Posted by: lisaparavisini | February 28, 2015

US boost for Cuban cigar festival

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Cuba’s annual cigar festival is getting under way in the capital Havana – with American visitors able to take cigars home legally for the first time in decades, the BBC reports. Our thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.

A thaw in US-Cuban relations means American smokers will be able to stock up on products worth up to $100 (£65).

Havana cigars have been banned in the US for more than 50 years under the terms of a trade embargo.

Hundreds of visitors are expected at the week-long festival.

Despite the recent rapprochement between Washington and Havana, most Americans are still not allowed to travel to the Caribbean island.

However some US citizens, including relatives of Cubans or academics, are allowed to visit and take advantage of the new rules.

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See our earlier post Cuban Cigars on the U.S. Market:

For more information, and access to a video report go to : US buyers flock to take Cuba festival cigars home [VIDEO]

http://m.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-31596978

For the original report go to http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-31598280

Posted by: lisaparavisini | February 28, 2015

Jamaica Film Festival Commission appoints pool of talented directors

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Thirteen top Jamaican Directors/Writers have been selected by The Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) to screen their films at the Jamaica Film Festival 2015, scheduled to take place July 7-11 in Kingston, Jamaica’s Observer reports.

The list of filmmakers include well-known music video and film director, Gerald ‘RasKassa’ Hynes; award-winning writer/producer/director, Chris Browne; Theatre writers/directors/actors, Dahlia Harris and Aston Cooke; educator and producer Franklyn St Juste; make-up artist extraordinaire/director, Cecile Burrowes. The list also includes talented newcomers, Kyle Chin, Donovan Watkis, Sabrena McDonald, Audrey Williams, Kevin Jackson and Alison Harrison. Jamaican & Hollywood actress, Shauna Chin, who made her recent debut on CBS’ Criminal Minds, has also made the short list.

The festival will include 15 pieces that will need a collective investment of US$200,000. Both private and public investment is welcomed for the 15 pieces. The project will create some 300 temporary jobs and will include Jamaican actors.

All entries will make their first appearance at the Jamaica Film Festival and will be a part of the international circuit from as early as September 2015.

Film Commissioner Carole Beckford says “JAMPRO intends to seek funding partners for the films being produced while committing to facilitate entry into the international film festival market. The investment is well worth it and with a national film festival coming to Jamaica, the image of the industry can attract a wide range of attention from other filmmakers and media across the world.”

The Film Festival is expected to be a spectacular showcasing of talent in the film industry in Kingston, celebrating the theme – Art meets Business.

JAMPRO is partnering with Tuff Gong International, the home of Reggae Music and the largest distributor of music in the Caribbean for the five-day event. Included in the festival is a music day that will feature a music video component that is expected to launch soon.

The production team recently completed an Acting Master Class session with Hollywood actress and film educator, Cassandra Freeman, who was in Jamaica in early February. The post -production component of the professional development is due in early April.

All packages for the festival to include air, hotel and ground transportation will be available within the next two weeks.

For the original report go to http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Jamaica-Film-Festival-Commission-appoints-pool-of-talented-directors

Posted by: lisaparavisini | February 28, 2015

Hell hath no fury like a Trini woman scorned

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Rhoma Spencer interprets ancient Greek play with Carnival characters, Janine Charles-Farray writes in this review for Trinidad’s Guardian.

Fresh off her debut as director of the 2015 Dimanche Gras production, T&T writer, actor and director Rhoma Spencer is excited to prepare for the rest of her year, which includes the export of the play adaptation Carnival Medea: A Bacchanal.

The original Medea play by Euripides is an ancient Greek tragedy first produced in 431 BC. It is based on the myth of Jason and his wife Medea. The “bacchanal” begins when Medea, a barbarian, finds her position in the Greek world threatened as Jason leaves her for Glauce, a Greek princess of Corinth.

In the original play, Medea is told by Creon, the king of Corinth, that she must be banished for Jason to have Glauce.

