Trinidad and Tobago Bulletin Board
Homepage | Weblog | Trinbago Pan | Trinicenter | TriniView | Photo Gallery | Forums

View Trinidad and

Trinidad and Tobago News Forum

Revenge and the Cold Dish

“If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared”
Niccolo Machiavelli

Ever since the unemployed Italian Political Philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli wrote his now famous book the ‘Prince’ politicians and theorist have been trying to perfect and skillfully practice the art of political revenge and leadership, while placing all the blame squarely on his shoulders. In a very recent conversation I had with a fellow citizen on one of these boards, he did as was natural and expected, lower his guard, and let slip the comment that Mr. Basdeo Panday the present firebrand politician Opposition leader is “overbearing, and nationally disliked.” I in turn allowed the comment to slide as I asked myself, what could conceivably make him believe that is the case? I thought to myself if the Opposition leader was really viewed in such a manner the possibility he might presently be in jail perhaps Cararia, eating from a rice bowl one meal per week, as a result of a multitude of reasons his many enemies might conjure up on him during his years of service. It was the lonely and frail figure of former Prime Minister, and President Mr. ANR Robinson, that gingerly walk with much assistance as he attempted to lay a wreath at the Red House 18 year anniversary ceremony to commemorate the 1990 attempted coup that brought forth such thoughts of what can only be seriously described as a ‘disliked’ or preferably hatred.

Can anyone ever believe that on such a solemn and tragic anniversary- that will forever have an impact on the nation’s psyche, that the busy Prime Minister and Opposition Leader could not even have the decency to show up and pay some respect, and help the nation reflect? Of the 192 nations that comprise the United Nations, rest assured that Trinidad and Tobago is the only one in the world that would allow its leaders to pull such a hateful and vindictive stunt such as this, but that’s the type of country we are- happy go lucky, and guess what, these leaders are quite aware that “we like it so.”

Now mind you all three leaders were able to exact some modicum of revenge on the each other through the years for perceived or obvious slights. It was in 1986 Mr.Robinson got his first taste of revenge against Mr. Manning when he was able to manipulate two other sly giants Karl Hudson Phillip and Basdeo Panday to assume leadership of the NAR and so oust the PNM as the young Manning sat and ate his fingernails and promised to himself ,never again . Mr. Panday got his revenge when in 1988, Robinson was forced to fire him for reasons the nation is still attempting to decipher some twenty years later, but that’s a whole different story that might require another steady year of writing to explain.

Something occurred on July 27 th 1990 ,and for 18 years concerned citizens have been demanding to know what had occurred, and who knew what as the roll call and absentees seem to indicate that something unsavory took place. There is no way many are saying, that a bunch of illiterate, degenerates, pseudo religious fake Islamic punks , led by an ex- police football goalkeeper could have done what was done to the government, and nation without the assistant of others that we’ll have to wait for a special enquiry to know about. In perhaps the only act of unity between the Mr. Panday and Mr. Manning since entering politics, both their respective governments repeatedly refused to support any talk of such enquiry to ascertain the truth, and ensure some semblance of national closure to these terrible acts that almost rank with two others of equal devastating proportion in the region. I am talking about brutal invasions against Panama and Grenada respectively by the US government.

What exactly is there about this man Mr. ANR Robinson that brought out the venom and hatred towards him by others especially these two stalwart political leaders? First of all, he was born on the wrong island, for those of our foreigners who cannot understand how one country can be represented by two islands with different names. Tobago is the smaller insignificant sister isle, and it was written somewhere in a secret Constitution that to lead this country you must originate from the bigger and more important cosmopolitan Trinidad- sorry Mr. Keith Rowley. To most Trinidadians, Mr. Robinson was seen as an opportunistic upstart that tried to pull a fast one on the most revered father of the nation Dr. Eric William when he late Historian scholar was still alive. It is believed that he betrayed the trust of the great leader, and one of his most loved protégée vowed revenged during his long tenure as Parliamentary Secretary while the young charismatic Robinson was the then star under the Doc.

The people of Tobago that he claimed to represent never really trusted him, as they felt that like all the others before, he also used them. It should be noted that after billions of dollars in oil and gas revenues were extracted from the country, and wasted on pointless white elephant projects mostly in Trinidad, all they seem to have to show for his alleged support is a flimsy deep water harbor , a make believe air- port, and almost no real job creation mechanisms. If you should do a survey amongst the 150,000 inhabitants of the island – excluding the 50,000 Europeans desperately trying to get deeds, building permits, and loans to construct Spas, nudist camps, and private beach resorts- they’ll tell you that opting for a secession and joining Grenada, Barbados or Bahamas might not be too bad a proposition, than the nonsense they had to endure since 1889. They are all desperately plotting their own revenge with the aid of progressive United Arab Emirates for the creation of ‘Integrated Special Economic Zones’ of their own. This appears to be more beneficial to the island than any blimps, social mayhem ,and the corruption interplay that have become almost the norm among the sleeping national Government, comatose Opposition, and inept, greedy ,and selfish business entities throughout the country.

Although Trinidadians may hate him and he might have some animosity with several of the PNM figures through the years, it was for the Opposition leader that he saved his best for .He was able to extract his pound of flesh very close to the Opposition leader and ardent nemeses heart, at the opportune time. In 2001 the Opposition leader’s efforts were thwarted to be Prime Minister again by the actions of then President Robinson, who selected Mr.Manning over him in a tied election result. So today when you see the very noticeable absence of the Opposition leader and PM on this most important occasion, you can guess what is at stake, and have me to thank for enlightenment. It is called revenge, of the best kind that’s eaten when the dish is cold.

The main story of the day was a frivolous and light hearted interview by the media with the former Mounted Branch Police Abu Baker, the leader of the Jamaat al Muslimeen group that attacked the country, murdered innocent and set the image of the state back hundreds of years. The main question was, are you repentant or sorry for what you did on that fateful day? His answer obviously was an emphatic no, as he viewed activities then as defense of legal rights. However, one should not be surprise as he too must enjoy his repeated revenge on the nation for adhering to his private desires and overtures for the nation. Therefore , as crimes continue to skyrocket in an obvious fallout from this 1990 disregard for law and order, or anything sacred that surrounds our twin Republic , one obtains a more vivid appreciation of evolving realities of correlations between past and present with revenge, religion, justice are interwoven in what can perhaps be described as our nation’s politics. I just could be wrong, out of touch and has failed to appreciate what some describes as democracy. Remember, this Trinidad is nice, and still is a paradise.

Trinidad and Tobago News

NOTE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 this material is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Copyright ©