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Showing posts from May, 2014

University of West Indies Should Reinstate Dr. Bain

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The Caribbean Is One Nation.
                                                           University of West Indies Should Reinstate Dr. Bain  
By Michael Headley

The University of the West Indies, (UWI) should reinstate Professor Brendan Bain, poste haste, as Director of the Regional Co-ordinating Unit of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training (CHART) Network because he was not accused, nor was it revealed that he had been derelict in his duties in that role.    So the suggestion (  NationNews 5/21/14) by  Dr. Carolyn Gomes, executive director of Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC) and its finance manager, Ivan Cruickshank that it was a conflict of interest issue with the Professor, vis-a-vis his association with CHART and then giving his professional opinion on the September 10, Caleb Orozco constitutional challenge, against the Belizian country's criminal code to decriminalize buggery, was only a lame excuse for CVC to acquiesce to the demands of the 33 lobbying gr…

Our Youth, Fast Foods And Guns

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The Caribbean Is One Nation.


                                                           Our Youth, Fast Foods And Guns



Recent media reports and findings of health management organizations have concluded, and we believe correctly so, that many Caribbean youths have become very fond of American styled fast foods. Cultural penetration can be deadly and invasive. In this case the old adage that the way to man’s heart is via his belly (stomach) rings very true. Unfortunately this worrying trend does not yield the romantic results, the adage referenced may have suggested, but the heart itself is in danger because the fast foods coupled with a lack of exercise, will not bring love to the heart but would result in heart attacks and other ailments. The trend toward fast foods, has gained momentum in the last decade, because it is now safe to argue, that the region is more heavily influenced by American media than at any time during its history. Our youth know the basketballers, footballers and o…

Maya Angelou: A Credit To The World

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The Caribbean Is One Nation.
                                                            Maya Angelou: A Credit To The World


The Mahogany Coconut Group joins all freedom loving people throughout the Caribbean, in extending our profound condolences to the family of Maya Angelou, who died on Wednesday. We are in awe of this wonderful woman and sister, who overcame many personal struggles and emerged as a champion of the oppressed and a beacon of all that is decent in human beings. We note her many struggles and can only conclude that they would have easily destroyed a lesser human being. Of course, Maya Angelou would have never claimed to be any greater than any other living soul, but we must differ and boldly state that she was indeed greater than many of us could ever hope to be. Again, she would have perhaps dismissed our position, but we believe that credit must be given where it is due and, she without any trace of doubt earned such greatness and lionization. Raped at the age of seven…

Friday Comment: A Perpetual Recession

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The Caribbean Is One Nation.

                                                                    Friday Comment: A Perpetual Recession




We ask ourselves today: What really is a recession? As regional leaders continue to grapple with high unemployment , widening deficits and scarce foreign exchange, we are forced to conclude, that our region has not yet been successful in overcoming the great recession, we encountered after slavery was abolished and the one that continued as we won adult suffrage and  eventually independence and nationhood in the 60’s. It is therefore quite fair to conclude that economies built exclusively on slave labor cannot escape recessions or economic doldrums, once the slave labor is removed. We talk about the glory days of sugar, when it earned foreign exchange. The second question is: Foreign exchange for whom and whose economies? Certainly, if the earnings from sugar were ploughed back into our economies, great empires would have emerged.  It is quite nostalgi…

Time To Fully Embrace Our Gay Community

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The Caribbean Is One Nation.

                                                      Time To Fully Embrace Our Gay Community



The decision to sack of the University of the West Indies Professor Brendan Bain brings into sharp focus, the powerful lobbying ability of the gay movement within the region. The firing of the highly respected professor was the result of expert testimony he gave in a case concerning gay/human rights in Belize. He testified that in his opinion MSM (Men who have sex with men) are at greater risk of spreading the HIV and listed the negative economic  and health effects of such. Many gay organizations within the region viewed his position as discriminatory against the gay community, taking into consideration that he has a high profile position in the fight for and dissemination of information regarding the AIDS virus. The MCG, (Mahogany Coconut Group)from its inception, has defended and continues to defend the rights of homosexuals to enjoy all privileges enjoyed by …

A Grandfather's Lapse

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The Caribbean Is One Nation.

