‘Not in our name’ in Trinidad and Tobago

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Clyde Weatherhead

Dear Sir

The Peoples National Movement (PNM) propaganda brigade has claimed yet another victim. This time none other than Clyde Weatherhead whose unfortunate commentary “Not in our name” in the Trinidad Express, made my eyebrow raise and I am pretty sure, my blood pressure too.

Since when is it unpatriotic to defend your country from harm?

The use of the term “unpatriotic” has been recently abused by PNM writers, officials, and propagandists against the United National Congress (UNC) whenever an issue of transparency or accountability has arisen.

Since when does asking questions that you are entitled to ask as an elected member of parliament and leader of the opposition of Trinidad and Tobago make you less patriotic?

Since when does asking the hard questions like ‘why more COVID-19 testing is not being done’ or for clearer explanations as to the Delcy Rodriguez visit or the prime minister’s ‘love affair’ with Venezuela and one Nicolas Maduro, make you unpatriotic?

If this is the case, then over half of the population may very well be deemed unpatriotic by a government keen on hiding and playing in the shadows.

Is this commentary a lust for relevance or can it be construed as one’s narcissistic need to be published at any cost? Imagine accusing the UNC of “fawning at the feet” of the US to seek help in winning the next election. Apparently, president Trump mandated the population to increase the UNC’s seats at the last local government election in December 2019. What hogwash.

As a tax-paying citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, I see absolutely no problem with the opposition leader’s release warning citizens, not for the first time, that the PNM’s reckless behavior, lack of global diplomacy, and complete failure in the sphere of foreign affairs can land us in hot water with the US government, arguably our most influential ally.

To accuse the UNC of wanting sanctions placed on Trinidad and Tobago is politically defamatory, dishonest, and utterly disingenuous. If this editorial was done by a paid political activist, I would understand but clearly, Weatherhead has allowed his political ‘tabanca’ and hate for the UNC over past political spilled milk to cloud his judgment. It is also amusing that the writer believes that the ambassador would be unaware of the local politics and that the “UNC’s letter” presented anything other than what is already in the public domain.

The behavior of the writer reminds me of a famous Edmund Burke quote which simply says “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing”. So whilst the writer and others like him can take comfort in being “neutral” and pointing fingers, I am grateful that the opposition is bold enough to raise this red flag in the public domain…even at the risk of being called “unpatriotic”.

As it stands, the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago still have no clear answers from this administration as it pertains to the Aruba fuel shipment and the shady deals between Trinidad and Tobago and sanctioned Venezuela.

It is important to be informed as we approach general election 2020… after all, why vote for a party that cannot “choose it’s men wisely”… perhaps the prime minister should follow some of his own advice and refrain from these dangerous games with infamous WANTED persons who are being sought after by law enforcement agencies across the globe. These are perilous times geo-politically and we must act accordingly.

Do not allow Trinidad and Tobago to be sold-off for a ‘giant red gift box’ from Venezuela.

Rishi Tripathi

Attorney at Law

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