Biden Again Declares June 2024 National Caribbean American Heritage Month

By NAN Staff Writer

News Americas, New York, NY, May 31, 2024: US President Joseph R. Biden Jr. has again officially proclaimed June 2024 as National Caribbean American Heritage Month, celebrating the contributions and diverse cultures of Caribbean people in the US. In his proclamation, President Biden highlighted the unwavering commitment of Caribbean Americans to the nation’s core values of opportunity and freedom.

US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris enter for a campaign event at Girard College in Philadelphia, Pa on Wednesday May 29, 2024. (Photo by Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

“Caribbean Americans are dreamers and doers, always finding ways to push our country forward,” President Biden stated, while recognizing the vital roles played by Caribbean Americans in various sectors, from healthcare and education to entrepreneurship and public service. For yet another year, he made special mention of the key figures in his administration with Caribbean heritage, including his Jamaican roots Vice President Kamala Harris, Cuban born Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, and his Martinique-born, Haitian heritage, White House Press Secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, who have all done very little to celebrate or focus on the region.

But the proclamation emphasized the Administration’s efforts to ensure equal opportunities for all, showcasing a historic economic recovery that has significantly benefited Black and Latino communities. Additionally, President Biden underscored the importance of partnerships with Caribbean nations, citing substantial investments in infrastructure and economic support for the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico and collaboration with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). He pointed to initiatives such as the Crime Gun Intelligence Unit and the deployment of the Kenyan-led Multinational Security Support mission in Haiti were highlighted. The Administration also supports the reauthorization of the HOPE/HELP trade preferences program to bolster Haiti’s economic growth.

President Biden, who is facing a tough re-election bid after alienating his core base of black, Caribbean and immigrant voters, also reiterated his commitment to fixing the immigration system to be more humane and orderly, particularly for those fleeing violence in the Caribbean. The Administration, he said, aims to expand lawful pathways to the U.S. and expedite asylum claims for those seeking protection even as it moves to close the borders.

As National Caribbean American Heritage Month begins, President Biden encouraged all Americans to celebrate the rich history, culture, and achievements of Caribbean Americans through appropriate ceremonies and activities.

Since 2006, every US President has declared June CAHM.

Read the full proclamation below.

The full proclamation follows:

“A Proclamation on National Caribbean-American Heritage Month, 2024

During National Caribbean American Heritage Month, we celebrate the contributions and the diverse cultures of the millions of people across our Nation with Caribbean heritage, who have never let us walk away from our Nation’s most sacred values of opportunity and freedom.

Caribbean Americans are dreamers and doers, always finding ways to push our country forward, reach new heights, and forge a more perfect Union. From the Caribbean Americans who helped build our country from the ground up to those who have only just arrived, they have all believed in the possibilities our country has to offer and strengthened the diverse fabric of our Nation. Above all, Caribbean Americans are leaders — they are our beloved doctors, nurses, teachers, athletes, artists, community organizers, entrepreneurs, and our service members and first responders, who put their lives on the line to keep the rest of us safe. I am especially proud of the Caribbean Americans serving across my Administration and working hard to sustain our democracy — including Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, and White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

My Administration recognizes that, to keep the torch of liberty that has led generations of immigrants to America burning bright, we must keep ensuring that everyone has a fair shot and access to opportunity. And we are delivering. My Administration has powered a historic economic recovery that created 15 million jobs, achieved the fastest creation rate of Black-owned businesses in more than 30 years, and broke records as Latino entrepreneurs have started new businesses at the fastest rate in over 10 years.

