Home / Live Wire / Bourdain’s starter menu: Humble pie with foot-in-mouth; Live Wire dissects Sabga-Aboud’s apology

Bourdain’s starter menu: Humble pie with foot-in-mouth; Live Wire dissects Sabga-Aboud’s apology

One serving of humble pie with a side order of foot in mouth please? And can I get some olive oil to go with that?

The Trinidad and Tobago have-nots scored a rare but fitting victory today as Mario Sabga-Aboud, a prominent local businessman and respected member of the Syrian/Lebanese community, apologised for comments made on CNN’s “Parts Unknown” show with host Anthony Bourdain.

Photo: American chef, author and television personality Anthony Bourdain is the host of TV show Parts Unknown.

And by “fitting”, Mr Live Wire means that Sabga-Aboud’s apology to the “man on the promenade” was free, empty and non-redeemable at any of the Global Brands Group of Companies.

Oh gorm, Super Mario, you couldn’t give us a coupon for Pizza Boys self?

Anyway, lesson learnt and we thank you, Sir. Don’t do that again!

So, you might ask—if you were too distracted by arguably more important things like flooding in south Trinidad, the disappearing CAL subsidy, the cybercrime bill, murders, suicides, sport and virtually anything else in the news—what did Sabga-Aboud say?

Well Sabga-Aboud, over an appetising dinner and surrounded by members of the Syrian/Lebanese community, suggested to Bourdain that, although theirs was one of the smallest ethnic groups in Trinidad, it was “the most powerful, almost the most powerful.”

The ice well and truly broken, other dinner guests chimed in with equally outrageous and hateful comments such as “Trinidad has been good to us and we know it” and “life has been good to us in Trinidad.”

Photo: I slaved all day over this… Well, maybe ‘slaved’ isn’t the best word…
American chef and tv personality Anthony Bourdain (centre) is a dinner guest of the Syrian/Lebanese community.

The unmitigated gall! So, wealthy people generally think life is good? Smh. It is just as we all feared. Thank God for Bourdain and his not-so-secret cameras.

Unsurprisingly, the statements brought howls of protest from many of the same Facebookers who, paradoxically, argued that Bourdain’s show did not make Trinidad and Tobago seem “inviting” enough.

The silver-haired Peter George suggested that the disappearing middle class meant eroded security for the wealthiest and civil commotion.

Those poor little rich people. It would take a heart of stone to not weep into his half-empty cereal bowl after the moving admission that our financial troubles sometimes provided uneasy dinner conversation for the “haves.”

So what could those poor rich people do for their own self-interest?

Well, they could create a NGO to offered start-up capital to everyday Trinbagonians, so as to further stimulate entrepreneurial activity in poorer districts and help social mobility. Or maybe invest more in sport and culture; or partner with programmes which ensure a more dignified standard of living for the have-nots.

Photo: A protest at Fanny Government Primary School.
(Copyright Trinidad Guardian)

But then pro-activism is not really a Trinbagonian trait. Old talk and reactive behaviour? Now you’re talking!

Little did they know that Bourdain was not their only dinner guest that night. The have-nots—crafty buggers as always—managed to defy copyright laws and get their hands on the controversial exchange.

And boy were Trinbagonians hopping mad—yes, even the ones who spent inordinate amounts of time watching Cribs and religiously follow Love and Hip Hop and Basketball Wives—at seeing locals enjoy their wealth. Somewhere, someone reacted with that word which billionaires worldwide have so far been unable to outlaw as hate speech: Boycott!

And now the Syrian/Lebanese community was all ears.

So how do you pacify people who are offended by the truth?

Well, Sabga-Aboud could have offered to share copies of the Syrian/Lebanese manual on influence—presumably named “How to influence political parties and alienate workers.”

Or maybe free classes on “How to speak like rich people”, which would be useful on job interviews or loan appointments.

Perhaps, more reasonably, there is a conversation to be had involving Trinidad and Tobago’s various ethnic communities on how we can work together and emerge stronger from this financial crisis and bloodletting: Black, Indian, Syrian/Lebanese, Chinese, Carib… and everything in-between.

Photo: Tribe revellers let loose on Carnival Monday in 2015.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

How can food glue us together if we don’t eat at the same table?

The rising tide of ultra all-inclusive parties means we don’t fete together anymore; the expansion of private schools—from kindergarten straight to tertiary level—suggests that fewer and fewer children from Goodwood Park will ever have the weird pleasure of sitting alongside a student from Valencia, Tunapuna or Penal in secondary school.

Ironically, Sabga-Aboud proved his Trinbagonian credentials by opting for the quick-fix: a short apology—he described it as “sincere”, which is a sure indicator that it wasn’t—that he did not even read himself or take questions on.

