Let Us Talk

May 7, 2009

The Middle East Goes To Cuba: Qatar To Build Luxury Hotel In Cuba

cuba 

Well, if America wants to be a major player in the redevelopment of Cuba then we better start talking with Cuba in a meaningful way real soon before the rest of the industrial world beats us to it.  Do American businesses want to do business with Cuba?  Of course they do, they don’t want to miss out on all the opportunities to bring Cuba into the 21st century and all the money to be made doing so.

Here in America we have been conditioned to believe that Castro’s Cuba is all bad and that Cuba is automatically our enemy without knowing why Castro’s Cuba look at America as a fiend – it’s not just about communism.

Before the Cuban Revolution that led to the overthrow of U.S. backed Dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1959, Havana was the original Sin City.  Havana was Las Vegas, before there was a Las Vegas.

Because gambling, liquor, prostitution, etc were all illegal in the United States, rich and famous Americans were looking for a place where they could revel and paint the town red without going to jail. They discovered Havana and since it is a tropical paradise and only 90 miles from Florida it became wealthy Americans’ winter destination and airlines and cruise lines offered grand tour packages to Havana.

American mob bosses benefited from Cuba’s President Fulgencio Batista’s corrupt regime and bribed them and created a glamorous playground for the rich. They created a prohibition haven, a place of safety from prosecution overflowing with dazzling nightclubs and mojitos flowing all day, outrageous cabarets, dancing girls, all-night bars, backstreet brothels, fancy hotels and resorts, gambling, music, drugs, sex and scandal.  Affluent Americans and movie stars did not disappoint the mob investors; they went to Havana in droves to whoop it up!

Many Cubans were outraged by the reveling and debauchery and Castro who was a young revolutionist became popular and his philosophy became widely accepted. When Castro overthrew Batista he had a new vision for Cuba and Americans were banned from travel to his tropical paradise.

Relations between the U.S. and Cuba quickly deteriorated when Castro nationalized many of the U.S. owned industries in Cuba. Each time the Cuban government nationalized American properties, the American government took countermeasures, resulting in the prohibition of all exports to Cuba on October 19, 1960.

In March 1960 President Eisenhower had quietly authorized the CIA to organize, train, and equip Cuban refugees as a guerrilla force to overthrow Castro. Consequently, Cuba began to consolidate trade relations with the communist Soviet Union which lead to the United States breaking off all remaining official diplomatic relations.

On January 3, 1961 the US withdrew diplomatic recognition of the Cuban government and closed our embassy in Havana.

So here we are 48 years later and Cuba and Qatar have signed an agreement to build a $75 million, 450-room resort on a cay south of the island.

Cuba and Qatar will spend 14 months negotiating financing details for the five-star “Gran Paraiso” or “Great Paradise,” said Ghanim Bin Saad al-Saad, president of state-owned Qatar Diar Real Estate Investment Company, construction will take another year and a half with a goal to open in 2015.

The resort is planned for Cayo Largo Sur, a strip of white sand, coral reefs and warm, calm waters 105 miles south of Havana that is already home to a cluster of high-rise hotels. The Gran Paraiso will also include 60 retreat villas that could be expanded in the future.

Tourism is Cuba’s second-largest moneymaker behind nickel exports.

A record 2.35 million foreigners visited last year, mostly from Canada and Europe. That was a 9.3 percent increase over 2007.  Foreign arrivals are up another 2 percent so far this year despite the global economic slowdown.

America should not continue to snub Cuba.  Even though we’ve not been friendly neighbors, Cuba really hasn’t done anything harmful to America. Cuba is very close to us geographically and we should have a respectable relationship with them. Sending the CIA to Cuba to overthrow Castro was not an endearing thing to do. 

If we continue our relationship with Cuba as is, out of necessity Cuba might befriend nations that are adversarial towards America.  We don’t have to be their BFF but we should be cordial and reopen trade with them.  Why not?

Will America come out and play with Cuba?

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April 20, 2009

President Obama Takes A Picture With Hugo Chavez…

CB Trinidad Americas Summit Obama  Saturday during a UNASUR (Union of South American Nations) meeting at the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez hunted down President Barack Obama and gave him a copy of the book titled ‘The Open Veins of Latin America’ by Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano.

