Category Archives: Caribbean

Haiti, we are sorry

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
May 30, 2022

Haiti, I am sorry
We misunderstood you
One day we’ll turn our heads
And look inside you…

—David Rudder, “Haiti”

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeAbout 22 years ago I was a part of a New England delegation that travelled to Haiti to demand that Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the first democratically elected president of Haiti after years of dictatorship, be allowed to assume the office he had won fairly and squarely.

We met with the United States Ambassador to Haiti, but nothing came of it. Our pleas, like so many others, were like voices crying out desperately in a wilderness of deceit and deception.
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Playing Smart…

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
November 08, 2021

“Why boasteth thyself/Oh, evil men/ Playing smart/ And not being clever?/ I said, you’re working iniquity/ To achieve vanity (if a-so a so)/ But the goodness of Jah, Jah/I-dureth for-I-ever.”

—Bob Marley, “Small Axe”

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeBarbados, the tiny Caribbean island with just about 287,371 souls “has been punching well above its weight of late,” says the Black Agenda Report (November 3). In fact, many people within the global community have taken note of Mia Mottley’s (Barbados Prime Minister) speech, “Get Up, Stand Up,” that she delivered to the United Nation’s General Assembly in New York last September, and now the world is buzzing (certainly those people in the Black and Brown world) over her “impassioned address,” to COP26, the UN Climate Conference held in Glasgow, Scotland.
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Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana officials in vaccine-use crosstalk

By Shane Superville
June 18, 2021 – newsday.co.tt

Dr Leslie RamsammyRemarks made by the Prime Minister during a media conference last Saturday led to a heated exchange between officials from the Guyanese government and business community and Trinidad and Tobago’s Ministry of Foreign and Caricom Affairs on Friday.

During his presentation, Dr Rowley referred to a table highlighting the number of vaccines received by all 14 Caricom countries and their associates as of Saturday.
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National heroes and history

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
May 24, 2021

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeA few weeks ago I listened to young Jamaican student Deane Weatherly talk about the importance of Queen Nanny of the Jamaican Maroons to her and Jamaican national life.

Queen Nanny, the leader of one of the country’s maroon groups, defeated the British in the 18th century, thereby establishing Nanny Town, a maroon town in the Blue Mountain region.
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Now’s not the time to misbehave

By Raffique Shah
April 05, 2021

Raffique ShahI suppose it had to come to this—an explosion of Covid-19 cases just when we thought we could see a ray of sunshine at the end of a year-long dark tunnel we’ve cautiously navigated, when the first tranche of vaccines had arrived, launching Trinidad and Tobago into the immunisation phase of the war against this deadly virus.

It’s not as if the surge in confirmed cases ambushed us. We were warned by the medical team that has thus far efficiently conducted the war against Covid-19, that should we continue to breach the simple safety practices that have worked for us, hence expose ourselves to regression, we would encounter a nasty backlash. But there are some among us who are plain “harden”, who must misbehave to look macho.
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A passage to India

Newsday Editorial
March 05, 2021 – newsday.co.tt

COVID-19 VaccineIN ALL the recent instances of wrangling over vaccines from India, a key issue has been left unaddressed.

The heated reactions to both Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh’s mischaracterisation of the custody chain of vaccines donated by Barbados and Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s letter to the Indian Prime Minister have deflected attention from a more profound diplomatic quandary which this country faces – as well as Caricom as a whole.
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Emancipating old narratives of ‘emancipation’

…and examining colonials’ ‘deceitful bait-and-switch’

By Claudius Fergus
August 16, 2020 – wired868.com

Photo: ESC director of regional and African affairs Khafra Kambon (right) poses with the Emancipation monument.In defiance of the rapid community spread of Covid-19, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, kept the promise he made on Emancipation Day 2019 to unveil T&T’s first emancipation monument—the only live public event on Emancipation Day 2020.

Like many thousands of other Trinbagonians, I missed the commemorative spectacles of the longest day in the Pan-African Festival’s calendar. But instead of regrets, the occasion motivated me to reexamine the intellectual underpinnings and contradictions of Britain’s 1833 Abolition of Slavery Act.
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Making a Truce with Reality

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
July 21, 2020

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI have been following the “the polytricks” taking place in Guyana, a land that “has been a torn and tortured terrain with divisive seeds sown in the colonial waters” as Sir Hilary Beckles described it (Express, July 13.) It’s not an overreach to say we are witnessing a replay of a traumatic encounter that took place years ago.

In 1970 Forbes Burnham declared Guyana a Co-operative Republic. I visited Guyana in 1972, the year in which the first Carifesta and the Non-Aligned Nations’ conference took place under the aegis of Comrade-Leader Burnham. It was a new and exciting time.
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Inhumane Treatment of Our Elderly In Barbados

By Stephen Kangal
March 30, 2020

Stephen KangalThe PNM Government in categorically refusing to arrange entry/arrival home of 35 of our elderly nationals and having forced Barbados to quarantine them somewhere at their own expense when they arrived at Grantley Adams Airport from South Africa via the UK is in flagrant violation of customary law on the treatment of nationals, consular duty and indeed plain humanitarianism.
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