Caroni Was Never a Drain on the Treasury

By Stephen Kangal
August 20, 2007

CaroniThe Sugar Cane Industry is now proving to be economically viable. But Government will not help the farmers (The Sugar Cane Co-operative) in their current proposals/ collaboration with a French Company because it will show PNM’s foolishness, lack of foresight and politically motivated spite.

The PNM Government finds itself between a rock and a hard place on the revival of the Sugar Cane Industry because they are torn between the imperatives of economics and politics and the latter always takes precedence.

The principal reason given for the closure of Caroni Ltd by the Manning Government in 2003 was that it was a drain on the Treasury to the extent of $200m annually. After closing Caroni and giving their friends all the moving equipment they have now proceeded to the termination of the entire sugar industry by causing the private cane farming community to cease the planting of sugar cane. Sugar was always a problem with the culture of the PNM because they do not understand agriculture and food production.

There are no viable alternatives available to these farmers for the use of their former sugar growing lands. My cousins in Munroe Road do not know what to do with their lands. The unilateral closure of the sugar industry by the PNM must be viewed in a certain context.

It is another example of dictatorial governance by PM Manning. It is in keeping with the silly decision to bring 3 aluminum smelters against the wishes of the people, the firing of the CJ prematurely, the proposed $20bn Rapid Rail, the installation of expensive radar in foreign countries like St.Vincent, St. Lucia and Grenada, the non-revenue earning skyscrapers in POS. All these are examples of one-manship- of power play. The feelings of the people can go to hell. PNM is in charge and voter/house padding is the answer.

That is why this foolish Manning Government must be stopped at the next elections. The Congress under Winston Dookeran must be put in its place. Wendy Lue Yuen will revolutionize our agricultural base and feed us from 5 loaves and two fishes.
T&T is a multicultural society. There are ethnic sensitivities that must be respected by all governments. When the Indian Community celebrates Indian Arrival they are in fact celebrating their arrival on the Cane fields of Caroni. The lands of Caroni were an expression of the Hindu concept of Dharti Mai.

That is why the Indian Community stayed in sugar up today. It was not degrading- nor slavery. The cane farmers ( the Cane Farmers Co-operative Society under Ramdeo Ramcharan in association with a French Company) want to rescue the sugar cane industry by making a proposal to Government to buy the St. Madeleine Sugar Factory to convert bagasse into paper and cellulose. The farmers realise that land, labour and capital are the source of sustainable wealth and the prosperity of Trinidad and Tobago.

They know that the earth is Mother Earth- Dharti Mai.

In no part of the world, especially in France would any Government be allowed to put 10,000 sugar workers and 15,000 cane farmers on the bread line without a long and bruising struggle. The PNM can do that because they know that Indians will not rise up and riot to protect their livelihood. That is what Emmanuel Annisette of the SWWTU meant when he threatened Government when they wanted to privatise the port. He said that they the PNM will not be allowed to do at the port what evil they visited on the people of Caroni.

The PM Manning boasts that his best decision was the closure of Caroni. Ten thousand nationals on the roti line is his best decision. Such callousness! The closure of BWIA and the re-employment of the same workers to run Caribbean Airways after paying millions in severance is a good decision also.

The sugar industry was the reason for:

  • Our History, the Politics and the Sociology of T&T
  • The composition of Our Multicultural Society
  • The success of our food manufacturing sector and cheap sugar for households
  • Rural life and development
  • Some measure of food security, agricultural diversification and rural drainage systems
  • The livelihood of over 300,000 people in Central and South Trinidad
  • The Rum and Molasses Industry
  • The rise of the grow- box agricultural vegetable industry from bagasse.

I suggest that all of these factors had to be taken into account and assessed before any decision to close sugar was taken. But no this is the era of PNM intransigence- of PNM insensitivity.

Let us try to quantify what a Government $200 m annual subsidy to Caroni brought to us in T&T and what and more the industry can contribute to T&T again were good sense to prevail again. This is to show the foolishness of the PNM because it is happening every day.

