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July 09 2013

Caribbean: Tropical Storm Chantal

Tropical Storm Chantal has caused the temporary closure of some regional airports and the cancellation of flights. The Bajan Reporter has the latest.

May 03 2013

St. Vincent & the Grenadines: Environmental Entrepreneur

In an era where youth…are seen as being dissolute it is truly heart warming to recognise the drive and talent of this young man.

Abeni salutes Kamara Jerome, a 20-year-old Vincentian entrepreneur, who won the Best Environmental Award in the Caribbean Innovation Challenge.

February 21 2013

St. Vincent, Grenada: Silly Electoral System?

The stupidity is the electoral system we operate under that leaves thousands without a political voice in the Parliamentary Halls.

A landslide victory for the opposition in Grenada's national elections prompts Abeni to wonder whether the region needs constitutional and electoral reform.

January 16 2013

Belize, St. Vincent: Garifuna Culture

…the Garifuna language, which integrates Arawak and Carib, and which was declared a ‘masterpiece of the oral intangible heritage of humanity' by UNESCO in 2001, is severely threatened. It possesses forms and structures used exclusively by males, and is the only survivor of the island languages descended from Arawakan.

In The Los Angeles Review of Books, Robin Llewellyn reviews a study of the Garifuna (Black Carib) by Professor Joseph Palacio.

November 28 2012

St. Vincent & the Grenadines: Senegal Scam

When the top cop gets duped by an internet scam you don't know if to laugh or cry.

Abeni thinks the Police Commissioner “should have done the honourable thing and resigned.”

November 18 2012

September 21 2012

Saint Lucia, St. Vincent: Going to Canada? Got to get a Visa!

Early last week, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) imposed visa requirements for entry on five countries, including two from the Caribbean - Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines:

‘Beginning at 12:01 a.m. EDT today, citizens of St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines (St. Vincent), Namibia, Botswana and Swaziland now require a visa to travel to Canada,' Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced.

For the first 48 hours, or until 11:59 p.m. September 12, 2012, citizens of these countries who are in transit to Canada at the time the visa requirement takes effect will be able to receive a Temporary Resident Permit on arrival in Canada, free of charge, if they are not otherwise inadmissible to Canada.

‘We continue to welcome genuine visitors to Canada,' said Minister Kenney. 'These changes are necessary to protect the integrity of Canada's fair and generous immigration system by helping us to reduce an unacceptably high number of immigration violations.'

The statement contained a brief explanation for the new policy:

A key reason why the government has imposed visa requirements on St. Lucia and St. Vincent is unreliable travel documents. In particular, criminals from these countries can legally change their names and acquire new passports. In some instances, people who were removed from Canada as security risks later returned using different passports.

The Government of Saint Lucia expressed disappointment at the decision stating in a press release that:

…it deeply regrets that the Canadian Government did not give it an opportunity to address the concerns regarding the claims of ‘unreliable travel documents' allegedly held by some Saint Lucians.

While St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves felt that the reason for the visa requirements was the excessive refugee applications from citizens,  Vincy View cited the Consul General, who believes immigration fraud is to blame:

…SVG Consul General in Canada Steve Phillips has stated that the main reason behind the visa restrictions on Vincentians is immigration fraud, in which certain people come to Canada with passports baring false names, after being deported from Canada.
Phillips further noted that there have been several instances of immigration fraud by Vincentians, with the Canada Border Services Agency making constant reports on the issue.

Vincy View also noted that Phillips himself has written supporting letters for refugee status applicants:

Both Opposition and Government officials in SVG have wrote letter supporting refugee claims. Steve Phillips, SVG’s consul general in Canada, in 2008 wrote a letter to support the refugee claim of domestic abuse victim Leila Brown-Trimmingham, who feared for her life in SVG…

At Bajan Reporter, Vicky Augustin spoke to a source within Canadian immigration and found out the problems were longstanding and that the goverments had been informed of the impending action:

There has been an unacceptably high number of asylum claims from St. Lucia with about one and a half percent of the population of the country making asylum claims in Canada over the past five years.

For months the Government of St Lucia has recognized the problem of immigration violations out of St Lucia. These problems have gotten worse, not better.

