Rally, rally ’round T&T

By Raffique Shah
January 18, 2009

Trini PeopleTHERE was a time when the moment things turned sour in this country, those who could afford it would simply flee to the USA, Canada or Europe. That happened mainly among professionals who were educated here at taxpayers’ expense, entrepreneurs who rose from running one-door shops to the multi-million-dollar enterprises. The one aberration to this pattern occurred in the late 1980s, when thousands of ordinary people, mainly Indians, fled to Canada as refugees, claiming they were oppressed by an African-dominated state machinery.

While everyone has the right to choose where he or she wants to live, to determine that high crime or incidents of discrimination or sheer backwardness in this society is just cause to take flight, I have reason to question their real motives for deserting their native land. The “refugees” of the 1980s, for example, had no just cause for the betrayal of their fellow-Trinis, for sullying their country’s image. They simply exploited the easy rules of entry into Canada, thought the grass was greener on that side of the fence, and angered Ottawa to the point where, thereafter, any citizen of this country wanting to visit Canada must first secure a visa.

Most of the “refugees” ended up doing menial jobs they won’t be caught dead doing here. Large numbers easily adjusted to cleaning toilets and performing janitorial services. Others worked for minimum wage taking care of older people at geriatric homes. Most settled for jobs as store clerks or fast foods’ attendants, the most exploitative sector anywhere in the world. They lived in cramped, roach-ridden apartments, in conditions they would never have accepted in Trinidad.

They eventually had their immigrant status regularised, thanks to the generosity of the Canadian government.

And to be fair to some who formed the second wave of Indian immigration akin to the indentureship that brought their ancestors to the West, they used the opportunity to educate themselves, to “band their bellies” and eventually attain reasonable standards of living. Still, as a patriot, I cannot come around to forgiving them for their sins against all of us who remained here, bore the brunt of what was meted out to us, and continue to contribute to building this country we so love.

Not that successive governments and those in authority appreciate the tremendous sacrifices we have made. Prime Minister Patrick Manning, for example, who has governed the country for 11 of the last 22 years, treated us with a measure of scorn-until he saw the light-of-darkness in a Havana hospital. Mattered not how much we prevailed upon him to focus his attention on making citizens’ lives better, to lift us from underdeveloped status to a nation we could be proud of, he simply ignored us.

All we patriots ask for are good governance, basic amenities that make everyday life better for us, and a safer environment so that we can enjoy living, not merely existing. As I wrote last week, it took a recession to bring the PM back to basics, as Rio sang. He finally admitted he had to make adjustments to the unwarranted expenditure his government had undertaken in the name of Jah-knows-what. Clearly, he cannot abandon reshaping the nation’s skyline half-way: in Dubai, where wanton wastage was worse than ours, the firm building the mile-high “tallest building in the world” has stopped construction at a quarter-mile! Manning does not have that option, lest he wants to leave his pet projects looking more like the Gaza than Manhattan.

Having agreed on that, though, the PM must now re-direct our smaller funds to doing things that will make us proud we did not abandon our country. I outlined some last week, which I hope he noted. But there is so much more to be done. I get angry when I see law-abiding people having to resort to protest action because of the state of their roads. Sure, roads aren’t built in a day. But after 35 years of reasonable energy revenues, there should not be a road in this country that is no more than a strip of potholes and craters.

If government had spent half of its mega-projects allocations on upgrading housing, there would be no justification for the seas-of-slums that are not just eyesores, but criminal breeding grounds. People, especially the young, are influenced by the environments in which they live. The PM has seen life in poverty-stricken Cuba, and he knows that for all their suffering, their hospitals and polyclinics cater for their every need. We can do better here: health centres should operate around the clock, especially in rural districts. Police stations ought never to have closing hours: criminals seize the time, any time, to commit their heinous acts.