                                                                         A  Grandfather's Lapse


The news that the grandfather in Trinidad and Tobago, who recently forgot his seventeen months old grandson in the backseat of his car that led to the death of the toddler will face criminal charges, is a story that cannot have a happy ending. From all reports, the grandfather was an integral and loving part of the youngster’s life. It is therefore some consolation that for his brief stay on earth, the little boy experienced much love and attention. It is therefore not surprising, that he was the centre of his family. The Mahogany Coconut Group has been in the forefront of highlighting crimes against our children, women and the elderly. In the strict legal sense, this unfortunate incident, is a crime against a child and will be recorded as criminal negligence toward a child. It is not that the grandfather is a bad man or deliberately set out to harm the love …

Hail CXC

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The Caribbean Is One Nation.
                                                                                          Hail CXC


From time to time, the Mahogany Coconut Group has been vehement in its criticism of the regions academics and intellectuals. MCG has often considered them as accomplices in the failure to move the region forward and continues to push them to higher levels of productivity, in order to fully create the new Caribbean Nation that we see as the only salvation for our region. At times we are accused of making broad generalizations and reminded that many of our academics are trying their best, in highly politically polarized communities. We rapidly counter that their training and vast intellects should have by now engendered them to overcome such obstacles. On this occasion, we have to identify the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) and its productive and visionary band of intellectual and academics, which since 1972 have been in the forefront of Caribbeanising  our …

Welcome Captain Ramdin

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The Caribbean Is One Nation.
                                                              Welcome Captain Ramdin

We extend sincere best wishes to Denesh Ramdin, the new captain of the West Indies test team. We also thank outgoing skipper Darren Sammy, who has announced his retirement from test cricket. We are happy that he will continue to play the popular, shorter version of the game, the T20, for our regional side. While others have condemned Sammy and have justifiably argued that his cricketing skills at the test level were less than stellar, we at Mahogany Coconut identified Sammy, as a good leader and highlighted him in our 2012 Citizens of Note. As for Ramdin, we opine that he will have great difficulty in performing below those who have captained the team in recent times. He can find some ironic comfort that the great Brian Lara did not distinguish himself as a captain and even the great Sir Garfield Sobers, was considered below average as skipper. Ramdin’s goals should be to…

Caribbean And the Brave New World

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The Caribbean Is One Nation.

                                                    The Caribbean And The brave New World





Imagine a Caribbean nation with mature leaders who don’t disdain their culture; who believe that we are greater than  what portends, at this critical crossroad in our development, as we journey towards true nationhood. We can only hope that it is not “just beyond our imagination”, as is stated in a popular vacation advertisement, by one of our islands tourist boards. We at the MCG (Mahogany Coconut Group) have been accused of following a totally collapsed dream; we have been warned that our mission to unify the Caribbean, is nothing more than a romantic relic of the 60’s. They usually reference the failure of the Grenada Revolution  and caution us that should be a potent reminder, of the poison that dreamers consume. The youth, using the now rampant street lingo of their counterparts in the USA, will refer to such detractors as “haters”. According to the youth, haters dr…

The Modern Bajan (Barbadian) Woman: Good bye Inez

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The Caribbean Is One Nation.

                                                              The Modern Bajan (Barbadian) Woman: Good bye Inez




 By Pachamama


The Mighty Gabby in his magisterial work asked Inez to come down, but Bajan women after 500 years in a strange land are showing signs that they are determined to regain that matriarchal place, formerly held, in African societies, though this new dispensation may, in many ways, be very different from 'traditional' practice. Gabbo might have been calling Inez, but now all Bajan women are calling on men to come down. Come down from patriarchy, come down from chauvinism, come down from misogyny, come down from the ways of massa. In fact, men are more and more being beckoned to go down, to heaven, as a condition precedent! 

Skinner(Mahogany Coconut Group) talks about a new status quo. The fish cakes, tapioca and bakes that Gabby seems to like from his Inez are not as generally available to Bajan men these days. For Inez has the s…

The World At War – Thermal Nuclear War!

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The Caribbean Is One Nation.
                                                        The World At War – Thermal Nuclear War!


