Guyana, Geostrategic Entrepreneurialism And Energy

By Scott B. MacDonald

News Americas, FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Thurs. Sept. 7, 2023: The global political and economic system is in flux, driven by climate change, a transition from fossil fuels to renewables, and a new Cold War between the United States and China. Another factor creeping into this mix is the revitalization of the Global South, countries that are largely situated in the world’s southern hemisphere.  Key to the recent revival of the Global South is the re-emergence of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) as a force in international politics and economics.  While the Global South’s return to the headlines should not be overstated, it adds to the complexity of the international system. It also benefits many countries in the Caribbean, in particular Guyana, the newly minted petro-state.

In the not-too-distant past, many countries, Guyana included, were not at the top of the list of places where large and important countries sent their top-of-the line diplomats, let alone heads of state. For Guyana it was not until 2020 that Mike Pompeo became the first U.S. Secretary of State to visit Guyana. That was then; this is now.

Guyana’s leadership is having a busy 2023, hosting and being hosted by a wide range of countries, usually to discuss energy and trade and investment opportunities. In January 2023 President Ali Ifraan visited India, which was followed in February by Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo, discussing many of the same matters. In April India’s foreign minister visited Guyana. In June Ali visited Qatar, where he inaugurated a new embassy. This was followed by Ali’s attending the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), where he met with fellow regional heads of state, including President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (a BRICS member). In the same month, Ali was visited by the Dominican Republic’s President Luis Abinader. Early July saw the Guyanese head of state traveling to Trinidad and Tobago to take part in CARICOM’s 50th anniversary, while in early August Guyanese representatives attended the meeting of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization, held in Brazil.

Meanwhile, Guyana is not being ignored by China and the United States. In early July U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken visited Guyana, where he met with President Ali and stressed the shared priorities of strengthening democracy in the Americas, dealing with the global climate crisis and creating more inclusive economic opportunities. Following Blinken’s visit, the Guyanese leader was off to China to attend the opening ceremony of the 31st FISU World University Games. While there he met with China’s President Xi Jinping. The Chinese leader indicated that his country is willing to deepen the alignment between its Belt and Road Initiative and Guyana’s Low-Carbon Development Strategy 2030.   

Guyana’s newly prominent standing in international circles reflects what some are calling a shift from the post-Cold War age of the U.S. being the only superpower to a more multipolar world with a menu of new alliances now being offered. The Financial Times’ Alec Russell captures the essence of this: “The stand-off between Washington and Beijing, and the West’s effective abandonment of its three-decade dream that the gospel of free markets would lead to a more liberal version of the Chinese Community Party, are presenting an opportunity for much of the world: not just to be wooed but also to play one off against the other – and many are doing this with alacrity and increasing skill.” Guyana is one of those countries taking advantage of what some are calling “geostrategic entrepreneurialism”.

Guyana’s geostrategic entrepreneurialism reflects similar drivers of many countries in the Global South. These include making certain that Guyana matters in global and regional affairs (which is helped by Guyana’s prodigious oil and gas reserves); not being forced into picking a side in the new Cold War between the U.S. and China; and to strike the best economic deals that it can with the view of improving the living standards of the population, dealing with climate change challenges and more broadly diversifying its economic base and trade partners.

While the revival of the Global South idea has upsides, there are also downsides, such as the possibility that the BRICS (with expanded membership) will assume an increasingly anti-Western tone. The organization has already created the New Development Bank, which purports to be more in tune with the needs of developing countries as opposed to the IMF and World Bank. China and Russia, two of the more anti-Western countries, are central to the organization; and there is interest in doing away with the U.S. dollar as the primary international currency. At the same time, the political faces of the BRICS, except for Brazil and to some degree India are autocratic. Even the new members – with the exception of Argentina – are authoritarian. Not that Guyana is going to sign up as a member of the BRICS, but the tone of the Global South does not favor the democracy brand and is increasingly in opposition to the U.S.—Guyana’s main trade and investment partner and a key diplomatic supporter in fending off Venezuelan claims for two-thirds of the country. At the same time, two of the major external supporters of Venezuela are China and Russia.

