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Carnival Season has begun! Carnival - Trinidad & Tobago Feb. 11th - 12th! Mashramani - Guyana, Feb. 23rd! Orlando Carnival May 26th, Memorial Weekend!

NEWS MAGAZINE Rick Singh inaugurated as Orange County Property Appraiser


orn in 1962 in Georgeto wn, G uy a na , Ri c k Singh spent the first decade of his life in Guyana. After the sudden death of his father in 1972, Rick relocated two months later with his family to the Bronx New York. At his inauguration Rick , thanked his mother for the lessons that she taught him about life and education that are responsible for propelling him throughout life to his current position. Her focus on education encour-

at the CAP Caribbean Village within the ZORA! Outdoor Festival of the Arts!


aribbean American Passport News magazine will debut their CAP Caribbean Village at the ZORA! Festival on February 1-3, 2013 as a celebration of the sights, sounds, color and culture of the Caribbean within the 24th Annual ZORA! Festival. ZORA! Festival goers will enjoy three days of activities that highlight the Caribbean at the first of a series of Caribbean Villages that will be showcased throughout the year. Caribbean American Passport News Magazine will also host a luncheon meeting on Monday February 4th about the tourism and hospitality potential of the Caribbean and Caribbean Community in Orlando. This week of activities is intended to launch the diverse event lineup that Caribbean American Passport and their marketing company GGR Marketing & PR will be marketing and promoting throughout 2013 from March’s Phagwah celebrations, May’s Orlando Carnival, June’s CAHM Festival and many others. “This year Caribbean American Passport News Magazine intends to bring the feel of the Caribbean to the American Community, starting with the ZORA! Festival which has an attendance of 80,000 + and is an integral part of the event fabric in Orlando. With it’s emphasis on Arts and Culture we felt that it was the perfect event to

Guyanese born Rick Singh was sworn in on January 11th, 2013 as the new Orange County Property Appraiser.

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Guenet Gittens-Roberts, Publisher/Editor

2012 is over, bring on 2013!


hat a year, 2012 passed with blistering speed in my world, April I’m not sure about yours, but here’s a synopsis of mine. GGR Marketing, assisted CAFA with the marketing and promotion of their Annual CAFA Fusion. We’re grateful to them for their belief in our abilities and we worked our team’s butt January I was elected President of the Caribbean American Chamber off to justify their faith in us. Look forward to this event again of Commerce of Florida. That same month my marketing com- this April. It’s one of Central Florida’s must attend events. pany, GGR Marketing & PR was responsible for the Grand Opening of Majestic Event Center, a celebration that more than 600 May people attended. It was a culmination of years of networking Susan Taylor, Editor Emeritus of Essence Magazine, reached out pulled into one room for me and I loved the combination of to us after reading the newspaper to coordinate an event for people, black, white, indian, chinese, business people, event her to coincide with Caribbean American Heritage Month. We promoters that filled the room. Mayor Buddy Dyer attended had a full plate with the planning of events for Caribbean American Heritage month, but we thought...SUSAN to cut the ribbon. TAYLOR...OMG, and started planning. February I chaired the Guyanese American Cultural Association Ball for June the first time. It was lively, entertaining and I had a great team Oh June! Caribbean American Heritage month, we had an to work with. I’m chairing it again this year, so save the date event every week...something we will probably never do again. Feb. 23rd. We’ve got a lot of fun in store for you this year. With the leadership of Greater Orlando Cares, the event we organized for Susan Taylor worked out fabulously. It became We’re shaking things up. our first annual Caribbean American Honors awards. We’ll be back again this June, honoring heroes in our community March Caribbean American Passport News Magazine launched the again with the Awards presentation. To celebrate June as Carfirst of our many Meet the candidate series. Our first candi- ibbean American Heritage month we had a presentation at date - Rick Singh, who has gone on to become the Orange City Hall, a 5k walk, business expo, the CAHM festival that we were helping to plan was rained out and we were forced to County Property Appraiser. postpone it to August. That month I was honored to be featured as one of the Women on the Ryse in Orlando, and was ubscribe to Caribbean American part of the Ryse Magazine cover with some very distinguished Passport News Magazine today. ladies. The month ended with the West Indies playing cricket for the first time in United was absolutely amazing Get the news delivered directly to and I will go to cricket every time the West Indies team plays in the United States. your door each month! For a limited time we are offering a one year subscription to CAP News Magazine at $25.00. This will also provide you with discounted admission to events, coupons for shopping at your favorite stores as well as updates on caribbean events coming up in our community. Support your community by giving the gift of a subscription to CAP NewsMagazine to someone and we will personalize a card to them from you in that gift package.

July We were supposed to go on a road trip, but alas the rescheduled CAHM festival meant that we had to work doubly hard to promote it in one month. The Ryse magazine cover was put on the Walmart web site. My daughter scored a perfect score on the reading FCAT, putting to rest a secret fear that I had been neglecting my children in lieu of a busy active career.

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Name ______________________________________ Date ___________ St. Address __________________________________________________ State _____ City _____________________________ Zip _______ ______ Phone ___________________ Email ______________________________ Signature ____________________________________________________

Please mail this subsciption with your check or money order to: Caribbean American Passport News Magazine 1230 Hillcrest Street, Suite 101 • Orlando, FL 32803 407-427-1800 ! Yes this is a gift subscription from: _____________________________________________________

GGR Marketing & Public Relations 1230 Hillcrest Street, Suite 101 • Orlando, FL 32803 407-427-1800 • For Media Information email: Should you desire to review past copies of the publication go to and search for Caribbean American Passport News Magazine. Publisher ........................................................... Guenet Gittens-Roberts Editor ............................................................................. Audrey Johnson Contributing Writers: ..................................................... Natasha Gittens ........................................................................................ .Lyma Dunbar . .................................. ................................................... Roger Caldwell ................................................................................ Nouchelle Hastings Contributing Photographers ........................................... Dillia Castillo ........................................................................... Azikiwe smenkh Ka Ra ....................................................................................... Mark Bannister Distribution.................................................................... Samuel Roberts Copyright (C) 2010 GGR Marketing & Public Relations. All rights reserved.


