Trump Looking for Rowley

Trump Looking for Rowley
Photo : Ancil Roget and Dr Keith Rowley

It is so easy to know where the 1% has their hands-importation and distribution. That is the most simplistic manner of doing business in T&T. No need to keep a 100 year-old oil refinery when we can import fuels from neighbouring Venezuela dog cheap! That seems to be the thinking of this government and its financiers. 

I had hoped that Petrotrin would have gone into a joint venture arrangement by divesting 51% of its assets to a private partner. But this is a too complicated manner of doing business in this country.  The business strategy is simple- destroy the existing arrangement and substitute it with imports. For example, the local chicken industry can be destroyed by cheap imports from the USA. The prospective importers can get their friends in government to implement measures to make it difficult for the players in the industry to carry out business. Public health concerns can be raised and the media can now drum it up with reports of young children getting sick, thus justifying the closure of chicken farms in communities.

In the not too distant past there was a hue and cry about the destruction of the Nariva Swamp. Alarms were sounded about the need to preserve our rare species of fauna and flora. Molly Gaskin was kick- started to launch a campaign to save the Nariva Swamp. The Akalloo family was demonised and made out to appear as greedy, encroaching on the rights of small farmers. All of this was done to frustrate the development of a local rice industry.  And may I remind you of the “dog rice” scenario, where a ship was paid to dock In South Africa for months so that south south trade relations would not develop.

Until the 1970s this country had a vibrant dairy farming industry. Several families earned their livelihood from producing and selling milk and milk products. Today that industry has been destroyed. The families that are still in the industry are languishing as PNM financiers import milk, cheese and other milk products from New Zealand, Australia, Holland and Germany.

All industries need buyers to purchase the goods and services available. Without the cash available, the goods produced would not be sold. It was this dilemma that led to the American Civil War. To secure a large pool of labour with purchasing power, it was in the interest of the north to liberate the slaves in the south. The same was done in England. Great Britain was the most advanced industrialised country and needed markets for its products, thus the reason why it was the first slave-owning power to liberate its slaves so that they can become wage earners and exercise buying powers.

Trade unions helped to strengthen and grow capitalist societies. By increasing wages and improving working conditions, the workers were given greater purchasing powers which increased economic activities, thus helping to turn the economic wheel.

The question must be asked: Does the 1% care about the development of this society? And if they did then what explains this vampire-like business arrangement? Is it that the 1% intention is to migrate with its wealth after this country has collapsed? And if that is their intention, where would they go? The British returned to the UK to enjoy their loot? Where is the 1% going? Not to Syria!

T&T’s economy is rotten to the core. Today it’s Petrotrin. Tomorrow it will be WASA and then T&TEC. Fuel, water and energy are basic necessities of life and the 1% is keen on getting hold of them. They are not interested in education or health care. That is too challenging.

Where is Rowley taking this country? I am eagerly awaiting the final chapter of total collapse of this economy. Inevitably, there is going to be bitter and violent clashes on the streets, not only in the city of Port of Spain but throughout.

Look out for visa restriction from the USA. President Trump has declared Venezuela a narco-State. It means that the US wants no part of Nicholas Maduro. This is the geo-political reality that a government in T&T must accept, like it or not.  We cannot ignore the recent visit to Guyana and Columbia of top brass military personnel from the US. The PNM mismanagement has boxed itself into a corner. It is a sticky wicket for Dr Keith Rowley. He has opted for political death by embracing Nicholas Maduro, thus ignoring the reality of living in the US backyard. This is going to cost Rowley dearly. Is this Prime Minister listening to anyone?