Showing posts from 2012

Best and Worst of the Caribbean 2012

 BEST:        Trinidad and Tobago Hunger Striker Dr. Wayne Kublalsinghwho proved that principle and devotion to a cause override personal comfort. WORST:     Jack Warner, National Security Minister who said that Dr. Kublasingh should hurry up and "die quickly".
BEST:           Barbados Entertainer Lil Rick for taking the kaiso art form to a new level and maintaining excellence WORST:   Abstaining from voting at the United Nations to recognize Palestine.

BEST:           Jamaica Usain Bolt and all Jamaican athletesat the London Olympics WORST:   Violence against women and children.

OF  Note Sunity Maharaj :Trinidad and Tobago journalist who continues to promote good governance and honest intellectual commentary about Trinidad and Tobago and the region. Darren Sammy: West Indies cricket captain who continues to show that persistence and graciousness are real tools of leadership.

All Caribbean artistes and athletes who have demonstrated that the region is capable of competing and succeedin…

2013:Visionary Caribbean Leaders Needed

As 2012 comes to a close, progressive thinkers are further convinced that the entire Caribbean region is holding on by the skin of its teeth, as a recession, most certainly not of our making, continues to make life miserable for our unfortunate citizens. Governments throughout the region, lack the intellectual ability and the creative vision necessary for the development of a new energized Caribbean nation. As always we are treated like the soldiers, who used to complain about the soup-just get another bowl- we are lost in an ocean of intellectually bankrupt, self serving neo –colonialists, who are a sad reflection of what visionary leadership should be. How we got here is chronicled in works such as From Columbus to Castro (Eric Willams). Why we are perpetually stuck here is no secret: there simply is no leadership. No beacon of real hope and change.  Guyana with an abundance of natural resources finds itself impaled on the spikes of party paramountcy, political skullduggery and blatan…

Barbadian Christmas Traditions

By Angela Goring
The Christmas season started in Barbados early in December with the staging of the AnnualAgricultural Exhibition at Queens Park. The exhibition as its name implies featured the best that Barbados had to offer in terms of agriculture, animal husbandry and the cottage industries. The most famous land mark in Queens Park was the clock where many a date was made and broken. The clothes that were bought for the exhibition were the ones you wore to church on Christmas morning. This is the morning that people who did not go to church any Sunday during the year, would be sure to attend. After 5 o clock church service, there was the annual stroll through Queens park. You got to wear those clothes twice to Queens Park. Probably the most looked out for event on Christmas morning was and still is the stroll through the park; where persons are dressed to the nines; lots of colour and beautiful outfits. The Royal Barbados Police Band is in attendance as well as several local artists. Ch…

United Nations Vote Let Down

By Michael Headley The November 29th abstention, by the Barbados delegation, on the vote for the non-voter member status of Palestine in the United Nations General Assembly, reeks of the perceived inertia, by some,  of the country's current leadership decision making.  Coincidently, the abstention was on the eve of Barbados' 46th year of Independence. According to Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, to abstain is to refrain deliberately and often with an effort of self-denial.   What plausible reason could Barbados have for denying itself a chance to help a displaced people get a better seat at the international table?    Only recently, Minister Louis Farrakhan was in Barbados and he intimated that Barbados should be leading the Caribbean.  My question is, how can we lead when we don't have the guts, to vote, to give another nation some rights?  Whereas Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and …

Hunger Striker Victorious

Occasionally, a human being comes along, who demonstrates that there is more to life than qualifications and certifications. History is replete with these human beings, who are humble but visionary; whose intellect is often above average but never above humility. Our beautiful Caribbean Nation is known for throwing up such figures from time to time. Quite frankly those who labour and seek no reward are seldom given national honours or recognition. They simply go about their business believing, in many cases, that their god, whoever he or she may be, will be the final judge of their sojourn on planet earth. This simple but not stupid philosophy stretches across all religions and denominations. As we continue our march toward real independence, we can expect that there are many among us, who are going to confront the political, economic and social status quo. They are going to ask direct questions and demand direct answers. These are the ones, who will save the region from its date with s…