Caribbean Americans also form the foundation of our country’s partnerships with nations across the Caribbean as we work to advance opportunity and security across the region. My Administration announced over $275 million in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding for projects in the U.S. Virgin Islands that will deliver clean and safe water, access to high-speed internet, public transit, and modern roads and bridges. We launched the Puerto Rico Economic Dialogue and made more than $140 billion in Federal obligations, which have driven the island’s economic turnaround. Since I came into office, Puerto Rico has added more than 100,000 new jobs and unemployment reached a historic low of under six percent. We are continuing to work with Caribbean countries to tackle climate change and support clean energy development. In partnership with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), we launched the Crime Gun Intelligence Unit to combat firearms trafficking. Last summer, my Administration appointed a Coordinator for Caribbean Firearms Prosecutions to lead our efforts to stem firearms trafficking in the Caribbean. Meanwhile, we have been working with CARICOM to restore stability and security in Haiti by facilitating meaningful and inclusive political dialogue and supporting the deployment of the Kenyan-led Multinational Security Support mission. We must complement our security investments with economic support. This is why my Administration supports the reauthorization of the HOPE/HELP trade preferences program in order to spur greater economic prosperity in Haiti.

At the same time, we have been working since day one of my Administration to fix the broken immigration system so that it is safe, orderly, and humane — especially for those in the Caribbean community who are fleeing oppressive rule and trying to escape gang violence to ensure a better life for them and their families. We are working to expand lawful pathways to the United States for Caribbean individuals and establish a faster process for deciding claims of asylum for people who are credibly seeking protection from persecution. My Administration will continue to do everything we can, including calling on the Congress to finally act and pass critical resources and reforms.

America was founded on the idea that all people are created equal and deserve to be treated equally throughout their lives. That promise beats in the hearts of all Caribbean Americans, who have added new meaning to our Nation’s founding values. That idea is what connects us to all the Caribbean nations and territories working toward a future rooted in freedom and democracy. This month, may we celebrate all that Caribbean heritage, history, and contributions have meant to our Nation.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2024 as National Caribbean American Heritage Month. I encourage all Americans to join in celebrating the history, culture, and achievements of Caribbean Americans with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
thirty-first day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-eighth.

JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.”

Countdown On to American Premiere Of McBee This Caribbean American Heritage Month

News Americas, New York, NY, June 1, 2024: The countdown is on to the exciting American premiere of Alwin Bully’s Caribbean drama “McBee,” produced and directed by Jamaican-born, Broadway World Award winner David Heron.

This one-night-only staged reading production is set to take place on Sunday, June 23, at 7 p.m. at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center (JPAC), at 153-10 Jamaica Avenue, Jamaica, Queens, NY, 11432. The event will begin with a complimentary Golden Krust Caribbean Cuisine Reception at 5:30 p.m.

‘McBee’ pays tribute to Bully, the late Dominica-born playwright and is part of New York’s annual CAHM festivities. Set on an unnamed Caribbean island in the recent past, ‘McBee’ follows the story of respected politicians Allan and Alice McBee. Upon encountering three mysterious Rastafarians who predict his rise to Prime Minister, Allan and his ambitious wife, Alice, embark on a path of power and deception, with consequences for themselves and their nation.

The talented ensemble for this eagerly anticipated event includes Luke Forbes (Amazon Prime’s “Harlem”), Denise Hunt (“How Stella Got Her Groove Back”), Miranda Melhado (Amazon Prime’s “Amityville Vampire”), Emilio Evans (Allblk TV’s “Makeup X Breakup”), three-time Actor Boy Award winner Karl O’Brian Williams, Yinka Adey, Actor Boy Award nominee Jerry Benzwick, two-time Audelco Award nominee Dianne Dixon, Gerard Joseph, Mitzie Pratt, and Oniros Film Award winner James Duke Walker.

Yinka Adey, Dianne Dixon, and Gerard Joseph portray the three Rastafarians who reveal the prophecy to McBee. Mitzie Pratt and James Duke Walker play politicians in the McBees’ circle, while Jerry Benzwick portrays Peter, the long-suffering and often hilarious butler to the McBee household.

