Venezuela tops Trump-Caribbean leaders’ meeting

Venezuela tops the agenda of President Donald Trump’s meeting with leaders from the Caribbean. Trump invited several leaders to his Mar-a-Lago club to show his support for Caribbean countries that backed a democratic transition in Venezuela. (March 22)

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Protestors In Haiti Are Demanding The President Step Down (HBO)

To the uninitiated, drivers passing under a bridge on one busy road in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, would presume that it was simply under construction.

But to millions of Haitians the concrete slab, that has no ramp to get on or off it, has become the most glaring symbol of an injustice that holds the impoverished Caribbean nation hostage among the most corrupt countries in the world.

Now, anger over endemic corruption has brought tens of thousands onto the streets and threatens to bring down the president, Jovenel Moïse. Demonstrations, which began last year but have intensified since February 7th have left at least 7 people dead.

Funds to build the bridge came from a loan that Venezuela gave to Haiti for reconstruction projects following the devastating 2010 earthquake. Since then, politicians racked up nearly $2bn in debt to the so-called Petrocaribe scheme. Most of the projects the money was intended for – including housing and government buildings – remain either incomplete or nonexistent.

A Senate report into how the funds were used came to a definitive conclusion, stating ‘the Petrocaribe fund has been the object of embezzlement, embezzlement, embezzlement.’ The report also named Moïse himself, claiming that before he was president his private company received funds to build a road that never materialized.

Since the release of the report, Haitians have been demanding the answer to one simple question.

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US aid for Venezuela lands in Curacao

A plane carrying food and medical aid from the United States lands on the Caribbean island of Curacao en route for Venezuela, whose government has vowed to block it. IMAGES

‘Air Cocaine’ smuggling trial starts in France

Two former French air force pilots go on trial in France, six years after they fled the Dominican Republic following a spectacular drugs bust on a private jet in the Caribbean nation. In what has become known as the “Air Cocaine” case, Pascal Fauret and Bruno Odos are accused along with seven other defendants of trying to smuggle 680 kilogrammes (1,500 pounds) of the drug out of the country. IMAGES

US Coast Guard reports Caribbean cocaine bust

(17 Dec 2018) The U.S. Coast Guard reports that three suspected drug smugglers were apprehended after a ten hour pursuit northeast of Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands on December 11th and more than 2,000 pounds of cocaine were seized. (Dec. 17)

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Haiti gripped by tension as president stays out of sight

A general strike shut down most of Haiti Wednesday as tension and uncertainty gripped the Caribbean country following deadly protests over the weekend and the president’s unexplained absence from public.

US woman dies on cruise ship after 14 story fall

(19 Nov 2018) The FBI is investigating the mysterious death of an American woman aboard a cruise ship in the Caribbean. (Nov. 19)

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Diving through the abyss of Budapests’ hidden caves

For Laora Tuominen, the ultimate diving experience is not found off the Mediterranean coast or in a Caribbean lagoon, but hidden underneath the depths of the noisy city of Budapest. While the baths of the Hungarian capital are known throughout the world, only few venture into the labyrinth of caves that form Budapest’s thermal underworld. The never ending twists and turns of the city’s intestines have attracted thrill-seekers since the opening of an underground diving centre in 2015.