Governor Scott Inflates Price Tag on Healthcare Overhaul By Roger Caldwell


overnor Scott again finds himself on the wrong side of the people. The majority of Floridians support the Affordable Care Act, and that was evident because President Obama won the state in the election. Governor Scott now appears to have a softer tone with the Obama administration, but he is still combative. Governor Scott wants to run the Affordable Care Act, his own way, and last week he had a meeting with Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and told her what he thinks. He thinks that the government estimates underplay the state’s cost to expand Medicaid. Scott hopes to change the state’s Medicaid program into a managed care option, much like an HMO.

terrible shape, and healthcare reform would allow 1.2 million residents access to high quality affordable health insurance. Secretary Sebelius also reminded Scott that the federal government will cover 100 percent of the cost for three years, and 90 percent of the cost in the future. Governor Scott is not a team player and he did not go to Washington to discuss how to implement the Affordable Care Act, but to pitch his own program and plan. He also has inflated the cost of implementing the Affordable Care Act, to justify why it is not doable in Florida. Based on Scott’s number it would cost the state 2.6 billion a year to implement the government’s program in Florida. No one knows how Governor Scott arrived at these numbers, but it would make sense to talk to other governors of other states, and find out their cost. I am sure that the states will be forced to finance a portion of the program, but the government says that they will finance 100 percent of the bill. Instead of our governor finding ways to not implement the act, he should be looking for ways to get on board. Florida was the last state to count their votes in the election, and we may be the last state to implement the Affordable Care Act. Many Americans think Floridians are slow at understanding things, because we come from the Deep South, and we are a little backward.

Six months ago, Governor Scott said he would not comply with the law, and he has changed that tune after the election. Many people around the country see Scott as a bag of hot air. When Governor Scott does something silly, it brands the state also as being silly. It is my hope that our governor gets engaged in After Scott pitched his plan, the Secretary reminded him that implementing the Affordable Care Act, the way the governFlorida has the third-highest rate of uninsured residents in the ment wants it implemented. It would be great if our state could country. Basically, she is telling the governor that Florida is in follow instructions, and get it right the first time. Again Governor Scott wants to do his own thing, and he has his own plan. Scott enjoys being a rebel and dancing to his own music and beat. The Secretary was very polite but she reiterated the government’s plan for the Affordable Care Act.


CARICOM irrelevant or essential

By Sir Ronald Sanders


he curtain rolls down on 2012 with the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARI COM) institutionally weak and its 15 member governments doing little more than paying lip service to the process of economic integration. It seems that the only reason that several governments do not declare CARICOM irrelevant and walk away from it is that they dare not. To do so, they would have to explain their action to their people. It is a discussion few government leaders would relish. One of the things they could not say is that CARICOM – as an integration instrument - is a drag on their development or a hindrance to their prospects. In recent years, Governments have simply opted not to utilise the benefits of regional arrangements, preferring instead to pursue separate deals in the hope that such deals would allow them to maintain national power. Just a few weeks ago at the opening of a meeting of CARICOM Trade Ministers, the Deputy Secretary-General of CARICOM felt constrained to say: “While as individual sovereign States we would be preoccupied with the responsibilities within our national borders, it would also be to our advantage to look to our regional arrangements as supportive even when they seem to add additional responsibilities”. That Lolita Applewhaite found it necessary to make this statement is indicative of concern over the failure of governments to seek a solution to their current grave economic problems through CARICOM’s integration machinery.

Trinidad and Tobago, CARICOM countries have become reliant on Hugo Chavez - Venezuela’s President - for deferred payment for their oil needs under the Petro Caribe scheme. With President Chavez’s illness casting grave doubt over his ability to continue to lead Venezuela, even if he manages to be sworn-in as President on January 10, the likelihood of continuing benefits under Petro Caribe is not at all certain. To add to this troubling scenario, the Caribbean Development Bank – long respected internationally and trusted with funds from international financial institutions and donor governments for on-lending to CARICOM states – was downgraded twice in 2012 by Standard & Poor’s, dragged there by the failure of borrowing governments to repay loans. Then there is the EU which has been a generous aid donor to CARICOM countries for over three decades. Faced with its own debt problems among some of its member states, the EU has introduced austerity measures domestically. In that situation, it has announced that upper-middle income developing countries will no longer be eligible for EU aid. While, so far, CARICOM countries, as part of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group, have been shielded from ineligibility by the Cotonou Agreement, there is no guarantee that this will continue after 2015 when the Agreement is reviewed. At that time, all but Guyana (lower middle income) and Haiti (low income) will be adversely affected. But, aid agencies such as the Canadian International Development Agency, the British Department for International Development and the EU complain regularly that while tens of millions of dollars are available for regional projects on an annual basis, Governments show little interest in them, opting for national projects for which many lack the absorptive capacity, including the skills necessary to submit “bankable” applications.

The question that poses itself is: Haiti apart, why should a region of 6 million people with vast natural resources such as oil, It is not as if the economic conditions in the majority of CARICOM gas, diamonds, gold, bauxite, uranium, tourism, financial countries are good. Barbados and the six independent countries services, fisheries, agriculture (including sugar and rice), forof the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) have dan- estry and huge potential for renewable energy, be poor and suffering? The answer lies gerously high debt to in the failure of our GDP ratios of over 65 governments to perfect percent and some are well over 100 per cent. a single market and to Jamaica’s economy has work steadfastly toward been in dire straits for a single economy. years and there appears No one pretends that this task is easy. Secretary-General Irwin little hope of a dramatic improvement anytime soon. LaRocque has said that: “Many of our member states face conIndeed, many of these countries are already failed states, straints both technical and political which cannot be ignored or surviving only by grants and assistance given to them by easily overcome”. Given the validity of that statement why has the Secretariat not sought a mandate to establish a team of comexternal agencies. petent persons to examine these constraints wherever they exist As 2013 dawns, apart from Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and and to identify practical measures to deal with them within an Suriname, the prospects for the national economies of CARICOM agreed time frame? It cannot be sufficient to acknowledge the states are bleak. None of the 12 other CARICOM members has problem and yet to take no meaningful action to solve it. the means to provide the financial stimulus to grow their economies and stem the rate of unemployment which is expanding If this backward march continues, many CARICOM countries will go over the cliff, and eventually CARICOM will be abanand will get worse in 2013. doned by those member countries that can do better by ecoIt is not a convincing argument for CARICOM governments to nomic and political arrangements with others. In particular, constantly point to the global economic situation as the princi- Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and Suriname may well find it pal cause for their countries’ economic decline. Many of them beneficial to integrate their own economies more deeply and were already on a slippery slope before 2009 when the financial to jointly pursue arrangements with Brazil, Venezuela and other crisis began to bite. Further, other countries in Africa, Asia and Latin American nations. Latin America have done well despite being subject to the same global crisis. Economic growth in many of these countries has 2013 can be the year of CARICOM’s final slide to oblivion with exceeded 7 per cent at the same time that the economies of the disastrous consequences for the majority of its member states, or it can be the year when leaders recognise the folly of shunmajority of CARICOM countries shrunk. ning deeper regional integration and so take positive steps to Making matters worse, with the exceptions of Barbados and re-enliven and deepen CARICOM.

