Former Exit Port for a Wave of Cubans Hopes to Attract Global Shipping

MARIEL, Cuba — The images of desperate refugees crammed onto boats have defined this bay outside Havana for decades. About 125,000 Cubans left from here in 1980 after Fidel Castro, facing growing discontent, announced that anyone who wanted to leave should just go to Mariel and get out.

But on Monday, Raúl Castro, Cuba’s president, stood alongside the president of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, to unveil a new Mariel: a state-of-the-art port that both leaders said would lead to a new era of commercial integration, connecting Cuba and the world.

The terminal is “a transcendent project for the national economy,” Mr. Castro said, standing by towering container lifts adorned with Cuban flags. He added that the port and the adjacent development zone, where foreign companies will enjoy tax breaks and other advantages, “are a concrete example of the optimism and confidence with which we Cubans see a socialist and prosperous future.”

Read the entire article at THE NEW YORK TIMES

Liberia: World Bank Supports Road and Bridge Works


The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a total of US$29 million in additional funds for the Urban and Rural Infrastructure Rehabilitation Project (URIRP) in order to continue to support road and bridge improvements in Liberia’s capital city of Monrovia and surrounding rural areas, and improve the government’s institutional capacity to manage the country’s road sector.

The Urban and Rural Infrastructure Rehabilitation Project (URIRP) was approved in 2009 to support the government’s goal of ensuring that Liberians nationwide have reliable, safe, affordable and efficient transport services by upgrading existing roads, rehabilitating or replacing unsafe bridges and completing roads along the Monrovia-Buchanan corridor. To date, the project has benefitted some 744,980 individuals and provides 90 percent of the rural population in the targeted areas with access to an all-season road.



Africa: White House On U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit

Photo: Premium Times

President Goodluck Jonathan discusses with US President Barack Obama (file photo).

The White House is pleased to announce that the United States will host the first U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, DC on August 5 and 6, 2014.

President Obama looks forward to welcoming leaders from across the African continent to the Nation’s Capital to further strengthen ties with one of the world’s most dynamic and fastest-growing regions. The Summit will build on the progress made since the President’s trip to Africa last summer, advance the Administration’s focus on trade and investment in Africa, and highlight America’s commitment to Africa’s security, its democratic development, and its people.

Africa: Obama Promises U.S. $7 Billion Investment in Power Grids

Photo: Pete Souza/White House

President Obama answers questions at a Young African Leaders Initiative town hall meeting in Soweto.

An excerpt from President Obama’s speech at the University of Cape Town:

[We] believe that nations must have the power to connect their people to the promise of the 21st century. Access to electricity is fundamental to opportunity in this age. It’s the light that children study by; the energy that allows an idea to be transformed into a real business.

Seccom paves the way for Hill International in Liberia

Mr. Samuel T. Blango of Seccom has introduced Mr. Irvin E. Richter, Chairman and CEO of Hill International (, a prospective American investor in the Liberian housing sector who met recently with President Sirleaf in the USA and expressed a keen interest in working with the Liberian Government to build up to 5,000 homes.

President Sirleaf

Her Excellency instructed the NHA to invite the Chairman to Liberia and this was done for the period July 7-19, 2013.  Mr. Richter and his party will be in Liberia as of July 7th as a guest of the Government. A US-Liberia Business Development Summit is being organized by some US and Liberian partners in collaboration with the Embassy of Liberia  Trade Office in the USA between July 8-15, 2013 at the Royal Hotel and Mr. Richter will be speaking on the 10th.  Ambassador Sulunteh and Ms. Gibson will facilitate the Hill Int’l visit.Mr. Blango will be assisting to schedule meetings with the President, key government officials, plus selected business leaders, and assist the delegation to Liberia to help create a relationship between Hill and his offices in Monrovia, as well as to make the introductions necessary to create this great opportunity for a partnership.

Sam Blango becomes Chairman of the International Business & Trade Commission

International Business & Trade Commission of Camden, NJ and Region (NEWPENNDEL)

Mission Statement: To be a conduit for economic development, trade and investment, cultural exchange and market penetration


  1. To extol the benefits of democratic values, good governance, and human rights in all African and Caribbean countries, Eastern Europe and Asia, Europe and Latin America and all peoples of the World represented at the Commission.
  2. Promote Import/Export, Trade and Investment opportunities between City of Camden, State of New Jersey and region, and all Commission member countries;
  3. To facilitate mutually beneficial cultural exchange in the areas of education, the arts, science, commerce, housing, health and business communications.
  4. To promote harmonious relationships between the City of Camden and region, Africa countries, the Caribbean Islands, Eastern Europe and Asia, Europe and Latin America and all peoples of the world.
  5. To provide a platform for promotion of cultural activities, tourism, and other economic discussions within the City of Camden and region.

