BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – The Caribbean chapter of the International Network  In Defense of Humanity has called on leaders within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to send a fact-finding mission to “make an informed analysis” about the state of affairs in the “sister Caribbean nation” of Venezuela.

In a statement on Sunday, David Comissiong said it is important that the Governments and people of CARICOM acquire “an accurate understanding of precisely what is going on in Venezuela – a nation that the powerful United States of America has perversely designated as a “national security threat” to the USA”.

“We will never achieve any such accurate understanding if we depend on Western media institutions for our information about Venezuela,” he added.

Comissiong also urged media houses in the English-speaking Caribbean to send an investigative team to the South American nation to “see for themselves and to deliver to our people an independent and objective Caribbean assessment of the situation in Venezuela”.

He said the calls are being made following his visits to Venezuela and “finding the reality that I witnessed with my own eyes significantly at odds with the impressions and images presented by the powerful western media corporations”.

According to Comissiong, the U.S. Government has determined that the current administration in Venezuela is their enemy.

“And they are therefore currently engaged in a multi-faceted campaign to bring down the administration of President Nicolas Maduro by any means necessary; and central to this campaign is a strategy of psychological warfare, in which the media are assigned a critical role,” Comissiong said.

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – Leader of the main opposition, St Kitts Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP), Dr. Denzil Douglas has called on Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris to resign as the region and the world await the government’s next move following accusations that it is protecting a Chinese national who is paying large sums of money for continued protection.

In a statement on Friday afternoon, Douglas said that despite formal requests by China, as well as Interpol, to secure the return of Ren Biao, who is also a citizen of St. Kitts Nevis to face prosecution in China, the Government is refusing to cooperate.

“Prime Minister Harris and members of his government have stated that no formal request has been made by the Government of China. In my capacity as Leader of the St. Kitts and Nevis Parliamentary Opposition, however, I have been reliably informed, through diplomatic channels, that there have indeed been several such requests to the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis in this regard.

WASHINGTON – Some 55,000 Haitians in the United States who received protection from deportation in 2010, when a major earthquake devastated their land and killed 300,000, may be forced to return to their country next year if indications by Trump administration officials prove true.

The possibility of an end to their special classification, known as Temporary Protect Status (TPS), is creating concern among the immigrants, who have built lives – raising children, starting business and in some cases achieved middle-class status – and worry about returning to a country where poverty and substandard living conditions remain prevalent.

The rebuilding of places that were reduced to rubble after a magnitude 7 earthquake has been slow. More than 750,000 people still don’t have safe water for drinking and cooking. Since the earthquake, Haiti also has suffered a cholera outbreak that killed 9,000.

Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, also is still trying to recuperate from Hurricane Matthew, which tore through the south of the country last October and left more than 900 people dead and $2.8 billion in damages.

The Haitians’ TPS is scheduled to expire in July. The Trump administration must decide by the end of this month whether to extend it, and if so for how long. TPS renewal usually lasts 18 months, but James McCament, the acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), has recommended the end of the protection for Haitians by next January.

WASHINGTON – The Jamaica-born chief usher at the White House has been fired by the Donald Trump-led administration.

Angella Reid, the second black and first woman to hold the position, was appointed in October 2011 during President Barack Obama’s administration.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, a spokeswoman for the President, told reporters on Friday that Reid was no longer in the chief usher position.

“She is no longer employed here at the White House, but we left on very good terms,” Sanders said. “It’s not uncommon you would have a transition of staff when a new administration comes in, and it’s nothing more than that.”

According to the New York Times, Reid had remained at the White House longer than expected in part because the first lady, Melania Trump, had not moved swiftly to fill White House staff positions, and that the Trump transition overall had moved slowly in filling some of the typical ranks.

Reid was born in the eastern parish of St Thomas, Jamaica and attended high school in the capital, Kingston, before migrating to the United States.

Before being appointed White House Chief Usher, Reid amassed over 25 years of experience in hotel management with Ritz-Carlton, managing properties in Miami, Arts, Florida, Washington D.C. and Arlington, Virginia.

As White House Chief Usher, she was responsible for management of White House operations in collaboration with several organizations, including the White House Historical Association, the Committee for the Preservation of the White House, the US Commission of Arts, the White House Curator and the National Park Service.

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Police have arrested and charged popular reggae artiste George Nooks with possession of cocaine.

The police say that Nooks, 56, was arrested in the Corporate Area during an anti-narcotics operation.

The entertainer was reportedly seen acting in a suspicious manner and when approached by the law officers he threw a bag in his 2016 Mercedes Benz SUV.

On searching the vehicle – that was later seized – the police discovered a plastic bag with cocaine.

Nooks was arrested and offered bail in the sum of J$80,000.

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