We have come a long way, Barack

By Raffique Shah
Sunday, April 5th 2009

Fifth Summit of the AmericasFOR those charged with securing the Summit delegates from rampaging protestors, as happened at last week’s G20 meeting in London, their bigger challenge is likely to be refereeing jousts among the delegates. Our people are not known for violent protests. In my youthful days I was involved in some of the biggest protest demonstrations that followed the Black Power eruption of 1970. Among them was the infamous “Bloody Tuesday” on March 18, 1975, which, by the time it was violently attacked by the police on Coffee Street, San Fernando, had grown in size to more than 5,000 people-and expanding by the minute. The violence, when it came, was on orders from Dennis Ramdwar, not from the demonstrators.

I do not expect “Trini-mode” that to change with all the threats of protest marches, strikes and alternative “summits” planned to coincide with the official Summit. I read where officers in charge of securing the “red zone” said they were prepared for any eventuality, armed with “tear gas” (CS grenades) and presumably live ammunition.

Such force, or threat of force, is wholly unnecessary. The organisers of these alternative actions are all responsible leaders, maybe more so than the host government’s. Prime Minister Manning met with unionists and others, requesting them to tone down their protests, to “make the country look good”.

He didn’t need to do that. Except for a handful of politicians who can best be described as the “lunatic fringe”, no one else wants have our country look like a nation of irresponsible people. What Manning should be wary of is, having convinced the unionists in particular to behave in a civil manner, he and his government honour their side of the agreement. I cannot understand how a state corporation as monopolistic and profitable as TSTT cannot initial a new industrial agreement with its employees years after negotiations started, that long after the previous agreement expired. The same holds true for T&TEC employees and several others

So if the workers are restless, if they must march and threaten industrial action to pursue their goals, they have just cause to protest. Ditto for Customs officers and employees of the BIR, where government, in its infinite folly, want all of those employees to take forced separation (Government calls it “voluntary”, but they know it’s not) and then re-apply for jobs in the new, private revenue collection agency they plan to establish. If their excuse is they want to rid the “bad eggs” in these vital divisions of the Ministry of Finance, then why not do the same to the Police Service, to Licensing and other similar, corruption-prone state agencies? I shall have more to say on this very stupid idea-after the Summit!

Inside the official Summit, Chairman Manning is likely to be under greater pressure to keep some delegates from each other’s throats, a challenge that is sure to come. As I pointed out two weeks ago, US President Obama will attend not as “master of all he surveys”, but as just another delegate, albeit an important one. He would want to talk energy, maybe alternative energy-and I say all hail to him for adopting this progressive stance. But President Lula of Brazil would want to know why there is a US-imposed tariff on ethanol from his country.

Prior to the recent G20 Summit, Lula made it clear that those responsible for the global economic and financial crises are the developed countries who thought they knew it all, but showed they knew nothing about finance. In the words of another commentator, they were adept at financial innovations before they looked at financial regulations. To add insult to the US (and Canada’s) injury, Lula made it clear that the majority of countries in Latin America are not seeking aid, just fair trade (as distinct from free). Protectionism, as is being practised by many OECD countries, is a key obstacle to global financial recovery, Lula argues.

In fact, at the conference, Venezuela’s Chavez may well suggest that if any countries need to be placed under “IMF conditionalities” that Latin and Caribbean states endured 20 years ago, it should be the USA and European Union members that are all running huge deficits.

Note that the US-trillion-dollar-stimulus-package approved in London, will be financed by China and Brazil as much as OECD countries. In other words, Obama is not coming to Port of Spain to meet with beggars, but with self-reliant emerging economies that can take care of their people once the global trading field is level. We have come a long way, Barack.

Indeed, while poverty remains rampant in Latin America and parts of the Caribbean, we are little different to what obtains in many self-styled rich countries. The people of Beetham plan to give President Obama a DVD showing the conditions under which they survive. “Damn!” he might say. “These people live better than the poor in America!” With an average of 500,000 people thrown on the breadline on a monthly basis, “tent cities” and “caravan parks” have sprung up across the USA.

So if there are fireworks at the Summit, they will erupt inside the Hyatt, not among protestors on the outside. Stand down the troops, commander.

30 Responses to “We have come a long way, Barack”


  • I agree with Raffique that we are not, basically, the sort of people to threaten the safety of heads of state, but I was a student at UWI when the queen came to visit in 1966, and there were “students” protesting. People protested the building of a wall at the old UWI entrance from the Eastern Main Road, to close off an old house in which a former railway worker lived. The $5000.00 used to build the wall would have given the man a new house, they said.

    What I am concerned about, is the easy access, and good financing the creators of mayhem worldwide, seem to have. There seems to be people who go where ever there is a “happening” to try to start something. Our wide open coastline, as naked and free as a baby’s bottom, is open to all kinds of miscreants arriving silently at night. Think of the three Africans who were walking along a road in Tobago, when a kindly stranger gave them a lift only to discover that they had been dropped off in the night by a ship, which launched a skiff to deposit them on shore, and silently left. Think of the Israeli a few years back, who entered the country, apparently legally, and then disappeared into the Arouca hills. The government caught him, and sent him off to the custody of the Isreali embassy in Venezuela, without ever finding out how he came in possession of an immigration stamp to renew his own visa, nor did I hear of anyone prosecuted for helping him. Think of the hundreds of whores coming in from Columbia, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic to ply their trade among our foolish men, who give no thought to the safety of their country, only the satiation of their own lust. Think of the three stowaways at Point Lisas, who, when about to be apprehended by the police, ran into the crowd of employees there, and were given hard hats and safety vests, to look like they were workers there.

    In only one of the four cases cited, did the TnT person involved in the contact do the right thing, and that was in Tobago.

    Anyone of them could have been a terrorist, secretly brought in, and wanting to create mayhem.

    Even when a man from Grenada was found living in the forests of Trinidad where he had apparently been for years, Panday and Company, the knuckleheads, wanted the government to grant him immediate citizenship.

    These situations make me afriad, not for what my people may do, but for what they may fail to report. This i s not a time for being kind to strangers that appear at your gate, they may not be what they seem. This is not the time for Immigration to grant on the spot work permits for people who get off flights from the USA and Britain, as I have seen them do on many of my trips home, after someone rushes up with a handful of papers. This is the time to ask hard-headed questions, and if in doubt, delay and deport. In 2000, I was entering Canada from the USA. I had dropped my married name, and resumed my maiden name which I put on all documents. My passport had the hyphenated name. I was pulled out of the line and thoroughly questioned. This was a border that I had driven through many, many times before, but the times had changed. This was pre-9/11.

    An abundance of caution would keep everyone safe, but every Trini, pro-government, opposition , whatever, dont- give a damn, needs to understand that our safety and security depends on our being alert, and willing to be the eyes of the law if we see something that does not add up.

    A determined mischief maker could come ashore in Pt. Galeota, and make his/her way to the places he/she wants to get to.

    The fact that two college students from the USA, left Tobago, entered Trinidad and stayed there for a week, until the US Embassy and the college of one of them declared her missing, shows how it could be done, and could be a dry run for something else. How did they get to Trinidad, by boat?air? They had overstaayed their visit, and none of the authorities knew of it. Be warned.