I trust Mr Manning gets my drift. Those who wish to flee the country today do not have choices. There are 2.6 million unemployed people in the USA. In Canada and the EU, the jobless rate has hit over seven per cent. There’s nowhere to run to, to seek refuge.

Our challenge is to make this country a better place-no, the best place-so that we would want to live here. Let us rally around T&T.

18 Responses to “Rally, rally ’round T&T”


  • I was astonished to read the half baked simplistic analysis of Raffique Shah explanation of why mainly indian descent Trinidadians left Trinidad for other countries. First he should know that many African Trinidadians left also and it is not for me to say way what jobs they are doing over sea. What he should know that is that any government should look after their citizens. They first responsible for any government is to protect their citizens from crime. The government has failed to do this. I have never seen houses so protected from criminals in so many countries I have visited except Trinidad. This reflects the priority of the government which is nil when it comes to security of its people.
    The roads in the country is just as it was when I left it 35 years ago. The water distribution system is the same as I left it 35 years ago. It was the rainy season when I visted Trinidad two years ago and it rained every day yet there was running water only some times during the week. There was no telephone lines so the internet could not be assessed. I heard and read so many stories that were taking place in the hospitals and it was painful to think about.
    Governments is there to build the infrastructure of the country ie roads,telephone, water, hospitals,schools, ensure security of its citizens and private interprise will do the rest. That what makes a country successful.
    I sometimes wonder if these people in government ever travel and see what other countries are like. As soon as you go to any of these countries the first thing one sees is the roads,how good they are. Is it to much to ask for any country to have some good roads. This is not rocket science? Or is it the calibre of the people running the country that need to be questioned.
    People have been migrating ever since they had the ability to move and it is really silly to blame one section of a population for trying to better themselves. This happens in ever country in the world. People in Trinidad deserves better. I will like to see fairness and justice in a country I was born in but had to leave to better my self. By the way I have a very good job having a number of degrees and is able to be a superviser of people who also have degrees. I also live in a big house in a lovely part of the London.
    I feel sorry for Shah who cannot see as far as his nose, and I am sure he does not have a big nose.
    Look around you, do you think Manning of Panday would be a leader in any other country. Tony Blair resigned as Prime Minister at the age of 53. Do you thing any of them in Trinidad will do the same. Ministers here have to answer to the people ever day ie appearing on television and radio and if they cannot provide a go reason why something did not go as planned they are under a lot of pressure to resign. And they usually do. How many ministers have resigned from their post in Trinidad? The crime problem would have been solved years ago if the minister of just home affairs had to answer to the public. I have just read that there have been 23 murders this year and it is only the 18th January. London has more than 7 million people and there are not that many murders. I wonder how many of those murderers would be caught and be convicted. Not many I am sure.
    So Shah do not go around blaming other section of the population without trying to work things out first in your little mind.
    SP.

  • I share some of the thoughts of the previous writer. Those who could of left, left and just as many went to the US as they did to Canada. It just that Canada, to a large extent was easier to get papers, while at the same time it was the place you were quicker to get deported from. But Shah would do well to enhance his calypso base and think of Stalin.”who want to go could go I have no objections” and David Rudder Trini to the bone. I always argue that the people who left are the true patriots for saying to the politicians we can’t take it no more we goin away. Yet every minute we get we tune into the internet, come home for carnival and send money and barrels by the droves. We Mr. Shah are the true patriots don’t use our experience to launch your attack on the Indian population.

  • Those jokers who fled the country are our “true patriots”? Gimme a break! We who have stayed here and fought all the political devils are the ones who understand what Mr. Shah writes about. He never said this is the land of milk and honey. But he asks us to help take it there. My only hope is Shah is ready to put his hat in the ring, not just write about the wrongs in this country. We are fed up with Manning, Panday et al.
    By the way, this fella who speaks about sending us “barrels”…what, he think we starving or what? When he loses job in the USA or Canada he’d probably want us to send him barrels. Stay in the US and Canada and clean toilets, make planes, who cares? We love our country and we have the guts to stay here and fight the devils. You all ran away. There’s a word for that: cowards! And I’ll add: traitors!