  • It kept 10,000 rural sugar workers and 15,000 cane farmers in gainful and productive employment. Compare this with the $3bn CEPEP/URP budget to finance 5,000 part time mainly urban- suburban employees who paint stones white, build a few drains and sidewalks and finance the gang warfare and the crime pandemic. It also creates PNM millionaires.
  • A rural community of over 300,000 was dependent on the operations of the industry for their economic survival
  • The foreign exchange earned by the industry from export sales was US $175 m annually.
  • Recreation grounds and drainage systems were maintained by Caroni Ltd at no cost to the Government.
  • Aerial spaying of canes kept the mosquito infestation at bay and protected farmers’ plantations also from the frog hopper infestation.
  • Government annually took lands from Caroni Ltd that was valued more than their annual subvention of $200m. So that Caroni was no drain on the Treasury. Government paid for electricity, water and telephones from 3 State Enterprises but not for the lands taken from Caroni Ltd. Caroni was a freeco- a feeding trough for land for Government.
  • The success of our rum industry was based on Caroni to the extent that Angostura is today now planting sugar in Barbados on 17,000 acres to get molasses and sugar for their profitable rum and ethanol industry.

What is the position of the sugar cane industry? The Congress policy on creating a future for the sugar cane industry is based on the fact that our petro-resources are wasting assets and we must plan for this decline of the main drivers of the economy today.

At the current period when the T&T Government is closing and conducting the last rites of the sugar industry the following new economic prospects have now surfaced:

  • Farmers can get more than $300.00 per tonne of cane instead of the $210 that they now receive to be diverted for ethanol production.
  • Ethanol consumption as a automobile bio- fuel is on the rise in Western countries and prices are on the rise and not subject to price fluctuations.
  • Bagasse can produce fine printing paper, cellulose etc
  • The rum made directly from the cane juice is superior and of a higher quality than that from distilled from molasses.
  • Sugar is not the main product earner of the sugar cane industry any longer.
  • The cane- tops can support a thriving dairying and livestock industry.
  • The possibilities of the sugar cane industry are enormous given our abundance of arable undulating terrain.

26 Responses to “Caroni Was Never a Drain on the Treasury”


  • I don’t know what nonsense Kangal is talking about here. Didn’t the government hand out so much land to ex-Caroni workers? Sure it took them about 3 years to start handing it out. But what does Kangal expect, they had to first give some land to their supporters like the owner of the amusement park who got and fenced off his plot behind Ramsaran Park before any ex-worker got anything.

    These people got so much money in the VSEP that waiting 3 years or more for land and then even more time before they can start to harvest the land, shouldn’t be a problem for them. If they were stupid enough to spend out the money on rum and roti then they could get a job easily with CEPEP which is expected to grow over the years…a true success story – something Manning said was supposed to be a temporary measure is so successful that it is now going to be expanded. Soon we may start to export painted rocks instead of rum, sugar and all the downstream food products associated with it.

    What does Kangal expect? As Manning rightly put it, they want the government to plant tomatoes? Maybe Manning felt sorry for people like Kangal and other displaced farmers because he changed his mind a few days later and when he said that Mother Earth is the most dependable renewable resource. Manning should not bow to the pressure of these people who lack foresight…the kind of foresight it takes to close down the largest agricultural operation in Trinidad and allow food prices to skyrocket and then create mega-farms in areas where the infrastructure does not exist for farming to bring back food prices down. After all, how can food prices drop if they don’t go up first?

    And please Mr Kangal, don’t come with these pipe-dreams of cars run on ethanol and paper made from bagasse. You’re looking at too much Sci-Fi television. If this was a real option, you think the government would have killed sugar production? We have plenty oil and gas in Trinidad. And as long as there are trees to chop down, there will be paper.

  • Mr. Kangal should acknowledge the following:

    1. Sugar growing depletes the soil faster than food products.
    2. Sugar growing in the Caribbean, was a convenience to Britain, and never was a productive crop for local people but depended on the cheapest labour of marginalized people.
    3. Sugar is native to Cyprus, and was brought to the Caribbean for reason number two.
    4. All dark-skinned people, Africans and Indians are very susceptibleto diabetes, which is directly coonected to sugar.
    5.Alcohol is a major drug of choice for poor and prosperous trinidadians, and is directly connected to carnage on the roads. family violence, child abuse,lost job prroductivity , marriage break-ups, mental retardation in children, and suicide.