  • Yankee college kids overstaying in dangerous T&T ,what youthful risks ,and travesty! Don’t they read the news or follow the commentaries of some of our negative country bashers ?
    Seriously, I agree that security needs to be given a greater priority in our neck of the wood. Trinidad and Tobago must also eradicate this 365 day per year carnival mentality when it comes to pressing matters that affects the welfare of our twin republic.
    In addition most of the power brokers and leaders, have this overwhelming yearning to be all things for everyone outside our borders, often to the determents of nationals.
    Our soft immigration policies are legendary across the Caribbean from Guyana and Venezuela in the south , all the way up the Eastern Caribbean, and as European economies deteriorate , don’t be surprise to see the long lines at our immigrations checkpoints by once powerful EU members to crash in on the sweet T&T party .
    Care to do a survey amongst a random 1.2 of the 1.3 million of our present population and see how many had an immigrant parent? What might be even more shocking is the fact that many came here through questionable means , or have overstayed in similar fashion to the two young Yankee ladies. As an optimist I have hope that we’ll soon get it right first by eliminating the blimp, destroying the imported security play book, and sending the overpaid ineffective, overpaid ,Scotland Yard Police watch hounds back to the British kennel that they belong, since too many containers are still entering our ports without proper inspections, phony Bajan fishermen com oil spies are creating havoc in Tobago .
    No Neal ,loose your cynicism as to why Guyanese since 86 to become the fastest rising demographics in our country, as well as the once famous Kapalanies stores were allowed to have an entire staff of what looked like over 5000 yearly to be imported to work without even the slightest local protestation .

  • Whose idea of democracy is Trinidad and Tobago operating under when the Prime Minister makes request of unionists and others to tone down protest? Then again, Trinidad and Tobago is a Western Country molded in Catholicism. It is clear that a request to silent a persons right to protest is hypocrisy and yet another smudge against democracy. We have had a good discussion about,”The Catholic Church and the Underdevelopment of Africa”. Connect the dots and it won’t be difficult to understand the complexities of freedom where not one individual is free. Some are bound to church and other to state. Most are bound to both allowing them to be puppets for governments, church and big business. Anyway, it is shameful what the Prime Minister has done. Does he have any backbone? The Prime Minister should know that to make the Country look good is mainly his responsibility. Telling the people not to exercise their human right doesn’t make the country look good. People around the world want to know if Trinidad and Tobago have a conscious not how well they can smile, drink, dance, and otherwise play the carnival fool all year round. I am outraged by the news of this shameful act of the Prime Minister. If he acts like a slave then what is the place of his constituents in the world? Why should anything or anyone change if he is going to be soft on any issues concerning the people of Trinidad and Tobago? I can see it now as the Prime Minister participates at the summit. “Everything ok mass Obama?” and,”We’s all fine here in TNT sah” may be some of the things the Prime Minister says to the foreign heads of state. He would probably follow those with a statement like,” would any of yawls likes to see us as a colony again?”
    Forget about what you look like TNT and exercise your human right to protest your conditions if you see fit! There is nothing noble about being hungry, beat, battered, underserved, underrepresented, and silent.
    Should Brazil not want to know why there is a U.S-imposed tariff on ethanol from his country? Shouldn’t Manning be researching how Trinidad and Tobago could export sugar based ethanol to the U.S.?
    My point is that words are important. Words that we speak and those that we failed to mention out of a request by someone who may not be representing our best interest are all important. What’s more important as you will find out in this upcoming summit is that unless ALL are held accountable for their words then the base that they stand on is nothing.
    I predict that there weren’t be any fireworks on the street. Some slaves don’t even know that they are slaves. The fireworks inside of the Hyatt will only be for the media. Nothing worth while will be said by Manning. It’s so sad that I chuckle in pain.

  • Cousin Curtis , I can certainly understand your gestures of outrage along with that of the always ‘thoughtfully provocative Mr. Shah.’ To sum it up, Trinidad is on the grand stage during the globally contentious and important period, and we should let democracy reign supreme by allowing opportunist to tarnish our entire image as a bunch of backward Third world idiots ,incapable of ensuring the safety of this august body, or any visitor to our shores .
    Show them all our ugliness, and let them see how divided we are ,as the benefits to us that can accrue from such actions can be tremendous, hmmmm? I’ll tell you what , if this is what it takes to start the process of cleaning up my country, improving infrastructures ,as well as put us on a partway to genuine, sustainable development via partnerships with renown global leaders , and most of all assuming our rightful position as an emerging leader ourselves , then I am all for it.
    I have not hesitated to hit the government and it’s leader when warranted , but I am on record as saying that this conference is a welcome development at this critical stage of the global economic and political game. It’s all about jobs my friend, and events tourism can be shot in the arm we need.Pay close attention to how progressive states such as Tanzania and the UAE are operating. Next up is my much anticipated EPZ ‘S.
    I would encourage our Commissioner and several security forces ( note emphasis ) to do every thing feasible to ensure that it goes smoothly without the slightest hitch- even if it means arresting every Trade Union leader sicnce the death of Butler , political activist ,or political leader, and their entire family and holding them in Carrara jail with only lime tea and stale bread for consumption, not for two days or a week but six months for even contemplating such destructive , distracting foolishness.
    You do subtly profess to be an atheists , and I of course am profound believer in our Black God , Black Jesus, as well as a clear understanding that his chosen people are the long suffering Jewish people of the entire black Diaspora. I am almost certain however that we can agree with the Ecclesiastes 3 :1-8 from our famous King Olauda -Equano- James version Bible, which stated clearly that “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…… a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak.” This clearly is one of them, that even the most backward thinking illiterate high school drop out can recognize, agreed?
    You made an excellent point about the likelihood that T&T (note my emphasis) might be wise to emulate the crafty, innovative Brazilians with respect to researching ethanol as an alternative export product to not only the USA but globally . I agree, for think of the possibilities for our ailing sugar industry, dormant UWI Engineering Department, fast degrading , neglected environment due to over dependence on oil in good old baby America.
    Please answer me this question ,should you not be directing your wrath and energies to the man and his family that had the most influence on the sugar industry since 1973 when he turned down the 1965 Commonwealth Scholarship to study economicS and political science in Delhi -to serve his people at home- and thus in true neocolonialist fashion road the backs of Sugar workers for a successful political career up to present and perhaps long into the foreseeable future? Correct me if I am wrong ,but who do you believe have more sway on the Sugar industry , as well as the slumbering ,greedy , selfish and often corrupt business community ,the Prime Minister Mr Man , or now Scottish Prince and Bengal tiger/ Queen maker – our firebrand Opposition leader?
    Let us the few true remaining patriots make efforts to ‘keep it real,’ shall we? We should therefore continue to keep the media and intellectually dishonest elites focused, hold the conniving , destabilization agent’s hands to the fire, and ensure that all disingenuous , pretensive country haters, and bashers remain at bay.
    Remember my friend ,that love of country is manifested in diverse forms , and this might just be one of them.
    Warm regards.