Luckily, Mr Live Wire was able to witness the crafting of Aboud-Sabga’s apology, satirically-speaking:

(The Making of the Mario Sagba-Aboud apology)

June 28th, 2017

(Honey? Honey! I wrote tomorrow’s date. Now they will think we have a time machine too! Hahaha. What? Steups. Why I must take it out? I didn’t want to write this damn letter in the first place! What am I apologising for?! Why they don’t ask Darryl Smith or Sinanan or Shamfa for an apology?! Steups. Alright, alright. Well, let me just write the damn thing, then…)

Dear Have-Nots,

Members of the Working Class,

Fellow Citizens of Trinidad and Tobago,

Photo: Wait… What?!

(Honey, you think that opening sounds pompous? Why? But I always wanted to make a King’s Speech… What do you mean if I think I am John Rahael?! Steups. I’m keeping it!)

On the recently broadcast CNN show ‘Parts Unknown’ I used honest careless words in referring to the standing of citizens of Middle Eastern descent in our society and ended up making you feel bad misrepresenting myself and my values.

I have never taken for granted the blessing to be a born and bred (Honey, what’s the word I am looking for? Nah, that will get Tobagonians upset with me. I know David Rudder had it in that nice song but he is so ‘yesterday’. Everybody only listens to Sunny Bling now. Sunny Bling doesn’t sing? Look just tell me the other… Oh ho. Right, thanks…) Trinbagonian.

I am, and have always been humbled by the opportunities and support I have received in my over 30 years in business in T&T.

Over these many years, I have met with many people across the wider society who in one way or another have positively impacted and enriched my company life. This is testament to the amazing people of this country and as a Trinbagonian 🙂, I cherish that and I offer my deepest apologies to anyone whom choked on their haterade I offended.

Photo: Rituals owner Mario Sabga-Aboud.
(Copyright Aldwyn Sin-Pang/Rituals)

I always treat with minimum wage appreciation, love and respect the members of my staff, many of whom work for are like my family because they have been with me for over 25 and 30 years, and are fundamentally the reason for my accomplishments. (Honey, I can keep that last bit right? Why not? But we are like the Starbucks of the Caribbean?! Steups. I’m keeping it!)

This was a regrettable moment because I knew Parts Unknown doesn’t show on basic cable and didn’t realise everyone would see it where my excitement led me to misrepresent myself as boastful instead of proud. (Honey, if you see what I just wrote at the end of that sentence to screw with their sensitive little souls! Hahaha. What you mean? But, it’s a riddle… I bet you they don’t pick that up. Just watch!)

Though I cannot retract my words, I hope that you all recognise my frustration remorse and get back to work… How much damn holidays does June have anyway! accept my sincere apology.

Yours truly,

Mario Sabga-Aboud


Rituals Coffee House, Pizza Boys, Church’s Chicken, Wok n Roll, Vie De France, Donut Boys, the VIP Flyers Club… (What?! Why not to list them? You think they’re so serious about that boycott in truth? Steups…)

Global Brands Group of Companies

PS: Allyuh buy coffee from me nah?! (What?! I heard a nuts man say that at a football match once. It would play really well with the working class people… Steups. Okay honey. 🙁 )

About Mr. Live Wire

Mr. Live Wire
Mr. Live Wire is an avid news reader who translates media reports for persons who can handle the truth. And satire. Unlike Jack Nicholson, he rarely yells.

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  1. I said before and continue to say I don’t, know how black people could in all conscience buy anything from these places like Rituals,Mario’s and all these other entities.

  2. Dee man ay lie. Is dem in charge. Dem IS dee 1%, wee’s the 99%. Mario U’s rite. We are a criminal Society but how can U verify this when as far as I can remember Moi never even see or hear dey kill, rob, kidnap or rape one Syrian? Are U the people who in charge of who dies and when?

  3. I hope that he included their involvement in crime as well. There won’t be a carpet big enough for the corruption that goes on in their 1% world be brushed under.

  4. Normally Bourdain comes to checkout the countries cuisine,how did he end up having dinner with them people representing Trinidad,when you have money and looking for glory,ent life funny , boycotting as much as possible works,well then I might say,,, ,,,,,,,but I ent them,just know blackman you have all the buying power use it, don’t buy.

