Author Archives: dauriusfigueira

About dauriusfigueira

I am a social researcher/author based in Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies. I have published a range of books available online with my specialities being the illicit drug trade, Islamic extremism and the geopolitics of LNG in T&T and Venezuela. My blog is designed to provide real time realities of the drug trade of the Caribbean and other topics. "The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it" George Orwell. "In a time of universal deceit-telling the truth is a revolutionary act" George Orwell. "Dare to struggle Dare to win" Mao Zedong.

Race, Income and the Ownership of Elite Business Enterprises in T&T 2017

August is the month of the end of African enslavement and independence from British colonial domination. It’s then a month in which hard questions on the nature of the social order of T&T must be posed and  answered. I have already posted on the price paid for independence 1962 what follows is an analysis of race, income and ownership in the social order.

Race and the Social Order of Trinidad and Tobago (T&T)

A question devotedly evaded by sociological research on T&T is the impact of race on the structure and power relations of the hierarchy, that is common to all social orders, of the social order of T&T. Existing literature has focused solely on race relations between African and Indian Trinbagonians driven by the premise that the two major race groups are engaged in the constant battle to dominate the state via political power hence these two races therefore wield power in the social order. This position deliberately evades studying the power wielded by minority race groups and specifically the distribution of income between race groups. Salient realities of the social order of T&T are evaded by this position specifically the nexus between race and power in the social order and the power relations that flow from the nexus between race and power.  In its place a discourse of race and power defined as the competition between the two major race groups is propagated that relentlessly attempts to mask and prohibit exposure of the reality of race and power on the ground. This is vitally necessary as the reality of race and power on the ground falsifies this discourse of racist hegemony which insists that the two majority black races dominate the social order that drives the politics of race especially voter mobilisation in T&T.

The “Household Budget Survey 2008/2009” of the Central Statistical Office (CSO) presents a picture of race and the social order within the bounds of the paradigm informing the study. Conducted from 2008 to 2009 based on a sample of 7,090 households in T&T it presents an insight into the nature of the social order of T&T at the tail end of the gas boom. The study classifies income into low, medium and high areas and ethnic groups as follows: African, Indian, Chinese, Syrian-Lebanese, Caucasian, Mixed and Other with Not Stated included. In Volume 4 Table 1.8 of the study the percentage distribution of household members by ethnic group and income area is presented. This table reveals that the ethnic groups with the highest percentage distribution in the high income group is as follows: Syrian-Lebanese 83.3%, Caucasian 74.4%, Chinese 52.3%, Other 47.4%, Mixed 29.3%, Not Stated 27.6%, African 24.1 % and Indian 17.1%. Two minority race groups prove that the distribution of income is skewed in favour of these two groups and the third placed minority race group, Chinese, whilst not having the depth of high income distribution as the first two still manages to tower above those groups following i.e. Mixed, African and Indian in that order. The picture is then potently clear that the structure of the social order in biased in favour of three specific minority race groups earning income in a manner that enables a saturation of its group members in the case of the Syrian-Lebanese and Caucasian groups and in the Chinese group the case is over 50%. The three major race groups of T&T present the counter reality with Indian 17.1%, African 24.1% and Mixed 29.3%. Some 17% of the Indian households of the study were in the high income bracket which meant that the largest single race group in T&T had the lowest presence within the high income bracket. The Mixed group which is the third largest group nationally had the highest percentage of the three largest groups of the national population with the African having a percentage of 24.1% or second place. The discourse of Indian wealth is then severely falsified by this reality. It is then apparent that structures exist within the social order that enable the social mobility and sustainable generation of income to maintain socio-economic positions within the high income bracket that are not available to wide cross sections of the Indian, African and Mixed populations. The structure of restricted access is specifically biased in favour of the Syrian-Lebanese and the Caucasian groups to the detriment of the Indian, African and Mixed groups. This is clearly illustrated by the percentage distributions for the middle income bracket by race groups. The Indian was the largest single group in the middle income bracket with 58.2% yet they are the smallest group in the high income bracket. The African group is the second largest group with 47.5% in the middle income bracket yet they are the second to last group in the high income bracket. The mixed group is the third largest group with 43.8% in the middle income bracket yet it is the third to last group in the high income bracket. The Syrian-Lebanese 16.7%, the Caucasian 21.8% and the Chinese 27.3% are the three lowest groups in consecutive order in the middle income bracket which is the stark opposite of the ranking for the high income group. There is then no ceiling for the Syrian-Lebanese more so, the Caucasian and the Chinese in the transition from middle to high income unlike the Indian, African and Mixed. In the low income bracket the African group with 28.4% of households is the largest group in this bracket followed by the Mixed group with 27.4% then the Indian group with 24.4%. The Chinese group is next with 20.5% then the Caucasian group with 3.4%. There were no households of Syrian-Lebanese in the sample in the low income group. The group Other recorded 15.8% of Other households in the low income bracket, 36.8% in the middle income bracket and 47.4% in the high income bracket. Of the three largest race groups the Indian had the lowest number of households in the low income bracket, the highest number of households in the middle income group for the three largest race groups and for the entire study and the lowest number of households in the high income bracket for the entire study. The reality is similar for the African and Mixed groups and entirely and extremely different for the Syrian-Lebanese as there were no households in the low income bracket. Clearly the Chinese population has been impacted by the arrival of labour from the Peoples’ Republic of China and the migration that has ensued.

Given the demography of T&T the Syrian-Lebanese and Caucasian groups are over represented in the high income bracket of the study and underrepresented in the low income bracket. The mechanism that created this disparity must be deconstructed but much more importantly is exposing the power relations that arise from the positions of privilege the Syrian-Lebanese, Caucasian and Chinese occupy with especially the state and the politicians of the Indian, African and Mixed groups. What is readily apparent is the impact of the gas boom has had on the social order where the number of households of the three major race groups in the low income bracket are below 30% and the number of households of the three major race groups in the middle income bracket range over 40% to just below 60%. But the gas boom has singularly failed to enable the three major race groups to occupy the high income bracket in numbers representative of their individual share of the national population. The gas boom has then been exploited to the full and greater benefit of the Syrian-Lebanese, the Caucasian and the Chinese seen in their dominance of the high income bracket. The gas tide rose but not all ships rose in response in a balanced and equitable manner as an oligarchy dominated by minority races is the outcome. The oligarchy then ensures its hold on power by dominating the spaces they control and relentlessly seeking to exert hegemony over spaces not under their control thereby constricting the supply of free space necessary to enable mobility into the high income bracket. To limit opportunity sustainably demands power and power relations exercised in your favour and in T&T that means minority races exerting power over members of the majority races especially those who animate the state.

The picture presented of race and the social order of a hierarchy driven by a race order very much premised on that of the colonial plantation order some 55 years after independence is made more cogent by the income area heads of households of the sample are classified in according to race. Volume 2 table 16 (2.16) shows the relationship between the race of the heads of households of the study and the income areas they are classified into. 100% of the head of households of the Syrian-Lebanese were in the high income area none in the middle and low income areas. 80.4% of Caucasian heads of households were in the high income areas with 17.4% in the middle income area and 2.2% in the low income area. 47.8% of Chinese were in the high income area with 39.1% in the middle income area and 13.0% in the low income area. The Chinese whilst overrepresented in the high income area as the Syrian-Lebanese and the Caucasian groups have attained the depth of the process of mass mobility to the high income area as the other two groups. For the demographically largest groups the Indian has 18.7% of heads of households in the high income area, 57.8% in the middle income area and 23.5% in the low income area. The African has 25.6% in the high income area, 47.2% in the middle income area and 27.2% in the low income area. The Mixed has 31.3% in the high income area with 42.7% in the middle income area and 26.0% in the low income area. The Mixed among the three major race groups of T&T has the largest percentage presence in the high income area with an appreciable presence in the low income area and middle income area given the size of this demographic group. Apparently your mobility into the high income area is potently impacted by the race mixture of your miscegenation. Volume 2 Table 1.7 matches the race of head of households to average monthly income and expenditure of the household. Under average monthly income the Caucasian had the largest average monthly income of TT$19,503.9 next was the Syrian-Lebanese with TT$ 15,303.1 then the Chinese with TT$ 12,142.0. The Other followed with TT$ 10,794.2 then the Mixed with TT$ 9,317.5, followed by the African with TT$ 9,255.1 and finally the Indian with TT$ 8882. The difference between the average monthly income of the Caucasian and Indian groups is marked and potently illustrates the skewed nature of the race based distribution of income.

