A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘caribbean

[ISL] “Trying to Stanch Trinidad’s Flow of Young Recruits to ISIS”

leave a comment »

Frances Robles’ front page article in The New York Times noting how Muslims from Trinidad and Tobago are being recruited in large numbers for ISIS and like organizations is alarming.

Law enforcement officials in Trinidad and Tobago, a small Caribbean island nation off the coast of Venezuela, are scrambling to close a pipeline that has sent a steady stream of young Muslims to Syria, where they have taken up arms for the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL.

American officials worry about having a breeding ground for extremists so close to the United States, fearing that Trinidadian fighters could return from the Middle East and attack American diplomatic and oil installations in Trinidad, or even take a three-and-a-half-hour flight to Miami.

President Trump spoke by telephone over the weekend with Prime Minister Keith Rowley of Trinidad and Tobago about terrorism and other security challenges, including foreign fighters, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, a White House spokeswoman, said.

Trinidad has a history of Islamist extremism — a radical Muslim group was responsible for a failed coup in 1990 that lasted six days, and in 2012 a Trinidadian man was sentenced to life in prison for his role in a plot to blow up Kennedy International Airport. Muslims make up only about 6 percent of the population, and the combatants often come from the margins of society, some of them on the run from criminal charges.

They saw few opportunities in an oil-rich nation whose economy has declined with the price of petroleum, experts say. Some were gang members who either converted or were radicalized in prison, while others have been swayed by local imams who studied in the Middle East, according to Muslim leaders and American officials.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 22, 2017 at 6:30 pm

[ISL] “From sand beach to frozen lake, meet the guys of the Cayman Islands pond hockey team”

leave a comment »

The Toronto Star‘s Curtis Rush writes about the Cayman Islands’ hockey team, staffed heavily by Canadian expats.

After trading long Canadian winters for the perpetual summer of this luxurious Caribbean tax haven, Bill Messer was content to enjoy the soft sands and warm waters of island living. The only thing he really missed was hockey.

So in 2003, when he saw a television report about the nascent World Pond Hockey Championship, he began plotting a strategy to get a team from his adopted home ready to play in his native country, Canada.

The initial response to his inquiry, however, felt like a cold slap in the face.

The tournament organizer, Danny Braun, warned Messer in an email that it was frigid up in Canada and that hockey was a very fast, very rough game.

As he read the email, Messer said, he realized that he had not made it clear to Braun that he was Canadian.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 16, 2017 at 9:30 pm

[ISL] “Holland College marine education bridges P.E.I. and The Bahamas”

Michael Robinson of MacLean’s describes how Holland College, the chief non-academic institution of higher education on Prince Edward Island, is involved with teleeducation in the Bahamas.

Despite thousands of kilometres of ocean separating Prince Edward Island and the Bahamas, the allure of a marine education and a shared nautical ancestry has built a bridge between the two island communities.

P.E.I.’s Holland College first began angling for Bahamian students in 2004 as part of a joint effort with the Bahamas Maritime Authority. The object? To train Bahamian youth so they could work on vessels like tugboats and bulk carriers anywhere in the world.

Michael O’Grady, the college’s vice-president of innovation, enterprise and strategic development, says the size and feel of Canada’s smallest province evokes a sense of familiarity with Bahamian recruits.

“We like to say we are more alike than we are different, culturally,” he says. “There is a basic understanding among islanders of the challenges and opportunities of living on a island. You appreciate the importance of your surroundings and sea-faring traditions.”

Written by Randy McDonald

January 17, 2017 at 3:00 pm

[ISL] On Robert De Niro and his problematic plans on Barbuda

The National Post carried Gordon Rayner’s article in The Telegraph looking at Robert De Niro’s controversial development plans for the Caribbean island of Barbuda.

Once it was a favourite holiday destination of Diana, Princess of Wales, where she would take the young Princes William and Harry for carefree winter breaks.

Today, passing cruise ships swing by so that passengers can take pictures of Princess Diana Beach.

But since the Princess’s death, the K Club on the Caribbean island of Barbuda has suffered a reversal of fortunes, closing 12 years ago. Now the once luxurious resort is at the centre of an extraordinary legal battle involving Hollywood legend Robert De Niro and some of the island’s tiny population.

De Niro, together with his business partner James Packer, has bought the remainder of the lease on the land from its previous owner and has been granted planning permission to revamp, re-open and extend the K Club.

However, more than 300 of the island’s 1,500 residents have signed a petition objecting to the development, which they say is excessive and illegal.

Written by Randy McDonald

December 29, 2016 at 8:00 pm

[LINK] CBC on the Haitians stranded in Tijuana

CBC News’ Kim Brunhuber tells a heartbreaking story of Haitian migrants stranded on the US-Mexican frontier.

Every day, more Haitians arrive, famished. They’ve been on the road for three months to get here.

“We crossed Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala to come here,” says 26-year-old Joubert Alizaire.

He’s among the close to 50,000 Haitians who migrated to Brazil after the 2010 earthquake devastated parts of their country. Most of them went to work on Olympic construction. When the Olympics ended, so did the work. But the U.S. offered them a lifeline of sorts, announcing that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement would stop deporting Haitians who were in the country illegally.

That’s what prompted many Haitians like Jean-Ludger Sainnoval to begin a tortuous cross-continental journey. He says he walked much of the way, over mountains, through rivers and jungle.

“You never forget a journey like that,” Sainnoval says. “We had nothing to eat, no water, nothing to drink. We have friends that left Brazil but didn’t make it here. Some because it was too hard. Some because they died.”

Close to 5,000 Haitians managed to make it all the way to Tijuana, at the Mexico-U.S. border. But then in September the U.S. reversed the policy and said it would resume “removing” Haitian nationals, claiming that conditions in Haiti had improved. Those who feared persecution back home could apply for asylum.

Written by Randy McDonald

December 14, 2016 at 10:59 pm

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

  • At Apostrophen, ‘Nathan Smith talks about how he made a tradition out of Christmas tree ornamentation over the past twenty years.
  • blogTO notes that Toronto’s waterfront has major E Coli issues.
  • Crooked Timber notes the potential for the recent by-election in London, fought on Brexit and lost by the Tories, to mean something.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze reports on a search for radio flares from brown dwarfs.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that China has been installing ecologies on its artificial South China Sea islands.
  • The Everyday Sociology Blog considers what it means to be an ally.
  • The LRB Blog looks at the complex peace negotiations in Colombia.
  • The Map Room Blog shares a map of American infrastructure.
  • Marginal Revolution notes a one-terabyte drive passed from person to person that serves as a sort of Internet in Cuba.
  • Towleroad notes a film project by one Leo Herrera that aims to imagine what prominent AIDS victims would have done and been like had their not been killed by the epidemic.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes the complexities surrounding Brexit.
  • Arnold Zwicky has had enough with linguistic prescriptivism.

[AH] “What would Cuba have been like without the Castro revolution?”

At the Alternate History forums, I ask the question of what Cuba would have become absent the Castro takeover. (Richer, but substantially more unstable and unequal, is my first suggestion.)

Written by Randy McDonald

November 30, 2016 at 12:00 am