Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 2nd 2015 Contents A10
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, October 2, 2015
Atop strategic intelligence analyst and member of the Friends of the Inter-American
Democratic Charter (IADC) testified recently at a special joint session of the U.S.
House of Representatives summoned by the Congressional Committee on Foreign
Affairs. The session was convened on September 10th 2015 in the wake of continuing fluc-
tuations in the Shanghai Composite Index and dramatic trading in S&P 500 and Dow Jones
and was intended to achieve a fact-based and on-spot assessment by Congress on the
impact of China's inroads into the Caribbean and Latin America and its ramifications for U.S.,
regional interests, interstate relations and crucial power shifts.
In delivering her expert testimony, Serena Joseph-Harris, a national of Trinidad and Tobago, explained to
Congress that China's expanding sphere of influence in the Caribbean and Latin America was consequential
to the drawdown of U.S. interest in the region immediately following the events of 9/11 and compounded by a
host of structural phenomena. She noted that the discernible flood of lucrative Sino-engagements in the
Greater Caribbean is by no means an unlooked for phenomenon when consideration is given to the fact that
regional governments are currently overwrought over the need to expand trade, deepen investments, ramp up
infrastructural development while at the same time struggling to bridge gaping fiscal deficits. What's more, fluc-
tuating oil prices overshadowed all of this. Reciprocally, China is looking to the Caribbean and Latin America
for access to strategic resources, food and jobs for its nationals, and diplomatic support in isolating Taiwan.
In her statement Joseph-Harris underscored the breadth of the phenomena by drawing focus to increasing
global trade liberalization which limited market access; the small size of countries which curtailed the full benefits
of economies of scale; historically low GDP growth rates; constraints in attracting development assistance
including the ineligibility of countries designated "middle-income" to qualify for such assistance; prevailing violent
crime; a legacy of inflexible fiscal regimes; the absence of a harmonized/coordinated policy on Asia and the
concomitant underperformance of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) mechanism within the
CARICOM bloc. The stockpile of setbacks, in her view, weighed heavily against the stouthearted efforts of gov-
ernments all of which are deeply committed to resolving the issues through productive partnerships.
Noting that the U.S. is historically motivated by commercial, political and security interests, Joseph-Harris pro-
posed a re-examination of existing trade preference policies between Washington and the Greater Caribbean
hand in hand with a reappraisal of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) which seeks to deepen secu-
rity arrangements between the U.S. and regional partners.
Her recently published four-year study titled, "The Twilight of America's Omnipresence: China's
Aggrandizement in a New Era of Multipolarity," anatomizes Beijing's increasing regional profile against the
backdrop of power shifts and undergirding ideological divisions as China assumes a more or less self-defining
course. The study provided critical research-based support for her testimony. Hailed by Research Professor
Evan Ellis of the Strategic Studies Institute U.S. Army War College as "a massive work," the book has attracted
across the board interest in both hemispheres and is currently available at all major online outlets.
Expert and Friend
of the IADC
Congress on China
6.1000 6.1946 6.3433
4.4552 4.6897 4.9772
8.8633 9.3298 9.9729
6.5485 6.8932 7.3419
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PCs Patrick and Mohammed look on as Forester I
Kishan Ramcharan Forester, of the Forestry Division,
centre, displays the carcasses of the macajuel
snakes seized during a sting operation in Rio Claro
on Tuesday night.
PHOTO COURTESY KISHAN RAMCHARAN
A 27-year-old man was arrested and
charged with having a dead boa constrictor
snake and the skin from another.
The man, who is believed to be a gardener,
was caught with two dead boa constrictor
snakes earlier this week.
The man allegedly told police that he had
eaten one snake and was planning to eat
another. The man said the meat tastes similar
His arrest occurred a day before the two-
year moratorium on hunting was lifted at
midnight on Wednesday.
Police reports are that around 8.30 pm,
Forester I Kishan Ramcharan received infor-
mation that someone was in possession of
the protected snake carcass.
Police officers from the Rio Claro CID,
Constables Naim Mohammed and Vishal
Rampersad, assisted Ramcharan in conduct-
ing a sting operation in which they pretended
to be customers interested in purchasing the
The officers met the man near his home
at Cunapo Southern Main Road, Rio Claro,
where he had in his possession a crocus bag
containing the carcass of one macajuel snake
approximately 3.7 metres in length and the
skin of another almost the same length.
The officers identified themselves and told
the man the snakes were protected under
the Wildlife Conservation Act.
Police said the man admitted that he got
the snakes from someone and was using
them for his personal consumption. When
questioned about the skin, he said he had
already consumed that snake.
He was arrested and taken to the Rio Claro
Police Station. He appeared at the Rio Claro
Magistrates court before Magistrate Chankar
on Wednesday morning, where he pleaded
guilty to two charges---possession of the car-
cass of a prohibited animal and possession
of the skin of a prohibited animal.
He was fined $1,000 for each offence.
$2,000 fine for eating protected snake
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