…from Trini businesses
We hear a lot about “American Exceptionalism” – the insistence by the Yanks that they’re not only different from other nations, but in fact are downright SUPERIOR to them. The ordinary rules of the game of international order don’t apply to them. Well, just like we have people who strut around like “Little Caesars” at the personal level, there are dinky nations that throw their weight around in their little ponds. Enter Trinidad, when it comes to the detritus of the “British” Caribbean.
They’ve always acted like they were better than the rest of us – especially the small islands after independence, and us after Burnham wrecked our economy and everything else. Just because they had oil, and were under the Brits and then the Eric Williams regime. He withdrew from the WI Federation with his famous quip – “1 from 10 leaves naught!” And this was mainly because he felt Trinidad would have to “carry” the “Little 8” small islands. But recently, when the UNC came to power with PM Kamla Bissessar, she snarkily informed the rest of the Caribbean that “Trinidad isn’t your ATM machine”!
But the snotty treatment wasn’t just on a Government-to-Government level. Our traders, who flocked their stores – paying good money for their goods – were treated like dogs at Piarco airport. And don’t let your Eyewitness get started how ordinary Trinis treated the Guyanese who tried to make a living there from the eighties!! Dogs at least get kennels and scraps from the table!
But even in those hard guava days, Trini companies like Geddes Grant and Massy were allowed to operate in Guyana, to suck out our scarce funds. Massy especially was allowed to spread its tentacles into all sorts of activities, so that as the Trinidad economy stuttered after its oil started to run out, Guyana became a cash cow. With the discovery of oil and its extraction, these Trini companies used their head start not only to service and supply the floating oil rigs in the Atlantic, but our local market!!
Have you noticed the Massy supermarkets sprouting up all over the country like Jumbie Umbrellas? Well, they’re jumbies all right – and they’ll be running our local groceries out of business within a decade; if we don’t do something about it, that is! But they’re just the visible tip of what’s a veritable iceberg of Trini businesses that have cornered the market in so many other oil-related business areas – transportation (land, sea and air); services; fabrication; and, as mentioned, even food supply!!
Now, you’d think that the old Trini firms like Massy would temper the aggressiveness of the new Trini carpetbaggers, but no.
THEY just made the unkindest cut of all!
…and Massy’s raas pass
That’s right! Not satisfied with all the money it’s been raking in, Massy President and Group CEO issued a statement – purportedly on behalf of some “Caricom Private Sector Organisation” (CPSO) – that our Local Content Act (LCA) violated the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas!! Meaning we shouldn’t be specifying minimum percentages of local participation in the areas of business identified by the LCA that’ll allow us to develop at long last!!
Can you believe this chutzpah?? Since when could any Guyanese company compete in anything that Trinis supplied – in Trinidad – before being slapped down by a welter of non-tariff regulations?? But almost unbelievably, TRINIDAD HAS A LOCAL CONTENT LAW that prioritised local businesses for decades!! Remember the Trini LC expert who advised on our own LCA?? The second rass-pass is that CPSO isn’t known to any of the local business organisations, and appeared to have slipped under their radar to be recognised by Caricom!!
This confounded nonsense must stop immediately. Or we’re outta Caricom for our Continental Destiny!!
The scatological utterances over social media are getting out of hand. At last, one Opposition MP spewer was charged under their own cyber-crime law for calling a male GECOM official a “jagabat” – Trini slang for “a loose woman…a slut”!!