Tag Archives: Selwyn R. Cudjoe

A case of narcissistic sycophancy

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
Submitted: December 04, 2022
Posted: December 06, 2022

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeBy the time you read this column, the Hon Keith Rowley will have been re-elected leader of the PNM by as much as about 75 to 80 per cent of the vote. In so doing, party members have placed their seal of endorsement on everything he has done, thereby taking full responsibility for the downward spiral in which the country finds itself. On the very weekend in which he is elected leader of the party, we will be witnessing a record number of homicides in the country.
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A sacrificial lamb

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
November 28, 2022

“Little lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee,
Gave thee life, and bid thee feed
By the stream and o’er the mead…”

—William Blake, “The Lamb”

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeTwo weeks ago I spoke about the incivility in our political culture and the need to refrain from making savage attacks against one another. Many people responded favourably to my article. Richard de Lima, writing from Ontario, Canada, observed: “I have been reading your columns in the Express several years, which though always informative, sometimes stimulating, and often entertaining, have not prompted me to write you before. On this occasion, I feel obliged to extend my compliments to you on the penetrating remarks made about the conduct of PNM ministers and other senior party officials in regard to challengers for various positions in the forthcoming party elections.
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No place to hide

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
November 14, 2022

“There’s no hidin’ place up there,
Oh, I went to the hills to hide my face,
The hills cried out, ‘No hidin’ place;
There’s no hidin’ place up here.”

—An Afro-American spiritual

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeThings have been warming up (or deteriorating) lately in the political arena among those who see others as pothounds; those who consider themselves as thoroughbreds; and those who accuse challengers of the established order as possessing sinister motives.

Stuart Young, Minister of Energy, demeaned PNM members who offered themselves for leadership positions in the party’s forthcoming elections. He claimed that since 2015, some of them have done nothing but criti­cise the party leaders “like little pothounds barking at our ankles as though they are the opposition and now they want to put themselves forward and call themselves firstly PNM members and then secondly want to be PNM leaders”.
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Out of the cane fields of Tacarigua

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
November 07, 2022


Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOn June 27 I received the following e-mail from Margaret Heath, a relative of William Hardin Burnley (WHB). It read: “I thought you might be interested to know that my brother, as executor of my mother’s estate, has just informed me he has consigned a trunkful of extensive family papers that belonged to William Burnley and his son, Frederick Burnley, to Paul Laidlow, Auctioneers, Carlisle, to be included in their sale of July 1st/2nd.”
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Out of the cane fields of Tacarigua

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
October 31, 2022


Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeLast Wednesday, I had lunch with Caroline Elkins, the author of the very important book, Legacy of Violence: A History of the British Empire. A founding director of Harvard’s Center for African Studies, Elkins is also a professor of history and African and African American studies at Harvard University. As a product of a colonial education, I was particularly impressed with the depth and thoroughness of her study.
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Out of the cane fields of Tacarigua

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
October 24, 2022


Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI began this series with the truism that the little people who come out of the cane fields and the rice paddies are the salt of the society. They are the ones who do what they must do to enhance the society because they believe they are a part of something bigger than themselves, something called community.

I started with Ulric “Buggy” Haynes, and went on to speak about Vernon Scott, William Holder, Cecil Boyce, and the other members of the Tacarigua Village Council who gave their time and energy to their community, without any financial reward.
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Out of the cane fields of Tacarigua

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
October 17, 2022


Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOn May 8, 1982, I delivered a lecture, “The Village Council as an Organ of Popular Democracy”, at the Tacarigua Village Council on the eve of its 350-year anniversary, the village having entered its name into the island’s vocabulary in 1634 when it was identified as one of the four encomiendas at the foothills of the Northern Range.

Most of the Amerindians in the village came from around Lake Tacarigua in Venezuela, which explains the origin of the village name. Years earlier, I had visited Lake Tacarigua in search of origins even though I spoke little Spanish.
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Out of the cane fields of Tacarigua

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
October 10, 2022


Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeThe Tacarigua Village Council was inaugurated on May 23, 1946. Vernon Scott, the principal of Tacarigua EC School, was the first president of the council. Since then, a long line of villagers presided over the council and worked tirelessly, without pay, to keep the centre going until today. David King, a life-long member of the Village Council, defined the Village Council as “the eyes and ears of the community. It’s designed to secure social and cultural amenities for the district”.
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Celebrating the 46th Anniversary of the Republic Day, T&T

An Address to the Trinidad & Tobago Association of Washington, D.C., October 2, 2022 by Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI am pleased that your president, Nigel Scott, has invited me to address you on the 46th Anniversary of our Republic even though I prefer to see the evolution of our political independent life beginning in 1962. In this context, I would also like to pay my respects to H. E. Brigadier General Anthony W. J. Phillips-Spence, Ambassador Extraordinaire and Plenipotentiary, Embassy of Trinidad and Tobago in Washington, D.C. What I am sure that your president did not tell you is that in 1962 both of us were invited by Dr. Eric Williams, Premier of Trinidad and Tobago, to attend a three-day meeting at Queen’s Hall, Port of Spain, to discuss a draft of the first Independence constitution. The meeting took place from April 25-27, 1962. The invitation read in part:
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