Squatting Dilemma Exposed

By Lara Pickford-Gordon
June 21, 2010 – newsday.co.tt

HouseI think it was Trade and Industry Minister Stephen Cadiz who described the persons illegally squatting on land at Cashew Gardens, Longdenville as behaving as if it was the wild, wild west when they rushed and staked a claim to land.

Indeed many of us will agree that TT has turned into the wild, wild west for quite a long time and what is happening at Cashew Gardens is yet another example of the wanton lawlessness that has taken over the country. As a true Trini they have an excuse for not obeying the rule of law. It is because Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said she planned to regularise squatters. The fact that she was speaking about those persons occupying spots for a number of years is something the new squatters have chosen to ignore.

I have nothing but sympathy for those persons who are languishing for a place of their own but what is occurring at Cashew Gardens and other areas will not turn out good when thuggery, intimidation and violence set in as when people start jostling each other for land they do not own.

The squatters were behaving wrong and strong. Hear the rationale of one squatter, “We have nowhere to live. Since 2003 we taking spots over and over so this year we decided to come back”. The squatter went on to justify her action “not everyone is fortunate to grow up in the laps of luxury” she said.
Full Article : newsday.co.tt

23 Responses to “Squatting Dilemma Exposed”


  • This squatting B.S. has a long history in T’n’T; and it is perpetuated by politicians for expediency; a simple solution to a difficult problem. On my last trip to T’n’T I caught sight of a huge development in Maraval and was amazed when I was told it was a bunch of squatters. Many homes were tetering on the edge of the river banks. Trinidad will have a catastrophe on the scale of what happened in Venezuela back in 1999; its just a matter of how soon. When it happens there will be no innocent victims as is evident from the response of that “Cashew Gardens?” resident. I wait patiently to see if a female lead regime can arrive at a solution that has eluded successive male dominated regimes for decades; if not there is one female who never fails, we call her mother nature.

  • Work hard and save money. People should not be able to just come along and claim some land as their own without paying someone. Everything cost in society. Provide a hand up not a hand out!

  • keeping it realer

    Kamla say no squatting houses will be broken down. Anil say everybody deserves land and Dooks, well Dooks say some crap that nobody understand as usual. What are the ppl to think?

    I find it so interesting how everybody ignoring the obvious and reaching as far back as time immemorial to explain this….all we need is recent history folks. Ppl want what they were promised!

  • Cheaper Govt houses
    Prospective homeowners may breathe a sigh of relief in the upcoming months, as Government is moving to subsidise housing further. How affordable? Minister of Housing Dr Roodlal Moonilal is unable to say, but is assuring that the recommendation will be taken to Cabinet before the end of next month.

    Cashew Gardens squatters vow to fight on
    Some of the owners of the illegal structures demolished in Cashew Gardens in Chaguanas yesterday maintained a vigil close to where their “homes” once stood.

    Land grabbing, lawlessness and politics

  • Land grabbing in T&T reflects a wider problem of a gereral break down of law and order in our society. From the highest level to the man on the street, no one wants to abide by the rule of law. AS a result those responsible for enforcing the law, are either impotent to enforce it, or are sympathetic to law breaking. In many cases the latter exists, especially in the upper elchuns of society. Remember a fish rots from the head. To stop this down slide total reforming of our system is needed. We must move from a centralized system of government to decentralization. Every county must be given the the power to govern its own affairs, serving the populations of their county, and being accountable to the electorate, even our police commisioners. Note i said commissioners, yes because under decentralization every county should have their own commissioner elected by the the people.

  • Would Chaguanas and Bamboo Settlement have emerged as thriving business places if the squatters there had had their places broken down? Where is John Humphrey when the people need him.Squatting cannot be legal for one tribe an illegal for another.Our society is supposed to treat veveryone equally As for he who talks about getting a habnd up? A lot of lifting was done in the dark of night, in my lifetime, along the Southern Main Road. First a lean-to to sleep in to protect the crops being grown on government land, then a little one room shack, then a few bricks, then a substantial house.

    I wish we could hav epublicly examined the “deeds” of all the people now living in Central,but not in recently built subdivisions. It would be quite story, but some will duck for cover under the camouflage of “SHE bein RACIAL”

  • Squatters must move from Caroni River
    Minister of Public Utilities Emmanuel George is calling on squatters located along the banks of the Caroni River to move or they would be removed.

