Two Doubles and…

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
November 09, 2011

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOnce upon a time, there were two left-wing leading, has-been leaders of the working class movement of Trinidad and Tobago who proclaimed the values of proletarian internationalism and working class solidarity. They also preached the inviolability of people’s civil liberties and the right of people to govern their own affairs. As they explained in their heydays, “Any cook can govern” and those who labor must hold the reins of society.

And then they joined a party – had never heard of proletarian internationalism; couldn’t care less about working class solidarity; and was not even concerned about what the civil rights of citizens entailed. Sure they uttered some of the phrases but in reality they were not concerned if they existed or not. They were important while they were out of power. However, once their people remained untouched, everything was okay.

As a party, everything was seen in terms of race. Thus, they revealed a narrow racial chauvinism; subscribed to the worse form of religious obscurantism; and spoke as though Trinidad and Tobago was entering a new age in which Hinduism was given major prominence which why Patrick Manning has to be thankful that he did not condemn the to hell and damnation.

And so it was on a balmy day in Paris, some weeks ago, UNESCO decided that a long-suffering people called the Palestinians should be accepted into that pristine world body regardless of what two of its most obstreperous members had to say about it.

After all, here was a people dispossessed of their land, fighting manfully (and womanfully) to gain the rights that 194 other nations of the world possessed: that is, the right to speak for itself and lead and autonomous existence. Palestine’s Foreign Minister was so gleeful, that he declared, “This membership will be the best step towards peace and security.”

Such an aspiration for a long-suffering people was too much for the party to which these two left-leading, has-been working class leaders had devoted themselves. In the full glare of the world and in opposition to most of the world’s peoples, this reactionary party decided that it could not support the genuine aspirations of this long-suffering people.

So in opposition to countries such as China, India, most of Africa and Latin America, the people of Trinidad and Tobago decided they could not support such a position which they determined was not be in our best interest.

Such a position, however, was not entirely unexpected. As most people know a country’s foreign policy is always a manifestation of its domestic policy. So that if its domestic policy is racist and reactionary, it follows necessarily that its foreign policy will be racist and reactionary; if its domestic policy is geared towards suppressing the civil liberties of its people then at home, then it follows necessarily that its foreign policy would be geared towards the denial of the civil liberties and legitimate rights of a society that is under colonial domination.

It should have come as no surprise, therefore, that a UNC government of which these two left-leaning, has-been political leaders are a part should have voted in unison with the two of the most intransigent government whose primary role, despite all their rhetoric is to maintain the colonial status of the Palestinian people.

Under the circumstances, it will be interesting to see how a UNC government will vote when the issue of Palestinian membership comes up before the UN General Assembly. Already, we have been assured that the Security Council at the urging of the United States will not vote in favor of Palestine membership to the United Nations. The question then becomes: how is the UNC government will vote on this most volatile issue.

One would have thought that these two-left leaning, has-been working class leaders in their new-found respectability and middle-class status would be concerned about how their comrades at home and abroad see their behavior as they lay in the same bed with some of the most reactionary elements in today’s world and how they found themselves in the company of people who never heard the words proletarian internationalism, working class unity, and a profound respect for the civil rights of the Palestinians.

Any serious politician in his right mind knows that the problem of the Palestinian people is the most burning issue today world both in terms world peace and stability. They know that the Palestinian and the Israelis must find a solution to their problems that will allows the oppressed Palestinians to operate their own state and to enjoy many of the freedoms that we in T&T take for granted but which is being slowly being withered away by a UNC-led government.

And just in case they did not get the message, the UNC government has decided to continue the SOE indefinitely which suggests that it has no problem with suppressing the rights of Trinidad and Tobagonians for a long time to come. But then again, this should not surprise any one since the UNC-led government is trying to refine what it does at home in belief that authoritarianism is always to be preferred over democracy and legal transparency.

Yet, the question remains: how can these two left-leaning, has-been working class leaders find themselves in a party where its leading ideologue is the mouth-piece for one of the most reactionary tendencies in the modern world and whose foreign policy betray any sense of decency and respect for the most progressive tendencies of the contemporary world at a time when even the most torpid countries are fighting majestically to overthrow authoritarian regimes?

And so, like all nancy stories of old we must conclude with the refrain crick, crack, monkey break he back for a piece of pomerac. But coming to think of it, did these two left-leaning, has-been working class leaders break dey back or even their ideological pretences for two doubles and a meager portion of middle class respectability, a shirt, a tie and the opportunity to stand in occasionally as the nation’s acting prime minister?

17 thoughts on “Two Doubles and…”

    1. I am of the considered opinion and ingrained practice as a man of African descent and Hebrew heritage that Dr. Cudjoe, like me, must also, whenever he sets out to address any situation, not only must he think incisively before speaking, writing, etc., but that he be also broadgauged in thought, and his judgements incomparably well expressed.

