Vision and visionaries to steer us through crisis

By Raffique Shah
October 05, 2008

Wall St.With Ronald Reagan now dead and Margaret Thatcher barely alive, I shall resist the urge to blame this global financial crisis solely on them. In many ways, they cannot be blamed for today’s debacle. Some enterprises Thatcher divested should never have been state-owned: a trucking business (National Freight Corporation), 27 railway hotels, carmakers Jaguar and Rolls-Royce. Why would any government engage in such ventures?

But in her zeal to shed government load, she sold off the country’s silverware. People may not remember the British Government owned in strategic companies like energy giant BP, Cable & Wireless, British Telecom, British Gas, British Airways, British Steel, and the regional water and electricity distribution companies. What her divestment frenzy did was give many Britons who acquired shares in these companies a false sense of security, of ownership of profit-making enterprises that brought them some gratification by way of share-price increases and dividends. But they soon realised they did not control these companies, especially the really big ones. The majority shareholders who “called the shots” were all corporate fat cats who cared nothing about the small fries.

Deregulation, liberalisation and privatisation fuelled a kind of wild consumerism the world had never known. Like the current Trinidad and Tobago Government, the mantra among those who thought the party would last forever was “have money, will spend”. Even the crash of October 1987, in which the Dow Jones fell by 23 per cent in one day, failed to drive home to British and American consumers (in the main) that the spending-party could not last forever.

Banks were no longer the conservative institutions that the middle-classes and the poor had loved to hate. Buoyed by deregulation, they began offering a range of financial services hitherto unknown.

Insurance companies, already profitable from underwriting life, health and corporate insurance, spread their wings so wide, they themselves did not know what their real assets and liabilities were.

AIG, for example, when the recent crash hit them, first asked Washington for US$20 billion as a bailout. That number soon went up to $85 billion. Huh? The world’s largest insurer did not know its precise financial position?

Here in the Caribbean we have much to worry about: our biggest worry must be the Government and many financial wizards telling us we have nothing to worry about! All around companies and countries are falling into financial pits-but we must rest easy.

Put our faith in Patrick Manning and Ewart Williams and Karen Nunez-Tesheria. They will see us through this global crisis, manage our funds wisely, keep us insulated from a world ravaged by rising poverty even in developed countries (don’t even bother to add poorer states). Well, I have news for the Prime Minister and the genial Central Bank Governor, who, to be fair to him, has sounded some alarm bells within recent times.

Already the housing market has slowed to the proverbial crawl: those who were lucky to get their houses sold at highly inflated prices can count themselves lucky. It’s the poor buggers who bought those properties that will suffer if a crash does come. Bank interest rates are climbing, which signal higher monthly payments for million-dollar mortgagees. Inflation is at an unacceptably high level. Consumer spending has slowed considerably, certainly among those who can ill-afford high food prices. This in turn could adversely affect businesses, with small retailers feeling the heat most.

Those of us who were around in the early 1980s when oil prices plummeted, we saw the sad fallout and would not want to go through that experience again. Middle-class people who bought houses they thought were bargains ran into the two-headed monster of higher repayments and lower salaries or even loss of jobs. Many simply abandoned their dream homes. Today, downsizing has begun as corporations seek to trim their staffs to cope with falling profits. People will lose jobs, Mr. Manning. When government’s construction frenzy slows down, unemployment will rise even higher. The downward spiral has begun.

It is not that we can’t stave off a recession. I am yet to be convinced that oil prices will drop lower than the budgeted US$70 per barrel. The energy guzzlers are shifting from the North to the South, keeping demand at a steady, if not rising, rate. Our downstream products will enjoy healthy markets for many years to come. But drilling for more oil and gas, whichis an imperative, is increasingly expensive.

The Government will have to offer generous incentives to attract further exploration.

Our laid-back approach to food production is what bothers me most. There is much talk but little action. If government diverts 10 per cent of the resources it has put in its chase for a new POS skyline into agriculture, we could increase food production to a level where it dampens inflation. If we join hands in the Caribbean, embrace our brethren in South and Central America where land space is not a problem, then food inflation would subside.

First, however, we must have a vision of where we want to be in 2050 (not 2020), and visionaries to take us there. That is a very tall order in a country where mediocrity thrives.

30 Responses to “Vision and visionaries to steer us through crisis”

  • A very good article. I totally agree, the only solution for the T&T and the rest of the caribbean is to unite and Join forces with our South and Central American brothers and sisters. This is something that will ensure “protection and fair trade” without “paternal” control like what’s currently happening with the PNM and their US/British led control of our foreign policy and industry.