  • Forgive me Neal, but I’m having a hard time understanding how civil protest against a lame government during this summit would tarnish the entire image of Trinidad and Tobago. How does standing up for workers and workers rights amongst other issues facing the people of TNT imply that the country consists entirely of backward Third World idiots? Where the Patriots during the U.S. Revolutionary War a bunch of Third World idiots? Well perhaps that’s a bad example. What about those that protested governments’ world wide in the sixties and seventies? Perhaps those that protested apartheid were idiots? When will the fear of remaining the same out way the consequence of change? There can be protest without safety for foreigners being sacrificed can there not?
    What do you think that these leaders will see upon arrival? The Prime Minister is afraid to show them the ugliness of Trinidad and Tobago? Perhaps if he cleaned up the filth, he wouldn’t have to try to hide it or cover it up. Does TNT lack the resources to do so? I think not if the government had their priorities in order. Maybe luxury cars, new mansions, government contracts distributed on the basis of kickbacks, and other backroom dealings are the real perpetrators government corruptness or ugliness that threatens to smudge the country.
    I think it would be terrible to not allow people to protest peacefully. Does Manning think he is Mobutu Sese Seko? This summit is not the equivalent to the famed boxing event,” The Rumble in the Jungle” where suspected potential threats were detained for the duration of the event in cells beneath stadium seating. Perhaps Manning is subtly informing us that TNT is a kleptocracy. Then again with bailouts being granted for the rich while home foreclosures and jobless rates climb in the U.S., perhaps the Obama administration will be synonymous with kleptocracy in the West.
    Sweeping the dirt under the carpet doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist.
    I am neither an atheist nor an infidel. I subscribe to the word of God and not that of James or Corrupt English and Roman nobles. Perhaps I am an educated Lollard. You quote Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 and I respond that the time for justice is always now. What do you say of Isaiah 32: 1-8?
    We cannot go backward except to learn from our mistakes. Our leaders need humility to make tomorrows decisions concerning our welfare and future. I believe the Prime Minister has a great opportunity to reinvent TNT or at least start the process of evolution for the future of the nation. He has to think out of the box and remove himself from all of the pretentious posturing and formalities that no one really cares about anymore. Strange how someone can work so hard to impress the likes of imperfect men, but do little to impress his higher power.
    Peaceful protest would not destabilize a crumbling country. Just because the PM had the Hyatt refurbished doesn’t mean that it’s not in a nation without problems, concerns or smudges. It’s comical that some leaders believe that not being transparent and true to the issues is the same as dealing with them. To Manning if the dirt is hidden then it doesn’t exist. Is it time for a reality check?

  • “Trinidad and Tobago is a Western country molded in Catholicism.” I believe this statement was used to explain the unseemly conduct of Manning as he trries to be the stage manager of the theater to be known as the Summit of the Americas.

    Manning’s behavior is quite consistent with his pronouncement that he recently visited several Latin American nations on a “peace keeping mission of diplomacy.” With good reason, President Chavez of Venezuela treated him as a trespasser and told him to get lost!

    Like his own re-election, Manning is a master of manipulation and smoke and mirrors. He wants proper decorum, best etiquette and good manners from those whose exploitation and suffering he refuses to even acknowledge in TNT. That would be the workers and the poor. You must behave yourself so that Manning could look like a shining star in the eyes of the people he mistakenly considers his peers. Thus, he would use whatever means necessary to hide the poor and the homeless and create the big lie impression that TNT is indeed a paradise where all is in order because we have solved our social and economic problems. ” Look, Mr. Obama we ent hav no poor people here, nah man!”

    With all of the so-called “brains” in the labor unions in TNT, not one of them have the sense to organize the most massive protest and demonstration to coincide with this Summit, if for nothing else for the world to be made aware that the host government’s hands are unclean. The intolerable crime situation Manning and his bunch of incompetents refuse to address, the bailout of big companies overnight but “negotiating” with labor for two years or more over wage and benefit increases that would not significantly improve the quality of life for themselves and their families, are examples of why labor and the masses of TNT citizens should be flooding the streets of Port of Spain from the beginning to the end of this Summit!

    I also cannot believe that Labor “leaders” are so naive as to fall for the “if you behave yourself, we’ll fix up after the Summit” trickery.

    TNT is a western country molded in capitalism, to the point where even the leadership of the working classes cannot break free from the ideological forces that detract it from formulating a winning strategy!

  • Curtis, if you continue to make comments like the ones above , I am going to take you seriously at your word of being green behind the ears ,naïve ,impressionable kid that you strives so hard to portray , perhaps like the future Opposition leader ,MP Mickela Panday. Tell you what, with all that Daddy Bas spent for her prestigious British legal education, I won’t presently trust her to keep me away from becoming somebody’s wife in one of our many prisons, if I was an unfortunate ,desperate, Chickland pick pocket degenerate arrested by one of our many, extremely hardworking, and dedicated T&T Police officers.
    You confuse me at time Curtis. Are you a thoughtful ,progressive ,mature, visionary caring individual, or highly deficient without the faculty to fill out a undergraduate college admission application? Correct me if I am wrong , but I am beginning to suspect- as I am certain the astute amongst us are as well -, that you are simply one of our budding country haters that just recently escaped the rigors of the Freeport or Barrackpore High School system , and is displaying some of the typical ungratefulness that’s favored by many of our more established and often confused , self loathing citizens.
    Tell me how our Commissioner , or any Security head can risk having protestors parading in close proximity to a high level political continent and risk the unthinkable in a country that even a 15 year old can clearly understand is a likely soft target for a tin pan terrorist nut?
    Let me reiterate a point here so as to counteract one of yours. I do not log on to read blogs so as “to learn something.” I am in the business of imparting knowledge ,wisdom ,and understanding of existing global realities particularly as it relates to the authentic social , political ,and economic development of my beloved country . I prefer to shine a light in the dark corners that are often neglected by the main stream media. I would do everything feasible to expose any national phony that attempts to distort the historical facts , because it serves to further narrow personal interest – of a domestic or foreign nature. I would not hesitate to poke holes into the allegedly stellar characters of your lofty heroes if that’s what it takes to open your eyes and the numerous similar herd like, tribal followers , and why? Too much is at stake here, and everyone -even those with the local balata fruit in their heads for brains- knows that the way forward is coalesce our common interest and stop the stupid finger pointing, for to do otherwise would allow a single party to dominate the political landscape long into the 21st century- and that’s what bad for our democracy and by extension, national development.
    If the Admission officer of the Community College you are presently applying, assisted you to the point where your application is accepted, don’t forget to add a few social science electives to your eventual Business Management, computer technology, or biology major down the road. You need to widen your horizon my young ,naïve friend. Patriotic US Revolutionaries ? So you fell for that too huh. Washington, John Adams, Hamilton ,Ben Franklyn ,Jefferson and company were traitors son, by any modern definition. If as I sense that you want that for your country, then tell cousin Bas and the conniving religious freaks , and business backers to try it again since Abu Backer is still alive and ranting with his fifty wives on his Maraval Hill mansion . Are you however willing to render help to them if called , or as I fervently believe ,prefers to stay safe on campus of the Saskatchewan Community College enclave, and spew tour usual over the top gibberish?
    It is you and your lot that tried to pull the wool over the eyes of foreign leaders with faulty refugee and genocide claims that were proffered to achieve your carpet bagging, escapist goals. We see the result of such tomfooleries in Canada , and now Britain , as they’ve tighten up their immigration requirements for every Trini now wishing to enter their country even visit a relative for a wedding.
    So your country is comparable to Apartheid South Africa? You are getting even more pathetic by the moment son. My admonitions to you from henceforth is to leave the adult affairs ,discussion alone, as you are better served to sticking to face books or one of the numerous social networking sites favored by the adolescent amongst us to discuss what outfit the visiting R&B crooner Neyo, will be wearing in his upcoming concerts to ‘desperate locals.’ I have a country and people to save. You in contrast prefers to throw the baby out with the water, along with moms umbilical cord , as well as the parent’s respective sperms and eggs. Good luck son. This is where we part company, as country building cannot depend on childish illogical reasoning. Did someone say that civil protes in a democracy was unwarranted?
    Seriously, where are the young or even old patriotic progressives , I am sure if you poll the naïve , pimple face Curtis about what he views as indicative of astute global political stewardship, he’ll point to the millionaire clown in Italy Silvio Berlusconi as a prime example. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6iINnQ_frOs&feature=player_embedded

  • Curtis, I found that you made a lot of sense in opposing the attempts by Manning and his leaders and backers to stifle protest and dissent, while putting on a smoke and mirrors show for the world.

