Monthly Archive for December, 2011

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Bridging the credibility gap

By Derren Joseph
December 13, 2011

Derren JosephTransparency International’s 2011 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) ranks Trinidad and Tobago in position 91 out of 183 countries–falling from a 2010 rank of 73. Remember this is a temperature check of how corrupt we perceive our own public sector to be. So if you are a statistician; walk away–it is not a rigorous quantitative research methodology. If you are a politician, listen-up, as perception drives voting patterns. On one hand, it can be argued that this cannot be completely blamed on the present administration because it reflects a consistent slide from 2001 when we were ranked at 31.
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Diminishing Our Diplomatic Legacy

By Stephen Kangal
December 13, 2011

Stephen KangalMinisterial and accredited diplomacy failed to insulate T&T from the embarrassment occasioned by the successful and complicit application of the extra-territorial tentacles upon which the anti- Cuba 1996 Helms Burton Act (HBA) depends for the effectiveness of its punitive global outreach during the recent triennial Caricom-Cuba Summit. It is Cuba that should have apologized to T&T for feeling the impact of the US big stick diplomacy.
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Blunder after Blunder

By Raffique Shah
December 11, 2011

Raffique ShahFIVE weeks ago, in my column titled “Diplomatic Blunders”, I wrote, “…The US has the right to decide what countries it has relations with, so excluding Cuba as a trade or investment partner is not the issue. What is criminal is for the US to use its might to deny other countries, as well as all corporations, their right to have relations with Cuba…”

I was referring to America’s unjust trade embargo against Cuba, but also to the People’s Partnership Government’s seemingly confused foreign policy positions. Trinidad and Tobago had abstained at a UNESCO general meeting at which Palestine was granted full membership, with an overwhelming majority of nations voting in favour of the motion.
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Hilton’s Ban on Castro: An Affront to Our Sovereignty

December 10, 2011

Trinidad and Tobago NewsThe U.S. has laws and regulations which prevent U.S. companies from doing business with Cuba unless they obtain a special licence from the U.S. Department of the Treasury. These laws extend to operations of U.S. companies in other countries as well. The United States Department of the Treasury refused to grant a licence to the Trinidad Hilton Hotel, which is managed by Hilton Worldwide, to host the CARICOM-Cuba summit which involved Cuban leader Raul Castro. This untenable affront to Trinidad and Tobago’s sovereignty reflects the continued tradition of U.S. imperialism in the Caribbean and our local leaders’ complicity in this abuse.
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IV CARICOM-Cuba Summit
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By Clint Chan Tack
Friday, December 9 2011 –

CUBAN PRESIDENT Raul Castro yesterday slammed United States (US) President Barack Obama for failing to keep a commitment he made at the Fifth Summit of the Americas in Port-of-Spain in April 2009 to lift the 49-year-old embargo which the US placed on Cuba since 1962.
Continue reading ‘END ISOLATION OF CUBA’

Arrival of Cuban President Raul Castro: Fourth Cuba-Caricom Summit

Arrival of Cuban President Raul Castro: Cuba-Caricom Summit
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Arrival of H.E General Raul Modesto Castro Ruz, the President of the Councils of State and Council of Minister of the Republic of Cuba for state visit ahead of the Fourth Cuba-Caricom Summit.
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US Bans Hilton Hotel from Hosting Castro


Hilton blocked from hosting Caricom conference attended by Cuban president

By Julien Neaves
December 07, 2011 –

Raúl CastroUS-BASED hotel chain Hilton Worldwide has been denied a special licence from the US Government to allow for the IV Caricom/Cuba Summit to be held at the Hilton Trinidad and Conference Centre with visiting Cuban President Raul Castro.

The two-day summit, which starts today, will instead be held at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA) in Port of Spain.
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The Gang that Couldn’t Shoot Straight

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
December 06, 2011

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeWe didn’t have to wait until the Prime Minister declared an official end to the state of emergency to realize that it was ill-advised, ill-timed and disingenuous. Anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear have come to the realization that what began as a farce ended up as a comedy of errors with rotten eggs splattered on the Government’s face and even greater opprobrium cast upon their name. Ah mean, they couldn’t even carry off this jokey maneuver with a modicum of humor.
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Detaining ‘big fish, small fish’

By Derren Joseph
December 05, 2011

Derren JosephBritain’s Channel 4 aired a documentary called Trinidad: Guns, Drugs and Secrets. On the night in question, I deliberately avoided watching it. The following day, as I signed onto Facebook, I saw links to it on so many profiles that I ended up watching the whole thing—twice. The two interviews that I found most interesting were the one with the resident from Laventille and the one with the Security Adviser to the Prime Minister. For me, these two represented the opposing sides of this ongoing debate over the state of emergency (SoE) and the current Government’s approach to crime.
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Originality vs Nationality: Afri-centic Analysis

By Dr. Kwame Nantambu
December 05, 2011

EmancipationAs the UN-sponsored “International Year for People of African Descent” (2011) gradually comes to an end, historiography suggests that African people must deal with these fundamental questions: “Who am I here and now?; Am I all I can be?”, Am I really who i am? (and) Why am I here?”
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