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posted 30 Apr 2011, 09:55 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 2 May 2011, 09:30 ]


by Dr. Godfrey Vincent

The NAR followed the playbook of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan and came to power to manners the working people in Trinidad and Tobago and Trade Unions. They manipulated the country's economic data to justify going to the IMF and ignored what the late, Davison Budhoo said about how the IMF falsified the

Dr. Godfrey Vincent

Dr. Godfrey Vincent is Part-time Assistant Professor of History at James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia. 

A  former secondary school teacher, Dr. Vincent was a Community activist in Petit/Valley/ Diego Martin/Carenage/ St.James/Maraval area. He is a former member of the United Labour Front; Committee for Labour Solidarity (CLS) and Motion. 
He is a former Vice-Chair Person of Youth Voice and former President of Simeon Road Superpan and Co-ordinator of CLS West. He is a former member of  the Summit of Peoples' Organisations (SOPO). 

He is a Rapso artiste (Brother Cymande)and a former Shop Steward of DC 37, Local 2054 and a delegate of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. 


Despite, the downturn in the economy, Trinidad and Tobago's economy was in much better shape than many economies in the Caribbean and Latin America. One has to understand that the NAR was funded in the main by Sidney Knox and the Neal and Massey Group and from the other top conglomerates in the country and
ideologically, they were opposed to state intervention in the economy and wanted to dismantle the state sector and institute privatization.

Because "There Is No Alternative" (TINA) became the mantra of the IMF, the NAR became the willing party to implement the austerity measures in Trinidad and Tobago. To date no real data was provided to justify that the government had to go the way of the IMF.

The NAR had a golden opportunity to unite the country but the right wing forces within the party controlled the direction of the party. This right wing group has been operating for years and placed great pressure on the PNM to manners workers in 1965 when the PNM passed the ISA.

In the post-Black Power period, the French Creoles benefited under the PNM with the Localization of the Foreign Banks. This further strengthened their hegemony on the financial sector and gave them greater leverage in teaming with institutions like the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

The dominant ideology of the IFC is more private sector growth and less government interference in the economy. For years men like Conrad O'Brian, Montes Da Oca, Tommy Gatcliffe and others have used the Guardian and Express to attack the State sector in Trinidad. Additionally, they declared war on Trade unions and wanted more contract labor.

Therefore, it is in this context that the NAR was formed. Panday et al went along with the Right Wing because they never had the interest of the workers at heart. Panday had other political ambitions and had abandoned the workers after the break up of the original ULF. So when the NAR came to power in 1986 and began to implement IMF austerity measures, the party, like Thatcher, started to peddle the "TINA" phrase to the masses. When they did so, the party lost credibility
and abandoned the "One Love" to the electorate.

According to one Diego Martin resident, "the NAR gave the masses one love but gave endless love to Sidney Knox." This is why people who voted for them were showing "pure hate and acting normal." The Party was the biggest failure the country has witnessed to date.

Because of their tabanka, they have formed the COP and are bent on taking the country down the IMF road. The destruction of the farmers’ crops is one such act of violence on the people. Selby Wilson "Take your steel beam and go."