Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Election Observers Report

General Elections in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

The Chief of Mission of the Group of observers that followed the general elections conducted in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Frank Almaguer, characterized the elections of December 13, 2010, as "a well-managed electoral process, which facilitated the counting of the votes and the delivery of the results in what turned out to be a highly competitive election." He also said that the environment in which the voting took place was "orderly and peaceful," and that there were no reported instances of violence or voter intimidation.

The head of the EOM, made up of 11 observers from seven different countries, delivered the following recommendations: to consider the adoption of legislation on political campaign financing, requiring the disclosure of contributors, campaign expenditures and provisions that guarantee access to the media; to redouble the efforts to clean up the voters' list; to ensure that all eligible citizens have obtained their voter identification card so that this may be the only form of identification used; to ensure greater uniformity and standardization of procedures among the polling sites; and to improve voter access to the polling sites, especially voters who are physically challenged and the elderly.

The Permanent Representative of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to the OAS, Ambassador La Celia A. Prince, thanked the work of the EOM, asserting that her government "regards the OAS as a necessary partner in giving credence and validity to our democratic process."

On the subject of the elections of December 13, 2010, the eight general elections since the independence of her country in October 1979, Ambassador Prince highlighted that it was the first time in the history of a Commonwealth Caribbean country that a government was victorious in returning to office through general elections shortly alter having lost a referendum.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Archaeology in SVG

Photographs at Open House in Argyle, at archaeological site. Lunch break

Child Burial

There are more pictures on Flickr on the "Karlek" site.

Friday, January 21, 2011

National Trust Lectures

The National Trust is hosting two lectures on the topics listed below. The first is at 9:30 am at the Conference Room of the NIS Building in Kingstown on January 18th 2011 and the second is the annual Dr Kirby lecture being held at 7 pm of the same day (Jan 18th) at the Carnegie Building (Old Public Library). Both lectures are open to National Trust members and the public at large.

The topics that will be discussed at each lecture are:

(1) The drawings and paintings caves in the Western desert in Egypt
By Khalad Saad & Mostafa Rezk
(2) Salvage of Abu Simble temples (Necessity allows forbidden)
By Abu al Dardda Abu zaid & Ashraf Nageh

These lectures are part of the activities of the visiting archaeologists from Egypt who are in St. Vincent and the Grenadines to advise the Trust on the relocation of the endangered Yambou 1 Petroglyph.

See you there!

Louise Mitchell Joseph
Chairperson SVG National Trust

Public Archaeology site at Argyle

Saturday January 22nd 2011 is OPEN HOUSE at the Public Archaeology site at Argyle- Argyle Two.

Everyone is welcome to come out and assist with the excavations.

Tell your friends, and bring along your family!
This is an opportunity to work alongside expert Archaeologist;

the team (Margarita, Jode and Taylor) would be on site from 10am – 3pm.

The site is located about 100 meters inland from the office of the International Airport Development Company (IADC).

Using the old Windward Highway, take the turn to the IADC office then take either the first or second turn on your left.
See you there!

Plot Against PM

KINGSTOWN, St Vincent, Friday January 21, 2011 – Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves told Parliament yesterday of a plot to assassinate him following his latest general election victory.

In a surprise ministerial statement Gonsalves, who is also National Security Minister, said the plot was hatched by two drug and money-laundering organizations in the country who were not happy about his Unity Labour Party (ULP) beating the New Democratic Party (NDP) in the December 13 poll because his administration was cracking down on their illegal activities.

The ULP secured a third consecutive term in office by winning a one-seat majority in the 15-seat Parliament. Gonsalves said the plot, uncovered by “impeccable intelligence sources”, was hatched within a week after the victory.

“Cocaine traffickers and money launderers are conspiring actively with others to kill the Prime Minister and on the public airwaves people are being exhorted by some to use any means necessary to remove a democratically elected government," he said, adding that, either knowingly or unknowingly, some political and social personalities have become enmeshed in criminals' operations.

Gonsalves said there had been much success in fighting these criminals, with at least one major player being incarcerated.

"Especially hard-hit have been their money and other assets. These cocaine traffickers and money-launderers are feeling the heat and have become desperate," he said.