    Take the farms for instance. The government “mega” farm projects can’t even seem to get off the ground, whiles getting the support of the gracious and noble Cubans whom i assume have finished the surveying process.
    The stark difference in approach will ensure the farms failure. e.g In Cuba, the people ran those farms at the encouragement and support of the Government, no one had to “bid” for the farms, because that would negate the very purpose of the “mega” farm “communes” in which everyone in the specific region benefits. In T&T the government is perverting this concept. The farms will apparently be bided on, and besides that only those who can “handle” such farms” will be getting them to run.
    Well that simply means that the only people who will “get them to run,” will be those who are already in a good position “financially” to do so. Thus again, negating the very purpose of the farms.

    What ever happened to training people? What of all of those youth on the street who are unemployed and falling into the crime trap, set by those in the red house and their elite friends. Certainly this should have been viewed as the golden opportunity for the countless unskilled youth of the nation. Why not let them run the farm’s after training them at UTT or UWI through a process of FREE special courses specifically designed for the farms?
    The Government claims they have to wait for skilled people to graduate to run the farms, well, put the youth on the farms to work while training them, this is not rocket science, or maby it is for them?

    It would certainly cushion the wind fall that will occur when the storm called the “Capitalist global economic crises” comes blowing in T&T’s direction as a result of the top heavy over spending/liberalization policies that Mr Shah mentioned. Which promotes spending the nations money on palaces and towers in oppose to hospitals, and ensures that the palace will be up and running on schedule while the people of Trinidad & Tobago wait, hope and pray that some day they will have a modern 21st century health system of hospitals in every region.

    With real mega farms in place, run by the people of T&T and not the “few who could manage it”. The so called safety nest egg that the government has today would look like small change when the export of quality farmed goods are dispersed all aver the globe. We would become self contained as a nation. Shouldn’t that be the goal of 2020, to be self sustaining as a nation and region? If that is not the focus of 2020 then i submit that the people are being deceived.
    People cannot eat plastics! though those proposed plants can provide needed jobs.

    I would close by adding the FTAA (Free Trade Area Of The Americas) meeting that the PM will be Hosting is clear proof of this deception. The FTAA members led by the US empire will be trying to come to a consensus on a policy that will give the USA among other things COPYRIGHTS AND PATENT RIGHTS OVER A NATIONS SEEDLINGS, ANIMALS, CROPS.



    Can you imagine the devastation it would cause farmers, who would have to “pay” the united States a royalty fee to use a rice grain, or a goat?


    The government is in line with the FTAA proposed policy by it’s current posture e.g lip service of “Mega farms”,(the farms vast numbers will reduce and already have) lips service to the involvement of the nation in the effort (it will be in private hands mostly for sure) And no concrete, clear direction for the farms(Bio foods, Soy, rice..??) This free trade will benefit the USA not the countries whose economies agricultural sectors as still undefined and in a state of chaos. Hence the usual “back door” economical destabilization

    The Cubans in one week could have a full plan for those farms and have them up and running, why because they genuinely care about a nations ability to feed its self and have surpluses enough of which to trade and help other’s etc.

    Those visionaries that Mr Shah pleads for must start making themselves heard now so that the struggling poor in T&T can organize themselves to fight. A good time to start should be the FTAA meetings on April 17-19, 2009.

    Farmers, Progressives, NGO’s, Youth etc should HIT THE STREETS AND MARCH ON APRIL 17-19, 2009 FROM THE SQUARE TO THE HYATT and have “3 DAYS OF PEOPLES PROTEST AGAINST CORRUPTION” OR AS THE PM and others accused keep putting it “MATH ERRORS”
    Without opposition parties involvement, namely UNC/COP!
    thereby sparking and eventually consolidating a “new” social movement for change out of the ashes of those protest.


  • As always you’re right on target,your essays indicate that you are in step with many of the issues that need to be address in the region.I hope before long you take that bold step and run for public office.

  • Isn’t it amazing the way that everyone feels it necessary to become a politician so as to make positive things happen in our country?

  • The PNM is being used by the US as a buffer to counteract the progress being made in South/Central America, namely Venezuela and Bolivia. The Bush administration is pumping money into the government coffers through its oil/lng explorations, with players involved like the “old guard” war crime mass murderer Henry kissinger.

    Let me quote some excerpts from an article printed in the 2004’s Global Tribune the global edition of the NY Times.

    “Much noticed here as well was a meeting over the summer between Manning and Henry Kissinger, the former U.S. secretary of state. Kissinger’s visit to Trinidad sparked speculation that he might have lobbied the government on behalf of Freeport McMoRan Energy, a New Orleans-based company that allied itself this year with the government here to build a terminal for receiving LNG off Louisiana’s coast. Kissinger is a director emeritus of a mining concern controlled by Freeport McMoRan Energy’s parent company.In responding to questions from local reporters, Kissinger and Manning denied that the purpose of their meeting was related to negotiations with the Louisiana company”.

    And here comes the sweetest part from the COP “elite filled” party head, waiting in the wings to govern!