It seems that Chavez (a known media hog) wanted to be in President Obama’s presence to get some media attention since Obama was the king of the show and the media was pretty much ignoring Chavez.  President Obama, being the statesman that he is, politely accepted the book. 

president-obama-hugo-chavez-4-17-09  Prior to that, on Friday, at the opening of the Summit, Chavez went out of his way and “bum-rushed” President Obama with a camera crew and literally ‘pilfered’ a handshake.  As you can see from the picture, the handshake was clumsy and the expression on President Obama’s face was one of tolerance.

What was our President to do?  Have his Secret Service detail knock over Chavez and start an international incident?  I think not.  President did the right thing.  He was cordial to Chavez.  After all, isn’t the purpose of these Summits to allow these heads of states to mix and mingle? 

As President Obama said, “Venezuela is a country whose defense budget is probably 1/600th of the United States. They own CITGO.  It’s unlikely that as a consequence of me shaking hands or having a polite conversation with Mr. Chávez that we are endangering the strategic interests of the United States.”

As Sun-Tzu, the famous Chinese general and military strategist said, “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.”

It was predictable and amusing to see Republicans crawl out from under their decomposing non-productive rocks and leap at the chance to try to turn a simple photo op into an event of biblical proportions.

When Gingrich was asked what was the downside of President Obama speaking to Chavez, Newt said, I don’t think there’s any down side to talking to him, but I think being friends, taking a picture that clearly looks like they’re buddies, hurts in all of Latin America.”

Wow, a picture makes them look like ‘buddies’ and will hurt all of Latin America.  Okay Newt and republicans, you win.

Let’s get serious for a minute.  President Obama went to Trinidad and Tobago to work and work he did. 

During the Summit President Obama articulated a broad new agenda for Latin America and the Caribbean and gained momentum in his attempt to repair relations with countries in the region who are some of America’s biggest critics.  

Obama outlined what he is learning about the world from the leaders in general and that he will use what he has learned in  Europe, Turkey, Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago to foster a better working relationship with the nations of the world.

Obama implicitly acknowledged some of the criticism by the Latin American and Caribbean countries about America not being a good neighbor — just a military force in the region.  Obama said that he felt the United States could learn a lesson from Cuba which for decades has sent doctors to other countries throughout Latin America to care for the poor. That policy of being a good neighbor who is there to give a helping hand in times of need has made Cuban leaders Fidel and Raúl Castro gain support and respect in the region.

“It’s a reminder for us in the United States that if our only interaction with many of these countries is just drug interdiction, if our only interaction is military, then we may not be developing the connections that can, over time, increase our influence,” Obama said.

Obama also said that he is willing to open dialogue with Cuba but he wanted to see some action from Cuba first, not just words. Obama mentioned Raúl Castro’s recent statement that his country was willing to discuss human rights issues with the United States. In response Obama said that Cuba should free political prisoners, reduces its tax on cash remittances to the island and grant new freedoms to its citizens as a next step in thawing relations with the United States.

During the summit, Obama presented a broader U.S. agenda for Latin America than under the Bush and Clinton administrations, which focused primarily on trade and counter-narcotics programs.

President Obama pledged to work closely with Latin America, the Caribbean and Canada on climate change, public security threats, and bottom-up approaches to economic relations, development aid and lending.

Although Obama heard criticism over heavy-handed U.S. economic policy and political interventions of the past, the anti-American tone did not reach the pitch it did in previous summits. Obama spoke only briefly in a series of closed-door meetings, saying he wanted to listen to the hemisphere’s other 33 democratically elected leaders gathered here.

Nicaragua’s Ortega, a longtime U.S. critic, called Obama the “president of an empire” but said he found him open to doing things differently than his predecessors. “I want to believe that he’s inclined, that he’s got the will,” Ortega said.

Asked Sunday what he had learned in T&T, Obama said, “Even the most vociferous critics of the United States also want to make sure that the United States’ economy is working and growing again, because there is extraordinary dependence on the United States for exports, for remittances. And so, in that sense, people are rooting for America’s success.”

April 16, 2009

President Obama Visits Trinidad and Tobago

caribbean-so-america-western-hemisphere

In advance of his trip to Trinidad and Tobago, President Obama wrote an op-ed that ran today in 15 Caribbean, Latin American and United States newspapers, promising the other nations of the western hemisphere “a new day” in their relationship to its most powerful member the US of A.

“Choosing a Better Future in the Americas” appeared in the St. Petersburg Times and Miami Herald, both of which serve substantial Cuban American readerships, in El Nuevo Herald – an American Spanish language newspaper, and in newspapers in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, Venezuela and the Trinidad Express of Trinidad and Tobago, where Obama will attend the Summit of the Americas Friday April 17 through Sunday, April 19.