    In every major meeting of heads of states in the world, there are demonstrations concerning every type of issue conceivable. The environment, global warming, abortion, right to life, human rights, political prisoners, genocide, racism, and the list goes on. Smart organizers realize that with media from all over the globe present, this presents an unique opportunity to publicize your cause and bring attention to your plight. Only people from TNT, who have this obedience to massa complex, would listen to this type of nonsense even when their own constitution empowers them with the right of free speech and to association for political reasons. Here is Manning unilaterally–dictatorially–suspending the constitution and only a few voices, like yours and mine, being raised in defiance!

    I disagree with you strongly, however, on your suggestion that Manning could shed his class essence and become a force for positive or decisive change in TNT. Even his own history provides no basis for such optimism. Furthermore, it is not the hero, not the personality, but the people who are the architects of their own destiny. The type of society TNT hoped for has to be shaped by the people themselves because Manning and his party, like Panday and his, do not serve the interests of the people of TNT. They are servants of transnationals, big oil, banks, natural gas, CLICO, millionaires–both at home and abroad. Don’t be fooled by the election rhetoric when they must disguise their true and only interests and speak in populist language to get votes. This is their definition of democracy–the right to elect one of them by participating in a sham that has produced no substantive benefits–decent quality of life and improved standard of living– to the overwhelming majority of the electorate.

    I guess people who have been fed a steady diet of “wave yuh flag and wine on something” are only looking forward to the next fete to take ah jump!

  • I, I, I, is all that I just read. Neal what makes you believe that you are any more intelligent than anyone else? I post my opinion and you post yours. Why is the summit being held In Trinidad and Tobago have if not all points of view are welcome and validated? Why can’t the government allow protest in opposition of the government? Wouldn’t that be a clear indicator of the world that a person has freedom of speech in TNT?
    It probably would and we cannot have that now can we? After all, there is punishment for saying some words, but indecent exposure by urinating on someone’s wall is something much more tolerable and prestigious. Who are you to question my love for TNT when it is clear that you would rather deny people rights if you can look good in doing so? If anything, you are embarrassed and hate your country and as a result don’t want to show the world the real TNT. Obama and others aren’t coming to TNT for vacation. They are coming for business and it’s time that TNT gets down to business instead of playing dress up for the international media. I thought that the summit was going to consist of adults discussing real issues. There is no reason why they should be in character portraying a false reality.
    Yes, I learn from other individuals’ points of view when I read their comments. I don’t pretend to know it all. If something doesn’t make sense to me, I try not to dismiss it as irrelevant or not having bearing on the topic at hand.
    I’ve got news for you. As a matter of fact have a seat and brace yourself for this newsflash. It is not the opposition to government corruptness and bad business transactions that are the threat to national development, but rather the corrupt people who lead the country in politics and business. The people who appose the current conditions of TNT are the ones who care about TNT. Those that sit back quietly sipping tea with white wigs on every time a foreign dignitary visits the shores are part of the problem. Without opposition an outsider wouldn’t know that there were any problems. Then again, who does manning think that he is kidding. There are probably more Trini’s in New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington D.C., and Miami then there are in Trinidad and Tobago. I’m sure of it. Obama knows that they haven’t been fleeing TNT because it’s the idea democracy in the world with a plethora of valuable resources adorning the homes of the Arouca, Sangre Grande, San Fernando, Siparia, Toco, Moruga Chaguanas, and POS etc….
    Your paranoia would be considered humorous if you weren’t serious. I’m not aligned with any extremist organization. What is so “over the top” about peaceful demonstrations? Please enlighten us Neal. Why is it so important for you to classify me?
    You have a country to save? What are you going to do to save your beloved country? Neither they nor you are welcome to speak in opposition of corruption when it comes to the countries leaders.
    I must be making sense to have had you attack me. You’re so extreme and irrational I cannot believe that you are still tolerated on this board.

    I am happy that Triniabroad understood what I was stating about the audacity of Meanings “request” that there be no protest. It seems that anyone could understand that even if their education only came from the “idiot box”.
    We will agree to disagree on Manning and his role. What he can do and what he will do are two different things.
    What do they say about playing the carnival fool year round?

  • Curtis when you or any of the gutless country haters decides to brave the cold and protest personal domestic affairs for the benefit of President Obama or any foreign dignitary on a visit to Parliament Hill Ottawa , as the wonderful Canadians Mounties allow or tolerate any such tomfooleries , then you can contact m again with your senseless , almost childish diatribe.
    You as I recalled was the same clown that dismissed the 1990 Pseudo Muslim assault on our nation’s democracy as a mere aberration that perhaps was warranted. -when your PM in waiting, and legal adviser were conveniently out of Parliament . You were the same one along with others of similar ilk that cries every day like sexually lascivious 4 legged cats in the night over runaway crimes in the country , but lack the intelligence to see a correlation between such actions and its eventual legal result, with the present state of affairs. You cringe each time we attempt to prosecute or jail a white color miscreant, but want to castrate , and jail for life an unfortunate thug that often are being encouraged by local greedy degenerates with too much money to spare ,but fixated with the need to read Daddy’s will long before he passes .

    Curtis , I have placed all the energy I possibly can on you and have given up . A senior person I can forgive, as many are set in their ways. You are young however and full of potential . Hopefully ,after your freshman forays at the Saskatchewan Community college, you might just be ready to address matters of grave concern to development of your country.
    Here it is you dismissed the government for not allowing opportunistic Trade Union leaders to have their way so as to enhance democracy- as you many phonies describe it , yet you are demanding that the astute blogging administrators censor yours truly, because I I had the gall to extend a slight humorous rap to your knuckles as it were. How pathetic! Ah Neal , why play with pups like Curtis , then become surprise when his numerous fleas begin to bite you ,eh?
    Listen son , you are way out of your league on this one.My advice therefore to you is to pay attention and appreciate the interplay and quite confidence of a real patriot whose sole task it is to try and elevate the entire 1.3 million or more of his fellow loving citizen where possible .

  • Neal, what are you talking about now? I understand that you may be frustrated because the reality that your opinion is not the only opinion that has relevance. There is no need for the insults and empty accusations. It’s actually slanderous and shouldn’t be tolerated on this board. Anyone who reads what I’ve stated can decide for themselves how they feel. Unlike you I don’t have the need to have control over everything including righteousness. I (unlike you) accept that I’m not perfect and have an opinion that is only an opinion. As the old television commercial states,” There ain’t no bugs on me, there ain’t no bugs on me, there may be bugs on some of you mugs there ain’t no bugs on me”. In other words my spoiled, immature friend, I’m rubber and your glue…etc.
    Accolades and achievements mean little to me. Many of us have learned that there have been many well educated leaders with subpar intellect. Apparently you fear my intelligence. Why else would you be so inquisitive about my educational level? This board is not about me nor is it about you. Only a person who can no longer contribute to the topic at hand would resort to name calling and false accusations. I ask this forum, who is the adult?
    If your were a real patriot then you would want to silence the voice of the people in order to masquerade with foreign dignitaries and maybe later neal and orally please them. A patriot would not allow a select few ruin his/her country by their inability to perform the duties that they were elected to perform. True Patriots don’t silence justice because corrupt leaders are watching. What kind of patriot are you? With patriots like you, TNT needs no adversaries. I am in no need of your advice. I’m not certain that it is you who are not out of your league. You seem to comment on every subject. Is it me or does Kneel know it all? Empty vessels make the most noise. Please remember that. One would think that by now that would be tattooed across your chest.