Time To Get Rid Of Monarchy

The Mahogany Coconut Think Tank and Watchdog Group, continues to call on the Barbados government to make the final break from the British monarchy and attain republican status for our island state. Needles to say, we are afraid that our legitimate calls will continue to fall on deaf ears. The late Errol Barrow, National Hero and the Father of Independence, once asked: “What kind of mirror image do we have of ourselves?” The failure to attain true statehood shows that our mirror image, after forty six years of independence, reveals a shameless psychological dependence on our former slave masters. Massa day ain't done! As we once more celebrate our statehood under the patronage of the Queen, who resides in Buckingham Palace, all right thinking citizens should cry shame on both the Barbados Labour Party and the Democratic Labour Party.  These two parties have bowed to a tiny, mostly white minority and some mentally enslaved blacks, who cannot bring themselves to make that final trans…

Slow Learners Neglected

by Angela Goring
Mr.Stewart Russell , a retired educator,  who has been intimately involved with teachers, teaching and their modalities for decades, recently wrote in our blog, that Barbados has a cadre of fine teaching professionals. I have great respect for his observations.
Education in Barbados is still being looked after by persons suffering from myopia. Of course, it takes all types to make up this world.  Academia is not the be all and end all of life today nor was it before either.  It was drilled into our heads that we needed to go to school and learn well, so that we may acquire ' a good' job. What is a good job anyway? So we all went to school; those bright sparks were places in the front seats and the others were relegated to the back because they were slow learners.  At the end of schooling, the bright sparks went off to the universities to become the doctors and lawyers that everyone looked up to.   The slower ones were taught "a trade", as it was calle…

Hail The Coach !

The re-election of President Barack Obama is certainly a major political feat. While we do not wish to pour cold water on this astonishing achievement, we must address his presidency as it relates to Afro Americans. President Obama is a very honest and sincere politician, who has never fooled anybody that he was an activist fighting any particular cause. In other words, he is a politician and like all good politicians, his talents would have been just as welcome were he a republican. Think Colin Powell. Think Condoleezza Rice. Think Marco Rubio. We remain very steadfast in our view that his ascendancy to the presidency is of significant importance to Black Americans and it connects to the dreams of Martin Luther King and all civil rights leaders. He has clearly demonstrated that: “You are not better than a man until you beat him at his own game”. Let’s face it, President Obama has beaten the republicans at their own game and they will probably never recover from it. The question is: Will…

Friday Comment: Watch Out My Children

Watch out my children By Richard Braithwaite
October was Calypso History Month and the annual event always provides an excellent opportunity to reflect on the tremendous contribution that the artform has made to Trinidad and Tobago culture. For this reason I fully endorse the call for 50 per cent local content on the airwaves and while the quality of some calypsoes leaves a lot to be desired, there is a remarkable volume of work that deserves greater exposure. Much of it has been ignored over the years although some of the more outstanding compositions are just as relevant today as they were many years ago. In fact one of the hallmarks of a great calypso is its ability to deliver a message that remains topical despite the passage of time. For instance the 1959 Road March "Run the Gunslingers'' by Caruso sang about rising crime and that criminals were so desperate that they would "knock you down for a green mango". If you substitute "cellphone'' for &qu…

Tourism : New Vision Needed

by Angela Goring Tourism is our business and everyone needs to play a part. Barbados is strategically placed in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, for reasons known only to our Creator. Could be, so placed to protect us from those storms that play target practice with us yearly! But, we are happy to be out here by ourselves. Some cruise ship companies, in the past have lamented the fact that Barbados is indeed far and have opined that it may be prudent not to come this far. Now, if this should indeed be reality, what’s next? Everyone knows that tourism is our main money earner presently. So what might those charged with the responsibility of getting those tourists to our shores do. This would make for a most exciting time for the Caribbean region in terms of One Caribbean, One Nation. Does anybody really understand what we can do as one nation! I am exploring this mainly from a tourism point of view. We will stay at home in the Caribbean and enjoy what each island has to offer. We will need:

Barbados: Excellent Cadre Of Teachers

by Stewart Russell,
Your recent article : “Teachers and Politics”   is a fair representation of the facts.  Both the DLP and the BLP, usually at their time of governance, have taken shots at the broadside of the teaching profession in Barbados.   As you have rightly expressed, even the great man, himself, has been party to this maligning of teachers.  You have brought back to our remembrance some of those cutting remarks that were either intentionally meant to damage the profession or at the very least were uttered in moments of human weakness, namely ignorance.
I can attest to the fact that Barbados has an excellent cadre of teachers.  It is not difficult to recognize this particularly if you set it against the backdrop of the scarcity of appropriate teaching resources they have at their disposal.  The EDUTECH endeavour was meant to do much more in alleviating this problem but failed miserably in its most important component: that of the pedagogy.  The hand of spoilage re: the hand …