As 2013 dawns, apart from Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and Suriname, the prospects for the national economies of CARICOM states are bleak says Sir Ronald Sanders.


United Nations survey shows significant progress in Haiti Caribbean 360


aiti, a member of the 15-nation Caribbean Community (CARICOM) grouping has been re-building since the earthquake struck on 12 January 2010.


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A new United Nations-backed national household survey shows substantial progress has been made for children in the education, nutrition, health and sanitation sectors since 2006. According to the initial results of the Haiti Demographic and Health Survey (DHS), which covered 13,350 households, 77 per cent of children aged 6-11 years attended primary school in 2012, compared to just below 50 per cent in 2005-2006 when the last survey was conducted. Acute malnutrition among children aged 6-59 months has been reduced by half from 10 per cent to five per cent, and chronic malnutrition has been cut from 29 per cent to 22 per cent between 2005-2006 and 2012. “Results of the survey show that the efforts of partners in Haiti in these three years contributed to progress in many sectors and mitigated the impact on children of the 2010 earthquake, the outbreak of cholera and other disasters.” said the representative of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Haiti, Edouard Beigbeder. “These findings call for a continued commitment to support the country in sustaining this success while addressing existing challenges and where progress has lagged.” Haiti, a member of the 15-nation Caribbean Community (CARICOM) grouping has been re-building since the earthquake struck on 12 January 2010, killing more than 200,000 people and leaving an estimated .5 million others homeless, in addition to causing widespread destruction, particularly in the capital, Port-au-Prince. The DHS 2012 was conducted by the Institut Hatien de L’Enfance, under the overall direction of the country’s Ministry of Population and Public Health, and was supported by UNICEF and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) amongst others. The survey also notes that the under-five mortality rate, at 88 child deaths per 1,000 live births, has shown a declining trend in the last 15 years, according to new estimates, down from 112 in 1997-2001 and 96 in 2002-2006. Access to improved sources of water remained unchanged at 65 per cent, while 82 per cent of residents of internally displaced camps had access to improved sources of water. Access to improved sanitation almost doubled from 14 per cent in 2005-2006 to 26 per cent in 2012. The 2012 Haiti DHS estimates socio-economic, demographic and health indicators for the entire Haitian population, including women of child-bearing age, children under five years of age, men aged between 15 and 59 years old. The last survey took place between October 2005 and June 2006.



By Rosemarie Roth Director of Community Services at Alpha Point, Inc.


a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

can safely say that I am delighted to see another new year. Taking life by the “bull horns” and not being afraid to see 2. Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for all that is in store for me this year. The hardest fact is ac- the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the cepting that the year will progress with or without me. It has shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. gone right along without many of my friends and loved ones. Let’s look around us and see the cloud of witnesses that have I enjoyed last year. It was a good year and I was not in any experienced the goodness of the Lord in their lives and are a hurry for it to finish, but the intriguing aspect of this New Year testimonial to us to preserve. Take a look again on the things rests on the projects that are being incubated from last year, that pulls us away from seeing the Lord working on our bewaiting for the right time to come alive. The plans I did not half. Let us lay aside the spirit of complaining because it so see manifest last year taught me to persevere even when it easily weights us down. I love the word “run”. It is to make seems like nothing is happening. This year began last year. It haste, to get away or to get to, To move swiftly on foot so that began with the classes we registered for, our engagement to both feet leave the ground during each stride. To move or go get married, the start of a weight loss program, the reconcilia- quickly; hurry: To move at a fast gallop. tion of a broken relationship or the commitment to serve the Lord. That’s right; this year began what last year did not ac- 2. To retreat rapidly; flee… http://www.thefree complish. The projects I envisioned last year are coming to It is saying that we need to run towards the mark of success pass this year. Or should I say, will come to pass? that we envisioned. When we take our eyes off Jesus we are not promised to finish the will be running but with Jeremiah 29:11 no destination. Looking unto Jesus - As a further inducement New International Version (NIV) to do this, the apostle exhorts us to look to the Savior. We are 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, to look to his holy life; to his patience and perseverance in “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you trials; to what he endured in order to obtain the crown, and to his final success and triumph. hope and a future. The Lord declares that He has “a plan” for YOU. This plan entails to bless you. He will not allow this plan to harm you in any way. He wants you to hope (which will not make you be ashamed) for prosperity in the future.

Jesus was willing to bear the shame of the cross because of his love for man. The depth of his humiliation was shown in the readiness and firmness with which he went forward to such a public death. Yet he endured to the end.

