|06PORTOFSPAIN204||2006-02-13 19:50:00||UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY||Embassy Port Of Spain|
VZCZCXRO5498 RR RUEHGR DE RUEHSP #0204 0441950 ZNR UUUUU ZZH R 131950Z FEB 06 FM AMEMBASSY PORT OF SPAIN TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6428 INFO RUCNCOM/EC CARICOM COLLECTIVE
UNCLAS PORT OF SPAIN 000204
1. (U) Prime Minister Keith Mitchell of Grenada
provided a mid-morning press briefing on February 9
during the CARICOM Inter-Sessional meeting on the state
of play of Cricket World Cup (CWC) preparations and the
status of West Indies cricket more generally. Mitchell
opened by noting that West Indies cricket is vital to
the region's continued economic growth and development.
CARICOM has placed cricket high on its agenda,
especially in light of the upcoming CWC, which will
take place throughout the region in March-April 2007.
2. (U) Mitchell noted that CARICOM has developed a 12-
point plan to ensure that each country fully benefits
from the CWC. The plan includes economic components,
including extensive tourism planning for those
countries that do not host CWC events, ensuring there
is a climate conducive to allowing businesses to
prosper and capitalizing on the opportunities to train
young people in necessary skills. The plan also
includes specific mention of security issues, with
Trinidad and Tobago's Prime Minister Manning taking the
lead in his capacity as CARICOM's security coordinator.
CARICOM intends to engage and recruit international
partners to ensure that CWC goes off smoothly. "We
cannot afford even one incident that would make the
region seem unsafe," Mitchell affirmed.
3. (U) Mitchell noted that the CARICOM heads of
government received an extensive report on their CWC
preparations, including an assessment of the status of
key areas in each country. Mitchell demurred from
singling out specific issues and countries. He
asserted his confidence that all of the red flags will
be easily corrected between now and March 2007.
Mitchell did refer to Grenada, which received a red
flag for not having its stadium fully rebuilt, but
pointed out that it will easily be completed in time.
He noted that the heads of government appreciated the
4. (SBU) COMMENT: In spite of PM Mitchell's
confidence, it appears that many of the CARICOM
countries are behind schedule in their CWC
preparations. Although they are working assiduously on
it, there is an apparent lack of coordinated security
systems to track incoming and outgoing passengers.
Nefarious individuals may take advantage of the
opportunity presented by CWC to travel freely
throughout the region, as the countries have agreed
that arrivals to the region will be fully screened only
once, upon first arrival. We anticipate that T&T and
CARICOM will reach out to us, and probably the UK and
Australia, for additional security training assistance
as CWC approaches. Embassy Port of Spain supports the
efforts of NAS Bridgetown in coordinating and
disseminating CWC-related training offerings. END