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Showing posts from 2014

Thanks From Mahogany Coconut Group

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The Caribbean Is One Nation.


                                                            Thanks From Mahogany Coconut Group
Although our hopes for a vibrant Caribbean nation are being blocked by inept leadership and a region that is now in full fledged consumer mode, we are heartened by the fact that we have been in the forefront of analyzing the issues that confronted our region during 2014.  Most of our contributions are submitted by members of our group who are not interested in personal aggrandizement. Our readership remains steady and we have, throughout the year, assisted a number of citizens, both within the region and the Diaspora, who wanted objective information on the region. MCG welcomes all views; we do not encourage vulgarity and while we respect the right of people to express their views, we steadfastly refuse to publish contributions that we think are nothing more than personal attacks on others. We therefore find that articles written and submitted five or more years ago…

2014 In Review

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The Caribbean Is One Nation.
                                                                                 2014 In Review



As is customary, we join with other commentators, that review the year and what gains, if any, the region would have made. As much as it distresses us, we are forced to conclude that 2014 brought nothing new to the region and that 2015 portends little. We are reaching the end of 2014 with most economies still reeling from a world recession that occasionally fools us that it is over. Within the region, our strongest economy, Trinidad and Tobago, appears to be facing unexpected challenges because of  falling oil prices. This reality has forced the Central Bank to review growth predictions downward. Coupled with widespread state corruption and an election that will reveal the ugliest use of the dollar bill to buy votes; it is sadly obvious that Tand T seems set for more malfeasance and stupidity in its governance.  In Guyana the President has created a constitutional …

Shame on you AGAIN, Holness

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The Caribbean Is One Nation.                                Shame on you AGAIN, Holness

“We are not serious about investment, things not going so well in CARICOM, our citizen are being treated with disrespect and yet we want to intensify our ties with CARICOM. I say no to that.” (Jamaica opposition leader Andrew Holness addressing the recent annual general conference of his Jamaica Labour Party) The mahogany Coconut Group is not surprised that Holness is at it again, trying to bury CARICOM and engender nothing but negativity toward regional unity by attempting to whip the Jamaican populace in to anti- CARICOM frenzy. He sees this dastardly act as his path to Prime Minister.  Once again we are forced to cry shame on you Holness. It was back in January(1/25/14), when we highlighted Mr. Holness’ opposition, to the Caribbean Court of Justice CCJ replacing the Privy Council as the court of last resort for our region. At that time, we had hoped that he would have changed his position but fa…

Trinidad, Barbados and Gay Rights

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The Caribbean Is One Nation.

                                                          Trinidad, Barbados and Gay Rights

Barbados and Trinidad seem to be the two Caribbean countries that are engaged in rising discussion about LGBT rights. It is interesting that regional governments are not taking the lead from some states in America , that have accepted it is  impossible to halt the movement for gays to be given the same legal and constitutional rights as the heterosexual community. Normally, we always seem to append ourselves to various trends in the USA. Even the United States Supreme Court apparently recognized that denying gays their rights is not a matter for its urgent consideration, and has left the individual states to deal with the issue. The problem with Caribbean politicians and policy makers is that they are facing stern opposition of a vocal, established church and   existing archaic laws, relating to buggery and other such acts.  They simply cannot find the fortitude to …

Ebola Testing Region's Limited Resources

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The Caribbean Is One Nation.

                                                           Ebola Testing Region's Limited Resources



There is no doubt that Caribbean leaders are worried about the Ebola  virus  although the virus has not turned up in the Caribbean , the mere thought of any case reaching the region must be both politically and economically worrying for the regions’ leaders.  Already stretched health services are now being tested to the limit because of the need to design a response should Ebola ever reach the region. The fact that many of these economies depend on the tourist industry, guarantees an increase in the worry index and concerns. Added to these concerns is the lingering chikungunya outbreak that is now being battled throughout the region. While the chikungunya causes severe discomfort it has not caused the problems that any single case of Ebola may create.  Our region simply does not have the resources to combat an Ebola outbreak; even the great America has a…

Indo- Barbadians More Visible

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The Caribbean Is One Nation.                                    
                                                                            Indo- Barbadians More Visible


The recent furor on the island of Barbados regarding the establishment of a Muslim residential community and mosque in a suburban area , has not caught us by surprise , taking into consideration  the knee-jerk reactions to issues and the ability to ignore trends until there are firmly entrenched. And then pretending they were nonexistent. It should have been glaringly evident to astute social commentators and others with more than a passing interest in sociological affairs, that sooner rather than later, the Indo -Barbadian Muslim community, would want to  display a more prominent presence on the island. Apparently, there are many Barbadians who believed that the Indo population would have wanted to forever remain in the environs of the capital city of Bridgetown, in what may be considered rather modest dwellings. H…

