Summit of contempt for Tobago’s tourism industry

…a trigger for national protest

By Pierre Small
March 25, 2009

Fifth Summit of the AmericasPrime Minister Patrick Manning has been trying effortlessly to convince Trinidadians and Tobagonians that the Fifth Summit Of The Americas will bring them great prosperity ‘in all areas of our economy.’ This claim is being met with overwhelming skepticism throughout the country as the Prime Minister and his administration has become notorious for false promises, consistently failing, and short sighted policies in all areas of our economy.

The Prime Minister made special mention of one area that will benefit immediately and I quote, “additionally, and of immediate benefit, is the increased visitor arrivals for the Summit which will generate revenues for the country,” unquote. The Prime Minister had an early opportunity to keep his promise and prove he means what he says, but as usual, he and his government have proven once again that the prosperity of Trinidadians and Tobagonians are of the least significance and concern to them.

In a letter to the Summit organizer and Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Mariano Browne, Tobago’s Hotel owners argued of being left out of the Summit. Appealing to the Minister for some of the hotel business coming out of the Summit, it was met with an astonishing no! In his shocking and irrational response, the Minister claimed, “it is not logistically possible.” Considering Trinidad is hosting this major event, while aiming at first world status by 2020 and with Tobago’s tourism industry fearing collapse, logistics between Trinidad and Tobago is an incompetent excuse.

Tobago’s tourism industry is in a catastrophic state, hotel occupancy rates are historically low, proving to be a regional humiliation. Further underscoring the government’s contempt and insults with Tobago’s tourism woes, there is no convincing strategy for immediate or long term relief in sight from our tourism officials. By not making an effort to help Tobago in their hour of desperate need, The Minister vehemently demonstrates the government’s contempt for the people of Trinidad and Tobago and the survival and prosperity of Tobago’s critical tourism sector. Had this government been concerned about the basic welfare of our people, logistics would never be a problem, but unfortunately this government is not one capable of meaningful action or competence.

This hypocritical position has now triggered a torrent of emotions among Trinidadians and Tobagonians that must now be seen beyond tourism and in relation to every other industry in Trinidad and Tobago.

This Summit will be remembered as the icon of Patrick Manning’s futility and that of his administration. It will further confirm that the government’s ‘promises of prosperity in all areas of our economy’ stemming from this Summit are nothing but their habitual rhetoric, once again deceiving the people of Trinidad and Tobago.

Trinidadians and Tobagonians must now take a stand against the tyranny and exploitation being experienced in our country. While the government attempts with all their might to put on the biggest carnival of deception to the world since our independence, we must now respond! We must send a strong message to the Americas that all is not well in Trinidad and Tobago! We are a broken nation, constantly living in fear from the rampant crime, economic depression and corruption plaguing us.

The time is right to rise up and come together using the oldest democratic institution at our disposal, that of peaceful protest. It is now up to everyone of us to take back this beleaguered country from contempt and corruption. Let us join and support fully the OWTU’s contemplation of shutting down the Summit in protest. The alternative to doing nothing is living in the hell that is Trinidad and Tobago.

7 Responses to “Summit of contempt for Tobago’s tourism industry”


  • It is with shock and dismay that I read this article. What utter rubbish. Logistic of what! If this goodly Minister had the interest of the country which is Trinidad and Tobago there is no question of Tobago requesting Tourism Business. That is a no brainer. I did not finish school after 7th Standard. I could suggest that an inclusive packages be available to visiting guest to go to Tobago inclusive of transport and hotel accommodation. This will be a boost to Tobago Tourism industry for long after the Summit. Tobago is the better of the two Islands the crime rate is very low. When the people of Tobago see something they say something. Not so in Trinidad.

    I don’t know who died and make Prime Minister Patrick Manning KING.

