Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 12th 2015 Contents In the Business Guardian yesterday, it was reported in error that Petrotrin's rating
was confirmed by Standard & Poors. The rating was actually confirmed by Moody's.
The error is regretted.
April 12, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
US President Barack Obama is
moving to lift the second part of
the half-century-old trade embar-
go against Cuba, Prime Minister
Kamla Persad-Bissessar said yes-
terday at the Seventh Summit of
the Americas in Panama City.
Persad-Bissessar was responding
to renewed diplomatic relations
between the US and Cuba, where
Obama and Cuban President Raul
Castro shook hands and held a joint
news conference before 120 local
and foreign journalists at the Con-
During the morning session,
Obama spoke, and was followed by
Castro. After the session, Persad-
Bissessar responded to the historic
meeting of both leaders.
"It is for all of us in the Americas,
a very historic and defining
moment, one which we advocated
a very long time ago," Persad-
"You will recall that Trinidad and
Tobago, along with Jamaica, Bar-
bados and Guyana, called for this.
In 1972 we established diplomatic
relations with Cuba and we have
been amongst those leaders calling
for the end of the blockade on
Cuba, and for Cuba to be readmit-
ted into the family of nations."
Persad-Bissessar said the region
needed to applaud the efforts of
regional leaders for the part they
played in making this happen.
"It was only last year, you may
recall, at the United Nations, where
I called for the end of the blockade
against Cuba, and from what I
heard today, it appears that Pres-
ident Obama is prepared to look at
the second part of ending the
embargo. The first part is taking
place, but there is still a lot more
work to be done."
She said having heard both lead-
ers spoke, "I think that is also in
process and in the making. I think
it was a great day, but as I pointed
out (in the plenary session), there
was also cause for concern on
another front, our neighbour,
Last December, Obama
announced moves toward normal-
ising relations with Cuba.
The legislation seeks to repeal
provisions of previous laws that
prevent Americans from doing
business with Cuba, but does not
repeal portions of laws addressing
human rights or property claims
against Cuba's government.
Persad-Bissessar will also today
formally open this country's first
embassy in Panama City.
Kamla lauds region's persistence on Cuba
Obama agrees to
CNC3 weekend anchor and senior
journalist Francesca Hawkins is the
new Media Association of T&T pres-
Yesterday, Hawkins, a former MATT
executive, defeated her three oppo-
nents Sheldon Yearwood, Sterling
Henderson and Irving Ward to capture
MATT's top post.
Cheers broke out as Association of
Caribbean MediaWorkers (ACM) gen-
eral secretary Wesley Gibbings, who
served as the returning officer for the
elections, announced the results
around 12.30 pm at the TSTT Hos-
pitality Suite, Queen's Park Oval, Port-
Gibbings said 54 members turned
up for the executive election, which
was prompted following the collapse
of the previous Curtis Williams-led
executive. He said it was one of the
highest turnouts ever. Voting was held
in San Fernando and Tobago via video
link provided by TSTT.
He said now that MATT had its
executive in place it was time for the
work to begin, as the ACM will be
partnering with the association to
host, for the first time in T&T, the
International Freedom of Expression
Exchange in October. The IFEX meet-
ing, he said, is an international meeting
which will feature discussions with
near 100 international organisations
all concerned with freedom of expres-
sion around the world.
The election was not without con-
troversy, as six candidates were initially
disqualified for failing to be present
at the start of the election at 10 am.
Among the initially disqualified
candidates were Henderson, Ward,
floor member candidates Rhondor
Dowlat, Soyini Grey, Julien Neaves
and Reshma Ragoonath. After vocif-
erous protests by the candidates, the
interim executive put a motion to the
membership to have the voting process
redone. It was overwhelmingly agreed
to, although three members voted
At the end of the second voting
process Hawkins received 21 votes,
while Yearwood, Henderson and Ward,
received 12, ten and ten respectively.
T&T Guardian reporter Kalifa Clyne
captured the vice president post with
41 votes with Henderson receiving
Hawkins pledged to work with all
members of MATT for her full two-
year term. She also encouraged all
candidates to work with the new exec-
utive to rebuild MATT. She said one
of the first topics that the new exec-
utive will address is the ongoing social
media feud between certain journalists
and the online smear campaigns.
Hawkins new MATT boss
JENSEN LE VENDE
Coast Guard officials are calling on
members of the public to be more vig-
ilant at sea, following a drowning in
Mayaro and a possible double drown-
ing of two cousins in Sans Souci.
According to Coast Guard officials,
cousins Dwayne Alexander, 22, of San
Fernando and June Garner, 21, of Cara-
pichaima, were last seen around 3 pm
swimming in the Sans Souci waters.
Around 3.45 pm yesterday, Coast
Guard officials received a call asking
for assistance in searching for them
after they reportedly disappeared in the
But although a National Operations
Centre helicopter carried out an aerial
search they were not found. The search
will resume today.
Coast Guard public relations officer
Lt Commander Kirk Jean-Baptiste said
yesterday that sea currents were strong
and advised beachgoers to exercise cau-
tion when going to swim or bathe.
In the other incident, 54-year-old
Curtis Ramdass, of Talparo, and five
of his friends went to Cascadoo Road,
Mayaro, to retrieve a fishing net that
was entangled in the water.
But around 10 am, police said, Ram-
dass got into difficulty whilst in the
water. By the time Ramdass' friends
came to his assistance he had already
Cousins feared drowned
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, left, dines with US President Barack Obama, second from right,
Uruguay President Tabare Vasquez and Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela, right, during a gala dinner
in Panama City, Panama, following the opening ceremony of the VII Summit of the Americas on Friday.
President: Francesca E Hawkins
Vice Pres: Kalifa Clyne
Secretary: Jabari Fraser
Asst Sec: Kristy Kalisingh
Treasurer: Anthony Gittens
Kevon Felmine, Sheila Rampersad.
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