By late last Tuesday evening, the universe seemed to me to have remained intact as we have known it from creation, or more accurately, since we arrived on it—vast, mysterious, constantly moving—and the Earth did not stand still, as some politicians had hoped would happen, in a celestial display of anger by the gods against satanic price increases in auto fuels imposed by the heartless Government of Trinidad and Tobago on its people. Continue reading The screw and screwdriver→
I do not know the former chairman of the Energy Chamber, Eugene Tiah. Never seen, met or spoken with him. I know only that he appears to be well respected in the energy industries by his peers, and presumably by the overlords of the downstream and petrochemicals industries, a vast, multi-billion-dollar contributor to the national economy in which the State has significant interest. Continue reading Good people must speak out now→
The Covid-induced confinement imposed on citizens by the Government provoked a range of reactions—from anger and drunkenness to solitude and self-pity. Some persons came perilously close to crossing the thin line between sanity and insanity.
I was lucky to have lived the multi-faceted life I did before the pandemic—soldier, adventurer, prisoner, politician, teacher and a range of other life-skills that prepared me for just about anything I might face during the pandemic. Of course, as a human being and more so a humanist, I was shocked by the mass of people globally who were impacted by the virus, by how many were dying “live” before the lenses of reporters’ cameras, agony etched on their faces, questions writ large on them: why me? Continue reading Covid and gas pains: who’s crying now?→
Maybe the headline of my column today should read instead, ‘Thanks, PM, for standing up for TT against immense odds’, which would surely incur the ire of a large number of citizens of this country who, I am convinced, bow their heads in hypocritical reverence every night when they communicate with their Gods, beseeching Her to cast failure after failure on the incumbent PNM government. Their bitter hatred for Keith Rowley is all that matters. It’s more than enough reason to create chaos, confusion and collapse, blame for which can be heaped on the said Rowley. Continue reading Afterword on ALNG Train I→
I cannot claim to have conducted any scientific survey by interviewing samples of the population the way political pollsters do, but I feel certain if I did, I would find that as many as seven out of every ten adults believe that ‘Trinidad and Tobago gone through’, in the broadest sense of that colloquial term.
Put in standard English, that implies that the economy has collapsed, institutions have imploded, law and order do not exist, poverty is of near-epidemic proportions, and every metric one can imagine shows a failed state on the brink of implosion. Continue reading We will survive→
In my column last week, I questioned why the Government thought was necessary to exclude from scrutiny of the relevant authority details of Government to Government contracts. The point I was trying to make is that citizens almost instinctively do not trust politicians, especially when they are in office. Because countries like Trinidad and Tobago have been mired in allegations of corruption on a huge scale that spans different parties in power, suspicions of corruption will cloud every expenditure a government incurs, which leaves little room for getting things done. Continue reading Let them eat ‘old batteries’→
The urgency with which this nation must address the issues that threaten to throw us back into the Stone Age cannot be over-emphasised. We were already in deep trouble when Covid-19 struck with pandemic force in early 2020, sending us reeling from blows to the body, the mind, even the spirit. The energy and petrochemicals sectors faced grim circumstances, the availability of natural gas, the key feedstock of the latter’s operations, being of grave concern, and the markets for their products saturated and dampened. Continue reading Mr. Politician, Sah→
I am hopeful that Finance Minister Colm Imbert’s Budget 2021 will remain open to ideas that may come from ordinary citizens or professionals or anyone else even after he will have presented it to Parliament tomorrow. This is no ordinary Appropriation Bill. It is, or ought to be, an extraordinary document that contains the sum total of citizens’ prescriptions for rescuing and resuscitating an economy that has been battered and bruised by several governments over the past, say, forty years, and rendered semi-comatose by blows from the Covid-19 pandemic. Continue reading Periscope on Budget→
On August 4, 2020, the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing on Venezuela. Appearing before the committee was U.S. State Department Special Representative Elliott Abrams. Abrams, who has had a long—and controversial—career in the formation of U.S. foreign policy, was assaulted by almost all the members of the Senate committee. The senators, almost without exception, suggested that Abrams had been—since 2019—responsible for a failed U.S. attempt to overthrow the Venezuelan government of President Nicolás Maduro. Continue reading How the U.S. Failed at Its Foreign Policy Toward Venezuela→