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Daly Bread: The windmills of the mind; a month of spin

Why do persons in circumstances requiring full disclosure and accountability to the public invariably send us ‘in a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel, never ending or beginning on an ever spinning reel, as the images unwind like the circles that you find in the windmills of your mind’?

We still have a bitter taste in our mouths from the UNC reporting our country to the US Embassy concerning the visit of the Venezuelan vice-presidential delegation to see our prime minister. That bitter taste may hurt the UNC as we head into a general election later this year—July perhaps.

Photo: Venezuela vice-president Delcy Rodríguez.

Nevertheless, the loose procedure for the visit remains troubling, as does the playing with the words of a recent conversation between the minister of national security and the US ambassador regarding the visit.

I have chosen the windmills of the mind theme today because there are wheels within wheels turning in the Venezuela controversies, including the Paria fuel sale. Our political leaders are too blinded by hating on each other to be able to read the directions of the turns. For most of this month of May, the government was in danger of bumbling into the quagmire of US economic sanctions and taking us with them.

Happily firm warnings stopped the government’s bumbling and, on Friday last, it gave an undertaking to the US that Trinidad and Tobago will do absolutely nothing to facilitate the passage of five Iranian vessels already on their way to Venezuela with cargoes of fuel in breach of sanctions policy.

Having been warned, good sense required that this undertaking be hastily given and the manhood of the government was temporarily saved because they have referenced a UN resolution for economic sanctions, as a basis for the undertaking, rather than the troublesome Rio Treaty. But, holy Moses, we are dangerously lacking competent foreign policy administration.

Let’s now take a look at two other spinning reel statements. These concern the very welcome front page news of the return home of Ms Krissa Bissoon, an unwell citizen stranded in the Bahamas.

Photo: Derek Chin is the owner of MovieTowne.

Yet another exercise of the discretion of the minister of national security to grant exemptions to enter our closed borders arose.

Businessman, Mr Derek Chin, was returning from Miami on a private aircraft. He directed his flight to the Bahamas to pick up Ms Bissoon en route.

The first statement appeared in the Trinidad Express newspaper on Wednesday 13 May: “Chin had gotten word that his application had been processed, when he was also sent a digital copy of Bissoon’s May 7 story in the Express. He immediately contacted [Hayden] Gadsby, with his wish to help her, which would mean stopping in the Bahamas, once she was amenable.”

Gadsby was Chin’s attorney and he appeared to support this version of events.

Two days later, the prime minister stated that Chin’s application to be granted an exemption to return from Miami had been refused, apparently more than once, but that refusal was reversed.

Here is the prime minister’s version of events reported in this newspaper last Sunday: “The government took the decision, that we told Mr Chin, if you would agree to pass in the Bahamas on the way home and bring that lady home, you will get an exemption. That was agreed to and that is what happened. We thank Mr Chin for doing that and we wish the lady the best. That is what happened so there is no need to attack Mr Chin.”

Photo: Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.
(via Office of the Prime Minister)

Gadsby reportedly declined an invitation to respond to the prime minister’s statement and it now strains credibility to believe that Mr Chin initiated the return of Ms Bissoon.

The prime minister’s statement revealed that Mr Chin was incentivised to do the humanitarian act. If there was a quid pro quo, why would Mr Chin not present himself to the media in light of those facts?

I dwell on these recent examples of dances around facts—known as ‘spin’—because in the upcoming general election, the politicians and their satellites will spin the windmills of our minds away from rational decision making.

Are a few of these satellites, with undeclared interests, ensconced in the media?

Editor’s Note: The following comment was submitted to Wired868 by businessman Derek Chin, after publication of this column:
“I initiated the offer to bring the lady stuck in the Bahamas. Do you really believe the gov’t on its own would be able to put together such without me making the offer?
“After I had received the verbal exemption from a reliable source, I thought it would be an appreciative gesture having read about her ordeal and me identifying with the pain. I made the offer on Thursday. There were no conditions.
“The govt has turned it around to give the impression that I only did the deed on the condition. I did not fight them about it for obvious reasons. All who know me, including you, should know what the circumstances really were.”

About Martin Daly

Martin Daly
Martin G Daly SC is a prominent attorney-at-law. He is a former Independent Senator and past president of the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago. He is chairman of the Pat Bishop Foundation and a steelpan music enthusiast.

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2 comments

  1. I initiated the offer to bring the lady stuck in the Bahamas Do you really believe the Govt on its own would be able to put together such without me making the offer After I had received the verbal exemption from a reliable source I thought it would be an appreciative gesture having read about her ordeal and me identifying with the pain I made the offer on Thursday There were no conditions The Govt has turned it around to give the impression that I only did the deed on the condition. I did not fight them about it for obvious reasons All who know me including you should know what the circumstances really were Regards Derek