OAS Condemns Venezuela’s Approval of “Law for the Defense of Essequibo”

News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Tues. April 9, 2024: The Organization of American States, (OAS), has issued a stern condemnation of the Venezuelan regime’s endorsement of the so-called “Law for the Defense of Essequibo.”

The General Secretariat of the OAS, known for its dedication to fostering peace and security across the Americas, expressed strong disapproval of this move, citing its blatant disregard for fundamental principles of international law and its further indication of Venezuela’s dictatorial tendencies.

The approval of the “Law for the Defense of Essequibo” comes in the wake of another controversial piece of legislation passed by the Venezuelan regime, namely a fascist-inspired “law” aimed at combatting “fascism, neo-fascism, and similar expressions.” These actions, according to the OAS, evoke dark chapters in history characterized by forcible annexations, military aggression, and widespread devastation.

The OAS emphasized that regional peace and security are at stake if the Venezuelan regime continues to pursue such dangerous objectives. The organization underscored the condemnation of aggression, threats of aggression, unilateral actions to resolve bilateral disputes, and breaches of existing arbitration awards as laid out in international law. Additionally, it called upon the global community to denounce any form of belligerent behavior or intimidation tactics employed by nations and international actors. The OAS also commended Guyana for accepting the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice in this matter, seeing it as a positive step toward peaceful resolution.

The Venezuelan regime’s recent actions, including attempts to annex a portion of the territory of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, have been deemed as violations of international law and unacceptable by the OAS. Furthermore, these actions are seen as direct threats to the Chavista legacy of fostering peaceful relations with CARICOM member states and undermining Guyana’s ability to develop its natural resources in a peaceful manner, the OAS said.

The organization characterized the “Law for the Defense of Essequibo” as not only an external threat but also a tool for internal repression, marking a concerning turn of events in Venezuela’s political landscape. The organization warned that such legislation poses a risk not only to Guyana’s security but also to the peace and security of the entire hemisphere.

Guyanese Actress to Present AFUWI Legacy Award to President of Guyana

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Tues. April 9, 2024: Esteemed actress, philanthropist, and advocate, Guyanese CCH Pounder, will present the The American Foundation for The University of the West Indies (AFUWI) Legacy Award to Guyana President Dr. Irfaan Mohamed-Ali, at the highly anticipated 27th Annual “The Legacy Continues” Gala.

Guyanese actress CCH Pounder. (AFUWI image)

The 27th Annual “The Legacy Continues” Gala is set to take place on Thursday, April 18, 2024, at 583 Park Avenue (@63rd Street), New York City, commencing at 6:30 pm.

Pounder, a native of Guyana, boasts a distinguished career spanning five decades in the entertainment industry. Recognized for her profound contributions to the arts and culture, she was honored with AFUWI’s Bob Marley Award in 2018. This accolade symbolizes hope and inspiration for aspiring young scholars aiming to make a positive impact on society. Pounder’s involvement with AFUWI, transitioning from honoree to advocate for educational access, showcases her unwavering commitment to nurturing the Caribbean’s brightest minds. Since aligning with AFUWI, she has been instrumental in advancing the foundation’s mission of providing scholarships for talented yet financially disadvantaged students at The University of the West Indies (UWI).

“The Legacy Continues” Gala serves as AFUWI’s primary fundraising event, directly supporting the scholarship program for deserving students at The UWI. On average, 50 exceptional students benefit from scholarships annually through this initiative. The stark reality of the Caribbean’s tertiary enrollment rate, standing at less than 25% compared to nearly 60% in North America and 52% in Latin America, underscores the critical importance of AFUWI’s mission and the urgent need to support the region’s bright young minds.

Over the past decade, approximately 600 tuition scholarships have been awarded, alongside the establishment of partnerships with other prominent institutions. The demand for support has surged in the wake of the global pandemic, with the number of deserving students seeking assistance doubling. AFUWI remains steadfastly committed to addressing this escalating need and encourages support through its #donatetoeducate campaign. Those interested in purchasing tickets or tables for the event can do so by visiting www.afuwi.org.

Recognized as a 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit organization, AFUWI ensures that all contributions, whether financial or in-kind, are tax-deductible as permitted by state and federal laws. This year’s gala promises to be a memorable occasion, celebrating excellence, advocacy, and the enduring legacy of educational empowerment in the Caribbean community.

Canadian, Caribbean, and International Film Producers To Gather in Barbados for Groundbreaking Forum

News Americas, Toronto, ON., April 08, 2024: Acclaimed actress CCH Pounder, celebrated film producer Paul Garnes, along with international media executives, and 26 high-level producers hailing from Canada, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and various Caribbean nations will convene in Barbados from April 15-19 for the inaugural Cross Continental Forum, (CCF).

The CCF, a pioneering initiative led by CaribbeanTales Media Group and Imagine Media International in collaboration with the Faculty of Culture, Creative, and Performing Arts at the UWI Cave Hill Campus, aims to foster collaboration and business development within the global film industry.

The forum will kick off with a screening of Ava DuVernay’s critically-acclaimed film “Origin,” followed by an interactive talk-back session with Garnes at the university’s Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination. Pounder will host the talk-back session, as stated in a media release.

This unprecedented event serves as a dynamic platform for co-producing and cultivating new business opportunities, bringing together industry leaders, producers, and innovators from diverse backgrounds for a collaborative exchange of ideas and possibilities that will lead to innovative co-productions.

Frances-Anne Solomon, CEO at CaribbeanTales Media Group, expressed enthusiasm about the forum, stating, “We are excited to bring together a diverse group of international professionals to facilitate new co-ventures. As film storytellers from the global south, with connections around the world, we have access to incredible untold stories that resonate with audiences worldwide.”

This year’s forum will focus on “Decolonizing the co-production process for the benefit of the Global South,” aiming to foster interactive networking opportunities that result in successful long-term production partnerships.

Lisa Wickham, President & CEO at Imagine Media International Limited, emphasized the potential of the forum to unearth compelling, diverse stories, stating, “We expect the Cross Continental Forum to be a cornucopia of strong, untold, diverse stories.”

The event is supported by the British Film Institute (BFI), the Canada Media Fund (CMF), the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (Fed Dev), the International Trade Centre (ITC), the Trinidad and Tobago Film Co. (FilmTT), and Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI), offering a unique platform for fostering partnerships and building co-productions between the UK, Canada, Africa, and the Caribbean.

Key highlights of the event include peer-to-peer discussions, real-life case studies, engaging panel discussions, networking opportunities, pitch sessions, and roundtable conversations.

Agnieszka Moody, BFI Head of International Relations, expressed support for the forum, stating, “We are delighted to support the Cross Continental Forum in Barbados. It is a great opportunity for UK-based filmmakers to develop connections with filmmaking talent across the Caribbean region with rich cultural ties to the UK and Canada.”

Through initiatives like the CCF, the global film industry aims to enable diverse, collaborative storytelling that resonates with audiences worldwide.