    “The boom is aligning our interests with those of the U.S. like never before,” Dookeran, the former central banker, said.

    Wake up T&T these are the people that gave you Coup’s, war’s and resource pillaging in Vietnam, Iraq, Chile, WATERGATE and these are the new “owners” of Mr Manning’s PNM.

    Anyone who wonders where the PM’s illusion of indestructibility lay you have to look at his “protectors” like Mr CIA Kissinger and you will know. This is the direction that the country is heading! Manning feels safe to take the nation to Hell, he has the backing!!

    When the US is through bleeding our economy dry and it’s goal’s accomplished for South/Central America, or not, they will abandon their strategic “interest” in T&T and leave the people with a burden of debt that you will NEVER BE ABLE TO GET OUT OF, Hence the IMF/WTO thumbs up on government spending like no tomorrow. Creating the illusion of oil and money that will be there forever.


    One T&T
    One Caribbean.

  • Mega Farms in T&T will fail simply because the government is taking all the farmable lands and building houses for the poor. Drive through the Penal/Debe area and you will see the rich fertile land dotted with cheap houses. The poor have homes but no jobs that will really solve the crime problem. Yet up north with unfertile land that should have been used for houses they plan to have Mega Farms.
    The Mega Farm idea has never helped the people of any country. Cuba cannot provide enough food to feed its people, it imports a majority from the EU. And in the States Mega Farms have a habit of every year claiming they had a bad crop therfore prices will be raised on produce. Mega farms is just another way for corperations to make money will keeping the people suffering.
    It seems to me Mr. Manning is getting his ideas from Chavez, Castro and that other “communist” in Bolivia. Men who love destroying thier countries just to satify thier egos. If they are truly men of the people then they need to put the people ahead of thier tryanical regimes.

  • “It seems to me Mr. Manning is getting his ideas from Chavez, Castro and that other “communist” in Bolivia. Men who love destroying thier countries just to satify thier egos. If they are truly men of the people then they need to put the people ahead of thier tryanical regimes”.

    The only “possible” Tyrant mentioned in your comment above is the US puppet Manning. The only aim of Chavez and Fidel has been to help the impoverished people in both their lands, and the rest of the suffering world. “Tyrans are those who usurp power against the free will of the people and rule accordingly” George Bush’s government with the stolen election, Florida vote rigging/denial of black people their human right to vote “qualifies” as Tyranny my friend.

    Those so called “Tyrants” that you mentioned have provided their people, T&T and the world with free medical care and assistance for years, a system of health thats the best in the world, not to mention “totally” Free education, social services, advancement in rights of man/freedom and respect and something more precious that the finest jewel, the notion that “all” human being should work “equally” for the benefit of the nation. Something that the elite in T&T will never understand. Those who are paid tens of thousands to run utilities etc. Did i mention that neither Chavez, Fidel, nor Morales TRAVERSE THE GLOBE LOOKING FOR NATIONS WEALTH TO PLUNDER, THUS CREATING GENOCIDE WITH WARS LIKE THE US AND BRITISH TYRANTS DO.

    These so called tyrants are providing cheap heating oil for the poor in the USA who cant afford to heat their homes in the winter time because the real “tyrants” of Exxon mobile, chevron etc are killing them slowly while raking in the dough like their friends who “manage” the T&T’s nest egg fund, to quote the BBC “The head of failed US investment bank Lehman Brothers has told Congress that he took home about $300m in pay and bonuses over the past eight years”.
    This is Tyranny!

    The so called “communist” leader in Bolivia, Mr Morales is the first Indigenous (so called Indian) leader of the Andes since the colonial era of over 500 plus years, and he currently nationalizing the resources for the nations benefit while facing the “tyranical” CIA fed and supported elite resisatance in the La Pas region, much in the same way that Chavez is dealing with the elite traitors in the Santa Cruz region in his Venezuela.
    Much in the same way we will face and defeat those elite’s in Federation Park.

    The PNM and opposition “supported” US government is the sole Tyrant on this planet.

    Just one more thing on the farms. the Cuban government has had to adjust agronomy outlook because of the immoral US embargo. And though faced with this hardship, they are currently at the fore front of Urban organic/hydro farming industry where by the “people” of cuba are planting sustainable crops through out urban centers to maximise their needs. Coupled with this they are leading the globe in the area of natural medicine as a result of these highly successful methods towards farming that they have developed.

    Also, If you had to deal with chemical and biological sabotages of your crops on a yearly basis by the US CIA “anti-Casto” agents “maby” the rate of success in opposed to that of a normal situation would be different, wouldn’t you agree?

    So it it is very deceptive to make those baseless claims that you are making.

    But one thing i will agree with you on is this quote, thats true of the puppet PNM’s plan.

    “Mega farms is just another way for corperations to make money will keeping the people suffering”.