And, is set down at the right hand of the throne of God - Exalted to the highest place of dignity and honor in the universe; Mark 16:19 and Ephesians 1:20-22 notes. The sentiment here is, “Imitate the example of the great Author of our faith. He, in view of the honor and joy before him, endured the most severe The Author was looking down to see foot prints…not looking up! sufferings to which the human frame can be subjected, and She was looking backward….not forward. Her eyes were not on the form of death which is regarded as the most shameful. So the destination or the prize but on the struggles she was going amidst all the severe trials to which you are exposed on acthrough. She was looking on the failed exams, the sick child, the count of your vision, you can patiently endure all - for the broken car, the broken marriage, the unpaid bills, the friend’s glorious rewards, the happiness and the triumph of heaven, rejection, the sudden death of a family member or the traffic ticket. are before you.” Her eyes were focused on the foot prints behind her. Would you agree with me that we spend too much time looking backwards? Rosemarie Roth is the Director of Community Services at Alpha Point, Inc. operating at Silver Star Christian Church, Inc.* 7510 Silver Star Take note…..The foot prints never stopped because Jesus was Road in Orlando; and Solid Rock Outreach Ministries * 4213 N. looking on the mark where He would be able to safely put his Pine Hills Road, Orlando. passenger down for a “hand in hand” walk. Offering Church services, education, food, clothes, senior citizen club Wednesdays 10-12 p.m), free weddings, mission trips and much more. Hebrews 12:2 says: Mary Stephenson wrote the poem “Foot prints in the sand” which has touched many lives. It taught me to be grateful to God for all aspects of my life. Yet something bothered me about this poem.

1. Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great

You can contact her at or 352 321 0932.


CACCF Announces New Officers


he Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce of Florida Inc, announces the election of their 2013 Executive Board. President: Guenet Gittens-Roberts, Vice-President: Homida Rajack, Secretary: Donna Morton, Treasurer: Elizabeth Vieira. Members are invited to a strategic planning meeting for 2013 at Truffles Restaurant, Winter Park Village, January 29th, 2013, 5:30pm - 7:30pm. For more information contact: CACCF President at 407-427-1800.


Caribbean tourism sector sees US, Canada visitor increase as UK declines


he Caribbean tourism industry continued to show signs bean, this crippling tax is due to rise even further in April of recovery during 2012 fuelled by improvements in the 2013 while the discriminatory aspect of the distance ‘bandUnited States and Canadian markets. ing’ system remains. A family of four visiting the Caribbean and flying in economy will be expected to fork out 332 pounds But Secretary General of the Barbados-based Caribbean Tour- sterling for APD – and double that amount for a few extra ism Organization (CTO), Hugh Riley in a Christmas message inches of leg room if they fly in any class above economy,” warned that the region continued to face challenges in Europe, Riley said. particularly the United Kingdom market from which the numbers have been falling. Riley noted that on the contrary, that same famHe said visitor spending ily would pay less APD to has also been sluggish. fly to US destinations that Riley said that the latest are far further away from figures on visitor arrivals London than any Caribshow a five per cent inbean country. crease rise and “there are clear signs that our per“This is an issue the CTO formance in the US, our and its member countries region’s main source and partners will market, is improving, continue to fight.” with arrival numbers up by 5.3 per cent”. But he said despite the many challenges which He said the Canadian the Caribbean faced, market has also showed “we got through 2012 growth, with total arrivwith our chins up and als matching the US at our resolve unfazed. 5.3 per cent. “Many of our member“The UK, on the other countries have scored hand, has recorded a major successes regiondecline of over six per ally and internationally, cent. The Summer often parlaying those Olympics did have some wins to the benefit of effect, leading to martheir tourism sector. ginal growth in the UK economy, which is still “We at the CTO have struggling to rebound”. been energized by our new vision “To position the Caribbean as the most desirable, year But Riley said that a factor which the region cannot ignore is round, warm weather destination by 2017” and the recently elected the “unfair and discriminatory” Air Passenger Duty (APD) CTO chairman, Commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty has begun that is continuing to have a severe impact on the Caribbean her two-year tenure with a pledge to refocus attention on urgent tourism sector. and essential areas including aviation”.

“We at the CTO have been energized by our new vision to position the Caribbean as the most desirable, year round, warm weather destination by 2017”

The APD, instituted in 1994, is a British environmental tax aimed at offsetting aviation’s carbon footprint. In its initial stage, it was set at £5 (US$7.85) per person.

He said she immediately established an Aviation Task Force to develop solutions to the region’s aviation problems, including the issue of taxation.

Regional governments have been lobbying London to remove the tax, which they said negatively affects the growth of the tourism industry since the Caribbean has been placed in a band that makes travel to the region much more expensive than travelling from London to the United States.

“As we prepare to enter 2013, we look forward to working more closely with all of members and partners. As the international agency that leads tourism development in the Caribbean, we know there are plenty of opportunities to improve the quality and the value of the services we provide. We take our responsibility seriously and will use every resource available to us to improve the quality of life of all Caribbean people through tourism.”

“Much to the disappointment and frustration of the Carib-

Rick Singh inaugurated as Orange County Property Appraiser — Continued from page 1 —

aged him to graduate with honors from the prestigious Aviation High School with an FAA Airframe Certificate. Following graduation, Rick enlisted in the U.S. Army and was assigned to the 1st Infantry Division Mechanized, working on Helicopter Armament Subsystems, including tactical devices and hardware for weapons like machine guns, grenade launchers, auto-cannons, and rockets. Rick was honorably discharged in 1986 with the rank of Specialist 4. In 1986, Rick relocated to Orlando, Florida, where he operated a family-owned real estate company, rendered advice on potential real estate investments, and managed home rental and upkeep during Central Florida’s housing boom. In 1994, Rick joined the Orange County Property Appraiser’s Office and started his career

as a field appraiser. By 1999, Rick became a State Certified Residential Appraiser, which qualified him in a wide range of valuation applications, including financial reporting, tax compliance, corporate finance, restructurings, and litigation support. Rick eventually entered private practice, opened his own appraisal firm and started a real-estate company, where he served the Central Florida community for 11 years. During this time, Rick hired, trained, managed, and reviewed numerous appraisers. Rick’s training and work ethic led him to running for the office of Property Appraiser. On January 11th, he was sworn into the office by Congressman Alan Grayson. Rick is married to his childhood sweetheart, Davieca, a Registered Nurse, and he and his wife have been blessed with two children: a son, Avinash, and a daughter, Amrita.