The context of these tables is framed by the 2011 population census where the population of T&T was 1, 328,019 persons with the ethnic composition by percentage of total population as follows: Indian 35.4%, African 34.2%, Mixed 22.8%, Caucasian 0.59%, Chinese 0.30%, Syrian-Lebanese 0.08%, Other Ethnic group 0.17%, Portuguese 0.06% and Indigenous 0.11%. The non-institutional population by race is as follows: Total T&T 1,322,546; African 452,536; Caucasian 7,832; Chinese 4,003; Indian 468,524; Indigenous 1,394; Mixed: African/Indian 101,363, Mixed: Other 200,503; Portuguese 837; Syrian/Lebanese 1,029; Other Ethnic group 2,280. The study indicates that the apex of the hierarchy of the social order of T&T is dominated by the three minority races: The Syrian-Lebanese, the Caucasian and the Chinese along with non-representative numbers of members of the Mixed, African and Indian groups.

The research instruments utilised by the CSO are not constructed to identify those within the high income area who own and control capital which is exerted via various mechanisms that impact the social order to the extent where individual action has political significance to the extent of impacting the actions of the politicians in control of the state. These mechanisms involve enterprises, investment decisions and personal wealth generation and management. When you have a situation where a small minority of the population can impact the integrity of the social order via the decisions made in the quest to maximise profit and wealth then you have an oligarchy on your hand. When this oligarchy impacts the operation of the state through its power relations with those who articulate the state especially the politicians then you have an oligarchy that has captured the state. When you have an oligarchy that is dominated by minority races wielding power over majority races through state capture buttressed by economic power then you have an apartheid state. This apartheid state will at some point in its evolution generate a race relations crisis which will be expressed via race war in an attempt to resolve the power relations in favour of parties in conflict.

The Three Conglomerates

The T&T energy economy and its place in the international capitalist order has generated an import driven indigenous non-energy private sector catering to consumption driven by imported tastes and lifestyles made possible only by the foreign exchange fed into the system by the energy exporters via taxes and royalties. Those who import what we consume don’t export to the world to earn what they need to pay for what they import. It’s a delusional lumpen-oligarchy that has evolved in T&T as it squats on feet of clay in its subservience to international capital. The oil and gas wealth that has flowed through T&T via the political discourse of development has resulted in the creation of an indigenous non-energy private sector dominated by three conglomerates: Massy Group, ANSA McAl Group and Victor E. Mouttet Limited. The original number was four with C L Financial Group included but with the intervention of the state into C L Financial it is now in stasis with an uncertain future. The Massy Group is a listed public company active in the Caribbean island chain, Guyana and Colombia with approximately TT$ 11 billion in assets as at the 2016 financial report. The 10 largest shareholders of the Massy Group are all institutional and financial services investors of T&T and Barbados. The ANSA McAl Group is a public listed company with the dominant, hegemonic shareholder being the family of deceased Anthony Sabga active in the Caribbean island chain, Guyana and the USA with approximately TT$ 13 billion in assets as at the 2016 financial report. The Victor E. Mouttet Ltd group is a private company owned by the family of deceased Victor E.  Mouttet active in the Caribbean island chain through its joint venture with Goddard Enterprises Ltd of Barbados and in T&T. Combined these three conglomerates dominate or are competitive in the sectors of the economy where they are active and they avoid investing in competitive wars for domination of sectors with each other. Together they dominate two sectors of strategic importance to the social order: the importation and distribution of pharmaceuticals and food. The Victor E. Mouttet is the leading food processor of T&T, the largest importer of pharmaceuticals, a food importer with traction in the local market and the dominant operator of fast food franchises in T&T with KFC, Pizza Hut, TGI, Subway and Starbucks. Massy Group and ANSA Mc Al with their importation of pharmaceuticals and food complete the strategic impact of these three conglomerates on the social order of T&T. There are two models of ownership and control within the three dominant conglomerates of the non-energy private sector: private ownership in the hands of a family owning the business and wielding control over an instrument that contributes to the generation of family wealth and its sustainable management across time and the executives of a conglomerate who don’t own and has fleeting control which ends with retirement. This group can only generate and manage personal wealth from the compensation package afforded them by the conglomerate or via personal enrichment via illicit activities within and without the conglomerate. The lesson is then clear that the families handling multi-billion TT$ businesses are the basis of an oligarchy that is sustainable. Much more importantly is the reality that professionals don’t command the resources and the instrumental means to compete with these families unless they command multi-billion TT$ enterprises that they themselves own. There is no group of the scale of these three owned and controlled by an Indian Trinbagonian family and a Chinese Trinbagonian family. Given the demise of C L Financial there is now no African owned business of comparable scale and expanse. The Anthony Sabga family that holds the dominant shareholding in ANSA Mc Al is Arab Trinbagonian of Syrian ethnicity. The Victor E. Mouttet family is the product of the marriage of a French Creole Trinbagonian male to an Arab Trinbagonian female therefore their offspring are Mixed. The Victor E. Mouttet group is in the hands of Mixed race persons.

The acquisition of majority shareholding in the Mc Enearney/Alstons group by Anthony Sabga was the most potent business acquisition in the private sector of T&T from 1962 to the present. That it was the acquisition of a white dominated group by an Arab businessman of Syrian ethnicity dramatically changed the terrain of the private sector inherited from the colonial order and by extension the power relations of the post-independence social order. This acquisition by Anthony Sabga and the strategy pursued by Neal and Massy to acquire white owned companies within the ambit of a publicly listed company forever changed the race structure of the private sector formed under colonialism and bequeathed to independent T&T.

The Arab and Chinese groups took the strategic direction to invest in the creation of businesses rooted in families where members of future generations will then have the choice of entering the professions once the wealth base of the family is established and sustainable. To accept the choice to pursue professions at the outset would have negatively impacted their drive to create family rooted wealth generation instruments with the likelihood of continuing deprivation amongst members of the family as not all are cut out for the professions and would have then slipped into the mill of salaried employment. The family owned and worked business was then the chosen instrument to ensure family mobility to the apex of the social order. Both groups today consist of a hierarchy of families who exert power through the amassed resources and sustainable wealth generation.

The Arab clans and families

Besides the family of Anthony Sabga the Hadeed clan is visible on the landscape of T&T through its economic activity through its brands as Blue Waters, Francis Fashions Shoe Locker, Sports and Games and Gulf City Malls but all activity is not restricted to these brands. The Aboud clan is visible with the brands Amalgamated Security Services Limited and Global Brands Limited, the Starlite Group, Jimmy Aboud, Mode Alive and Aioli but all activity is not restricted to these brands. The Rahael clan is visible with its property development activities seen in its brand Amera Caribbean Ltd, Amera Corporation and the RHL Group of companies. Richard Azar owner of The Falls at West Mall and Dairy Dairy milk products is a financial investor in the North Atlantic of note. The Matouk family owner of National Canners. The Emile Elias group of companies with the flagship NH International (Caribbean) Ltd. The Issa Nicholas group of companies comprised of hotels, an energy company, a new vehicles and equipment sales company, property development and commercial property rentals. The Laquis family pioneered the marriage of medical professional status with the business of the sale of medical supplies and equipment.

The Arab population of T&T especially those of the Syrian ethnicity is the only race group in the social order that has experienced sustained and drastic social mobility into the apex positions of the hierarchical social order of T&T particularly from the second half of the decade of the 1980’s which quickened in the decade of the 1990’s and solidified its present form and content in the first decade of the 21st century. This upward mobility into the apex positions of the social hierarchy involved a wide cross section of this minority group but this did not eclipse the creation of a hierarchy within the group placed in the apex positions of the social hierarchy. This dramatic upward mobility by a comparatively recently arrived minority immigrant group in a comparatively short time frame is uncommon in the Caribbean and in the North Atlantic which demands research and explanation of but mind you don’t lose your livelihood doing such a study.