  • Tnks News for helping add breath to the discussion. You see, my family are landowners from South, where people would go squat on our land and “plant garden” then if you tore up their crops they would wail to the high heavens, but if you let them stay out of compassion, they became the defacto owner of your property. These rascals have always been able to afford the lawyers to side wih their version of the truth.They are supported by those rebellious fctions in the society who advocate squatters rights while in opposition and want to sing a different tune when in government.

  • why is ramesh lawrence maraj silent on the rebellious squatters?

  • Could Keith tell us how much he is paid in his new job as “Rothweiler In Chief” for the party in power? Some of his lame attacks prove he is not a dis-interested party, only a “spokesman” would dprovide that info on RAmesh.

  • Perhaps, in the spirit of party healing , Panday/Bakr’s lawyer, and former Human Rights, UNC Tabaquite MP, is cooling his heels awaiting his big Ambassadorial postings from “Mother India,” as payments ,for his role in enabling her ascension to power.
    What do they call it in legal parlance, ‘quid pro quo?’
    Anyone who think these selfish ,conniving , and immoral, elitist brutes, cared about anyone , much less, lower caste, kinky head, poor squatters, must be dreaming.

  • maybe the gov.t needs to set up a land locating committee and build low cost houses for the people which in turn will generate revenue .if the squatters can find land then the gov’t can .bear in mind if they are costly then squatting will most definitely be the order of the day always’

  • So along comes Pat , and she obviously is doing some thinking about her blessed country, especially as it relates to it multitude of people left dangling on the fringes of the poverty line. She recognizes that the myopia that translates for though, and informed opinions won’t cut it, if ‘sustainable development,’ and “change’” is the end game as proclaimed, while the media cameras were running .
    Thanks pat, you see ‘me girl,’it’s the reasons why elites in it’s different manifestations must first be exposed ,and then eradicated, ‘by any means necessary.’There are some who gets a good feeling in their hearts when they thrive , while others don’t, and as such they would not mind if the status quo continues unabated.
    Even with all their global exposure, and education, they’ll never comprehend the correlation between poverty, and crime, and naively believe that spending billions, on so called foreign experts, is the end all solution to our precarious social situation .
    The concept of sharing, jobs creation,reinvestment, and stimulation of a stagnant economy is alien to them Pat, especially since it forces them to deviate from a skewed ,and narrow minded , neo tribal agenda. Therefore your fine suggestion, as articulated above ,would go to naught , and would be almost tantamount to ‘casting pearls before swine,’ to the ‘me, me , gime, gimi, dog with a bone, selfish gangs,’ today. Therefore be ye not surprise that long into the foreseeable future, we would be bombarded with lamentable stories , as to how terrible it all was before they emerged ,to save the day.
    Now mind you , the clueless regime that rules the roost for such a long time in the past , though well intentioned, contributed in part , to the ghastly state of affairs themselves, and the reasons are simple to appreciate. In their quest to legally hold on to power they capitalized on the insidious , imported cultural evils, as manifested by the unmentionable gangs I referred to above.
    They were therefore forced to pander ,and make , a multitude of unwarranted concessions to them , often at the expense of the perennially neglected group that politically supported them without fail. Ever so often , that much maligned , and taken for granted bunch , would stand up and speak via the ballot , as occurred in 86, 95, and again in 2010, but since it’s the nature of tribalist to be well……., tribalist, and ‘think little of the other, coupled with self obsessed arrogance ,coupled with the master evils of ingratitude ,they tend to take the “me, me, gime, gime , selfish , dog with a bone attitude,” to the extreme, at the political level as well, and so are unable to sustain power for any considerable time.
    There is however hope for us Pat , that firstly, the barbarians who are lurking, that many smarter than myself ,really believe are in charge -as opposed to the token figures on public displays- would be kept at bay , and not commit irreparable damage- during the limited period they are fortunate to grasp power-to the way of life of the wonderful majority of people that make up this Twin Republic gem we all call home. Put differently Pat, the political , and social dungheap, which was created in neighboring Jagdeo Guyana ,and are unfortunately ,looked at as some perfect model , by the misguided nationals, ain’t worth emulating , yes?
    Secondly, in the interest of our country overall wellbeing and health, one can hope that the humbling experience that the ‘long standing ,political power brokers’ endured this time around, would cause them to ‘get back to the drawing board,’ to coin an old common cliché, revamp their whole ‘soci-economic- com- political ,approach ,’ then ‘come again,’ as we say in Trini local parlance.
    Feel me, Pat?

    Don’t be afraid to tell ‘dem’ Pat , that the folks who can make us hate this blessed country, ain’t born yet. It’s one of the sole reasons why we remain engaged ,and committed.
    Much luv to Sweet , Sweet,T&T, aka Rainbow Country.

