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St. Vincent & The Grenadines

St kitts govt seeks to establish medicinal cannabis industry

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The St. Kitts and Nevis Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew-led Government of St. Kitts and Nevis says his administration intends to take the necessary actions to create a sustainable medicinal cannabis industry.

Prime Minister Dr. Drew, speaking during an interview with SKN Newsline on Wednesday, September 28, said there is much work to do in this regard because as it stands presently, St. Kitts and Nevis is well behind when it comes to establishing a cannabis industry.

“Antigua is ahead, St. Vincent is ahead, Jamaica is ahead, and we know that people travel to these countries because they would have an industry that is well-controlled, well-monitored and so forth that allows for the use of marijuana. And so, we will be on that path, and we will see a lot of action in that area within the first year,” Dr. Drew said.

The Prime Minister added, “We have a marijuana commission in place and that commission would start functioning in earnest to get us there. We will then move to expunge the records of those who have criminal records for possession of marijuana. We think that that should not be used as a means to limit people’s advancement in their own lives and so we will put the necessary legislation in place to get us there.”

Moreover, Prime Minister Dr. Drew made it clear that his administration will ensure that it is the citizens and residents of St. Kitts and Nevis who benefit first and foremost from the establishment of this industry.

He noted, “At this point in time, we are not looking at any outside people necessarily coming in and dominating this industry. This industry is for our people to develop. We will not make that mistake, and therefore we will, of course, meet those who are involved in this industry and we will work out ways of how we can make sure that they are a part of the industry… I would say at this time, the goal is and what we will do is to make sure that the local growers are protected [and] our people are protected within that industry.”



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St. Vincent & The Grenadines

Mi casa es su casa – One News St.Vincent

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The views expressed herein are solely those of the writer.

By Professor Richard A. Byron-Cox (PhD)

America and other military colossuses of this world can and indeed do in their practice of foreign policy, follow Kissinger’sdoctrine of having no permanent friends, only interests.However, if tiny, extremely vulnerable, poor, and virtually powerless nations like SVG were to ignore the need for solidarity, this would be perilous. Building solid fraternal relations is sin qua non not only for protecting their sovereignty and independence, but to their survival! Their viability as sovereign states depends inter alia on appreciation by others of their unique challenges, hence their need for genuine friends, while avoiding and discouraging enmity. This idea is the nucleus of the philosophical foundation of SVG’s foreign policy, andfrom whence its cornerstone principle, “Friends of all, we strive for a better world.”

This indispensable wisdom manifested in practice, standing our nation tall, is not wholly original. The first phrase is borrowed from Errol Walton Barrow, who shepherded Barbados toindependence. We apply his concept mutatis mutandis, extolling the need for friendly relations between nations in this turbulent world. Therefore, we extend our hands unclenched to leftist, rightist, Islamism, socialist, the great, small, rich, and poor,willing the construct of a better, saner world. We’ve reached out to Libya’s now deceased Gaddafi, Russia’s Putin, and Iran’s Raisi, -all considered rogues by the global gendarmes-, for in sowing seeds of friendship, one must join hands with those deemed enemies by others, while if truth be told, they are very good Samaritans, Cuba being a case in point.

The connection between these islands existed eons before they were colonized. Our indigenous peoples canoed from theOrinoco to The Bahamas long prior the arrival of imperialism’s violent fists, and genocidal settler colonialism. Our link was damaged; never broken! In modern times many Vincentiansmade the trek to Cuba, some remained, as the Teófilo Stevenson’s story confirms. 1959 saw the birth of the Cuban revolution. Incensed, the American empire branded Cuba an enemy. But like Bill Withers, magnanimous Fidel and disobedient SVG know, we must of necessity, lean on each other, and so rejected this vile maxim that we must be fist pumping at one another.

When our volcano erupted in 1979, Cuba offered assistance. St. Vincent, yet under British colonial yoke, defied American isolationist politics and accepted what we could. Cuba further stretched forth its hands, granting our youths scholarships. They are now solid professionals, thanks to this first-wave of generosity. With the triumph of the Grenada revolution in 1979,the US up the ante, intensifying its anti-Cuba policy, continuing this even after that revolution was murdered in infancy. PM James Mitchell seeing the rest of CARICOM’s firm rebuke ofWashington by their rebuff of its hegemonic confrontational stance, established diplomatic relations with Havana in 1992. From thence the SVG-Cuba ties strengthened. The watershed came in 2001 when the ULP stormed to office.

