Beware: nasty election campaigns ahead

By Raffique Shah
March 20, 2019

Raffique ShahIf you thought that Vernella Alleyne-Toppin had plumbed the depth of depravity when, in the run-up to the 2015 general election, the then Tobago East MP launched the most scurrilous, vulgar attack on People’s National Movement leader Dr Keith Rowley, believe me, you haven’t seen the nastiest political campaigning yet.

Alleyne-Toppin had been allowed by House Speaker Wade Mark all the time she needed to allege that Rowley was a biological product of rape, and that he, in turn, would later end up committing the heinous crime to father a son. The alleged victims openly denied Toppin’s baseless charges, which were read into Hansard in the presence of her political leader, then Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, and other People’s Partnership parliamentary colleagues, none of whom intervened to stop the nastiness.
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At UN, Anya Parampil speaks on Venezuela regime change war

‘The mask of the US is off’: At UN, Anya Parampil speaks on Venezuela regime change war
By The Grayzone – YouTube – March 19, 2019

The Grayzone’s Anya Parampil spoke about the US-led regime change war on Venezuela and the right-wing opposition’s use of violence, at a UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva on March 19, on a panel titled “Humanitarian crisis in Venezuela: Propaganda vs. reality.”
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Who’s to Blame for the Crisis in Venezuela? A Response to Gabriel Hetland

Jorge Martin takes recent Gabriel Hetland articles to task, questioning the liberal left’s assessment of the current situation and the solutions proposed.

By Jorge Martin
March 17, 2019 – In Defence of Marxism

Venezuela's FlagThere is a certain trend of opinion amongst the liberal left, particularly in the US, which never felt very comfortable with the Bolivarian revolution. Now, in the midst of a serious and well-organised attempt by Washington to remove Maduro’s government, they insist on equally blaming both sides for the crisis, one which in their view can be resolved through “negotiations between the government and the opposition”. A chief representative of this point of view is Gabriel Hetland, who has written several articles on Venezuela for The Nation, Jacobin and other left-wing publications.
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From Beautillion Ball to Brexit Cauldrom

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
March 18, 2019

“Brexit has killed and saved her [Theresa May] at the same time….She knows as soon as Brexit’s done, she’s done.”

—Ayesha Hazarika, Former Labor Party Adviser

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIt was one of those all-consuming weeks. I did a book-signing at Wellesley College, Massachusetts, on Wednesday March 6 before flying to Dallas, Texas, the following Friday to attend my eldest grandson’s Beautillion, one of those black coming-of-age functions that has its origin in the southern part of the United States. Another grandson called it “a cotillion for dudes,” it being comparable to the cotillion ceremony that is held annually for young black women.

It was one of those proud moments in a black man’s life when he participates in a function that emphasizes his responsibility to his people, his roots, and his family as he crosses the threshold from adolescence to manhood. They call it “a rite of passage.” It is an important stage in a young man’s life.
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Cultural Policy and National Development

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
Posted: March 16, 2019

A lecture delivered at the Public Library of Trinidad and Tobago, Adult Education Program, January 11, 1983. This lecture can be located at the Trinidad Public Library, Port of Spain, under the call number Ref. W.I. 308, Cudjoe (Trinidad Collection, January 1983). Slight editorial changes have been made to the original document for this publication.

Introduction

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeBecause slavery and colonialism meant the economic, political, and cultural enslavement of our people, the transition from colonial to genuine independence must, of necessity, concern itself with the economic, political, and cultural transformation of our peoples. In fact, it seems to me, that we cannot speak of any meaningful transition, any authentic expression of the national soul/spirit unless we give some serious consideration to these aspects of our national development: none of which, I’m afraid, has been given any serious consideration by our present government in Trinidad and Tobago. This evening, I will concern myself with what I have termed cultural policy and the manner in which it conduces to national development in Trinidad and Tobago.
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Pompeo Imposes Visa Ban on ICC Staff Probing US War Crimes

“It reeks of the very totalitarian practices that are characteristic of the worst human rights abusers.”

By Jessica Corbett
March 15, 2019 – Common Dreams

“This is an unprecedented attempt to skirt international accountability for well-documented war crimes that haunt our clients to this day.”

—Jamil Dakwar, ACLU

USAThe move, Pompeo confirmed to reporters Friday morning, is a direct response to ongoing efforts by the ICC to probe allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity tied to the seemingly endless war in Afghanistan.

Jamil Dakwar, director of the ACLU’s Human Rights Program, was among those who spoke out against the decision. The ACLU currently represents Khaled El Masri, Suleiman Salim, and Mohamed Ben Soud, who were all detained and tortured in Afghanistan between 2003 and 2008.
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Dying with laughter

By Raffique Shah
March 13, 2019

Raffique ShahThroughout my life, as far back as I can recall, one characteristic I have learnt to value highly is being able to laugh at myself…and then at other people. I think I inherited the importance of humour, of being able to laugh heartily at occurrences that might make other people cry, from my mother whose demeanour belied her propensity for laughter at anyone’s expense, but more so her own, and most definitely ours, her five children.
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Presstitutes Turn Blind Eye to UN Report on Venezuela

Washington and the Convict Appointed to Overthrow Venezuela Continue the Lies

By Paul Craig Roberts
March 11, 2019 – paulcraigroberts.org

Venezuela's FlagDon’t you think something is fishy when the presstitutes orchestrate a fake news “humanitarian crisis” in Venezuela, but totally ignore the real humanitarian crises in Yemen and Gaza?

Don’t you think something is really very rotten when the expert, Alfred Maurice de Zayas, sent by the UN to Venezuela to evaluate the situation finds no interest by any Western media or any Western government in his report?
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Salute the London clan

By Raffique Shah
March 09, 2019

Raffique ShahHaving written last week that I did not see the successors to Sparrow and other icons in the pantheon of great calypsonians of Trinidad and Tobago, hence of the world, I think I must be man enough to apologise to the London family, three of whom won the four most prestigious calypso titles at stake this year.

Uncle Brian, who composed the winning songs for nephews Ronaldo and Rivaldo, beat a formidable field (Gypsy, Myron B, Black Sage) to take the ex-tempo crown convincingly, having failed on several previous occasions. Ever since his entry into the calypso arena sometime during the first decade of the Millennium, Brian has consistently maintained high standards as a composer and singer. He was selected for the monarch finals on five occasions (1st runner-up in 2010), and the ex-tempo finals more than that.
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The Morality of Politics

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
March 09, 2019

“The lesson that Kim Jong-Un has learned [is this]: If you give up your weapons, American will kill you.”

—Daryl Kimball, Executive Director, Arms Control Association.

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeBasdeo Panday once said famously: “Politics has a morality of its own.” As one looks at the unfolding of the political atmosphere in the United States, one can’t help but reflect on Panday’s prescience. Panday’s insights were not original, but he uttered a truth that is being played out in the U.S. today.

On Wednesday, as President Donald Trump was meeting with Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s leader, about the prospect of taking steps toward nuclear disarmament in North Korea and other measures to ease tensions in the Korean peninsula, Michael D. Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer, was pouring his guts out about the president’s amoral actions before and after he attained the presidency.
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