    This is very logical given the economic liberalization policies being carried out by the PNM administration. Which started in the early 80’s under PNM, intensified in the late 80’s 90’s under NAR/UNC, reached an acute state from 1999 onwards UNC/PNM

    This is 2008 and people are no longer fooled by the pointing of the finger at the “boogie man” communist, i suggest that you do some traveling and reading instead of making baseless comments which helps to keep the T&T masses in the state that they are currently in!

  • David Ramgobin you left out another communist , the President of Guyana Jagdeo, wasn’t he educated in Russia as well, and acquired his fifedom via the pudent actions of ultra Marxist Cheddi Jagan and Janet his caucasian , Yankee ,socialist wife?
    Speaking about Mega Farms and the haphazard nonsense definded as food production policy that took place in our country since Kamaludin Mohammed ran roughshod through the ADB loans ‘bobol schemes,’ and his excellent stewardship in the Ministry of Agriculture- how can you get success in Penal and Debe farms when the nuvo rich owners that control those and similar fertile lands since post emancipation prefers to take out extravagant loans to either purchase expensive cars using the lands as assets , or escape to distant shores to become modern pseudo slaves for Europeans companies and governments , as oppose to plant food to feed a nation they obviously now despise?How can a government halt such a debacle? Your fixation on governmental houses are laudible , and we understand your paranoia or concerns . I am with you on the need for jobs and its lack thereof as the real cause for the manefestation of crime escalation. OPne from ten is not too bad Ram.

  • “Here in the Caribbean we have much to worry about: our biggest worry must be the Government and many financial wizards telling us we have nothing to worry about! All around companies and countries are falling into financial pits-but we must rest easy.

    Put our faith in Patrick Manning and Ewart Williams and Karen Nunez-Tesheria. They will see us through this global crisis, manage our funds wisely, keep us insulated from a world ravaged by rising poverty.”

    Prime Minister Patrick Manning appears to be suffering from “Delusions of Grandeur” and his Minister are no more than a bunch of “yes” men and women. They are in denial.

  • It’s funny, but I recently had a discussion with a young PNM diehard fanatic . Please do not enquire of me why he is such an ardent fan , as I myself cannot figure out why anyone would. I was able to wipe the stupid grin from his face and because of my opinion he nearly jumped out of a 40 story building complex in consternation. I said to him that the PNM can surely be considered a dismal failure as a political party if it’s only claims to fame was ushering in independence for our country ,and perhaps the introduction of the senseless Common Entrance educational system that even the ever conniving British got rid of eventually.
    That however is the least of our problem, what is most disheartening is that we might be subjected for quite some time with stewardship of this bunch , as many are hardpressed to find a viable alternative any where in the distant horizon. How sad indeed to be subjected to a constant diet of old wine in old bottles!

  • Correction: I meant Santa Cruz in Bolivia, and Caracas in Venezuela when referring to the elite’s.

  • “with players involved like the “old guard” war crime mass murderer Henry kissinger.”

    A Jew in an advisary capacity on the economic and financial matters of TnT is a prescription for the Hell the U.S. is currently experiencing. Don’t do it people, the Jews are the parasites of the world, but don’t take my word for it, check who has had the most access to the Bush administration and the Republican party for the last eight years. Heck the republican ticket was almost McCain and he speaks with forked tongue, Leiberman, while Jack Abramoff was stealing from the American Indians and paying off members in the Bush administration and the republican members of the senate and congress, American taxpayers were being raped by the Jew lawyers, bankers and financial speculators from main street to wall street. Wake Up TnT!

  • I fully understand your justifiable anger given the puppet, sell out nature of “todays” PNM and opposition who’s advisors are in the US embassy opposite the savannah and in the today’s White House, Karibkween.

    But there is one thing that we must clarify to the people in moving forward with this expose’ This is the question of the Zionism and Kissinger.

    There are Jews and there are Zionist.

    Zionism is an apartheid style political/Capitalist system/movement that uses the religion of Judaism as a “front” in order to mask the inhumane policies dished out by those who practice it, such as Mr Kissinger, and his fellow murderers in occupied Palestine so called “Israel”.

    A land which they claim was “promised” to them by Mosses in the Thorah/Bible. In reality it was the British who controled Palestine (Just like T&T before Eric Williams), and they promised them Independence only to give the land to “Landless” Zionist who were fleeing persecution from Hitler’s Nazi germany at the time.
    The British and Americans saw this as a great opportunity to have a colony poised to protect their Oil “interest” in Arabia.

    They set up shop, pushed the Palestinians off “their” fertile Lands (with the help of Britain and the USA) into bantu stands and created a passbook Id system, like “South Africa” and proceeded to do to palestinians just what the Nazi’s did to them.

