Postpone the Fifth Summit of the Americas

By Stephen Kangal
January 27, 2009

Fifth Summit of the AmericasIt is imperative on the Manning Administration having regard to the current global financial and economic meltdown that is ravaging all Latin American economies to appreciate that it cannot spend over $2bn to provide an April platform for the conduct of hemispheric multilateral diplomacy as if it is business as usual. Since May 2008 when the T&T Concept Paper detailing the agenda of the Fifth POS Summit of the Americas was accepted, the economic, social and trading conditions in the 34- membership of the OAS including in the USA and the Summit Host, T&T, have deteriorated radically. Latin America is not the same today.

The April Fifth Summit of the Americas cannot now prosecute the same agenda as identified in June 2008. The Summit must engage in a rescue package of strategies.

The adverse environmental impact resulting from the use of fossil energy and the conservation of the hemispheric environment- top issues on the agenda of the April Summit are no longer as critical and compelling. The environmental preservation standards have been met by market forces.

The oil price meltdown (from $147 to $34), considerable reduction in oil consumption (30% to date), factory closures (reduction of CO2 emissions), reduction in pollution- causing maritime traffic (50%) and the near collapse of the pollution-generating Caribbean tourist and leisure industries have fundamentally altered the development-diplomacy Hemispheric operating environment.

The Hemisphere is now faced with a different cluster of more urgent, economic and social security-threatening challenges. These new front-burner issues demand the development of an urgent intra-hemispheric contingency response by the Summit to assist member countries to avert social and political unrest arising from escalating unemployment, bankruptcies, collapse of banks, widespread poverty, reduced government revenues, zero/negative GDP growth, the drying up of foreign remittances from the USA, reduction in commodity prices and the overnight disappearance of foreign markets in a range of manufactured goods and services. These are the real bread and butter issues to be addressed by the Summit – not diplomatic niceties and run of the mill issues.

The current Hemispheric concerns contained in the draft POS Declaration of the Fifth Summit of the Americas/Concept Paper have little or no relevance to these new medium-term and day- to- day pressing and urgent problems resulting from the US/global recession. Accordingly the hosting of the Fifth Summit of the Americas must be postponed for six months to allow enough time for technocrats, the private sector organizations and NGO’s to forge and brainstorm a completely new, more relevant and people-centred agenda.

The Summit must adequately treat with and be responsive to the fundamentally changed and current challenging hemispheric economic, trade, investment and financial climate. Participating delegations must attend in the full knowledge that they will derive value-for-money returns from their participation in the Summit.

The Obama Administration must appreciate that it has an inescapable obligation to lead the Hemisphere out of the recession having brought the respective member countries into their current economic woes. It is not enough to justify the holding of the Summit merely for the rest of the OAS to meet with the first black African-American President. More is needed to justify a $2bn expenditure by T&T.

In fact President Obama must make a Summit apology to its Hemispheric partners for having led them into the jaws of a cruel and oppressive recession for encouraging sub-prime mortgage lending in the housing market of the USA. He must also tell us what compensatory financing package is on the table for us.

Hemispheric Presidents and Prime Ministers will find it difficult to leave their capitals in April to dialogue on an agenda that is out-dated and will offer neither relief to their ailing economies nor respite from the decline of the social infrastructure.

The Hemisphere is fast becoming a powder-keg. It can explode on the smallest spark having regard to the high expectations of the people in the oil-producing countries of Latin America and cause social unrest.
A collectively-determined regional contingency response must be crafted as an aspect of economic disaster preparedness by the Summit.

37 thoughts on “Postpone the Fifth Summit of the Americas”

  1. Mr. Kangal,

    You have made an important observation regarding the summit declaration on the question of carbon emissions, but clearly do not have even a basic grasp of what has been proposed for the meeting to consider when you declare that the ‘oil price meltdown’ has virtually erased concerns about global emissions.

    More garbage is very difficult to conceive.

