Tag Archive for 'Dr Eric Williams'

Contradictions & Counterfactuals – Pt 3

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
February 20, 2018

“…a state could never have been born without surplus.” —Yanis Varoufakis


Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeReading Ralph Maraj and Kamal Persad’s contributions, one would think that Eric Williams and the PNM were the worst things that ever happened to Trinidad and Tobago (T&T). They seem to suggest that if only Badase Sagan Maraj and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) had won the 1956 general election T&T would have been a paradise.
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Contradictions & Counterfactuals – Pt 2

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
February 13, 2018

“…a state could never have been born without surplus.” —Yanis Varoufakis


Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIn the nineteenth century Trinidad saw the first massive giveaway of lands and bonuses to the Indians in lieu of their passages to India. Those options were never available to Africans. This was the first step in the systematic dispossession of Africans in the land to which they had been brought. Few of us seem to remember it.

Fast-forward to one hundred and thirty years (around the year 2003) when a PNM government engineered another massive giveaway of lands, which is taking place in front of our eyes under the faulty premise that Indians had the first preference because they farmed the lands. This was/is strange logic since these lands belong to all nationals.
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Love a Donkey: Besson’s Independence Fables – Pt 1

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 03, 2017


Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI always marvel when relatively intelligent people say silly things about Africans and our past because of their color or class position. In “Independence Legacies” Gerard Besson offers a mishmash of information, which suffers from factual, interpretive, and definitional flaws. Besson is more concerned with trotting out an ideological position rather than with offering an analytical argument to support his contentions. It’s almost as though his “Creoleness” exempts him from treating his subject matter with the academic rigor it deserves.
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The Great Betrayal – Part 4

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
May 02, 2017


Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeDr. Williams and Dr. Capildeo were astounded when they heard the news: “The UWI picks T&T’s Bermudez as next Chancellor.” While they did not agree on many things there was mutual consternation at this news.

Dr. Williams said: “I know Alfredo Fernandez. He was one of our MPs in 1961. But do you know who Anthony is?”
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The Great Betrayal – Part 3

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
April 25, 2017


Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeA wry smile came over Dr Capildeo’s face as Dr Williams bemoaned his party’s betrayal in acquiescing to the massive giveway of the Chaguaramas lands. Dr Capildeo could not help but remember a similar land giveaway that had taken place under Dr Williams’s eyes even though Dr Capildeo did not live to see the long-term effects of that deal.
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The Great Betrayal – Part 2

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
April 18, 2017

PART 1 – PART 2 – PART 3 – PART 4

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeDr. Rudranath Capildeo, Dr. Eric Williams’s underground companion, tried to console him when he heard about the massive giveaway of the Chaguaramas lands. Dr. Williams informed him it was his party, the United National Congress under the leadership of Kamla Persad-Bissessar that started giving away the land.
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Three eminent jurists

By Raffique Shah
January 25, 2014

Raffique ShahIn my column last week, in recounting the legal encounters between the late Karl Hudson-Phillips and the progressive forces during the events of 1970, I made a serious omission that I now seek to rectify.

I mentioned the condonation pleas that set the mutinous soldiers free—their genesis and the attorneys who successfully pursued them. Readers need note that the court martial over which Nigeria’s Col Theophilus Danjuma presided, rejected the pleas (in bar of trial), which were made by Rex Lassalle, Maurice Noray and myself. The trial proceeded, and most of the soldiers were found guilty of mutiny and other offences, and sentenced to varying terms of imprisonment.
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I come not to praise Karl

By Raffique Shah
January 19, 2014

Raffique ShahFriends, Trinis, countrymen, I come not to praise Karl, nor indeed, to bury him. I come instead to tell some truths about Mr Hudson-Phillips, some complimentary, others unsavory, but which, wherever he may be, he would applaud me for having the courage to enunciate, honourable man that he was.
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UNC internals: theatre of the absurd

By Raffique Shah
March 25, 2012

Raffique ShahI LEARNED a lesson in political morality — surely an oxymoron — at the politically tender age of 35. It came from the Machiavellian master himself, Basdeo Panday. Panday and I, along with George Weekes, Joe Young and others, had founded the United Labour Front back in 1976, when I was 30 years old. Within two years, Bas would “mash up” the organically integrated dream party when a number of us took what we thought were principled positions on fundamental issues, details of which are well documented.
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30 Years and Counting

By Raffique Shah
December 04, 2011

Raffique ShahIT occurred to me recently that I have been writing newspaper columns for 30 years. When I started writing opinion pieces back in 1981, I did not think of it as a career. I was 35 years young, already an ex-soldier who had become notorious during the mutiny of 1970. I was also an ex-MP who had fought fiercely against both Dr Eric Williams and Basdeo Panday, and paid the ultimate political price for having the nerve to cross two crosses that were too heavy to bear.
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