Home / View Point / Letters to the Editor / Dear Editor: Persad-Bissessar’s Coast Guard accusations were reckless and disgraceful!

Dear Editor: Persad-Bissessar’s Coast Guard accusations were reckless and disgraceful!

“[…] Mrs Kamla Persad-Bissessar is a former prime minister of T&T, an experienced politician, an aspirant for the office of prime minister, and a senior member of the legal profession in T&T. 

“Yet she has convicted, without a trial, the officer of the Coast Guard who fired the shot that resulted in the death of the baby. She did not say ‘killing’; she said ‘murdering’…”

The following Letter to the Editor on comments by UNC political leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar on the death of a Venezuelan child after an illegal vessel was fired upon by the T&T Coast Guard was submitted to Wired868 by Louis W Williams of St Augustine:

Photo: A Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard vessel cuts through coastal waters.
(Copyright Pridenews.ca)

In a recent Letter to theEditor, I had cause to admonish both Mr Kelvin Charles and Mrs Tracey Davidson-Celestine of the PNM for what I consider to be disgraceful conduct that was not in keeping with established conventions or norms of behaviour under the Westminster system of government.

But is there no end to such adventurism by our politicians?

After almost 60 years of Independence, when will our politicians grow up? Do they not have any pride in themselves?

What about their professional integrity? Are they prepared to sacrifice that too on the altar of expediency?

When will our leaders demonstrate responsible leadership and recognise that, if they do not protect the interests of T&T from unfair attack by others who do not wish us well, no one will do so?

The citizenry must wake up and recognise that when we allow such behaviour to pass with impunity, it is a reflection of our own abject immaturity as a nation and abysmal lack of patriotism. No Jamaican, Barbadian or Grenadian will tolerate such appalling behaviour by any of their politicians. Such politicians would immediately be shown the door. 

Photo: UNC political leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar makes a presentation in Parliament.
(Copyright UNCTT)

We are the laughing-stock of the Caribbean.

I was flabbergasted, to say the least, when I heard the political leader of the UNC and Leader of the Opposition, Mrs Kamla Persad-Bissessar SC (yes, senior counsel) say at a political meeting that the actions of the Coast Guard resulted in the ‘MURDERING of a baby’. (emphasis added).

She was commenting on the recent incident in which a Venezuelan vessel was intercepted by the Coast Guard in Trinidad and Tobago waters while transporting illegal Venezuelan migrants to T&T.

Mrs Persad-Bissessar is a former prime minister of T&T, an experienced politician, an aspirant for the office of prime minister, and a senior member of the legal profession in T&T. Yet, she has convicted, without a trial, the officer of the Coast Guard who fired the shot that resulted in the death of the baby. 

She did not say ‘killing’; she said ‘murdering’. That statement was reckless, disgraceful and unbecoming of any member of the legal profession—worse, a senior attorney-at-law.

Photo: Venezuelans, crammed in small, often unsafe boats, make the perilous journey up the Main to get into Trinidad.

The Coast Guard gave an account of what transpired at the scene of the incident and indicated that the officers in question followed established protocols, given their situational awareness and riss assessment. As a last resort, they fired at the engine of the illegal vessel when that vessel attempted to ram the Coast Guard’s vessel. 

If the Coast Guard’s account is true and correct, the potential for loss of lives on board its own vessel was significant.

Does Mrs Persad-Bissessar not care about that? Is it that the politics in T&T is so toxic that an unfortunate death is seen as simply another opportunity to blame the government? Does she think the Coast Guard officers are members of some PNM party group?

This tragic incident on board the Venezuelan vessel requires a properly constituted, thorough investigation before any conclusions can be drawn.

Unless Mrs Persad-Bissessar was out in the ocean with x-ray vision, in the dark and dismal setting in which this incident is known to have taken place, then I cannot comprehend how she can convict the Coast Guard officer whose shot resulted in the baby’s death. 

Photo: Leader of the Opposition Kamla Persad-Bissessar (centre) prepares her troops for ‘war’ in Parliament during an extraordinary sitting of the Upper and Lower House to vote on the possible impeachment of President Paula-Mae Weekes.
(Copyright Office of the Parliament 2021)

Perhaps Mrs Persad-Bissessar is a clairvoyant. That is not beyond the realm of possibility.Ms Yesenia Gonzalez, a would-be human rights activist of Venezuelan origin, professes to be a psychic. 

I note, however, that some psychics, as my deceased mother used to say, ‘can’t see for themselves’ and therefore are taken by surprise when, for instance, their houses are burglarised.

There is no other option, Mrs Persad-Bissessar, you must resign now!

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2 comments

  1. This illusion of credibility ascribed to the former PM…where does it stem from? The adulation of her fans? Her actions are not surprising. She is as ever opportunistic.

  2. This is an excellent letter! Can the Leader of the Opposition ever be taken seriously by the majority of people in this country who did not, don’t, will not vote for her and/or her party?
    Of course, she runs with the claims of lawbreakers and human traffickers rather than with the official statement of a national institution charged with protecting the country’s borders and its people.
    Her statement is just more bankrupt oppositionist politics. And her fellow travellers will espouse it.