The Arab population of Trinbago has seen especially since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war the arrival of predominantly Syrian migrants who have established food outlets specialising in Syrian and other food with a Syrian twist. Known commonly on the streets as the “gyro boys” these new arrivals are changing the demographic and the sociology of the Arab population of Trinbago with the pressures of being new arrivals seeking space in which to position themselves in the social order as they are not of the existing Arab population, Arabic is still their first language, yet different from the rest of the population and are subject to the body of perceptions utilised in interpreting the actions of the Arab Trinbagonians on the ground. Whilst learning a new culture and language they are very much treated as the miscegenate of their race in Trinbago. Already they have had to deal with the move to brand them all with the terrorist brand simply because they are ethnically Arab.

The Chinese families

The Chinese in Trinbago is now a race group in flux with the arrival of a wave of Chinese from the Peoples’ Republic of China who are now visible on the landscape of T&T via the supermarkets and Chinese fast food outlets they have established throughout especially Trinidad. Juxtaposed to this wave of new arrivals are the Chinese Trinbagonian families who dominate this group and are ethnically distinct from the new arrivals. Then there are the haquai Chinese or the Mixed products of predominantly Chinese males copulating with non-Chinese Trinbagonian women. This is one aptitude of the waves of Chinese men that preceded the new arrivals of this era are not practising as in the case of my maternal grandfather Chin Ming Lung. The prominent Chinese Trinbagonian families in the public space are: Mack, Scott, Gillette, Chin with Derek Chin as the noted public face, Chin Lee, Poon Tip, Siu Chong, Williams, Tang Yuk, Chan and Soong. The enterprise of note created by haquai Chinese is Albrosco by the Aleong family. The order of the new arrivals is entirely different which raises the question of the power relations between the Chinese Trinbagonians and the newly arrived Chinese in their attempt to replicate the power relations of China in T&T.

The White Group

The White business elite present in 1962 had their ranks severely depleted by mergers and acquisitions with Neal and Massy now Massy Group and the acquisition of Mc Enearney/Alstons by Anthony Sabga. The same would happen to Barbados Shipping and Trading with its acquisition by Neal and Massy. Further inroads were made with acquisitions by Victor E. Mouttet Ltd leaving a vastly reduced number of business enterprises with national impact in the hands of White families. The business enterprise of this race group that has strategic impact on the social order is the Bermudez Biscuit company owned by the Bermudez family through its ownership of the largest baked goods production units in T&T through the Kiss baking company and the Bermudez biscuit plant. Others of note in the eye of the public are the Peake group of companies owned by the Peake family, Brydens Trinidad and Tobago group of companies, Laughlin and De Gannes and the Furness group owned by the Ferreira family all compete in sectors where the conglomerates and other are active. Label House owned by the Lewis family dominates the sector it’s positioned in.

The Mixed group

The largest footprint of a business enterprise owned by a member of the Mixed group is Arthur Lok Jack with his ownership of Associated Brands and investments made such as the number of shares he holds in Guardian Holdings. Mario’s Pizzeria the largest pizza franchise in T&T which also has a regional footprint is owned by the Richard Harford family is another noted national brand in this group. The disparity in income within the Mixed group is then starkly illustrated by the disparity in the ownership of elite businesses within the group. Where amongst the three largest race groups in T&T the Indian, the African and the Mixed, the Mixed group had the largest number of households in the high income area, the lowest number in the middle income area and the highest number in the low income area. Clearly what races you are mixed with impacts your life chances, your income earning ability and your ability to own businesses and attain professional status. The glaring contrasts of wealth and income distribution within the Mixed group of T&T then succinctly exposes the racist nature and structure of the social order of T&T contrary to the political discourse of “all ah we is one”. Miscegenation works for a minority within the group and condemns the majority of the group to deprivation and social immobility. The racist colonial plantation social order is still hegemonic in 2017 with some apparent changes.

The Indian group

In the Indian group’s strategic impact is in the production and processing of chicken for human consumption, the supply of steel for construction and fabrication, general construction including paved roads and steel fabrication, the globalised producer of beverages S M Jaleel and Electrical Industries group. In the chicken processing market Arawak owned by the Mohammed family dominates the T&T sale of processed chicken market. Arawak was originally owned by Neal and Massy who sold it to Jai Ramkissoon. The second placed company in this market is the Nutrimix Group of companies owned by another Mohammed family. In the steel market the Bhagwansingh Group of companies dominate and they are also the largest single supplier of hardware items. In the construction market which is very addicted to state contracts two dominant players are the Junior Sammy group of companies and the Coosal group of companies. The premier steel fabricating company is Hafeez Karamath Ltd part of the Hafeez Karamath Group which also owns Desalcott the desalinated water plant. In this market sector there are a number of firms competing for state contracts all predominantly Indian owned which heightens the power relations between this sector and the politicians thereby politicising the market. S M Jaleel owned by another Mohammed family is the premier globalised corporation of Trinbagonian origin headquartered in T&T specialising in the production of non-alcoholic beverages on a global scale. Electrical Industries group owned by Dave Ramkissoon grew through acquisitions of plants put up for sale by Neal and Massy, Agostini and L J Williams with his first acquisition at one time being part of the Ram Kirpalani empire produces electrical cables, lighting fixtures and PVC moulded products. Other strategic players are: Southern Sales Group of companies owned by the Ahamad family which is involved in new car sales and the family is noted for their investments as in the case of Guardian Holdings, Solo Beverages owned by the Charles family, Chief Brand products owned by the Khan family, K C confectionary owned by another Khan family and Kaleidoscope Paints by the Parson family. These companies own brands that are household names in T&T but they are active in market segments open to competition from other local producers and imports especially since the dismantling of tariff and non-tariff barriers. These brands have then to-date indicated their sustainability.

What has been the reality of Indian business activity in Trinbago since 1962 is premised on: the inability of a single family to drive their family controlled enterprise to the point of growing into a conglomerate of national strategic scale, the willingness to crowd sectors of the economy where they compete against themselves with cut-throat predatory actions, the willingness to over rely on markets dominated by the Indian Trinbagonian population thereby acquiring and in many cases deliberately pursuing a specific ethnic persona. This strategy yields limited value to any future attempt to expand beyond the ethnic base nor does it insulate from the advances of the conglomerates and minority races into the Indian dominated markets especially south of the Caroni river. Finally, there is the aversion for joint family investment action in order to launch projects which are not highly leveraged with the mainstream financial structure a strategy common to the Chinese group. Strategic choices have then resulted in action where specific families have generated wealth placing them on the national stage but the strategic impact of the race group on the social order is not reflecting the Indian Trinbagonian size of the national population. The worldview and the discourse that drives it which values the attainment of professional qualification and status over that of wealth generation and power maximisation through enterprise has directly and heavily influenced this reality today. Indian Trinbagonians dominate the medical and legal professions in T&T but this cannot translate into economic power and by extension the political power of capital. Families within the group invest in winning political control of the state as the primary means to grow family wealth and power but on the two occasions when political parties representative of the Indian Trinbagonian electorate have won political power the drive to feed at the trough of the state through contracts and the acquisition of state assets has further divided the economic elite of the group by intensifying the bitter rivalry between contending families. The legacy of this feeding frenzy and the fallout from it continues whilst the Indian Trinbagonian party languishes in sterile opposition politics.

What is obvious with the Indian Trinbagonian group is the number of business enterprises of the elite category owned and controlled by Muslims of Indian Trinbagonian descent. Given the size of the national population of Muslims (5% 2011 census) it’s obvious that Muslims are overrepresented in this category. Indian Trinbagonian family owned firms have acquired space in which to grow elite enterprises by acquiring enterprises active in market segments put up for sale by conglomerates and race minority owned enterprises. This is especially apparent with Arawak and the Electrical Industries group. Then there is the reality of pioneering enterprise such as the Parson family who in 1970 founded the first locally owned and operated paint manufacturing facility Kaleidoscope Paints where in 2017 Kaleidoscope paints is now active in an environment where the tariff and non-tariff barriers have been dismantled enabling imports and the local production environment is dominated by ANSA Mc Al who owns three of the dominant brands on the market Berger, Penta and Sissons paints.