Tupperware Brands and Rollins College wraps up one year joint program with Secretary of State’s Office of Global Women’s Issues. Global Links program aims to create a new generation of female entrepreneurs in post-war Iraq

Guenet Roberts with US Ambassadaor at Large for Global Women’s issues, Melanne Verveer

Jonathan Blount with Rollins College President

The Steeles’. Elinor Steele is Vice President, Global Communications and Public Relations at Tupperware Brands Corporation

Rick Singh Inauguration, as Orange County Property Appraiser

Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce Members attend the Inauguration of Rick Singh. In this photo they pose with the Mayor of Eatonville, Mayor Bruce Mount in the middle.

Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings, Former Orlando Police chief Val Demings, Orange County Property Appraiser Rick Singh and Congressman Alan Grayson who administered the oath of office.


In his speech Rick Singh credited his mother for his achievements. She instilled in him the value of education and giving back to the community.

Davieca Singh with guests

Publishers of Caribbean American Passport, Sam and Guenet Roberts with Rick Singh

Guests included author Conrad Taylor, his wife Ona.

Danielle’s Sweet Sixteen Celebration


amily and community members held a basketball benefit to help raise money for Danielle Sampson’s recovery efforts. During January, Danielle and her family were also treated to an Orlando Magic Game, where Danielle was given her own Magic jersey with her name and the number 23. As Danielle struggles to recover from a massive brain injury the case against her alleged shooter is scheduled to begin soon. Suspect Tyrone Mosby and his friends were firing from a moving car in the Pine Hills area when Danielle was caught in the crossfire. Mosby, has also been tied to the recent arrest of gang members charged in a racketeering case. Authorities said they believe the suspects were responsible for hundreds of crimes through the area.

Danielle Sampson with her parents and sister Baje.

Coach Rainey of the West Oaks Academy. West Oaks won under 18 basketball.

Sam Roberts, with Danielle Sampson her parents and Magic representative Danielle is presented with her own Orlando Magic Jersey

Baje Fletcher (Danielle’s Sister) and Pastor Paula White, New Destiny Church

Danielle with her favorite local artist, Shem (he and Danielle used to condition together)

Greater Orlando Cares Team - Darrell Butler, Sam Roberts, Mrs. Fletcher - Danielle’s mom, Nouchelle Hastings & Pastor DaRon Dixon


Experience the Caribbean in Orlando at the CAP Caribbean Village within the ZORA! Outdoor Festival of the Arts! — Continued from page 1 —

launch our Caribbean Village and Caribbean Event lineup for media as they showcase their culinary skills. In previous years, the year at,” said Guenet Gittens-Roberts, Publisher Caribbean events at Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and William Sonoma stores American Passport News Magazine (CAP). have showcased Caribbean Celebrity chefs throughout the week. Artists, performers, chefs, will create a Caribbean Experience that will awaken the senses through the sounds, smells and taste of the Caribbean. “Zora Neale Hurston visited the Caribbean and chronicled her experiences. We look forward to making the CAP Caribbean Village an Annual part of the ZORA! Festival of the Arts. “ Said Samuel Roberts, CFO Roberts & Roberts Management and Caribbean American Passport News Magazine. Now you have the chance to experience the Caribbean as she did with: • Sounds of the Caribbean through soca, reggae, Zouk, chutney and live Tassa drumming. • Performances of kwe kwe, which is an African pre wedding celebration or the Indian dancers performing chutney, bollywood and traditional dance. • Stilt walkers, limbo and other cultural performances will feature the culture from the islands. • Cuisine, sample the food and drinks that are part of the Caribbean Experience. After the ZORA! Festival, the CAP Caribbean Village will be placed into various mainstream events and will combine a business outbreak luncheon session at the end of the consumer-oriented event that featured the food, and entertainment of the Caribbean. The networking luncheon will allow the sponsors and local officials to network and connect with the organizers of upcoming events in the Caribbean Community. Each event will feature a speaker and provide networking opportunities. This Forum intends to connect Caribbean event organizers with major event organizers, local executives and Caribbean Officials. It will provide sponsors with an opportunity to peruse the upcoming events in the community at one time, and to directly interface with organizers to get their questions answered. The CAP Caribbean Village at the ZORA! Festival will feature three days of fun in the Caribbean. When you enter the Caribbean Village, it will be as though you took a trip overseas. From Jamaica to Haiti as Zora did and beyond, you will enjoy an assorted sample of food from around the Caribbean, all combined with music, dancing and Caribbean entertainment. The first 1000 registered visitors will receive a Caribbean Village customized gift bag with a Caribbean magazine and lots of special treats. Registered visitors will also be entered into a chance to win Caribbean themed prizes.

Caribbean Sounds & Style Saturday, February 2nd, 2013 - 9:00am - 5:00pm Caribbean Culture will take center stage to transform a piece of Eatonville into a Caribbean Village. Sounds - the rhythmic sounds of steel pan will entertain you while you sample Caribbean food and drinks. Enjoy a lineup of local Caribbean talent from dance to music as you tour the Caribbean village to meet local businesses. Style - the Caribbean has their own sense of style and you can get transported through that style, to the lands of beautiful sunshine, sandy beaches and blue water. It might be February in Orlando, but in Eatonville this February, Caribbean style and sounds will transport you through the best of the Caribbean.

Saturday’s event will take guests on an enchanting journey that will encapsulate the vibrant cultures, eclectic cuisines, pulsating rhythms and quintessential experiences that are enjoyed in the Caribbean.

”Gimme some ole time religion” Sunday, February 3rd, 2013 - 10am - 4pm

Sunday’s focus is on church. Experience the diversity of Caribbean religion with the sounds of the best in Caribbean gospel music playing in the background and guest appearances by local Caribbean gospel artistes. Sunday will be a treat for the senses. Wrap up on Monday with the:

Caribbean Luncheon Forum Monday February 4th, 2013 - 12pm - 2pm

At this Forum, tourism officials and policy-makers will discuss matters of mutual interest with the Diaspora. CAP News Magazine will also provide an update on its Caribbean Village program, an initiative aimed at strengthening the relationship between the Caribbean Diaspora, the American Community and the region through the promotion of the Caribbean’s people and culture. The Forum will be immediately followed by a presentation of the upcoming events in the Caribbean Community and discussions. The audience will comprise a cross-section of Caribbean nationals, Promoters, Caribbean non-profit groups, local officials and friends of the Caribbean.