    6. It is cheaper to import mollasses from Guyana, anduse our limited land togrow food. Rum is not food. neither is sugar.

    I would suggest that Mr. Kangal add up the costs to the nation, of all the social and medical ills enumerated in items 4 and 5, then restate his position.

    Further, he should visit the emergency ward of the San Fernando hospital on a Friday night, which is slice and dice night, to observe effects on the economy of “Caroni Limited” and its sugar and rum. He should read the papers to further document the cost to the economy, the human cost, especially to the poor.

    Sugar was/is detrimental to the nation, and good riddance to it.

  • Sugar cane originates from somwhere between New Guinea and Indo-China.

  • Some historians opine that sugar cane dates back to 6000 BC in some regions in India.

  • Yahoo.com agrees with you and Riaz. The English are recorded as taking it from Cyprus to the Caribbean,just as they took teak plants, and the mongoose from India to the West Indies.Squash, tomatoes,peppers and potatoes made the reverse journey. we should be growing the indigenous fods of the region, instead of imports that have impoverished our soil. Cassava too, is a native of our part of the world.

  • Anyone rememebr Joe Perez Jr? He tried to diversify Caroni. He was doing a pretty good job at it in my opinion. They intensified Buffalypso production, started fish farms for Talapia and created food crops including rice. The major problem of course was the same that is typical with all government run organization. The people don’t care because their jobs are secure. There were a good amount of people who do not deserve the salaries they collected. They drained the company – they killed Caroni. The present gov’t merely nailed the coffin shut.

    Up to today, there is still no vision for the former Caroni Ltd. Even the land that is sitting idle, a simple solution would be to plant Teak, Mahagony and Cedar trees. Cedar matures in 18 years. Pine takes even less time. Not many people can afford a solid wood kitchen anymore because of the scarcity of wood in Trinidad. Additionally, this would help the environment.

  • And while waiting for Cedar and Teak to mature, the people starve?
    The cedar tree planted on family land in Whitelands, Williamsville to mark my birth, is still not a fully mature tree. The teak that grows in deep Central, on the way to Rio Claro via Tabaquite, grows on the poorest soil.

    Tilapia is a bottom feeder, a fish that feeds on excrement, and so, is an unsuitable food for many. Short term crops that real people eat, bodi, squash, ochroes, dwarf pigeon peas, eggplant, and dasheen in the drains, would be better for two-acre plots in the recent land distribution.

    We have a world famous school of tropical agriculture at UWI, St. Augustine, which needs to move away from research into cocoa, coffee, tobacco and cane, and do some work that will feed the people, and benefit them. Pie in the sky agro-economics never fed anybody.Buffalypso are large, cute muddy semi-cows that no good Hindu should eat. When we plan to feed the people, we have to plan to feed all the people. A model farm could be established on two acres, that will show farmers moving from cane to food crops, what to grow where, and a crop rotation system that matches our seasons. In agricultural education too, we seem to gbe stagnated. The Govrernment Agricultural stations at Centeno and St. joseph, if they are still in existence, could work with Cariri and the School of Tropical Agriculture to solve our food crop problems, as well as health problems. We are dying of excess meateating, while hardly moving. We need to eat differently, more sensibly. co-operation between various state and university groups seems to be the way to grow.

    I hate giving public advice to the Min. of Ag, and UWI’s College of Tropical Ag., but there seems to be a degree of moribundity in those places that need a kick in the backside. I am assured by diverse people that these writings are widely read.

  • Linda, you misunderstood what I wrote. I am talking about the lands that are sitting idle to be planted with trees. Land on the boundaries of fields or some of the acres upon acres of lands that lay idle even when Caroni was in operation. Trees can be planted there and yes, Cedar is ready for felling after 18 years. I don’t know what species of Cedar was planted on your birthday but what we refer to white-cedar takes only 18 years to mature.

