support for Jamaica's healthcare system
 

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2022 National Meeting of the Afro-Argentine Community

encuentro_nacional_afroargentino_2022_4.jpeg


With the presence of Victoria Donda, head of the National Institute Against Discrimination, Xenophobia and Racism (Instituto Nacional contra la Discriminación, la Xenofobia y el Racismo, INADI), the 2nd National Meeting of the Afro-Argentine Community — organized by the National Commission for the Historical Recognition of the Afro-Argentine Community of the INADI — concluded.

Published on Wednesday, November 09, 2022

After two days of conferences, training and debate at the Metropolitan University for Education and Work (UMET), the National Meeting of the Afro-Argentine Community organized by INADI concluded with an act for the National Day of Afro-Argentines and African Culture.

“We need to abandon the racist matrix of the State inherited from colonial times that makes the Afro-descendant community invisible: that is why we promote the continuation of this public policy”, said Victoria Donda at the closing ceremony in reference to the National Meeting where Afro-Argentine organizations from all over the country participate in the preparation of public policy proposals that will later be presented to the Argentine State for 2023-2024.

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Victoria Donda closing the 2nd National Meeting with Afro-Argentine organizations from all over the country.

The presentation of the closing panel was in charge of Federico Pita, Director of the Commission for the Historical Recognition of the Afro-Argentine Community; participants also included Salome Grunblatt, Director of Equity of the Secretariat of Human Rights of the Nation; Miriam Lewin, head of the Audiovisual Communication Services Public Defender's Office; and Alberto Croce, National Director of articulation with civil society of the National Ministry of Education.

“A true anti-racist policy is not only one that has the Afro-Argentine community as its addressee, but also one that has its representatives as protagonists and decision makers. That is why the presence and participation of community leaders from all over the country allows us to say that we are on the path of reparation and racial justice”, said Federico Pita, Director of the INADI Commission for the Historical Recognition of the Afro-Argentine Community.

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Federico Pita, director of the National Commission for the Historical Recognition of the Afro-Argentine Community.

After a first day of work and debate, the second day began with the resumption of the work tables where the axes of the International Decade for People of African Descent were addressed: “Recognition, Development and Justice”. Then Wendy Pérez Salinas — General Director of the “Ana María Romero” Plurinational Service for Women and Depatriarchalization (SEPMUD) of the Plurinational State of Bolivia — gave the international conference “Advances of the Afro-Bolivian people” and highlighted the importance of setting joint agendas at the regional level.

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Wendy Pérez Salinas, director of the Plurinational Service for Women and Depatriarchalization.

For this reason, the head of INADI Victoria Donda highlighted in the closing panel that “it is necessary for the State to propose policies to recognize the Afro-descendant community and dispute the distribution of wealth; that is the discussion that we have to go for. We have to reconstruct the little pieces of this puzzle that is Argentine society and that they were hiding from us, and the Afro-Argentine community is a key piece. With the National Commission for Historical Recognition we are grasping the pieces of that social puzzle, to shed light on it”.

The National Commission for the Historical Recognition of the Afro-Argentine Community, part of the INADI, was launched on November 9, 2020. Among its institutional functions, it specifies the formalization of a meeting space for Afro-Argentine organizations from all over the country for the systematization of ideas, concrete proposals and projects that will be the raw material for the focused work of the State regarding the Afro-Argentine community and structural and institutional racism in general.

You can learn more about its work by clicking here.

2022 National Meeting of the Afro-Argentine Community
 
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