Archive for the 'General T&T' Category

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‘We dogs dead’

By Raffique Shah
December 11, 2018

Raffique ShahIn my column last week in which I lamented the collapse of Petrotrin, I submitted that one of the tragic consequences would be the oil refinery falling into the hands of foreigners (by lease or purchase), and the workers who were terminated returning to seek employment with the new operators, prepared to work for substantially lower wages and salaries than they earned with the State-owned company.
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Whose History Anyhow?

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
December 11, 2018

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOn Thursday and Friday of this week I will launch my new book, The Slave Master of Trinidad, at the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago and the University of The University of the West Indies respectively. The first is a private affair, under the auspices of the Hon. Keith Rowley, Prime Minister; the later is a public affair, “featuring a review (of the book) by Sir Hilary Beckles, the Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies.” No one could think of a more auspicious way to introduce this book to the reading public of Trinidad and Tobago.
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Day of moaning for Petrotrin

By Raffique Shah
December 05, 2018

Raffique ShahDuring last Friday’s unofficial “Day of Moaning” for the official demise of State-owned oil giant Petrotrin, I detected more than a hint of hypocrisy among the moaners. I must confess that your not-so-humble scribe was prominently positioned amidst the thousands of Trini-Pharisees who had saved their saddest faces and rehearsed their most somber vocal tones for the tragic occasion.

I admit that mine was an ego issue, one in which my wounded pride provoked extreme prejudice against my fellow-Trinis for having shamed me, for having shattered my dreams of seeing us as a people take control of the commanding heights of the economy, and successfully steer them to take their place alongside the best such enterprises in the world.
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Reparatory Justice

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
December 04, 2018

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeThe Jamaica Gleaner, it is true, was impetuous. On November 25 it announced that the University of Glasgow (UG) and the University of the West Indies had reached an agreement regarding reparative justice. According to the Gleaner, UG had agreed to pay “£200 million (approximately J$34 billion) of value in reparation payments to The UWI.”
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Seers, shamans and shysters

By Raffique Shah
November 29, 2018

Raffique ShahI suppose it was inevitable—the proliferation of self-proclaimed astrologers, mystic healers, seers, obeah-men, call them what you will, although the word “conmen” might best capture their lucrative “hustle”. In harsh economic times and an unstable social environment, many people turn to quacks who claim to have supernatural powers for relief from their woes.

These crooks boldly advertise on prime-time television, which is expensive, as well as in other mainstream media. And, I imagine, they litter the so-called social media, the booming electronic platforms where there is minimal control of content.
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Andrew Haswell Green

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
November 26, 2018

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI am always astonished when I realize how unaware we are about certain aspects of our history. I had completed my book on William Hardin Burnley, the biggest slave owner in Trinidad, when I received a fascinating note from a reader.

“My name is Henry Albert. I am a retired accountant and working on a project with the goal of becoming a docent for Preservation Worcester, a local Worcester, MA nonprofit.

“The topic includes Andrew Haswell Green, a local man who became well known in 19th century New York City. Supposedly, Green’s family knew William Burnley of Trinidad.”
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Refugees aggravate T&T woes

By Raffique Shah
November 21, 2018

Raffique ShahTrinidad and Tobago has found itself in an unenviable, as well as untenable, position of having to deal with hundreds of mostly Venezuelan and Cuban nationals who have entered this country, legally and illegally, then announcing themselves as refugees or seeking political asylum.

This situation is unenviable because we are the only English-speaking Caribbean island-state that faces an influx of Spanish-speaking refugees, in addition to Jamaicans and Nigerians who have overstayed their Immigration-approved time, and some Chinese, Syrians and Lebanese. Except for the fairly-prosperous Dominican Republic that shares the large island of Hispaniola with poverty-stricken Haiti, where nationals of the latter invade the former on foot, whence they face rigid deportation procedures, T&T is a unique magnet for illegal immigrants.
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The Incredible Dream – Pt 3

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
November 19, 2018

PART 3

“The further you look into the past, the further you can see into the future.”

— Sir Winston Churchill

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOver the past month, I visited London, England, Glasgow and Edinburgh, Scotland where I delivered several lectures and participated in the launch of David Featherstone, ed., Marxism, Colonialism, and Cricket: C. L. R. James’s Beyond a Boundary in which I contributed a chapter on James’s intellectual origins and his knowledge of early Trinidad’s history.
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Remembering the savagery of war

By Raffique Shah
November 14, 2018

Raffique ShahI awoke last Sunday morning to see and hear French President Emmanuel Macron deliver an address before scores of world leaders gathered in Paris to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. His was a good speech, an appeal for the world to not just to pay homage to the eight million-plus servicemen and women who lost their lives in the mistaken belief that they were fighting “the war to end all wars”, but also to note that if we did not learn from history, we were doomed to repeat the mistakes our forebears made.
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The Incredible Dream

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
November 12, 2018

PART 2

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeWhen enslaved Africans (they were the majority population then) won their full freedom in 1838, there was an urgent need to establish an educational system that combined their ways of knowing with the needs of the dominant colonial class. Sir Henry MacLeod, governor of the island, sent the following dispatch to Lord Stanley, the Secretary of State: “I should submit to Your Lordship that there never was a country where some general situation of education was more required than in Trinidad” (May 1, 1840).
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