“The Virus Is Still Out There”: COVID-19 in Jamaica – Travel, Tourism, More


Some people have asked me if I am going to do another update on COVID-19. We had two back-to-back press briefings and an online event with the Minister of Tourism, which I missed, at the end of this week. But first here are the latest numbers: We have two new cases today – June 14 … More “The Virus Is Still Out There”: COVID-19 in Jamaica – Travel, Tourism, More

COVID-19 in the Caribbean: Some Numbers, Testing and “Opening Up”


Today (Thursday May 28) Jamaica thankfully had a fourth day without any new cases of COVID-19. We had five more recoveries, which means around half of our 569 total cases. As for testing, we have done a total of 11,460, with 33 results pending. We tested 201 samples in the last 24 hours – which … More COVID-19 in the Caribbean: Some Numbers, Testing and “Opening Up”

Statement to the Senate by Minister of Foreign Affairs with an Update on the Ministry’s Support of Jamaicans Overseas During COVID-19 Pandemic


The news has been dominated recently by stories of returning Jamaican cruise ship workers – sometimes complaining, sometimes happy to be home – with another cruise ship arriving today carrying around 174 workers. Then there are the deportees, a monthly delivery of Jamaicans – a separate issue altogether, but all have to go into quarantine … More Statement to the Senate by Minister of Foreign Affairs with an Update on the Ministry’s Support of Jamaicans Overseas During COVID-19 Pandemic

Cruise Ship Workers: A Joint Statement from the Jamaican Government


Cruise ships have proved to be such a headache for Caribbean nations and for countries around the world. Back in early February, the Diamond Princess off the coast of Japan was quarantined, and later, together with the Grand Princess off California produced a total of over 800 positive cases and at least ten deaths. Earlier on, various ships were … More Cruise Ship Workers: A Joint Statement from the Jamaican Government

A Digital Town Hall for Jamaicans Living in the U.S.


As we know, at any one time there are many thousands of Jamaicans living or staying temporarily in the United States. I believe around one third of Jamaican immigrants to the U.S. (who total close to one million) live in New York, and about one quarter in Florida. But there are also thousands of seasonal … More A Digital Town Hall for Jamaicans Living in the U.S.

COVID-19 Good Stuff (Don’t We Have Enough of the Bad Stuff?) from Jamaica


Life in the Time of COVID-19. It’s hard not to keep focusing on the rising numbers, the gloomy predictions and the heart-wrenching stories of pain and loss. We are living in Strange Days. To be honest I am also getting tired of the attempts at humor online that sometimes fall terribly flat (my sense of … More COVID-19 Good Stuff (Don’t We Have Enough of the Bad Stuff?) from Jamaica

Bellevue Hospital Receives Over US$5,000 from Diaspora in USA


I spent a few hours at Bellevue Hospital in Kingston this week, for the launch of the Ministry of Health and Wellness’ Mental Health Campaign. Despite the heat and humidity, it was a cheerful experience. I had harbored an image of Bellevue (despite its pretty name) as a glowering, Victorian-style edifice. Later, I got the … More Bellevue Hospital Receives Over US$5,000 from Diaspora in USA

Letter from Minister Johnson Smith Regarding Temporary Closure of Jamaican Embassy in Caracas


As expected, the relationship between Jamaica and Venezuela continues to spark controversy. The Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Lisa Hanna, reacted to the closure of Jamaica’s Embassy in Caracas. And Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Senator Kamina Johnson Smith has responded swiftly and emphatically to Ms. Hanna’s comments (as … More Letter from Minister Johnson Smith Regarding Temporary Closure of Jamaican Embassy in Caracas

Jamaica to Temporarily Close Its Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela (And Prime Minister Holness to Meet with President Trump in Florida This Week)


Jamaica’s relationship with Venezuela (generally a warm one during the Chavez era and for decades prior to that) has become increasingly difficult and complex since the political crisis there, which is as yet unresolved. There has been much controversy (and internal disagreement) among Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states, and Jamaica’s Opposition has spoken loudly about … More Jamaica to Temporarily Close Its Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela (And Prime Minister Holness to Meet with President Trump in Florida This Week)