This is an opportunity to connect with over 200 leading executives from a variety of fields. This forum offers companies the Caribbean Art & Literary Delight perfect opportunity to meet the leaders in the Community from the Business Community to the non-profit groups, media and Friday, February 1, 2013 9am-5pm On Friday, the focus will be on Caribbean Art & Authors, get a Government officials. peak at some of the Authors from the Caribbean who reside right here in Florida. Take a peek at the local artists. Enjoy Registration Fee: $50 per person. Sponsorship opportunities Poetry, Spoken Word and a Caribbean movie. In the back- are available. Limited tickets are available for the luncheon ground, enjoy the sounds of steelpan, sample Caribbean drinks, and must be purchased by Jan. 31st, 2013. Sponsorship opportunities are available. Booth Spaces and sponsorship options beer and rum. are available for the Caribbean Village and must be purchased Throughout the week, these highly acclaimed chefs will be on by Jan. 25th, 2013. For more information contact the Caribhand at various events to interact with the general public and bean Passport office at 407-427-1800.



2012 is over, bring on 2013! — Continued from page 3 — August The day of the CAHM festival dawned bright and clear and thousands showed up at Lake Eola to celebrate with the Caribbean American Community. The local talent that showed up, wowed the crowd. Seeing it all come together exactly the way we had envisioned for years, with the full cooperation of the Caribbean community brought me to tears. September Caribbean American Passport News Magazine celebrated our 2 year anniversary. We were too exhausted to celebrate. We planned a party which we cancelled. Rest, was the best celebration we could imagine. October Was there anything else happening in October but election ads, billboards, emails and television ads. We did meet the candidate series for Sheriff Demings. The newspaper formally endorsed Rick Singh for Orange County Property Appraiser, Sheriff Jerry Demings for Orange County Sheriff and President Obama for a 2nd term. That was it for our endorsements, but we were 3 for 3 as all of our endorsed candidates won their races. November Elections came and went, leaving us all with a vacuum in our lives. However we quickly filled that with a show by Dave Martins and the Tradewinds, where my Office Manager Donna, finally fell in love with Caribbean music and played the Tradewinds cd every day at her desk until I fell out of love with the Tradewinds. At the same time we worked on promoting the first Annual Orlando Jerk Fest, a spin off of the successful Palm Beach Jerk Fest. Two weeks after the Dave Martins and Tradewinds show, the Orlando Jerk Fest came off very successfully. December Sam and I decided we would produce our first Caribbean Village at the ZORA! Festival in February. We made arrangements to handle the marketing of Caribbean Airlines in the Central Florida area, then closed up the office and took our first vacation in two years. We mentally prepared for the end of world, just in case, we connected with family and friends and found out that our work schedule had made us miss a lot, but that our friends were still there and were willing to forgive us our neglect. We recharged our batteries, entertained family had a blast and welcomed the new year exhilarated, excited about the possibilities that were unfolding before us. Unfortunately the flu knocked some of the zest and zeal out of both of us so that we actually limped into 2013. Thank you to everyone who helped us to grow the paper through advertising, subscribing, writing, coordinating events and offering advice and support throughout 2012, thanks to you the future is bright, see you out there in 2013.


NAACP Luncheon Meeting for Installing 2013 - 2014 Officers


he Orange County Branch NAACP hosted an Installation Luncheon Meeting on Saturday, January 12, 2013 at The Mount Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church Fellowship Hall. The Honorable Belvin Perry, Chief Judge Florida Ninth Judicial Circuit, installed the newly elected 2013 - 2014 officers. The service that began at 12:30 p.m. was prior advertised and open to all members, supporters and the general public and provided the important charge of responsibility and duty of each officeholder. The short program was informative and enjoyable that also had brief NAACP updates and histor y and included Dr. John H. Cummings as the Master of Ceremony, Mount Pleasant Pastor Rev. O’Hara C. Black, President Kran Riley, Beverlye Neal, Pinkey Freeman, and Mary Maxwell. Judge Perry gave the Oath of Office, and the full complement of officers are: President Kran Riley, 1st Vice President Beverlye Neal, 2nd VP Walter Hawkins, 3rd. VP Sherry Paramore, Secretary LaRone Davis, Assistant Sec. Lawanza Charlton, Treasurer Melinda Poole, Assistant Treasurer Stella Lewis, At-Large Members: Wendy Anderson, Rufus Brooks, Atty. Larry Colleton, Dr. John Cummings, Eric Debose, Kitty Ellison, Terri Hill, Mary Maxwell, Reginals McGill, Rev. James Watkins, Stacy Williams. President Riley also reminded everyone that we are enthusiastically in the midst of preparing for the July 2013 National NAACP Convention that our Branch is Hosting for a historic first time ever here in Orlando-Orange County and that volunteers and supporters are still needed, required and welcomed. For further information or interest you may contact the office at 407445-2055 or 407-247-2122 and for volunteers opportunities call direct to 407-247-7166. The NAACP general membership meetings are held 7:00 p.m. the third Monday monthly at the office, 3249 Old Winter Garden Rd., Orlando.

Roberts & Roberts Property Management Services Serving Orlando & Central Florida Property Management We provide property management solutions for homes, businesses and vacation rentals. Renters! we have homes available.

Contact Sam for more details: 407-810-6435 15

LEADING LADIES BEHIND THE SCENES AND ON THE FRONT LINE Welcome to my column on Leading Ladies behind the Scenes. Our column will introduce you to leading ladies who have branded their own recognition and blazed their own trails. These ladies work behind the scenes but manage the front line with high impact results. You might have heard their names or admired their work, but never met them up close and personal. Our column will give you the chance to meet these ladies so you can place a face with the name and their trendsetting work in our community, various organizations and in business. Thank you for celebrating their value with us.