    There are Zionist seated in the halls of government in the USA and their Israel Lobby is one of the most powerful lobby’s in the Washington DC. They are in control of the Media, Via (Rupert Murdoch) and have a large controlling steak in big Banking/Foreign Affairs in the US e.g the now bankrupted Lehman Brothers, where Puppet governments like T&T’s PNM invest/”gamble” their nations savings/fund (formed and became what it is today under notorious Herbert Lehman).
    People like Mr Kissinger now do their evil bidding behind the dangerous Council On Foreign Relations(CFR) headed up by notorious (David Rockefeller).

    This is the back drop of the affairs of Mr Manning’s new “Big oil” partner Mr Kissinger.

    Now as far as “Jew’s” go, the original jews are from Ethiopia, and are called (Beth Israel), there are Ethiopian Jews, Indian Jews, Asian Jews, and Jews from other parts of the world much like there are Muslims, Christians and Hindus etc.

    You see, Jews are not a people but a religion! (Judaism)!

    The majority of Zionist, who comprise the 80% of those who call them selves Jews, (including all those named above!) are descended
    from an Aryan/Turkish people called the Khazars, who migrated from Eastern Europe(Hungary/Bulgaria/Poland etc) whose king converted to Judaism in A.D. 740 to avoid getting caught up in the crusades (religious wars) of the time between the Christians and the Muslims.

    I don’t want to spend to much time on this especially since T&T is the focus but it is important to understand that not all Jew’s are Zionist like Mr kissinger. There are Thousand of Jews living all over the globe including in IRAN who are opposed to Zionism and its practisioners.

    The real issue hear is Imperialist/Capitalist control by using a fanatical religious camouflage. Which will quickly use the “boogyman” Anti semite label for all those who question the brutal, exploitative nature of such a system. Much in the same way that PM Manning is “mannersing” Dr Rowley for questioning the corruption and Shady MOU’s with those foreign entity’s.

    But one “must” question the role of PNM’s new foreign policy and it’s relations to Mr Kissinger given what is known of his war crimes and shady business dealings in developing Nations across this globe.

    After all when you lay down with dogs you will wake up with fleas.

    One T&T.
    One Caribbean.

  • Our country will forever remain in the quagmire it is until both political parties and their various advisors decides to get serious in addressing a historical anomaly that existed for quite some time. I am refering to equitable land distribution and reform . This will be the first major step towards empowerment of disenfranchised citizens across our nation.
    I am tired of the politics of distractions that are repeatedly foistered on the nation by our noble domestic and foreign political , business ,religious ,and academic elites with skewed and hidden agendas.
    Histroy is laden with examples of many negative fall outs when this vital resource is neglected . Need we say Rwanda, former Yougoslavia , and present day Middler East where Jews and Arab, Persian , and Turkish neighbors are locked in major struggles disguised as interetchnic or religious fights? Beware of a man with nothing to loose I’ll say.

  • Here are some interesting tit bits for everyone:

    Remarks Delivery by U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman
at the American Chamber of Commerce of Trinidad & Tobago May 2008

    “One of the LNG import terminals operating in the United States is located near Boston, Massachusetts.  And 100 percent of all LNG cargoes supplied to this terminal since 2004 have come from Trinidad & Tobago”. 

”Of course, given my many years in Boston – not to mention my history with Cabot Corporation and the establishment of that facility – this hits close to home for me”.  “But consider this: during peak winter demand, the LNG imported into this terminal comprises as much as 40% of the total natural gas supply for the New England region. 

So when I say that T&T is vital to the United States’ energy security, I mean it”. 

    Then he goes on to say, clearly speaking of foolishly of Chavez in Venezuela while patting his puppet Manning on the back!

      “Even in the face of strong pressure from some in the region, this country has shown great leadership in resisting non-market based energy supply arrangements”. 

    Then continues

    “This is one of the reasons why the United States’ commercial ties with Trinidad & Tobago have always been strong and have grown substantially. U.S. firms have invested more than $1 billion in recent years, and many of America’s largest corporations have offices and operations here—which is only made clear by the great group we have here today”. 

    Then we have Manning doing this:

    Trinidad and Tobago vies to renegotiate LNG contracts
    Curtis Williams
    OGJ Correspondent

    PORT OF SPAIN, Oct. 8 — Trinidad and Tobago has announced that it wants to renegotiate the contracts for Atlantic LNG Co.’s (ALNG) Trains 1, 2, and 3.

    Patrick Manning, prime minister of the Caribbean twin-island nation, said his government is dissatisfied with the level of revenues collected from the gas producers that supply ALNG.

    “It is clear that the circumstances have changed since the contracts for [ALNG’s] Trains 1, 2, and 3 were negotiated and Trinidad and Tobago wants to get its fair share of the revenues,” the prime minister said.