    In any event, you also oversimplify the requirements for economic recovery in a manner reminiscent of politicians out of office who yearn for a return. Wade Mark could not have done better.

    Mr. Kangal, what was the oil price when T&T hosted the Miss Universe competition?

    I hold no brief for Manning and the OJTs, but when you hear these kinds of infantile arguments in response to something like the Summit of the Americas, you wonder whether the current administration should be inclined to listen to the likes of the several half-wits parading as informed commentators.


  2. Mr. Kangal you are very nearly bang on. These meetings rarely accomplish anything. I defy Stan to name one thing from the last summit of the Americas that was of any importance to the common man. These thing are fart catching exercises and photo ops, which is what Mr. Manning excels at. They will never cancel this when he has the opportunuty to show off on the big stage. From what I’ve read so far it stands a great chance of being an unmitigated disaster as this government has neither the expertise or the skills to pull this off in the short time remaining. I hope that I am wrong, but Mannings administration does not have a good record in organizing anything except rallies for the CEPEP/URP crowd at Woodford square.

  3. you have made an important observation regarding the summit however not only the Summit should be cancled but also Carnival
    T&T is not in the position for these actitives now wake up Mr Manning

  4. When oil price was high, if Manning had utilized the money to upgrade the health care system, fix roads,give people regular water, create sustainable jobs, make agriculture priority, reduced crimes, in other words invest more in the people, the public would have supported him but he fail the people and to now have this summit will be considered a waste of money and crazy.

  5. Kangal is promoting a clear UNC agenda, the lack of objectivity is blatantly obvious. when Panday and the UNC crooks was hosting “miss Universe” show for almost half a billion tt $ many of these Indians like Kangal said nothing even after Panday boasted about how it would’nt cost taxpayers nothing!

    He never said a word when billions in state funds was used for the FIFA “world youth cup” which clearly was instigated by a UNC minister who just happens to be a FIFA vice President and wanted T&T to “host” this contrived nonsense to justifiy his deep personal involvement. (stadiums built by firms allied to the UNC party who then kicked back $$ to the party’s leaders) recall the airport scandal which mr Kangal and his does like to ever mention.

    Kangal does not want the summit to go ahead because it will give the ruling party greater prestige in the minds of the public and the international media.(thus greater long term currency) not to mention President Obama will be attending, the last thing the UNC and their mouthpieces want is a photo of a popular black president with a black PNM prime minister who is proud like most PNM supporters of T&T’s links to the USA. (like being a reliable supplier of Gas & oil to the US economy)

    Kangal and UNC keep playing their hand that even the blind can see, give alyuh crap a rest.


  6. I once read a book in which a professor who represented the US on a few occasions to overseas summits said that they usually would write up their reports on the Summit even before they left the US. While it is true that there are problems which should be bought to the fore, it is highly unlikely that this Summit can be postponed, as it takes months to prepare for a Summit. Moreover, these heads of states have already made commitments to other things and it would be exceedingly difficult to fit in the new date. Nevertheless, the issues raised by Mr. Kangal should be introduced with hopes of achieving some solutions to the problems which are ruining world economies.

  7. Mikey, and what has the PNM done for you out of curiousity? IF they have done something positive for the country then you would not be in Toronto, no matter what the reason, even if it is for a vacation.

    Has the PNM promoted anything but themselves, if they have and you are a proud supporter of them, come back to Trinidad and lets have this conversation face to face in a mature professional manner 🙂

    And what do you mean by Indians like Kangal..LOL..are they being indian a problem, are you jealous…racist…were you traumatized as a child, lets not play the racecard people, it doenst work. It doesnt work for blacks in America nor will it work in other parts of the world.

    if they want to have the summit, there is nothing advocates or nay sayers can say or do to stop it, be them black, indian, white, chinese or callaloo..

    Governments will always try to promote itself as a body to the world unit, in fact Mikey, ask Mr. Miller 🙂 Toronto’s infrastructure is just as bad if not WORSE than some of the roads in TNT…especially the 401..