Thus far Guyana has played its hand at geostrategic entrepreneurialism relatively well.  This has been achieved by a combination of active diplomacy that courts both China and the United States, but is giving space to other countries – India, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and UAE – chances at investment and trade opportunities. At the same time, Guyana is gradually becoming a more important partner for other Caribbean states, including the CARICOM countries and the Dominican Republic. Oil plays a large role in this. As President Ali recently stated, “And sometimes I say that maybe what drives public following is the oil and gas sector, because since oil was discovered, we have seen a very welcome interest from the global community on Guyana.”  Geostrategic entrepreneurialism is likely to remain central to Guyana’s economic statecraft, but the backdrop of the revitalized Global South raises some challenging questions.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Dr. Scott B. MacDonald is the Chief Economist at Smith’s Research & Gradings. he is also a fellow at the Caribbean Policy Consortium and a research fellow at Global Americans. His most recent book is ‘The new Cold War, China and the Caribbean (Palgrave Macmillan,’ (2022). 

2023 New York J’Ouvert In Pictures

News Americas, BROOKLYN, NY, Weds. Sept. 6, 2023: J’Ouvert in Brooklyn, NY, concluded another violence free year on September 4, 2023.The 2023 celebrations took place early in the morning at Grand Army Plaza and was a major security event for the NYPD, as the department worked to keep weapons and alcohol out of the mix with checkpoints and drones overhead. J’Ouvert originates from the French words “jour ouvert,” and pronounced “Jou- Vay,” meaning daybreak and signals the start of Carnival with historical linkage to slavery when the slaves used the event to mimic their white slave masters. See some of the more artistic participants at this year’s J’Ouvert.

People wear horns to embody a character called “Jab Jab” (from the French for Devil) in a Caribbean street carnival starting at dawn called J’Ouvert on September 4, 2023 in the Brooklyn borough in New York City. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

(Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

(Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

(Photo by Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images)

(Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

People cover themselves with paint and powder called “playing mas” during a Caribbean street carnival starting at dawn called J’Ouvert on September 4, 2023 in the Brooklyn borough in New York City. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

(Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

(Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

(Photo by Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images)

Embracing Diversity: Corporations Need To Prioritize Multicultural Press Release Promotion

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. Sept. 4, 2023: In an evolving global landscape, corporations globally are recognizing the importance of embracing diversity not only within their workforce but also in their communication strategies. As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, companies are urged to focus on multicultural press release promotion to better engage with diverse audiences, including in the Caribbean, Latin America and Africa, and reflect the richness of the communities they serve.

The Power of Multicultural Press Release Promotion

Corporations have long relied on press releases as a tool to disseminate information, announce news, and showcase achievements. However, as society becomes more diverse, the need to tailor communication approaches to specific cultural nuances is becoming paramount. Multicultural press release promotion involves crafting messages that resonate with various ethnic and cultural groups, ensuring that the content is relatable and respectful of their values and perspectives.

Inclusivity Breeds Connection

A significant benefit of embracing multicultural press release promotion is the opportunity to foster stronger connections with diverse audiences. By acknowledging the unique experiences and preferences of different cultural communities, corporations can create content that resonates on a personal level. This approach not only enhances brand trust but also positions companies as culturally sensitive and inclusive.

Reaching Untapped Markets

By focusing on multicultural press release promotion offered by CARIBPR Wire and the PR Newswire, corporations can tap into markets that might have been previously overlooked. These markets often have immense potential for growth, and tailoring communications to cater to their specific interests and needs can lead to increased engagement and customer loyalty.

Authenticity is Key

A key element of successful multicultural press release promotion is authenticity. Companies must strive to genuinely understand and respect the cultures they are addressing. Stereotypical or tokenistic approaches can have adverse effects and damage a company’s reputation. Therefore, investing in research and fostering genuine relationships with cultural communities is essential.

Best Practices for Multicultural Press Release Promotion

Cultural Sensitivity: Understand the cultural values, customs, and traditions of the target audience to ensure messaging is respectful and appropriate.

Local Language: Translating press releases accurately and sensitively into local languages can greatly enhance audience engagement.

Localized Content: Incorporate stories and examples that resonate with the specific community, showcasing an understanding of their unique experiences.

Diverse Representation: Ensure that images, videos, and spokespersons represent the diversity of the target audience.

Collaboration: Engage with cultural leaders, influencers, and community members to validate the messaging and ensure its authenticity.