      That is, we must so strive for excellence in all that we do that after we consider any set of circumstances, ours must be the last word.

      After all, were the considerations of the first humans on the nursing-mother continent of Africa not the first of any humans?

  1. I am sorry Dr. Cudjoe, but I am going to have to respectfully disagree with your thesis here. As I remarked on another article written by Raffique Shah, the unwillingness of the Trinidad and Tobago government to vote in favour of the Palestinians has more to do with with the power dynamic between our tiny country and the American empire than it does to do with race.

    If our country was to vote in favour of the Palestinian membership in UNESCO, the backlash from the Zionist-controlled United States government would have been as swift as their decision to withdraw their funding of this worthy organization (UNESCO). It is a bit a stretch to to impute racist motivations to our government in this matter. The only discord I could see here at all is that the Hindu members of our administration harbour some sort of ill will towards the Palestinians who are perceived to be Muslim. However, that link is still hard to establish at best.

    I will say that I fully support Palestine’s membership in UNESCO and am dismayed that our country has been caught up in the Americo-Zionist diplomatic war with the Palestinian Authority. However, that is the reality as long as our country continues to tie its economic survival to the faltering American economy. As I have argued elsewhere, T&T may have to continue to walk the diplomatic tightrope if we choose to remain within the United States’ sphere of influence.

    1. Can’t face the facts …

      Can’t handle the truth …

      Can’t comprehend the reality!

      Lynch the messenger…

      Stone the prophet…

      Guillotine the scribe?

  2. Selwyn Cudjoe obviously misunderstands the relationship between Hindus and Muslims in T&T. Unlike the bitterness which prevails in other jurisdictions, these two groups can often be quite cohesive in T&T.And by the way, Cudjoe also does not have a clue when it comes to race relations in T&T.
    It is interesting that Cudjoe makes no mention of his American president who led the way in this obstructionism against the Palestinians. The nonsense he writes would be refused by most publications in the US. I am still baffled as to why newspapers in T&T accept his divisive and useless garbage. And there is more to come from this dinosaur since he is still upset about his termination from the Board of the Central bank and all the plum perks which go with the job. Give it Cudjoe: you are spent!

    1. TMan, your underpants are showing, and they’re soiled.

      Your telling line, more subtext than text and thus even more revealing with regards to your deep-seated thought-pattern is your statement “it is interesting that Cudjoe makes no mention of his American president …”

      ” … his American President …?”

      Does Dr. Cudjoe have an ‘American President’?

      Are you aware of ‘facts’ of which other readers, and possibly of which even Dr. Cudjoe might not have been appraised? That he has an ‘American President’?

      Perchance is it because President Obama, like Dr. Cudjoe is also a Black man that in the tedium of your semi-literate mind, the shortest distance between these two unrelated points must therefore be that President Obama automatically has become Dr. Cudjoe’s ‘American President’?

      You should not be allowed out. Or maybe on the way to the toilet you strayed, have had another accident, and can’t find your way back.

      In either case, help is on its way.

      Clean nappies.


      1. Your extreme sensivity is showing, my friend.Barak Obama is his president simply because Cudjoe lives in the US. You are reading too much into a straight forward, simple and uncomplicated comment.Manning was my prime minister.
        Like Cudjoe, your analysis is severly flawed. Your vulgarity is also unbecoming and hopefully it is not representative of your intellect.
        You Trini expatriots are so steeped in the American cesspool of vitriol and racial sensitivity in which you find yourselves that you make false racial assumptions based on your negative experiences. Please try to avoid making unfounded generalizations, indulging in vulgar name calling and offering up flawed and unsupported opinions.

        1. “You Trini expatriots are so steeped in the American cesspool of vitriol and racial sensitivity in which you find yourselves that you make false racial assumptions based on your negative experiences.”

          Tman, I hope that for your family’s health–I am assuming that you have a family–materially, spiritually, intellectually, and otherwise, that you do not also make assumptions and generalizations, similarly sweeping and erroneous about their experiences and whereabouts.


  3. Facing the Question fair and square: The Old Temple mount in East Jerusalem is not in the hands of the occupiers. The Two Mosques that are sitting there has become the real issue.

    Al Aqsa, and the Dome of the Rock- sitting where the Old Temple used to be. You do not control this spot, you do not have the nationhood that you are seeking for. All the struggle in this area is about this Spot.

    Just imaging other people coming into Trinidad and taking over your land house and private property? Would Trini’s fall for this? Be the Judges.

    This is a generation of People that were born, bred, and has all their history riveted here, to displace these people like the present state of affairs is Grave anti-reasoning and without moral or intellectual Prudence.