    Sorry got a bit off track, back to the summit – Oh Yeah, let them have it, there is one thing that many successful companies and governments must understand and that is risk. If they have done their homework they should have done an analysis of having the summit or not..

    One thing Mr. Kangal mentioned is that Obama should apologize for the terrible state that the mortgage industry is in or something along those lines. Why should he, he does not have to apologize for the mistakes of others who may have had hidden agendas (ironic?), who knows maybe he has a hidden agenda..

  8. Indeed the article is well written. I must take issue with Mr. Kangal’s statements that “Mr. Obama should apologize to his hemispheric partners etc.” I cannot and no understand the logic and rationale for such a statement. President Obama is not responsible for the financial problems plaguing the US or the world. He has only recently assumed the office of US President and as such is in the process of ‘cleaning up the crap’ of another administration. Much like what some of us will have to do when the PNM and the UNC is long gone.

  9. I dont understand why it is only now that prominent politicians and commentators find it necessary to call for cancellation of the ‘Summit’. Seems that the time has since past for such drastic action and the energies that those who oppose it should be used to maximise the exposure that T&T will get from the event. It is foolish to call for cancellation at this time. Here, we have an opportunity (while the world focuses on us) for a few days to show another side of T&T that we can promote to our advantage. We can explore and promote commerce, culture and regionality which the summit presents us. No need for futile arguments.

  10. We can also promote the 5 or murder that occurs each day! won’t that be an eye opener to the world!

  11. I agree with Natasha Sealy. How could we have partying and Carnival activities with all the murder and kidnapping and mayhem? How could we encourage people to pay thousands on skimpy costumes?

    I say cancel Carnival. Tell the tourists to stay at home.

    The question remains: what was the price of oil when T&T hosted Miss Universe and the World Youth Cup?


  12. RE: Business & Convention Tourism Just a Mirage.

    With the American and British economies officially in recession and at one of their worst periods in history, and US economists concerned about a Wall Street collapse, why would the government of Trinidad and Tobago think business and convention tourism is the way forward. They have claimed that business tourism is big business, however, what makes them think it’s big business for Trinidad and Tobago. What responsible and recognised indicators are they using to establish and prove their claims? Is it just hollow talk and parochial analysis because they are incapable of making our tourism work? This strategy is highly illogical considering the international economic meltdown, which is getting worse day by day.
    The fact remains, business and convention tourism is highly uncertain and volatile with the world economic situation, it should not be our major strategic focus. It is naive for a country like Trinidad and Tobago, whose tourism for the most part is invisible to the international audience, to realistically contemplate a high-risk strategy like this. Business and convention tourism will also cost the nation an enormous amount of money whose returns are highly uncertain.

    Consider the Summit of the Americas, the government should “honestly” question those Third World Nations who have hosted this event previously, weather or not it brought them any “real” results, as far as recognition, increased tourist arrivals or increased economic activity and profit, compared to the debt they incurred. One would be astonished, but these events don’t do what the tourism advisors claim it will do for the country. Fundamentally, this strategy is flawed and ill-advised. Whoever is advising the government and pursuing this strategy is unrealistic and delusional, they also don’t possess a profound grasp on the Trinidad and Tobago product, or the international market. This is only one of the many ill advised strategies Trinidad and Tobago’s tourism officials have been pursuing for a long time.

    Over the years, the government/TDC announced many other new initiatives and strategies, including, “applying the Dubai model in T&T, making us a financial hub, a shopping centre, an eco-adventure destination, targeting the Indian, Chinese and wealthy and affluent tourist,” just to name a few more ill advised ventures. Did any of these initiatives produce the desired results? Did any of these even get off the ground? What about our venture into the World Cup, according to our tourism advisors, ‘that will thrust us to the forefront of leisure and business tourism from the international community,’ did it? The government made claims that our business tourism is increasing, however, that is subject to interpretation. The increased activity came as a result of the obvious “temporary” energy boom and the logical spin off from it, which is now coming to a painful end! Those business folks visiting us and foreign experts advising us will now seek their next Third World targets to exploit for their dubious pitches, like the extravagant buildings we were duped into constructing.