Range and Scope of Commission Activities

  1. Host monthly interactive Commission Meetings to promote and inform the African and Caribbean Immigrants, Eastern Europe and Asia, Europe and Latin America and all peoples of the world represented at the Commission of activities occurring within the Camden Immigrant and region community.
  2. Collaborate with affiliated organizations represented by the Commission in providing support to events such as; health fairs, college fairs, cultural programs, political events, galas, and roundtable discussions on current issues.
  3. Make representation at conferences locally, state-wide, nation-wide and internationally to promote, education, job security, cultural, enrichment and immigration issues.
  4. Promote business and trade agreements on behalf of the African and Caribbean Communities, Eastern Europe and Asia, Europe and Latin America and all peoples of the world represented at the Commission.
  5. Organize Trade Missions, International Trade and Business Shows and Forums an promote import/export
  6. Establish an “International Chamber of Commerce” to be comprised by chamber of commerce from countries throughout the world with the purpose of deepening commerce.
  7. Engage in neighborhood improvements and revitalization programs, domestically and internationally.
  8. Assist Immigrants with accessing services through the local, county and state government

Organizational Structure:

International Business & Trade Commission

Seven (7) Commissioners

  1. Samuel Blango Chairman & President
  2. Rudiger Z. Ellis-Vice-President
  3. Loretta Winters-Secretary/Treasurer
  4. Mayors Office (designee)
  5. City Council-Brian Coleman
  6. Business Representative-Agnes Robinson-Ahmad
  7. Community Representative-Ron Green

Five (5) Advisors to the Commission will function per committee chairs to facilitate the identification of “capital” resources and for the strategic engagement in business development. These capital areas include: finance, human resource, technology, organizational, building and equipment, and marketing.

Recommendations: (Individuals/Enterprises/Organizations with international focus)

  • Cynthia Primas-
    • Arts & Culture
  • Dr. Quartey
    • International Business & Trade
  • Dr. Azuka Anyiam
    • Energy & Technology
  • Angela N. Cooper, Esq
    • Legal
  • Phillip Warner
    • Laison for regional local/state/federal agencies
  • David Bullock-
    • Local/International CEOs and Organization Leaders
  • Darlene Hunter
    • Local/Internatioal colleges and other education institutions
  • Faith Based community
    • TBD
  • Others TBD

Mr. Blango on panel at NAACP Convention

Dana Redd, Mayor of the City of Camden, New Jersey, Sam Blango of SECCOM INT’L, Valerie Cisson of Valeri Cleaning Services and Novela Henson, Special Aide to the Mayor, @ a NAACP State of New Jersey Convention in New Brunswick Hilton Hotel yesterday. Sam Blango was on the panelist to discuss International Trade and Global Marketing. Especially in West Africa and the role of SECCOM International Group, LLC recent trip to Liberia.

Seccom visits SEA BOX

Friday September 7 2011 was an exciting day that stimulated a range of creative
imagination when Sam took a contingent of SECCOM affiliates
and prospects to tour the Sea Box manufacturing plant in Riverton NJ.
The group was comprised of Stanley Fishman, President of Baderwood
International and holder of the ‘African rights’ to represent Africa
and Haiti for Sea Box, his colleague Bob Knorr, especially interested in
solar applications; Bill Littlejohn, retired judge interested in
housing development in Liberia, his two partners Keisha Gibson, of their
company Hair Gallery, and Essex Phillips, distributor of durable medical
equipment, both from Ohio; Barbara Simmons, JD, newly appointed Dean
of International Education for Tubman University in Harper Liberia;
Azuka Anyiam, Ph.D., President of Vica Technologies and the African
and Caribbean Business Council involved with contract development in
West Africa, with a business associate; and partner Cheri Black, SECCOM
Vice President of Travel and Tourism. The group received significant
attention from Sea Box executives, meeting with Jim Brennan Jr.,
founder and president of the largest domestic manufacturer of customized
shipping containers, as well as Jay Frederick, VP Operations, Bob Loughery,
VP and General Manager, Nick Catanzariti, VP Sales, and Terry Brennan
VP of Purchasing, during the three hour fact finding visit and lunch.