Jason agrees and attempts to banish Medea. Enraged, Medea takes vengeance on Jason by killing his new wife as well as her own children with him, after which she escapes to Athens to start a new life.

The journey to Carnival Medea: A Bacchanal began as an African-themed play originally written by Dr Shirlene Holmes of Georgia State University in Atlanta. In 2003, Holmes approached Spencer to be the play’s dramaturge, a literary editor who liaises with the author and edits the text.

Through that process of creative collaboration, the inclusion of Caribbean and Carnival motifs evolved naturally and Spencer was named co-playwright along with Holmes on the project.

“(Dr Holmes) came to me with this idea of Medea, and she wanted to stray away a bit from this ‘woman-scorned’ way in which the play has always been treated. Using the Orishas as part of it, she wanted to have Medea being governed by Ogun and Oshun. She also wanted it happening in the Caribbean, specifically Trinidad,” said Spencer.

Over the next 12 years, Holmes and Spencer rewrote and re-imagined a distinctly African-Caribbean interpretation of this Greek tragedy and set it squarely in the middle of 1950s Trinidad.

In the Holmes and Spencer version, each character is given a Carnival archetype which the writers thought would best suit the original personalities. For example, Medea is a baby doll who is also endowed with mystical healing and otherworldly powers through potions and spells. Jason is interpreted as the self-assured batonnier or stickfighter of the T&T martial art of kalinda. King Creon becomes the governor general of Trinidad and is a marauding midnight robber.

The interpretation also includes thematic influences from the Orisha faith with the incorporation of the African gods Ogun, Oshun and Shango, who play a role in bringing the play to its climax, waging war in the mind of a tormented Medea who struggles with the decision to kill her own children in seeking vengeance upon Jason.

The play has been showcased in several script readings from as early as 2005 and subsequently premiered as a full production in July 2014 at Georgia State University in Atlanta as a part of the International Collegiate Fringe Festival.

Most recently, Carnival Medea: A Bacchanal came to T&T for the first time in December 2014 through a reading of the play hosted by the Trinidad Theatre Workshop (TTW) and directed by Timmia Hearn.

Another creative collaborator credited with the play is Natalie Joseph-Settle, former Best Village limbo queen of Malick Folk Performers, who is responsible for choreography.

As a connoisseur of history and an avid appreciator of the local vintage, Spencer recalled her personal preparation during the writing phase of the production. She consulted with many elders of both the Carnival and of the 1950s era, to learn more about the time and setting.

A key artistic reference she used was the incorporation of a heightened poetic language, which remained distinctly T&T-influenced. This provided some challenges to the original cast who were all Americans at Georgia State University.

“The language is very poetic, but there is a poetry that is distinctly Trinidadian in its text.

“I wanted the play to work like one big calypso. We take a departure from the Greeks and give in to Trinidad language. When we had a reading of it last December in Trinidad, the cast was really smitten by the language. It is language in some cases that we don’t even hear again like “Basil busy, boy!” as a signifier for death. I really made use of our national narrative in words and phrases that are used in the play.”

When asked about any thematic adjustments or changes, Spencer revealed that she also incorporated a lot of the geography of the Caribbean in the setting and an additional major and perhaps controversial plot change near the end of the play.

“In the original, Medea kills her children but in my version of it, I prefer not to kill the children. I don’t want people to go out and have thoughts and ideas about killing their children.

“That’s a thing that the Caribbean woman does—spite the father through the children. So instead she leaves. She makes him feel that the children will live with him, while she is being exiled to Venezuela, but instead she flees to Venezuela with the children. Instead of killing his children, she kills his spirit.

“If you want to eat at a Caribbean man’s heart, it’s to deny him his children. Jason will not have his sons with him to bring them up in the batonnier/stickfighting tradition.”

The original play is typically associated with the feminist movement “because of its nuanced and sympathetic portrayal of Medea’s struggle to take charge of her own life in a male dominated world,” says the Wikipedia article on the play.