Julian Williams felt the decision of the Canadian authorities was inevitable:

During Prime Minister's Trudeau's rule, every English speaking Caribbean country enjoyed that non-visa agreement with Canada. But Jamaica was the first casualty in the late 80's with their drug pushing and violent crime. Then later it was Guyana and Trinidad and Grenada who lost the privilege after review of their falling GDP and their crime statistics in Canada. But it was the trinis who brought that frivolous refugee status application in the equation. Now its St Lucia and St Vincent.Only Antigua and St.Kitts /Nevis enjoy that non-visa privilege and I wish them well in safeguarding it.

Williams also criticized what he considers the poor representation of the Caribbean by its diplomats overseas:

And the OECS High commission was closed last year! Go figure the impression that was conveyed when our Caribbean constituency voluntarily abandoned their constituency! I wondered how those same Caribbean diplomats would have handled a situation if revocation of the non-visa agreement also meant stripping them of their diplomatic status or passports!

Abeni saw the visa requirement as burdensome and suggested that Vincentians find somewhere else to visit:

With the economic downturn  being felt Vincentians have been packing their bags and heading northwards to Canada. Some rather than applying themselves to being productive citizens have found themselves in trouble with the law and subsequently deported. From my vantage point both political sides have valid points but I suspect they would rather die than give any such concession. So now visas are needed and the form is so discouraging that persons may not even want to bother applying. For example, applicants must list the names of all their siblings-half, full, step along with their DOB and occupation. Hmmmm, given the dynamics of the Caribbean family that list could get very long!

Darby Etienne also wondered what role the closing of the OECS High Commission played:

Could it be that as a result of closing the High Commission of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States in Ottawa, Canada which served both St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines lost their diplomatic stripes and the respect of the Canadian government? Or is it that their reliance on their consulate offices, in Toronto, lacked the mandate to deal with diplomatic issues thereby placing them at the end of prejudicial anger?

August 25 2012

St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Bahamas: Reproductive Rights

Two female Caribbean bloggers, in light of the recent debacle over U.S. congressman Todd Akin's comments about women and rape, are discussing the issue of “the war on women and their reproductive rights”. From St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Abeni says that “persons making foolish comments about rape never fail to irritate [her]”:

WHEN OH WHEN will it be openly realised and accepted that RAPE IS ROBBERY with violence? That it is an ASSAULT on another human being for purely personal reasons.

HOW MANY persons, male and female -but predominantly female today- have had their lives tainted…reliving their trauma every waking moment! Looking at, and loving, or inwardly rejecting her child because of how he/she came into the world! Any idea, Rep. Akin? When will it be accepted that when a woman says ‘NO,' SHE MEANS NO!

Akin's video apology did little to appease her:

BEFORE MAKING UTTERANCES, words need to be weighed, because of the sentiments that they convey…to use this in the context of rape is to say the least, reprehensible: In all fairness, there has been some retraction, but these ill advised statements continue to heap massive damage to the cause of women and it will take some time before it is repaired!

Pure Fawkery, who references the Pussy Riot case in her post, takes issue with:

Men who have no concept or understanding of what it means to be a woman. Men who epitomize the stereotypical caveman, beating their chest claiming ‘me man, you woman', only to knock us over our heads and drag us into the cave. Well today those men no longer need clubs, today they are armed with laws, edicts, ceremonies and regulations all aimed at keeping women in a reproductive prison.

She makes the the point that the indoctrination begins with two things: socialization, which “innately reinforc[es] the oppressive mandate of the good girl”, and that pervasive double standard, in which “there is no such edict for good little boys”:

Locally, we have even more archaic repressive policies that provide an unending artillery supply in this war on women's reproductive health. Teenage girls who become pregnant are routinely removed from their school and transferred to another school, if she returns, after the birth of the child. No such policy exist for teen fathers.

Pure Fawkery also cites tweets by @RodneyMoncur, who is a Justice of The Peace for the District of New Providence and Paradise Island in the Bahamas, saying that his opinions “[espouse] the purefawkery that continues to propagate this reproductive war”:

With each capitalized tweet he fires another bullet arming and enabling this kind of misogynistic bondage.

But she admits that the issue stretches far beyond the Bahamas:

There is something in the water globally. Women around the world, engage in a daily battle to fight repressive religious, political, cultural and economic forces to gain or retain control of their own bodies; their own reproductive health.

