Mark Wilson

Jamaica’s culture minister Olivia Grange said last month she wants her country’s cultural relics returned by the British Museum. They include a Bird Man made by Taino Amerindians before Columbus, and a wooden figure of the Boinayel or Rain Giver, also from Taino times.

Around Emancipation Day, I’m struck by two contrasting views on Haiti.

First, there’s huge respect for the historic Haiti where Toussaint L’Ouverture led a slave revolt against the French to victory in 1804.

Last Sunday, there was bubbling joy and celebration at Trinidad and Tobago’s second annual Pride Parade. A few hundred LGBT Trinis and their supporters braved the rain and followed the music truck through Port of Spain, rainbow colours aplenty.

Guyanese artist Frank Bowling is centre-stage right now at London’s Tate Britain gallery. Trinidadian Horace Ove is at Somerset House. Notting Hill Carnival is in a couple of weeks—60 years on from its first launch.

Guyana’s First Lady Sandra Granger was in Singapore last Saturday for the dedication of the Liza Destiny, Exxon Mobil’s giant floating production storage and offloading vessel, which is due to reach offshore Guyana in September, and soon afterwards hold their first newly-pumped offshore oil.

Tuesday’s Guyana rulings from the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) gave the lawyers plenty homework for the Labour Day and Corpus holidays.

TODAY, it’s at Montego Bay and Ocho Rios on Jamaica’s north coast. A solemn stream of mourners view the flag-draped coffin of former prime minister Edward Seaga. On Wednesday, it was at the headquarters of his Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) in Kingston. On Monday, it’s back to Kingston’s Tivoli Gardens, his political heartland.

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