Gonsalves told his colleagues in Parliament that an assassin hired by the conspirators was subsequently held by police but no charges related to the alleged contract killing have been laid because the security authorities "are keen at protecting the most valuable intelligence sources”. He said the individual has, though, been slapped with other serious charges.

According to the prime minister, the man has managed to make calls to the people who hired him even though no phone has been found on his person.

What's more, Gonsalves said, a Vincentian was approached to carry out the hit after the first man was detained by police but he refused when told who the target was. A Trinidadian was then hired, he added.

The Vincentian leader said lawmen are still searching for the Trinidadian but he felt that citizens should know about the matter at this time.

Prime Minister Gonsalves said, however, that he would not allow St. Vincent and the Grenadines to become like some Latin American and other Caribbean countries where cocaine traffickers and money-launderers are allowed the space to successfully build gangs, control territory and communities, perpetrate criminal activities as untouchables, and pollute the streams of our democratic and political processes.

"They will be accorded no space to flourish. I advise those who are tempted for whatever reason to ally themselves to these criminals to stay in their batting crease," he said.

“Believe me, I am not afraid of them."

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


It has nothing to do with St. Vincent and the Grenadines but the You Tube clip shown on:


is fascinating. It is about doing some bicycling on the way from Edinborough to Skye. Can you imagine him on SVG?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

National Public Library

The National Public Library of St. Vincent, which was sponsored by the ROC government, has formally opened on the 7th of December this year. The opening ceremony was attended by Sir Frederick Ballantyne, Governor of St. Vincent, as well as the President Dr. Ralph Gonsalves and his wife, in addition to more than 200 people from the related governmental posts as well as from other fields. Furthermore, various media bodies also sent its reporters to attend the ceremony to carry out live interviews and reporting.

Girlyn Miguel, the Director of Education of St. Vincent and the Permanent Secretary, has both spoken at the event, explaining the process of planning and construction as well as the history of the library. Moreover, emphasis was placed on the fact that this landmark public building was sponsored by the ROC government and its people. This has made a significant contribution to the development of human resources in St. Vincent.

In the speeches by the Ambassador Wen-Bin Shi, he pointed out that since Taiwan and St. Vincent established diplomatic relationship in 1981, a mutually benefiting relationship was developed between the two nations in terms of fundamental infrastructure, agriculture, cultural exchange, education and the development of human resources. He also emphasized that even though our country was stricken by the worldwide financial crisis as well as natural disasters; we still managed to give out financial aid to St. Vincent, and completed the construction of the National Public Library. It is his wish that people in St. Vincent can fully utilize the facilities of the library, which is sponsored by our government with the taxpayer’s money. He also wished that the Ministry of Education in St. Vincent can strengthen the management of the library, so that it becomes the most important center for learning in St. Vincent.

In the final speeches by President Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, he meticulously mentioned the process of planning this case, land purchasing and relocating original buildings at the site since 2001 when he came to power. He also thanked our country for sponsoring the building of an ever-influential library for the future generations of St. Vincent. After the ceremony, the President Dr. Ralph Gonsalves guided people into the building, where people are amazed by the cutting-edge facilities and have all expressed their thanks to Ambassador Wen-Bin Shi for our country’s aiding to build the library.

Date : 2011/1/13

Cited from the original source: http://www.taiwanngo.tw/news_more.asp?id=9190&subjectid=3712

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


The National Trust is hosting two lectures on the topics listed below. The first is at 9:30 am at the Conference Room of the NIS Building in Kingstown on January 18th 2011 and the second is the annual Dr Kirby lecture being held at 7 pm of the same day (Jan 18th) at the Carnegie Building (Old Public Library). Both lectures are open to National Trust members and the public at large.

The topics that will be discussed at each lecture are:

(1) The drawings and paintings caves in the Western desert in Egypt
By Khalad Saad & Mostafa Rezk
(2) Salvage of Abu Simble temples (Necessity allows forbidden)
By Abu al Dardda Abu zaid & Ashraf Nageh

These lectures are part of the activities of the visiting archaeologists from Egypt who are in St. Vincent and the Grenadines to advise the Trust on the relocation of the endangered Yambou 1 Petroglyph.

See you there!

