Tag Archive for 'Selwyn R. Cudjoe'

Ralph Maraj’s Myopia

By Dr. Selwyn Cudjoe
October 22, 2014

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeRECENTLY, I had a lively debate with Ralph Maraj on Cuba and its successes on i95 FM Showdown programme. Mr Maraj insisted that nothing good could come out of Cuba because Cuba has failed as a socialist society and there is “no freedom in that country”. I tried to convince him that Cuba has emerged as a leader on the world stage in areas of health care and education and there is little crime to speak of in that country. He insisted that Cuba was worthy only of condemnation.
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The Responsibility of Intellectuals

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
October 16, 2014

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeLast Saturday I attended the launch of Sat Maharaj: Hindu Civil Rights Leader of Trinidad and Tobago, a biography written by Kumar Mahabir. Although I did not read the book (it was not available at the time) I could see the enthusiasm and joy that emanated from an audience that had come to embrace Sat as their personal hero. I attended the function to congratulate Sat for having placed, via Mahabir, a partial account of his life.
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Professor Maignot’s Non-Response

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
August 20, 2014

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeProfessor Antony Maingot has accused me of myopia but he has not responded to the arguments I made in my recent article on the constitutional reform proposed by the present government. Even if we grant that everything he says is true they do not refute my contention that in most of our political discussions we go no further than 1955; we do not look for constitutional precedence in our social and political history; and we do not seek, at any time, to determine the events had shaped our present thereby making us a unique society.
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Staining the Soul of Our Nation

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
August 15, 2014

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeTo hear Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Anand Ramlogan tell it, one would think that August 12, 2014, was a red-letter day for Trinidad and Tobago’s democracy. They seem to indicate that somehow our society realized one of its brightest moments when the PP voted legislation to recall parliamentary representatives after three years of service if the needs arises, to creating time limits for the prime minister and, most important, to require that each parliamentary representative receive more than 50 percent of the votes cast at a general election though not necessarily more than 50 percent of the total voters of that constituency. Although I have no problems with the first two resolutions, I don’t know what democratic magic occurs when 50.1 percent rather than 49.50 percent of a constituency votes for a candidate of their choice.
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The Impact of Caribbean Culture on North America

Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe delivered this lecture on June 27, 2014 in New York for National Caribbean-American Heritage Month.

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
June 28, 2014

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeWhen Brother Aggery Dechinea, associate director of grievances and legal services, asked me to address you on the impact of Caribbean Culture on North America, I really had to scratch my head for the simple reason that North America includes Canada and the United States and as much as we would like to cross boundaries I thought it best that we narrow our focus to “The Impact of Caribbean Culture on the United States.” This is certainly much more doable.
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Happy Indian Arrival Day: Documenting Indian/Trinibagonian History

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
June 01, 2014

Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe“A child is as much wronged by being left uneducated as it is by being left unfed.” Antoine Fortune, Public Opinion, October 30, 1888.

I endorse Sat Maharaj’s offer of grants of “about $100,000 to local historians who wish to document ‘authentic’ East Indian history in the communities” (Express, May 25). Although I don’t know what Sat means by “authentic” history or what constitutes misrepresented histories “by the children of converts,” I still think his thrust is correct. We need to pay greater attention to our past so that we can better understand our present.
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Confessions of a Soft Man

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
April 13, 2014

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeLet me confess to my eternal shame that I am a soft man. After my prostatectomy (an operation for prostate cancer) about six years ago, I am sure that I can never win any titles for possessing the hardest hard which some of our calypsonians, promoters of this kind of wisdom, proclaim is the true sign of a real man.
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Cuffie’s Fantasies

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
March 11, 2014

Part 1

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeMaxie Cuffie is a dear friend. It is unfortunate that he misrepresented and distorted what I said in my article. In his anxiety to defend our party, he simply repeats and repositions what he believes rather than to confront the points I made in”PNM’s Last Chance.” (Express, March 3 & 4, 2014)
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PNM’s Last Chance

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
March 05, 2014

Part 1

A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones—and South Africa treated its imprisoned African citizens like animals.

—Nelson Mandela

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI am pretty certain that Keith Rowley will emerge victorious during the PNM’s party election and go on to become the next prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago. Fortunately, that is the easy part of the political equation. The more difficult part is to govern in such a way that the society emerges in a better place than it is in 2014. That’s the challenge PNM faces when it takes the helm of government. However, if Rowley and the PNM fail to leave Trinidad (and especially our brothers and sisters in our depressed areas) in a better way than they found them in 2014, one can confidently predict that 2020 would mark the beginning of the end of the PNM as a political force in our country.
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The Indian Experience in Trinidad, or The Triumph of Ideology Over Scholarship

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
November 24, 2013

No one, again with the exception of the extinct Carib people, and perhaps the Spanish people can claim to be ‘natives’ of the island. All peoples were newcomers to Trinidad, and all were immigrants. The immigrant nature of the society of Trinidad needs to be recognized for what it was and what it is. (537)

GeradTikasingh, Trinidad During the 19th Century

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeGerad Tikasingh has written an interesting book, Trinidad During the 19th Century: The Indian Experience, an extension of his doctoral thesis, “The Establishment of Indians in Trinidad, 1870,” that he completed at UWI, St Augustine, Trinidad in 1973. Although his book is filled with facts, it is marred by an ideological orientation (one may say Indo-centric perspective) and a negative rendering of the African experience in the country. This book continues an argument made by other Indo-Caribbean scholars that suggests that the dominance of an Afro-centric ethos (which Tikasingh calls a “black bias”) has “tended to downplay, if not obscure the parallel Indo-Caribbean experience of indentureship and its contributions to Guyanese and Trinidadian culture in particular” (see Frank Birbalsingh, Indo Caribbean Resistance, 1993).

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