    Ah Shame to be a Trinidadian

  • “Trinidadians and Tobagonians must now take a stand against the tyranny and exploitation being experienced in our country.” “We must send a strong message to the Americas that all is not well in Trinidad and Tobago! We are a broken nation.”
    Tobagonian certainly should be cognizant of this , so as to become motivated to wake up from their slumber and finally take the necessary decisive actions. The message that should be sent to the two Mick Mouse parties in and out of government ,is that they are mad as hell , and won’t take the stupid distracting charades , and neglect any more.
    Every entry level Sociology UWI or international College student today are learning and discussing the debilitating impact of the what is commonly referred to as “ the brain drain.” Generally, most scholars , think thanks policy wonks , and concerned media personnel ,are looking at the problems as it relates to movements of skill labor force to developed countries from developing. Unfortunately, Tobago has suffered to a greater degree , than perhaps any other Caribbean islands, in that many of its best and ambitious minds were forced to do the jig and dance and resort to living in Trinidad and help to elevate the standard of living of our twin island and more industrialized big brother , while doing absolutely nothing for the island of birth. Many had to endure the indignity of seeing and or experiencing the most atrocious, disgusting , and vindictive behaviors of misguided political leaders , and narrow minded, selfish ,uncaring, local business conglomerates over the past five decades.
    They watch in horror as their own political leaders are humiliated and treated as impotent idiots , and convenient puppets come election time or to suite some inconsequential political interest. Who can forget the derisive remarks that were leveled at bet wetting Pamela Nicholson, conniving and over ambitions of former PM and President ‘Ah we boy Robbi , aka the Castaria Kid, and of course the ball headed , hot gasket temper Mason Hall Rothwiler and former leadership competition of Uncle Manning.
    The 1990 Red House debacle , Barbados fishermen Tobago criminal adventures ,undignified treatment of PNM Stalwart and Diego Martin MP Mr. Rowley , the recent demise of the Plymouth Jazz Festival , the suspect elevation of cousin London as a Deputy Political leader within the party, and blatant attacks on foreign tourist on the island without decisive outrage and actions are few of the despicable examples of Trinidadian power brokers , and regional saviors that should not be ignored by the political and socially conscious. I’ll leave out the obvious neglect of basic infrastructure in Tobago ,that benefited Trinidad in a positive way, some 99% to 1.
    Can they therefore be blamed Yorubawoman, for not pushing comprehensive “inclusive packages …. to visiting guest to go to Tobago, “ during this period ? Which hospital would you send them when they get sick with a belly ache from the bad foreign foods , baby crabs, and fry salmons that Tobagonians are eating themselves and selling to gullible and desperate tourist tired of the usual conveniently hidden dung heaps of Jamaica , and fake /phony express , upstart peons from Barbados? Surely not the run down hospital the British left some century and a half ago, or the over inflated one that the Chinese hope to finish in 2050 when the Oropuche West princess Miss M is finally inaugurated as the Queen of the Opposition for life?
    Do not worry , dear cousin Small and Madame Yoruba woman . I’ll echo the words of a wise lady that played a significant role in my early development s against overwhelming odds. I usually refer to her as ‘Grandma Socrates’ , as that smart Greek bastard had absolutely nothing on her when it comes to intellect, and what one former President call the “Vision thing.” . She often said that “ the longest rope must have an end.” History will prove her right, of this you can be assured.
    A plan is in place to encourage the conscious , patriotic ,Tobagonians wherever they exist outside of the 116 square miles island to develop fortitude ,pride and dignity in themselves , and do whatever it takes to collectively and individually take back and develop what is rightfully theirs. One can only expect so much from Italians, Germans , Americans ,or savvy, Central and South Trinidad businessmen with too much money in their pockets , and not necessarily enough love in their hearts. Again , need we say defunct Tobago Jazz festival? Do not be surprise to hear that it has been relegated to the St. James or Antigua Jazz Festival, as this is a common trend .
    I’ve always said that if Tobago rises, our big brother Trinidad would inevitably do the same, by feeling less of an economic strain and would also do fine . The challenging task ahead is to curb the prevailing influences of the political dinosaurs, and idea deficient folks that control the national agenda , and to seek out country adoring progressives throughout our country that are not mealy fixated on tribally motivated and sectarian developments , but would like to ,make our twin Republic the mini UAE of the region.
    Regards.