In today’s globalized world, corporations are recognizing that their communication strategies must adapt to reflect the diversity of their stakeholders. By embracing multicultural press release promotion, companies can establish themselves as inclusive, culturally sensitive entities that value the experiences and perspectives of various communities. This approach not only enriches their brand but also contributes to building stronger, more meaningful connections with audiences around the world.

How Caribbean And Other Businesses Can Enhance Digital PR Distribution With SEO

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. Sept. 4, 2023: In an era where digital visibility holds the key to business success, especially those in the Caribbean and globally, the strategic integration of SEO and Google News coverage has emerged as a potent combination for effective PR distribution. Hardbeat Communications, a trailblazer in the realm of digital PR, unveils its pioneering approach to harness the potential of SEO and Google News to maximize business outreach and engagement.

The Dynamics of Digital PR Distribution

Digital Public Relations (PR) has witnessed a profound transformation, transcending traditional media and embracing the vast landscape of the digital realm. The dissemination of news, announcements, and stories now extends beyond press releases to encompass online publications, social media, and search engine platforms. Among these platforms, Google News stands tall as a hub for aggregating news content, providing users with real-time updates and relevant stories.

The Role of SEO in Digital PR

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has long been acknowledged as a cornerstone of online visibility. By optimizing content with strategically chosen keywords, businesses enhance their chances of ranking higher on search engine result pages. However, the symbiotic relationship between SEO and digital PR is often underestimated. Integrating SEO techniques into PR content not only improves search engine rankings but also ensures that news and stories reach the right audience at the right time.

Hardbeat Communications’ Innovative Approach

Hardbeat Communications recognizes the power of this synergy and has strategically combined the realms of SEO and Google News in its distribution approach. By weaving relevant keywords into PR content, businesses can increase the chances of their news appearing in Google News searches, attracting a wider audience and enhancing brand exposure.

Through this innovative approach, Hardbeat Communications empowers businesses to:

Amplify Visibility: By optimizing PR content for search engines, businesses can secure top positions on Google News, significantly increasing visibility and driving organic traffic.

Enhance Engagement: Targeting specific keywords ensures that the content resonates with the intended audience, driving higher engagement and interaction.

Stay Ahead: Real-time updates on Google News keep businesses ahead of industry trends, positioning them as thought leaders in their respective domains.

Benefits Beyond Visibility

Beyond the realm of visibility, the SEO and Google News synergy offers additional advantages:

Credibility: Being featured in Google News lends credibility to businesses, establishing them as reliable sources of information.

Global Reach: Google News extends the reach of PR content to a global audience, facilitating expansion into new markets.

Measurement: Analytics and data provide insights into the effectiveness of PR campaigns, enabling strategic adjustments.

In an increasingly digital world, businesses must adapt their PR strategies to seize the opportunities presented by SEO and Google News. Hardbeat Communications’ innovative approach underscores the transformative potential of this integration, offering businesses a powerful tool to enhance visibility, credibility, and engagement. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, harnessing the synergy between SEO and Google News remains a pivotal step in the journey towards maximizing outreach and impact.

For more information on Hardbeat Communications’ product see more HERE

Here Are The Winners Of The Inaugural Caribbean Music Awards

News Americas, BROOKLYN, NY, Sun. Sept. 3, 2023: The inaugural Caribbean Music Awards, sponsored by Frequency Spotify, was presented on Thursday, August 31st, at the Kings Theater in Brooklyn, NY ahead of the annual West Indian Day Parade tomorrow, Sept. 4th.

Among the winners were Trinidad-born rapper Nicki Minaj, who won for collaboration of the year – dancehall/reggae, for “Likkle Miss,” which she recorded with Skeng.

Machel Montano attends the Inaugural Caribbean Music Awards at Kings Theatre on August 31, 2023 in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images)

T&T soca king, Machel Montano, was honored with a lifetime achievement award and secured the title of male artist of the year in the soca category. Meanwhile, Jamaican crooner Beres Hammond was celebrated with the elite icon award and also claimed the male artist of the year title in the reggae category. The event, skillfully hosted by Wyclef Jean, also recognized other double victors, including Kabaka Pyramid, Ding Dong, and Patrice Roberts.