Louise Mitchell Joseph
Chairperson SVG National Trust

A View From Toronto

Commentary: The US Republican impasse - A lesson for St Vincent and the Grenadines
Published on January 12, 2011

By Rebecca Theodore

It's a new year and a new political battle is slowly unfolding in Washington. Yes! Republicans in a shadowy war are again thorns in the flesh of ‘Obamacare.’ The old battlefields of tax cuts, gays in the military and even immigration are now tossed against the enemy’s shield. The Republicans are faceless antagonists. They are doing what they were taught. The bugles sound, the enemy advances nigh -- strike, repeal and then again. The 112th Congress of the US is in session. The Republicans are marching in.

It is clear that Republicans are not somnolent, for they haven’t changed their purpose. Their very first order of business as majority in the House of Representatives is a symbolic vote in favor of repealing healthcare reform. Republicans campaigned against health reform and won, but it seems that victory is still not within their grasp because, if their main focus remains ‘Obamacare’, then they are doomed to make the same tactical mistake like Democrats in the last election -- namely, putting the issue of health care over jobs and the economy. Adjusting their slogan from ‘repeal’ to ‘repeal and replace’ formulates an even more daunting task because, even with new power in the house, Democrats still control the Senate and this means that Republicans still lack enough votes to overcome a filibuster or override a presidential veto.

In an age of reality TV drama and Hollywood blockbusters loaded with special effects, it seems easy for the Republicans’ theatrical acts to penetrate through the minds of the masses. However, turning Democrat progress and the progress of most Americans into a partisan fight and ideological demagogue detracts the glimpse of color in the iron helm on the political battlefield. It is a known fact that Republicans’ only interest lies in appeasement of their right wing base and looking out for special interests rather than job creation and economic growth.

Opponents argue that there is no chance that a bill repealing the landmark health care overhaul
could make it through Congress and be signed into law. Surely, politics is far from dead in the
The same stands true in the Caribbean, where prevailing mitigating factors are substantial. The heated and intense controversies of most Caribbean opposition leaders when they have lost an election portrays them as a costly extension of government control over people's lives when in essence this is not the truth at all.

In St Vincent and the Grenadines, opposition leader Arnhim Eustace forgets the fact that, while criticism is often absorbed and taken seriously in a democracy, on the other hand, when there is extreme unreasonable criticism, then there is an override of the self-remedial apparatus of democracy and unleashes a dangerous and disturbing response.

While the role of a strong opposition is constructive criticism of government policies, extreme criticism of an elected government not only shows the poor leadership skills of any opposition party but also detract from the vitality of formulating an electoral system in which the people are enabled to directly elect those who they believe can represent them. The New Democratic Party in St Vincent and the Grenadines came very close to forming the government and in its moribund illusion it will not be very long before they form that government. In the meantime, the NDP in the Parliament of St Vincent and the Grenadines, like the Republicans in the House of Representatives will keep the fire burning at the feet of the ULP and at the Obama administration but at the end of the day it is still Dr Ralph Gonsalves Unity Labor Party and President Obama that sets the spark to that fire.
In this lies the hope for all those seeking to erase, repeal and implant laws to suit their own political agendas.

It cannot be denied that there must be an energetic opposition so that the elected party does not abuse the power invested in them by the people but considering filing election petitions, and private criminal complaints against citizens suspected of violating the electoral laws of St Vincent and the Grenadines or the NDP utilizing its position in the new Parliament to compel an elected government to call fresh elections within a one year period should force the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines to also reconsider what is it they seek in electing leaders to represent them and to pay special attention to leaders who exploit the system for their own selfish ends.

Since there is no stronger barrier to corruption than people power, the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines, like the American populace, need to stand by their elected leaders to keep the country moving forward and work hard to defend what has already been achieved. President Obama of the US and Dr Ralph Gonsalves of St Vincent and the Grenadines were democratically elected to finish the work that they began. Resorting to opposition slander, partisan or ideological agenda and retreating while still waving red flags no doubt echo dins of clashing steel, cries of agony, and shouts of hate.

If a thought is to penetrate the fog on that battlefield of hate, then Republicans and Mr Eustace alike must lay down their swords, leave their enemy with the winning knowledge that they have won and let the battle finally be done.

