Archive for the 'Venezuela' Category

We must manage migration

By Raffique Shah
May 01, 2018

Raffique ShahSometime in or around 1990, a large number of mostly Indo-Trinidadians, variously estimated at between 10,000 and 15,000, fled this country for Canada, and successfully exploited that country’s liberal immigration laws pertaining to refugee status and asylum, claiming political or racial persecution in Trinidad and Tobago.

The “refugees”, who were really Trinis seeking greener economic pastures in a huge, thriving Canada, realised their dreams through the wiles of a pool of “immigration lawyers” who, for handsome fees, beat the system and won them the right to live and work there. I imagine that most of them remain residents of Canada to this day, and they are happy in their adopted homeland.
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Integrity Commission a waste

By Raffique Shah
June 06, 2016

Raffique ShahWhen constitutionally-independent institutions in the country seem to be collapsing, when holders of the highest offices seem confused about their roles and perplexed about their powers, and when the law publicly proves to be the proverbial ass, then, Trinidad & Tobago, we have a problem…a very serious problem.
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Reject US sanctions

Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro during his recent visit to T&T
Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro during his recent visit to T&T

By Sasha Harrinanan
March 16, 2015 – newsday.co.tt

The citizens and Government of Trinidad and Tobago are being urged to reject the recently announced United States sanctions against Venezuelan government officials accused of violating protestors’ rights during demonstrations earlier this year.
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All hands stained with blood

By Raffique Shah
July 20, 2014

Raffique ShahNot surprisingly, they are all pointing “holier than thou” fingers at each other following the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 that killed close to 300 innocent people.

The Ukrainian government accuses pro-Russian separatists in the area where the tragedy occurred of firing a Russia-supplied missile that brought the passenger plane down. America and much of Europe concur, with blood-curdling calls for the “terrorists” to be brought to justice.
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Venezuela’s Opposition Is United Against Maduro, But Internally Divided

By Roberto Lovato

March 7th 2014 – Al Jazeera

Flag of VenezuelaCARACAS — His face and muscular arms sweating, hands dirtied from the sand-filled sugar bags he dragged toward the makeshift rampart blocking half of his street, Emilio Palacios’ immediate political struggle was with his mother. “No, Mama, no!” he yelled toward his mother, Maria Bravo, a longtime resident of the Chacaito district of Venezuela’s capital. “No!” he repeated, after hearing her tell Al Jazeera that the purpose of the barricade under construction in front of their apartment was “getting rid of this government.”
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Bad Deal: Ramnarine blamed for messing up energy negotiations

By Renuka Singh
September 29, 2013 – guardian.co.tt

Kevin RamnarineEnergy Minister Kevin Ramnarine has distanced himself from the negotiation process that allegedly led to an almost ten per cent drop in local voting rights over the cross-border Loran/Manatee bloc. This move comes on the heels of scathing criticism that the minister had mucked up decade-long bilateral talks between Venezuela and Trinidad that, if negotiated properly, could have boosted local energy reserves and made allowances for Venezuelan pipelines to pass through the local refinery.
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Harare: Is It Really the Worst City on Earth?

Out and About in Zimbabwe’s Capital

By Andre Vltchek
March 15, 2013 – andrevltchek.weebly.com

ZimbabweFor a change, I don’t want to discuss politics. I don’t want to debate whether big bad Mugabe is actually an African national hero, as many on this continent believe, or some brutal dictator, as we are told relentlessly by the BBC, The Economist and virtually the entire Western establishment media.

‘Data’ about Zimbabwe is developed somewhere, to serve Western political interests, and then it is recycled, repeated by hundreds of websites all over the Internet. Old reports are not updated when the situation improves. Incorrect statistics are hardly challenged.
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Chavez – Catalyst for Change

By Raffique Shah
March 09, 2013

Raffique ShahHUGO Chavez cast a giant shadow over the Western Hemisphere during his relatively short life. Few world leaders can claim to have influenced the course of history and geopolitics the way he did. For more than half-a-century, visionaries formulated and articulated ideas for the creation of a new power centre that resided outside of North America and Europe. Chavez transformed those dreams into reality, however limited, and upon his untimely death he left behind the legacy of a new world order that seems set to redefine Latin America and influence global affairs in the 21st Century.
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Venezuela: Adiós Presidente

By Clifton Ross
March 8th 2013 – Upside Down World

Mourners pay their respects to Hugo Chávez (Efrain Gonzalez / Prensa Miraflores)

Mourners pay their respects to Hugo Chávez (Efrain Gonzalez / Prensa Miraflores)

It may be difficult for North Americans to grasp the loss Venezuelans are feeling over the death of President Hugo Chávez since we have no comparable experience in our entire history. I called a friend in Venezuela today to check in with her and find out how she was doing the day after Chávez’s death. She was obviously shaken. “It’s a blow (golpe) and you feel it everywhere. After all, Chávez is a man we’ve lived with for the past fourteen years.”

Chávez, whatever one may think of him or how his legacy will be judged, was a warm, charismatic, down-to-earth, entertaining, larger-than-life figure, part politician, part entertainer. He was from the llano, the land of the cowboys and that was so much of his appeal. When he looked into the camera on his weekly, Alo Presidente, there was a sense of physical contact with him among viewers. I know my friend Juan seemed to feel Chávez was there with us on those Sunday mornings as he laughed with him and even hummed along when Chávez sang.
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The Life and Legacy of Hugo Chávez

By Gregory Wilpert
March 7th 2013 – The Real News

Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías, or Comandante Chávez, as he was affectionately known by his supporters and followers, passed away on March 5, at 4:25 p.m. local time, following a 21-month battle against cancer.

When he died, at 58 years of age, he had become one of Venezuela’s and perhaps even the world’s most important contemporary leaders, having launched what he and his movement called the “Bolivarian Revolution,” named after Simón Bolívar, the 19th-century independence hero who had liberated Venezuela and four other countries from Spanish colonial rule. Chávez was a devotee of Simón Bolívar, and his vice president, Nicolás Maduro, recently referred to Chávez as “the new liberator of the 21st century.” Whether this is a fair assessment only history will tell, but what is certain is that Chávez changed the face of Venezuela during his 14 years as president.
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