    Robin

  • Cousin dalgish you are missing the point of this refreshing and rather stimulating article by our sometimes controversial ,yet thought provoking friend and Editor at large Mr. Shah. No one especially Mr. Shah is attacking Indian population or is concerned as to whether even single one decides to run to Canada and England or God forbid Karachi ,or Andhra Pradesh to live as quick as yesterday.
    It is interesting that citizens flee in haste from our country to wipe the butts of white folks in similar second rate hospitals across North America , selling papers and trinkets in the cold streets of Queens or Toronto, performing entry level substandard jobs in computer sweat shops and factories across Europe , or developing into phony pseudo intellectuals that are inclined to sip disgusting English brewed teas in London or maybe Australia while pretending euphoric ecstasy into being accepted as Caucasian equals like for example Naipaul the perennial ungrateful Trinidadian genius .
    However while they run , ironically ,thousand of foreigners from across the globe are breaking down our immigration doors to get into the land of the free that is T&T. What is most reprehensible is that a few of these ungrateful bums often get sadistic pleasures in destroying the good name of our country to seemingly naïve foreigners and international organization with stupid genocidal/ terrorist acclamations while they wait patiently like South American cousins in Guyana wait to see if an elusive race oriented political savior can emerge to rule the roost at home and help ensure that greed , divisiveness, and sectarian politics riddled with corruption becomes the national norms in my land . How disgusting, and hopefully majority of our citizens , and the immigration world at large with a brain won‘t reward traitors! Could England , France, Germany, America , Canada and Australia emerge as world industrial and political giants if it had to contend with similar non patriots as citizens? No need to respond to this rhetorical question , as we know what your answer should be if you have any objective bones remaining in your body.- but I stand corrected.

  • i have nothing with t&t the only thing i want to happen is see a reduction in crime the government need to do something about this situation asap boy every night i pray for my country i is one how want to go back trini an live in the next 2 yrs. man this crime thing is too sickin now man

  • mekeda we have absolutly no concern as to what you intend to do in two years with respect to your so called country . Since when the capital of Trinidad and Tobago was Georgetown ? Explain. If the apple in your head for brains make you think that distorting information , and tarnishing the name of your country to every willing listener abroad would help errdicate crime in your country , then you are much better remaining where you are , starving on the banks of the Esequibo river in Berbice Guyana , or did you say Toronto ? I stand corrected.

  • look here neal no need for all that haste aright i am not bashing t&t jus saying that something needs to be done.

  • Care to tell us something we don’t know mekeda ?Crime is at an all time high , and our respective governmental authorities seems incapable of rectifying the situation especially for your recently nurtured 1st world taste. Tell me something ,do you believe in the saying that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander ? I am certain you do ,as you sound like one of our week end Caura curry duck limers that sometime around the middle eighties sort your fortunes elsewhere by convincing gullible Canadian authorities with the uncorroborated victimization ploys thus joining the long line of traitors prepared to turn a blind eyes to crimes in your beloved new communities ,but can never find anything positive to say about anywhere in the Caribbean unless the characters that rule the political roost shares a common trait / physical characteristic as you do. How pathetic!
    Let me throw two trick question at you to test your authenticity as to concerns about what you labeled as “too sickin crime thing.”How many years in jail if any should Opposition leader Mr. Panday receive after he is convicted along with his wife for the airport frauds committed while he was in power, or do you share the views of the racial apologist and believe that the government is on a racial witch-hunt in fervently pursuing this prosecution? Are you also passionate and mad as hell about the plight of hard working Caroni working folks that lost millions of dollars at the Hindu Credit Union by the deceptive action of the bandits with the billion dollar untouchable residences in Miami and tactic support of uncle Sat of Maha Saba fame ? Or do you view this as a normal globalization phenomenon , and feels that our government is better served giving hard core criminals 200 years in jail and 50 strokes per year with our infamous Cat- 0-nine tail. In short get tough only on blue color criminals idiots while giving a pat on the wrist on others with the means to escape prosecutions. Mind you I do not expect a response, for in typical fashion cowards like yourself enjoys throwing arrows and hiding under anonymity instead of engaging in meaningful discussions aims at alleviating concrete social problems like they do in your new found and much admired home .