  5. I was really concerned about suddenly being a “Trini-day-dian”. Could a sworn I was aTrinidadian …

  6. The criminals hear your statement too…..I jus sipping on my coffee and staying tuned for random kidnappings

  7. Can we move on from this topic?? Seriously don’t you think Trinidad has much bigger issues than this. For the love of all that’s good! Why don’t you write articles about the prime minister and his lack of apology to the very people who put him there?
    When he says “eat cassava and tighten your belts” while every Minister is driving a million dollar car. Or the minister of finance who said the people haven’t rioted yet..:
    But you’ll take that though… SMFH

  8. You know parents ,teach your children to be a family ,spend less time on social media talking to strangers who do not care . teach your children to learn to cook , healthy foods ,teach them to set the table , share with each other daily happenings , be creative make your sandwich ,and Pelau , bake your cake ,coffee in ice hot , bring back old memories , go to the botanical garden ,play board games ,parents interact with your kids teach them basic respect and manners , set aside every day time for leisure reading and family prayer time ,teach them to love , show respect , tenderness ,empathy , encourage conversation listen to them , really hear what they are saying , you are the parent , it’s ok if you ground them and punish them , they may be angry with you , but in a strange way they feel loved . Do all the above INSTEAD of going out to eat unhealthy food from the above establishments , let eating out be for very special occasions as a treat .

  9. Please let the man speak…..the truth!

  10. It is not a foreign thing for Trinbagos to be victimized by companies and cultures, that is why

  11. He definitely spoke the truth. Their influence on our country goes beyond belief. Lets be real

  12. Thinking that ppl actually do things for the ‘good of the country’ now that itself is a myth…Most trinis do what’s right or good only when they are being watched.

  13. What is the fuss about the man talked the truth get real people

  14. Myron, too much of what we all think we know about each other as ethnic groups is myth. Really all sides need to put their prejudices aside for the good of the country.

  15. What killing me about all of this …..
    Is the apparent “unawareness “, of trinbago, toward the Syrian elements. ..being in their natural element, speaking what we have known since the patriarch ( who had recently passed on,) existed and was the “king of trinbago “……. And presenting ourselves, as shocked and appalled, at such a horrendous outburst. ……

    We in trinbago, have always suffered from acute nine day memory lapses, since the rats eating the cocaine in MORVANT police station, the Dana seetahal murders ,et al, the missile in Sadiq Baksh ‘s water tank, the monos island beheading , the fact that a sitting prime minister and attorney general , can blatantly try to force new property tax initiatives upon the public, the rude and super disrespectful comments by the finance tiefing minister, colm imbert, the unc and all the CRAP of their five year term , not to mention all the CRAP of the many corrupt pnm terms , election , after election……
    And lastly, but not leastly, the $100 million in coke juice, from Trinidad citrus growers limited. ……..

    Sigh, I guess we’ll see how long this will last……Wait , it’s and ready forgotten by soo many ppl already, as I’ve seen rituals after rituals buyers enjoying making money for Mario sabga aboud…….

    Anyway , , don’t mind me….. I’m just a ….#ChupideeOnChupidness

  16. If you agree with everything said here your a total dumbass. So you don’t think the companies these people own, or even have a share in doesn’t give back. These companies sponsor so many sporting groups, so many charities. They give back to the Trinidad community so much and all you see is negativity? That’s the Trinidad mentality!!! If you don’t have it your jealous, and if you have it your keeping it. Such hypocrisy is being said here. Stop the hating and jealousy and do what is right, work hard for what you want and maybe one day if your not caught stealing or committing fraud you will one day move up in that company and maybe run it one day. Don’t be vex your not rich at 30 years old!!! Warren buffet made his first million dollars at the age of 40!

  17. Yeah…it’s like all those ppl who don’t mention how much money they are begging their baby daddies for… Not polite dinner conversation I guess.

  18. The truth came out. They are running the country. For many years.

  19. Incestuous clan of greedy people…….that man said what he and his believe …..boycott

  20. Interview sounded like he had was trying impress the man.

    Have no beef with persons being proud of their heritage and where they have come from.

    But it kinda sucks being an employee after you find out what your so called “boss” thinks about about where he is on the food chain.

    • Good letter from Gary Aboud. I might have tagged the wrong Aboud there. Lol. My apologies if I did. But I think he is right about the need for a national conversation.
      So much racial tension is just simmering beneath the surface here.

    • As I said elsewhere, for a country made up of the descendants of immigrants both forced and voluntary, we can be xenophobic, ignorant and hateful…. *sigh*

    • Alana Morton You forgetting that colourism, racism and classism omnipresent. And that have nothing to do with ya status as an (or decended from) immigrant

    • I didn’t forget but I am tired of all the unnecessary ignorance, xenophobia and hatefulness we on. When we continue to refer to each other as they and them and treat people born right here as alien and tell them they don’t belong, then we have very far to go. This goes for the fair elites, the bourgeoisie, the wannabes and everything in between.

    • I’m embarrassed that Gary had to do this, none of us should be made to feel it necessary to reaffirm our shared Trinidadianess in order to be accepted, it simply isn’t fair!

