As we mark the 30th anniversary of the 1990 attempted coup d’état it is important that we use this day to mark the courage of the people of our nation.
Thirty years ago when our nation faced its darkest day, our people, especially the men and women of our protective services, demonstrated resilience, while civilians kept our core beliefs of democracy and freedom alive through their determined actions of standing together as a united citizenry.
We remain forever grateful for the tenacity of our soldiers, police officers, members of parliament, and staff and of course, our brave media personnel, for standing through our darkest hour for the sake of preserving our democracy. We salute their undying bravery.
Future generations will always be eternally grateful to those brave citizens who risked their lives as well as those who lost their lives, so that our national identity, way of life and constitutional principles would not be defeated by a cowardly act.
Thirty years later, while we face many problems as a society we have seen that our people will always rise to the challenge, our people will always stand together and will selflessly defend our Trinbago way of life in times of difficulty.
As a citizenry, besides celebrating the strength of our citizens we continue our efforts as patriots to do all in our power to protect the democracy of our nation.
As a people, we must utilise the same courage to defeat inequality, injustice, discrimination, institutional abuse, and neglect because if these persist, they can dismantle our national framework as we know it.
During those days of uncertainty, we stood together as one people in the face of tyranny and we persevered through it all. While the eyes of the entire western world were on Trinidad and Tobago, our people stood as one. Our unity allowed us to overcome the great threat and challenge of a violent coup attempt against a democratically elected government.
Today, let us appreciate our democracy and the ability to peacefully choose or replace a government without resorting to violent means.
We must always be vigilant to current and future threats towards our democracy and let us do all that we can, just as our patriots did back in 1990, to defend, safeguard and protect our beloved nation of Trinidad and Tobago.
Let us also remember the lives lost in the defence of our democracy and forever hold them in high esteem.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP
Political Leader of the United National Congress (UNC), and Leader of the Opposition, Trinidad and Tobago.