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Janine Mendes-Franco · February, 2011

I am a writer and media producer based in Trinidad and Tobago. Follow me on Twitter @JanineMFranco.

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Latest posts by Janine Mendes-Franco from February, 2011

Haiti: Preventable Suffering

  28 February 2011

“The earthquake did not kill people. Bad buildings killed people. Lack of medical care killed people. Lack of infrastructure killed people. Lack of caring government officials kill[s] people”: Dying in Haiti is convinced that “most Haitian suffering is not necessary and is preventable in the first place.”

Bahamas: The Right to Speak Out

  28 February 2011

“I always have and always will speak up when my rights as a homeowner, a citizen and a human being are being threatened”: Womanish Words believes that her voice is the most powerful tool she has.

Caribbean: Bocas Announces Longlist

  28 February 2011

“The OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature — which will be awarded for the first time this year — has announced its 2011 longlist of ten books”: Caribbean bloggers discuss.

Trinidad & Tobago: The Death Penalty

  28 February 2011

“Faced with a major problem with serious crime in Trinidad & Tobago, the current government is ( rather predictably) pushing for the reimplementation of the death penalty”: Globewriter is heartened by “a few young activists who are…speaking out” against the move.

Cuba: Watching from Within

  28 February 2011

“There has not [been] enough coverage or information to even begin to address the complexity of these events and the numberless perspectives interpreting them”: Graham Sowa blogs at Havana Times about watching the Middle East protests from Cuba.

Trinidad & Tobago: Saving by Sou Sou

  28 February 2011

“A sou sou is structured where one person will be in charge of collecting monies from a group of people. All the monies collected will be given to one person in the group, on selected dates, and it rotates that way until each person has received what they call, a...

Jamaica: Nothing for the Youth?

  28 February 2011

“We too busy having dramatic, Days-of-our-lives type enquiries to stop for a minute and realise that this year, more than any other year to date, is all about us. It's about the African people. It's about youth”: Ruthibelle is dismayed that the UN International Year of Youth is not being...

Trinidad & Tobago: The Mayor's Way?

  25 February 2011

“We have been planting the seeds of the very breakdown in society we decry and lamenting the crops for too long”: Plain Talk suggests that perhaps the Mayor of Port of Spain might be the right “farmer…to pull up the weeds.”

Cuba: Marking Zapata's Anniversary

  25 February 2011

Diaspora blogger El Cafe Cubano posts photos from a march in honour of Orlando Zapata Tamayo, while Uncommon Sense reports that “Cuban independent journalist and activist Guillermo Fariñas…said the government's crackdown this week has only elevated Zapata's status in Cuba”; Havana Times says that the first anniversary of his death...

Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica: The Facts About Banton

  24 February 2011

Globewriter comments on the shocked reactions to the Banton verdict: “The fact is there is video of Buju Banton chatting with federal agents and tasting the cocaine…and he is now convicted. What is the problem?”

Trinidad & Tobago: What's After Carnival?

  24 February 2011

As controversy ensues over the behaviour of a “sore loser” at a Carnival music competition, Coffeewallah observes that the priorities of Trinbagonians may be skewed: “In two weeks this will all be over, the remnants of costumes swept up, the glitter packed away, the soca stars will go on to...

Cuba: Zapata Vive

  24 February 2011

“The fact that Zapata’s death came about through starvation is one more piece of the hunger we have endured for over half a century”: Crossing the Barbed Wire explains why Orlando Zapata Tamayo's death “was not in vain”.

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Jamaica: Bloggers React to Banton Verdict

  23 February 2011

Despite bloggers' impassioned calls to “set the captive free”, the jury in the Buju Banton drug trial yesterday returned a guilty verdict on three of the four charges against him. The recent Grammy winner could be facing a sentence of as much as fifteen years behind bars. For many bloggers, the long-awaited verdict is an uncomfortable case of life imitating art - the critically acclaimed Before the Dawn, which won Banton the Grammy award for Best Reggae Album, includes “a song in which Banton proclaims he is wrongly convicted though God knows he is innocent.”

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