    If the Old Temple Mount can be gained to build the new Temple the entire situation would turn around here in the East, But as of the Moment this is Impossible !!!

    Christ himself said ” Your House is left unto you -Desolate”…World Ethics, World Politics, The World Governing Council are only being one-sided to this Issue, that is why they keep putting off the Peace Process- The so-called Road-Map to Peace in this Area.

    East Jerusalem is the Issue- how to deal with the two mosques there has created International Issues. History is speaking over and over- The land was once promise to the seed of Abraham based upon CONDITION being FAITHFUL to GOD and the Conditional requirements of spreading the knowledge of Him to the regions of the Earth.

    This was never Fulfilled- To re-claim back the land without the CONDITION is futile and useless without meaning- What is your Purpose in setting up a third Temple- Unto Which God would this be pointing?

    The Veil in the Old Temple was rent in Twain (Two) open, no more meaning of the sacrifices. Type has met Anti-Type. All was pointing to the One Complete Sacrifice that were ever made. Lifted upon a Cross and Died.

    Just as Babylon was never to be Re-built, so was Jericho, so was other Cities that were Pronounce to Fall in the Prophecies. So to was the Fate of Jerusalem- Who shall rise up to build??? Who?……

  4. Neverdirty. Atta Boy!
    “A mind is a terrible thing to waste”, but racist thoughts are destructive. TMan, Sat, Devant, Gopeesingh, Mamoo are the embodiment to what those minds do. On the other hand, when the previous government was in power, they always thought twice before doing something because they always were cognisant of “what they would say?”. You now have one that openly discriminates. Remember “ethnic cleansing” outburst by Gopeesingh? Today, ethnic cleansing is taking place under his own ministry and not a work comes from his racist mind. The only thing he is saying is to take it to the EEOC. How do you deal with racists? Expose them and fight them!

  5. “You Trini expatriots are so steeped in the American cesspool of vitriol and racial sensitivity in which you find yourselves that you make false racial assumptions based on your negative experiences. “T-Man.
    Tell him , triniamerican , that we would take that any day, over the phony Canadians , who love to pretend that they are this cohesive, post racial society , or that they are this ever so progressive folks , all inclusive , pro colored immigrant subjects , only intent on exporting their noble ways .
    Such garbage , as the evidence would show everything to the contrary. The Nazi adoring , immigrant bashing ,Native canadian / Red man hating losers ,are in full supply T-man , even if you might close your eyes to them.
    Across the entire globe where Canadians have served with the UN , their disrespectful condescensions ,neglect , and blatant abuses, are legendary , just like others ,some like to point fingers at. Surprise , surprise at Rwanda that 800,0000 Bantu Afrikans were murdered , when every effort was made to save Belgians of the same color as General Dallaire , who in turn attempted in self serving fashion , to wash his hands like Pontus Pilot ,and only blame , what him and others deem as the Yankee controlled, UN.

    I wonder if this T-Man knows that perhaps , over 40 % of the Europeans in his country , are direct descendent from USA , many of which escaped their country , while trying to avoid Vietnam and the draft.

    Then , what would he know , when trying to survive , in the dreaded cold , while enduring nostalgia for his own country since 1986 ,can do many things to one’s soul.

    1. No racialgilpin ,get your facts straight , as Dr Cudjoe is an unselfish , patriotic social scientist ,and progressive thinking ,political activist, who just like Englishman -Trini V.S Naipaul, is a distinguish scholar , and globally respected author.
      Even in his autumn years, Sat in contrast ,still possess a most reprehensible track record , as an influential religious leader, who has historically enjoyed playing a dirty game, of mixing tribal politics, and misinterpreting religion ,while reaping the fruits, on all angles- and likewise, lead the futile cause of faulty logical ,Indo- Trini,victimhood.
      You decide who has done more harm to your country , and who should be taken seriously , if we are prepared to build a cohesive nation.
      It is so sad, the almost childish psychological game that has been ingrained into half of our population , and worst yet , embraced even by their much touted educated leaders , as a form of policy, and here it is for the less astute:-
      1.Push a people as best they can, into a corner , while raping our country at every conceivable angle.
      2. Pretend to publicly cower in fear , at the inevitable backlash that might accrue , and in few exceptions , occasionally emerge.
      3. When it does, use this as ample evidence to substantiate a theory , that an evil dominant , savage force has controlled this country of ours since 1962, that were hell bent, on destroying their people’s rights, culture , and desperate case for advancement, since massa England departed.
      Warn dem buddy , that we are on to the game, would not hesitate to enlighten the masses. De people will not be bamboozled continuously – even from within their own tribal base, hmmm?
      Luv Humanity!

  6. Way to go Tman! Vulgarity seldom has a place in intelligent discourse.While I do indulge in vituperative language on occasion it is always ” tongue in cheek”.

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