    Why is the rest of the Caribbean with significantly less resources than us so far ahead of us in tourism.

    Trinidad and Tobago, naturally, is a potentially lucrative product, we don’t need to chase phantoms like we have been doing for many years. Get real Trinidad and Tobago, get real TDC. It would appear that decisions are not made on sound analysis and product merit, but rather on how we want our image to be perceived, without considering it’s long term ramifications. Let us not pretend to be bigger than we are by attempting to compete with countries that are far ahead of us. Let us be realistic, that is the way forward.

    Pierre Small

  13. It is to be noted that Washington, DC is a rather violent city as American cities go. On Tuesday 20th January, two million additional people were crowded into the city. There was not a single police incident to report, except for the old woman who fell on the train tracks and was rescued by a volunteer metro policeman from Houston.

    Perhas the Summit of the Americas would give us a crime free two days. Its possible.
    Right now, the world economic leaders are meeting in Davos, Switzerland. They are talking, about the business climate, and change. Mr. Obama is talking to businessmen, and to Congress, and has sent Sen.Mitchell to talk to the Palestinians and Israelis. The Pope hopes to talk his way out of the anger caused by his restoring four fringe bishops.

    It is when talk stop that we have to worry.

    Let them come, let them talk. This new day in the Americas could be cemented by some talk in the land of the Trinity,between Pres. Obama and Pres. Chaves, between Pres.Obama and Pres. Lula da Silva, and between him and Pres. Evo Morales, and all of them, including Pres. Raul Castro could get together and toast each other.

    Trinidad would then be following in the distinguished footsteps of the man who proposed the International Criminal Court, our own A.N. R. Robinson.

    Talk is important. Look how much we do on this venue.

  14. To support Ms. L’s point the 2 million ecstatic folks that were in Washington recently for the inauguration, guess what they do – you guess it , spend money on food travel, housing and the numerous spin offs markets. These are very important times, and Trinidad must stake a claim for the attention of the new President and any other country ready to begin partnership with a vibrant nation fill with potential .
    Perhaps our country can secure a new and growing niche in the conference events tourisms arena in similar fashion to Tanzania.

    Let’s share in this spirit of optimism . Jamaica got 4,500 more murders than Trinidad and Tobago last year and is still considered as the leading regional tourism destination by prestigious travel organizational bodies. Let’s rally around our country , and give some credit where it is due.

  15. If manning insists on having his Summit, then it will go on; but there is a groundswell of resentment bubbling under the surface among wide sections of working people. They are seeing the government having to resort to floating $1.7 billion in bonds to finance a budget deficit while spending almost the same on the summit. Health, education and housing have been cut back, pre-school teachers are not being paid, transport workers are demanding tht PTSC comply with a court order and stop discriminating against part-time workers; Mttal workers have been laid off on part pay and others have been stripped of their hard-won benefits; WASA and Petrotrin workers ae being prepared for retrenchment. Small farmers aere being pressurised off the land while food prices sky rockedt.

    In the midst of this carnage the government is spending almost two billion dollars on refurbishing the old Piarco facility for the summit; dredging the port of Port of Spain to accommodate cruise ship floating hotels for the summit, building a heliport in the Mucurapo mangrove for the summit; spending $200 million dollars on luxury cars for the summit, refurbishibng the Hilton hotel for the summit…

    The key question is not whether the summit will take place or not, but how do the people who are being forced to pay for the capitalist crisis view the business as usual approach to the summit.

    Those who are sensitive to the political nuances are acutely aware that the politics is going to shift from cabinet rooms and parliament to the streets. It’s just a matter of time.