Bajan Footballers Win Soccer Competition

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The Caribbean Is One Nation.
                                                           Bajan Footballers Win Soccer Competition



By Michael Headley

On a rainy Saturday, September 13,  Red Hook Brooklyn exploded with loud shouts of ‘We won’ and ‘We are the champions’. This was followed by hugs, high fives, and congratulations for the victorious players of Summerfete who had just won the La Liga Champina soccer championship game. It's a Spanish league in which over 35 year-old players compete.  This was a very proud moment for the team and fans alike,including the ardent fan from New Jersey.   As the final whistle blew, Summerfete,  had overcome a one goal deficit to beat former champions Izabal  by three goals to two. Carl Joseph, a guest player from Barbados, scored a hat-trick.  After sixteen years of having to settle for many second place positions Summerfete, which is a majority Bajan team, and honorary Bajans, from Tobago, St. Vincent and previously others from Jamaica and Guy…

Dreadful Summer Ends in Cricket Shame

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The Caribbean Is One Nation.
                  Dreadful Summer Ends in Cricket Shame

The long dreadful summer for the Caribbean, culminated with the embarrassing and almost total collapse of West Indies cricket, with the withdrawal of the team from the tour to India. We say withdrawal but it was more an abandonment because of conflict between the West Indies Cricket Board and the West Indies Players Association. Cricket, our last bastion of Caribbean unity, has now been thrown into the same cesspool, of inept leadership, that has successfully hijacked and wrecked the political management class. It is now crystal clear, that unless new leadership springs up throughout the region, we will be, in cricketing terms, caught down the wicket, with no chance of getting back in the crease! We have previously warned that the region’s power players are parasitical and would do untold damage to the image of our islands.  The WICBC is a government unto itself and it has historically treated our cri…

Rise You Mighty (Caribbean) People, RISE !

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The Caribbean Is One Nation.

Rise You Mighty (Caribbean) People, RISE !


The peoples of the Caribbean especially those in their 60’s and older must be baffled by what they see daily emerging in their individual islands. It is not all negative, but the shootings muggings and the many wayward youth must be a great source of pain for them. The islands now lack seriously progressive thinkers and the few that still advocate radical change are privately admitting that the task is harder than it was in the sixties. The mental baggage from slavery and colonialism persists. Political independence and mental independence are not easily disentangled. We have the physical trappings that we are told are provided by free education. That means that we are apparently educated to be nothing more than consumers since we are measuring progress by conspicuous consumption. We are no longer using the wholesomeness of communities and the ability to display our creative talents because ,they for the most part…

Garbage Worthless Politicians

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The Caribbean Is One Nation.


                  Garbage Worthless Politicians


By Michael Headley
On Tuesday, September 16, a video emerged from Kiev which showed  Vitaly Zhuravsky, a Ukrainian parliament member, being literally thrown into a rubbish bin by  a group of angry protesters (myfoxphilly.com/story/26545710/angry).  Apparently, this action, taken by the group, was precipitated after Mr. Zhuravsky had authored a bill, in January, that tightened restrictions on anti-government protesters. New Sky reported that the outrage came in lieu of an authored bill that had granted  amnesty to the pro Russian rebels.  And it was reported that one lady said ‘Boys let me kick him at least one time’ (westernjournalism.com/Ukraine-politician-throw-into-a-dump).   Whatever the reason, this drastic action was a clear indication that the group felt that the politician would be more suited with the garbage. Unfortunately water was splashed on him and a tire was  thrown on top of him before he was …

Beggars And Choosers

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The Caribbean Is One Nation
                                                                          Beggars And Choosers

By William Skinner The granting of concessions to the hoteliers, is a capitulation on the part of the Barbados government, which now finds itself with a one step forward two steps backward economic  policy; trying to please an essentially lazy and backward corporate class while inflicting serious blows on the already poor and economically downtrodden. The hoteliers in Barbados have clearly demonstrated that they have failed to capitalize on an industry that has been in existence for over sixty years. They have whined their way into the taxpayers coffers, on the spurious grounds that the concessions granted to the well established Sandals Group should be automatically theirs for the taking.  In other words, while very few of them can ever boast or hope to come close, to demonstrating that they can ever reach Sandals’ heights, they have blackmailed the government in…

Bajans wine down de parkway

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The Caribbean Is One Nation.