  • If the political parties would stop acting like gang members but elected officials, the people of the twin nation will prosper. Corruption and greed has taken over the country along with murder and the epidimic of poverty that the world is nou encountering. The falsehood of the government should all be place on public display and set up a radio station that carry the parlimentary meeting live so the citizens can hold the ruling party accountable.Carnival is over take off the mask and start being govement not some foolish sham. If Trinidadians think that they alone are suffering in this economic then they deserve the foolishness the government is feeding them. You are not alone and with the world economy in crisis people do not have money to travel as they would like. Prime Minister Manning and his trongs of foreign dignitaries is not helping but just getting photo opps for the news paper. This is time for him and his cabibnet to put on the khakis and provide help for the people instead of wearing those ARMANI SUITES.

  • typical Trinidadian nonsense. People get over it the UNC are destine to stay in opposition, this whining about everything the PNM does is ridiculous They are the most anti-Trinbagonian living in Trinidad and Tobago. Which goes to prove not because a person is born in Trinidad and Tobago means they love the country

  • I am a Tobagonian living in London and I am very sad for the future of Tobago. It is time that Tobago should stand on its own two feet. Babies are nurtured and taken care of by their parents. Eventually they grow up and become independent men and women taking their own decisions and accepting responsibilities. To the political leaders of Trinidad let TOBAGO GO. The child is now a man. Give him the opportunity to make its own decisions, to develop his own personality. Save this man from a doomed future, one of delinquency ,crime, loss of self esteem, and confidence to be the best. Is this what Tobago should become No! Let us all work together to save Tobago.

    t

  • So what is your understated comment via this 120 words apparent outrage Sussana? Business as usual for our Twin Republic while you stand on the sidelines and look for the guys from Chickland, Fizabard , and Maloney to fix Tobago’s problem?
    Do you believe that the once gutless 80 year old ‘Ah we boy Robbie’ , or the now ousted and re known spineless Shit Zue phony African Rottweiler Keith Rowley , along with his three arch nemesis Patrick / Hazel Manning ,and Basdeo ,really have yours and most importantly ,Tobago’s interest at heart? Ummhmmm, and Uncle Manning is about make a major declaration in the House of Representative ,which is that he is about to resign and hand over power to Tobago’s Mr. London, while he work out strategy over a cup of tea with the former criminal Chief Justice on how to pardon Panday when convicted, as he in turn finally hands over power to young Mikela !
    Seriously, I look forward to collaborating with you to make your war cry mantra of “Let us all work together to save Tobago,” a reality.
    For one year however, I have been traversing the board and even our island , as well as communicating abroad with a view of convincing Tobagonian that constructing large houses only to entertain non caring foreigners -merely concerned in turning their island into a mini version of Argentina, Chile , and Barbados -is insufficient. I have spent countless energies with uncaring Trinidadians that think that Tobagonians should be happy with the social , economic ,and political status quo, as it ensures that the island remains a convenient after carnival and Easter holiday respite for privileged, decadent nationals . As some of us remain sleeping , others are putting the pieces in place to retain the stranglehold on power, even while castigating our country with every breath they possess.
    Remember that face book and similar social networking forums are not just for posting baby flicks and conversing with relatives and future spouses , it’s a useful politically expedient tool for mobilizing the socially conscious, and caring middle class into positive actions. Doubt me? Then asked cousin Obama, as he would never be in the White house today without it.
    http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/134/boy-wonder.html?page=0%2C0
    Get ready for an authentic revolution , Susana , not the ones with useless guns and cannons favored by military degenerates in Africa and Latin America, but useful economic entrepreneurial ideas, and a overwhelming progressive human spirit.
    Warm regards. – from your sole voice of reason.

  • Tobagonians, (including me) don’t get mad at Manning. He is only carrying out his colonial obligation given him as ex officio a member of the Trinidad Legislative Council appointed by the Governor of Trinidad. This came about by an Order in Council, dated October 20th 1888, when Tobago was made subordinate to Trinidad, as from January 1st 1889. In other words, it is his reponsibilty to carry-out this “type of colonial administration of the British Empire.”

    The sad thing about how the Trinidad government (cause they’re not Tobago’s government) treats Tobago is, they think we don’t know what’s going on. Do you think when they shot the then PM Robinson, it wasn’t intentional? They wants to put Tobago and Tobagonians in our place.

    Mannning, you’re certatinly doing a great job. Think we don’t know whats’s going on. Go ahead and keep us at the back of the bus. This too shall pass and when it’s all said and done, we (Tobago) will emerge as the “Pulcrior Evenit” it is.

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