Adey, who appears as Rastafarian Prince Ras, has performed in acclaimed productions such as “Imbroglio” and “The Black That I Am.” Dianne Dixon, who portrays Queen Ras, is a two-time Audelco Award nominee with notable stage and screen credits. Gerard Joseph, as Bredda D, marks his return to the New York stage, having appeared in productions like “The First Deep Breath” and “Blueprints to Freedom.”

Jerry Benzwick, playing Peter, has earned recognition for his performance in “Oroonoko” and has appeared in productions such as “God’s Way” and “Single Entry.” Mitzie Pratt, as Mabel Angus, has an impressive career in both stage and screen, including the Sundance-winning film “Nanny” and the drama series “Love My Roomie.” James Duke Walker, cast as Vere Duncan Jr., has performed at The Apollo Theatre and in staged readings of David Heron’s “Against His Will.”

The American premiere of “McBee” is presented in association with Kendel Instant Ginger Teas, The True Tribute Organization, IMC Media, and Results Promo and Marketing. Tickets are available at mcbeetheplay.eventbrite.com.

Hess Shareholders Approval Sets Stage For Major Showdown Over Guyana

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. May 29, 2024: The stage is set for a major oil showdown over Guyana as Hess Corporation shareholders approved the $53 billion acquisition by Chevron on Tuesday. However, the deal’s timeline remains uncertain due to a dispute with Exxon Mobil over Hess’ assets in Guyana.

A majority of Hess shareholders voted in favor of the merger, though the exact tally was not disclosed. CEO John Hess expressed confidence in the transaction’s value and anticipated its successful completion.

The deal faces potential jeopardy as Exxon claims a right of first refusal on Hess’ 30% stake in the Stabroek Block, a significant offshore oil field in Guyana. Exxon, which leads the development with a 45% stake, filed for arbitration in March to assert its rights under the joint operating agreement. The remaining 25% stake is held by China National Offshore Oil Corp.

Chevron and Hess informed investors that the merger could be terminated if Exxon prevails in arbitration. Hess stated that the deal’s completion hinges on the resolution of these proceedings, with both companies aiming to finalize the merger “as soon as practicable.”

Chevron spokesperson Bill Turenne expressed confidence that the arbitration will favor Chevron, while Exxon CEO Darren Woods remains optimistic about Exxon’s position, anticipating arbitration to extend into 2025.

The merger, initially expected to close in the first half of 2024, is delayed due to the ongoing arbitration. Additionally, the deal is under scrutiny by the Federal Trade Commission.

Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) advised shareholders to abstain from the vote until more details on the arbitration timeline emerge, while Glass Lewis recommended voting in favor, citing the strategic and financial merits of the merger despite the uncertainty.

These Are The Caribbean Nations Now Recognizing Palestine As A State

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. May 29, 2024: As the death toll in Gaza continues to rise from Israel’s continued war on the strip, support globally continues to grow for a Palestinian state. Fourteen Caribbean nations now officially recognize the State of Palestine.

An activist carries a fake baby rapped in white cloth with blood and a placards supporting Palestine during the demonstration. The “Comida no Bombas” collective protested peacefully by giving away water and food outside one of the branches of the “Burger King” chain. The action corresponds to a global call to boycott companies that have directly or indirectly supported Israel’s war conflict towards Palestine. (Photo by Cesar Gomez/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

They are:

Jamaica

Barbados

Guyana

Haiti

Suriname

Cuba

St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Belize

Dominica

Grenada

Saint Lucia

Saint Kitts & Nevis.

The Dominican Republic

And Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago became the latest country in May to announce its decision to formally recognize the State of Palestine which it said will assist in the achievement of a lasting peace by strengthening the growing international consensus on the issue of Palestinian statehood. They followed Barbados and Jamaica which announced their support weeks earlier.

“Recognition of Palestine is moral and just and demonstrates Trinidad and Tobago’s acknowledgment of and support for the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian People,” the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago said in a statement.