Michelle Obama will not be accompanying the President.  She’s staying home with Malia and Sasha who are home on Spring break.

Below is the op-ed in its entirety:

Choosing a Better Future in the Americas
by President Barack Obama

As we approach the Summit of the Americas, our hemisphere is faced with a clear choice. We can overcome our shared challenges with a sense of common purpose, or we can stay mired in the old debates of the past. For the sake of all our people, we must choose the future.

Too often, the United States has not pursued and sustained engagement with our neighbors. We have been too easily distracted by other priorities, and have failed to see that our own progress is tied directly to progress throughout the Americas. My Administration is committed to the promise of a new day. We will renew and sustain a broader partnership between the United States and the hemisphere on behalf of our common prosperity and our common security.

In advance of the Summit, we have begun to move in a new direction. This week, we amended a Cuba policy that has failed for decades to advance liberty or opportunity for the Cuban people. In particular, the refusal to allow Cuban Americans to visit or provide resources to their families on the island made no sense – particularly after years of economic hardship in Cuba, and the devastating hurricanes that took place last year. Now, that policy has changed.

The U.S.-Cuba relationship is one example of a debate in the Americas that is too often dragged back to the 20th century. To confront our economic crisis, we don’t need a debate about whether to have a rigid, state-run economy or unbridled and unregulated capitalism – we need pragmatic and responsible action that advances our common prosperity. To combat lawlessness and violence, we don’t need a debate about whether to blame right-wing paramilitaries or left-wing insurgents – we need practical cooperation to expand our common security.

We must choose the future over the past, because we know that the future holds enormous opportunities if we work together. That is why leaders from Santiago to Brasilia to Mexico City are focused on a renewed partnership of the Americas that makes progress on fundamental issues like economic recovery, energy, and security.

There is no time to lose. The global economic crisis has hit the Americas hard, particularly our most vulnerable populations. Years of progress in combating poverty and inequality hangs in the balance. The United States is working to advance prosperity in the hemisphere by jumpstarting our own recovery. In doing so, we will help spur trade, investment, remittances, and tourism that provides a broader base for prosperity in the hemisphere.

We also need collective action. At the recent G-20 Summit, the United States pledged to seek nearly half a billion dollars in immediate assistance for vulnerable populations, while working with our G-20 partners to set aside substantial resources to help countries through difficult times. We have called upon the Inter-American Development Bank to maximize lending to restart the flow of credit, and stand ready to examine the needs and capacity of the IDB going forward. And we are working to put in place tough, clear 21st century rules of the road to prevent the abuses that caused the current crisis.

While we confront this crisis, we must build a new foundation for long-term prosperity. One area that holds out enormous promise is energy. Our hemisphere has bountiful natural resources that could make renewable energy plentiful and sustainable, while creating jobs for our people. In the process, we can confront climate change that threatens rising sea levels in the Caribbean, diminishing glaciers in the Andes, and powerful storms on the Gulf Coast of the United States.

Together, we have both the responsibility to act, and the opportunity to leave behind a legacy of greater prosperity and security. That is why I look forward to pursuing a new Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas that will help us learn from one another, share technologies, leverage investment, and maximize our comparative advantage.

Just as we advance our common prosperity, we must advance our common security. Too many in our hemisphere are forced to live in fear. That is why the United States will strongly support respect for the rule of law, better law enforcement, and stronger judicial institutions.

Security for our citizens must be advanced through our commitment to partner with those who are courageously battling drug cartels, gangs and other criminal networks throughout the Americas. Our efforts start at home. By reducing demand for drugs and curtailing the illegal flow of weapons and bulk cash south across our border, we can advance security in the United States and beyond. And going forward, we will sustain a lasting dialogue in the hemisphere to ensure that we are building on best practices, adapting to new threats, and coordinating our efforts.

Finally, the Summit gives every democratically-elected leader in the Americas the opportunity to reaffirm our shared values. Each of our countries has pursued its own democratic journey, but we must be joined together in our commitment to liberty, equality, and human rights. That is why I look forward to the day when every country in the hemisphere can take its seat at the table consistent with the Inter-American Democratic Charter. And just as the United States seeks that goal in reaching out to the Cuban people, we expect all of our friends in the hemisphere to join together in supporting liberty, equality, and human rights for all Cubans.