The African group

With the demise of C L financial there is no African owned enterprise within the elite group of the indigenous non-energy private sector of T&T. The level of involvement of African Trinbagonians as owners in the private sector of T&T is in fact the lowest of all race groups and given the demography of T&T African Trinbagonians are extremely underrepresented as owners in this sector of the economy. This reality matches that of Jamaica and Barbados. The traction of the discourse of Black Power from 1969 and thereafter raised the question of Why is this so? The responses to this question mainly focused on the differences real and imagined between Africans and the other races culturally which precluded Africans to enterprise. An essentially racist argument borrowed from Max Weber’s racist discourse of the “Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism”. What is clearly apparent is that African Trinbagonians in their survival strategies have determined that employment with the state agencies, the public service, the state enterprises, the private sector and the professions is preferable strategically to the risks of investment in enterprise. African are then numerically the largest single race group employed as managers in T&T where they manage the enterprises of the other race groups contributing to the wealth generation and management of these groups. Why then don’t these managers who have relentlessly proven their skill and competence to manage other people’s wealth not invest in generating their own via enterprises which they own? The ability and competence of Africans to manage enterprises and generate wealth is now a given except for the racist hegemonists. The potent question then is there space in the domain of the private sector that will allow African enterprises to thrive and grow into conglomerates and other elite enterprises along with an African entrepreneurial base that now constitutes for the first time in our post-independence history an African Trinbagonian presence of note and impact in the private sector of T&T? Can the African risk aversion to investment in enterprise be the result of the perception that you are entering a severely competitive and crowded domain where you are disadvantaged to begin with and destined to lose your investment? Is this position informed by the actual experience of those who chose to invest, collapsed and ended up in debt and survival trauma? How can you rent from your competitor? Research on the survival strategies of Africans and the choices made thereof and the rationale for the choice of African managers to work for others rather than themselves must be done to expose the discursive reality underpinning this reality. Without this research the explanations relentlessly propagated over time is simply discourse with a political purpose.

The Terrain of Race Power Relations

An analysis of the race of members of the executive elites of Massy Group and ANSA Mc Al reveals the following:

Massy Group

The President and Group CEO is an African and the Executive Vice President and CFO is Mixed. The Executive Committee of the group comprises 19 executives including the CEO and the CFO and is composed as follows: 4 Africans, 1 Mixed, 1 Indian and 13 White and Latin. The white antecedents of the evolution of the Massy Group is still evident in the overrepresentation of whites on its executive committee even though it’s a publicly traded corporation. The colonial legacy survives the transition to being a publicly traded corporation.

ANSA Mc Al

The executive elite of ANSA Mc Al comprises 3 Indians, 1 African, 5 Whites and 5 members of the Anthony Sabga family in 2016. With the acquisition of majority shareholding by Anthony Sabga of a white dominated Mc Enearney Alstons group the overrepresentation of whites in the executive has continued. White executives remain the largest single non-Sabga group in ANSA Mc Al.

An analysis of the race of members of the executive elite of one-member company of the Victor E. Moutett group is as follows. Prestige Holdings Ltd is a public company where the Mouttet family owns the dominant share holding. The race composition of the executive elite of Prestige Holdings is structured as follows: 3 Whites, 1 Arab, 1 African, 1 Indian and 1 Mixed.

In the financial services sector of T&T the executive management picture afforded by Republic Bank, Scotia Bank and Guardian Holdings is as follows: Republic Bank: Indian 5, African 3, Mixed 4, Chinese 2, White/Latin 2, Arab 1. Scotia bank: Indian 7, African 1, Mixed 4, White 3, Arab 1. Guardian Holdings: Indian 4, African 5, Mixed 3, White 3.

In three apex strategic enterprises where the state holds the dominant share holding: T&TEC, National Gas Company (NGC) and National Flour Mills (NFM) the picture of the executive management of these enterprises is: T&TEC: Indian 4 and African 4. NGC: Indian 3, African 4, Mixed 3 and Chinese 1. NFM general management elite: Indian 3, African 1, Mixed 1. NFM executive management group: Indian 8, African 7 and Mixed 3. It’s expected that the politics of race impacts the hiring practices and career paths of employees within the state sector. But what is even more relevant to this study is the absence of the minority races within the executive elite of the state sector which indicates that this sector is not a priority career path for the Arab, White and Chinese groups.

Is there then a limit to upward mobility for African, Indian and Mixed managers in the indigenous non-energy private sector T&T? Specifically, is there a limit to upward mobility for African managers in this sector? The continued relevance of this question in 2017 signals the relevance of another question: was there social change or cosmetic surgery to alter the face of the colonial order post 1970 thereby ensuring its survival?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Methodology

The study is based on information in the public domain specifically the reports from the CSO, on the indigenous non-energy private sector and the state sector. The availability of the information necessary is the major deficiency to overcome hence there is the tendency to present evidence from available entities in the public domain. Private companies which are predominantly family owned in T&T are under no legal obligation to public disclosure hence information is framed by what is actually revealed in the public domain. The state sector is also noted for its willingness to evade placing the information sought in this study in the public domain limiting the expanse of the information presented. The public companies are then the main source of information for this study with its limitations but such is the reality of this sector in T&T. My study on Jamaica is available at: http://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/d0264a_88107f3c855746d9a1a358a575dc75ec.pdf and on Barbados at: http://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/d0264a_f66c5708d8da4fb88f97560873b166e9.pdf

References

“Household Budget Survey 2008/2009” Central Statistical Office Trinidad and Tobago

“Trinidad and Tobago 2011 Population and Housing Census Demographic Report” Central Statistical Office Trinidad and Tobago

The overarching Energy foundation of T&T’s economy and Prosperity

http://www.bp.com/

http://www.bp.com/en_tt/trinidad-and-tobago.html

http://www.shell.com/

http://www.shell.com/about-us/contact-us/contact-trinidad.html

http://www.bhp.com/

http://www.eogresources.com/home/index.html

https://www.atlanticlng.com/

The Three Conglomerates

http://www.massygroup.com/home.aspx

http://ansamcal.com/

http://www.mouttet.com/

The Arab Group

http://loop.trade/cadeltradingltd.html

https://www.bluewaterstt.com/

https://www.sportsandgames.co.tt/

https://www.gulfcitymalltt.com/gulf-trinidad/

https://www.gulfcitymalltt.com/gulf-tobago/

http://www.assl.com/

http://www.pizzaboys.com/pizzaboys/corporate-info

http://www.pizzaboys.com/pizzaboys/

http://thetextileking.com/

http://www.starlitetrinidad.com/

http://www.aiolitrinidad.com/

https://www.facebook.com/modealivehomedecorheaven/

http://www.ameracorporation.com/history.php

http://www.lokjackgsb.edu.tt/bizbooster/about_members.htm

http://community.investors.com/viewtopic.php?t=48647&p=742070

http://www.trinidadexpress.com/business-magazine/The_man_behind_Matouk_s-135971733.html

http://nh.tt/

http://lifestylemotors.com/

https://www.radisson.com/port-of-spain-hotel-tt/ttosptr

https://www.abel.co.tt/portfolio/nicholas-towers-trinidad/

http://www.aalaquis.com/

The Chinese group

http://jtallum.com/home/

http://www.trinidadexpress.com/business-magazine/One-of-the-largest-private-commercial-developments-in-TT-208433211.html

http://jtasupermarkets.com/home/

http://www.movietowne.com/

https://www.excellentstorestt.com/

https://www.whscott.com/home.html

http://www.gillettegroup.com/services/

http://normandiett.com/

http://www.pier1tt.com/

http://www.tyett.com/

http://cetangyuk.com/

http://www.kapokhotel.com/

http://newsday.co.tt/features/0,120878.html

http://www.phl-tt.com/?page_id=4605

The White group

http://www.bermudezgroupltd.com/

http://www.peaketec.com/

http://peakeyachts.com/

http://peakeco.net/

http://www.brydenstt.com/

http://www.brydenpi.com/

http://www.ftfarfan.com/

http://www.furnessgroup.com/

http://labelhousegroup.net/index.html

The Mixed group

http://www.abil-tt.com/english_products_univ.htm

http://trinidad.myguardiangroup.com/guardian-group/news/national-commercial-bank-jamaica-ltd.-acquires-interest-in-ghl