    • Gary’s letter was a good read. But one of the points I think he is missing is that the comment about the middle class being a “buffer” between the haves and have-nots was extremely crass. Many people are of the view that by the exploitation of workers those same “haves” have a direct hand in the eroding of the same buffer that is needed for their own comfort and security. I guess it could be argued that is poor people they exploiting and not middle class?

  21. All who PNM or UNC loyal got hurt by this statement, something in their mind rang off telling them that regardless they all are “have nots”.
    It is a good day in Trinidad when on of the “haves” made one statement to shut these PNM/UNC people who usually talk garbage up.

  22. How come nobody vex with Mark Bassant?

  23. Water under the bridge. You cannot take back the spoken word. It’s up to Trinbagonians to put it in perspective and act accordingly.

  24. I am going to continue to try my utmost best to discontinue patronizing those business… i click the say that much though…..is not what he said…it’s the manner in which

  25. we always know they run things

  26. The question is what can we learn from him and the 1 percent he said who rule is the bigger picture.

  27. epic editorial.

  28. I will like to thank Anthony Bourdain for allowing the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago to meet the our true government for the first time. It was nice to see the real PM and well as a few of the real ministers. Humus anyone?????? Its trinidayedian flavoured.

  29. Look at the photo, do you see any local cuisine on the 5able. Lmfao

  30. As I said in a post before…Why not use that opportunity to thank T&T for being so accepting? There are many places in the world today look at that same 1% with scorn!

  31. “So how do you pacify people who are offended by the truth?” AH LOVE IT!!!

  32. The guy gave his opinion. It was some loosely strung together words that he possibly didn’t think through. It was a personal statement that truly has no bearing on anything. It came from one person and who knows if even the people at the same table agreed with him. Powerful can be defined in many ways. It would actually be cool if a journalist sat with him to try and understand what he meant by the statement and if appropriate, challenge him in a proper follow-up dialogue rather than just get all over-sensitive and evoke a useless “apology”. Apology for what? So what if he actually thinks his community is the most “powerful” (however he defines it) in TT society? If he’s wrong he’s wrong. It’s just words.

    And to those in this thread calling the lady country bookie, how is that any better behavior? y’all real sad.

    • I didn’t take issue with his belief that his is the most powerful group.
      The disdain for the rest of us is what bothers me.
      If the most powerful in society, with the capability of influencing every sphere of society, see us as nothing more than a buffer, will real opportunity for the rest of us to ever be more than a protective blanket ever really come?
      It is ironic though that there are those up in arms about the scorn of his statement while they heap scorn on others in even lower social standing than they are. The comments about those affected by Bret’s associated floods would be a good example.

    • Chabeth I totally get it. Lots said that could rub people the wrong way depending on how you interpret it, but I think folks should take it for what it’s worth. The guy didn’t purport anything as fact, declare anything, or issue any kind of authoritative statement. An apology to the nation for this just seems kind of silly. If anything, clarification and further discussion is probably more valuable – that’s how you build understanding and move forward…If that’s not practical, just leave it there. Same goes for the middle class buffer comment – clarification needed.

      About the 360 degree scorn – yeah – sad.

    • But wait, there’s more! Regarding the disdain…a part of me is outraged. But another part of me wonders id we don’t deserve this disdain. We’re a former British colony. Britain used class stratification (and rum) to control the natives. We inherited the class structures from the British. We continue to maintain these divisions by “class”…whatever that is. It stands to reason therefore, that if we, as so called educated and intelligent people continue to seek avenues to keep us divided, instead of seeking the things that unite id (which outnumber the divisions), then strictly speaking, we deserve the disdain. The Syrian community works as a unit. They support each other. As do the Chinese. Do we do the same thing in our community? Or do we seek to tear each other down based on race, religion, or who play with whichever mas band?

    • Describing a particular behaviour as country bookish is sad Duane Campbell? Or only when it involves Sabga-Abouds?
      So you can watch a clip of let’s say police on the street and say their behaviour is unmannerly and that’s understandable… But saying that it is country bookish for a dude to use a foreign company as a gauge to compare his own success–when that same foreign company is now his rival–made you whip out your violin?

    • Duane, I agree with you on the apology. I see no need for it and I don’t think it has done any good.
      As for middle class buffer… I think it’s self explanatory. I first heard the terms years ago when someone was talking to me about Venezuela. And look at Venezuela now. Hence his (I suppose) logical concern about “civil commotion.”