Women are already oppressed and discriminated against in almost every other facet of society. Women are paid less then men for the same job, not allowed to ascend to leadership positions in religious organizations, humiliated and sexualized in the justice systems (don't even get me started on the legitimate rape comment), denigrated in music and entertainment. Is that not enough for these men?

Abeni agrees that women should have rights over their own bodies:

I am sure there are babies who were aborted because they were the product of rape. On the flip side there are instances of babies born of rape, either because abortion was not available, or because the mother believed that all life is sacred. Clearly, the choice is hers and should be respected by the foolish law makers-mostly men who seek to make decisions about a woman's body…

Pure Fawkery signs off with a “promise”:

You keep trying to repress our inalienable basic innate right for reproductive health and we will take up our cause and give you more than a fight. We will take up the call of Liberia's Leymah Gbowee’s and create ‘peaceful, feminine havoc', well will not only win the battle, but also the war and in process will incite a pussy riot!

May 09 2012

May 04 2012

St. Vincent & the Grenadines: Political Letters

Vinci Kallaloo wants to know if former New Democratic Party Senator Anesia Baptiste had written a letter to Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace in search of an appointment to Parliament much in the same way she wrote one contesting her recent dismissal.

April 14 2012

This Week in the Caribbean Blogosphere

It has been another interesting week in the Caribbean blogosphere, with netizens discussing everything from crime to elections…

Trinidad & Tobago

There was outrage in the blogosphere over the death of two-year-old Aliyah Johnson, a victim of child abuse. Guanaguanare was worried “that [it] will amount to nothing”:

The sort of callousness that did not recognise or respect her humanity/divinity is not something that was just one lifetime in the making. This sin is generational and it will also be generations before it is lifted…and only if we begin right away to work towards that future.

Government offices and officials can only do so much. We are the ones, however, who have actually heard the cries and have seen the bruises and other signs of abuse. We continue to be the silent witnesses in our neighbourhoods and maybe even in our own homes. We have to stop pretending that it will all go away…

In a follow-up post, the blogger linked to a video that could help “[address] the problem of child abuse and the wider problem of violence (and the connection between the two) in our country.”

The Eternal Pantomime added:

Remember Daniel Guerra? Remember he was picked up in a car a stone’s throw from his house, by a parlour, and days later his body was found in the Tarouba waterway system?

Remember the Prime Minister wrote a Letter to Daniel, that was really a letter promising to save all the children of Trinidad and Tobago promising that what happened to Daniel, Akiel, Sean Luke, Amy, Hope…would never happen again…

Well…crimes against children are on the rise, and the government has been quietly dismantling social work and welfare projects that can assist in these situations…So think about little Aaliyah now, who, according the forensic report was beaten to death… This is going to happen again and again partly because this society is very sick and partly because very few systems are properly enabled to deal with these issues…when last you hear about the trial against the two boys that killed Sean Luke? I done talk…

Bloggers in Trinidad and Tobago also focused on other issues this past week, including the Dangerous Dogs Act “as news of yet another innocent child being violently ripped and torn apart by yet another, dangerously-aggressive, unrestrained dog makes the rounds” and patients' rights, as cancer patients who were over-exposed to radiation at a national facility continue to seek justice.

The Bahamas

More north along the Caribbean archipelago, Bahamian netizens had elections on their mind. Blogworld, who recently posted her own voter's manifesto said:

So, in the parlance of the day: Papa has rung the bell.

I can talk the talk like any other Bahamian in 2012. Papa = the current prime minister, Hubert Ingraham. ‘The Bell' = the announcement of a date for the next general election. I know how to translate the statement.

I just don’t know what it means.

She went on to explain:

Some time ago, I wrote up my own manifesto (since the political parties vying for leadership of the country hadn’t seen fit to share any of their promises or policies for the next five years) as a voter, a participant in a process that is commonly called “democratic”. Since that time, others have joined me in making similar statements, and a few voices have called for our leaders and other politicians to have the balls to step out from behind their carefully crafted propaganda and open themselves up to discussions of issues with reasonable citizens.

But, disappointingly, and with one important exception (Branville McCartney of the DNA) they haven’t.