  • Certainly, this will not be the formula for “elevating” the 1.3 million loving citizens of TNT! This is the Manning/transnational corporations approach also, namely, that if we stifle protest, beat our chests to demonstrate who holds the power, grandstand and threaten force, then all will be well. Societies that have adopted this prescription are either already in the dump heap of history or are along the path to get there.

    Open dialogue and citizen input on critical decisions affecting people’s lives cultivate the spirit of patriotism and love for country. A leader cannot resort to threats and force everytime he believes he cannot have his way. Panday is cut from this same cloth and that’s why neither he nor Manning are fit for leading TNT in this day and time. “Strongman” and dictatorial tactics are outmoded in these enlightened days. To cling to these is to court an imminent crisis. What true patriot would support the suppresion of ideas and oppose a genuine yearning of the people to break the yolk that continues to bind them to colonialism and imperialism? Unless, of course, one has the same class interests as those who are exploiting and impoverishing the masses of TNT. Then and only then it becomes clear why it is necessary to enlist the army and police to quell demonstrations and to see protest as “showing up Manning.” Some have even gone so far as to suggest that this would be insulting to Obama, a man whose election was secured, despite his change rhetoric, because he understands his role in support of the US push to control world finances and critical resources wherever these exist on the globe. Manning is his junior partner in this endeavor.

    And when your position is shown to be untenable, become insulting and demeaning. This is the most convincing evidence of immature thinking.

  • Don’t blame me as Sylvester Stallone aka Rambo once said , ” I didn’t draw first blood,” Curtis. You lacked any form of credibility in my estimation when you dismissed Baker’s 1990 debacle as just another day in paradise , and conveniently claimed to forget about it ,but feel that your ‘PM in waiting cousin P ,’ and his so called arch nemesis Uncle M, were justified to never seek a establish a Commission of Enquiry to investigate what transpired in the conspiracy involving some Parliamentarians, ex President, wider business community, pseudo religious elites, and unreformed criminal thugs . Do you believe that there is a democracy any where in the world where this would be done, and the criminals allowed to get away with it ? The idiot that shot Ronald Reagan is still rotting in jail today. Our ex President is still walking around with a limp , and you and other clowns still have that impish grin on your faces and silently and often loudly wished that he was shot in the chest.
    So you want to be saved by our blogging administrators , and why? Do you seriously think that putting impediments in my way via blogging censorships , is going to silence me from trying to halt revisionism and other distortions from the likes of you ?
    At least I can give the slick Triniaboard a few points for understanding that his former PM shares 50 % of the blame for the social , economic and political quagmire we are in. Your intransigence is one of the prime reason why I firmly believe that your GPA would remain way under the minimum that would allow you remain a student in the Saskatchewan Community College.
    Seriously my young naïve friend. It should be absolutely clear by now that I am just having some light hearted Trini fun at your expense in keeping with that wonderful culture of ours. Oh yes ! You won’t know about that, as you are now a well established and adjusted Canadian . Yea right! I want to try and have a curry duck lime in the White House since Michelle Obama and myself are first cousins and her husband just made history.
    Listen son, this is not about you one bit. You are simply a useful conduit / prop to aid me in making my point. Absolutely nothing that happens in this blessed land can affect me our you in any form or fashion , but nevertheless we caring, and so there is hope as we continue to remain engaged .
    Your problem however is that you do not know your limitations. I am on record – as can be attested by some of my subtle changes and acknowledgements – to give credit, or change my opinions when its due to others where warranted once overwhelmed by different logic.
    Perhaps it’s the ex Cop in me , but I just take such sadistic pleasure in doing everything possible in infiltrating the psyche of any phony elites that care little about their country, but would kiss the ground of foreign benefactors while pretending to also despise them.
    Join me in honest debates , and you and Triniaboard might get a chance to one day be also defined as true patriots. Continue along the current partway , and you both might also obtain world recognitions and in the end, only choose to give praise to your ancestral homeland, while ignoring the country that gave you your embryonic education , and identity. Know any such global national ingrates ? I am sure that you’ll forget about him. Triniaboard care to help? Frauds! By the way is Thai more democratic today, or on the road to economic advancement tomorrow due to this senseless political folly. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7994465.stm
    http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSTRE53A06H20090411?sp=true

  • Some think of protest as nonviolent peaceful demonstrations. Others think of them as they happened in Thailand. Would Thai nationals be the majority of protesters in Trinidad during the summit of the Americas? Why would anyone think that what happened in Thailand is going to happen in Trinidad? I would think that we would rather see if they could be effective at all rather than grant them instant successes without even letting them happen. The fact that they are denied brings interest and curiosity about what the PM could be hiding.

  • A friend of mine that lived in the USA for some 18 years, once remarked that he nearly got a heart attack in shock after the fist week in the country from Trinidad after he saw a blond hair , blue eyed man eating garbage from a dustbin and then retiring under two loose pieces of boxes on the ground for the night- because he was fearful for his life ,and refused to sleep in a homeless shelter . So skilled Yankee media executives that they have two CNN for example, one for domestic consumption ,and another for the outside. Recently Dan Rather , a world renown television anchor and media veteran , was unceremoniously fired for daring to report an unflattering story during the height of the current Iraqi war on terror ,about George W. Bush during his youthful, coke snorting days in Texas- or rather stellar performances as a pilot with the National Guard. That’s how the world’s greatest democracy consistently protects it’s image, and hence the reason why folks around the globe- including sweet T&T – aka Rainbow country -are lining up daily outside her various Embassies with a view to entering that country as opposed to Russia, China, India ,Iran, South Africa , Israel , and similar noteworthy democracies. Pick your poison . I like to defer to folks on this board that knows what they are talking about occasionally, be it Education from Ms. L, Heru and Prof. K. Natambu on the African Diaspora, an occasional objective Stephen Kangal on diplomacy, and generally , our Wise Uncle Shah on most matters – as he has ‘been there done that,”so to speak , and owes no allegiance to anyone.