  16. Gerry there is this very common economic expression called ‘Opportunity Cost ,’ ever pounce upon it during your glorious world travels, and perhaps extensive educations? Have an open mind dear riend , our country has always lagged behind when its comes to tourism and other none energy related industries. As such Barbados and our competitive friends Jamaica are way ahead of the economic game as far as jobs , and huge revenues from foreign tourist .
    Tobago if developed as it should can play a role in that traditional form of tourism practiced by both countries. However , the unique and more industrialized Trinidad might just benefits from some of these infrastructural development initiatives you alluded to in your response. These are desperate times , and if this is our first tentative steps in following the partway to becoming the UAE’s Dubai of the Caribbean , we can all see the need to show some support , yes ?

  17. Tobago’s tourism on the brink of collapse:

    In light of all the latest developments internationally on the economic and tourism front, coupled with bad strategic planning from Trinidad’s Ministry Of Tourism and the Tourism Development Company, it appears imminent that Tobago’s tourism sector is heading for a collapse. With Tobago’s hotel occupancy rate now at 30%, and this is the peak of their tourism season, there is cause for severe alarm. Unless the financial stability of Tobago’s hotel owners and the tourism industry is as guaranteed as death, Tobagonians are headed for very hard times that will result in an uncomfortable pattern of lifestyle changes.

    It is imperative that our Tourism officials urgently come to reality. With the misguided and self destructive “Fantasy Island” strategy of attempting to position Trinidad as the business and convention capital of the Caribbean, where does that leave Tobago. What is being done to alleviate the immediate needs of the majority of Tobagonians dependant on tourism for their livelihood and protect the hotel industry from collapse. The historically false promises and unyielding policies of the Tourism Development Company cannot be tolerated anymore.

    According to a newly released document by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), “the current global economic slowdown which brought the growth of international tourism to a standstill in 2008, now threatens to reverse the historic four-year gains made by the industry in foreign travel.” Pay attention tourism officials, this UNWTO body is a credible and legitimate institution, does the TDC and their advisors have a better or more credible understanding than this international body, which is comprised of the world’s leading professionals. If they did, we would not have been in constant turmoil with our tourism, past, present and future.

    “The collapse of financial markets, sharp increases in commodity and oil prices and volatile exchange rate fluctuations combined to force a one per cent decline in international travel in the six months from July, a trend that is expected to continue in 2009,” the UNWTO said. The report forecasted continued stagnation or decline for this year and beyond, but noted that the high degree of economic uncertainty makes predictions of international travel difficult.” Trinidad’s Ministry Of Tourism and the Tourism Development Company is claiming that business tourism is booming worldwide, again to our detriment, they are denying and ignoring the real facts as stated here by the UN. This is why our tourism cannot move forward, “Fantasy Island thinking and planning.”

    It is worthy to note the UN’s real time expectations of, “the reversal of tourism gains over the last four years.” If Trinidad’s Ministry Of Tourism and Tourism Development Company are in touch with the reality of what is actually transpiring in the international community, and in particular the business world, they would not pursue as their main focus a business tourism strategy because all businesses are in major cut-back mode. Our government should understand that as they are in the same predicament. Our tourism officials must stop their “Fantasy Island thinking and planning” mentality. Lives are dependant on a functioning and stable tourism sector. We cannot tolerate anymore the TDC’s wasting of tax dollars on strategies that will not help us now or even in the future. We need a solution that will bring stability to our tourism now. It is unacceptable to say this is an international problem and nothing can be done about it, something can be done about it, but not business tourism.

    Like America, change must now come to our tourism department.