    • Lasana – come on. Country bookie is a derogatory term. Unmannerly is a literal criticism. The two adjectives are not comparable. And take a look back at the context in which the term is being ascribed to the Syrian lady in this thread. It seems like a petty response to the overall ire surrounding the situation being described in here. It’s stooping and it’s sad. Ethnicity of the recipient notwithstanding…

    • Duane Campbell, we would call out own loving family members country bookie if we think they are acting like one. Is that seriously a derogatory term where you are from?
      A friend of yours never called you an imps in your life?

    • And I’m not calling you an imps eh Duane. Lol. Just to be clear. I’m saying that those terms aren’t hate speech in Trinidad. Far from it. Just expressions.
      Sure it wasn’t an positive expression. But it sure ent a nasty one either.

    • I’m not saying it’s hate speech by any stretch, but in this context it’s appears retaliatory…. i.e You think you’re better than me so I’m gonna call you country bookie for some petty reason… that if you look back… doesn’t really make sense. It’s stooping..and for me, that’s where any kind of meaningful convo breaks down into just trading jabs and insults. Which is why I call it sad. If my bredren call me country bookie under kix for whatever reason, that’s a different story.

    • Well, fair enough Duane. Some people are more angry than others over this too. Personally, I see Mario as the boastful uncle that every family has. He ramajayed a little too much for his own good. It rubbed some people the wrong way.
      But he was not being dishonest and, importantly, I don’t think he was trying to be malicious either. I don’t think anyone around that table said anything malicious in the show.
      They were just sharing what their Trinidad looks like.

    • The only bit that I can remember someone referring to the lady as country bookie was when she asked Bourdain if he ever had a particular dish before.
      That would be like asking a maths whiz if he every heard of algebra. It was funny. Maybe country bookie wasn’t the right word for that.
      But I don’t see that comment as spiteful at all. We all have those kind of senior citizen moments. Or she might have just been trying to make small talk and got nervous.
      People already overly sensitive about this topic as it is. Don’t start asking people to apologise for saying country bookie now. Lol.
      (Although from what I understand, people have definitely said stuff that they ought to apologise for about the Syrian community. If you ever see anything nasty in this group Duane Campbell… Please alert me. I don’t see all comments).

    • lol nah I not appealing for any apology – I personally was not offended per se… and yeah I get it’s not that serious – Just seemed petty and a bit out of character. My overall point in my initial post was that in situations like this it’d be cool to see Mario S. be challenged on his statement – by a morning talk show host or journalist etc – invite him to clarify his statement and challenge him if you think he stepped out of his lane. Take the opportunity to really get into to substance with him… might be very insightful and could have the potential to really advance the conversation. As it is, it seems like mostly noise until the next piece of compelling entertainment hits.

    • Yep. All superficial. That’s how we roll in T&T.

    • Considering the scale of the noise, it might have been hard for him to explain himself anyway. And risky to even try.

  33. What Sabga said was the truth. The Serians has the economic and political power of this country, everyone knows that. What’s new?

  34. If the consumers ( mainly afro Trinidadians) class in Trinidad and Tobago would respect their hard earned doller more we would be in a better position to deal with the racist and the bigots more effectively , we dont own buisnesses but we are the consumers that supports and make millionaires of the Syrians, the east indians , the Asians by spending our monies in their various establishments , we must begin to choose were , when , and who gets our patronage.

  35. Good article – like the sarcasm. Now if Machel goes on international tv and declares himself the best soca artist ever, we’ll have an uproar about that. This is all so petty – unbelievable

  36. The Syrian/ Lebanese community wealth represents new money in T&T. 1898 to present is just 130 years. Local history is not taught so most of us don’t have an understanding of why they were embraced by old money at the expense of others on this plantation, pre independence. Their wealth were not accumulated overnight. T& T is a young Republic. Their statements should make us reflect and appreciate the work of Butler and the labour movement, Dr Eric Williams for nationalizing Enterprises and the Chief Servant in 1970 for attempting to increase the plebs share of the pie. Without them our share of the pie today would have been a lot smaller as we were oppressed by Old money and not new money. The owners of the plantation pre independence(old money)has shaped and will continue to shape our future. New money is still a small fish in this global village.

    • don’t play yourself.
      130 years is “new” money in a country that not even half that age?
      Those particular Syrians came to T&T with a longgggg history of business and trade, going back generations.
      By your definition “old” money is some Spanish conquistador from the old San Jose barracks? or some Taino gold horder?

  37. I guess no one remembers the plot to clear the hills of Laventille and how that is impacting us…the long game

  38. Dwayne McClean-Parris Yea, the type ‘free of farts’ even though there’s a extra price fuh dat! LOL

  39. Heyyyy….bud. Y’wanna buy…some air?

  40. Dwayne McClean-Parris We might as well stop breathing in T&T because we may find out that these people own all the oxygen! LOL

  41. I do agree Sue, excellent read.

  42. If u’ll keep this up he will have to close his businesses and revert to what made him rich $$$$$ .

  43. Travis Mulraine , the man said what it is. What about those people who are hiding behind the cloak of being the Robin Hood of their community and in their hearts they see the peasants as slaves.