And this, to my mind, does not bode well for our future.

So my question is this. Given the passion and energy being expended in tearing down the other parties, or the other leaders—in dismissing reasonable questions and observations as ‘FNM' or ‘PLP' or even ‘DNA'—each of these being intended as insult, what happens the day after elections, when one party has won and the other(s) has/ve not? How do we work on building a nation of Bahamians?

So as we stare down the home stretch, as we slide into these last three weeks before Bahamians go to the polls and cast our votes, I would like at least one day to be dedicated to having the people who are contesting the elections to tell us what their vision is for this nation. Where do we go from here? How do we find our place in the twenty-first century?

Weblog Bahamas‘ Rick Lowe, meanwhile, hoped that “the level of discussion will be raised for the campaigns”:

If this is what we will get from the opposition it certainly seems to narrow the choice. It also makes me wonder why we must refer to some M.P.s as honourable.


Cuban diaspora bloggers acknowledged the passing of Miami-based Catholic Bishop Agustin Roman. Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter said:

Cubans have lost the physical presence of one of the great leaders of the Cuban exile community who passed away yesterday night at the age of 83 but his spirit and his writings live on. Monsignor Agustín Román wrote and spoke about the challenges facing the Cuban people and…offered a profound analysis of the state of the Cuban dissident movement that remains extremely relevant.

Pedazos de la Isla said of a speech the late Bishop made “about the importance of the internal Cuban opposition, dissidence, or Resistance”:

As he explains in this heartfelt piece, no matter what you call those brave Cubans inside the island, they all fight for justice. And justice is what Roman also represented in his 84 years of life. Although he is now physically gone, he will always spiritually guide not just Cuban exiles, but all Cubans, into freedom. His example was one worth emulating- a true man of God, a true Catholic, and a true Cuban. He was not afraid to tell the world that his brothers and sisters were in need of freedom, he was not afraid to say that he was an exile, and he was not afraid to explain why he was exiled (he was sent out of the country at gunpoint by the Cuban regime). Agustin Roman did not live off of hate or bitterness, and yet, he was clear in explaining that fighting peacefully was not a sign of weakness, but instead a sign of great strength and courage.

babalu shared details about the funeral arrangements:

This afternoon, Father Agustin Roman will be laid to rest. At noon today, a funeral procession will leave La Ermita de la Caridad and make several stops throughout Miami.

Diaspora bloggers also expressed concerned about the safety of the man who was arrested before the start of a Papal Mass in Santiago de Cuba for shouting “Down with communism!” and published a translation of an interview with the man's mother.

On island, bloggers were talking about the trial of El Ñaño, an imprisoned Rastafarian priest. (This post gives some background on the case). Even before yesterday's trial, bloggers were tweeting about his innocence; they also live-tweeted the court proceedings, ending with the following update:

The trail has ended but the judgment may be delayed for months.

Other Territories

Jamaica: Abeng News Magazine kept its readers au courant with the latest developments in the Trayvon Martin case.

Puerto Rico: Gil the Jenius likened the country's increasing violence to a cancer.

St. Vincent & the Grenadines: And Still I Rise marked the thirty third anniversary of the La Soufriere eruption.

Barbados: Contemporary artist Sheena Rose commented on the stereotypical image many people have of the Caribbean:

The more I travel, the more I realize that people do not know the Caribbean. I get the feeling that they thinking we live at the beach all day, have the steel pan playing and drinking coconuts all day, living in a paradise. Yes to me, my home is my paradise but it have more than the beach and coconuts.

March 17 2012

St. Vincent & the Grenadines: R.I.P. “Rasum”

Abeni pays tribute to the late Gerard “Rasum” Shallow, “a colossus on the Vincentian cultural landscape.”

February 14 2012

Caribbean: We'll Always Love You, Whitney

Following the untimely death of singer Whitney Houston, a handful of Caribbean bloggers are talking about her talent, her music and her legacy.

From Trinidad and Tobago, The Liming House posts a video of the singer performing “I Look to You” and says:

Goodbye, Whitney. Because your voice, even when ravaged, could still reduce me to tears.

Barbados Free Press expresses similar sentiments.