    Damm ,we have to send a SOS to our neighboring cousin President Jagdeo of Guyana . “Sir “, it would say ,“we have to close the Trinidadian border soon with you folks , as the barefoot ,suffering leeches you have unleashed on us in this blessed country since assuming power from the Ms Jaghan the closet CIA, Yankee socialist are developing into national ingrates once they have saved enough money from their Charlotte Street junkets or so- called sharp business schemes and enterprises. They are now casting lascivious glances at Canada , England and USA ,two minutes after they’ve acquired the right to vote in sweet T&T, and have fallen prey to the influence of or various local country haters .”Unforgivable indeed!

  • I have carefully read Mr. Shah’s article, and I am astounded at Mr.Stephen Persaud assertion that Mr. Shah employed “half baked simplistic analysis” to explain why “mainly indian descent Trinidadians left Trinidad for other countries.”

    How he arrived at that conclusion is beyond me. Mr. Shah began by stating a fact that “the moment things turned sour in this country, those who could afford it would simply flee to the USA, Canada or Europe.” People migrated when ti=hings were not as rosy as they would like. He mentioned that this same practice by “mainly Indians” was an “aberration” since the reasons for leaving Trinidad and Tobago by this group of individuals were not based in fact–they lied to get entry into Canada by claiming refugee status.

    He was simply stating the facts just as they occured.

  • Section 2, Article 13 of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights clearly states the following: That “Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and return to his country.”
    It is therefore within the rights of Indo Trinidadians to do whatsoever they wish as far as improving their lives and that of families, and no one should fault them for that.
    Article 14 of the same document further states that “Everyone has a right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from prosecution.”
    This too is a clearly stated right that is accorded to any and everyone fortunate not to be a citizen of Cuba ,China, or any other throughout the globe , where real dictators are in control.
    However the vicious lies and distortions that are perpetuated by our many insular, tribal friends on the opposite side of the ‘so called national divide,’ can be mind boggling at times, especially due to the fact that it has often emanated from some of the most intelligent folks, which to their credit have done extremely well.
    It is why the time has come for our authorities to push some compulsory national service scheme ,perhaps using a paramilitary system or volunteerism in every child or young person in our country between the ages of 10 to 25 as a backdrop, so as to encouraging and or plant the seed of patriotism that is surely lacking.
    I need to stop drinking Vat19 on the rocks with our world acclaimed Angostura bitters this early in the day, as my suggestion has as much chance of becoming law to the same degree in which a ‘John John kinky hair’ high school drop out, crackpot and borderline thug might be able to convince Mikela the MP Princess from Oropuche West, to accept his proposal of marriage, within the presence of dad and live long enough to tell the tale.
    A better suggestion might be to feed them all the same Ramgoat liver and manish water that Jamaicans made into a national dish , as this obviously can better explain why they do not possess the same anti nationalism problem that Trinidad and pre Jagdeo Guyana seems to be bothered by.
    Hic !

  • I have read each of your conribuions on this topic and valid points have been made on each. I would like to add my two cents for whatever value that it may hold. Mr.Shah has eloquently and precisely layed out his thoughts and converged on holding those of us that migrated under the “scam” refugee status accountable. To some measure his thoughts are accurate but not in its entirety.