Nouchelle Hastings: “Girl What Do You Bring to the Table?”


Susanne I. Baaqee, DMD . . . offering “A Smile for Life”

precision, keenness and distinction in the design mold. At that time I was in love with the idea of becoming an OB GYN but not the idea of 3:00 AM mornings to deliver babies. In the valley of decision a mentor suggested dentistry. Dentistry addressed the three areas of importance to me: It was in the medical field, Dr. Baaqee sat down with me on a beautiful spring like day in helped people and allowed me utilize my creative hands to improve the quality of life for others. The other the Winter Garden area. As we sat outside factor was when determining my course of over a brief lunch, the whistle in the wind study and institution for grad school, I chose would set the tone of our conversation. It to follow my professor who had given me so was a warm and welcoming wind that much support and challenged me to over shuttled peaceful blows back and forth. Dr. achieve – that professor was transitioning to Baaqee almost immediately began to relive the Board of Trustees for Tufts University. her path to dentistry. She smiled as she stated her name. Susanne Inez Baaqee; So tell me how did you get to Orlando? “Inez is my mother’s name” she said with a I came to visit one of my family members cocky twist of pride and joy. and the weather was so beautiful so I gave up my snow shovel and became a permaWe began with a choral type of conversanent snow bird. tion, I would ask and she responded. r. Baaqee was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. She graduated from Simmons College in 1974 with a BS in Biology and went on to Tufts Dental School. She graduated from there in 1978 with a DMD in Dentistry.

What’s it like to own your own practice? Are you the product of a public or priOwning a practice in this economy is tough vate school education? for any business but I am encouraged to conI am a product of public school. I attended Sarah Greenwood and Oliver Wendell – it was a fine place to tinue. I have seen hard times and have been met and socked in attend school and to be honest my family and I was considered the eyes by adversity. I remember I had a professor who was evil and hated the chair I sat in when in her class. She would force to be one of very few black people in the area and the school. me to clean up after others in the lab and give my papers F’s What was that like for you back then as a bright when they were deserving of A’s. She told me that I didn’t belong there and nothing I could do or any paper I could write would be skinned black girl? Well most of the opposition came from a teacher who had inter- good enough. No matter how hard she tried to destroy me, I nal prejudices and obviously had issues with black children be- remembered my mothers’ words and confidence in me. I would ing at that school. I remember at five years old being harassed by always point out to her that what she was doing was wrong. I this same teacher who made a spectacle out of me by refusing to believed that even the cruelest person could be reached with conallow me to go to the bathroom. Of course I had an accident in sistent redirection. During a critical time in my life when applymy clothes and was the laughing stock of the class. It was degrad- ing for grad school I had to get letters of recommendations from ing and traumatic for me, however, it was that experience at five my professors. The letter she wrote was worthy of burning. I years old that would lead to the molding pane for my future. My confronted her with the fire of my mother and the conviction of mother who did not take kind to that at all gave me one ice cold humanity. The next day she asked me into her room where she instruction that has carried me all my life long. “Defy authority gave me the letter and recognition that I had rightfully earned when you know that you are right”. Seeing the way she dealt and deserved. So while others are complaining about the economy with that teacher, I had an inner knowing that my mother would and singing woe songs, I reflect on days of my past and I know always be in my corner and come to defend my honor against that change will come and this too will pass. such types of people regardless of race or creed. When I first came to Florida I worked for a partnership practice where the integrity lacked, the pay was imbalanced and billing How did you decide to become a dentist? As a result of a school field trip to the hospital I wanted to work was off many times. I am a person of time management and in the medical field. I felt that the hospital was a special place want patients who sit in my chair to feel that they have my undito help people. Once after entering into Simmons College, I vided attention with the added confidence that I am going to went to visit my aunt in Miami who was a Medical Tech. I told provide them with the best service and practice fair billing and my aunt that I wanted to become a medical tech like her; she reporting. After a few questionable situations, I decided it was looked at me long and hard with a face of disagreement. She time to allow my creative hands and my confidence to move to explained to me that I could do better as the role of the medial the next level and thus my practice was born. tech is the same monotonous work day in and day out. She If you could see that professor again, what would you asked me to look within myself to see what else I could do. say to her? During my summer break I went to work for Roxbury Medical I would say thank you. Her injustice and unequal treatment Technical Institute (RMTI), an educational and social service or- caused me to propel as an over achiever. And because of that ganization RMTI provided educational opportunities and facili- I am a history maker today. When I opened my first practice ties for disadvantaged students from the Roxbury-Dorchester back in MA, I was the first African American woman out of area. RMTI was founded by Octavious Rowe out of the burning Tufts University to open a practice since the Reconstruction. question ‘Is there a Doctor in the Ghetto’. I was sure to find my Like David you have to stand up to your Goliath. pathway out of this experience. During the summer, I was the teacher for the inner city youth and I taught them about biol- Dr. Baaqee knows how it feels to not be able to smile. As a young ogy in the highest quality. One of my greatest memories was child she accidentally lost her two front teeth, and she had to taking them to the swamp to catch the frogs that we would dis- wait many years before her new permanent teeth came in. She sect. Because of the conditions and limited resources, I made also knows how it feels to have your smile back. She loves helpmy own dissecting trays. Later in life I would learn from one of ing people recreate and maintain their smiles. She loves helpthe professors at Simmons that my work with the youth and the ing people attain that great feeling you get when you know you making of the trays would trademark my hands. Those that look great and you have a beautiful healthy smile. — Continued on page 19 — might not have known my name knew my work because of the


Andrew Dixon Foundation Baseball Programme


he Ministry of Education (MoE) embraces the idea of the nonprofit Andrew Dixon Foundation (ADF) Baseball Programme and endorses it as yet another step in diversifying the reach of the Physical Education (PE) curriculum in primary and secondary schools. Moreover as an option at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) level it offers another area of specialization to students who pursue the Physical Education Syllabus. Jamaican-born Andrew Dixon, a former professional baseball player, is a member of the Babe Ruth Little League Baseball World Series and is excited about the new development of the Major League Baseball Trelawny stadium. He sees this initiative as a way of giving back to Jamaica. Through the efforts of Dixon and the Babe Ruth Little League Baseball World Series vice-president Tim Surrency, Jamaica is set to receive shipments of baseball items for the upcoming pilot Major League Baseball (MLB) Trelawny stadium project that involves 12 Corporate Area primary schools. Currently the Andrew Dixon Foundation is seeking to raise funding to help build indoor restrooms at the schools for the students of Jamaica. You can make a donation to the Andrew Dixon Foundation at Regions Bank Routing # 063104668 Account# 0147079088 If you have any questions you may call directly to Mr. Dixon 352-286-5125. We would appreciate any donations even sinks, toilets, tile, etc.

