Archive for January 4th, 2013

Two Cuban refugees on the run

Two Cuban refugees on the run

| 04/01/2013 | 7 Comments

Cuban Wilfredo Aviles PRESS (226x300).jpg(CNS): Cayman officials are currently on the lookout for two Cuban refugees who have escaped from the Immigration Detention Centre. Wilfredo Alarcon (left) and Francisco Perez Rodrigues (below), who were detained at the Fairbanks location, were discovered missing last night, Thursday 3 January. The private security company which manages the refugees awaiting deportation back to Cuba found that the two were missing from the holding facility during a routine head-count. Immigration, RCIPS and other uniformed agencies have all been alerted, officials stated in a release on Friday evening.

Cuban Francisco RodriguezPRESS.jpgWilfredo Alarcon (22) was born on 15 October 1990. He is five-feet eight-inches tall and weighs 130lbs with short black hair and brown eyes. His fellow migrant Francisco Perez Rodrigues (23) was born on 18 April 1989. He is five-feet six-inches tall and weighs 160lbs. He has short black hair and brown eyes. The men are both from a group of 25 refugees that arrived in Cayman earlier last year and not from the most recent group which arrived on 27 December.

The centre is currently housing 28 migrants,  the largest total of refugees for some years, government officials stated. All of them are being held for processing and determinations of any asylum claims

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Alarcon and Rodriguez should contact 526-0480, 526-7937, 526-0433 or 949-8344, or any immigration or police officer.

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Power of the people

Power of the people

| 04/01/2013 | 47 Comments

I have always marvelled at how disingenuous some people are – kissing up to the heavy, round derrières of those that wield the mighty sword of power, while simultaneously bad-mouthing the same in the comfort and quiet of their tight and trusted circles of friends, family and co-conspirators. Shameful to think that the power is with the people, yet they have long been afraid to use it.

Cayman has long been held captive by the power of one man … and his comrades. Yes, comrades – for they were willing participants. Don't think for one minute that they were dragged kicking and screaming. They had the numbers; they had the power; but they chose to go along.

Now that they have disbanded they expect us to embrace them and praise their noble stance. And some have. "Let's forgive and forget. Get on with the business of running our great country."

Yet, I am still bruised by the past. I am having a hard time letting go. It's too soon. I want to make them suffer for their past sins. I want to take them into the town square and make an example of them. I want to see them pay for their blind allegiance to a man that has been steering his runaway train with each of them happily seated therein, shouting, "Choo Choo!" They were accessories, cohorts, cronies, accomplices … what have you.

To expect us to forget and move on is callous, unfair and speaks to an air of entitlement that leaves a nasty taste in my mouth – yet again. Yes, they are a far cry better than what we had – but without THEM we may have been rid of that cancer much sooner.

But that is just a small part of my trauma. They alone could not facilitate the madness that has swallowed up this little set of islands. That effort was due in large part to the Cayman mafia – the 'illuminati' of sorts – those businessmen and women who smiled in the face of tyranny and played a heavy role in supporting the main man because it suited their purposes and needs. We all know that presidents and governments do not function under their own influence altogether. They are reliant on the 'help' of those of affluence and influence. Cayman is no different.

I found it intriguing that recent events seemed orchestrated by a few who are rarely seen or associated, but we all know they have been the driving forces behind the man that was. Funny how tables turn, isn't it, when those who think THEY are thereal power suddenly end up on the wrong side of the tracks because their purpose has been served and they are no longer needed.

So, it would appear that our deposed premier was merely a puppet himself. One who got a little too big for his britches and who began to forget his place. See how easily he was destroyed? Does he really think his little group of West Bay faithful can resurrect his dying career as a politician? He is nothing without the Cayman mafia. He just doesn't know it yet.

Which takes us to the real eye-opener of the day: Who is in charge? To whom do we owe a debt of thanks for ridding us of the Wicked Witch of the West? (Whom they created, after all!) To whom should we bow in fear as they are clearly the masters of our destiny, the manipulators of the seemingly powerful and the controllers of our fate?