    I happen to be one of those that migrated in the 80’s and yes, claiming refugee assylum was the mens rea of the application. let is be understood that the application form and it’s contents were not the true reasoning behind the defection, it was the only avenue available for legalizing the living arrangements in Canada. Those who were fortunate to meet the guidelines to be able to stay legally did not have to resort to such a low, misguided, unpariotic and down-right false allegations against our country of birth.

    Many of us had no family ties or compensable work skills tha would qualify us to make an application via the front door, hence the ‘refugee” claim-the back door, was the only option available to enter.

    let it also be known that most of us who left Trinidad and Tobago did so for various reasons, none of which qualified as “refugee.” On a personal note, I left because of family. I had just lost the only job I ever had since leaving school, my wife was helped by her relative that lived in Quebec and wanted no part of me, i was christian and she was Muslim, this didn’t sit well with the family. My own family disowned me because i allowed my wife and only child, their first grand daughter to leave. It was difficult to live in the same house with parents and siblings that wouldn’t speak to you. A hugle padlock in the kitchen so I couldn’t get any food. I sold all my belongings, took every penny I had, bought a ticket and ran like hell to canada. with one friend and a spring jacket and $526 in my name I landed at the Pearson International airport Oct.28, 1988.

    From that day I have seen more hell than any poor Trini could ever see while living in T&T. With Minus 30’Degrees Celcius temperatures, sleeping on a couch, ate once a day, no friends, work for $4/hr under he table (illegal), pay half of that for rent. Yes, it was hell but it was better than having to live with family that scorned you because of your personal choices.

    I’ve come a long way since. I eventually abondoned my refugee claim 3 years later and decided to return to Trinidad. I informed a female friend of my intentions and after discussing my options when I returned she offered her assistance to get me legalized. We got married and lived as man and wife for 9yrs before we split up.

    Since then Ive put myself through college. I enered the field of Social work. My life has changed alot since 1988.

    Some might wonder why i’m giving such personal and detailed information, but I felt compelled to do so. just so those of you who solidly believe that those people who defected and had only sickening and unpatriotic things to say about our native land, in actuality, not so.

    Some people have he ability to ride the wave for a lifetime, and then some feel life is too short to take that ride. In hindsight, I probably never would’ve taken the ride out but instead rode the wave at home, but I can’t change that. Those of us who flew the coup then had no real reason to ill speak our native land, but the same cannot be said for today. Those people looking to flea are doing so because they have become afraid to ride the wave and have lost heart. Some have lost more than heat, they have lost thier children, parents, friends and neighbours to violence.

    As it stands, it’s a blessing to go to bed at night in Trinidad and Tobago and wake up in one piece. Everyday a we lose a “few good men.” The young, the old, female, men and children, no one is safe anymore.

    Finally, please, before you label those people looking to run for cover, as unpatriotic or cowards, live a day in their shoes, attend their funerals and join the hunt when their loved ones are kidnapped and murdered, then, draw a conclusion on their pressing need to flee. I’ve always dreamed of moving back to my native land to continue to live out the rest of my days and in some way contribute to society if it would and could make a difference. But judging from the current status quo, i’m hesitant, for fear of the old cliche “he came back to die.”

  • I would like to add a few comments to this great debate. First and foremost my family left T&T in the late 50′ early 60′ I was educated abroad and I am very happy to call another country my home. Why because it was all accepting in my family rights to live work and our freedom without harrassment from anyone. Now I have my children and they too have been exploring this great world of ours without hinderance or oppression. I have return numerious times to T&T and tell you what I was not impressed with the so called changes, in the market in chauguanas the one of the vendors started to abuse me calling me a freshwater immigrant (I beg you pardon) you must be kidding me. The day a person cannot walk a street without provocation that’s the time to go back home. Incidentlly my home is Canada and no we did not do menial jobs here nor did my family and my cousins in the great T&T are educated there but work at odd jobs and can never seem to get ahead. I hope this can clear up any missconception or the accusation that we are traitors. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to have my say.