“Interestingly enough, when it was done here in Trinidad, most of the audiences sided with Medea and hated Jason! That was new to me. They never felt pity for him. However, some of the Trini men in the audience loved Jason because he has some lines that really resonated with them and he represents the all-time Caribbean man, a bit of a village ram—it’s a bit phallic. He’s a stickman, you know?” Spencer laughed.

Carnival Medea: A Bacchanal will be the source material for a workshop on March 21, by Lordstreet Theatre Co. Later in the year, the play will be exported and presented (upon invitation) at the International Collegiate Theatre Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, from August 5-16.

“Some of the adjudicators from the Fringe Festival came to see the premiere of the play at Georgia State in Atlanta and loved it. Of all the Medeas they had seen all over the world and over the years, this was the first time they had ever seen a Medea like that.

“The play was then chosen to move on and be performed by the American cast from Georgia State in Scotland. From that we would hopefully move on to the professional category.”

Even with the progress the play has made, Spencer would love nothing more than to have the full play presented in T&T. She confirmed that Carnival Medea could easily be a million dollar play in terms of cost. She also revealed that the recent reading at TTW showed promise, and already, there are hints that it may be produced under TTW in 2016 or by Lord Street Theatre under the management of Tony Hall at a later time.

“It’s very difficult because it’s a huge cast of about 50. Especially in the Caribbean, you always have to find a company to co-produce with you when it’s such a large cast, because it’s so costly.

“The reading we did in December blew my mind. For the first time I could really see it—hearing the language and portrayal done by a Trini cast, compared to when it is done by the Americans.

“Ultimately the real production to me is a Trinidad production of the play. This is where it’s from, this is where it belongs and I would like to see it played here with a Trinidadian cast.”

For the original report go to http://www.guardian.co.tt/arts/2015-02-28/hell-hath-no-fury-trini-woman-scorned

Posted by: lisaparavisini | February 28, 2015

Review: I’m Not Here to Give a Speech, by Gabriel García Márquez

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This collection of speeches offers marvels of infectious charm and humanity, of a piece with the fiction, and equally haunting, Ian Thomson writes for The Irish Times. 

At a literary festival in Colombia in January 2010 the travel writer Michael Jacobs encountered an elderly author with a wandering, glazed eye. To Jacobs it seemed impossible that this was the man who had consorted with Fidel Castro and Graham Greene. Even with his memory loss, however, Gabriel García Márquez radiated a statesmanlike allure; he beamed with nostalgia when Jacobs mentioned the Magdalena river, which had shadowed his Colombian childhood and become the setting for Love in the Time of Cholera and other marvellous late fictions.

Márquez’s birthplace of Aracataca, with its Afro-Hispanic dialect and “fragrant aroma” of guava fruit, is essentially Caribbean in its culture and outlook. Much of the fiction is redolent with twilight Caribbean amours and a peppery, hothouse hint of village scandal. Beneath the baroque, sun-drenched imagery, however, lurked darker themes. In One Hundred Years of Solitude, Márquez’s best-known novel, a mysterious “memory disease” afflicts the fictional village of Macondo. Had the novelist intuited something about his own condition in later life? (García Márquez died, on April 17th, 2014, of Alzheimer’s disease, at the age of 87.)

No Latin American writer was more influential. Back in the early 1970s paperback copies of One Hundred Years of Solitude appeared in student bedsits more dependably than rising damp and Deep Purple posters. Márquez’s “magic realist” masterwork went on to spawn countless imitations, but towards the end of his life he appeared to have grown weary of his fashionable example. Increasingly he turned to reportage – realism without the magic. News of a Kidnapping, a hybrid of reportage and courtroom testimonial, told of a real abduction by Colombian cocaine traffickers in Medellín.

