Guyana, Venezuela continue dispute over oil-rich territory

Current Controversy between the oil producing nations of Guyana and Venezuela is more than just a border dispute, with Guyana at odds with Venezuela’s claim that it owns — and is seeking to own — two-thirds of Guyana’s land, according to the Associated Press.

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Biden administration officials are closely monitoring the rising tensions. With increasing intimidation by Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and Guyana President Mohamed Irfaan Ali refuting the rival nation’s claims to minerals and oil Essequibo border region, the two sides met in St. Vincent and the Grenadines last week with several Caribbean premiers.

At the end of the Saint Vincent meeting, both sides agreed that the stalemate over the Essequibo region continued, that no force would be used in the conflict, and that the two sides would meet again in Brazil “within three months or at another agreed date”. over time.”

The century-old dispute, which dates back to colonial times, has been reignited by the recent discovery of oil in Guyana, a member CARICOM (Caribbean Commonwealth of Nations). Tensions rose when Venezuelan citizens reportedly opted to claim two-thirds of their smaller neighbor in a December referendum. Venezuela’s Maduro has ordered state-owned companies to explore and mine for oil, gas and mines in the Essequibo region. Meanwhile, both nations put their armies on alert.

An eye-opening report on refugees

The Humanitarian Parole Report on the many issues facing “Haitian migrants, asylum seekers and refugees” is one of many Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees initiatives for 2023. (FLYER)

The nonprofit boasts its revealing 2023 parole report and other invaluable projects Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees (HWHR) organization “Reflects on a Year of Resilience and Gratitude” and looks forward to greater achievements in the coming year.

The Humanitarian Parole Report — which revealed “challenges facing Haitian migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees” seeking work authorization upon arrival in the U.S. — detailed “systemic barriers to self-sufficiency and decent employment in the context of humanitarian parole policies.” “

The 31-year-old Brooklyn-based HWHR produced the report with the help of a research team from TakeRoot Justice. Other HWWR accomplishments in 2023 included responding to help “hundreds of Haitian families” in the city’s migration crisis and responding to the needs of Haitian migrants in US communities without a large Haitian population. There have also been efforts to close immigration detention centers and run “Healing Justice Circles” that provide support for victims of sexual violence, anti-Haitian bias and other ills.

For more information and to donate to the ongoing efforts of Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees, visit haitianrefugees.org.

The power of music

Music students practice at the Plezi Mizik Composition Futures School in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.  As part of Music Heals International, musical motivation is an alternative to the suffering of uncontrolled gang violence and crime.  (AP Photo/Odelyn Joseph)
Music students practice at the Plezi Mizik Composition Futures School in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. As part of Music Heals International, musical motivation is an alternative to the suffering of uncontrolled gang violence and crime. (AP Photo/Odelyn Joseph)

A child’s choice of instrument — guitar, maracas, ukulele or cowbell — may seem trivial, but a music program in Haiti is strengthening the spirit of children and communities suffering from gang violence and crime, according to the Associated Press.

Tea Music Heals International The program offers the transformative effect of music as an alternative to violence and chaos. Available at eight schools, program participants learn their instruments and perform at local concerts. The music program currently trains about 290 children in Haiti to learn guitar, bass, piano and drums, including 30 children — with special needs — on percussion, according to a spokesperson for Music Heals International.

“It’s very rare … that you can provide some peace in such madness, in such a hellish landscape,” said Ann Lee, CEO and co-founder of Community Organized Relief Effort, the California nonprofit that sponsors the program. For information, visit mhinternational.org.

A lesson in finance

John E. Harmon, Sr., founder and chairman of the New York State Black Business Alliance (l.) stands with John Rogers, Jr., chairman and co-CEO of Ariel Investments.  (LEAFLET)
John E. Harmon, Sr., founder and chairman of the New York State Black Business Alliance (l.) stands with John Rogers, Jr., chairman and co-CEO of Ariel Investments. (LEAFLET)

There was much to learn from John Rogers, Jr., the company’s chairman and co-CEO Ariel Investmentsthe first minority-owned asset management firm in the US, and the recent Fireside Chat in Manhattan – presented by the New York State Black Business Alliance – was the perfect opportunity to gain some knowledge and inspiration.

Rogers, who invested at a young age, parlayed that youthful financial exposure, with his Princeton University economics degree and brokerage experience, into founding Ariel Investments in 1983. The Chicago-based firm manages $15 billion in assets. Visit the New York State Black Business Alliance at nys-bba.com.

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