By Nicosia Smith
A burden Jamaican immigrant complain to me in the laundromat recently about her vacationing husband.
While she is in the US trying to pay two mortgages, since September 1,2011 her husband is in Jamaica.
Although rent from tenants assist to pay the mortgage it is not enough.
This retiree said her social security and disability checks have to supplement the mortgage plus living expensive.
Lives apart seems to be a growing trend among Caribbean immigrants.
Both male and female are choosing for whatever reason to leave their partners and return to the Caribbean.
But what of their US families. Who pays the bills and maintain the mortgages.
After 27 years of marriage the woman told me she now “scorns” her husband. And he has become like a stranger .
This is not her husband’s first year-long vacation.
This was sad to hear. As if trying to make sense of it all she kept saying ‘it is not as if we are separated’.
I also got the impression that if the vacation resulted in income that came to the US, she would not mind his absence.
While in Jamaica the husband is apparently farming. An activity the wife claims is draining their finance.
She would like him to return to the US to his construction job.
Over the decades Caribbean immigrants have sent their children to grandparents and extended families in the region, or have left them there.
So it seems that some Caribbean immigrant wives and husbands are now following the path of their kids.
By Nicosia Smith
US unemployment rate is now 8.2% from over 9%.
But who is benefiting from the recovery.
The poorest of the poor has not seen a recovery. Instead they have seen cuts in education, social services and declining job opportunities.
This is especially true for the large immigrant population. Caribbean and other immigrants are working two or more jobs to survive and still can’t. For immigrants, it is the case of having two families to support. Your US family and family members, where you have immigrated from.
So it is even more of a struggle to pay bills or put food on the table.
The streets, of East New York, is a daily reminder to me of the struggles faced by nationals and immigrants alike.
It is the unkept children, ragged and expressionless, that often breaks my heart and reminds me of third world struggles.
Daily it seems, there is a closing gap between the third and the first world countries, and it is not for the better.
Case in point, the US is second to Romania for ‘relative child poverty’.
This upcoming election will be a test for Democratic President Barack Obama.
Because he will have to prove who has benefited from the recovery. A unenvyable task.
Sometimes it feels like a decade of dirt
A clearing seem distant and long
It’s like dark waters, not crystal clear
What to do?
Where to go?
Who to tell ?
It is never-ending, through dark corridors
A deep, deep hole smooth on the sides
But beyond the darkness, is light, because darkness is not infinite
(Photo courtesy of tilt.ft.com)
China is fast becoming a dominant power in Caribbean and African economies.
Take for example, simple infrastructures like schools, hospital, laboratories, roads and bridges. China’s money is taking the lead.
It is called partnership agreements.
But these agreements it seems benefit China’s policy of overtaking US and Europe in the Caribbean.
But will this partnership also see the importation of China’s other records.
Small economies like the Caribbean, will also find themselves, if not already, shifting policy more toward China’s liking.
The ability to shift power in the Caribbean currently belongs to the USA.
So what is wrong with China taking over?
Let us take a look.
The limited democracy we now have is likely to disappear, human rights, limited social and corporate responsibility and none or limited labour rights.
The region’s need for assistance will continue to mean that China’s money will be needed for decades to come. Except of course, Caribbean economies diversify and grow beyond tourism.
Usain Bolt (Photo courtesy of Getty Images/ESPN)
by Nicosia Smith
Caribbean Olympiads at London 2012 have more on their minds than medals.
The Olympics are known for its controversies over the years. Athletes are also known for campaigning for or against causes at international events.
This year Haitian jumper Samyr Laine wants money from Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.
It is good for the Caribbean to rake in gold, silver and bronze, but it is better to highlight what is happening in your country to the world.
For example, highlight corruption, greed and the fraud bringing down Caribbean countries.
This year Jamaica apparently has the largest contingent with 50 Olympiads, followed by Cuba. Limited funding, political infiltrations and poor management has hampered the growth of sports in the Caribbean.
Yes, you are probably saying which government will send athletes to speak out against them.
It has been done. Every year athletes seek asylum in the host countries. For some of the same reasons I have mentioned.
A revolution of change can be started through sports. What if Usain Bolt in the 100m, have a sigh on his vest saying stop corruption. It will surely get the world talking about corruption.
Here is to a start.