Palestinian women mourn relatives killed in Israeli bombardment as they sit by their displacement tent in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on May 29, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas militant group. Street fighting and Israeli bombardment rocked Gaza’s far-southern Rafah on May 29, Palestinian residents and officials said, a day after Israeli tanks rolled into the centre of the city near the Egyptian border. (Photo by BASHAR TALEB/AFP via Getty Images)

Currently, 146 out of 193 UN members recognize Palestine as a state. Slovenia is expected to recognize Palestine by June 13th. Given Ireland’s and Spain’s European Union memberships, it is also hoped the move will put the status of Palestine firmly on the agenda during the June 6-9th EU elections.

In practical terms currently it does not make a big deal of difference for Palestine. However, any move from the international community towards giving Palestine greater recognition gives its diplomats extra sway in any negotiation or summit.

It also allows Palestine to enter into bilateral agreements as an independent state.

Get Ready For Buju Banton’s Long Walk To Freedom Concert – USA

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. May 29, 2024: The last time Grammy-winning, Jamaican-born, reggae singer Buju Banton performed in the US was January 2011 in Miami. Weeks after his return to the US following his 2018 release from an American prison, the singer will thrill fans with his first “Long Walk To Freedom” US concert.

Buju Banton during his last performance at the Century Club in Century City, LA. (Photo by Lawrence K. Ho/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Banton is set to perform in the U.S. for the first time in over a decade on Saturday, July 13th at the UBS Arena in Elmont, New York. The legendary singer will take the stage with his Shiloh Band, just two days before his 51st birthday on July 15th.

“I give thanks for life each day, but on this weekend, there is a special thanksgiving and I look forward to celebrating with all of my family, friends, and everyone who has prayed and supported me over the years,” said the Grammy Award winner in a statement.

Joseph Budafuco, Buju Banton’s manager, reflected on the journey since his last U.S. show in Miami in January 2011. “It’s a true honor to witness the return of a legend, as history unfolds before our eyes once again,” Budafuco expressed.

He added, “We look forward to presenting an exceptional concert in partnership with AG Consulting and Dahved Levy, whose experience in the market is profound.”

Caribbean-Born, Preakness Winning Jockey For Belmont Stakes

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. May 29, 2024: Caribbean born jockey, Jaime Torres, who made history at the Preakness Stakes on May 18th by securing a remarkable win aboard Seize the Grey just two years after he began his riding career, is set for the Belmont Stakes on June 8th.

Caribbean born Jockey Jaime Torres and Seize the Grey, are heading to the Belmont Stakes after winning the 149th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 18, 2024 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Torrest and Seize the Grey are heading to Saratoga, according to Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas.

Seize The Grey with Torres won the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. The Puerto Rico native had previously guided Seize the Grey to victory in the Pat Day Mile on the Kentucky Derby undercard on May 4th at Churchill Downs.

Despite never having ridden in a Triple Crown race before, Torres now boasts a perfect record of 1 for 1. On May 18th, he took the lead at the start of the race in Baltimore before a crowd of around 17,000 spectators and maintained his position throughout. He completed the 1 3/16 miles on a muddy track in 1:56.82, paying $21.60 for the win.

Seize the Grey, owned by the MyRacehorse microshare partnership of over 2,700 people, was bred in Kentucky by Jamm, LTD, and purchased by MyRacehorse for $300,000 from Mill Ridge Sales at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Yearling Sale in 2022.

Torres decided to pursue a career as a jockey in 2019 after watching horse racing on television from Hipódromo Camarero. The next day, he went to the track and eventually enrolled in Puerto Rico’s riding school. He then moved to Florida, working for trainer Saffie Joseph Jr., and won his first race on September 17, 2022, at Gulfstream Park on Takestwotowiggle. The following year, he was the leading apprentice in New York. Now he is a Triple Crown race-winning jockey.

Due to construction at the track, the 2024 Belmont Stakes will take place at Saratoga Race Course in Upstate New York. With the change in venue comes a change in distance, as the Belmont Stakes 2024 will be contested over 1 1/4 miles instead of the usual 1 1/2. It marks just the second time over the last 99 years that the Run for the Carnations is being held at a distance less than 1 1/2 miles.