MYA attends the Inaugural Caribbean Music Awards at Kings Theatre on August 31, 2023 in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images)

In a notable moment, reggae legend Buju Banton received a humanitarian award, lauding his philanthropic contributions through the Buju Banton Foundation.

Leon attends the Inaugural Caribbean Music Awards at Kings Theatre on August 31, 2023 in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images)

(L-R) Spice and Baby Cham attend the Inaugural Caribbean Music Awards at Kings Theatre on August 31, 2023 in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images)

Jada Kingdom attends the Inaugural Caribbean Music Awards at Kings Theatre on August 31, 2023 in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images)

Tina, formerly known as Hoodcelebrityy, attends the Inaugural Caribbean Music Awards at Kings Theatre on August 31, 2023 in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images)

KES attends the Inaugural Caribbean Music Awards at Kings Theatre on August 31, 2023 in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images)

(L-R) Ricardo Drue, Teddyson John, and DJ Young Chow attend the Inaugural Caribbean Music Awards at Kings Theatre on August 31, 2023 in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images)

Kranium attends the Inaugural Caribbean Music Awards at Kings Theatre on August 31, 2023 in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images)

Lil Vicious attends the Inaugural Caribbean Music Awards at Kings Theatre on August 31, 2023 in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images)

(L-R) Wyclef Jean and Claudinette Jean attend the Inaugural Caribbean Music Awards at Kings Theatre on August 31, 2023 in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images)

The event showcased impressive performances by a lineup of artists, including Wayne Wonder, Alison Hinds, Jada Kingdom, Dexta Daps, Kranium, Nailah Blackman, Ding Dong, Rupee, Baby Cham, Toni-Ann Singh, Romain Virgo, Angela Hunte, and Stone Love. It also featured special appearances by Doug E. Fresh, Skeng, MYA, Spice, Morgan Heritage, Konshens, Karlie Redd, and Michael Rainey Jr.

Broadcasted via Tempo Networks, YouTube, and Instagram – @CaribbeanEliteMagazine, the event paid tribute to Caribbean music encompassing various genres such as reggae, dancehall, soca, and zouk.

The list of winners from the inaugural Awards were:

EP of the year (dancehall): Alkaline, The Ripple EFFX
Impact award (dancehall): Chronic Law
Impact award (reggae): Kabaka Pyramid
Impact award (soca): Viking Ding Dong
Performer of the year (soca): Mr. Killa
Album of the year (dancehall): Masicka, 438
Female artist of the year (dancehall): Spice
Male artist of the year (dancehall): Ding Dong
Male artist of the year (reggae): Beres Hammond
Male artist of the year (soca): Machel Montano
Female artist of the year (soca): Patrice Roberts
People’s choice award: Kes
Artist of the decade: Vybz Kartel
Collaboration of the year (soca): GBM Nutron & DJ Spider, “Down Dey”
Collaboration of the year (dancehall/reggae): Skeng & Nicki Minaj, “Likkle Miss”
Video of the year (dancehall/reggae): Popcaan & Toni-Anne Singh, “Next to Me”
Video of the year (soca): Patrice Roberts, “Mind My Business”
Best new artist (dancehall): Valiant
Best new artist (reggae): Samora
Best new artist (soca): Tempa
Kompa band of the year: Klass
Dance song of the year: Ding Dong, “BOUNCE”
Performer of the year (dancehall): Dexta Daps
Album of the year (reggae): Kabaka Pyramid, The Kalling
Lifetime achievement award: Machel Montano
Elite icon award: Beres Hammond
Humanitarian award: Buju Banton // The Buju Baton Foundation

The Gambling Industry In The Caribbean Is Thriving In 2023: Here’s How

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Sept. 1, 2023: At the end of 2021, there were over 5,000 slot machines in Puerto Rico. Both Aruba and the Dominican Republic had over 3,000 such machines in the same period. Clearly, slots are big business in the Caribbean.

But what else is contributing to the ever-growing gambling industry in the region?

Industry Growth

Apart from a brief blip in 2020 following the pandemic, the gambling industry in the Caribbean has shown steady growth since 2017 and is projected to continue growing nicely over the coming years.

By the end of 2022, it was thought that the casino games market would be worth $1.22 million in the region, with an annual growth rate between then and 2027 of 11.12%. Casino apps were particularly valuable in the Caribbean, with in-app purchases in such apps worth almost $775,000 and paid app revenue of just over $5000.