Under Gonsalves’ leadership our relations blossomed into a mutually beneficial embrace. Cuba has held our hands in education, health, infrastructure and more. We staunchly defend Cuba in every forum regardless of what America says! We stand in solidarity with Cubans during disasters; we work closely in all fora of the Americas, and in broader international arenas such as the Non-Aligned Movement and the UN. During the Obama years, we played our little part in the brief small thaw in US clenched-fist behaviour to Cuba. Notwithstanding that Washington has since retightened its fists, we are hosting the long-overdue visit of a Cuban President, saying unequivocally to Brother Díaz-Canel, “Nuestra casa es su casa!” for Cuba has said to us so many times, “Mi casa es su casa.”

I often expressed via the press the wish that Fidel visited SVG. Sadly, he departed for Valhalla without this being realized. I have also called for a prominent street or place to be named in his honour in recognition of Cuba holding hand not just with us and CARICOM, but with all oppressed humanity. This moment is here now! We must never forget Cuba’s role in the liberation of the countries of Southern Africa; nor should we forget itsmedical humanitarian missions to many parts of the world; and its selfless generosity to the Third World. If ever a country showed what love from a nation looks like, it’s Fidel’s Cuba. And “love is the answer” according to our own Dr. Alston “Becket” Cyrus. Finally, it must be underlined that the visit of President Díaz-Canel is not merely a reflection of good SVG-Cuba relations. Rather it is a powerful example of leadership in the cause of upholding international law and morality, grounded in friendship and respect for national sovereignty, which are essential for international peace and security.



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St. Vincent & The Grenadines

National Nine Mornings Festival launches this Sunday

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The 2022 National Lotteries Christmas/Nine Mornings Festival will be officially launched this Sunday, December 4 at Heritage Square, in Kingstown, from 7:00 p.m.

The festival was interrupted in 2020 and 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the eruption of La Soufriere Volcano.
The organisation committee said in a release that Sunday’s launch will feature the return of the street parade, where patrons will engage in a candle light cultural street procession through the streets of Kingstown, commencing at Heritage Square at 6:00 p.m and returning to Heritage Square.

The parade will be accompanied by the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines (RSVG) Police Force Band, and will also feature dance groups, community groups, drumming groups, and X-Pan from Sion Hill.

On returning to Heritage Square the other events will commence with a short opening ceremony  which would include the blessing of the festival by the Pastor Randy Boucher, and worship from the Exalt Him Worship Ministries. The Epic Sound Steel Orchestra will provide steel band music and a special mini presentation will be done by the RSVG Police Band.

The Launch will also hear Christmas greetings from the chairman of the National Nine Mornings Committee, with corporate sponsors- the National Lotteries Authority and Vinlec bringing remarks. Minister of Culture, Carlos James will then declare the festival open with the turning on of the lights at the Square. 

The St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) Christmas and Nine Mornings Committee will recognize a number of community stalwarts for their invaluable contribution to the festival over the years.

A varied cultural package will climax the evenings’ activities.





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Cuban President to tour medical facility on Day Two of visit to St Vincent and the Grenadines

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Cuban President to tour medical facility on Day Two of visit to St Vincent and the Grenadines

A visit to the Modern Medical and Diagnostic Centre at Georgetown is one of the highlights of Day Two of the visit of President Miguel Diaz-Canel to St Vincent and the Grenadines.

The Modern Medical and Diagnostic Centre (MMDC) which was officially opened on July 2, 2018, was built at a cost of EC$42 million with substantial assistance from the Republic of Cuba.

Several medical professionals from Cuba are also among the staff at the MMDC.

The Cuban head of state and his delegation will be given a tour of the MMDC, after which they will be hosted to lunch at the Beachcombers Hotel by Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves.

Tomorrow, Monday December 5, the final day of the visit, wife of the President, Lis Cuesta Peraza accompanied Eloise Gonsalves, wife of the Prime Minister will, at Young Island, view an exhibition of products by Vincentian entrepreneurs, followed by cultural performances.

The Cuban first lady will also have a private discussion with Vincentian women who studied in Cuba and Cuban women living in SVG.

President of Cuba Miguel Diaz-Canel (right) and his wife Lis Cuesta Peraza arriving at the Argyle International Airport on Saturday (API photo)

Also on Monday, the President will pay a courtesy call on head of state Governor General Dame Susan Dougan, and while he is at Government House, his wife, accompanied by Mrs Gonsalves will visit the Botanic Gardens.

The three-day official visit will culminate in a special sitting of the House of Assembly which will be addressed by President Diaz-Canel, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves and Leader of the Opposition Dr Godwin Friday.

Members of Cabinet met with the Cuban Delegation during a lunch at La Vue Hotel on Saturday. (API photo)

Shortly after his arrival yesterday, Saturday December 3, the Cuban head of state held discussions with Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves at La Vue Boutique Hotel and Beach Club.

He also met with Cuban workers in SVG and members of the Cuba Friendship Society at the Beachcombers Hotel.





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