                           Bajans wine down de parkway




By Michael Headley On September 01, 2014, Bajans, along with other Caribbean Nationals,and people from all over the world were 'wining down the bacchanal road' as they danced down Brooklyn's Eastern Parkway in the 47th annual West Indian American Day Carnival Parade.   Bajans were not going to be left out of this day where pageantry and culture are displayed so they joined the other revelers to showcase their costumes, calypso music and ethnic pride.  It was New York's new Mayor Bill de Blasio and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, who was the Grand Master, first Carnival parade in their respective titles. And as an added bonus. the new Mayor's wife,  first lady Chirlane McCray,  is of Bajan and St. Lucian descent. 
As I approached the parkway I saw the Broken Trident on a truck and a banner, draped on the side,with  the phrase Bajan Paradise presents Fantasy 2014. This fantasy …

Woman Must Cry

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The Caribbean Is One Nation.
Woman Must Cry 

Now that the Prime Minister’s Minister of Finance has delivered the last budget in this Government’s current term, there is overwhelming evidence that the nation’s mother, grandmother and now fairy godmother has done nothing substantial for Trinidad and Tobago’s women and children.
Through historical fact and biological lottery, Kamla Persad-Bissessar will always be T&T’s first woman prime minister. Her awards will remain with her too: the 2013 democracy medal conferred, we were told, because “her rise to power is testament to the progress of women both here in the region and around the world” and her 2010 Glamour Magazine Woman of the Year award because her work, we were told, was “an inspiration to women and girls everywhere.”
Chromosomes aside, however, what has the Prime Minister done to move the country towards protection of children, equal pay for equal work, protections and transitions for victims of domestic abuse, sustainable se…

Former Barbados PM's Skillful Move

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The Caribbean Is One Nation.
                                                           Former Barbados PM's Skillful Move

By William Skinner Those who would seek to write off former Prime Minister Owen Arthur are making a potentially grievous political mistake. Apparently, it is now customary in our society, to declare anyone above the age of 60 as a has been. This means that all those teachers, police, nurses and others including those in the private sector, are supposed to go home at 55 or 60 and grow lettuce or roses. I respectfully beg to differ. The truth is that, as far as I know, Arthur has no impediment that will affect his ability to be a very productive citizen for many years to come. This desire to declare people old prematurely has led to the destruction of West Indies cricket when we deliberately hastened the exit of players such as Desmond Haynes and more recently Brian Lara, out of the game before they were, in my opinion ready. When we determine that people who are t…

Trinidad and Tobago at 52

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The Caribbean Is One Nation.

                                                    Trinidad and Tobago at 52

Trinidad and Tobago gained its independence from Great Britain on August 31st, 1962.  At midnight on 30th August, 1962, the Union Jack (British flag) was lowered and the Trinidad and Tobago flag was raised for the first time. 


The Mahogany Coconut Group had its genesis in an internet gathering that comprised mainly of Caribbean citizens in the Diaspora. Within this gathering the country with the largest contingent, was and remains Trinidad and Tobago. We are therefore quick to extend our congratulations to the good people of Trinidad and Tobago on the attainment of fifty two years of independence. At this time we remember Eric Williams, who should be an example to all those academics, who after receiving free education from the University of the West Indies, voluntarily disconnect themselves from their communities and proceed to exist solely to enrich themselves. Eric Williams sho…

Welcome, Comrade Toni Moore

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The Caribbean Is One Nation.

                                                   Welcome, Comrade Toni Moore


The Mahogany Coconut Group welcomes the new General Secretary of the powerful Barbados Workers Union (BWU), Comrade Toni Moore. She is the first woman to head what is probably one of the best organized workers unions throughout the Caribbean. It is a tribute to the Barbadian women, who have always been in the struggle for the betterment of the working class. Our faith in the younger Caribbean generation is fortified by Comrade Moore’s elevation at the young age of thirty eight. Comrade Moore takes over the union at a time when the workers in Barbados are under tremendous pressure as the government’s austerity program becomes more intensified and far reaching. The Transport Board, and other government statutory boards, have suffered from widespread retrenchment and the unions, in many cases have not been as vigilant, as we would have wanted them to be in fighting government on be…

Barbados Seeks to Update Domestic Violence Laws

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The Caribbean Is One Nation.
                                                                       Barbados Seeks to Update Domestic Violence Laws

