By Vijay Prashad and Érika Ortega-Sanoja
August 10, 2020 – venezuelanalysis.com
On August 4, 2020, the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing on Venezuela. Appearing before the committee was U.S. State Department Special Representative Elliott Abrams. Abrams, who has had a long—and controversial—career in the formation of U.S. foreign policy, was assaulted by almost all the members of the Senate committee. The senators, almost without exception, suggested that Abrams had been—since 2019—responsible for a failed U.S. attempt to overthrow the Venezuelan government of President Nicolás Maduro.
Continue reading How the U.S. Failed at Its Foreign Policy Toward Venezuela
By A. Hotep
August 15, 2020
The Supermarket Association of Trinidad and Tobago (SATT), and by extension the business community, was never interested in addressing racism. Poor working conditions and poor remuneration packages are all part of class and racial discrimination which, at the very least, renders many members of the business community complicit. Now that people are prepared to take action to deal with racism, the business community should not be allowed to set the standard for redress. This was made clear by SATT’s quick backpedalling of its boycott of Ramsaran-branded products after calling on the company to “[seek] the appropriate remedial action in a consistent and satisfactory manner.” Aside from the Ramsaran’s text-book apology and “firing” of the owner’s daughter, how has the company demonstrated appropriate remedial action?
Continue reading Sorry, Not Sorry: The Business of Racism in T&T
A Dialogue on Ramsaran’s Racist Rant
The discussion below took place on 13 August 2020, in light of a racist rant by top level employer and close blood relative of the owners of the Ramsaran’s company, Naila Ramsaran, following the defeat of the United National Congress at the 2020 General Elections on 10 August 2020. On Facebook, she referred to supporters of the People’s National Movement as cockroaches and advocated for adding contraceptives to their water supply as a form of racial genocide. This was among a plethora of post-election racist commentary, including those of a secondary school teacher, making the rounds on social media. A host of a morning radio programme called on the Prime Minister to calm the waters and instruct the public to forgive Ms Ramsaran and for others for their vitriol.
Continue reading Racism and Forgiveness: Token Apologies Are Not Enough
By Darren Bahaw
July 09, 2020 – newsday.co.tt
A second disturbing video has surfaced on social media of events which took place after police shot and killed three men on June 27, in Second Caledonia, Morvant.
It has sparked new criticism in comments online from people who have watched the 39-second clip.
The video, which appeared to have been recorded by a home security camera, from in front, shows the actions of police from a different angle, seconds after the shooting incident.
Continue reading New video emerges in Morvant police killing
By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
July 06, 2020
While the world has been impacted by the Black Lives Matter movement, none of the political parties of T&T has issued a statement on its relevance to black people of this country. Nor, for that matter, have they told us how they will deal with the impoverishment, unemployment, alienation and miseducation of our black youths.
Necessarily, black youths from these under resourced communities have reminded us that black lives matter and that there must be an accounting for past wrongs and present grievances. Predictably, there will be more clashes between the police and the youths of these deprived communities if things continue as they are going.
Continue reading Do Black Lives Matter in Trinidad?
By A. Hotep
July 05, 2020
Some people in this country are intent on shifting the dialogue away from the questionable and seemingly extrajudicial killing of three men by the police in Morvant, which was captured on CCTV footage, to centering discussions on the conduct of black youths in deprived communities. The obfuscation of the issue, evident in the commentaries by leaders, and echoed by radio and online commentators, perpetuates the view that when black people in poor communities are killed and otherwise abused, it is they who are at fault. Another twist to the narrative by the police and by the government is the claim that protests against the killings are part of an organised plot to destabilise the country. This perspective serves the agenda of those who have orchestrated and/or sanctioned the use of strong-arm tactics to stifle the protests. Meanwhile, the real issues of community neglect, crime (including white colour crime) and the heavy-handed approach of the police in these mostly black communities are pushed aside.
Continue reading Brute Force, Blame and Bigotry: Police Killings in Morvant
By Dr Tye Salandy
July 02, 2020
Approximately 50 years ago, mainly young people — disillusioned by the continued colonial nature of the country, the deep racism, classism and limited opportunities — made brave efforts to improve things. Instead of the then government, led by Dr Eric Williams, listening and properly engaging with these persons, the leaders of the movement were arrested and jailed, people were beaten and brutalized, and persons were hunted, shot and even killed. “Law and order” were not about the best interest of the citizens but about preserving the status quo. Fifty years later we are faced with unrests that parallel the Hosay Riots, the Camboulay Riots, the 1919 Labour riots, the 1930s Labour uprisings, and the 1970s Black Power movement. It is this eruption of discontent from those who are experiencing the depths of marginalization and brutality that has historically brought about the greatest improvements in conditions in unjust social structures. All of them were met with brutal violence by authorities, yet when history looks back, all these events were important parts of the evolution of our society. By all indications, the present government has not learned these lessons and may repeat the grave errors of the past.
Continue reading Protests and State Violence: Leaders Must Stop Dodging Responsibility
By Raffique Shah
July 01, 2020
It’s difficult to get a good grasp of what’s happening on the ground regarding the general election, which will be held in the next three months. It seems that Covid-19, the virus that has impacted the world like nothing else in history, and fundamentally changed the way we live to the extent that we have coined virtually a new lexicon to comprehend its effects, said virus has relegated the election to a side-show, almost a non-event.
Continue reading Election an illusion of power
By Raffique Shah
June 23, 2020
Christopher Columbus had his comeuppance coming for a long, long time. Five hundred years, to be more specific. Here was an Italian adventurer, brigand and explorer who persuaded Queen Isabella of Spain to invest in an expedition he had been obsessed with—sailing into the unknown West and finding the mythical city of gold, El Dorado, and claiming it, and other lands, on behalf of the monarch.
Continue reading Of Symbols and Substance
By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
June 23, 2020
“White men, I curse you to your face,/ Curse you and all your hated race!/ Great war has placed me in your power;/ I am your captive; this is your hour/ To wreck your bitterest thought of ill;/ To bind or slay me as you will.”
—Horatio Nelson Huggins, Hiroona
I do not have strong feelings as to whether we should move Columbus’s monument from its present location or whether it should be placed in a special museum. However, I am encouraged by the discussion the issue has engendered and the eloquent articles it has generated.
I am more concerned with the havoc the Europeans have wreaked on our civilization after Columbus’s arrival, the genocide that was perpetrated against our indigenous populations, and the subsequent barbarity to which brown and black people have been subjected.
Continue reading Columbus and His Progeny