A recent meeting between officials of Roraima Airways and a Cuban delegation has seen a range of issues, including direct air transport between Havana and Georgetown and collaboration in tourism being discussed and initiatives identified to move the process forward.The three-member Cuban delegation led by Director of International Relations of Cuba’s Chamber of Commerce, Dr Celia Labora Rodriguez, was here for the inaugural Guyana Trade and Investment Exhibition (GUYTIE).Dr Rodriguez indicated her Chamber’s interest in further developing commercial ties with Guyana, pointing out that there are several opportunities that would be of benefit to the business communities of both nations.Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer of Roraima, Captain Gerry Gouveia, pointed to the critical importance of efficient logistics, including air transportation for both passengers and cargo. He drew attention to daily flights by Aruba Airlines to Guyana from Cuba which bring hundreds of Cubans to the country each week, mainly for shopping.Gouveia said the introduction of some non-stop flights between the two destinations would not only boost passenger travel but provide for the movement of cargo, especially item such as pharmaceuticals which require quick transport so as to avoid spoilage.Both Gouveia and Dr Rodriguez indicated that applications for operating permits for Aruba Airlines to introduce some non-stop flights are currently under consideration by civil aviation authorities in both Guyana and Cuba and are optimistic that approvals will soon be granted. Talks in this connection have been undertaken over the past two weeks.The two teams also discussed initiatives for the promotion of tourism packages in both destinations. In fact, the two are to exchange information and promotional material which will be shared with tour operators.Furthermore, discussions were also centred on Guyana’s participation in next month’s Havana International Trade and Investment Fair (FIHAV) and the role Aruba Air could play in facilitating the movement of passengers and exhibits to Cuba.The delegation thanked Roraima and Aruba Air for assisting in their travel to Guyana for GUYTIE 2018.
Lloyda Nicholas-Garrett, who functions as Public Information and Press Services Officer for President David Granger, was a no-show at an event at State House on Wednesday. Her absence was noted as Nicholas-Garrett normally accompaniesPublic Information and Press Services Officer Lloyda Nicholas-Garrettthe Head of State at the majority of his outreaches and official events.This led to speculation that the press officer was avoiding the plethora of media personnel who, in the past several hours, made several unsuccessful attempts to contact her.Guyana Times understands that she also may be avoiding her co-workers as a source disclosed that she did not report for duty and was reportedly absent from work on Wednesday.The brewing controversy stems from alleged social media postings on Facebook where she purportedly exchanged messages with other users that included racial slurs and derogatory remarks about colleagues at the Ministry of the Presidency (MotP). The supposed leaks were shared by People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Member of Parliament (MP) Nigel Dharamlall, who called for her firing.“I would like to call for the immediate termination of the services of the Racist Staffer and a period of race relations rehabilitation for her. My taxes are not to be used to pay anyone who is racist,” Dharamlall said on Tuesday.Dharamlall’s shared post highlighted that Nicholas-Garrett and the other users, inPPP/C MP Nigel Dharamlalla seemingly private conversation made disparaging remarks against Indo-Guyanese.Following the postings of her purported derogatory remarks, sources close to the controversy related that Nicholas-Garrett was often times a “difficult” person to work with and would “pressure” subordinate staff. At Wednesday’s State House event where two Ambassadors were accredited, before being asked about issues, President Granger indicated to the press corps that he could not answer questions as he was still mourning the loss of his brother, who passed away recently.Efforts to contact Director of the Department of Public Information (DPI), Imran Khan on Wednesday proved futile. He was, however, quoted in the press as saying that he was not able to verify the authenticity of Nicholas-Garret’s comments in the screen shots and reportedly stressed that he would wait on the Public Information and Press Services Officer to address the matter herself.