http://www.lokjackgsb.edu.tt/bizbooster/about_members.htm

http://albrosco.com//

http://www.mymarios.com/site/

The Indian group

http://www.arawak-tt.com/

http://www.nutrimixgroup.com/index.php

https://chamber.org.tt/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/2010-bhagwansingh.pdf

http://www.centrintt.com/profile.php

http://www.coosals.com/contact-us.php

https://www.facebook.com/juniorsammygroup/

http://southernsalestt.com/index.php

https://chamber.org.tt/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/2011-ahamad.pdf

http://smjaleel.net/

http://www.kccandy.com/

http://www.chief-brand.com/

http://www.solobev.com/

http://www.hafeezkaramathlimited.com/index.html

http://www.electricalindustriesgroup.com/

http://www.lokjackgsb.edu.tt/bizbooster/about_members.htm

http://www.kscopepaints.com/home

The Terrain of Race Power Relations

http://www.massygroup.com/uploadedFiles/Massy/Content/Investors/Annual_Reports/MASSY%20ANNUAL%20REPORT%202016%20WEB(1).PDF

http://ansamcal.com/annual-report-2016/

http://www.phl-tt.com/?page_id=5286

https://www.republictt.com/about/executive-team

http://www.scotiabank.com/intl/tt/PDF/about/2016_Annual_Report.pdf

http://myguardiangroup.com/uploads/annual_reports/GHL-AR-2016.pdf

https://ttec.co.tt/default/the-executives

http://ngc.co.tt/about/governance/executive-management/

http://nfm.co.tt/Bio-of-GMs

http://nfm.co.tt/Portals/0/Documents/NFM_AR_2016.pdf

 

 

 

How We Got Our Independence 55 years ago. The British Agenda Revealed!

The British Colonial Agenda for the Neo Colonial State of Trinidad and Tobago (1953-1962)

Understanding the Survival and Evolution of the Colonial Plantation Social Order After Independence (1962)

 

 

 

 

©Daurius Figueira July 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Agenda for Trinidad 1953-1962 of the British colonial overlord

From August 1962 to the present we have failed miserably to interrogate the British colonial agenda from 1953-to independence in 1962 to expose how this agenda has impacted post-independence Trinidad and Tobago (T&T). We have then given the British colonial master a blameless, exemplary record as massa as we tear apart each other via the politics of racist hegemony. One side insists that the PNM released a tsunami of racial oppression upon them as the largest race minority of the period whilst the other insists that it was a case of nation building premised on massa day done. Both sides in their discourse must refuse up to today to delve into the British colonial agenda for independence and how this agenda impacted the very political leaders of both sides especially how it influenced their actions which amounted to compliance with the British colonial agenda. The discourse of racist hegemony of T&T relentlessly seeks to mask the historical reality of 1953-62 which places in the realm of suppressed knowledge the reality of what transpired for it reveals the nature of power and power relations in T&T post 1962 and it points to an explanation of the reality that with independence a social order premised on the hierarchy of a colonial plantation has not been demolished. In 2017 the African population of T&T is still not present in the private sector as owners of enterprises of power as the two conglomerates owned and controlled by ethnic minorities. In spite of political domination of the political state for extended periods after 1962 there is no erosion of the hierarchy established under the colonial order as is the case with Barbados and Jamaica. The move to liquidate C L Financial will then erase the last vestige of African ability to erect a globalised conglomerate confirming the examples of Barbados and Jamaica as the norm and CLICO and C L Financial in T&T as being the exception to the Caribbean rule. In a complex reality it is necessary to deconstruct the wall of discourse layer by layer.

In my book “The East Indian Problem in Trinidad and Tobago 1953-1962 Terror and Race War in Guyana 1961-1964” in the section on T&T I studied de-classified British colonial files for the period 1953-62 to unearth the British discourse of T&T for the period. The discourse consists of the following planks: T&T as part of the British West Indian Federation (BWIF), the intention to grant internal self-government, the rejected politicians of T&T, the threat posed to British interests by the rejected politicians, the need for a politician that the British can work with: the accepted politician and the agenda with this politician. The files show that prior to 1953 the prime threat to the British as visualised by the British was Tubal Uriah Butler and his Butler Party and Butler paid a very high price for this both personally and politically and the members of his movement paid the highest price. When you were a leader of Butler’s movement you simply lost your job and became non employable. In 1953 a new plank and target for action was added to the discourse. This was the “East Indian problem” which was the Hindu political movement founded by and under the leadership of Bhadase Sagan Maharaj expressed via the PDP and the Maha Sabha. The British viewed the Hindu political awakening with grave alarm especially the threat posed by an alliance between Maharaj and Butler for the 1955 general elections presenting for the British the totally unacceptable option of granting internal self-government to a Maharaj and Butler political alliance. To have Maharaj and Butler serving as Ministers was already unacceptable but having them serve under internal self-government as a government was unimaginable, unacceptable and impossible to accept. The British viewed the Hindu political movement as dangerous enemies of the BWIF worsened by an East Indian alliance against the BWIF between Maharaj and Cheddi Jagan of British Guyana. The British intelligence structure of T&T set about the task of creating personas for the frontline leaders of the PDP that painted them as sub-human barbarians and criminals who posed a grave threat to all non-Hindus of the colony. The British intelligence apparatus in response to this threat stepped up the race war in the colony to defeat this threat that drove them paranoid and when combined with Butler they simply went stir crazy. The British set out to defeat this clear and present danger by any means necessary. The 1955 general elections were postponed to a date to be announced whilst the granting of full internal self-government was moved off the table. The PNM was formed in January 1956, the general elections were called in September 1956 and Maharaj and Butler personally set about to destroy all the groundwork laid for an electoral compromise in the run up to the 1956 general elections. Maharaj and Butler fielded candidates in each other’s core seats splitting the vote and working to the benefit of the PNM. Butler divided his own party by dumping electoral favourites fielding unknowns and opening the way for the PNM. The British gave Butler an all-expenses paid trip to England before the 1956 elections he returned from England much too late to seriously and strategically campaign and proceeded to destroy the alliance and his party. Maharaj chose in the run up to the 1956 elections to purge those he considered his enemies from the party fracturing the party and destroyed whatever cross race appeal it had when he proceeded to attack Butler ending any hope of an alliance. Without the alliance there would be no victory. Was it political stupidity or the actions of maximum leaders massaged by the skilled hand of the British colonial overlord? Remember they knew all your most secret desires! Most importantly the power to draw electoral boundaries was firmly in the hands of the British until the 1961 general elections and they used this power to over represent the urban areas and underrepresent the rural areas in the legislative council. In the independence era the British model would live on until the demographic growth of the rural population demanded a modified model.

In the run up to the 1956 elections the British dismissed with contempt Albert Gomes and his POPPG as a viable alternative to Williams and the PNM whilst the other individuals and parties were all berated and dismissed. The files contain no assault on Williams and the PNM as reserved for Butler and Maharaj and certainly no contempt as applied to Gomes. But Williams in the files is an uncertain entity and the British want certainty. Let the games begin! The results of the 1956 elections indicated that T&T was not yet PNM country this would come with the 1961 general elections. Williams then was in need of favours from the colonial massa in order to solidify his hold on the limited power he was bestowed by the massa. In a unicameral legislature Williams insisted that he wanted a certain number of members who were appointed by the governor chosen by him and loyal to him. The governor led an assault on Williams at every chance he got but the massa in London gave Williams every favour he asked for and eventually moved the hostile governor.  In the aftermath of the speech Williams made after the defeat of the PNM in the federal elections of 1958 the governor led an assault on Williams to the London colonial massa insisting that Williams was a racist intent on destroying the colony through race war between the Africans and the East Indians. The London massa wrote back insisting that everything Williams said about the East Indians was in fact correct. Commencing with the 1958 speech Williams led an onslaught on the Indo Trinbagonian population utilising a discourse of demonisation with the full support of the colonial massa until the elections of 1961. In this time the new governor replaced the then governor noted for his anti-Williams position. Why this sudden change in Williams’ politics which he never repeated in post 1962 politics? From the files it was revealed that the massa gave Williams an ultimatum and a deal. Which was: without a clear and crushing defeat of the Hindu political movement in the 1961 general elections there will be no independence for T&T! A general election before independence in which the Hindu political movement is devastated, consigned to the benches of futile and sterile opposition politics is mandatory for independence. The result demanded will be won by any means necessary and the colonial massa and his governor are the playmakers, the offensive and defensive coaches and the quarter back coach. In the run-up to the 1961 general elections incidents of inter-racial violence broke out and a limited state of emergency was called in specific areas where the population was dominated by Indo Trinbagonians on the grounds of the threat of armed organised violence but nothing was found and no persons charged and prosecuted thereby confirming the reality of the threat. In this strategy massa’s governor was the play maker and the quarter back coach. The legislative council was expanded to 30 seats for the 1961 elections with the PNM winning 20 and the DLP 10 mission accomplished independence was now a given and as early as possible Williams demanded.