Robust sensuality

I’m Not Here to Give a Speech, a collection of Márquez’s speeches from 1944 to 2007, radiates a familiar humorous charm and robust sensuality. “First of all, forgive me for speaking to you seated,” Márquez tells a literary audience in Venezuela in 1970, “but the truth is that if I stand, I run the risk of collapsing with fear.”

For all his celebrity Márquez remained averse to public speaking and banquet-hall awards ceremonies. In 1982 he turned up in Stockholm to collect his Nobel Prize in Literature dressed in a man-of-the-people bush jacket and pair of Cuban-heeled cowboy boots. (A dinner suit would not have become the strenuously populist “Gabo”.)

His Nobel acceptance speech, “The Solitude of Latin America”, included here, is suffused with leftist political idealism. From his “diehard liberal” grandfather, Col Nicolás Márquez, the novelist had inherited a lifelong adoration of Simón Bolívar, the Venezuela-born architect of Latin American independence (and, incidentally, the subject of Márquez’s superb late novel The General in his Labyrinth).

In 1816, as Márquez reminds us here, Bolívar raised an army in the former slave colony of Haiti to liberate Venezuela from Spanish oppression. It is not widely known that Venezuela owes its independence to Haiti, but Márquez affords black and mixed-race Haitians their rightful place in the history of Latin American emancipation.

After training as a lawyer Márquez worked as a journalist on Colombia’s liberal newspaper El Espectador, whose circulation doubled in 1955 thanks to his spellbinding 14-part account of a Colombian sailor’s ordeal on being swept off a destroyer into the shark-infested Caribbean. (The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor, Márquez’s book-length account, ranks as one of the great works of literary reportage.)

In a speech he gave in Los Angeles in 1996 Márquez commends a Truman Capote-like reportage that employs the narrative devices of fiction and a creative immersion in the subject. Much of Márquez’s later work has an undertow of journalism. Chronicle of a Death Foretold, one of his most influential titles, continues to be referenced in newspaper headlines.

Craft of writing

In these 20-odd speeches Márquez exalts writing as a “craft” or “carpenter’s trade” that can be acquired through hard graft only and not through the “tomfoolery” of waiting for poetic inspiration to come. We know that One Hundred Years of Solitude was written to a background music of Debussy and The Beatles; here Márquez commends the “elephantine” symphonies of Bruckner and the “divertimentos” of Scarlatti.

His last published novel, Memories of My Melancholy Whores, about a nubile pubescent prostitute and her nonagenarian pander, heaved with allusions to Mozart, Chopin, César Franck, Schumann and Wagner. Márquez was the most musically sensuous of authors.

Repeatedly in these speeches he discourses on the “tragedy” of Latin America, whose wars, military coups and thwarted political idealism make it the “immense homeland of deluded men”. Márquez spoke from experience. His father, Gabriel Eligio García, had worked in Colombia in the 1920s for the United Fruit Company, which succeeded in reducing Honduras to such a state of corruption that it earned the original title of “banana republic”. In an extraordinary speech to a gathering of Colombian military in 1996 Márquez explains that his fascination with the corrupting tendency of power is “almost anthropological” in its obsessiveness and rigour. His mid-1970s masterpieceThe Autumn of the Patriarch, about a vile Latin American despot, remains one of the great fictional explorations of power gone mad.

Márquez, the most famous writer in the Spanish-speaking world since Cervantes, has been well served by his long-standing translator Edith Grossman, who renders these speeches into marvels of infectious charm and humanity. It would be a mistake to consign I’m Not Here to Give a Speech to the frivolous pastures of the literary bagatelle. The book is of a piece with the fiction, and equally haunting.

For the original report go to http://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/review-i-m-not-here-to-give-a-speech-by-gabriel-garc%C3%ADa-m%C3%A1rquez-1.2119950

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The country’s prime minister says the change seeks to right a historical wrong in the life of the Kalinago people, TeleSur reports. Our thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.

Five years after embarking on a campaign to change the name of the 3,700-acre Carib Territory to the Kalinago Territory, Dominica’s indigenous people are to get their wish.

