Category Archives: PNM

Protecting our historic legacy

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
December 11, 2023

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIn 2013 the people of Tacarigua waged a valiant struggle to prevent the UNC government from establishing a sporting complex on the Orange Grove Savannah, now called the Eddie Hart Savannah. The plan, developed by Sport Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SporTT), a limited liability the Ministry of Sport set up to act as its key implementation agency, called for building a 25-metre swimming pool, a cricket ground and football field, a pavilion, a 400-metre running track, and a car park.
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Rebels at the Gates

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
November 21, 2023

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeTwo months ago, the Center on Law, Equality and Race (CLEAR) at Northeastern University School of Law invited me to comment on Dr Godfrey Vincent’s book, Rebels at the Gates: The OWTU in the Era of George Weekes. I accepted the invitation because of the importance of Weekes and the OWTU (the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union) in the labour and political life of the island. This event took place on Friday.
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Bloody Tuesday

By Raffique Shah
October 03, 2023

PART 2

Raffique ShahRamdwar (Dennis) shouted, “Gas!”

Gas, meaning CS: Crowd Dispersal Gas commonly known as “tear gas”.

The police wasted no time. It was like the proverbial “dog whistle”. Every “ranker”, Randy Burroughs and his “Flying” squad were there, as well as a large contingent of recruits, pounced on the peaceful workers and farmers raining blows with riot staffs, which were thick and heavy. Many bones were fractured on that day.
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Ashton Ford: a gentle spirit

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
October 02, 2023

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI am always elated with seemingly little, obscure people—that is, people who are not in the spotlight—when they are recognised for the contributions they make to the civic, social and political development of our society. I felt that way when Ashton Ford was honoured with Hummingbird Silver last Sunday. He thoroughly deserved it. This suggested that a person can be involved in political and social work and still remain a decent human being.
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Our Truant Prime Minister

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 18, 2023

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOn September 8, the House of Representatives debated the political anarchy and runaway violence in Haiti and how we, in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T), can help to bring that country back to political stability. AG Reginald Amour assured us that T&T’s government is “trying to help Haiti, but that troubled nation must be addressed with care, not loud sound bites.”

Caricom created an Eminent Persons Group (EMG) to “facilitate dialogue and consensus building among Haitian stakeholders with the aim of resolving the political impasse.” The EMG is “guided by Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley overseeing national security in the Caricom Quasi Cabinet.” One wonders where he is taking that group.
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LGE: Political Veterans Last Hurrah

By Raffique Shah
July 31, 2023

Raffique ShahThe two main political parties in Trinidad and Tobago are taking the local government election, scheduled for two weeks tomorrow, very seriously. I expected the opposition United National Congress to maintain its momentum, which it has kept at a steady pace since it lost the 2015 general election, to keep the tempo going since it gained a few seats and the popular votes for its unrelenting pressure on the ruling People’s National Movement.
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‘Informed’ voters will decide election

By Raffique Shah
May 30, 2023

Raffique ShahNot for the first time in its 67-year history, the People’s National Movement goes into a local government election as the underdog. In 2019, as I recall it, the main opposition United National Congress, and some other parties with which it had forged alliances of sorts, seemed confident they would flog the PNM in the wake of a sluggish national economy, job cuts and its failure to secure support for local government reforms that intended to increase the powers of the municipal corporations.
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Pristine Christine

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
March 27, 2023

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeLast Monday, Christine Carla Kangaloo was inaugurated as the seventh President of the Republic. I did not support her candidacy to the highest office in the land, but was buoyed by the advice my friend Arnold Rampersad gave me some years ago about one of other political leaders: “Selwyn, she is now our President. We must wish her the best, work with her, and pray that she acts in the interest of our country.”
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Please read, Excellency

By Raffique Shah
March 27, 2023

Raffique ShahOnce in a while, when the nation’s ruling elites are summoned to put on display their airs and wears, we at the lower rungs of the social ladder get opportunities to view how those who consider themselves the upper castes parade like peafowls in the finest garments their TT dollar can buy. Fortunately for us lesser mortals television cameras are just about everywhere, especially when ceremonies, rituals and often times plain bad manners come under close scrutiny of the ordinary citizens who look on with expressions of disgust at these pseudo-elites. The installation last week of Christine Kangaloo as president of the republic steered pretty clear of pomp, splendour and those delightful breaches of etiquette that set off gossip among those not invited, those invitees who chose to deliberately stay away and the public who, for entertainment from the upper classes, would otherwise watch ‘Keeping up Appearances’.
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Is Trinidad a real place?

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
March 20, 2023

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeLast Sunday, Terrence Farrell, one of our premier public intellectuals, sought to explain why some people say that “Trinidad is not a real place”. Speaking of the mess in which Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard found himself when he dismissed the Piarco airport corruption case, Farrell observed that it is these failures that prompt our frustration and “give weight to epithets such as ‘Trinidad is not a real place'” (Sunday Express, March 12).
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