“Some of the recommended amendments to the Domestic Violence Act will see an expansion of the scope of the protection orders as well as the power given to officers of the Royal Barbados Police force to carry out their duties.” “The Proposed amendments would speak to how officers record each report and the application of a methodology for getting one of the partners out of the house for a specific period…” Acting Director of the Bureau of Gender affairs Nalita Gajadar, Nation Newspaper (Barbados) 8/18/14 We welcome the above sentiments and certainly hope that the proposed amendments to the Domestic Violence Act do not languish in somebody’s office for the next decade! We have already seen what has happened to the efforts to have Integrity Legislation. In recent times, we have witnessed a dangerous increase in domestic violence and it is n…

Ferguson Tragedy: Flashes of 60's

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The Caribbean Is One Nation.                         Ferguson Tragedy: Flashes of 60's





Once more the underlying racism has surfaced in America in Ferguson, Missouri with the death by police gun shots of an Afro American young unarmed teenager Michael Brown. While others are trying their utmost to discuss this act of law enforcement terrorism, with a quietness and almost apologetic tone, we at Mahogany Coconut cannot sincerely be that placid. For those who fought and protested America’s racism and socio-economic disparities between white and afro America, these images in 2014 or fifty years after the zenith of the civil rights movement in the sixties,  are really too much to bear. With the election of a black president, we thought that such terror would have subsided but that was just a dream. Preliminary examinations suggest that Michael Brown was shot six times with two of the bullets hitting him in his head. The other four were in his arms. This means that the police involved di…

Caribbean Masses Place Hope In Faith

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The Caribbean Is One Nation.


Caribbean Masses Place Hope In Faith


As we continue to fearlessly monitor the travesties being committed by the political management class, we are convinced that our visionless and politically bankrupt politicians get away with their transgressions because the masses of the Caribbean are essentially Christian. The mainly black masses of the Caribbean, have taken all the broken post-independence promises and ad hoc approach to their developmental needs , with great patience and an unshakable belief that tomorrow will bring a brighter day. Having endured four hundred years of European engineered and executed: brutality, emasculation and depravity, they have never asked the political management class for too much and have settled for way too little!  Christian acceptance of what many have concluded is their “ordained” fate, has allowed the post colonial and independence leaders, to collectively treat the masses of the region as nothing more than vessels to tr…

Black on Black Crime: Caribbean Style

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The Caribbean Is One Nation.                Black on Black Crime: Caribbean Style

There was a time in the not too distant past, when the dreaded drive by shootings was standard occurrences in the inner cities of America. Black sociologists and criminologists described drives by and other violent crime involving blacks as: Black on Black crime. The graveyards of many inner cities are home to several victims. In the Caribbean, we are witnessing the drive by and other forms of violent crimes occur with unusual frequency. Unfortunately, youths throughout the region, appear seriously determined to wipe out each other via the bullet. Gone are the days of “throwing big rocks’ or “giving a fellow a cuff” or trying to wrestle your adversary to the ground. Gone are the cuss outs at the standpipe and the often frivolous village rivalry of four or five decades ago. Today, all disagreements among the criminal element are settled with a burst of fire from a gun. Even stabbings are rather obsolete. …

Trinidad and Tobago : Corruption On Steroids

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The Caribbean Is One Nation.
                                                       Trinidad and Tobago  : Corruption On Steroids


Once again, we are forced to briefly focus, on Trinidad and Tobago. The question now occupying our minds is whether there is any hope for the proper governance of the twin island state. For Trinidadians to pretend that the high level of open corruption is just a “Trini ting” is to inflict serious damage on their country and rob its future generations of any hope of living in a vibrant politically progressive society. Trinidadians are sipping   a diabolical cocktail  of government orchestrated corruption and a crime rate that is obviously out of control, where witnesses to crimes ,are executed almost daily ,before they can testify in court. Our concern today is focused on Mr. Anvil Roberts the now former Sport Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, who has been forced to resign not only from his ministry but from parliament itself. He is the latest embarrassment to …

Emancipation Day and the Holocaust

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The Caribbean Is One Nation.


                                                            Emancipation Day and the Holocaust



“The same way no Jews will overlook the atrocities inflicted by the Nazis, Barbadians must never overlook the significance of Emancipation Day. Indeed, for us it must be seen as even more important than the observance of political independence.” Daily Nation (Barbados) Friday August 1st. 2014 Sometimes words are just words. The editorial quoted above justifies this position. While the nation newspaper was lamenting the fact that Barbadians were generally ignoring the advent of Emancipation Day, the Barbados Today online journal, was wondering aloud, if the day really had any significance.  Barbados Today predicted that unless the national conscience is lifted the celebration of the day will fade away. We concur. It is time to call a spade a spade: Barbadians have never been pro-African and this has its historical roots in being almost ruled or enslaved exclusively b…