Life, Health, Auto, Home, Commercial, Fixed Annuity, Mortgages & Much More (407) 889-8872 (407) 814-7663 Fax (321) 438-0894 Hari & Seeta Singh 2591 W. Orange Blossom Tr. Apopka, FL 32712 “We Protect Your Most Valuable Asset�

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Immigration News for Our Community NEW Provisional Waivers Allow Illegals to File Waivers in U.S. (Part 1)

The new waiver process will allow eligible immediate relatives to apply for a provisional unlawful presence waiver while they are still in the United States and before they leave to attend their immigrant visa interview abroad. It is anticipated that this new provisional unlawful presence waiver process will significantly reduce the time that U.S. citizens are separated from By Attorney Gail S. Seeram, their immediate relatives. The approval of an applicant’s visional unlawful presence waiver prior to departure also will 1-877-GAIL-LAW allow the U.S. Embassy abroad to issue the immigrant visa without further delay, if there are no other grounds of inad@GailSeeram missibility and if the immediate relative is otherwise eligible to be issued an immigrant visa. U.S. Citizenship and Immigraeginning March 4, 2013, certain immediate relatives of tion Services will be rolling out a new form, Form I-601A, for U.S. citizens who are physically present in the United this new process. States will be allowed to request provisional unlawful presence waivers prior to departing from the United States for Can I benefit from the NEW “provisional unlawful presconsular processing of their immigrant visa applications. The ence waiver” process if I am in removal proceedings? Department of Homeland Security (DHS) anticipates that these DHS has decided to limit eligibility for the provisional unlawchanges in the rule will significantly reduce the length of time ful presence waiver process to individuals whose removal proU.S. citizens are separated from their immediate relatives who ceedings are administratively closed and have not been engage in consular processing abroad. recalendared at the time of filing the Form I-601A. If the Form I-601A is approved for an alien whose proceedings have been Effective March 4, 2013, the new law will benefit the administratively closed, the alien should seek termination or following individuals: dismissal of the proceedings, without prejudice, by Immigra(1) crewman (or jump ships) who married US citizens, but do tion Court. The request for termination or dismissal should be granted before the alien departs for his or her immigrant visa not have the benefit of Section 245(i); (2) people who entered the US without inspection (EWI), who interview abroad. Applicants who leave the United States bemarried US citizens, but do not have the benefit of Section fore their removal proceedings are terminated or dismissed may experience delays in their immigrant visa processing or risk 245(i); and (3) people who entered the US on a K-1 fiancée visa, but did becoming ineligible for the immigrant visa based on another not marry the American who petitioned them, but instead ground of inadmissibility. married a different American; and (4) immediate relatives of U.S. citizens with an approved Form Can I benefit from the NEW “provisional unlawful presence waiver” process if I have a final order of removal? I-130 found ineligible to adjust status in the U.S.


No, the NEW provisional unlawful presence waiver process What is the current process for filing an unlawful preswill not include aliens with final removal orders. Generally, ence waiver? aliens who have outstanding final orders of removal may be An unlawful presence waiver is required for individuals who de- inadmissible on a variety of grounds other than unlawful part the U.S. after remaining illegally in the U.S. and trigger a three- presence, such as criminal offenses and fraud and misrepreyear or ten-year ban from returning to the U.S. Under current law, sentation. In addition, any alien who is subject to a final orindividuals identified in the above paragraph would not be eli- der of removal, decides to leave the United States, and subsegible for lawful permanent resident status in the U.S. if a petition quently seeks admission, is inadmissible as an alien with a was filed by their U.S. citizen relative. Instead, these individuals prior removal. would have to return to their native country, attend the immigrant visa interview, file the unlawful presence waiver at the U.S. Em- Part 2 of this article will be published in the February 2013 bassy and wait (sometimes 1-2 years) for a decision from the U.S. edition and will continue to address common questions about Embassy. If the waiver is granted then the individual can return to the NEW “provisional unlawful presence waiver” process. the U.S. with an immigrant visa but if the waiver is denied then the Before deciding to proceed with the NEW “provisional unlawindividual can submit an appeal (which can take 2-3 years). ful presence waiver” process, speak with a experienced immiWhat will be the NEW “provisional unlawful pres- gration lawyer who can assess your unique situation and conclude you will benefit from this new law and new process. ence waiver” process?


Leading Ladies

— Continued from page 16 — She is the mother of 3 wonderful grown adults and one cute granddaughter. She loves to read, bike ride, travel, and practice Yoga, Pilates, and Tai Chi. Dr. Baaqee loves technology and learning new things and uses digital x-rays, intraoral cameras, Casey Patient education, computerized anesthesia, ViziLite Oral Cancer Screening, and a soft tissue laser. As part of her continuous improvement program she attends many continuing education seminars and classes. She is a certified provider of Lumineers, Invisalign, Nobel Biocare and Midi Implants. She stays on top of the latest advances in dentistry. Dr. Baaqee is a member of the American Dental Association, the Florida Dental Association, American Academy of Implantology, American Association of Cosmetic Dentistry, Doctors of Oral Conscious Sedation, and the Academy of General Dentistry. She has over 30 year’s experience helping clients improve and maintain their smiles. To learn more about Dr. Baaqee visit Leading Ladies is submitted by Nouchelle Hastings/www.girl whatdoyoubring

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Caribbean American Passport Newsmagazine January 2013  

Caribbean news and information from central florida,