Copyright© 2007-2010 Caribbean News Now! at www.caribbeannewsnow.com editor@caribbeannewsnow.com

Rebecca Theodore was born on the north coast of the Caribbean island of Dominica public imagination. and resides in Toronto, Canada. A national security and political columnist, she holds a BA and MA in Philosophy. She can be
reached at rebethd@aim.com

Saturday, January 08, 2011

The New Cabinet: Serious people for serious times

Author: ULP View Published: 01/06/2011
Implementation Time

The general of elections of 2010 has ended, and now it’s time to settle down to administer the affairs of the country called St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Over the last five days, top civil servants and their ministers have been meeting with the Ministry of Finance, to prepare the estimates of revenue and expenditure that will form the integral part of the budget for the year 2011. 

Once this is completed and the document is approved by the country’s Parliament, then it’s time to begin implementing the ten point plan that the ULP has advocated during the election campaign, and which the people of this country approved. This is where the role of the Cabinet becomes a critical cog in the development process. There are many theories about the role of the Cabinet in a modern day government; but even with this, and even where the role is clear, it is very important that Cabinet comprise persons with a clear understanding of their roles and responsibility, and with the necessary vision, drive and management capacity to take the development process forward.

The Cabinet

The Cabinet has the experienced of Dr. Ralph Gonsalves at its head, and the consensus is that there is no better person at this time, to lead the Cabinet, and by extension the country.
The experienced faces of Girlyn Miguel, Clayton Burgin and Montgomery Daniel are still in the Cabinet. Girlyn Miguel has a new role as Deputy Prime Minister, and Montgomery Daniel has taken on the new portfolio of Rural Transformation. Their ministries will be strengthened with the addition of critical public service managers.

Dr. Douglas Slater is the new Minister of Foreign Affairs, and is ideally suited for this job, given the strategies that the ULP administration has embarked upon, and will continue to implement. The experience of Julian Francis, that Titan of organizational skills, is still available to the Cabinet. He is the Minister of Works and will play a vital role in the development of the infrastructure of the country. Saboto Ceasar, having cut his eye teeth in the Ministry of Housing, is ready to take on the important portfolios of tourism and industry.

So the issue of the loss of experience has been addressed. But there is a new dimension to the Cabinet that has escaped most people. It relates to the youthfulness and the diverse nature of its composition.

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has added persons to the cabinet who have a strong community focus, with strong links to various sectors in the society. First there is Cecil “CES” Mc Kie, a man with vision, energy and focus, a strong community man with tremendous private sector focus. Here is a man who believes in getting things down, in the completion of tasks. He is the new Minister of Health at a time when the country has a series of projects aimed at improving the health services for Vincentians. Under the EDF10, some 35 million EC dollars worth of projects will be implemented, a process that will require drive, energy, focus, and attention to detail and time lines. All these are strong points of the character of Ces Mc Kie.

Then there is Maxwell Charles, a devout Christian, a former teacher, career diplomat, and a man with strong links to his community. Maxwell Charles will administer the ministry of national reconciliation, a new portfolio that is in keeping with the drive by the ULP, to unite the nation, after a divisive general election. He will also have the portfolios of information, labour, the public service and ecclesiastical affairs.

Frederick Stephenson is the other minister who will add a new dimension to the Cabinet. He is the minister of social development, culture, sports, youth affairs, national mobilisation, the family and persons with disabilities. Frederick Stephenson is a kind and gentle person with a strong drive to excel, and a focus on developing the community. He will build on the strong legacy left by Rene Baptiste, Mike Browne and Selman Walters. Great things are expected from this man.

Senator Elvis Charles is a Parliamentary Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister and he will be a member of the Cabinet, bringing more drive, energy and focus to the government.


Lest we forget, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves still has in an advisory capacity, the person of Sir Vincent Beache. Sir Vincent, with his years of experience, will guide the new members, and will be a critical source that they can use for their development. In addition, the experience of Dr. Jerrol Thompson will be a phone call away, as he will be a director of telecommunications and special projects in the office of the Prime Minister, with emphasis on telecommunications. Michelle Fife, Legal Adviser in Foreign Affairs on Treaties, adds to the Ministry.