The Government of Dominica announced that the name change is an urgent matter and will be down for consideration at the first sitting of parliament since the December 2014 general election.

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit says as well as renaming the territory, the government intends to ensure the Carib Chief will be known as the Kalinago Chief.

This is a vital issue for Dominica’s indigenous people, who say the term “Carib” dates back to Christopher Columbus and is a derogatory term with connotations of cannibalism. For years, several chiefs have said the term has resulted in the diminishing of indigenous pride among people of Kalinago decent.

The “Carib” Council’s original letter to government requesting the name change was written to the Ministry of Legal Affairs in 2010.

The letter indicated that council members would not wait for government’s official name change but would begin using the term “Kalinago” immediately. This change took effect within the community, where the term has been used for the past five years.

According to Dominican Historian Dr. Lennox Honychurch, the 1642 writings of French priest Raymond Breton prove the Carib Indians have always referred to themselves as “Callinago.” Historians say the phonetic writing is equivalent to “Kalinago.”

The operations of the “Carib” Territory in Dominica are enshrined in the 1978 Carib Act, which provides for communal land holding, an elected chief and a “Carib” Council.

The official renaming of the territory is one of several items down for consideration when Dominica’s parliament convenes on Feb. 20.

For the original report go to

http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Dominican-Indigenous-Tribe-Shrugs-off-Colonial-Name-20150209-0024.html

For more information go to

http://laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=2375096&CategoryId=14092

Press release of the government of Dominica:

http://news.gov.dm/index.php/news/2241-dominica-s-indigenous-people-to-be-renamed

Posted by: ivetteromero | February 28, 2015

Cuba: A Cuban model for a resilient Caribbean

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UN Development Program reports on Cuba’s successful Risk Reduction Management Centers and how the country has worked with countries and territories such as the British Virgin Islands, the Dominican Republic, Guyana, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago to adapt the model to their respective national contexts to strengthen risk reduction practices. These countries have received support, tools, regional training, and technical assistance. Here are excerpts:

Risk Reduction Management Centers, a successful initiative in hurricane-prone Cuba, are being scaled up across partnering Caribbean states.

With a population of 36 million, the Caribbean region is home to a diverse array of languages and cultures, to islands large and small, to major coastal cities and small mountain villages. But for all its diversity, its countries and territories share an important trait – exposure to a yearly hurricane season that can, at times, have devastating impacts.

The impact of hurricanes in the Caribbean is widespread, severe and expanding. Hurricane Sandy in 2012 impacted countries from Jamaica and Cuba, eventually causing damage all the way up the eastern seaboard of the U.S. through to New York. With the likelihood that climate change will exacerbate the frequency and intensity of the yearly hurricane season, comprehensive measures are needed to protect at-risk communities.

In response to such hydro-meteorological threats, the Cuban government has collaborated with UNDP Cuba and UNDP’s Caribbean Risk Management Initiative since 2005 to create the Risk Reduction Management Center (RRMC), a model of local risk reduction management. At the heart of the model is the promotion of local level decision-making that relies on coordinated early warning systems, risk and vulnerability studies, communications systems, effective database management and mapping, GIS, and community preparedness.

The Cuban Risk Reduction Management Centre model serves as an instrument to ensure that disaster management and development practices in any given territory are informed by an analysis of risk and vulnerability. In addition, each RRMC supports isolated and far-flung communities that may not have access to information so that they can prepare for an approaching threat. Communities are provided with equipment and training to identify, reduce and communicate risk, as well as take effective protective measures.

The Cuban government has established a total of 8 provincial and 84 municipal centers, linked to 310 communities. Since the model’s establishment, the centers have helped communities significantly reduce the impact of hurricanes by facilitating community awareness and preparedness.