    As something of a security expert myself with some 28 years experience, I do know that you have an obligation to ensure the full safety of visiting dignitaries to your country , not only because it is expected , but the eyes of the entire world will be focused on our Twin Republic at this moment. I am already on record as saying what I would do to preserve our tenuous image as an emerging nation laden with human potential ,and natural resources, that’s attempting to find a niche in this convoluted global village where conglomerates rule , and the ‘political food chain rules applies- if you are capable of deciphering the analogy . (Big fishes will forever eat the small ones , unless they are savvy and useful-hmmmm?)
    I would personally lead the hunt to flush out and arrest anyone that does not have our national interest at heart and feels that the next 363 days in the year are insufficient for them to protest about their economic plight. The Chinese recently had one of the greatest Olympics ever, as foreigners were treated to foo young kanip and steam mushrooms , as opposed to bake Cats and Bar-B- Q Dogs for lunch as instructed by the authorities. All dissidents knew their respective place was to toe the line or receive a bullet to the back of the head. Need we say absent Tinananmen Square protestations ?
    When you visit South Africa’s World Cup to see our Soca Boys play soon , you would not know that poverty still exist, ghettos are the fastest rising industry amongst Urban black poor, Aids is rampant, and ungrateful former Apartheid criminals , and their Asian colored friends ,are sill controlling the entire country at the expense of suffering black folks who mistakenly believe that they are in charge.
    Again this is what folks that care about their country are prepared to endure , and it matters not which interpretation of democracy we are more fond of- Mao’s, Castro’s, Jefferson’s , Linen’s , or Aristotle.
    I believe that this subject has been exhausted to it’s hilt cousin Curtis, and you should give it a rest. Time to work with me and other progressives across the nation to help elevate your underachieving country to the level it deserves . Stop allowing yourself be duped by political dinosaurs, and London School of Economic losers , without a clue as to new world realities.
    Do you know why a skinny half white kid from Hawaii with a black wife , and a funny sounding name is measuring the White house drapes ,and not a 75 year old opportunistic ,warmongering, millionaire , or the second half of an Arkansas political dynasty? One understood that the world had changed , and the other did not. Are you not happy that the upstart Bajans or maniacally jealous Jamaican Yardees , are not helping to set the tone for cousin O Caribbean political initiatives? Perhaps not , you future Math s and Computer majors, can be a bit slow when it comes to subtle social and political realities. Just kidding. Lighten up , my friend, and put away your gun that’s pointed at me . Are you really a Trini, or do you have Jamaican blood running through your veins?

  • I just believe that we should have an understanding on what we are commenting on. Zhongguo (China) last I checked was not a democracy. Does the same go for Trinidad now? Why can’t the TNT government keep foreign dignitaries safe if protest were allowed? Your argument was never that TNT was incapable of such security measures only that it was (in your opinion) rightfully intolerant.
    If Trinidad and Tobago is incapable of protecting foreign dignitaries then that’s one thing. However if the Prime minister just wants to sweep his dirt under the rug so that his superior guest don’t see it, well that’s another thing.
    Injustice can never be justice. It doesn’t matter who represents the force behind either of the two. Right is right and wrong is wrong I tellin ya!

  • Curtis you give the Prime Minister too much credit when it comes to this security issue. It is not his decision to prevent protesters from marching when and where they want to , but the Commissioner of police perhaps in consultation , or coordination with other high level security officials . This basic logistical matter, is twisted by the king opportunist and his cultish followers into a political football of some Prime Ministerial intolerance . How Ludicrous! In like manner , Cousin Obama with all his power cannot even decide which brand of Blackberry he uses ,Church he attends, who can spend the night in the White House , or the route he takes to his basketball pickup game ,unless the Secret Service vet and gives the green light. Don’t you understand this?
    You wasted an entire sentence telling us that China was not a democracy , but do you think that India is ? If so, then tell that to the 100 million Muslims left out of power since Independence ,and the millions of low cast in that country that watch daily precious resources wasted to wage foolish , unrequited .nuclear arms races with confused ethnic neighbor Pakistan ,while they remain immersed in drastic poverty and told it’s because of their previous Karma.
    I know what you want for Trinidad , but please note , it would never , ever happen again. The abused , progressive people that enabled 1995 to occur are going to ensure that a certain 75 year old vindictive fellow and his clan, never get the chance again to utter the words “ It is now our time.” Our legal system will do everything feasible to prevent him from seeing his next grand child born in Scotland , London, or locally in Oropouche -if Mickela one day decides to go that route- as he would be spending the next 10 to 15 years in jail for his crooked corruption follies while in office.
    As for democracy , and tolerance? I dare you -or anyone else on this board with the courage- to find another country on the globe that is as democratic as mine to the point where a religious thug like Abu Backer would be alive today , along with his numerous co conspirators ,after what they subjected my nation to in 1990? I do not care if you were a poor snotty nose kid running around the streets of Barrackpore in short pants ,and so did not know what transpire back then. Do some research, as you seem to quote and like Stalin, Mao, and revolutionary Castro so much , and likewise was not around when any hit the grand stage.
    Once more , it is not that our wonderful but overwhelmed security forces are incapable of protecting dignitaries , but that the task becomes more challenging with closet politician Trade Union leaders trying to make a fool of themselves for these two important days in our country’s history.
    I am tired of you son, and is about to place a call to the Saskatchewan Community College to tell them to renege on their tentative offer to you of an education at their school. Your repeated simplistic logic and intransigence on this basic , issue proves once and for all, that you are best suited to get into one of the low cast technical fields where perhaps your ‘gray matters’ would not be so taxed. Am I right, or am I right?
    Warm regards.
    De voice of reason.

  • You are wrong again, Neal. Manning and Panday are 100% responsible for their lack of patriotism, which is responsible for the plight of TNT citizens to this day. They are part of a continuum which dates back to colonial times. These are the people–“our leaders”–who have turned over our resources to foreign control while taking pittance in the form of bribes and kickbacks for their “service.” Manning, like Panday, is well within the tradition of placing foreign banks, financial oligarchies, mega oil conglomerates, natural gas magnates, and their shareholders in New York, London, Amsterdam, Frankfort, etc. above the interests of Trinbagonians.

    This is the same attitude that has dictated their fiat concerning the Fifth Summit of the Americas. Know your place! Foreigners come first! You are neither to be seen nor heard! Like little children being sent out to play or to their rooms when adults come over to visit.

    People who elect a government should never tolerate this type of treatment. Thus, Manning and his goons are selling the wolf ticket that these injustices are a small price to be paid for some future benefits that would arrive after the Summit. Challenge anyone to come up with something–anything–of value that another country that hosted this Summit derived from such a role and you would see them “hammana hammana hammana,” like Ralph Kramden on the Honeymooners.

    We need to start thinking, begin recognizing that we have far more in common than we have differences and really get constructive about what we need to do to save TNT from the cycle that is sapping our resources, trapping our youth into a belief of hopelessnes, grinding down the poor with brutal hammmer blows, destroying our culture. All the while laughing on the way to the bank and singing “Trinidad is a paradise!”

  • Contrary to what you believe Triniabroad, our views are almost identical in terms of fingering the culprits for our political gridlock , economic under achievements, and growing social malaise .
    The fundamental question for you and any that claims to care is, how can we move forward if only prepared to throw new wine into old bottles, or is it rather old into old? Is Mickela or her Uncle Subhas the solution for the UNC , as dad would love, or should one have greater hope in his recent rivals Ramesh, Jack , or COP head, Deosaran ?
    With respect to the PNM , most of us already know that Keith Rowley is politically dead, and never stood a chance once Manning ‘put his goat mouth on him.’ His crime was that he has the wrong type of black for a Caribbean leader , and he was born in the wrong island Ward. The only way a Tobagonian will again ever be PM ‘in these Trinidad and Tobago,’ is following a secession.
    Don’t worry however , you folks should keep up these foolish diversionary nonsense, and the unthinkable may happen sooner than you expect. Just note that they’ll be taking 50 percent of the oil and gas that’s rightfully theirs , in addition to retroactive back pay for the 46 or more years of obvious and blatant neglect.
    Just inform the oil gloating , flying fish thieving Bajans,of what is certain to be a new policy. Any of their fisherman caught lurking in Tobagonian waters would be first arrested , then castrated, before being forced to swim back to Bridgetown – naked like they were born- in our Barracuda infested waters.
    To be forewarned is to be forearmed, remember.