    Tilapia is NOT a bottom feeder. It will eat almost anything – in the wild it will eat plants. In the fish farms, they are fed pellets. Even so, why does being a bottom feeder have to have a stigma? We eat Cascadura, Mama-Teta (not sure of the spelling), both sea and river Conch, and catfish, all of them are true bottom feeders. Tilapia are high in protein and a prolific breeder. It has an ideal return ratio per acre.

    Buffalypso are better suited to the humidity and disease in the Tropics. If Hindus don’t eat it, so what? there are still 75% of the population that will. Probably even more – I know a good bit of Hindus who eat beef. Those who don’t want beef, will have rice, vegetables and fruit along with other meats.

    I was only sighting a few examples of what could have been success stories had Caroni had better workers. During the diversification period, they also farmed goats and sheep along with food crops.

  • Tilapia is a fish used to clean fish farms of other fish excrement. Pigs are bottom feeders too, will eat anything, so many people do not eat it, for religious and health reasons.
    Every now and then, a people get a chance to do things right. the Caroni small farms project needs to take cognizance of all the people’s food sensitivities.The nation may not yet be at the point where we test meat products for high levels of antibiotics, but when we get there we may find that animals that feed on the excreta of other animals may have an intolerably high level of chemicals in them. Usually this happens after a lot of people have been affected by it. Usually, that is too late.

  • For the benefit of readers who may be confused. Tilapia is not a bottom feeder – look at the shape of its mouth. It is not used to clean excrement of other fish in fish farms. No farm does that because 1. the Tilapia does not eat excrement when it has the choice of the good food like algae or pellets the other fish eat and 2. they would take over the ponds in a short time because they multiply rapidly. That is why in some farms that breed Tilapia, they put in some predatory fish so that they do not “choke” out one another.

    A pig is not a bottom-feeder. Bottom feeders refer to animals that eat off the beds of water bodies. It DOES NOT mean an animal that eats what comes out of other animals’ bottoms as Linda may think.

    Lots of people read this blog so let us try not to feed them misinformation and make stuff up as we go along.

  • “For the benefit of readers” The tilapia is a fresh water fish, a native of African tropical waters that has been harvested for 4000 years or more.
    Langston University’s Kenneth Williams on tilapia aquaculture”Organic manure…the tilapia will feed often feed directly on these materials. The blue tilapia is an omnivore and will consume a wide variety of food items.”

    Next time the Discovery Channel shows its favorite pieece on hippos in central African streams, notice the tilapia feeding directly on the dung of the hippo. Becasue it nurtures its babies in its mouth, the mouth may have evolved to suit both activities.

    Therefore, my statement that the tilapia is a bottom feeder stands. Mr. Riaz Ali believes that he has a mission to discredit anything I write. Well good luck to him, he failed again, but I admire his continuous attempts.I suppose it keeps him thinking.

    Now, kingfish is my favorite, but in the aftermath of the tsunami, I stopped eating any fish that originated in South Asia. There were too many unrecovered human bodies in those waters.

    Tilapia can be used to clean ponds, including sewer catchment ponds.

    Now, you know.

  • Linda, do not hasten to flatter yourself as you obviously do not know what the term bottom feeder means. I want to give you the benefit and say you use the term loosely, as some do to refer to any animal that would eat off the floor of a water body but I’ve never seen any aquatic pigs. Notice how you yourself used the word “directly” when referring to how the tilapia feed on Hippo dung. A bottom feeder would eat the fresh dung and the dung that was decomposing along with dead plants and animals, and that alone i.e. Nothing else but detritus and debris that, as the name suggests, are on the bottom of the river, lake or sea. What about the tilapia that live in rivers and ponds that do not have hippos nearby? Do the tilapia in farms eat hippopotamus dung? What about when they eat algae near the water surface? Even the professor you quote states that different species of tilapia have different diets.
    The whole point of this thread was that Linda said that tilapia is unsuitable for some because it feeds on excrement. I can assure anyone reading that on fish farms, the farmers use pellets which contain a balance of protein and carbs. When a good food supply is abundant, as on a farm, the tilapia will not resort to picking the bottom of the ponds.

