Tag Archive for 'Politics'

Beware: nasty election campaigns ahead

By Raffique Shah
March 20, 2019

Raffique ShahIf you thought that Vernella Alleyne-Toppin had plumbed the depth of depravity when, in the run-up to the 2015 general election, the then Tobago East MP launched the most scurrilous, vulgar attack on People’s National Movement leader Dr Keith Rowley, believe me, you haven’t seen the nastiest political campaigning yet.

Alleyne-Toppin had been allowed by House Speaker Wade Mark all the time she needed to allege that Rowley was a biological product of rape, and that he, in turn, would later end up committing the heinous crime to father a son. The alleged victims openly denied Toppin’s baseless charges, which were read into Hansard in the presence of her political leader, then Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, and other People’s Partnership parliamentary colleagues, none of whom intervened to stop the nastiness.
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Kamla’s Position on Venezuela Ascended the High Moral Ground

By Stephen Kangal
March 09, 2019

Stephen KangalIn the face of rapidly unfolding political and diplomatic events globally and the current isolation of T&T for its ill-advised decision to recognize unwittingly and side with the internationally denounced illegal and illegitimate regime of Nicolas Maduro bilaterally while pursuing a contradictory neutrality/ non-interference position at the multilateral Caricom and UN levels, it appears to me that Kamla outwitted Prime Minister Rowley in her strategic support for Interim President Juan Guaido.
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While I Am Here!

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
February 25, 2019

“Until all races see each other as brothers and sisters and not as competitors or enemies Trinidad and Tobago is not going to move forward.”

—Kamla Persad-Bissessar

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI congratulate the Hon. Kamla Persad-Bissessar for the brave speech on race relations in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) that she delivered on Monday, February 11. While I do not agree totally with the accuracy of her “short history lesson,” thinking in and of the future is much more important than being mired in the commess of the present. Demeaning Persad-Bissessar’s important insights by castigating the probity of her having Malone Hughes, a brother who was charged and fined several times , on her platform does a disservice to a brilliant analysis of our present condition. It reduces a pressing existentialist issue to a misguided rant about non-sense.
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Do not politicise war against crime

By Raffique Shah
February 20, 2019

Raffique ShahBuried in the last paragraph of a document titled “Interim Gang Report 2018”, which was compiled by the Organised Crime and Intelligence Unit of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service and featured prominently in the last Sunday Express, was one of the main reasons why criminal gangs conduct their savagery with impunity, making a mockery of all attempts by new Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith to rein in their murderous rampage.

Said paragraph concludes: “…Extensive co-ordination between the TTPS and the T&T Prisons Service is crucial to expand investigations and gather intelligence to address the growing threat gangs pose to T&T.”
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Periscope on upcoming national elections

By Raffique Shah
February 12, 2019

Raffique ShahEven as the crisis in neighbouring Venezuela remains volatile, with the threat of civil war looming large just beyond our horizon, politicians in Trinidad and Tobago are pressing ahead with preparations for their own political wars—local government elections due to be held later this year and a general election before the end of next year.

Elections in Trinidad and Tobago are driven by one core issue: when the People’s National Movement holds power, as it does now, how to remove it from office. Or when it’s out in the wilderness of opposition, how to keep it there. Nothing more, nothing less.
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Using Parliamentary Time to Humiliate the USA

By Stephen Kangal
February 11, 2019

Stephen KangalI am getting the impression that although we are mere seven miles from Venezuela, have potential energy interests there to safeguard and cultivate we also have even more compelling economic, technical co-operation and diasporic interests within the USA that is in fact our largest trading partner and source of actual and promising huge investment prospects.

Why is T&T giving undue precedence to propping up illegitimate and dictatorial Maduro and humiliating the USA in our current foreign policy posturing?
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Unknown Guaido: pawn in a high-stakes game

By Raffique Shah
February 06, 2019

Raffique ShahSitting as we are in Trinidad and Tobago on ringside seats watching the political crisis in Venezuela unfold, events are moving so quickly they appear to be spiralling out of control.

The apparent chaos was scripted in Washington over more than a decade, with only the key actors’ names and roles changing to suit the dynamics of regime-replacement. The aim of the exercise, as one of my lecturers in military warfare used to prefix his sessions, is to remove Nicolas Maduro from the presidency of Venezuela by any means necessary, and replace him with a compliant candidate, once the puppet understands that when he is installed in office, he complies with the dictates of the US State Department.
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Venezuelans should thank Rowley, not cuss him

By Raffique Shah
January 30, 2019

Raffique ShahThe Government of Trinidad and Tobago has adopted a correct response to the political crisis in the neighbouring Republic of Venezuela. In conforming with the United Nations charter that member-states will not intervene in the internal affairs of sovereign nations, as Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley explained, T&T has opted instead to join with CARICOM countries to try to persuade the UN to mediate between the warring factions and hopefully diffuse the tension and bring a peaceful resolution to the crisis.
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Society steeped in corruption

By Raffique Shah
January 16, 2019

Raffique ShahSometime in 2017, I wrote a column in which I counselled Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley to refrain from hurling allegations of corruption against ministers and senior officials of the People’s Partnership Government unless or until such time as some them have been charged with serious corruption-related criminal offences.

By then, I had reasoned, most citizens had grown fed up with such allegations being made by parties in power and those in opposition, with no proof produced as they exchanged places every five years from 1986 when the People’s National Movement was first voted out of office after a 30-year grip on power. The average person knew or believed there was rampant corruption involving PNM ministers, and the overwhelming vote they gave the National Alliance for Reconstruction was fuelled by expectations that they would finally see “big sawatees” hauled before the courts in handcuffs, with many of the crooks ending up behind bars like the common criminals they were.
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A Caribbean Hero

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
January 01, 2019

“Me think he do something for the people. Me think he think back and he see the cries of the people them and he do that.”

—Mona, East Canje, Berbice, Stabroek News

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIt was an ordinary political moment. The Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) of Guyana moved a routine non-confidence motion against David Granger-led A Partnership for National Unity (APNU+AFC) when back-bencher Charrandas Persaud (AFC) surprised every member of Guyana’s National Assembly by supporting the motion.
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