This Summit offers the opportunity of a new beginning. Advancing prosperity, security and liberty for the people of the Americas depends upon 21st century partnerships, freed from the posturing of the past. That is the leadership and partnership that the United States stands ready to provide.

President Obama’s visit to Trinidad and Tobago (T & T) is also a good time to revisit the relationship between the United States and Trinidad and Tobago that goes way back.

During the War of 1812 the Corps of Colonial Marines was a military regiment composed of runaway slaves and free blacks. The Corps was formed to help the British fight a war against the United States. The United States had declared war on Britain because the British had been seizing American ships and forcing the sailors into servitude and because the Americans wanted to take Canada from the British.

Once the British reached American soil in 1812, many slaves ran away from their owners and went to meet them, hoping that the British would free them. The British told these runaways that if they en­listed in the British military and fought against the Americans, they would be freed and could return to England as soldiers or receive their own land in other British colonies once the War was over. This new regiment of runaway slaves was called the Colonial Marines.

In 1814, British Admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane landed in Georgia. He issued a proclamation that stated “all those who may be disposed to emigrate from the United States” should join British ships and enlist in the Colonial Marines. Approximately 1,500 slaves ran away from their owners and joined the British. These new soldiers were given the same pay and rations as the white British soldiers.

The Treaty of Ghent was signed in December 1814. It declared peace between England and the Unit­ed States. The War of 1812 was over. Many slave owners demanded that their slaves be returned. The British refused. They said that the slaves were on board British ships and those British ships counted as “British soil” which meant that the slaves were free.

Once the British sailed away from the United States, many of the Colonial Marines were relocated to the British colony of Trinidad where they settled as free citizens and their descendants still live today.

trinidad-and-tobago

The Pirates of Somalia – Why They Came To Be…

somalia

Piracy in Somalia is a highly organized, lucrative, ransom-driven business. As we know pirates have hijacked hundreds of ships and are usually paid million-dollar ransoms to release each ship. These sensational payoffs have attracted men from all across Somalia and there are now thousands of pirates.  Being a pirate has become the best job to have in Somalia.

Piracy in Somalia started about 15 years ago because of a need to protect their tuna-rich waters from illegal commercial fishing by American, Asian and European fishermen. 

Somalia’s government imploded in 1991 – they failed economically and politically and left the country and people destitute with no resources and no services.  The country was and still is in chaos.  Children are starving and people are killing one another in the streets of Mogadishu, the capital, for a handful of grain.

Most people started to survive by fishing.  But because there was no government and a defunct navy the Somalian shorelines were not patrolled and international commercial fishermen stared to sneak in Somalia waters and pillage their fish. Because of this, a small group of Somali fishermen became guardians of the waters, vigilantes – they armed themselves and punished the lawbreakers personally since there was no government or legal authorities to do so.  They confronted illegal fishing boats and demanding that they pay taxes for fishing in their tuna rich waters.

Once the word spread that there was loot to be gained from the illegal fishing boats Somalians who were not fishermen joined in so they could make money.   More and more Somalians became vigilantes but then by the early 2000 it turned into piracy.

By the early 2000s most of the fishermen had traded in their nets for machine guns and were hijacking any vessel they could catch: sailboat, oil tanker, UN chartered food ships, you name the type of ship — it was hijacked.

As time passed the country’s infrastructure deteriorated more and more and the people became poorer and poorer.  The only people doing well were the pirates.  Young men who would have been in schools (that no longer existed) aspired to be pirates. 

Being a pirate is like joining the NBA or NASCAR or joining football’s Premier League in England.  Being a pirate was a way to get their family out of poverty, a way to make it. Piracy became Somalia’s great hope.

Over the past 15 years piracy in Somalia has evolved to another level and the town known as “New Boosaaso” has become one of the most dangerous towns in Somalia but it is also one of the most prosperous.

Boosaaso is where the high rolling pirates live.  These high rollers, shot callers are real pirates more akin to Black Beard. These are not your friendly baseball Pittsburg Pirates or the Pirates of the Caribbean portrayed by Johnny Depp.

Somalia now has a booming, not so underground pirate economy.  Palatial new houses are rising up next to tin-roofed shanties. Pirates are employing their neighbors and are now accepted and respected by their communities.  Piracy brings in millions and millions of dollars into Somalia and is probably the country’s chief source of income.