    Manning will soon travel to Madrid, where he will meet with the Repsol-YPF SA Pres. Antonio Brusfau. He will then visit London to hold discussions with BP PLC’s Chief Executive Officer Tony Haywood and BG Group Chief Executive Officer Frank Chapman.

    Manning will be accompanied by the Minister of Energy and Energy Industries Sen. Conrad Enill and other senior technocrats in the twin-island nation’s energy industry.

    ALNG purchases gas from suppliers and sells freight on board to customers from its Point Fortin port in respect of Trains 1, 2, and 3. But in Train 4, ALNG operates as a processor of gas.

    The company operates the Atlantic group—three separate companies owned by subsidiaries of BP, BG, Repsol-YPF, Suez LNG, and National Gas Co. of Trinidad & Tobago Ltd.

    ALNG’s total production capacity is 15 million tonnes/year and is the largest supplier of LNG to the US.

    Hear is the proof of who controls our economy, the PM and the Energy Minister are off to beg for some more crumbs instead of Making it clear that his business “partners” in the ALNG which is supposed to be a “NATIONAL COMPANY” are to accept no more 35% of the share in this new colonial one sided arrangement signed firstly by PANDAY’S UNC(Trains 1,2 and 3)



    Every price increase that we face in T&T is determined “mainly” by these factors. So if everyone is concerned with the skyrocketing prices of food, good and services etc. You had better start paying attention and START DEMANDING THAT THE GOVERNMENT ACT AND TAKE FULL CONTROL OF (ALNG) BY “TAKING” MAJORITY STEAK/INTEREST.



    One more thing before i go. Mr Manning did lie about his reasons for meeting Mr Kissinger.

    “Trinidad & Tobago are holding talks with Freeport-McMoRan Energy about a possible partnership in a regasification terminal project off Louisiana, Energy Minister Eric Williams, reports Reuters (June 29, 2004). Freeport-McMoRan Energy is a unit of Louisiana-based McMoRan Exploration Co”.

    So much for “believing” that they will work out a “good deal” for the nation and i submit that if they don’t return with controlling interest. A social revolution is needed in T&T because COP is just as vile as the parties that sold out “OUR” Natural gas.

  • Let me first thank you for infusing some PC in my post, which as you correctly intuited was prompted by anger. I’m usually a lot more politically correct when posting, but as usual honest emotions generate honest expressions.

    You say: “There are Jews and there are Zionist”

    I say: Call them what you will, but according to MLK “content of character” is what really matters, and throughout history the subscribers of this particular religious theory, have had the same defining character.

    You say: “You see, Jews are not a people but a religion! (Judaism)!”

    I Say: Is there a religion without an ideology of chosenism? And, doesn’t the very idea of chosenism promote “apartheid style political/Capitalist system/movement.” your words, and to which I’ll add behavior. You choose to distinguish between the architects and beneficiaries of the system, which is your prerogative, but having experienced on a personal level, the mindset and behaviors of individuals within the system, I choose to acknowledge the roots/origins of the ideology which spawned the institution. A tree does not grow from the top down. Peace

  • I am not going to defend anyones content of character karibkween. It is suffice to say there are that many religions/sects and “ways of life’s” that make claim’s of being gods “chosen”. But they do not go around subjugating people with “apartheid style political/Capitalist system/movements.”. Instead some just choose to draw some herb, chew coca leaves or smoke a peace pipe and have a Bingi or Pow Wow!

    An example of how a Zionism can transform Jew’s is the Beth Israel of Ethiopia, being the worlds oldest line of Jews, They had remained for centuries at peace with everyone. That was until being “airlifted” to Zionist Israel in the tens of thousands only to be used as wage slaves and cannon fodder for Israel’s Army. The system transformed many of them!

    you said:

    “You choose to distinguish between the architects and beneficiaries of the system”

    Lets examine that:

    1) Ultra Right wing christian conservative movement (USA)
    2) Fundamentalist Islam (Middle East/Asian)
    3) Zionism (Israel/USA)

    These have all been “proven” to have been co-created and backed by the US Imperialist to destabilize the peoples of the respective region’s. i.e the major “architects” of these are the US Imperialist empire.
    “Any” person that practices any of these, stand accuse of being against humanity, whether an elite, frontline zelot, or houswife. On the other hand there are people who “do not” prescribe to the distorted tenants of those, but are non the less Muslims, Jews and Christians. Thus the only distinction made is between those who practice this oppression and those who don’t.

    On beneficiaries:

    Let’s say you live in any one of these countries and are totally against the system, lets say your parents took you there when you were younger, you are now in your mid 20’s or 30’s and have seen the light about the oppressive ways of a system ran by an “elite” who creates all kinds of names and religions to disguise what they are doing, something that your parents apparently overlooked in bringing you there. You have decided to go to university to study Law or political Science/Economics to go back and be a part of positive change in your land of birth. Are you not a beneficiary of the system that you are trying to change while living in it? did not Dr king use his American education to destroy the then jim crow order of the day?