    Pierre Small

  18. Pierre you have certainly articulated a few thought provoking , relevant, and important points re the global economic constipation , and the pressing need for urgent actions if our twin republic is to move beyond second class players in this sometimes brutal big-boy tourist game .
    Three points in response. 1. Tobago lacks a coherent voice and plan which can articulate their needs . Remember the saying that the squeaky wheel gets the most oils. To Central , South, and half of the nation goes most of the spoils due to their much louder ,selfish -me me gimi gimi -screams.
    It is possible to build both Tobago and in conjunction Trinidad , as folks need tranquil R and R once the meetings are through , and guess where they’ll wish to go Maracas for cat fish and bake or Store Bay and blackrock where hopefully flying fish and local non yankee/ european cuisines are served ? You know the answer . Tobagionians however much become aggressive and stop depending solely on thecomplacent and insecure THA to put them over the top.
    2.What do you offer people out side of sand and salt? Time to do some tweaking and get something moving that can lure foreigners, as we also get aggressive in competing casinos, off shore bankings , nude secured beaches / health spars and other indegeneous cultural events .
    Queen Latifia robber should be castrated and publicly flogged irrespective of where he’s from to send a sound message that Tobagonians are law abiding folks and need not depend on the sleeping national authorities based in Trinidad with different priorities to take severe actions.
    3. Time to put our collective heads together my friend , and avoid reactionary shenanigans /actions . If your right hand offends you perhaps its time to cut it off- or threaten to via skillful brinkmanship eh? . Catch my drift? You seem smart enough.

  19. If revenue that would be generated from the Summit of the Americas could help the local economy of TNT, then why cancel it? Being embarrassed by the current state of the country is not good enough reason to not eat. Perhaps it would be a perfect time to highlight the imperfections of the government. Perhaps that would be the time to demonstrate against the wastefulness of the government such as overly symbolic ceremonies and earn money at the same time.

  20. Dear Mr

    Kangal and “Nate Olumbeli” (an obvious FAKE African name to make comess and sow confusion on the net and in the local newspapers) try a new angle its getting tired worn out and stupid!

    First of all Mr Kangal has claimed that the summit will cost T&T “a $2bn expenditure by T&T” this is a clear LIE an untruth and a gross mis representation of FACTS published in the media the touted cost of the summit so far is about half a billion tt$(,94206.html) about the same for the “Miss Universe” show hosted by the UNC gang back in the late 90’s remember it was claimed by Panday himself that the Miss Universe show would’nt cost T&T taxpayers anything and that it would great advertising for T&T etc etc.

    It did’nt turn out that way at all a one day show where T&T was shown for only a few mins at a time, that had to be the most expensive advertising per min in the history of T&T.

    Alyuh fools can bray and bark like donkey and feral dogs at the passing PNM big truck watch it run the UNC over in the next election and the one after that!

  21. Is China a well run state for the millions of its starving poverty stricken citizens that obviously have failed to see the real returns from its unregulated prosperity, but too timid to complain loudly about paltry salaries of five yen per year? It did not stop them from producing one of the best Olympics ever while serving Bar-B -Cue dogs and cats , and practicing wanton human rights abuses against dissidents ,did it? What does citizens of a country do that never experienced a real crisis in their entire lives baring a 1962 Tobago Flora Hurricane , or an occasional flood or two that would be the envy of Guyana or desperate Jamaica? Whine and complain unnecessarily about possible sinister ploys of a government they help elect repeatedly -via indifference or otherwise- and kept in power for more years than was merited or deserved since Massa decided to grant us what we claimed as our independence- what a tragedy indeed!
    Perhaps its time I too follow the suggestion of one of our bloggers and give up on this backward thinking country as well by fighting to be a citizen of St. Vincent ,or one of our many more progressive and sophisticated Caribbean islands ehh? .

  22. If Trinidad and Tobago hasn’t been in crisis the past ten years at least, then I may not know what a crisis is. Just because things are or can be bad in other countries doesn’t justify Trinibagonians having to accept less then mediocre governing.