Pirates drive the biggest cars, run many of the town’s businesses and throw the best parties.  Young women aspire to date and marry pirates. 

Pirate teams share the loot and divide what they get amongst each other.  Twenty percent goes to the bosses, twenty percent is put aside for future missions (to cover essentials like guns and fuel) and thirty percent goes to the  gunmen on the ship and 30 percent goes to what’s left of the government officials to keep them quiet.

The pirates have no other opportunities in Somalia so they are willing to risk their lives for their only chance at wealth.  These pirates are sea savvy. They are fearless. They have the latest high-tech handheld GPS units and communicate with each other constantly. Tribal conflicts that have plagued Somalia for decades don’t exist between the pirates – they work together. They are united.  

One thing that we must give the pirates credit for is that they are not interested in the weapons on ships they seize.  They have no plans to sell them to Islamist insurgents who want to purchase them.   According to the pirates they will not offload the weapons from ships they commandeer – they just want the ransom money.

 

 

Even with warships from the United States, Russia and the European Union sailing into Somalia’s waters as part of a reinvigorated, worldwide effort to crush the pirates it won’t be easy to stop the pirates since they have everything to gain and nothing to lose.

March 19, 2009

Health: Marijuana — Legalize it!

Marijuana is a tricky subject in America.

Based on the way our current federal law is written marijuana seems to be the devil of all plants.  It is demonized and believed to be an immoral and destructive drug that should be censored at all costs and by any means necessary to save our nation from destruction!!!

Some of the methods used to control the use of marijuana are very expensive and quite irrational in my opinion.  We, the tax payers, have to pay for extra police officers and other law enforcement officers to monitor marijuana use.  We have to pay correction officers and maintain prisons to punish offenders who were caught with marijuana. We have the high cost of financially supporting citizens who are healthy and in the prime of their lives and should be working, paying taxes and contributing to their families and communities while they sit around in prisons because they were arrested, tried and committed for possessing a minuscule amount of the plant.

From my understanding, hemp, a natural fiber by product of the cannabis plant (marijuana) could be a very positive, practical and valuable fiber if used for industrial purposes.  The cannabis plant, like bamboo, is a very environmentally friendly plant and grows quickly and abundantly.   Hemp requires little or no pesticides or herbicides, controls erosion of topsoil and produces oxygen.  Hemp can also be used to replace harmful products like tree paper which is processed using chlorine bleach and creates a waste product that is carcinogenic (cancer causing).  The strongest chemical needed to whiten hemp so that it can be used as paper is hydrogen peroxide which is harmless.

Hemp can also be used to produce biodegradable plastics (save our land fills!), clothing textiles, rope, canvas, fuel and health food.

Marijuana can also be used for medicinal purposes. The active ingredient in marijuana (THC) and other compounds found in cannabis are legitimate holistic alternatives.

Marijuana and its by-products are suitable for patients suffering from various types of chronic pain, especially those unresponsive to traditional analgesics (pain killers). In addition, cannabis has less negative side-effects than opioids (synthetic/chemical narcotics used to treat pain) – which can be highly addictive – and NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), which can induce stomach ulcers, bleeding and kidney failure.

Just this past week, HB 648, a bill allowing severely ill patients to grow and use marijuana for medicinal purposes has won a 13-7 vote in the House Health and Human Services Committee in New Hampshire and heads for a full House vote next week.

The bill requires patients to be certified by a doctor before they can grow or possess up to six plants or two ounces of marijuana. They or a caregiver can grow the plants, and a patient is given the option of obtaining marijuana from another certified patient.

In addition to New Hampshire thirteen states have laws permitting medicinal use of marijuana. California is unique among them for the presence of dispensaries — businesses that sell marijuana and even advertise their services. These dispensaries are legal under California law even though they are still illegal under federal law.

In the past month, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has said federal policy will shift, giving states more leeway to pass and enforce their own medical marijuana laws. The Federal government will no longer focus on raids of marijuana clinics but will target marijuana distributors only when they violate both federal and state laws.

That is a departure from the Bush administration, which targeted medical marijuana dispensaries in California even if they complied with that state’s law. California law permits the sale of marijuana for medical purposes even though it’s still is against federal law.

Medical marijuana advocates in California welcomed the news, but said they still worried about the pending cases of those already in court on drug charges.

“Given the limited resources that we have, our focus will be on people, organizations that are growing, cultivating substantial amounts of marijuana and doing so in a way that’s inconsistent with federal and state law,” Attorney General Holder said.