    Not that i even endorse Dr kings noble methods, which at times confused tactics and strategy with non-violence, but his statement’s on Judging the “content of character” was specific to “individual’s”. You cannot make a blanket judgement of a people.

    Here is the context, and what he said:

    “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character”.

    In the crowd that gathered were Whites, Africans, Spanish, Indians etc etc.

    like wise. We cannot judge all Hindus based on the fanatical Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha Hindus of Trinidad, along with Panday who are bent on destroying what’s left of the unity in T&T.
    And we cannot judge the African population in T&T by The Jamat in Mucurapo or the youth of laventille who are being set up to kill each other, or the police who are the assasins of the day.
    or even by the Puppet PM Patrick Manning.

    Lets change the system for the betterment of mankind, because as Dr king rightly said,

    ” Injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere”

    One T&T
    One Caribbean.

  • Jews? Are there any Jews in T&T, and if so what is the percent of the population? I have never met one nor do I know of anyone who has met a T&T Jew. Are we in the Dark Ages now that we blame the Jews for our troubles, rather than taking a long hard look at the problem? That doesnt take much intellect. High inflation…Blame the Jews, flooding, bad crops, high crime…Blame the Jews. That was an easy way to solve the countrys problems. Well I for one will not be “goose stepping” to this neo-nazi nonsense.
    I am not here defending Isreal or that country’s political view. What I am saying is that the Jewish race/culture is like any other in the world there are good and bad people and that one should not just make blanket statements on any race/culture.

  • Yes there are David, but unlike your America and Canada there is no need to advertise from the Capital Hill or Otawwa Parliament mountaintops so as to get ahead. It is the two dominant tribe that will forever keep beating up on each other for years to come like crabs in a barrel for the social and economic crumbs that exist and the bones their respective political leaders prefer to dangle conveniently . Go figure. Are’t you happy that you were one of the few that could escape with all your spoils ? You coulsd have unfortunately invested most in the now infamous HCU , CORRECT?

  • Neal… HUH?

  • Sorry David that I blew your cover. To think that you of the view that we were convinced that you were some desperate Penal or Manzanella taxi driver with time on your hands to write such ostentatious blogs for our benefits yes ? How naive.
    Listen my friend; there are two or three types of people uterlizing this forum. We have those country haters with too much time on our hands, others too busy attempting to impress us with their achievements and love for foreign lands, and real patriots that could not care if you were some neandertal reincarnation. All the last could care about is that you love your country and wishes to see all its people rise and suceed.
    The average citizens are too busy trying to survive and put food on their table and could ill afford continuation of present tribal and distabilization politics or economic corruption and greed by our countless uncaring local and foreign business elites.They are praying for the day when the UNC political dinasouers that has hijacked the party that Raffique Shah helf buid- suddenly disappear. They wish that Manning could reapply for his old engineering job in the oil fields of SANDO and leave his adventurism alone, as he has done very little to advance the plight of historically suffering people since assuming power.
    Put country first. Much love.

  • David, you asked: Are there any Jews in T&T,?

    Was it not a Jew who planted a bomb in the heart of Port-of Spain, that caused injury to innocent T’n’T citizens? Come to think of it that was the first time I heard of Jews in T’n’T. Wasn’t it revealed that he was a Russian Jew sent to stir up strife and animosity among the varied ethnicities on the island? Did not Interpol step in to silence any further revelations? If you want to know where the Jews are in T’n’T check the forests of T’n’T, its where he hid before perpetrating his crime. I imagine if religious or racial strife were to escalate on the island, it might present a perfect opportunity for U.S. intervention, and provide a strategic launching point for attacks against Chavez. What do you think?

  • I would agree with that if i were you Dave!

  • Excellent work guys for trying to inform David and similar imposters that you were not born two weeks ago , are aquainted with global and domestic history . I tried to inform him in less articulate fashion that the countless jews in our population as well as the other previliged are doing quite fine. As such ,you won’t hear much from them politically or otherwise until they are rattled if ever. They can therefore stay outside the fray and allow the two dominant majorities go at each other in belief that we are each other enemy.Do not be too surprise at the attitudes of the david’s of the world.There is always a logical explaination why “birds of a feather” would attempt to “flock together.” Hmmm?

  • Neal, I owe you a personal apology for my flipant reply on 14/10/08. that was very rude of me, it should have never been done.

  • No hard feelings David. We are all very passionate about this wonderful country of ours and it’s 1.3 mil or more people, and simply wish to see that they all rise and reach their full potential. As such we can get worked up a bit, thus generating irate responses – especially yours truly included.
    Much love. Put country first- is my motto.