  44. LoL. So I ask if these words didn’t come out we jokey Trinis would not have ‘ realized ‘ what he said is the reality of sweet sweet T&T? well at least there is some outrage that’s a good start. But I’m sure next week we would be back in their restaurants,fabric stores,car dealerships etc etc making them richer because we are a jokey people.
    We jamming still

  45. apology for what – confirming what every Trini knows…they should also admit what else they contribute to at the expense to our youth

  46. So how many people are going to boycott establishments and products sold from his and his family’s companies? Or are we just going to rant on facebook because he stated “in a weak moment” what he and his family truly believe.

  47. Every country have challenges but you dont see their citizen make documentary telling the world on main stream TV in America thing they have no authority to do.I believe their is a conspiracy to destroy the small island of T&T by the people who came and get rich. Sitting in my loving room in the US look at the documentary it was distasteful. Trinidad and Tobago tourism company try very hard to sell Trinidad as a great vacation destination and some idiots citizen trying to destroy it, That is not cool the damage is already done .

  48. He’s right…

    As long as blue crab Indians and Africans continue to fight each other and buy into the invented race construct, as well as buying into this two party system that is an illusion of democracy, they will be under heavy manners and own nothing

    From your own family members to others can’t work together

    Everyone wants to be better or show off on their fellow trini, no one wants to see people rise and support each other

    The Syrian communities build each other, when will the other communities do the same?

    Wake up

  49. There is an apology and then there is ‘ oh God man, ah really sorry…….and I mean it. I just made an ass of myself and my whole community. And you know what? Ah sink a whole setta politicians and power brokers while I was stating the facts…the true facts, not the make up facts’. You think he will boast within his community quietly next time while they drizzle dey olive oil?

  50. Drama….
    Haters gonna hate
    I agree it’s not a real apology.
    I also think his comments were half true because they are from the perspective of wealth and implies that the wealthy don’t see themselves as part of the problem in the equation or have a role in it.

  51. Where are all my trinidaayedian people!!! Put your humus up in the air!!!!!


    Many of you have jumped for the jugular of the Syrian/Lebanese community for boasting on Bourdain’s Parts Unknown that they are the most powerful group in our country, forcing an apology from Mario Sabga-Aboud.

    But let’s face it they didn’t lie, and, finally they said it themselves. For years this country pointed fingers accusing them of being responsible for the drugs and small arms trade, and, apparently, we got a confession from them through Bourdain.

    However, unlike many of you who are on the war-path calling for a boycott of the Syrian business’s I fail to see why. After all we were contended patronizing their businesses despite our perception that they were putting guns and drugs into the hands of our vulnerable children, therefore, I can hardly see how by simply boast of their power warrants a boycott.

    Therefore, one must ask the question whether we are taking our angry out on the wrong people, or, whether we are apologists/fanatics, and as such, refuses to accept that this “power” has been “sanctioned by the State”? Permit me to remind you that only recently the Chaguaramas lands were lease at a peppercorn rate to John Aboud and others mere days before the general election 2015. Moreover, the leases was declared legal contrary to what was originally believed by citizens because of the 1974 CDP but the PP government created a master plan to sign off the leases under.

    I cannot afford to be indifferent and a hypocrite with the truth, at least, not when I see what this power handed to a select few is doing to this country. Do you think this power would have been possible without corrupt public officials, political influence and white collar crime……..damn I forgot, they worked hard for their money and we have the FIU to thank for that.

    There is so much to be learnt from this documentary, if only, we weren’t fanatics.

  53. I’m sorry but I really can’t be mad at these statements. It’s a tough pill to swallow but the reality is: we put them there. And now we taking days off work(and we already poor) to protest and blistering our thumbs making comments instead of attacking the thing that gives them the gall to make such statements: their business interests. It’s time one and all to stop the tribal divide, stop the job dependency and start taking back the freedom and competitive nature that is a mixed market economy. I’m sure they have enough money (and know how) to move to another emerging country (see Guyana) and making it their new economic power hub while selling off their Trinidad investments to the government for them to mismanage and leave us in the dark. Let’s start doing business with one another and make this nation prosperous

  54. Another reason why we are moving house again… Hope you get on. Let me know…

  55. Oh plleeeaassseee! You really thinks he means that? They have noticed that Indians & Africans were uniting against them. If that happens they dead.
    So they’re trying to nip it in the bud. Don’t fall for that.
    Wake up! UNITE! BOYCOTT!!