The sector’s success in the region could partially be attributed to Antigua and Barbuda becoming the first online gambling license issuer, back in 1994. Licenses are comparatively expensive to obtain here, with an interactive gaming license costing £100,000 (around $127,000). However, customers at casinos holding this license are well-protected, with National Anti-Money Laundering Regulations, Counter-Terrorism Financing Regulations and Know Your Customer Policies all being required by these operations.

Although not as old as Antigua and Barbuda’s gambling license, Curaçao’s is one of the biggest in the world. It’s thought that gambling licenses account for around half of the island’s GDP, and that 40% of the world’s gambling licenses are issued by Curaçao. As for how many sites hold such a license, estimates put the number at around 12,000.

Caribbean Casinos Are Among the Biggest in the World

Many tourists flock to the Caribbean, not only to enjoy the world-class beaches, but also to gamble at some of the region’s casinos, many of which can rival Vegas and Macau’s.

For example, Puerto Rico is home to 18 casinos, with the largest offering over 400 slot machines. Another resort on the island covers over 7000 square feet, so guests are certainly spoiled for choice when it comes to gaming options.

The Puerto Rico Gaming Commission, the organization that oversees gambling on the island, reported that revenue from slots doubled during the second half of 2021, with casinos generating a total revenue of $165 million after paying out prizes and running costs.

Caribbean Themed Slots Are Always Popular Worldwide

The popularity of the Caribbean theme has trickled into the online gaming industry in the US and further afield, too. Such themed games are becoming increasingly prominent on online casino platforms, like the ones recommended here.

For example, there’s Caribbean-themed games such as Caribbean Gold. In this pirate-themed slot game, players can stack up comical pirate ships and trunks packed with lots of treasure. It’s here you can find access to free games, and you could even bag yourself a chance at the Grand Jackpot. Another game is Carribean Holidays by Novomatic, which is a 5-reel, 20-payline slot. The game features special symbols, a bonus game and autoplay options, but it has a fairly low RTP of 93.01%.

Caribbean Travel News & Deals

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Sept. 1, 2023: Here are the top Caribbean travel news and deals this week in 60 seconds.

The US State Department this week urged all U.S. citizens to leave Haiti, strengthening previous warnings over safety concerns in the country. Conditions in the Caribbean country, and especially its capital Port-au-Prince, have deteriorated dramatically in recent months with 2,400 killed so far this year due to gang violence.

Canada is warning nationals to Exercise a high degree of caution ​if travelling to Cuba or there, due to shortages of basic necessities including food, medicine and fuel.

American Airlines will Be Offering a Direct Flight From Miami to Tortola in 2024. On Saturdays from January 8, 2024, to April, American Airlines will operate three flights from Miami to Tortola.

The Bahamas is getting another major airlift boost with the announcement of Delta Air Lines’ new route from Miami International Airport to Lynden Pindling International Airport this fall. The direct morning flight, which begins on November 5, 2023, will operate daily with a Boeing 737-800, and is targeted to provide year-round service. With this route, Delta Air Lines will service Nassau from five US airports for the winter, including Atlanta, Boston, JFK, and LaGuardia.

Grenada is growing its underwater sculpture park – the first in the world. The country just addeds 31 new sculptures. Renowned artist Jason deCaires Taylor, who created the first sculptures for the underwater sculpture park in 2006, contributed twenty-five of the captivating sculptures in a collection titled “The Coral Carnival.”

Wondering which country is the Caribbean’s Leading Beach Destination? Turks & Caicos recently won the honors at the World Travel​Awards, held in St. Lucia on August 27th.

Meanwhile, the award for the‘Caribbean’s Leading Luxury Island Destination’. went to The Bahamas. while the award for the ‘Caribbean’s Leading Destination’ as well as ‘Caribbean’s Leading Cruise Destination’ went​to Jamaica.

This week, Azamara Cruise line is offering a Labor Day Sale offer for cruisers. Get 4 free nights and up to $600 in onboard credit. Eligible Azamara Cruises: Azamara’s Labor Day Sale is applicable to select sailings departing between Nov. 9, 2023 and March 22, 2024 to destinations like South America, Africa, the Caribbean, Australia and the South Pacific. Offer expires on Sep. 6, 2023.