Kris Hermes, a spokesman for national medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access, said he welcomed Holder’s perspective and that “It signals a new direction and a more reasonable and sensible direction on medical marijuana policy.”

I don’t know about you, but I haven’t heard of anyone dying from an overdose of marijuana.  Or anyone getting a disease because of marijuana but I have heard of people who got alcoholic poisoning and died; and people who were DWI and killed other people.  

So why not give marijuana the same laws and restrictions as alcohol?  Americans can legally brew beer and make wine up to a certain quantity for personal consumption. So why shouldn’t we be able to grow and possess marijuana up to a certain quantity for personal consumption?

Take it out of the hands of the dealers and let law enforcement concentrate on dangerous drugs.  In fact, we should legalize cannabis and encourage farmers to plant this very eco-friendly plant industrially as a source for paper and other by-products.  Why not?

Additional reading:

http://legalizepot.wordpress.com/2008/01/23/why-is-marijuana-illegal/

 

 

October 18, 2008

Get Out The Vote (GOTV): Don’t Be Seduced or Fooled By The Poll Numbers

 Election Day is ONLY 17 days away and even though the polls reflect that Senator Obama is leading, I’m telling you – don’t be seduced by the poll numbers. Don’t believe the hype.

 We (Democrats) can’t start celebrating in the 4th quarter; we have to end the game strong.  We’re at the one yard line, now is the time to keep up the pressure, follow the game plan and guarantee the touch-down.

 Senators Obama and Biden are depending on you personally – EVERY VOTE counts.  Every person matters.  Every state matters.

None of us should look at the numbers and think, ‘Obama is going to win anyway, so I don’t have to vote’.  If enough people think that way Obama will not win.

Add that thinking to the allegations of illegal purging of voters all across the country – which will adversely affect newly registered voters –  and it is even more obvious that every vote is needed to win this election.

 A recent report in The New York Times stated that, “Tens of thousands of eligible voters in at least 6 swing states have been removed from the voter rolls or have been blocked from registering in ways that appear to violate federal law according to a review of state records and social security data by the NYT.”

The NYT said that this was attributed to errors in handling the registrations; it also said that it will adversely affect Democrats since there are more newly registered Democratic voters.  This will also cause confusion and frustration on Election Day when all these newly registered voters who are excited to vote are challenged by election officials.

We only have to look at the stealing of the 2000 and 2004 elections to be reminded how seemingly ‘little things’ can change the results of an election. We only have to look at the current financial crisis in America and now globally to see that having the wrong person as president can and will affect us all and can result in loss of savings, loss of jobs, loss of opportunities and cause us to struggle with basic things such as putting food on the table.

(more…)

August 22, 2008

Olympics: GOLD for Jamaica Men 400m Relay Team. Yet Another World Record!

 In yet another mind-boggling display of speed, Usain Bolt set another world record and won another Olympic gold medal, and this time got to share the glory with his Jamaican teammates.

 Both Bolt and Asafa Powell blew away the field over the last two legs of the 400-meter relay leading Jamaica around the track in 37.10 seconds to break the 16-year-old world record by 0.3 seconds.

Bolt is now 3-for-3 in these Olympic sprints — as in three gold medals and three world records.

The bonus is that he got to bring Powell along for the ride. Powell held the world record in the 100-meter dash for about three years before Bolt broke it in May, but he is also well known for his history of poor performances in the biggest meets.

 In this one, Powell got to do the honors, running the anchor leg, taking a clean handoff from Bolt and crossing the line almost a full second ahead of Trinidad and Tobago‘s Richard Thompson to secure his first Olympic medal.

The Jamaican quartet, which also included Nesta Carter and Michael Frater, eclipsed the old 400 relay mark of 37.40 set by the United States at the Barcelona Olympics in the 1992 and tied by the U.S. at the world championships a year later.

Bolt added that to the records he set in winning the 100 meters (9.69) and 200 meters (19.30) in Beijing.

The Jamaicans were nearly a full second faster than relay silver medalists Trinidad and Tobago, which finished in 38.06. Japan took the bronze in 38.15.

The Jamaica women’s relay team failed to hand off the baton in the third leg of the relay and did not complete the race. We are VERY PROUD of the women team!!!

Jamaica is 4 out of 5 in their sprint events.

  Team Jamaica now has a total of 10 medals: 6 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze.

   

Congratulations Team Jamaica!!!

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