The games played by the Indo Trinbagonian politicians from 1956 to 1961 are also potently indicative of the hand of massa. The discourse of black oppression of the East Indian minority exonerated the agenda of massa to consign them to the futility of opposition politics. Whilst the African was fingered as the villain of the piece heightening the race divide and energising the politics of race across generations these Indo politicians were absolutely servile to massa’s agenda. They made it a political art to publicly appeal to massa for deliverance from the oppression of the African to the point of rejecting independence for it would entrench black oppression of the East Indian. They cobbled together a discourse of the East Indian victim at the hands of the African rawan whilst sucking up to the architect and playmaker of the strategy to consign their race to the political wilderness: massa. They ensured the success of massa’s strategy by preaching a discourse of racist hegemony which excluded political alliances with all persons opposed to the PNM insisting that they will eventually win political power with the demographically dominant Indian vote. Until such time they will labour in the wasteland until their deliverance from African oppression comes. The leader of the DLP under whom this discourse was unleashed was Rudranath Capildeo in the period 1956-1961 but Rudranath’s ties to massa are clearly illustrated by the agenda he pursued with his rise to power in the DLP following the departure of Maharaj and the bending of the rules to allow him in the period 1961-1966 to be leader of the opposition whilst resident in England pursuing an academic career. Ensuring that he was unable to attend the stipulated number of sessions of the House of Representatives in T&T yet his seat in the House never being declared vacant. R. Capildeo therefore in the period collected the salary of an MP and leader of the opposition in spite of never being present to execute effectively the duties of both posts. Under R. Capildeo’s leadership massa’s discourse of the DLP now spoke of a new DLP where all the threats to the British from the PDP are purged and new leadership emerges with local whites overrepresented among them but not Africans. R. Capildeo then set to the task of purging the DLP and in doing so finished its evolution into a narrow race based and religion defined party devoid of any chance of defeating the PNM at the 1961 polls comprising individuals beholding, subservient and suppliant to R. Capildeo and his agenda. The final blow was delivered in his reaction to race based heckling during the campaign and his call to arms which confirmed the discourse of race unleashed that the minority Indians were now willing to seize power via armed violence seen in the need for the instrument of the limited state of emergency. Racist hegemony has then been used for decades to mask the actions of a compliant, lackey elite to the dictates of massa.

The structure of the neo colonial state of T&T was laid in this period as the political elites of T&T were all beholding to massa for favours rendered and massa held the files of secrets. By 1969 the revolt against the continuation of the planation order was expressed in the streets via the discourse of Black Power which picked up momentum in 1970 culminating in the army mutiny. By 1970 the neo colonial order was in tatters and the services of massa were in demand and necessary in the period 1969-1970 to preserve the neo colonial order but on this occasion the enemy was the African population in the streets the base of the PNM was on the move and Williams was playing catch up. In this period 1969 and thereafter as is the case for the period 1956-1969 massa never deserted Williams but the heavy dose of state suppression could not change the plantation social order and its new variant the neo colonial plantation order. The rise in oil prices from 1973 onwards allowed Williams to purchase a truce with the African masses on the move and to tinker with the plantation order by creating visible blacks in the state sector, a workers’ bank and a national commercial bank. But the structures that ensured the entitlement of minorities continued and went into overdrive with the revenues derived from the oil windfall combined with the political discourse of development adhered to by all sides of the political divide. Whilst the energy resources of T&T particularly the shallow water offshore acreage was the plum that was picked cheaply to the benefit of a small player from the US.

The politics of race driven by the discourse of racist hegemony drives the electoral politics of this neo colonial state rendering the politicians arrogant but the politics of race is irrelevant to the power relations between the neo colonial state and the massa. The most recent development is the rise of race minorities who are insisting that the politicians must be subservient to them rather than massa. That is the politics of delusional local minority elites for massa must and will answer this challenge and they have your files also!

For greater detail read the book.

For an analysis of the discourse of racist hegemony in T&T see “The Politics of Racist Hegemony” by Daurius Figueira

See my book “Tubal Uriah Butler of Trinidad and Tobago and Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana the Road to Independence 6 March 1957 31 August 1962”

 

Dear T&T: a Message from Islamic State

The Oath of Allegiance (bay’ at) to the Khilafah/Islamic State made manifest

The female suicide bomber with an infant in her arm who detonated her explosive vest killing herself and the baby is the most potent visual presentation to-date of what is expected by those who pledged the bay’ at to the Khilafah/Islamic State. The detonation of the explosive device, the death of the woman and more importantly the death of the infant made no impact on the strategic reality of the battlefield much less in favour of Islamic State. But this is not the operating logic of Islamic State for IS demands the death of all those that pledged bay’ at to the Khilafah. The issue is the willingness to die on the orders of the Islamic State and for the Islamic State regardless of the strategic realities of the battlefield. For the Islamic State there is only hijrah to IS there is no hijrah from an IS in tatters and facing ongoing defeat on the battlefield by those Islamic State declared enemies of Islam. When you undertake hijrah to IS the only acceptable manner to leave is as a corpse. The Islamic State is then no different from Jim Jones and David Koresh.

There is a potent lesson in the action of the woman for all those countries faced with the threat of extremist attacks especially those countries where the hijrah to the Islamic State was/is a fact of life. Note carefully! The woman is carrying the infant in her left hand, she has a bag hung on her left side beneath the infant, she is holding in her right hand her handbag and the detonator for the explosive vest. In the midst of the soldiers she has targeted she pressed the detonator but it detonates the vest after she has walked past the main group killing herself and the infant with minimal casualties inflicted on the target group. All the rationalisations of the talking heads of the west will not diminish the lesson of this woman so willing to die for Islamic State that she kills the infant used as an instrument of deception to enable her attack on the target group. A lesson most potent for those who engage with reality!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/07/08/chilling-picture-shows-female-isil-fighter-holding-child-moments/

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Delusional decent and respectable citizens of T&T

Delusional decent and respectable upstanding citizens of T&T

Why did Ms Marlene suddenly change the rules of the game she played by for years as a PNM MP and PNM cabinet Minister on the way to have her return to the cabinet confirmed under law? Was Ms Marlene sending a message that it was now a new order with her return with new rules of engagement which fully responds to the reality on the ground in her constituency? Was Ms Marlene potently illustrating the reality on the ground that if she intends to intervene into the lives of her constituents as an agent of progressive change she had to engage with the power structure on the ground that impacts her ability to act, to intervene? Her removal from the cabinet sends the message that public acts of embrace of persons who don’t pass the decent and respectable bar will result in confinement to the political doghouse. But how then do PNM MPs and cabinet ministers treat with being servants of the people whilst engaging with the power structure on the ground. This power structure is not going away, it’s multifaceted, fluid and heterogeneous and it wields power over the daily lives and life chances of constituents. An MP is there for 5 years at maximum and the structure has been in place since the decade of the 1970s evolving through several stages of growth and development wielding effective power on the ground. Ms Marlene illustrated in living colour a new, open methodology of treating with reality on the ground the response also sends a message. Why did Ms Marlene on this occasion dare to illustrate her new rules of engagement? Was it the product of a message from the ground concerning its concerns, expectations and the accepted solution to their problem? Delusion can definitely be bad for your political health.

