Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 18th 2013 Contents As my assignment as Unit-
ed States Chargé d Af-
faires comes to an end, I
leave T&T with fond memories
of friends, food, art, music,
cycling, beaches, turtles, politics
and excellent relations between
our two countries.
We share common goals to
promote economic prosperity in
the region, enhance citizen
security, and foster cultural
understanding. To that end, I
am proud of the work done by
the committed team of Ameri-
cans and Trinis with whom I
worked at the embassy.
The people of T&T have a
steadfast partner in the US
While I was here, I was able
to participate in several events
that highlighted the importance
we place on our relationship
with T&T. In December, we
co-hosted a high-level dialogue
of the Caribbean Basin Security
Initiative. The top US general in
the region, General Kelly, visit-
ed in February to build relations
between our militaries. And, of
course, Vice President Biden
made a historic visit in May.
Some of the results of that trip
included a commitment to
develop a regional renewable
energy centre; a new agreement
to help prevent international
child abductions; and a regional
trade and investment frame-
work agreement (TIFA) to
enhance commercial relations.
The White House will soon
announce a new nominee to be
the US Ambassador to T&T.
Until the confirmation of the
President s nominee by the US
Senate, Deputy Chief of Mis-
sion, Ms Margaret Diop will
assume the position of Chargé
I thank the government and
people here for your Trini hos-
pitality, for including me in
your never-ending limes, and
for sharing your beautiful
country with me. I am sure I
will return, if only to have
some doubles or enjoy Carnival
once again. And I will continue
to watch the development of
your country from afar. It s a
great place and, as I have often
noted, there is no problem that
the people of T&T can t solve
through your own ingenuity---
and perhaps a little backing
from partners like the United
Embassy of the USA
Thursday, July 18, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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- Election a litmus
test for the PP
I believe this by-election on July 29
for the Chaguanas West seat will be
one of the defining moments in our
country's history. Not only will it be his-
toric but it will dictate the future of the
This comes in the aftermath of what
actually took place in the THA election.
The THA election did indeed render a
serious blow to the government, one
that was not expected. It sent a mean-
ingful message that voters cannot be
taken for granted when contesting par-
ties go at loggerheads.
If the UNC loses this election to the
newly-formed ILP of Jack Austin
Warner, it will have no choice but to re-
group and seek to restore cohesiveness
to hold the party afloat. That is, provid-
ing the factions that comprise it cur-
rently are willing to affirm their loyalty
to the partnership, an alliance forged in
But now we see that some of the
same politicians who once were kissing
buddies have polarised themselves as
adversaries to both extremes. For in-
stance Jack, who betrayed his mentor
Basdeo Panday in favour of the current
prime minister, is now barbed by the
same person he sang so much for.
The election is crucial to both Jack
and the UNC and for this particular rea-
son mudslinging has taken centre stage
in the fierce and formidable battle
which has emerged.
Chaguanas West has proven over the
years to be the surest seat for any Tom,
Dick. Harrynarine or Jack, by proving its
success in bringing back a sure win for
the UNC. But now this heartland
strength may soon dissipate if Mr
Warner breaks the trend by obtaining a
majority of the votes.
Jay G Rakhar
Walking around our once beautiful
Queen's Park Savannah on a Saturday
or Sunday evening has become a thing
of shame because of the amount of
garbage that you see lying around, es-
pecially on the southern side.
I say "Shame" to the people who are
in charge of our savannah. Where is
your pride? Or have you no pride?
This is not something new, this has
been going on for years. Why can't you
organise to have the garbage collected
early on a Saturday and Sunday and
have new garbage bags placed in the
bins, so hopefully, we won't have to face
garbage strewn all over the place.
I would love our PM to take time to
walk around the savannah, unan-
nounced, on a Saturday or Sunday to
see for herself the shame that we as or-
dinary citizens have to put up with.
What is at the heart of
quarrel in the PNM?
Last Monday, the Mayor of Port-of-
Spain, wearing his dual mayoral and
PNM caps, called a media conference to
respond to complaints made against his
Deputy Mayor by an organiser of a
demonstration in the city the previous
Mr Lee Sing publicly castigated his
party leaders for failing to defend his
deputy against those complaints.
What were those complaints against
the Deputy Mayor?
At the closing rally at the end of the
demonstration, Mr Ancel Roget com-
plained that the Deputy Mayor of Port-
of-Spain or the City Corporation had
failed to provide a podium from which
the leaders of the demonstration could
comfortably address the crowd. Appar-
ently, a stage was built and a tent
erected for the rally by the Port-of-
That demonstration was really a po-
litical demonstration called by the MSJ,
hiding behind the name of the Joint
Trade Union Movement and with the
support of the PNM.
In fact, the majority of people in the
demonstration were dressed in red and
they hailed as PNM members and sup-
porters. The political leaders of both
round table parties addressed the rally.
So what was the real issue?
Anyone who has applied to use the
facilities controlled by the Port-of-Spain
City Corporation for various public activ-
ities, and worse for demonstrations or
meetings, knows that the Corporation
does not normally supply stage, tent or
podium to the applicants.
Why were these to be supplied in the
case of this demonstration?
Was the PNM-controlled local gov-
ernment body to provide these bits of
support for this demonstration only be-
cause it was organised by the PNM it-
self and its political allies?
What the Mayor of Port-of-Spain
was trying to defend was the PNM's
use of public office and public facilities
to support its party political activities in
alliance with other political parties, in
Those who were claiming that they
The jury's problematic decision on Saturday night to ac-
quit George Zimmerman, a security guard who became
notorious for taking the life of an unarmed black boy in
Florida, inevitably and predictably evoked strong emotions
of anger, hurt, disappointment and sorrow, particularly
among people of African descent across the globe.
The proliferation of comments on social networks indi-
cates that racial profiling, racial discrimination and racially-
biased legal systems will not be tolerated by this new
generation of youth. Despite the negative historical stereo-
types surrounding the black male there is a present collec-
tive consciousness that the black man is not always a
perpetrator but often times a victim.
In the Caribbean, the black male is often perceived as a
perpetrator of gruesome crimes like sexual abuse, rape, do-
mestic abuse, robbery and murder. He is stereotyped as a
criminal, a gang member, a gangster. But the black
Caribbean male is also a victim; he is a victim of problem-
atic constructions of masculinity, negative stereotypes,
marginalisation and inequality. He is a victim of systems,
institutions and government establishments in the
Caribbean which shirk their responsibility and place blame
on the black man.
We are certainly heartbroken because of the legal sys-
tem which failed Trayvon Martin in the United States, but
we must also be heartbroken as a consequence of systems
and institutions in the Caribbean which on a daily basis fail
the black male.
US CHARGÉ D'AFFAIRES
SAYS THANKS TO T&T
US Vice President Joseph Biden
left, and Chargé d'Affaires
had organised the
protest bad gover-
nance by the govern-
ment were now
claiming that it is good
governance to abuse
public facilities once it
is to the benefit of
their political parties
And a quarrel
breaks out within the
PNM over the issue
that some elements
of that party did not
defend a holder of
public office when he
failed to carry out the
abuse to the extent
required, or efficiently
This is the same
PNM and its round
table allies who boast
and shout slogans
about being "in de-
fence of democracy."
Trayvon Martin and the Caribbean black man
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