2024 Belmont Stakes odds:

Horse Odds
Sierra Leone 7-4
Fierceness 3-1
Mystik Dan 5-1
Seize the Grey 6-1
Thorpedo Anna 10-1
Antiquarian 12-1
Honor Marie 12-1
The Wine Steward 18-1

Caribbean American Sean Kingston Waives Extradition Hearing In Fraud Case

News Americas, LOS ANGELES, CA, Weds. May 29, 2024: Caribbean American rapper and singer Sean Kingston has waived his right to fight extradition in a California court and agreed to be turned over to authorities in Florida. Kingston, 34, and his mother, Janice Turner, are charged with committing over a million dollars worth of fraud.

Sean Kingston is now in a CA jail awaiting extradition to Florida. (Photo by Johnny Louis/Getty Images)

Kingston did not make a public court appearance but signed papers agreeing to skip extradition hearings, as confirmed by representatives from San Bernardino courts and the sheriff’s office. He remained in a Southern California jail on Tuesday night as Kisean Paul Anderson, inmate 2405370702 of SBCSD – West Valley Detention Center at 9500 Etiwanda Ave., Rancho Cucamonga, CA. But sheriff’s officials will coordinate with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office to return him to Florida.

Kingston was arrested last Thursday, May 23rd, at Fort Irwin, an Army training base in California’s Mojave Desert, where he was performing. His mother, 61-year-old Janice Turner, was arrested the same day when a SWAT team raided Kingston’s rented mansion in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

They are charged with conducting an organized scheme to defraud, grand theft, identity theft, and related crimes. According to arrest warrants from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, they allegedly stole money, jewelry, a Cadillac Escalade, and furniture. The warrants specify thefts amounting to nearly $500,000 in jewelry, over $200,000 from Bank of America, $160,000 from the Escalade dealer, over $100,000 from First Republic Bank, and $86,000 from a custom bed maker.

Kingston was already on two years’ probation for trafficking stolen property. His mother previously pleaded guilty to bank fraud in 2006, serving nearly 1.5 years in prison for stealing over $160,000.

Robert Rosenblatt, an attorney for Kingston and Turner, stated they planned to waive extradition and looked forward to addressing the charges in a Florida court, confident of a successful resolution.

Assessing The Scales: The Disproportionate Impact of Global Risk Ratings On Small Caribbean Nations

By Keith Bernard

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Tues. May 28, 2024: The 4th Annual Conference of Small Island Developing States 2024, UN Secretary-General António Guterres made a striking allegation against major risk rating agencies, claiming they exhibit notable bias against small Caribbean states. His comments were strongly supported by the Prime Ministers of Barbados and Antigua and Barbuda, who echoed the sentiment that these agencies’ practices are not only unjust but also detrimental to the economic well-being of their nations.

Guterres highlighted that the risk assessments provided by these agencies often unfairly penalize small island states, inflating their perceived risk and thus raising borrowing costs. This, he argued, exacerbates the financial vulnerabilities of these nations, which are already grappling with the impacts of climate change, limited economic diversification, and small domestic markets. The Secretary-General’s critique suggests that the methodologies employed by these agencies fail to consider the unique challenges and resilience of small island economies, leading to a skewed and overly pessimistic view of their financial health.

Prime Minister Mia Mottley of Barbados and Prime Minister Gaston Browne of Antigua and Barbuda reinforced Guterres’ assertions, pointing out specific instances where inflated risk ratings have led to prohibitively high interest rates on loans. This, they argued, stifles economic growth and development efforts. Mottley emphasized the need for a fairer, more nuanced approach to risk assessment that recognizes the efforts of Caribbean nations to build resilience and sustainability.