https://www.tv6tnt.com/news/7pmnews/marlene-my-guests-are-good-people/article_0a999752-5ebc-11e7-a3e5-03bd5f1f88b7.html

The press reports on the JLSC on National Security screamed that the illicit arms trade in T&T was worth TT$ 100 million per year but this figure means nothing in a vacuum as the gun realities of T&T were not included in the press reports. A very conservative estimate is 30,000 illicit firearms in the hands of persons in T&T which means that the largest single holders of illicit firearms are decent and respectable people with many of them being upstanding citizens. The very core of the illicit arms market are sales to decent and respectable people who hold multiple firearms supposedly for personal protection. Without an idea of the most common illicit firearms purchased and the prices illicit guns go for on the gun market purchased the TT$ 100 million figure per annum means little. The most popular illicit gun purchased are handguns and the largest single volume commodity sold is ammunition not guns which has resulted in ventures to re-load ammunition. The supply is abundantly available from multiple supply sources because since the decade of the 1990s when the illicit gun trade exploded and became a Caribbean illicit trade not a single gun trafficking network was dismantled and a single member of a network convicted for gun trafficking in T&T. Small hustlers caught in possession have all been those taken down. How then can the national security apparatus brief anyone on the gun trade when they are yet to take down a single trafficking network in the T&T gun trade from the 1990s to today? Delusional games!

https://www.tv6tnt.com/news/7pmnews/jet-skis-being-used-for-illegal-trade/article_7c0e2086-6058-11e7-a10b-f316f6f09bbb.html

In all the responses in the local press that illustrated the impact of the talk that arose from the famous statement on Bourdain’s rope a dope talk and eat show was a letter to the editor by Israel B. Rajah-Khan “Little Mr Bigs, a deadly reality” where Mr Rajah-Khan states: “And incidentally, Diana Mahabir-Wyatt’s sarcastic view that ‘Mr Big’ referred to by the press is generally assumed to be a white or Syrian business person, who without question is (a) wealthy (b) a drug supplier (c) an oppressor of the poor and (d) an exploiter of underpaid employees-is quite true. However, there are others to add to the list who fall within the ambit of Afro and Indo-Saxons and some of mixed ethnicity.” Mr Rajah-Khan’s position on the dominant groups of the illicit drug trade and mine are the same whilst we both express said positions in public. I hope members of “The Community” don’t do to Mr Rajah-Khan what was done to me as I certainly don’t want more partners in vagrancy for speaking truth to massa. Delusion is not impunity from reality.

To those seeking to rip off a foreign used car supplier in Japan I suggest you make sure you don’t rip off a dealer who is working for the Men of Ink of Japan and their affiliates. For they are present in T&T protecting their interests and their reach is long. Delusion can result in grave misfortune.

I was taught when your neighbour house on fire wet yours. The destruction of the Camp Street prison in Georgetown, Guyana on July 9th, 2017 is a message to the delusional decent and respectable of T&T charged with animating the state agencies of T&T on a daily basis. The ongoing attacks on prison officers outside of the prison walls, the daring jail break from the Frederick Street prison in 2015 and the reality of the remand yard especially the gang culture and the entrenched smuggling of contraband throughout the prison system all potent indicators of the threat level posed by the prison system to public safety today. As in Guyana all the threats were imminent and as in Guyana there was only talk which empowered in Guyana a disciplined, connected inmate to act. I was also taught don’t break stick in your ears but denial is addictive, very addictive and in T&T it sweeter than zoosh!

The state is incapable of its primary task of social control as it’s inept, maldeveloped as a result of arrested development, corrupt and the captive of denial the product of the hegemony of the politics of race over the state. With a state form as this denial and delusion is vitally necessary to public safety as it’s only denial and delusion can promise safety and security in a dreamland state of existence.

https://www.stabroeknews.com/2017/news/stories/07/10/camp-st-prison-gutted-uprising/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.stabroeknews.com%2F2017%2Fnews%2Fstories%2F07%2F10%2Fcamp-st-prison-gutted-uprising%2F&utm_content&utm_campaign=Weekday+Morning+Brief

 

IsraelKhan

 

 

 

 

 

The UK Drug Trade 2017: Pax Mexicana!

The Illicit Drug Trade of the UK in 2017: Pax Mexicana!

The National Strategic Assessment of Serious and Organised Crime 2017 produced by the National Crime Agency (NCA) describes the rapidly changing drug markets of the UK under the hegemony of the Mexican Transnational Trafficking Organisations (MTTOs), their affiliates and the affiliates of the affiliates in gangland UK. The report in its section on Drugs lists under key judgements: the growing power of Albanian crime groups in the drug market of the UK especially in cocaine markets, the dominance of Serbian and Turkish crime groups in the maritime trafficking of cocaine to the UK, the Mexican/Romanian nexus moving cocaine to the UK from Europe via heavy goods vehicles, Turkish and Pakistani crime groups continue to dominate the trafficking of heroin to the UK via land and maritime routes as the Balkans and the Indian Ocean/East Africa maritime route and finally and increasing volumes of cocaine are being shipped directly to the UK rather than through Europe. These key judgements all point to the growing power of the MTTOs, their premier European affiliate, the Ndrangheta and the gangland affiliates of the MTTOs and the Ndrangheta in the drug market of the UK as they rebuild the illicit drug trade of the UK in their image and likeness.

The most potent indicator of this reality is the increasing volume of cocaine being shipped to the UK directly from the Caribbean Basin, Brazil and Africa. This is a return to the strategy of the 1990s which was launched by the Colombian trafficking organisations which subsequently failed because of inadequate investment, failure to create the logistic alliances and to genuinely believe in the venture rather than an overreliance on Spain as the terminus to Europe. The MTTOs have an entirely different approach as they are investing in creating new routes that are parallel to the old Colombian routes in order to open new markets and expand old ones with a range of products marketed on the basis of affordable prices for higher quality more bang for your money. In this move to flood the UK with product directly shipped to the UK the trafficking base has already been established in the Caribbean, Brazil and West and Southern Africa as entry points along the west and south coasts of the UK and Ireland are targeted. The trafficking logistics are all in place to operate two tiers of trafficking to unleash a tsunami of cocaine on the UK: tier 1 Brazil and the Caribbean Basin, tier 2 West Africa, Southern Africa, and Latin American nations outside of the Caribbean Basin as Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Chile, Paraguay etc. An assault from multiple points utilising multiple means of trafficking as containerised cargo, trawlers, pleasure craft, other vessels, mules, swallowers, air cargo, the bodies of aircraft and the methodology of the “darkness”

The MTTOs’ agenda in the UK and Europe calls for expanding the cocaine markets, marketing methamphetamine/ice towards creating a viable market for ice and gaining a presence in the heroin market of the UK and Europe. With heroin the supply link with the Afghan suppliers is compulsory and that is already settled the next stage is realising a working relationship with the dominant heroin suppliers of the UK and Europe. The basis of this a mutually beneficial affiliation where the MTTOs offer access to cocaine and ice where the dominant heroin smugglers now become cocaine smugglers and eventually ice manufacturers and smugglers and the MTTOs enter and expand upon their presence in heroin markets thereby completing their premier product mix cocaine, ice and heroin. The working example of this is the affiliation of Nigerian traffickers with the MTTOs. For those markets of the UK and Europe where the preference is for heroin and or amphetamines over cocaine the MTTOs will now satisfy needs with heroin and with industrial grade ice to displace amphetamine consumption. This explains the appearance of Serbian and Turkish traffickers in the UK within the cocaine supply circuit.

