It was a chance encounter with one of only a handful of books on the contemporary history of Trinidad and Tobago that triggered memories of another time, another day. I refer to the late Owen Baptiste’s publication, Crisis. Owen published that book in 1978, shortly after he quit the mainstream newspapers.
A bit of nostalgia struck me: I had to re-read something in it, and I thought why not the beginning. I should add that the front cover carries a photograph of three policemen dressed for internal security operations, wearing the then-traditional anti-riot garments and equipment. Continue reading The true Bloody Tuesday story→
And so the monstrous, mindless, criminal madness continued on Wednesday with the “execution-style killings of three children and a 19-year-old in the crime hotspot of Heights of Guanapo”. This massacre also left five people wounded, two of whom are children. Yet the Government keeps calling for talks with the Opposition as if there were some magical elixir in that encounter. Continue reading The Blood of Our Children→
Like most people who live in this country, many of whom, like me, will never leave the twin-island republic to live anywhere else in the world, I am not only concerned but I am disturbed by what seems to be a deteriorating crime situation, especially crime that involves violence. At a recent news conference, I heard Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, not for the first time say, “We have become a very violent society.” Judging from the reports of criminal activities that we get in the media, that perception seems to be the truth. Continue reading Power in the barrel of a gun→
On September 8, the House of Representatives debated the political anarchy and runaway violence in Haiti and how we, in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T), can help to bring that country back to political stability. AG Reginald Amour assured us that T&T’s government is “trying to help Haiti, but that troubled nation must be addressed with care, not loud sound bites.”
Caricom created an Eminent Persons Group (EMG) to “facilitate dialogue and consensus building among Haitian stakeholders with the aim of resolving the political impasse.” The EMG is “guided by Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley overseeing national security in the Caricom Quasi Cabinet.” One wonders where he is taking that group. Continue reading Our Truant Prime Minister→
As soon as he confirmed that I was ‘the’ Raffique Shah with whom he wanted to speak, he quickly established his bonafides and pedigree as a Presentation College Chaguanas alum, a die-hard Pres Boy. He had attended out alma mater many moons ago but not as many as I have, given I must be a decade or more older than him. He, too, like so many boys from the Caroni plain had had the benefit of the college’s class education from the premier secondary school, we might say the ‘best’ in the country, but he went on to return ‘home’ as soon as he graduated from university and landed the job as a teacher at the institution. Therein lay the right he had earned to sing praises to ‘Pres’ or to tear it apart if he felt he didn’t like what he saw, or rather what he is seeing today. Continue reading What do they know of History→
Two weeks ago I was invited to be a panel member of a conference, “The March on Washington: Its Legacy and Impact in the Americas”, that was organised by the US Permanent Mission to the Organisation of American States (OAS) in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington at which Martin Luther King Jnr delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Continue reading Coming black on board→
If there is one thing Trinis like me, who still have an interest in Independence Day celebrations, look forward to, it’s the ever expanding volume of calypsoes that we enjoy coming from just about every radio and television station every year. We enjoy a bonus when, as happened this year, popular calypsonian and singer Denyse Plummer sadly passed on. Last year when Black Stalin [Leroy Calliste] passed on after a prolonged illness, his body of work being second in numbers only to Sparrow, we feasted for months on some of the best calypsoes ever, composed and sung by a bard of his stature. Continue reading Ah Leaving→
If Karl Marx were alive and still fighting to establish his elusive dream of a pure communist country, he might have been amused by a 21st-century phenomenon that he would have uproariously branded “the lumpen intelligentsia”. Of course, just about everyone so branded, and most who are not, will be equally lost. You see, the vocabulary nowadays has excised such words and terms as if their mere mention would leave a stain on them.
If you or I walked up to one-time die-hard communists such as Wade Mark, who was among a small band of Marxists who fought elections in 1981 but won hardly any votes, they’d likely tell you, “No, boy, ah doh do dat again.” So it’s left to a handful of us revolutionaries to at least keep the memories of another day alive, if not kicking. Continue reading Our ‘lumpen intelligentsia’→