Blogging from Jamaica, one of the things that most strikes Active Voice is that many of the international mainstream media “[seem] to have one clip of Whitney singing/performing”, to which one of her Twitter followers responded:

You know they don’t keep black folk in stock.

The post continues:

I couldn’t understand why for a couple of hours CNN kept showing the same footage of Whitney in a grey dress singing on stage, while NBC seemed to have slightly more diverse clips to accompany the sparse details of her death yesterday. @106harlem’s terse response is shocking but true. Within a few minutes @diverseworld chimed in saying @anniepaul @106harlem … If this is about the footage. I agree. Finally BBC moved from the Bodyguard…

Plain Talk begins his post with a line from “The Greatest Love of All”, but soon voices his concern that the cult of celebrity may be sending the wrong message to regional societies:

The truth of the matter is that the deepest needs of a human being cannot be medicated away; human beings, people, need love, acceptance, intimacy and a feeling of belonging as much as air, water and food to develop, regardless of how unfashionable and contradictory that statement may sound…

Our society is now at the cusp of a complete breakdown because we bought the lie wholesale and sprung for all of the attachments as well. The modern day man-made dilemma of depression that is caused either by the abandonment or outright abuse of our children when they are at their most vulnerable can only be turned around through deep self examination and acceptance in a healthy loving environment and by a life of purpose and of service to others.

We need teachers who love children, who chose the profession out of the desire to mould and develop healthy young minds in a world of immense possibilities and dreams. We need to put back the structures of a healthy society into place, that encourages family life rather than its destruction; that rebuilds our nation into a place where it is safe and beautiful to be a child, and where it is healthy and possible to grow up and become an adult. We need to love each other, take care of each other, and to treasure and grow our communities into spaces of human development and care once again, so as to have somewhere to retreat to when times get dark and we need the trust and support only loved ones can give.

Finally, over in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Abeni writes:

When the phone rang last it was to report two deaths. One was yet another female homicide and the other the death of mega star Whitney Houston. Both were devastating for various reasons. The blood of females continue to drench the soil and it makes me scared,helpless and angry at the same time.

Ms Whitney was an icon, She was gorgeous,regal and had the most amazing voice ever. It seemed like everything she touched turned to gold. From being the first black woman to grace the over of Seventeen magazine, to an endless succession of hits,to lighting up the screen she had the fans eating out of her hands. As a 90's teen her music was a constant in my life.

Many would prefer to reduce her life to her struggles with drug addiction as if it were the single defining factor. I can't and I won't because I believe we or most of us have our demons. We however, have the luxury of not having them played out on the public stage. In the end she was a human as human as all of us.

Rest in peace sweet girl and thanks for sharing your talent with us.

The thumbnail image used in this post, “Whitney Houston - Concert in Central Park / Good Morning America - Manhattan NYC”, is by asterix611, used under an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) CC license. Visit asterix611's flickr photostream.

February 06 2012

February 03 2012

St. Vincent & the Grenadines: Caring Diaspora

“Sometimes I have scant respect for Vincentians in the diaspora. They appear to be extremely critical of everything Vincentian, know what's best for us but provide little beyond chatter”: Abeni has found a notable exception to the rule.

January 26 2012

St. Vincent & the Grenadines: Favourite Proverbs

“I consider them to be expressive and beautiful in a way that is so Caribbean”: Abeni blogs about West Indian proverbs.

January 16 2012

St. Vincent & the Grenadines: Don't Blame the Women

“Every now and again politicians make comments that are mind numbingly stupid”: Abeni calls out St. Vincent's deputy Prime Minister for her plea to “Vincentian females not to dress in a manner that tempts men.”

January 13 2012

St. Vincent & the Grenadines: Time for a Slutwalk?

CODE RED calls the comments of the deputy Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines “particularly dangerous in the context of such high levels of violence against women and murders of women…for the millionth time, clothing does not invite nor excuse violence against women.”

January 09 2012

St. Vincent & the Grenadines: Getting Tourism Right

“There is a St Vincent we love…and to our delight CNN, New York Times Travel and Travel and leisure have placed our island paradise on their top spots to visit in 2012″: But, says Abeni, “The ball is firmly in our court to create a favorable impression since we'd only have one chance to get it right.”