    Linda should stop deluding herself and readers into believing her rash statements are truth. You can call a pig a bottom feeder as much as you want and that will not make it true. Couldn’t help but notice you didn’t attempt to get a professor to back you up on that little gem.

    here’s some links if interested.

    http://ag.arizona.edu/azaqua/ista/reports/nutrition.doc
    http://ag.arizona.edu/azaqua/ista/reports/intro.doc

    in this news articl, another professor distinuishes between bottom feeders and tilapia.

    http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2003/Feb/14/ln/ln01a.html

  • Next time one ah dem criminals kill a fella, they should try throwing him in a pigpen. De police and dem wouln find bones even, except maybe the leg bones. Child of pig farmers from Williamsville. We had cows and horses too.We bin workin lan since 1815. We own land dat.The M.Ed came after. I ent need no professor to tell me bout pigs. My fadder uses to be do one who looked inside de pigs and them after slaughter, to see if de meat good. dey looked at de liver and ting, you know.

  • Pigs are botom feeders by nature, and also in a metaphorical sense. A “bottom feeder” description is given to those who would descend to the lowest level, whether in politics or even just a plain old argument. Jibes about who is on welfare can be defined as bottom feeding, since by implication it piggybacks on Ronald Regans’ stereotyping of African American Mothers during his assault upon social programs in the 8os in the US. But let’s examine the pig in the context of its grouping in the domestic animal population.

    Of all the creatures we rear and eat under domestic licence, the pig and the yard fowl are the most ardent ‘bottom feeders’. They will eat anything, and that really is the distinction. Whether the animal or person will discriminate when it comes to choices of eating the most awful cuisine, or bursting the envelope of protocol when it comes to arguments. An opinion based on generalized experience, however charged, is not ‘bottom feeding’. Potraying black mothers as welfare queens is, because the reality is that the overwhelming majority of women on the welfare rolls have always been white.

    Sometimes you have to take these discussions to places where analogous examples provide more illumination than the placid examinations of so called scholars. For example, the swine is probably regarded as the lowest of all animals by Some Christians, and to American Black Muslims and Rastafarians, Arnold is at the bottom. That alone makes him a “bottom feeder” IMHO.

  • Leave it to Ruel Daniels to bring race into a topic about farming.

  • Leave to Riaz Ali to construe that the understanding of a concept is narrowly confined to what he or she knows about it.

    The term “bottom feeder” is not used solely to identify animals that feed on the excerment of others. It has great political application all over the world. It aply decribes the politics of Ronald Reagan vis a vis the “welfare queen” remarks and courting Southern Conservative votes with “Willie Horton” commercials.

    “Bottom feeding” in a political sense means taking the debate down to the last denomination. Likie Kangal does. Maybe the reason why you have so much problems with this direction is that it hits too close to home for your liking.

    When the other groups in this world learn to accept Africans by the same measure they accept others, I will stop talking about race. When Africans in other countries can experience the freedoms others do in African countries I will cease talking about race. Because about the only time race talk becomes unnerving is when Africans force others to look at themselves. They prefer to hide their iniquities while perpetually pointing, berating and accusing the African of all the ills that are resident in their hearts, all the while keeping their fingers crossed and hoping that he will not respond, “Hey, wait minute, that’s you”!

  • As a former Chief Engineer at Caroni, I know that there were problems with the management of the industry but it can still be a successful industry if revived. What is required is technical input and good management and the industry can be revived paying cane farmers in excess of $300.00/te cane while making special sugars, rum and other high end products from bagasse. There is hope but not with the PNM who will not give the factory to the cane farmers nor underwrite a loan to reap this crop.
    The EU grant for restructuring the industry (over $300M) isn’t being accessed by the PNM gov as they are referring to it as Funeral Grant..True Lenny Saith?

    Manning and his Cabinet is working their way to a good jail after the next UNC win.

    Ram

  • Riaz your an IDIOT! and a racist if they wanted to spend their money on roti and rum then thats their problem having to wait so many years without work and wait for their own money was hard enough so they got land whoopty freakin doo you have to have money in order to use the damm thing your just an IDIOT!!!