Those are the ones that we must serve, that coalition of businessmen and women who have the ability to make a call and get it done. (Yes we know all about that!)

Ever since news broke of the arrest and eventual dethroning, I have wrestled with a serious concern. Will they do it again? Will these godfathers attempt to put puppets back into power so that their empires will once again be beacons of prosperity and opulence?

What of their formula? Will they now adjust the measurements to ever after avoid the same result? Do they know how? I am fearful that they cannot do it. I am worried that they only know one recipe – that which ensures that their Frankenstein is obedient and loyal … until he isn’t. Then he wreaks havoc and terror on the township until the locals attack him to death with pitchforks and burning torches, forgetting that he had a creator – one who will someday want to build a new monster from the discarded, decaying parts of old premiers and parties.

So you see, while we are all picking at the entrails of Frankenstein. We have not bothered to look past the ends of our noses and examine how he got to be what he was.

We are at risk of repeated history if we, as voters, do not sharpen our senses and begin to support those who do not bring agendas, political posturing and a bag full of tricks. We can no longer vote on personality and popularity. We must examine the candidates, check their backgrounds and do our due diligence in order to ensure that we have people who seek to put our best interests at heart.

But even with that there are no guarantees. No one is impervious to the enticement of power and fame. No one can ever be totally resistant to the lure of wealth and financial independence. Every man has his price – and unfortunately, those who wish to maintain control are able to name the tune when the piper calls.

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Child hit by taxi at Public Beach car park

Child hit by taxi at Public Beach car park

| 04/01/2013 | 29 Comments

(CNS): A four-year-old child was struck by a taxi van at the Public Beach car park on West Bay Road yesterday afternoon. Police say that the little girl, who is from Mexico, was visiting the Cayman Islands via cruise ship with her family Thursday but she is now being treated at the George Town hospital for leg injuries, which are not thought to be serious. The incident occurred around 2pm yesterday afternoon, when the child approached the taxi van and apparently fell over and was then hit by the vehicle. Police have called for anyone who witnessed the incident to call West Bay police station on 949-3999.

Meanwhile, rumours of a fatal industrial accident on Thursday were unfounded and police have confirmed that the incident in Britannia Drive, where contractors were drilling a well, turned out not to be serious. During the drilling process a metal rod struck a 39-year-old man on his forehead. He was taken to the George Town hospital, where he was treated for the cut and discharged.

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Mystery surrounds missing Guyanese man

Mystery surrounds missing Guyanese man

| 04/01/2013 | 4 Comments

H Gonzalez December 2012.jpg(CNS): The RCIPS confirmed Friday that the two women arrested by police on Wednesday in connection with a missing person case are still in custody. A police spokesperson also confirmed that Hemerson Raymond Gonzalez, who disappeared in December, is still missing. No further information has been released in the mysterious case, in which the two women were arrested for two separate offences following an operation in the Savannah area. A 25-year-old woman was arrested at an address in Canyon Dawn Drive, where Gonzales was said to be staying before he disappeared, on suspicion of being concerned in the possession of controlled drugs with intent to supply.

A second 19-year-old woman was arrested in Prospect on suspicion of misleading the police and conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

Gonzalez, a 31-year-old Guyanese national, arrived in Cayman, where he is a regular visitor, on Sunday, 9 December. He was last seen on Tuesday, 11 December, at about 5:30pm.

Despite extensive police searches, Gonzalez has not been found. He speaks with a Guyanese accent, is about 5’ 8” tall, with a dark brown complexion and curly black hair. He weighs about 180lbs, has a tattoo of a compass on his left forearm and writing tattooed on the inside of his left wrist. When last seen he was wearing brown jeans shorts, a t-shirt and blue low cut cloth shoes. At the time of his disappearance, police said that Gonzalez was feeling ill and had been suffering from severe vomiting. Checks with local hospitals have confirmed that he has not sought medical attention for his illness.