In the last 10 years, Cuba has been affected by 15 tropical cyclones, of which 11 were classified as hurricanes. In this period, Cuba’s Civil Defense system, supported by the RRMC at a local level, has protected more than 8 million people, evacuated more than 47,000 tourists and relocated three settlements. [. . .]

The RRMC model has generated widespread interest in the region and has led to groundbreaking South-to-South cooperation. Starting in 2009, the lessons learned while implementing RRMC in Cuba have been offered to neighbors. The British Virgin Islands, the Dominican Republic, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago have all received support via tools, regional trainings, technical assistance and pilot initiatives. Cuba, in collaboration with UNDP Cuba and CRMI, has worked with these countries and territories to adapt the model to their respective national contexts, strengthening risk reduction practices. The long-term aim of this South-South Cooperation was to strengthen local disaster management systems so that DRR would be better integrated into disaster management planning and territorial development. The Cuban model is a tool that will, in time, enable risk-informed development throughout the Caribbean.

For full article, see http://reliefweb.int/report/cuba/cuban-model-resilient-caribbean

Photo from http://links.org.au/node/840

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Oettinger Davidoff AG, a worldwide leading manufacturer of premium cigars, headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, has announced the acquisition of tobacco farmland in Nicaragua’s Condega region as well as in the Jamastran valley of Honduras.

The company also announced that it has acquired land in the vicinity of its box factory to build a new cigar factory in Danli, Honduras, as the growth of Camacho and other Honduran brands has outgrown the capacity of the current factory, which will be divested.

Hans-Kristian Hoejsgaard, CEO and board member of Oettinger Davidoff, said: “Our acquisition of over 150 hectares of land in Condega, Nicaragua, and in Jamastran, Honduras, represents a further strengthening of our crop-to-shop philosophy, which is an anchor of our global strategy. I am equally delighted that a splendid new Camacho (Agroindustrias Laepe) factory designed by Honduran architect Gonzalo Nunez Diaz and including expansive visitor accommodation will underpin the growth trajectory of the Camacho, Room101 and Baccarat brands.”

Javier Plantada, senior vice president global production of Oettinger Davidoff, added: “I am particularly delighted about the quality of the farm land we have been able to acquire, which not only will provide us with top notch tobacco quality, but also will allow us to pursue our innovation agenda and experiment with new and existing seeds.” [. . .]

For full article, see http://thecigarauthority.com/news-davidoff-acquires-land-in-honduras-nicaragua/

Photo from 2013 article http://www.cigarpairings.com/2013_11_01_archive.html

Posted by: ivetteromero | February 28, 2015

Paris Hilton Goes to Havana

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According to Kendall Breitman (Politico), one person who is benefiting from the newly mended relationship between Cuba and the United States is Paris Hilton. After she landed in Cuba, Hilton posted photos of her trip on Instagram. Hilton — whose family once owned the “Havana Hilton” that changed hands in 1959 — described the capital in her tweets: “Loving Old Havana. So beautiful and unique.” Judging from the Instagram photographs she tweeted, at least the heiress has an appreciation for Havana’s stunning architecture.

Breitman writes that “Hilton’s trip comes after President Barack Obama announced in December a ‘new chapter’ in diplomatic ties between the United States and Cuba, which would include reestablishing an embassy in the island country after years of hostile relations. The shift in the relationship also relaxed rules on travel and exports.”

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Part of Hilton’s “busy schedule” in Havana, says the Daily Mail, was to attend the 17th annual Cigar Festival as a special guest at a gala dinner with supermodel Naomi Campbell. According to the article, the socialite snapped selfies with Fidel Castro Diaz-Balart, the son of former Cuban president Fidel Castro, “using her rhinestone bedazzled phone.”

