THE EDITOR: I remember walking along the streets of Caracas, Venezuela, the many shops packed with clothing, jewellery and other goods. The subway, the coffee in the hotel in the morning and the feeling that Caracas was almost as developed as most cities in the US. That was decades ago.
Who would have believed that this rich country blessed with natural resources would have degenerated into a place where millions would flee, thousands would die travelling through the jungle seeking a life of survival.
Who would have envisaged many of the young women willingly going into prostitution and many of the educated and professionals migrating to other countries.
This disaster could only have been possible because of the leadership that has led them to this point. Whether one agrees with the leaders and their politics is not the point, it is the result that matters, the suffering of the masses.
There are many examples of mass suffering of people worldwide that resulted from the ordinary people's feeling of impotence, helplessness, defeat and varying levels of apathy that emboldened and empowered leaders to pursue their agenda without restraint.
My own experience has led me to organisations where incompetent, power-hungry individuals cling to power to the detriment of the organisation and, despite the rumours in the corridors, no one dares to bell the cat.
TT has a plethora of exceedingly intelligent people, professionals rated among the best worldwide, an intelligent modern business community and a skilled workforce. We have a deeply religious population. We are a peaceful people, a loving, caring people, a fun-filled people, yet our image is that of a place bordering on anarchy where murders, the rule of the thugs and violent people take precedence over that of civility and order.
One wonders why in a police service where the majority go about their duty diligently and with pride there is a fear to point out the few corrupt officers and have them arrested and brought to justice.
Why in the many communities where the gang leaders reign with force and fear the majority good people cannot make a concerted effort to rid their communities of violence.
In organisations, political and otherwise, many good people simply stand idly by and allow the corrupt, the individuals who care nothing about order and civility, to lead them, knowing that their leadership policies are destructive to the many. Like innocent lambs, the masses are led to the slaughter without saying a word.
With no plan for food security, no plans to upgrade the country’s infrastructure to international standards, with archaic, burdensome bureaucracy that stifles the growth of business, and management structures that stifle justice and order, the masses stand by and allow the few to govern our land and lead us to our own social demise.
Now is the time for the good people of TT to have their say, to seek out the best from among us and allow them to replace those who have led us thus far.
Without a vision, and a willingness to stand up for what is right, a nation perishes.