  • Mr. Shah just a little note, everyone has the democratic right to travel, live and enjoy the freedom as a citizen in the country they reside in. Furthermore maybe the racisim that dwell in your country or government should be reevaluated and addressed before making such hasty comments or articling your single minded comments

  • Yes they do Juls, but being part of a democracy I also have the right to despise you for being a country hating traitor that is prepared to use every opportunity to tarnish the name of your country of birth- Trinidad and Tobago – with vicious lies and distortions, while at the same time downplaying the blatant and subtle forms of discriminations you and your obedient sheep like kids obviously received in Canada your new home during the past four to five decades. It’s not too late to stand up for your country , Ottawa cares little about you.

  • Well Mr. Shah thank you for your shody response but see somehow I believe in the government and country I have supported for the last decades and I am happy in what I can do here in return, so are my children and the world is their’s to embrace unlike the small minded way the country you so blindly defend. Maybe you and your fellow citizen should open your mind and educate the young one’s ,nuture them that look up to all of you and forget the rum shop baccahanal behaviour. Someone should be the mentors and I sure hope it’s not people like you. A little charity goes a long way!!!! And despise me as much as you like because in my heart I know my parents did what was best for us. By the way how’s the disgusting police comm. doing with the corrupt police service. And don’t think I don’t know about that, because I was raped on numerous times by one and his son is following in his father’s footstep. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

    Have a good day Mr. Shah!!!!

  • All I can say is that without the great foundation and excellent education I received in my beloved homeland of Trinidad, any accomplishment that I have acheived here in the USA would not be possible. I love my country implicitly, initially it was not my choice to migrate.
    When my beloved grandmother died in 1979, I stayed with my aunt and attended St Benedicts College until 1983.
    After taking my exams, my mother, a naturalized US citizen insisted in no uncertain terms that I relocate.
    At age 16 I had no job and no one to assist me, so I complied. My heart has always been in Trinidad, I am thankful and blessed to have been born in such a diverse and beautiful country, my kids will defintely have dual citizenship because regardless of what situations or levels of crime that exist home now, Trinidad is still a shining jewel in the caribbean.
    Let’s cherish and love our homeland and each other. I remember during the seventies when I was a child how wonderful it was to live
    in Trinidad, people cared about each other and each other’s kids.
    The village really did raise the child. Each post on this blog is worthy of being read, since we can all agree to disagree.
    However, when the dust settles, collectively we all have some blame in the way the crime and high unemployent and other social ills have manifested in the last two decades. Many Trinidadian immigrant parents in the USA abdicated parental responsibility to some extent
    in pursuit of the greenback, leaving their children to their own wares. Resulting in many of them getting involved in crime and drug peddling which eventually led to incarceration and deportation of may non-citizens.
    This gradually became a nightmare for many caribbean governments who were not prepared to deal with these angry disillusioned group of deported persons. Who then continued to pursue the same lives of crime at home that they did abroad with even more reckless abandon.
    Adding only more problems to a Police force that never has been prepared for the magnitude and scope of this problem.

    Notwithstanding the inherent corruption that was there for so long.
    Many remember a one Randolph Burroughs and his infamous Flying Squad.
    You get my drift, unfortunately a relative of mine was a member of that group, so I was privy to overhearing some of the dastardly things they did. Partisanship seems to be the ultimate nullifier, for even when we see members of our so-called political party straying, we keep on putting them right back in office.

    I can only hope that my beloved country will once again withstand these storms of uncertainty and my people, remember that we were “Forged from the love of liberty in the fires of Hope and Prayer with boundless faith in our destiny we solemnly declare”
    Out of many people one nation, “Together we aspire together we achieve” wherever your may reside, Trinis we will always be.
    One Love my people and my nation.