  • “Jews in TNT?”
    When I asked that question, I was under the impression then as I am now that politics in TNT is about race. We have “African” vs. “Indian” to change that to “African & Indian” vs. “Jews” to me is still race politics, and it doesnt solve the problems it just changes one “boogy-man” for another.
    As for those who think Chavez is the modern day Lenin and he’s here to lead the world to a socialist utopia, that is naive. Chavez’s main concern is Venezuela and how he can make his country a world player. And if he has to use his neighbors to achieve that goal, then so be it. He is no different than the leaders of Russia, China, Britian or the U.S. They do the same thing. Chavez doesnt have the answers to TNT’s problems, he may have the answers to Venezuelas but definitely not ours.
    The problems of TNT from the man on the street to the prime minister, to me, as I see it, are: The “Immaturity” of the people, we are quick to blame others for the problems, but we never ask am I contributing to the problem and how can we solve it. The other is the ” I got mine, who care about you”, this one is performed in all walks of life. A fine example is the crowd around a doubles cart. It doesnt matter if others were ahead of you, you will push yourself to the front to get your order not caring about the others.
    These problems boil down to one word “RESPECT”. The people of TNT have no respect for themselves or thier fellow citizens. They are like the seagulls in “Finding Nemo”, just zipping around saying, mine, mine, mine, mine… And until they learn how to respect themselves and others, you can distribute all the lands you want and even give them monthly checks for oil profits, The problems of TNT will remain.

  • “You can distribute all the lands you want and even give them monthly checks for oil profits, The problems of TNT will remain.” Surely David, you’ve got to be more optimist , and develop some faith in our people ,yes?
    There must however be some meaningful mechanisms that can bring back dignity to our desperate ,perenially neglected masses. It’s starts withn jobs , jobs , jobs and other means for finaicial independence .
    Government , business , civil society , and the enterprising amongst us fortunate to accumulate some skills from our vast travels and northern exposure , must put our collective heads together to find solutions. Where are the economic zones as practiced by Dubai and other progressive states unprepared to remain totally dependent on fast depleating natrual resources?
    It may mean taking solo initiatives in the hope that others can follow. No one promised that nation building would be easy. Let me see , 100 year wars, wars of the roses , Europeans two tribal world wars, US civil wars – the list are endless. Thoes two continents had the benefits of over three hundred years of free labour from some 34 million African slaves , but feels justified today to dismiss this as a mear aberation in history.
    Perhaps a small nation like ours can show the way and make historical wrongs right as a first step to moving forward for a people , continent, and the global village at large. I stand corrected.

  • Navy Reestablishes U.S. 4th Fleet
    Story Number: NNS080424-13
    Release Date: 4/24/2008 3:32:00 PM

    By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Alan Gragg, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command Public Affairs

    MAYPORT, Fla. (NNS) — Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Gary Roughead announced today the reestablishment of U.S. 4th Fleet and assigned Rear Adm. Joseph D. Kernan, currently serving as Commander, Naval Special Warfare Command, as its first commander.

    U.S. 4th Fleet will be responsible for U.S. Navy ships, aircraft and submarines operating in the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) area of focus, which encompasses the Caribbean, and Central and South America and the surrounding waters.

    Dave this is bigger than having respect for each other, there is a plan for the region, T&T is being destabilized to in an effort to achieve those goal!

  • “Isn’t it amazing the way that everyone feels it necessary to become a politician so as to make positive things happen in our country?”

    The writer seems to be mocking Raffique’s opinions, but this thought should clearly be the primary driving force for our political choices, and also for those wishing to serve their country as its leaders or politicians.

    However, neither appears to apply in Trinidad and Tobago today. I think that Raffiques commentary rings loud and clear, at least for well intentioned individuals who wish to see a properly run T&T.

    I think that it augers well for democracy, so keep it up Raffique, and all of you wishing to see or make a difference!

  • Far from it KM , I have nothing but the utmost respect for the good Raffique. He represents a wonderful role model for many our lost youths that have made blatant mistakes during the early phases of their lives, in that he leaned from his, was grateful for another opportunity to move forward, and capitalize on the benefits of a truly democratic country. I like that . I for example became a vegetarian from the efforts of Rex Lassale his classmate – believe it. He help creat the ULF/ UNC and had it not been for the dictatorial politics of his archnemisis Mr. P ,the political fortunes of this party could have been greatly enhanced because of what appears on the surface to be an inclusive mindset of the former Sandhurst Officer.
    Consider what could have been the fate of thie wonderful Trade Union stalwart , activist ,Mirror editor in Chief, and political figure, if he was unfortunate to be born in lets say Nigeria , Pakistan or even good old USA. The last would have branded him a terrorist for life perhaps , while the former two would have certainly put a bullet in his head for his untimely Tethron efforts some three decades ago.
    The nation is grateful , and I am as well. You give some of us simple , ordinary, patriotic folks too much credit when we write my friend.
    Continue to put country first.
    Much love.

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