  • Dear all,

    The original blog article makes an interesting read and the comments after, albeit amusing at points, showcase the deep political, economical and racial divisions amongst the Trinidadian population I feel.

    When it comes to sugar cane, in many countries it’s primary purpose is to serve as raw material for rum production. Rum consumption is on the rise internationally, and aged rums are gaining unpresidented respect amongst connoisseurs of fine spirits. Apart from the growing mass product market, aged rums also fetch top prices abroad; A bottle of Jamaican Appleton 21yo rum sells for approximately GBP 130 / Bottle whilst old Demerara’s or rare bottlings of Bajan rums sell easily for GBP 150 – 300 / bottle. There’s no reason to presume that aged Trinidadian rums could sell for same sort of sums (actually they do – some have been bottled at Italy and UK for the collectors).

    What of Trinidadian rums then? Angostura is the only big player and well recognized accross the globe these days. As said, Angostura is actually in need of more cane than is currently produced in Trinidad! Caroni (and the Trinidad) COULD have shared a slice of this success, had they wanted. Incidentally modern cane production may cause soil depletion, but I doubt the difference is significant to that caused by modern farming of other crops (all rely heavily on use of pesticides and fertilizers). Most of the rivers of Trinidad are already heavily polluted due to use of weedicides and pesticides, amongst other pollution which largely goes unchecked still as we speak – sad but true.

    But facts remain as they are, Caroni Ltd. was closed and the existing rum stocks received a very dodgy value at first evaluations ordered by the government. The economic losses from the closure and the further mismanagement of the followed situation as well as company’s assets have no doubt caused significant losses, but nobody cared whilst the oil & gas business was there to be focused on. Even the planned public auction of Caroni’s remaining rum stocks turned into a mockery and fiasco. I have to wonder who will finally get the stocks and for what price (and who will pocket the millions of in-between money).

    Trinidad & Tobago of today suffers from a serious brain drain, unpresidented crime situation, and deepening economic distress. The few who make the money in the nation invest less and less of this money to T&T, and the nation keeps slipping towards becoming truly part of the 3rd world. Clearly politics (of race)and feuds between PNM and UNC dictate some decisions more than economic facts, and this can be seen throughout the nation’s socioeconomic culture since independence I feel. As long as cultural divisions run the country’s politics and course, little good can be expected for the benefit of the general population. There is no progress to be seen here sadly I feel – a fact that truly upsets me.

    What about Caroni rum? As is, Caroni lives on in but a few independently bottled rum casks, meant for collectors and aficionados of fine rums in Europe. Some casks were bought by the likes of Bristol Spirits of UK and Luca Gargano (Velier) of Italy and bottled for sale. Once these are gone, the name and rums will be but a memory or a mention in the history books. The rest of the millions of litres of rum from Caroni will be blended into anonymous bulk blended rums of other rum brands. Rum industry will continue to grow, but less of the profits will come to Trinidad, it’s that simple.

    [Incidentally the fact that Caroni was closed is rather unlikely to curb the problem consumption of cheap alcohol by youths and alcoholics in Trinidad, this is wishful thinking. Try boosting the economy of the nation, getting rid of dire poverty and crime, and providing meaningful life to all – you will probably get far better results in curbing alcoholism amongst people who see their country sliding in a downwards spiral.]

  • There is only one major discussion that needs to be made with regard to Caroni now that the sugar industry is considered dead .Who deserve to be given first priority to the choice agricultural real estate, the grand children of the original slave workers that toiled and then were kicked off to the non productive hills and jungles of our country, or solely those of indentured laborers that succeeded them up to present time ?
    Anything short of this is simply spinning top in mud, as far as social and economic development for all peoples. Make the people stake holders, and take a look at the positive fall all. Dignity , pride ,and productivity for all.
    A government’s role is to correct the anomalies of history be it South Africa, Sri Lanka, North America,Brazil,Venezuela, Australia, or Zimbabwe or Fiji.
    The history books are filled with example of dire consequences for many nations that misunderstood this simple truism.