  • I immediately realized our common concerns and noted same. I think our major differences stem from the question of what should be done to right the ship and alleviate the suffering and injustices we see taking place.

    I also am unable to generalize to the point of calling all Barbadian people “oil gloating, flying fish thieving” and advocate that fishermen from that country, trying to make a living to support their families, deserve, among other cruelties, to be castrated.

    These types of remarks alert me to the fact that you have focused on “foolish diversionary nonsense,” to quote your words. I think the main issue is, to state the matter simply, how are we to go about breaking the frustration that leads to a psychology of hopelessness that shrouds the masses of TNT? This is the cycle that returns the wolves to power and at times confuses the people to the point where they elect a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    All of the conditions for far-reaching change are present in TNT.The politics and politicians are corrupt. The social pressures are severe and the economic system is a dream come true for the haves and a nightmare for working people and the poor. All of these problems are not even on the legislative agenda. Manning is too busy with his showcase Summit and Panday has lost touch with reality for so long that he is unaware something needs to be done. In any event, neither has the interests of the people as their paramount concern. Both have sold the soul of TNT to the bankers, oil barons, insurance magnates, etc. They worship at the altar of greed and preach from the same chapter and verse about poverty being caused by lack of initiative, etc.

    Is it possible to get people from TNT to begin to think of meaningful change?

  • Triniabroad has it right again.
    As far as Manning and Panday are concerned, neither is good for the job. There needs to be someone new without bias to come in and put plans and ideas to work that will benefit the people from the bottom up. There needs to be a leader that can grow the country from the inside out. They must remember that they are public servants and serve the whole public without bias. Manning is biased in favor of the wealthy and Panday is so resentful that if given the chance he may favor turning Trinidad and Tobago into Guyana.

  • So you think that conniving upstart Bajans should be allowed to fish freely in Tobago waters as they are only trying to make a living? You believe that even in these drug transshipment ,and criminal immigrant relocation , and gun running era , our waters should be a free fall , while citizens are left hungry because of depleting resources.? Of course ,when your Las Lomas , Ecacas, or Mayaro fisherman former drinking buddies ,or Uncle get caught by sadistic Venezuelans ,and are beaten with machetes , raped in squalid prisons ,and have their nets and boats destroyed as well as catch seized , you become outraged and want us to tear up the inter island treaty ,correct? Yes we know you naively believe that the Venezuelans and Bajan’s actions are predicated on their concerns about fish. If so , then you are simply confirming what the rest of the Caribbean and world is fast accepting that Trinidadians are some of the biggest global dummies on the face of the earth- for who else who always put other interest over their own, or allow religious thugs and borderline criminals to attack their country and get away under some stupid guise of adherence to democracy ?
    Very well then, the government is soon about to bring in some Ghanaians, and Guyanese to begin to work our vast sugar and rice paddies so that they can make a living and provide the nation with much needed foods , as our local farmers are too busy abandoning the land so as to open mega stores, drive around in Mercedes Benz ,and run to Canada and Australia. Do you find that intriguing as well? This you see is how I can decipher if someone on this board is real , or merely a fast talking carpet bagging phony . I look to see if he or she can elevate themselves above tribal politics by showing empathy for suffering folks that looks different than them. What, surprise again ? You did not believe that you were deceiving anyone with that sobriquet did you Triniaboard?
    You said, “I think our major differences stem from the question of what should be done to right the ship and alleviate the suffering and injustices we see taking place.”. “Manning is too busy with his showcase Summit and Panday has lost touch with reality for so long that he is unaware something needs to be done.”
    Let me know what you are advocating therefore. Is it that we should go to Pluto and see if we can find citizens that are capable of running our country, or do you want to give the job to Caucasian Canadians or Europeans ? Do you believe that your people is awaiting your educational forays abroad as you perfect your foreign accent ,and acquire your prestigious legal degree, or PhD so that you can return and save them? Williams did and most of his tribe are still living in squalor. Panday did , and his are no better off today even after all is semi socialist rhetorics . His daughter did, but since she foolishly chooses to be a clone of him won’t see much political success either, since this is not South Asia where clueless , misguided , bourgeois daughters inherit power and rule like true British neocolonialist just like their fathers or ex husbands. Need we say India , Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, let’s throw in Aquino’s Philippines for good measure ,and the stupid list goes on.

    Meaningful change? Listen buddy you guys would not recognize meaningful change if it hits you in the face. The politics of division is what you thrive on. So enjoy the ride , and continue to have your blogging fun while spewing empty ideas about change and development. Just try to keep it light , and remember we are not Jamaicans . They are the ones that are so backward that they’ll shoot a political rival because it’s their nature. We in contrast have mastered the art of stair , and nuance commentaries to make our point in the hope that others are at least Primary School graduates, with the ability to comprehend. I however stand corrected.

  • ON SAFETY AND SECURITY:The news is today, that some international protesters were denied entry at Piarco, and sent back home. I hope no others got in. Presidnt Calderon from Mexico, is coming with a price on his head, put there by the drug cartels in his own country. We are to be as vigilant in protecting him as we are in protecting Pres. Obama, (young enough to be my beloved son). There are troublemakers whose lives are about making trouble, and they do not stop at writing, but would go to extremes.

    “Eternal Vigilance Is The Price Of Order” and demonstrating in front of the international media has become so pervasive that any child of five, anywhere with a TV set, outside of China and Thailand, knows how to organize a protest. The point is, to get yourself on TV. Of course it worked for the Mahatma and Martin Luther King, but people coming in from elsewhere to help Trinidadians disrupt the Summit is like all the petty and major crooks from Central and Port-of-Spain east, booking passage to Somalia to join the pirates there.

    For such foolish people, a fate like that of the ones who attacked the MERSK Alabama should be theirs.

  • Neal’s cynicism is brutal and quite frightening. If you are the advocate for a better Trinidad and Tobago, then we may as well leave evrything as is. I know you also have no interest in a better world because you seem to spout such assinine venom on every other nationality. Then, you have the temerity to pretend that you are against “neocolonialism and Europeans,” the same ideology and people who have molded your thinking in their own image. Only a hopeless and enslaved mind would, as casually as you have, defamed Barbadians, Guyanese and Jamaicans under some delusion that you are licensed by your “superior” intellect to stereotype, all the while wallowing in the stench of racism.

    Even more astonishing is your accusation that others are thriving on “the politics of division.” This from the most rabid spokesperson and provocateur in the interest of maintaining the status quo.

    I sense your resentment of those who believe that education is important to the acquisition of knowledge and skills necessary to solve human problems. Once again, your generalizations have blinded you to the fact that the evil lies not with education but with the use to which it is put. Apparently, you have enlisted yours in the support of those who want a divided Caribbean region. See Jamaicans as people who are “backward..and would shoot a political rival because it’s their nature.” Never unite with Barbadians because they are “conniving upstart(s)” who are trying to steal flying fish! Of course, you also believe that none, other than yourself, will be familiar with the various arguments concerning the reasons why Barbados is interested in expanding its territorial waters. Had your Prime Minister been properly educated on this matter, it would not have been taken to binding arbitration. This smells of payola. Some one with an interest in hydrocarbons may have manipulated the outcome. A good hint: See who Barbados has entered into exploratory drilling contracts with and you would discover who paid whom in Trinidad and Tobago.