The ULP administration has asked Vincentians to own the government. This means that, among other things, the government and the people must be in communion with each other. The new ULP MPs like Maxwell Charles, Cecil Mc Kie, Frederick Stephenson and Saboto Ceasar, have very strong links to their communities.

Constituency Reports

But it is important here to remember the words of Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, when he addressed the Swearing-in Ceremony of the new Cabinet, at Layou on December 19th 2010.

“I have already requested of all the Ministers, Senators, and Care-Takers of constituencies that they must be in on-going communion with the people and attend in the most optimal manner to the needs of the communities which they serve.  I shall again insist on constituency reports to complement the ministerial reports.  The exercise of representing people is grounded in government and politics.  We must listen more attentively to the people and act always in their interest.  We must always demonstrate our love for, and commitment to, the people.You, the people, who owned the campaign, who owned the vote, must now own the government.  Please possess it; it belongs to you and your neighbour; it is inclusive and is the instrument to serve all Vincentians.  I shall insist on the building of community structures to ensure that you own the government”.

Vincentians can be confident that this new Cabinet has all the required resources to execute the mandate given to the ULP at the December 13th 2010 general elections.


St Vincent and the Grenadines singer to break into Jamaican market

Howard Campbell, Gleaner Writer

Days before his scheduled debut at the January 15th Rebel Salute, singer Qshan Deya is chilling out and rocking to songs he plans to perform at the annual roots show.

Though he is wary of the tough reputation of Jamaican audiences, the Rastafarian artiste from St Vincent and the Grenadines is confident of delivering.

"I'm very confident. We made the connection with Rebel and his people some years ago but things didn't work out," Qshan told The Gleaner. "I guess this is the right time."

Qshan has been recording songs between St Vincent and Jamaica for Hannah Town Records, a company established last year in that west Kingston community by Calvin 'Yogi' Simmons.

Most of the songs the partnership has yielded to date deal with social issues such as inner-city challenges (In The Ghetto), early childhood education (Go To School) and parental responsibility (Single Parents Cry).

"These are things that affect the whole world, not just Jamaica and the Caribbean," said Qshan.

Voices, Fast and Pray and a cover of Michael Jackson's Speechless are other songs recorded by the 32-year-old Qshan for an album expected to be released by Hannah Town Records early this year.
These songs follow last year's Bloodshed which was produced by Kingston-based Oneil Walters for Tuff Rhino Records. That track was among a batch of songs on the Jah Guide beat.

First album

Qshan has been knocking on the Jamaican door for some time. Inspired by Dennis Brown and Luciano, his first album, Journey, was released in 2002.
It was produced by Jamaican Derrick Moo Young and distributed by J And D Records in New York City where Qshan immigrated in 1995.
During that period, he collaborated with roots-reggae veterans Yami Bolo and Richie Spice on the songs Warfare and Poor's Cry, respectively.

Qshan (given name Kellis Quashie) is originally from Ashton Union Island, one of the tiny territories that comprise St Vincent and the Grenadines, a country known more for producing calypsonians than reggae acts.

In 2003, a singer from St Vincent named Kevin Lyttle combined the island sound with reggae to score with Turn Me On, which was one that year's biggest hits. At the time, Qshan was living in New York City, had converted to Rastafari and had been trying to establish himself in the competitive Big Apple reggae scene.
He had toured the United States in 2000 as opening act for Anthony B.

Performers from the Eastern Caribbean have had significant success in Jamaican popular music since the 1960s, the best known being singers Lord Creator from Trinidad and Tobago and Barbadian Jackie Opel.

In recent years, other Caribbean states have produced reggae acts who have enjoyed success in Jamaica, such as Natural Black from Guyana and Pressure out of the British Virgin Islands.

Qshan Deya is looking to make a similar impact.


Thursday, January 06, 2011

Petit St Vincent

Petit St Vincent, a small private island located in the island nation of St. Vincent in the Grenadines, has new owners, turning a fresh chapter in this resort’s distinguished history. The island is now the property of Freedom Resorts Ltd., a company co-owned by British property developer Robin Paterson and Texas-based former oilman Phil Stephenson.

They intend to create one of the regions most attractive high-end destinations.

Fondly referred to as “PSV”, the boutique hotel and resort has featured in various ‘top ten’ lists and offers the ultimate island hideaway with stunning sea views, 2 miles of white sand beaches and soft rolling hills.

in 1968, the island is currently home to a boutique style resort with 22 cliff side or beach front villas.