Browne added that such biased ratings undermine international support and investment, further isolating these nations from the global financial system. He called for a revision of the criteria used by these agencies, advocating for a framework that considers climate vulnerability and resilience-building measures as positive factors.

The conference concluded with a unified call for reform in risk rating practices, emphasizing the need for a more equitable system that supports rather than hinders the progress of small island states. This collective stance aims to spark a global dialogue on the critical importance of fair and just financial evaluation standards.

Caribbean American Singer Sean Kingston Is Inmate 2405370702 In California Jail

News Americas, LOS ANGELES, CA, Mon. May 27, 2024:  Caribbean American singer, Sean Kingston, remains an inmate at a California jail after being busted following a show at Fort Irwin, CA, for grand theft and a scheme to defraud.

The singer, whose real name is Kisean Paul Anderson, is now inmate 2405370702 of SBCSD – West Valley Detention Center at 9500 Etiwanda Ave., Rancho Cucamonga, CA.

Sean Kingston, who performs live on stage during “Hot Summer Night” concert at FPL Solar Amphitheater at Bayfront Park on June 3, 2023 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Johnny Louis/Getty Images)Sean Kingston, who performed live on stage during “Hot Summer Night” concert at FPL Solar Amphitheater at Bayfront Park on June 3, 2023 in Miami, Florida, is now in a CA jail. (Photo by Johnny Louis/Getty Images)

The 34-year-old, singer, is set to face an extradition hearing tomorrow, before he’s sent back to Florida to answer charges. Kingston, whose mother is Jamaican, rose to fame after he was signed with American record producer J. R. Rotem’s label Beluga Heights Records and released the 2007 debut single, “Beautiful Girls,” which peaked atop the Billboard Hot 100.

The singer has not had a hit since.

Cops allege that over a 6 month period, Kingston and his mother, Janice Turner,  stole almost $500K in jewelry, more than $200K from Bank of America, $160K from a car dealer, $100K from First Republic Bank and even $86K for a customized bed.

Turner was released after four days in jail on Sunday. Broward County Sheriff’s raided the singer’s rental property on Thursday, May 23rd, and arrested Turner.

According to court records, the 61-year-old is facing 8 charges, including conducting an organized scheme to defraud, grand theft and identity theft.

Caribbean Born Rapper Says Her Lawyer And God Will Handle Case, Following Arrest

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. May 27, 2024: Caribbean born, Grammy-winning rapper Nicki Minaj says God and her lawyers will deal with the case, following her arrest in Amsterdam on May 25th, allegedly for having pre-rolled weed.

Caribbean born rapper Nicki Minaj at the 2024 Met Gala: “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion” held at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 6, 2024 in New York City, days prior to her Amsterdam arrest. (Photo by Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty Images)

Authorities at Amsterdam airport detained Minaj, whose legal name is Onika Tanya Maraj-Petty, according to her Instagram Live video.

“After sitting in a jail cell for 5-6 hours, my plane still didn’t take off for another 20 mins once I boarded,” Minaj said, after missing her Manchester, England, concert as part of her Pink Friday 2 World Tour.

Minaj shared her frustration, stating: “So they succeeded at their plan to not let me get on that stage tonight. I succeeded in getting to the root of it all by recording them & posting everything in real time. I have so much video evidence. You wouldn’t believe it if I told you. I’ll have the lawyers & GOD take it from here tho.”

The Manchester venue, Co-op Live, confirmed the cancellation and expressed disappointment.

In her Instagram Live, Minaj recorded her detainment, with a Dutch official stating she was being arrested for “carrying drugs.” The Royal Netherlands Marechaussee later released a statement, confirming the arrest of a 41-year-old American woman on suspicion of exporting soft drugs. After a fine, she was allowed to continue her journey.

Minaj initially refused to get into the police vehicle without a lawyer present, but eventually complied. She expressed concern about the delay affecting her show in Manchester. Minaj claimed the pre-rolls found belonged to her security and criticized the handling of her luggage.

*NewsAmericasNow.com