  23. Curtis you did not strike me as one that was inclined to ‘cry wolf.’ I was of the view that you were made of sterner stuff. Shows clearly how much one can be mistaken. What is your yardstick for a crisis? Young impatient nuvo rich Indo Trinis conspiring with young misguided and desperate African counterparts ,and making hundreds of bogus kidnapping claims across the nation ,thus placing undue strain on our already overworked, underappreciated and demoralized Police Service? The Prime minister giving a former Chief Justice a heads up on a possible future action for an alleged criminal behavior ,only to see it backfire in his face with old decrepit British Law Lords having to intervene to save us from further global embarrassment. An Opposition leader with a penchant for surfing the internet instead of listening and participating in the business of parliament as expected , which resulted in him seeing the wrong side of the Speaker of the House . 3000 postponement of a criminal corruption trial involving a former much adored PM as he denounce the Caribbean court of appeal and praise Britannia’s legal systems because he erroneously believes that better justice can accrue from afar. None of these events ever stopped any carnival, other national festival ,or prevented any world famous entertainer from flocking to our shores to perform at exorbitant rates to sell out crowds. Crisis ? Please , save your wrath and concerns for unfortunate Guyanese , Haitians, Zimbabweans , Nigerians , and Pakistanis ,many of which are suffering to great degrees under what can very much be considered as failed states or very close to being the case.
    “And the foreigner , come for carnival and he telling he self after he had a ball, Trinidad is nice , Trinidad is a paradise. Mr. foreigner , in La Trinity , the people have a carnival mentality. Preach Valentino!
    Curtis let me ask you an extremely serious question. Do you believe that Abu Backer and his henchmen along with silent, devious benefactors could have pulled off the stunt he did in 1990 any where else in the world and live to tell their grandchildren about it? Now that had the markings of a crisis , but how did your country deal with it , remember ? If not check hansard and our achieves.
    Our country’s image was irreparably damaged on that day , but for many it was a happy occasion. What we laugh at other people cry my friend. This is not mind you a knock on us by yours truly, but just an understanding of who we are – people that could care less “if good Friday falls on a Monday,” as my wonderful grandmother would say. I tell you , Socrates had nothing on that woman . Sorry, Heru and Ms. L I got carried away again with my maliciousness, or more appropiately ,malignant cancerous mindset .

  24. You compare Trinidad to Guyanese, Haitians, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Pakistan while I compare the standard of living of the average Trinibagonian to that of the Japanese, Canadian, British, and Americans. It’s no secret that the Trini Leadership panders to the leaders of these countries (except perhaps Japan). I feel like Trinidad and Tobago needs to change direction and start comparing itself to the global elites in order to give itself an idea of how far it needs to go. The incident in 1990 was almost twenty years ago. We have to move forward with a new agenda and stop the bickering over the scraps of TNT and the crumbs of a global market.
    You speak of a demoralized and underappreciated police force. As far as I’m concerned, the officers knew ahead of time what they signed up for. The lack of accountability is shameful. If the criminals don’t hear then they should feel! That goes for al levels of society.
    Everything in Trinibagonian society can change if the masses of Trinibagonians want it to change. A corrupt few should not be controlling the masses. Those that flee to other nations feel like that is their only option for the opportunities and services that aren’t available in Trinidad and Tobago that should be available there.
    Tell me, why didn’t the Prime Minister have his operation in Trinidad and Tobago? All of the millions of dollars in revenue created throughout the years with Carnival alone and there isn’t even a decent enough hospital to help the leader of that country?

    I’m not blaming Trinidad and Tobago for not being “perfect” because no country is. However, I do say and believe that Trinidad and Tobago should and can be much better off and offer a better standard of living if all of the greed stops.

    The modern day foolishness of that country needs to stop by all means necessary. The Summit must go on and the same with Carnival. With extra revenue, perhaps the local law enforcement can be persuaded to perform their duties according to law and be held accountable when they don’t.

    Ask yourself, what created the atmosphere for such things to happen? Bogus kidnappings, extremely high murder rate, and a continued well intact legal umbilical cord to England should not be the present day reality of Trinidad and Tobago among other things.
    If I missed something, then I apologize for misstating the current situation of Trinidad and Tobago. I was just under the impression that Trinibagonians are made of more than what the statistics on their society implies. Just because Trinidad and Tobago geographically is a tropical paradise doesn’t mean that everything is fine and dandy.