    Yoel

  • Sadly,the author of the lead article cannot see further than the bridge,therefore to target mainly one sector, shows his limitation to understanding the Trini’s rational for heading to the land afar.
    Its is obvious that his expressions were based on his own failure to “Flee” therefore,by attacking those who did, for their own personal reasons,people of various racial backdrop,was made to look as the biggest Crime that was ever comitted.Why attack those who were educated by their own “Tax $$”,while the Politicans in high offices,are able to get away with murder with the same “Tax $$”.Are you suggesting that to many citizens have migrated,and there are not enough man power left behind to carry on the fight?
    Come on man,enough of casting blame on others for our failures.
    The very reasons that Mother Africa, Mother India and Mother England
    among others,sent their children out to build “Sweet T&T” is enough lyrics for us to understand that migrating to another Country,is part of human behaviour . Whether,at the time, when “Ship Is Sinking”, or just “Setting Sail With The Wind”,sensible people will always look for ways to improve the lives of theirs, and family, seizing any given opportunity to do so in search of a better furture.
    Let it be known that thousands of those who have left the shores are very successful people,even though they performed jobs as described by the author,with pride “An honest days work for an honest days pay”,except they could have returned to the CPEP mentallity.
    Finially,Thank God,that the Laws of the land were laid down by the British,oh!how much we depend on Massa,so that citizens can return to their home land without fear of being victims who” Abandon ship”.Time for us to Grow people,and see what we can do to make T&T a better place for us who choose to stay.Why should we not wish those who migrated the very best,and encourage them to return with their much more developed mind and expertise,or do we prefer to keep paying the expats wages x$7?

  • Thanks Yoel for doing what many of our nationals lack the moral decency to do- admit that yours is a wonderful country that is rift with problems just like any where else on the planet. There seems to be this distorted notion that is being branded about by a few disingenuous folks with obvious ulterior motives. It is that somehow that this blog is saturated with folks that wish that they remain in our country and not look for opportunities abroad in more develop countries that are beneficial for them and families .
    These same characters seem prepared to let loose the view that the jealous, obsessive critics of ‘the country haters,’ wish that our expats should pack their symbolic bags and run home to live in the land of mismanagement, neglect ,and underachievement . Far from it. It is one thing to point fingers as I would continually do to flaws that our country possess, it is quite another to deliberately tarnish the name of the country throughout the global village because it is politically expedient so to do. , and due to the fact that we are historically tolerant , and forgiving people .- ask cousin Abu Baker if you doubt .
    There is absolutely nothing wrong in loving to one’s heart desire Africa, Asia, Europe , Antarctica or anywhere else , however one should recognize that Trinidad and Tobago is our home and we have a duty to do everything in our power to preserve it and build it. The reasons are obvious, you can write the best books and prose in the world and speak the finest English , but will never be an Englishman . One can teach in the best Universities across North America , or invent the finest patented technologies in Canada and parts of Europe , and guess what , you are still a mere 1st , 2nd, or 3rd generation immigrant outsider ,playing a useful role in developing another country.
    Our country needs you , so do your part within reason to aid its development without jeopardizing your safety , and comfort .Why not start by calling that old school you were privileged to get that educational start from and enquire what they need in terms of books or computers and other educational demands , then roll into action working in collaboration with a local NGO or create one. Pick up the phone and encourage that businessman friend to hire a young willing and able male or female national without 10 A’ levels , as opposed to only illegal immigrants from the Caribbean , Asia and Africa , simply because it is financially expedient. Use your influence to get in the face of your elected officials and say hey, the days of race based sectarianism , and regional politics are counterproductive so bring out a different playbook . If Hubert Humphrey could Paley Sou Sou lands into a political movement to help catapult the mighty PNM from power, so can other broad based national grassroots movements .
    Do the Carnival shuffle once a year if you wish , but also start a disaster relief , after school, drug counseling, and job skills creation program in conjunction with the church, temple or Mosque that kept your family in tact during your early developments . Can you believe that all of this can be done without burning that newly acquired citizenship or Green Card ?
    Yes it can, and we should rally round T&T with all its warts and all.
    Regards.

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