  56. Tell sabga hull he ……………………………

  57. Bwahahahhaha! I am so in love with your writing style. Well said!!!

  58. Why is it dated tomorrow’s date. I’m taking that as another insult.

  59. Look I truly don’t see all the fuss. Aboud is right and he is not lying about how good Trinidad & Tobago has been good to his people. We spend lots of money in their establishments. You have to be living under a stone to see who runs what and who love to fight with who in this county. I was not invited, included nor informed about Bourdain’s visit…. Bourdain could say what ever he likes for my part because I’m still living from paycheck to paycheck, still hustling to live and take care of my family. I’m staying in my lane!!

    • Bravo! Bravo! Daynelle Williams Noel.
      People does only get upset when you tell them the truth.
      Aboud is spot on in his comment, say what you want about how they keep their money in the family, they’re the economic powerhouse of this country.
      All who don’t like it needs to shut up and make the necessary changes.

    • Daynelle Williams Noel I hear you but staying in your / our lane will never bring about any changes, if Uriah Butler and Martin Luther stayed in there lane where do you think the working class and other oppressed persons would be right now.

    • Yes Rianna , you are quite right but in my mind citizens quarreling about what was said does not alter what Aboud said, what he thinks and definitely does not change our status in this country. Who are the people who can go into a bank and get a loan, who runs the real estate sector and owns many businesses. I’m staying in my lane because my stressing about their comments does not add $1 to my pocket!
      Additionally, I heard there was a 1 day protest against Aboud… Since the alleged IAM incident last year, I haven’t visited their establishments because the cloud of suspicion hasn’t moved. Yet everyday Trinis head in to see their goods. How many citizens would stand up because of Aboud’s comments and stop supporting them where it hurts…..!! Ah!!! So why get angry on Facebook?

    • Thank you Daynelle Williams Noel. There are some businesses I do not patronise, out of principle. Grocery, pharmacy, hardware store etc. Wish peoole would think a lil more.

    • Daynelle Williams Noel like you have a hammer with pinpoint accuracy? You hitting the mark every time.????

    • Adding to your puissant comments Daynelle Williams Noel the present and past governments also contributed to their success and have given them the necessary power that they have. Manning once said he will redistribute the wealth of the country. He and Basdeo Panday tried to break the backs of the Syrians but failed. Manning’s mistake was he gave the bandit elements the big contracts in the black community, this was a colossal mistake. He did not empower and educate the black community, to properly invest and secure a proper future for all. Governments keep having secret meetings with these groups, they pump lots of money into their campaigns so that the party could buy jerseys, rum and roti to share with whom? You guessed it, us the masses to get our votes and keep they keep getting our votes because of our ignorance. When the wealth has to be shared who gets the bulk? Not those who got the jersey, rum and or roti but them that invested their money. We need to know that our votes are costly and if any party needs the seat of power they have to start properly investing in our communities.

  60. Btw…Peter George owns Sportsmans casino on the Avenue.

  61. Mr Live Wire spot on. I would have preferred that you refer to the African community as African and not “black”, just as you were able to distinctly name the other ethnicities that exist in Trinidad and Tobago. Thanks!

  62. Lasana Liburd, you’ve made it into my book of quotes, “pro-activism is not really a Trinbagonian trait. Old talk and reactive behaviour? Now you’re talking!”

  63. So know one is outraged by his classless boastful comments that we are the smallest of all the ethnicities but the most powerful,wealthiest and I own a 120 restaurants. What a child, no wonder we continue to have issues.

  64. A man, full of audacity, just disdainfully peered down at me and scoffed “You’d have to be a devout bushman to not have known this confessed, open secret…. much like not knowing that law enforcement officers and members of the protective services as well as politicians all know where the drugs and arms are coming from”. He then sauntered off while reciting the lyrics to Rudder’s 2017 hit song… “Welcome to Trinidad… we have de goods…”

  65. His statement came right out of a scene from
    The Godfather. Using the word “powerful” not wise.

  66. Oh gorm Linda’s too??!! Goddamn it!!

  67. Yeah …. buh it better dan none.
    And not for nothing eh, but almost 100% of all apologies are insincere and meant only to smooth over the tension created by faults.

    Leh we keep it lil real.

  68. Well there goes my letter to the Editor. The apology is nothing short of a corporate CYA, verbal platitudes directed at the masses, in equally copious amounts as was the disdain passed around at the dinner table.