  25. A government that succeeds another is bound by all the actions of the previous because it acts on behalf of the people of the state. President Obama unfortunately has to take responsibility for poor regulation of the finacial services sector that caused the current financial global crisis. Now it is only Obama who can offer the apology because it is only he that can speak for the USA in internatiobnal fora and not former President Bush.
    When one quantfies the money to be spent and spent already in this fiscal year and adds the $603m as well as the renovation of the Hilton Hotel Presidential Suites, the cars to be bought by NIPDEC, fitting of the Conference Center/Hyatt Hotel as well as the monies to be spent in the budgets of the Minstries of National Security, Foreign Affairs, Trade and Industry, Ministry of Works (Renovation of the Old Piarco Terminal etc one will arrive at a figure in excess of the conservatively stated $2bn mentioned in my article.
    Please be guided accordingly brethren Samaroo et al.

  26. Stephen Kangal said: “A government that succeeds another is bound by all the actions of the previous because it acts on behalf of the people of the state.”

    How come your party made a commitment to the CCJ when it was in office and has now been insisting that the Manning administration change the country’s position on this?

    When next you guys meet, you should offer them the advice you are giving this blob.

  27. Curtis care to explain exactly what you mean by these two troubling statements? “The incident in 1990 was almost twenty years ago.” “You speak of a demoralized and underappreciated police force. As far as I’m concerned, the officers knew ahead of time what they signed up for.”
    I would like to believe that you are practicing through writing what I do often – namely to engage in subtle provocation to excite many that read this board, with the tendency to ocassionally fall asleep. Am I correct?

  28. Neal I will leave the 1990 incident alone. I stand by my comment toward law enforcement. I didn’t say I was right, but it is my opinion until I am otherwise convinced.

  29. I think that everyone expressed their views with all good intentions,but maybe we can take a page from Obama(Black Berry in office) and use the technology to best effect.
    How about a Summit via video conferencing. Result=Big savings to all countries.
    Why not Laptop in Parliment now?
    The World have changed and the U,S voted a Half White President,Will we be willing to make that type of change ?
    Just food for thought!!

  30. No cousin Roger , years ago we had Dr self opinionated him self, the late father of the nation , in fake dark shades and hearing aids ignoring boring Parliamentarians by reading newspapers and sleeping where sessions were on. It is time Uncle Panday and his British legal educated bunch start to respect Parliament in the same way they do for the courts when they feel. He goes to court still dressed in his London Tweeds and other legal paraphernalia and abide by all the prompt ,pageantry and protocols taught to him by his former savage European masters , but comes to the House Parliament in his ugly Shirt Jacks suits and if possible bare feet with a rum and coke in his hand for good measure . This won’t be tolerated especially by our extremely nonpartisan Speaker of the House. A message must be sent to our unfortunate UWI lawyers com politicians that this along with perennial “kixing” won‘t be tolerated .
    So you want every Parliamentarian and Senator in the both Houses to walk around sporting Blackberries and IPods correct ,as well as have video conferencing instead of real life meeting. Come on Roger what are you attempting to do destroy further our image across the world stage ? This is the only country in the world with a Pitch Lake , yet the possess some of the worst roads in the entire Caribbean. We have Oil and Natural Gas to give away to every Tom , Dick and Bridgelal across the region and suffers electrical black out as often as you can say whining flag woman during a Panorama Preliminary at the Queens Park Savannah.
    We have been trying to elude the cunning, crafty Nigerians for years as we attempt to revamp our passports and escape the crooks reach for America using us a s a conduit , with limited success , and you want out to make this bold venture correct? Sorry my friend , you have been exposed as another fortunate overeducated national that has been away for too long , with too much time on your hands for holding such opportunistic fantasies . My advice save your energies for the occasional Carnival adventures , and leave these deep issues for others . I am so scared that someone with the powers might just be reading and become inclined to take you serious by saying , my what a novel and feasible suggestion.! What a country? Who can help but love it, with it’s colorful ‘happy go lucky’ people, eh?

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