The lead investigating officer on the missing person case is Detective Sergeant Charmane Huntley, who can be reached at George Town Police Station Criminal Investigation Department 9494222.

The RCIPS Major Incident Room has been activated at the George Town Police Station. Anyone with information can call 925-7240 or 926-3975. Police have also created an e-mail account to allow people to send information on-line directly to the incident room

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Cop smashes car on Brac

Cop smashes car on Brac

| 04/01/2013 | 36 Comments

(CNS): A female RCIPS officer has been involved in a single vehicle accident on Cayman Brac while driving a police patrol car. A police spokesperson confirmed that at about 9:00am yesterday, 3 January, the officer, who was driving a marked Suzuki Vitara in South Side Road, left the road and collided with a light pole. “The police vehicle sustained major damage and the officer was taken to the Faith Hospital with minor injuries. She was released following treatment," the spokesperson said, noting that no other vehicles were involved. The RCIPS is now carrying out enquiries into the cause of the crash and the officer has been suspended from driving police vehicles pending the outcome of that investigation.

This is not the first time that a serving police officer has been involved in such a crash and several investigations, the results of which have never been made public, are believed to be underway regarding cops who have been involved in road crashes while on duty.

Anyone who witnessed this latest crash is asked to contact Inspector Pearson Best at Cayman Brac police station on 948-0331.

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Cruise line dropping Cayman

Cruise line dropping Cayman

| 04/01/2013 | 144 Comments

cruise ship beautiful.JPG(CNS): Businesses dependent on cruise tourism are in for another rocky year after a decision by Carnival Cruise Line to reduce the calls its ships make to the Cayman Islands. The new tourism minister confirmed that he spoke to the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) by telephone just before Christmas and was informed that cruise passenger arrivals from Carnival are projected to fall by nearly a quarter of a million this year as ships by-pass Grand Cayman in favour of ports with cruise facilities. Cline Glidden said he has discussed the issue of the cruise berthing project with the governor, who supports the project provided the procurement process is transparent and robust.

Glidden, who was appointed tourism minister in the wake of the arrest and ousting of former premier, McKeeva Bush, was involved with the original failed negotiations with both DECCO and GLF Constriction over cruise berthing.

However, after the premier’s decision to stop the talks with GLF, Glidden was moved off the project and was replaced by George Town backbencher Ellio Solomon, who was involved in the talks with China Harbour Engineering Company. Those negotiations were stopped last month when, after more than 18 months, the former premier finally backed down from his stand-off with the UK’s overseas territories minister, Mark Simmonds, and agreed to put the project to a proper tendering process.

Despite the 8.3% increase in passenger arrivals this year, businesses relying on cruise tourism are increasingly struggling, with shops in downtown George Town closing on a frequent basis. The re-routing of the Carnival Breeze as well as other ships, which have been re-allocated to Roatan, Honduras, and to European routes will have a significant impact on figures for 2013. Nevertheless, the new minister said the losses will be offset by increases in passenger numbers from other cruise lines.

According to the Port Authority, scheduled calls for 2013 are at 508 and projected total cruise passengers are approximately 1.4 million, which is in line with annual average figures over the last few years. In a release from his ministry on Friday, Glidden said the increase by other cruise lines illustrates the value placed on the Cayman Islands as a jurisdiction of choice for cruise tourism, but the issues over tendering illustrated the need for proper berthing facilities. 

Officials from the ministry said Governor Duncan Taylor has made it clear that he has no objection to the proposal to develop cruise ship berthing facilities so long as procurement procedures are in line with international best practice and are transparent and robust. The government is expected to begin the new tendering process shortly, but as a result of the last three years of wasted talks it will be some time before Cayman has cruise piers.

Glidden added that his ministry will work closely with all stakeholders to mitigate the effects of the reduction in cruise ship arrivals and will keep the public informed as matters develop.

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