Friday Comment: Barrow's Prophecy

“These fields and hills beyond recall are now are very own” Barbados National Anthem. Really? Two or so decades ago, Barbadians could scrape up a few thousand dollars, approach their bank or credit union and with pride, proceed to purchase a piece of land. They refer to such an exercise as: “owning a piece of the rock.” The Mahogany Coconut Group has been in the forefront of demanding that the collective BLP/DLP government, develops a land use policy, that will ensure that the dream of Barbadians owning a piece of land does not completely disappear. Far from even pretending to attempt a progressive land use policy, the BLP/DLP politicians and their assortment of greedy lawyer friends, have shamelessly become the main architects of ensuring that land is out of the reach, of the average citizen. The real estate moguls and speculators are reaping millions on a daily basis while others are paying as much as $600. Bds. To rent a room in somebody’s house. We are now convinced that the prophetic …

Bajan Culture Alive and Well

by Angela Goring
Our culture is alive and well ! I speak of no other place than Barbados, my Island home. Every year during our festival of creative arts we see the little ones performing skits and songs; although, new ways of putting them over and adding new touches, the inherent Barbadianisms still abound. It does not matter what age you are, you are still able to connect with your past. NIFCA,(National Independence Festival of Creative Arts) the festival of which I speak is really  the National Independence festival of creative Arts. This festival was born several decades ago to co-incide with our Independence celebrations. It was the brainchild of the late Arden Clarke, an attorney ; his wife,the late, Jeannette Layne-Clarke, an accomplished broadcaster and writer, and a group of other cultural visionaries. The idea behind NIFCA was to discover and showcase the best talent the Island had to offer. The artforms covered being: music, drama, dance, visual arts, photography, literary and …

Trinidad and Tobago: A Political Tragedy

Occasionally, we at the Mahogany Coconut Think Tank ,have to endure some pain in exposing the truth. Almost five years ago, Mahogany Coconut was formed because of a group of Caribbean thinkers existing in the Diaspora. The group was mainly internet based and comprised a significant number of Trinidadians and other Caribbean islanders. Many of them have returned to Trinidad and Tobago, to make contributions to their wonderful island state, and they remain committed to our cause of truthfully informing the Caribbean and world of events relevant to our development. The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, has recently celebrated fifty years of independence and nationhood. At the peak of its economic performance, Tand T was generous to its Caribbean neighbors, and is a second home to many Grenadians who have a long history of seeking economic progress in TandT. Many of our most erudite and creative thinkers, artistes and sportspersons are Trinidadians: Dr. Eric Williams, C.L.R.James, Lloyd Best…

The Peter Wickham Issue

The Mahogany Coconut Group is dedicated to highlighting and defending the professional work of all Caribbean citizens. We are especially determined, to promote and support our young professionals in their chosen fields of endeavor, once they indicate a high degree of professionalism and a sense of intellectual honesty ,when defending their public positions. After extremely careful consideration, the Mahogany Coconut Group has concluded that Mr. Peter Wickham, noted pollster, commentator and call in program/talk radio host, has been the victim of senseless and in many cases, undignified assaults on his professional standing, simply because his recent CADRES, poll commissioned by the Nation Newspaper, predicted that the current Democratic Labour Party, stands a good chance of losing the next general elections. We have taken the time, to research Mr. Wickham’s polls and have been advised by experts in his field, that he has an extremely high level of accuracy in predicting results and anal…

Well Done: UWI , Dr. Carter and Dr.Husbands

We salute and congratulate Mr. Anthony Carter, The Mighty Gabby and Mr. James Husbands, solar energy pioneer, on receiving the honorary doctorates from the   University of the West Indies. Embodied in these two outstanding citizens, are all the characteristics necessary for the true development of the Caribbean Nation and its peoples. From its inception, almost five years ago, the Mahogany Coconut Group made it clear that we will not hesitate in promoting excellent Caribbean talent and we will not hesitate in exposing, the fraudulent promotion of cosmetic images of our culture and corporate environment. We also made a conscious decision to share our views with organs /blogs such as Barbados Underground and its many followers, because we recognize the contribution BU is making in encouraging public discussion. The Mighty Gabby, over the years has brought some of the most enlightened art to our Caribbean people. More than any other artist, he exposed the stupidity of the late Prime Minist…