Having fallen in love with the Island while sailing through the Caribbean, PSV’s new owners will inject new life into the resort without compromising its existing natural simplicity; bringing the property into “a class of its own in terms of natural beauty, architectural finishings, sports and leisure activities, food, wine and service.”

New plans for the resort include significantly upgrading existing accommodations, building a new relaxed beach restaurant, a spa pavilion with six treatment rooms and a children’s club.

Work on the new development will commence on 1st May 2011 with the new look PSV due to open to guests on 31st October 2011.

With a priority to reserve the natural beauty and simple charm of Petit St. Vincent, the resort will receive the care and nurturing needed to become one of the worlds most idyllic destinations and to achieve its full potential.
PSV will be open as usual until the 30th April 2011 and will be welcoming customers at competitive prices, with the same hospitality that it is famed for.

Rates start at $709 (approx £440) per night, per couple on a full board basis. To book visit www.psvresort.com



The author of a number of published works, D. Markie Spring was born in St Vincent and the Grenadines and now resides in Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos Islands. He has an MBA from the University of Leicester, England, and a BA from Saint Mary's University, Canada

Commentary: The Vincentian Diaspora: An educated and influential group to reckon with
Published on January 6, 2011 Email To Friend Print Version

By D. Markie Spring
Turks and Caicos Islands

Over the years, many citizens of St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) left its shores to better themselves abroad – some in search for work, business and others seeking higher education. Significantly, the Diaspora has mainly settled in North America (United States and Canada) and England. Today, Ireland and New Zealand have become the newest hotspots for Vincentians. However, of all the reasons to immigrate, the focus here is education – nonetheless the other factors remain important aspects.

Many of the citizens have educated themselves abroad and in diverse fields and an enormous number of them have gained expertise in their fields. Considering this, I encourage more of our citizens to write articles on topics that are important and on topics that would benefit our country. In this sense, I also urge the authors to write in a way that would assist the government in development plans and effective strategies to move the country forward, and share information that every citizen could learn from.

Citizens are reminded that the government and the private sector cannot do it alone. Domestically, both the government and the private sector would have internal data to work with; however, the Diaspora should be the external eyes and ears for the country, while simultaneously offering their expertise.

In addition, the contributors must replace sarcasm and personal issues with facts and other data that would assist the environmental, social, political, educational and economical arenas. Politically, all the supporters of the two major parties must join hands and support the good and, in every way, bring better solutions to bad decision making without insulting and demoralizing each other.

In an effort to achieve workable information, the government of SVG must regularly read articles in an effort to retrieve idea and information that will enhance the country’s status quo. This information can be used as a form of research and development (R&D) -- quality of work carried-out on a systematic basis in an effort to enhance the stock of knowledge; knowledge of society, culture and of man – knowledge, which would invent new applications.

What I have observed amongst our writings – and I stress us for the same reason that I wish not to offend anyone – is that many people’s writings are spearheaded by their political affiliations and if we are going to send the correct message then we need to rest politics aside and present only the fact and important issues that our government officials could rely on.

Far too often we tend to criticize each other without offering any real solution. After studying real critics, they often critique a phenomenon and, thereafter, attempt to provide better, effective and workable solutions for the problem at hand.

In light of this, contributors are also warned that attacking an author of an article does not make sense either. Often, authors of a piece of work are being called names; rather the critics should respond to the content of the article.

Hence, in all aspects I encourage the Diaspora, those who have been contributing in writing, to continue the good work and for those who have not started to get involved to make St Vincent and the Grenadines a better place to live, work and study.

All the best for the New Year.


Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Tourism Blurb

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Another rather exclusive haven for wealthy holidaymakers this group of islands in the Caribbean is a tropical paradise complete with perfect clear blue waters, expanses of dazzling white sandy beach and a comprehensive array of activities to keep you entertained. The islands may have been developed to cater for the luxurious demands of discerning holidaymakers but largely remain relatively unscathed by tourism; the natural splendor of lush mountainous landscapes and tranquil beaches make these islands, known with some justification as the “Land of the Blessed”, a perfect tropical getaway.