                                  By Pachamama


We expect to face the grand charge of fatalism and we plead guilty as charged, a priori. As humans, we have lost control and an acute and convenient dementia permits the false recasting of current events in ways that make wrongs right and rights wrong, in a few 'news' cycles. The creeping tribal warfare amongst White tribes in Europe threatens a global cataclysm. This maybe the most dangerous problem in the world but the burgeoning genocide amongst Black tribes in “South Sudan'' is no less blood curdling, unremitting. This week alone, we've had the kleptocratic regime in Arabia parading nuclear capable missiles, built in China, but within an arsenal that adds up to 60 billion US dollars per year to the coffers of western armament companies. What kind of a world would have these reckless criminals…

Murder of Dana Seetahal: The face of Trinidad Changes

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The Caribbean Is One Nation.
                                                                  Murder of Dana Seetahal: The face of Trinidad Changes

The brutal murder of prominent Senior Counsel, Dan Seetahal, has perhaps changed the face of Trinidad and Tobago. Let us hope, it is not forever.
According to police authorities, in the twin island state, the murder has all the fingerprints of a well executed hit. It hits MCG even more because she was a fearless commentator on social and other issues, as a columnist with the Trinidad Express newspaper. It is therefore a loss to independent-minded journalist throughout the region. In the Caribbean, the murdering of jurists and those involved in bringing the criminal element to justice, is not an everyday occurrence. We believe it is the first murder of its kind and we can only hope that there are no copy cats or other criminals, contemplating such brutality. Even if this is a one of a kind atrocity, we are clear in our minds that it is one…

Let's Dance With The Daffodils

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The Caribbean Is One Nation.

                                                                               Let's Dance With The Daffodils
By Michael Headley

As the Spring equinox  arrived on March 20, 2014, the transition from Winter to Spring became imminent.  The sights and sounds of Spring were now in the air.  Winter was slowly loosening  its icy grip and all manner of life seemed to be awakening, a resurrection of sorts.  Even peoples’ faces were getting free from the tightness of winter and smiles were rapidly flowing .   The Crocuses seemed to get a jump on the other perennials because they flowered first in my make-shift garden.    The sparrows,  the Starlets , the doves etc.  could be heard chirping and cooing respectively  as they busied themselves to find homes for nesting purposes.   And with the release of pollen in the atmosphere, Spring became a nightmare for allergy sufferers.  But of all the flowering plants, the Daffodils stand out at this time of year.  Maybe it…

Honour Sir Garry In His Hometown

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The Caribbean Is One Nation.


                                                                                Honour Sir Garry In His Hometown

                                            By Michael Headley


It was riveting to read Tony Cozier's, Sir Gary's Double(Sunday Sun 3/30/14) in which Mr. Cozier highlighted Sir Garfied St. Auburn Sobers’ illustrious cricketing career.  It was chronicled from  his first test match, when he represented the West Indies, at the tender age of 17, on March 30, 1954, against England at Sabina Park Jamaica, to his final  test in 1974,against England, at Queen's Park Oval Trinidad.  A March 30, 60/40 year phenomenon.  Over the years this humble Baylanian and global cricketing Master has received many honours, notably his Knighthood, and his statute at Kensington Oval.  However,  I still don't understand why 'Sir Gary's Way'  has not been added to the Walcott's Ave signpost, in Beckle's Road, St. Michael, that points the…

Mothers Wrong

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The Caribbean Is One Nation.






 Mothers  Wrong


The Mahogany Coconut Group is quite aware that corporal and capital punishment have widespread support throughout the Caribbean region.  We respectfully suggest that this strong support is based on the often referenced biblical positions: If you spare the rod you spoil the child and an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Many of us growing up in the region experienced serious lashes for our wrong doings. Indeed, some claim that these floggings actually saved them from the hangman’s noose. There is a rising school of thought, which suggests that our addiction to corporal punishment is an after effect of the beatings we received at the hands of the slave master; that our entire history is based on violence and that corporal punishment is a psychological left over or is it carry over, from the slave days. The MCG finds this position to be quite viable and we go as far as to suggest, that much of how we see ourselves at present, may very wel…