The most strategically important statement of the report in this section is the recognition of the Mexican/Romanian affiliation involved in trafficking cocaine to the UK from Europe. The MTTOs are moving cocaine loads to the Black Sea ports of Romania where The MTTOs, the Ndrangheta and their affiliates as Romanian, Polish and Serbian crime groups are trafficking this cocaine to Germany, Poland and other countries in the vicinity. Romanian crime groups are moving the cocaine of the MTTOs throughout Europe and to the UK as are the Serbian and Polish crime groups with the Ndrangheta exercising command and control functions of these networks in conjunction with the MTTOs. The MTTOs with the Ndrangheta are now moving cocaine into Italy, Greece and Romania via the Mediterranean Sea route to the Aegean Sea and the Black Sea. The linkages formed on a single trafficking route are replicated in all other existing and trafficking routes yet to be created in keeping with the rules of affiliation as defined by the MTTOs where the product and wealth derived is kept within the structure of the trafficking enterprise. Those who are not part of the structure have no access to the product of the organisation unlike the Colombians the MTTOs don’t sell to external actors who are competitors. There is no free market.

The prime directive of the MTTOs and their affiliates is to build sustainable enterprises upon three core foundations: the illicit drug trade, the illicit gun trade and human smuggling to these other enterprises will be added as fake goods, financial crimes, kidnapping etc. The human smugglers of Europe when granted affiliate status with the MTTOs will become players in drug trafficking, small arms smuggling and human smuggling. The same applies to trafficking organisations as they add to their product list. Specific cells of these crime groups will then use the resources of their parent organisation to master non-core hustles to earn as ATM scamming, identity theft, prostitution, pornography, fake goods etc. This is the chosen methodology to maximise the profits of the larger crime group with its rigorously policed discipline, cellular structure and rigid hierarchy. A most formidable threat to the state.

The report indicates that Albanian crime groups are now a powerful player in the drug markets of the UK and that traffickers from the Balkans are forming links with South American cocaine suppliers. For Albanian crime groups to exert power on the drug market of the UK what is the basis of this power relation? Do the Albanians have access to a supply of cocaine denied to other crime groups? How can the Albanians exert power over a drug market to the detriment of transnational traffickers who have in their possession production platforms for cocaine? Do the Albanians have this capacity also? How can the Albanians exert power over a UK drug market to the detriment of the MTTOs and the Ndrangheta and their affiliates? The Albanians as other specific Balkan crime groups are now involved in trafficking cocaine to the UK and Europe as a result of their links to the MTTOs and Ndrangheta affiliation a link forged through trafficking of cocaine to Germany and countries further east in Europe. The Albanian crime groups in the UK are now the shock troops of the UK drug market at the retail level for the MTTOs and Ndrangheta affiliation with wholesale markets under a different order.

The most potent indicator of the operational impact of the MTTOs and the Ndrangheta upon the cocaine drug market of the UK is the report of seizures of cocaine at the ground level of 80-90% purity. The volume of supply of cocaine necessary to raise the purity of retail sales is in train with lowering of prices for higher purity being loaded up for implementation provided the MTTOs control the streets and herein lies the ongoing problem. The report speaks to the level of violence and mayhem that is part of the retail sales networks outside of the urban areas to the counties. The operational methods of the sale of cocaine in the counties indicate that the transnational trafficking organisations and their affiliates are yet to exercise hegemony over this market segment which has the ability to bring increased violence and mayhem to the urban market with an increase in the volume of available cocaine from which the operators of the county markets are excluded. Both cocaine markets, the urban and county, will be purged and a new order put in place in the image and likeness of the MTTOs which involves societal violence. The question then is the crime groups which will be affiliates of the MTTOs and those excluded from affiliate status and the ensuing power relation between them and its impact on the social order of the UK. Where does British organised crime stand in this new order especially in powerful trafficking enclaves as Manchester? This reality is of utmost importance rather than the Albanian and other Balkan crime groups.

The report indicated the effects of the availability of illicit drugs in the UK and the impact the rise in purity of cocaine and heroin sold at the retail level is having on mortality rates due to heroin, morphine and cocaine poisoning. Since 2012 to 2015 deaths due to heroin and morphine poisoning have more than doubled whilst those linked to cocaine and crack cocaine continue to rise. Deaths linked to heroin and cocaine have attained their highest levels since 1993. The wave of illicit drugs being smuggled into UK prisons and their impact on the social order of prisons was also noted in the report especially the impact of the synthetic drug “spice” on prisons. Years of neo-liberal shrinkage of the expanse of the state followed by post 2008 neo-liberal austerity have rendered the UK state vulnerable to the assault of the MTTOs and their affiliates. The report notes UK border corruption as a key vulnerability but it’s a vulnerability that will be fully exploited, expanded and deepened by the MTTOs, the Ndrangheta and the affiliates. The three primary profit centres: illicit drug trafficking, illicit gun trafficking and human smuggling fully integrated and pursued within multitasking structures driven by operational cells will assault the UK state and unleash dramatic lasting changes to the power relations and the social order of the UK. The UK is presently the largest drug market of Europe it will evolve into an illicit poly-drug bazaar, an illicit small arms bazaar and an irregular migrant bazaar. And in these bazaars the extremists will be endowed and enabled to continue their war against the west. This is the gift bestowed on the UK by the cult of neo-liberalism served by doting politicians. Pax Mexicana!

http://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/publications/807-national-strategic-assessment-of-serious-and-organised-crime-2017/file

 

The Most Powerful Ethnic Minority in T&T

The Most Powerful Ethnic Minority in Trinidad and Tobago

Read, Connect the Dots and Behold the Power to make me unemployable. For the Wages of My Sin is Vagrancy in T&T. Where EVERY creed and race does NOT find an equal place. There is a Message in this action one that speaks to power wielded and the expectation that the majority will be subservient. The book was published in 2004 and within the time frame allowed for legal action in T&T there was No lawsuit by a member of the aggrieved Arab population of T&T against me in fact there were none at all from anyone. The action against me in 2011 was then specifically aimed at destroying my job at the university through action by the university illustrating the power wielded in a supposedly regional institution. Those of the majority who choose to be recalcitrant will be made an example off. A new massa in town so much for democracy and the end of the plantation. Is massa day done?

 

 

 

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Cocaine from Trinidad and Tobago seized at Toronto Pearson International Airport

48 kilos of Cocaine from T&T at Toronto Pearson International Airport

CP24.com on June 14, 2017 reported that on May 5 CBSA officers screening an aircraft cargo container that arrived on a flight from T&T at the Toronto Pearson international airport seized 38 bricks weighing 48 kilos of cocaine. The news report stated that the 38 bricks of cocaine were discovered beneath the false floor of an airline cargo container which meant that a floor was placed over the container’s floor with the space to allow the 38 kilos to be placed and sealed in for smuggling. A picture of the kilo bricks in the news report indicates that the bricks are not the standard kilo bricks of the trade as they were repacked and packaged to weigh more than the industry standard kilo of cocaine to maximise the quantum of cocaine that can be trafficked to Canada in the space created by the false floor of the cargo container. Hence 38 bricks weighing 48 kilos of cocaine. This is no fly by night piddling trafficking operation out of Piarco international airport, Trinidad as the resources and the impunity demanded by this operation means it is an ongoing smuggling operation with multiple destinations and the security of the airport is in tatters. To fabricate the container, mix it in with other containers, load the cocaine shipment on it, ensure that it is loaded on the designated flight with the entire operation enjoying impunity means that the entire ground handling operation is compromised and much worse the security system charged with monitoring all interactions between humans and airplanes is filled with operational and surveillance holes through which grave threats to safety and security will pass with impunity. This is but another instance of the escalating pace of integration of T&T into the present dominant trafficking structures of the Caribbean today where the depth of globalisation of T&T as a trafficking point has intensified and will continue to do so where the model is the Dominican Republic. T&T has been switched on. The recent murder of the nationals of Venezuela and the Dominican Republic and the ongoing war that commenced in 2011 within the recent arrival group of Chinese from the Peoples Republic of China are simply illustrations of this underlying reality and its impact on the social order.

From the Madrid attack of 2002 to Berlin 2016 Europe has illustrated repeatedly the ability of those intent on attacking the social order can effectively and will use the markets and pipelines of the illicit trades to enable these attacks. To have your largest international airport compromised is in fact a beacon to those intent on entering/returning to T&T intent on making war that impunity is for sale and T&T is open for business. This is a beacon of hope for those intent on making war but in T&T there are a number of beacons like the pipeline across the Gulf of Paria!

http://www.cp24.com/news/cbsa-officers-seize-43-kg-of-cocaine-aboard-pearson-airport-flight-1.3459443