December 02 2011

Caribbean: Thoughts on World AIDS Day

December 1, was World AIDS Day. This year's theme was “Getting to Zero”, which, in the words of one Caribbean blogger, meant striving “towards achieving 3 targets: Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS-related deaths. In other words wrap it up, get tested, dismantle the AIDS related stigmas. Get the facts and act on them.”

Her regional peers soon weighed in with their own thoughts about and support for the ongoing battle against HIV and AIDS.

Jamaica's Girl With a Purpose took advantage of the occasion to make a plea for sexual abstinence among youth:

In Jamaica 32,000 people have AIDS but over half of these people don't know it. That's one in every 9 people. (Jamaica has a population of over 2.7 million people).

Although advancement in technology allows those persons living with HIV and full-blown AIDs to live longer, there is still stigma attached to having the virus.

I am appealing to our youth:

Your well-being is important to God.

He knows that sex outside of marriage destroys the human spirit.

Being naive about sex and safe sexual practices could kill you.

Sex isn't running away…Concentrate on developing the total you: your spirit, your mind, your well-being and your body.

Her compatriot, The Wickedest Time, posted three perspectives about World AIDS Day, here, here and here; some highlights included:

AIDS is real and it is up to you to be responsible; use protection, get tested on a regular basis, and only indulge in those that are truly worthy of holding the rest of your life in the palm of their hands, don't be blind to a pretty face and nice smile.

People should begin to pay more attention to this epidemic on a daily basis — not just on this specific day. Highlighting an epidemic on one day followed by silence on the other 364 days is not good enough.

We must try to do a lot more in educating the worlds population about one of the most deadliest diseases out there because it is obvious that people are still being infected at an alarming rate. With little education about how to protect yourself or how to deal with the situation if you are infected, escalation of this problem is inevitable.

A day where we want to spread the awareness, not the disease. AIDS is the MOST destructive epidemic in recorded history. Not talking about it will not make it go away. The only thing that you can do is protect yourself.

Over in St. Lucia, meanwhile, Alien in the Caribbean wondered whether “true lovemaking and a fulfilling intimate sex life between couples is one of the answers to the AIDS epidemic”. The blogger went on to explain why she felt that when it came to sexual intimacy in the region, “the only thing on [people's] minds was vaginal penetration and nothing more”:

This lack of imagination saddened me, especially when there are hundreds of safe and loving things a couple, even a couple where one person might be HIV positive, can do to share intimacy and pleasure. And so, it led me to ask, ‘Could our lack of imagination when it comes to sex be one of the many reasons why AIDS is spreading so rapidly in this region?'

Maybe if we were focusing more on the quality of our sexual experiences instead of the quantity of times we “get a juk” (especially the men), it would be easier to implement safer sex into our sexual routines. The fact is safer sex goes hand in hand with good sex.

She further suggested that:

Good sex comes from a kind of intimacy that allows openness of communication, concern for each other’s pleasure and health, mutual exploration, sharing desires and fantasies and freedom to feel safe within a loving relationship. As a bonus, much of the infidelity that often results in the spread of AIDS would also decrease if both parties were deeply satisfied in their sex lives with each other.

In this day and age of the AIDS epidemic, one would expect our imagination to grow beyond just rudimentary coitus. We have stubbornly held on to their outdated hypocrisy and shame. We are not widely providing sex aids, sex counseling, couples counseling or open and honest education about sex and sexuality. Yet at the same time we continue to nourish the primal sexual drive in our music and culture.

It is no coincidence that the countries with the highest HIV contractions are those that still have deep seated conservative, repressed and hypocritically religious views on sex.

Trinidad and Tobago-based Globewriter posted a photo of Matthew Shepard along with a statement from the foundation that was started in his memory, dedicating his post:

To all those lost to disease and hatred and to the hope for a better tomorrow.

Havana Times ended on a hopeful note:

Zero new HIV infections, zero incidents of discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths are the goals set by UNAIDS initiative.

Though this aim is almost impossible, experts point out that Cuba has developed a comprehensive prevention program that incorporates research activities, assessment, training and counseling to the public at large, according to a PL report.

Remarkable progress has been made on the island in the treatment of HIV/AIDS, which has contributed to improvements in the quality of life of patients, increased their survival rates and has decreased complications.

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