  69. Patricia Smart There goes Linda’s Bakery as well.

  70. Hey guys why fuss the man spoke the truth thats it

  71. Out of the abundance of the heart , the mouth speaks

  72. Steups. Girl, go your Trotters yes. There are many good reasons to hold boycotts in T&T. I don’t think this is one.

  73. Oh gorm…..I eh goh lie, ah like Trotters….boycotting dey goh take real constitution…..damn it!!

  74. I’m not knocking anyone for being offended eh. Just saying there should be consistency. And we should try to be the change we want to see.
    (Okay. I’m coming off the soapbox now! )

    • As I stated before on another space (twitter) I was not offended by their statements…but for me it was an eye opener, a necessary reminder… Now that we are all reminded of how things go in Trini and who really running the show it is up to us to figure out how we will react. The ball is in our court. Simple.

    • Nothing has really changed. People should try to improve their lives, just as they should have been doing before this show. Is there fresh perspective now?

    • I think a reminder is always needed. Yes it has been this way for quite some time…but there’s just something about hearing it with your own ears in the manner in which it was said. Sometimes it’s not what you say but How…I also think there’s resentment because many believe that the way in which they (not them particularly but them as a whole) accumulated their wealth over the years is nothing to brag about…so when you put everything together in thr pot the stew is hot indeed.

  75. I wonder how many of the people who wanted to boycott Sabga-Aboud speak about their brothers and sisters from Laventille and Beetham…

  76. What we could take away from that unfortunate segment is the family thinks it’s superior, what the Sabgas should take away from it is the value of a good publicist.

  77. I don’t watch love and hip hop, but I watch those Kardashians and I love seeing them enjoy their wealth and secretly wish I was like them…. But not all rich ppl should be able to demonstrate that…. Especially the rich Syrians for Trinidad and Tobago. At the same time, my feelings were almost hurt by the admittance that the middle class provided a bufferzone for the rich.

    • As Bob said, the truth is an offense but not a sin. I just hope we are aiming for more than apologies–be they sincere or not–when it comes to inequalities.
      But I like how Mario gave us some fancy footwork there. Lol. Too precious.
      Taking the time to mamaguy us after we got our insecure feelings all over him just shows he cares! (Right? Lol)

    • it was not an error, what’s in one’s heart comes out of ones’ mouth, That’s exactly how they feel and see Trinis. Apologize, Trinis are your customers. Without them there’ll be no you.

    • Oh, PLEASE. We talk a good talk but Satan knows we’re full of it.

    • Now that the apology is in you can stop this talk of boycott and continue impoverishing your community by spending down to your last dollar outside your community. Ok 99%

  78. Of course he apologized, he gone on facebook the following day to see how people envy him and instead discover everybody lighting flamboux

  79. Bourdain looked curiously uncomfortable in the environment… when I saw this segment and listened to the conversation and the dinnerware etc…. I thought …. this shit really exists ….

  80. Lasana Liburd you asked about purple shirt. That is MArio. Black shirt is Peter George.

  81. I love this…but it’s funny as well. The ‘real’ parts of the apology letter that’s been scratched out.

  82. Well I had actually asked you eh! You come through late for me. ?

  83. Cool. He owns Trotters. Aioli. And is also a bookie.

  84. “The rising tide of ultra all-inclusive parties means we don’t fete together anymore; the expansion of private schools—from kindergarten straight to tertiary level—suggests that fewer and fewer children from Goodwood Park will ever have the weird pleasure of sitting alongside a student from Valencia, Tunapuna or Penal in secondary school.” this says it all thier can no national unity when we are alien to eat other a fact that allow Sabga to flourish.As for Mario why apologize you are the e;ite!

    • The segregation of schools concerns me. Don’t think it can be stopped. But I’m worried that we are creating an even more divided society for the future.

    • 20% privilege that denominational secondary schools reserve has always kept the children of the elite away from the dates their SEA and Common Entrance marks merited.

    • The elite don’t go to those schools much anymore. They go their own pay schools where it is 100% about privilege.

    • So you ate saying that society is becoming more rareified and exclusive; and pretty soon, like in five years arc will be like ELDO or Barataria senior sec?!

    • QRC and CIC are already on their way there. Those schools are the best of the rest now. Bear in mind some of the most outstanding students have come from poorer homes anyway.
      But certainly the elite in general no longer send their children there.

    • So maybe I should degrade the top schools. It’s not like the elite ever had the monopoly on brains. But the school system is more segregated now.

    • I have seen no one writing on that. Far less… This my first time seeing mention of it.

      Reminds me of a post I was going to write today.
      Trinidad to me is now at the beginning stages of what Nicaragua, Mexico, Columbia were in various previous times from the 80s on… A he heinousness of crime. The egregious separation of classes… And the societal poverty to ensue. All of it unfolding here I see

  85. Cause we’re all so naive that we believe altered words equal an altered mentality?