For original articles, see http://www.politico.com/story/2015/02/paris-hilton-cuba-obama-vacation-115592.html and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2973141/Paris-Hilton-snaps-selfies-son-former-Cuban-leader-Fidel-Castro-parties-cigar-festival-Naomi-Campbell-Havana.html

Posted by: ivetteromero | February 28, 2015

Venezuela and Trinidad Decide on Oil-for-Toilet Paper Deal

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France Martel (Breitbart) writes about how the government of Trinidad & Tobago has proposed exchanging Venezuelan oil for Trinidadian toilet paper, one of the goods—along with other paper products, detergent and flour, among others—that have become difficult to find in the South American nation.

Trinidadian Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar announced the beginning of negotiations to trade products manufactured in the Caribbean nation with Venezuela, as President Nicolás Maduro prepared to conclude his trip to the West Indies. Trinidad and Tobago, located in the southern Caribbean, is less than seven miles away from Venezuelan shores.

According to Bloomberg News, Persad-Bissessar is seeking favorable prices in crude oil in exchange for offering Caracas toilet paper, which has become a difficult-to-find commodity in the socialist nation. “The concept of commodity sharing is simple – the Government of Trinidad and Tobago will purchase goods identified by the Government of Venezuela from T&T’s manufacturers, such as tissue paper, gasoline, and parts for machinery,” the Prime Minister told the press.

In addition to commodities trading, the two nations agreed on a deal to explore the waters in between the two nations for natural gas. Trinidad and Tobago is currently the largest exporter of both oil and natural gas in the Caribbean.

[. . .] The Venezuelan government imposes a socialist economic model on its market, which has triggered shortages in multiple necessary goods, from detergent to flour to, yes, toilet paper. Venezuela’s multiple toilet paper shortages made headlines in both 2013 and 2014; in 2013, the government seized and nationalized a toilet paper factory in an attempt to stop the shortage, but only succeeded in exacerbating it.

Venezuela introduced a ration card system in 2013 to quell the shortages, which created a black market of products bought by those not needing the products and resold to those rationed out of buying more for a mark-up price. Installing fingerprint scanners to prevent individuals from buying more than their quota failed, instead producing lines so long at supermarkets that some have chosen to stand in supermarket lines for a living. For a price, some Venezuelans will wake up at dawn and spend up to four hours queueing up to buy paper towels, milk, or vegetable oil.

For full article, see http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/02/27/venezuela-cuts-oil-for-toilet-paper-deal-with-trinidad-to-fight-shortage/

Posted by: ivetteromero | February 28, 2015

Sean Paul “Gets Busy”

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Brian Bonitto (Jamaica Observer) reports that Sean Paul’s 2003 Billboard chart-topper “Get Busy” is showing no signs of slowing down. The single is one of several featured in the upcoming animation film Home, slated for release on March 27. Little did I know that “Get Busy” remixes have been featured in three other films Grind (2003), Chasing Liberty (2004), and Baby Mama (2008).

[. . .] Originally released in 2002, Get Busy is on the Steven ‘Lenky’ Marsden-produced Diwali riddim. The single is on Sean Paul’s sophomore, Grammy-winning album Dutty Rock. That set was re-released the following year for the international market.

“That song was written by me and my brother, JigZag, and was number one on the Billboard charts for a couple of weeks. It was a big accomplishment for myself, everyone involved such as producers, other artistes on the riddim and dancehall music, in general. I am proud to be part of a big staple dancehall riddim like Diwalil,” he said.

This is not the first time Get Busy will be listed in the movie credits. The song’s remix was featured in Grind (2003), Chasing Liberty (2004), and Baby Mama (2008).

“This only means that you’ve made cultural history!!! You never can tell which songs will be the big ones. You have to just love music and do work. Each player brings their own flavour to the game. There’s space for everyone,” he added.

Home — based on the 2007 Adam Rex’s children’s book The True Meaning of Smekday — is an American 3-D comedy film starring Barbados-born international recording star Rihanna and American actor Jim Parsons. The voices Jennifer Lopez and funnyman Steve Martin are also featured in the DreamWorks Animation project.

Listen to “Get Busy” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2EjmlGnrno

For original article, see http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Sean-Paul-Gets-Busy_18483030

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