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

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

JET Disappointed at Reversal of Ratification of Environmental Treaty by Jamaican Government


I posted the press release earlier this week from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, correcting an announcement that Jamaica had both signed and ratified the Escazú Agreement. In fact, Jamaica signed but has not yet ratified. This is the Jamaica Environment Trust’s response… The Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) notes the October 1 press … More JET Disappointed at Reversal of Ratification of Environmental Treaty by Jamaican Government

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)

Updates From the Jamaican Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade On The Acquisition Of The 49% Shareholding In Petrojam Held By PDV Caribe


This morning, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Senator Kamina Johnson Smith held a press briefing updating journalists on the current situation regarding the Jamaican Government’s planned repurchase of the 49 per cent shareholding in Petrojam held by Venezuela’s PDV Caribe. This move, which the Minister stressed was a purely economic one to safeguard the … More Updates From the Jamaican Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade On The Acquisition Of The 49% Shareholding In Petrojam Held By PDV Caribe

Human Rights Day in Jamaica: Against a Background of the Arts, Much to Be Done


Human Rights Day this year was particularly significant for the world. We have to think “world” on Human Rights Day, and then get out our magnifying glasses and zoom in on a map of Jamaica and the Caribbean. For all of us, it was the 70th Anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of … More Human Rights Day in Jamaica: Against a Background of the Arts, Much to Be Done