THE EDITOR: “You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.” These are words from the Desiderata, the most perfect document I know.
I am in pain today. I am disappointed, hurt and perplexed. What is it in human nature that causes one to violate another’s right to exist in this universe? What inspires a human being to harm another, rob one of their property, to use their social or economic position to take advantage of another?
Why when given the authority and means to significantly contribute to the welfare of the many, some choose to seek the interest of the few?
How I wish I knew the answers. In TT, we have one of the best underground caves in the world, a lake filled with unending asphalt, reefs, waterfalls, great beaches, beautiful swamps filled with exotic birds and wildlife, rivers with cool clean water, the steelband, mountains with beautiful views of the islands, Carnival and a mixture of races and cultures that are unique, yet we have a struggling tourism sector.
Our economy is better than most of our Caribbean partners, yet we struggle with basics like proper drainage, road management, water distribution and property maintenance.
Over the weekend I walked up to the Chaguaramas satellite tracking station. I looked with shock at a newly posted sign that said, “Dangerous structure stay away.”
I looked at the structure sadly exposed to the elements awaiting its turn to fall into the earth along with the other significant structures in the Chaguaramas area, like the St Chad’s Church and the Macqueripe beach facility.
This is a satellite dish that can boast of facilitating the first intercontinental voice message in history relayed via Earth satellite on August 12, 1960. Certainly, this site ought to be preserved and become a national place of interest and a tourist destination similar to that of the dish in Parkes, Australia, that facilitated communication with Apollo 11.
TT’s failure to realise its true potential is due to a population’s failure to trust itself. We look towards two political parties consumed with spreading hate, rather than hope.
One simply has to listen to the pronouncements in Parliament or on the political platform. The speeches are filled with blame and bacchanal. There are no plans to make tourism a major contributor to the national income.
Almost every country in the world including the US and Britain invests heavily in tourism. The dish in Chaguaramas can be restored and preserved as a tourism site.
Innovative thinking can see the government seeking a partnership with the US Navy which may also have an interest in the historical significance of the site.
Our natural places of interest can be leased or entered into partnership with local and international businesses to provide first class accommodation at these sites.
A great tourism package must be augmented with a reliable water supply, an updated sewage system, modern waste management, structured police patrols, a trusted judicial system, modern street signage, good roads and a culture of reliable service personnel.
That must be anchored by a government with vision, commitment to excellence and a culture of unity rather than selfish segregation. The two political parties have failed miserably in that regard.
Why then are they still relevant to our future today? Why am I still finding it very difficult to find 40 people to join with me in offering a viable alternative to that of the PNM and UNC?
I find my motivation in the words of the Desiderata: “Keep interested in your own career...whether or not it is clear to you, the universe is unfolding as it should.”
I hope that in 2020 we find it in our hearts to contribute to a better world.
political leader, DPTT