  • Pat,please ask the UNC etc etc coalition how many houses they built for the poor when they were in power last time, and how many they plan to build this time around, oops! I forgot, they inherited an empty or almost empty treasury.Perhaps this may be of interest to former unionists McLeod and Abdullah, but all the rest ah them already own dey house, so why should they care?

    And the list of those waiting? When I asked my nephew why he had not yet married his fiance, with whom he shares an apartment, he replied that he was waiting for a house, so his children would be born with their own roof over their head. I told him to go ahead and start a family. His grandchildren may be still on the waiting list for affordable housing. He and his fiance both work. His aunt, my sister, migrated, and bought her house five months later.

  • Neal is in his element again as he spills his invirile mastubatory words all over the screen with random selection, devoid of rhyme or reason. This time he out did himself.

  • Since the victory of the PP, a number of blindsided, loyal PNM supporters have been savagely and indiscriminately attacking the new PM and government for every move or announcement. This “sour grapes” bunch seems to stop at nothing in their quest for some sort of personal or psychological satisfaction in the face of defeat. Many frequent this website with their version of the facts, attempting to rationalize their skewed thinking or to justify their flawed perceptions with references to frequent criticisms of Manning and the previous government. The question is: what’s motivating this fountain of premature and irrational discontent?
    It seems that they have great difficulty accepting an Indian prime minister and what they incorrectly perceive to be an Indian government. In the 1930’s literacy among Indians stood at 23% and among Indian women at 13%. Did these critics expect that these figures would remain unchanged? As the Indian population grew, they emerged educationally in every field of endeavor. Obviously, political power would be on that list. It seems that these critical detractors would prefer Indians to remain static, restricting them to assigned status in society.
    Also, there is an unwillingness to recognize the multiracial composition of the new government. Some bloggers on this site have dismissed African members of the government as uninformed, and temporarily insane to participate in this coalition. Some have ascribed dark motives for the behavior of people like Jack Warner, and questioned the honesty of other prominent government members of African ancestry. The failure to recognize the existence of the coalition allows justification for unfair and illogical criticism of what they perceive as an Indian government.
    In addition, there is a real fear that the new government will alter the international image of T&T by appointing Indians to represent the country internationally and as one national mentioned, “Making it appear that T&T is some part of India”. If Indians represent T&T internationally, would that not reflect the true nature of the population of the country?
    The fears of many misguided PNM souls are all unfounded or based on the belief that it is their divine right to rule and represent T&T, politically and culturally. Besides, the new government has not been in power long enough to warrant these criticisms. They really have done nothing yet. To justify these criticisms by claiming that UNC supporters were rabid critics of Manning and the PNM is disingenuous. Critics of the last government were given a multitude of examples of incompetence and corruption to fester on, and eventually vote on. And remember the people are always right.

  • All NHA houses went to small Islanders & pnm card holders from Laventille & morvant–others have to live in shacks–go look in the country areas!

  • If there is not a need for people to work for their needs and want for their wants, then what is the purpose of anyone in society improving their own situation? If people can just stop working and have housing, water, electricity, food, and healthcare, why would they want to be productive.
    In the Caribbean, many people seem to think that just because they are people that they should be equally entitled to things that others worked hard for as a sign of humanity. That’s why countries with so much earning potential and natural resources seem to lag behind nations with true capitalistic spirits.
    Put your hand on a tool rather than hold it out. Too many people have the audacity to think that they are entitled to something that they have not earned.
    It’s the governments’ role to allow the economy to flourish with as little disruption as possible. It is the people’s responsibility to take advantage of opportunities wherever present, and to add more opportunities not handouts to their neighbors. God Bless the child that has his own. You have to work for it and build not expect someone to just give it to you.

  • And yours TMan is based on a lopsided and cockeyed notion of balance that a couple of black faces among a predominant Indian Political Power structure is something that black people should be dancing and singing kumbaya about. If you did not exist we would have had to invent you as the antithesis of any notion that equality in a social environment inhabited by Africans and Indians should be on a one for one basis.

  • More Carapo homes torn down
    HEAVILY-ARMED police and soldiers escorting security guards, acting on behalf of the Land Settlement Agency (LSA), returned to a squatting village at Carapo Village in Arima yesterday and tore down close to 100 homes which were illegally erected on State lands.

  • Government to ban squatting on river banks
    Government is in the process of drafting legislation which would prohibit people from squatting on river banks and other similar land spaces.

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