    No, we won’t have to go to Mars or Pluto to find leaders who are committed to Trinidad and Tobago’s welfare and future and realize that unity has to be strengthened and deepened in the Caribbean region. It should be clear even to the blind that cooperation among states is a trend that is gaining momentum in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Plain common sense should inform you that interdependence is now the norm in international relations for reasons that should be very obvious to you.

    I think I am beginning to better understand why you have problems with analysis and objective reality and prefer instead to propose remedies like an Obeah man.

  • Often times when a person is vexed confused, and bewildered, they tend to lash out against whatever it is that they cannot comprehend. It is primal fear that allows an individual to go on attacking rants after everything has already been explained to them. TNT should have more than two people capable of running the country. European colonialism is only alive in the minds that were molded in that system. It is sad that some people are comfortable and unwilling to break that mold. That is very unfortunate, but we have the present and the future to worry about. In my opinion, a person who cannot understand globalization and where they fit in as a citizen of any given society is lost to despicable personal character defects that resonate from the past such as xenophobia leaving that person mentally paralyzed in a evolving society.

  • Curtis, you are correct again! That’s the word I was looking for.
    “Xenophobia.” How could anyone who claims to be for progress, development, advancement, a brighter future for our nation, etc. have nothing but hatred for people who live just next door to us? Why can’t this person realize that we may have arrived on different slave ships or as indentured cargo but now we share a common challenge and we will either solve our problems together or perish together?

    This narrow persperctive is defined as patriotism. I cannot support or accept this absurd, uneducated, illiterate notion that if we don’t hate all other people of the Caribbean region then we are not genuine in our love for TNT!

    Curtis, I am very confident that you would reap success in your educational pursuits because you are not only thinking and trying to understand. You are also trying to apply what you are learning to the solution of real problems.

  • Thank you Triniabroad for your comments but I must confess. I am not as Neal suggest a Saskatchewan Community College student. He is kind of funny in a sick way.

  • Yes. I understand. He is anti-education and “suspicious” of anyone whom he believes to be educated. I knew you were much further advanced in your thinking than a student at the level of a community college.

  • Triniabroad and Curtis, let me confess that you have my deepest admiration. Your commitment to stay engaged is well noted , and proves that you are both worthy of being considered patriots. I mean this in all sincerity and seriousness. During my short blogging interplay on this forum , I’ll occasionally run into a few characters that would feign interest , while hiding behind pompous rhetoric re their country ,then once you throw a curve ball at them they’ll disappear like thieves in the night.
    There is only one standard I have maintained , and will for the foreseeable future with respect to social and political commentaries. I know very well that our country is underachieving and so do not need to be reminded . Let me first hear your views as to the causes , and that you put fort tangible solutions. Do not resort to revisionism when it comes to domestic historical realities as I do not care who is on the Trinidad cricket team , who won band of the year in 1925 , how much grains of channa are placed in a local doubles ,or if Maracas street vendors are duping buyers into thinking that they are eating bake and shark as opposed to catfish. Talk to me about substantive politics, and social issues that are of importance to my country since 1962, then you have my attention.
    You show love of country not by trying to dupe fellow nationals still living at home that their country is the worst on the globe, and all is grand in a developed country that some of us are fortunate to reside in. I have been living abroad for 19 years , and tries to come home almost every year outside of Carnival. You project patriotism not by trying to ingratiate your self to some foreign entity by putting high praise on his country for short term gains, while those of us in the know are fully aware ,that you are really disgusted and biding your time to return and take your rightful place in your land of birth if the price is right , or the situation becomes more accommodating long before you reach the age of 95. You get full marks if you can look beyond tribe, not by occasionally throwing some softball support for some useless party , race or ethnicity , but through deeper display of empathy and desire to share so as to heal historical wounds and wrongs. Self love for me is not the same as tribal love , India, Pakistan , the African continent, 99% of Latin America , and old pre 1945 Europe had a fondness for that and we saw where that got them .
    “He is kind of funny in a sick way.” I loved this expression so much Curtis , that I could not help laughing each time I read it . Let’s continue to keep it light , as we have that unique Trini blood carousing in our veins. I know Triniadoard does not believe that I am anti education ,so I’ll bypass his swipe here. How can anyone profess to be a law abiding soul and not recognize even without the help of exact statistics ,that perhaps 90 out of 100 of the criminals in prisons today are either high school drop outs or did not complete higher education. It does not however mean that I am not cognizant of the fact that 90 out of 100 of the white color miscreants that are not in prison are more fortunate that they had an education , and the means to afford a good lawyer . I am however prepared to point it out, not as an excuse for blue color degenerates mind you , but to show the merits of creating an even playing field.
    There it is guys . Please know that I love and respect not only you, but all my fellow citizens, as well as our wider Caribbean and global fellows . How can one hate a member of the global village and claim to be a Trinidadian is the heights of stupidity one would think, since we are indeed baby America -the most cosmopolitan and colorful mosaic ever imaginable . Let’s continue to stay engaged , show love for each country , and people.
    PS Please forgive any typos I am on vacation, and running to get to a CUNY Grad Center (NYC )
    round table panel discussion headed by my former Professor and a loving patriotic sister of the soil , Dr. Jacqueline Braveboy- Wagner . It is entitled US- Cuba Relations and the Summit. Her contribution would be Trinidad and Tobago and Summit Expectations. Isn’t this grand fellow nationals ? Here we have opportunistic political dinosaurs professing to be intellectuals debating locally about the negative effects of high cost and low expectations , and outside where it matters , others are trying to build on this useful foundations.
    I tell you Curtis and Trinidad , it is time to examine those horns of some of our leaders . Get on the progressive bandwagon my friends ,figure out while you are at it who the real enemies are. Business as usual cannot be allowed to continue in our country , unless us the vibrant middle class begin to be a force . We have a useful platform in the information highway. Isn’t it time we coalesce our efforts to fight the good cause and educate the sleeping masses? Let me know when you guys are ready , and not merely fixated on the shape of my nose , texture of my hair or hue of my skin. We cannot force our leaders to learn what true political alliances and coalitions are so lets leave that alone , and focus on where we have some sway – the direct social needs of the masses using CIVIL SOCIETY as the catalyst for change and action.
    Warm regards. From your humble voice of reason.

  • Neal and Curtis. I really appreciate the restraint and maturity with which you have tolerated my comments, which have never been intended to be malicious toward any of you gentlemen.

    I feel so much more optimistic about our nation’s future when I read some of the thoughtful comments about our situation. I am also relieved that we are not alone in blieving that TNT’s best has not come and gone but is still ahead. Of course, those who are condoning crime or ignoring it, those who are lining their pockets with “bailout” money—thanks to the conflict-ridden Minister of Finance, who would have beeen made to resign in any other civilized nation on earth—and those who believe that more police and soldiers is the only solution to social and economic problems afflicting the masses of our compatriots, are living in the best of all worlds. They want no change that would disrupt the benefits they now enjoy.

    For these reasons, I always ask myself, in any analysis of the current situation: “Who is benefitting from the problems?” Then the answer provides the insight as to what must be done and the tactics and strategies to be adopted.

    My sincere thanks to you both for these ideas.

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