Monthly Archive for September, 2019

Shame and scandal in the HDC

By Raffique Shah
September 26, 2019

Raffique ShahIn the wake of the cancellation of a lopsided, scandalous multi-billion-dollar contract between the Housing Development Corporation and China Gezhouba Group International Engineering Company (CGGC) for the construction of 5,000 housing units, it is alarming that no public official has been called to account for the many concessions the Chinese almost escaped with but for the vigilance of the much maligned mass media.
Continue reading ‘Shame and scandal in the HDC’

In Defense of the Prime Minister

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 26, 2019

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIt is easy to criticize the Prime Minister. I also take my shots when he makes egregious errors. This is why I suggested that he write what he says before he pronounces on national and international issues. His critics also need to be cautious before they condemn his failings.

The government, with all of its shortcomings, has acted responsibly with regard to the Venezuelan refugee crisis. The PM reported with pride, “American politicians commended this country for its position in treating with economic migrants coming to this country.” The politicians appreciate his achievements since they are dealing with a president who has intensified his crackdown on migrants and asylum-seekers.
Continue reading ‘In Defense of the Prime Minister’

Sedition and other Nonsensical Colonial Laws

By Dr Tye Salandy
September 22, 2019

Dr Tye SalandyAs I mentioned in the first article in this three part series, the Sedition Act is not archaic or outdated, but it was an extremely bad law in the first place given its deliberate vagueness, its colonial intentions and the way that it was weaponized against those who resisted the brutal British empire. Critiquing the bill using words such as outdated and archaic gives the impression that it once was a good law, and it is just the passage of time that makes it problematic in the present time. Nothing could be further from the truth, as from its creation in Trinidad and Tobago, the sedition law was a tool of the colonial elite that was used against the public interest.
Continue reading ‘Sedition and other Nonsensical Colonial Laws’

Misplaced Philanthropy

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 20, 2019

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOne cannot help but be amazed by the indigestible piffle that emanates from the mouths of our politicians when they speak about issues concerning the society. We hear their speeches and read their statements, yet we wonder if they understand what they are saying and the implications of their actions.

Take, for example, the prime minister’s response to the concern that most of the students who were selected for the national mentorship program in energy are Indo-Trinidadians. After fierce criticism about this imbalance, he replied with self-evident pride: “I initiated this program by sending out personnel to find our national scholars…trained in areas of expertise useful to the Ministry of Energy. We decided that those who had done extremely well, with first class honors, should be gathered to rebuild the pool of expertise in the ministry and enable the country to cope with the requirements of the energy sector….
Continue reading ‘Misplaced Philanthropy’

Crabs in a barrel

By Raffique Shah
September 16, 2019

Raffique ShahI had no prior information that the Express had commissioned a poll on Dr Keith Rowley’s performance as Prime Minister after holding office for four years, far less that publication of the results would coincide with my return as a columnist in last week’s Sunday Express.

So you can imagine my shock, having written on the propensity of politicians to use race as a weapon in the war for power, on reading responses to key questions in the Nigel Henry poll, based largely on race. In fact, the race-lines were so sharp, they startled many people who thought we had long overcome that primal instinct, that we were well on the road to electing politicians based on their policies and performance, or potential to perform, rather than their colour of skin or texture of hair.
Continue reading ‘Crabs in a barrel’

Two Trinidad and Tobagos

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 11, 2019

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeAs Boris Johnson, UK prime minister is finding out, and Keith Rowley, T&T’s prime minister has found out, it’s easier to be on the opposition benches and spout invectives than it is to be in the driver’s seat making consequential national decisions. Boris lost pivotal votes last week in the British parliament as his Tory diehards voted against him. Even his brother—Jo Johnson—resigned from his ministerial post and his seat in Parliament. Boris is likely to have the shortest tenure as a UK prime minister.
Continue reading ‘Two Trinidad and Tobagos’

Racism—last refuge of a scoundrel

By Raffique Shah
September 09, 2019

Raffique ShahWhat possessed United National Congress leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar to unleash a loose cannon in the form of ex-soldier Carlton Dennie on an unsuspecting audience of party faithful a few Monday nights ago, we may never know.

Surely she could not have known beforehand that the corporal, who had somehow been elevated to head the intelligence arm of the Strategic Services Agency, was about to cast a giant-but-crooked shadow over her beleaguered UNC that seems to be locked in battle with the incumbent People’s National Movement to lose the next general election.
Continue reading ‘Racism—last refuge of a scoundrel’

Robert Mugabe: An African Hero

September 07, 2019

Robert Mugabe

Robert Mugabe died on September 06, 2019 at the age of 95.

On the passing of former Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe… I salute Robert Mugabe for his enormous contributions towards freedom and decolonization. Demonized in life and death for retrieving stolen Zimbabwe land, he will go down as one of the bravest leaders on the African continent. Thank you, sir.

Dr Tye Salandy

We at RaceAndHistory.com, AfricaSpeaks.com and Trinicenter.com hail the contributions of former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe towards African liberation in Zimbabwe, the African continent and the African diaspora.
Continue reading ‘Robert Mugabe: An African Hero’

Ordinary people, extraordinary lives

By Raffique Shah
September 04, 2019

Raffique ShahThey will cremate Miss Eileen sometime today somewhere in Florida where most of her daughters and only surviving son live. I hope the passage of hurricane Dorian does not disrupt the final rites for one of the matriarchs of the village of Bokaro (now “Frenchified” to Beaucarro) where I grew up and spent my formative years. She was one of two surviving women who were bred-and-born in Bokaro, the other being Lucille Warrick who also migrated to the USA, and who is, give or take, of similar age to Mrs. Eileen Prince, 93, when the latter breathed her last two Thursdays ago.
Continue reading ‘Ordinary people, extraordinary lives’

A word to the wise…

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 3, 2019

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeJoy Cushman wrote that Barack Obama revolutionized his campaign “by putting his faith in hundreds of volunteers. ” She continued: “I was a top organizer in his 2008 campaign and trained thousands of campaign staff workers. If Democrats want to win in 2020, they must get back to investing in everyday people again” (New York Times, August 26).
Continue reading ‘A word to the wise…’