  • Dear Neal,

    Using your own logic of “give the land to whom it most properly belongs to & who has the right of being there first /who suffered most centuries ago”, I think the lands should not go to the Afro-Trinidadians nor to the population of East Indian descent – they should instead actually go to the native Amer-Indian population, their descendants who still exist (despite of the Trinidadian government’s all-time policy of denying their very existence during the times of indepence).

    After all, the Amer-Indians were in Trinidad long before the white Europeans conquered the lands, long before the African slaves were brought, and long before the East Indians were added to the nations’ make.

    As is, the Trinidadian leaders of all races could start taking the lead in right-doing and prove that they have learned from the history of masters and slaves, and are not just set on repeating the wrong-doings of the rulers of past. Sadly since gaining independence, it only too often seems that nothing at all has been learnt from the past and most if not all parties & leaders actually run on a hidden policy of own cultural and racial supremacy.

    As for recognition of native Amer-Indians, it has always seemed that complete denial of existence of any such population group has been found the most effective way to deal with the situation – and of course avoid any consequtive lands-right trials etc. But as you say, “A government’s role is to correct the anomalies of history be it South Africa, Sri Lanka, North America,Brazil,Venezuela, Australia, or Zimbabwe or Fiji.” I say go for it, give recognition to Amer-Indian population of T&T and also give them land-rights: The lands in South around Point Fortin to Moruga could be chosen so that the indigenous people could get some of that oil & gas money, oui? 🙂

    Interestingly, if sugar industry is considered dead in Trinidad, I am wondering why a multinational conglomerate such as LVMH has chosen to start making a agricole-style rum in Trinidad, from local cane? Looks like a small rebellion is still brewing there..

  • Excellent point Mika, but some would argue that to the politically active screamers that vote goes the spoils. Put differently , ‘to the squeaky wheels goes the most oil.’
    Since the 16 remaining Arima parang loving Caribs cannot afford to wait for a political savior to emerge from Oxford , or Harvard to intercede on their behalf , and the last local Human Rights expert we had ,is locked in a power struggle with Mikela for the heart and soul of the UNC , then that leaves us with …?

  • I can see that the government’s “they don’t exist” mantra has been received well. There are far more than 16 people in Trinidad & Tobago with native Amer-Indian blood I believe. Many did move out also, for instance during the 1970’s violent days of the black power movement. Some recided in Canada, USA or even Belize where there are significant amount of mixed and pure Amer-Indian people.

    All I am saying is that raising up the race card continuously and often very one-sidedly (depending on the persons’ own background and ancestry) in this and other matters in a very Trinidadian trait, and that very attitude is what is behind much of what is and will continue to be detrimental to the nation and its progress. It does also pay to be humble and remember that in some ways we are all just “guests” in the countries we live in – others before us have lived, loved and died there. We should all just try see past this “us, us, we, we, me, me” attitude.

  • I will call a spade a spade. Manning just wants to screw the Indo-Trinidadian population. That is simple. If Caroni is draining the treasury, then conduct a reorganization. With the surging economies around the world, there is demand for commodities. Also, money used to import sugar can be used to import something that Trinidad and Tobago is not capable of producing. $200 million annually is nothing compared to the billions the PNM squandered and gave away.

  • what are some issues people struggle with in caroni please answer me i am a student, this is home work it will be appreciated!

  • Thanks for bringing us up to speed on the whereabouts of the 17 Native Amerindians that as you claimed eeee migrated to Canada ,North America, and Belize where their indigenous cousins where the victims of systematic genocide by white land grabbing savages, and the few remaining bunch are relegated to operating failed casinos , while undergoing drunken stupors , police harassment, and modern day discriminations.
    Give it a rest Mika , we recognize by now that you epitomize clearly what it means to be a clear manifestation of self hatred, but it’s time to accept that the only group of people in our country that seriously can be considered to be the victim of real historical injustices , are African people, whose ancestors endured close to 400 years of slavery , as administered by Europeans- with no compensation , when dumped in favor of their more compliant ,South Asian , yes , Indian cousins , in the end.

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