“Frantz Fanon for the 21st Century Volume 2 Frantz Fanon’s Discourse of Decolonisation and Violence, the Nature of Power and Power Relations of Neo-Colonial African States” is now published online as an e-book and available on Google Play. This is a deconstruction of Fanon’s final book “The Wretched of the Earth” and his political writings on Africa published posthumously titled “Towards the African Revolution.” This deconstruction places Fanon’s position on violence and decolonisation in the context of Fanon’s discourse revealing the logic of his position. Fanon’s analysis of neo-colonial domination and power is exposed to reveal his insinuation of the existence of a colonial/neo-colonial continuum which exposes the need to unravel the enslavement/colonial domination continuum which I am presently writing.
The Roopchand family, Jordan and Trinidad and Tobago
The Trinidad Guardian of 14 June 2018 in the story “Jordanians tortured me” reported on Keegan Roopchand who was detained in Jordan on January 23, 2018 along with his wife and children as follows: “Roopchand issued a detailed statement yesterday.” But where is this detailed statement in the public domain? The article in the Trinidad Guardian gave no information on where to access this so-called detailed statement. And to-date it has never been published in the hard copy version of the Trinidad Guardian nor has it appeared in the other hard copy daily press. If Keegan Roopchand made a detailed statement on his family’s experience in Jordan and all we have of it in the public domain is a reporter’s version of the alleged statement, then he has purchased for himself some plausible denial. The Newsday of 21 July 2018 in an article “AG: We can’t do anything” reported that as at the 21 July 2018 not a single adult of the Keegan Roopchand family has submitted a written statement of their experience in Jordan supposedly at the hands of the Jordanian state to the AG of T&T. Mum is the word to officialdom! This failure to-date is contrary to every action undertaken by Muslims who have been renditioned and tortured at offshore torture sites by or with the complicity of north Atlantic intelligence agencies then released without charges laid since the events of September 2001.
I can only analyse the reality presented in the news report and construct an operational reality from this but there are power relations that emerge that must be stated. An analysis of the news report in the Trinidad Guardian reveals a description of an operation in keeping with standard operating counter terrorist interrogation procedure adopted since September 2001. An intelligence agency of a north Atlantic state fingered the Roopchand family as a specific terrorist threat that demanded seizure and the application of interrogation and incarceration methodology reserved for terrorist suspects. The alarm bells were triggered by this family not for their presence in Jordan but with reference to supposed/possible activities in their country of origin. Now Keegan Roopchand can only relate his experience under detention and interrogation not that of his wife and her experience under detention and interrogation is much more vital to the reconstruction of the reality than his. From his discourse the initial Jordanian interrogation was after their links to Islamic State and the purpose behind their Hijrah to IS. The Jordanians were in pursuit of evidence of Hijrah for the purpose of training then returning to the West in the pursuit of the condition of the Shahid as at Bataclan and Brussels. In the supposed statement Keegan Roopchand made to the Trinidad Guardian the course of events changed when the wife of Roopchand under interrogation supposedly related the existence of an operation in flow to carry out an attack on T&T. From the supposed Keegan Roopchand statement his wife became the main focus of the interrogation and subsequently her personality became deconstructed.
The focus of the interrogation strategy was never on Keegan Roopchand as the wife was the supplier of what was sought. He was then as a result placed in a netherworld of multiple roles and functions where pressure is applied to erode resistance and then rebuild in your image and likeness. Roopchand supposedly said that the US FBI interrogated him after the Jordanians were done with him but the what he says the Jordanians did to him is in the realm of counter terrorist interrogations psychological pressure not physical torture. Why then was, according to the news report, Keegan Roopchand a recipient only of psychological pressure tactics? Especially in light of what his wife under interrogation supposedly said. Why groom Keegan Roopchand to say after me repeatedly when all you needed to do was to intensify the psychological pressure via physical torture which he said was not used on him. Pulling him by the beard is not physical torture in these offshore sites I can assure you nor is stripping you naked and having your solitary confinement cell permanently illuminated. From the press report of his supposed detailed statement Keegan Roopchand was on a holiday in this offshore interrogation site. Why especially in light of what his wife supposedly stated after being fingered by an intelligence agency of a north Atlantic state? Because the FBI supposedly interviewed Keegan Roopchand does not mean it was a US intelligence agency who fingered the family. Such is the game. With the supposed revelations of his wife the pressure was then on the interrogators to ensure that the Roopchands reveal the identities of those who operationalised the attack on T&T. That means the full court press should have been applied to Keegan Roopchand to confirm and embellish what his wife supposedly revealed. And if in the course of the full tilt boogie you realise that you have a problem with the credibility of the intelligence then you move on from there! Keegan Roopchand according to the news story must now consider himself very lucky as other Muslims of the West who were renditioned to offshore torture sites are today bearing the physical and psychological scars for life from this event in their lives. And the technicians of the offshore site of Jordan are noted for their efficiency and ruthlessness making it a go to site in this game ask Abu Muhammad al Maqdisi.
Click Jordan below for the articles listed in this blog.
Two decades have passed since 1997 and “Cocaine and the Economy of Crime in Trinidad and Tobago” was published. In 1997 I was young, dumb and broke two decades later I am old, dumb and broke such is the life. In 1997 I was describing a bold attempt to turn T&T into the foremost export point for cocaine in the Southern Caribbean basin. A project adopted and launched by elements of the 1% in conjunction with politicians and public servants which failed. Simply because the Valle Norte cartel focused on the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Puerto Rico leaving T&T in the cold. A most powerful lesson as you are trafficking product you don’t own and control and you will be given up to the USA and the British when its strategically important to the owner. The string of interdictions and the nonchalance of Valle Norte simply killed the project but this project changed T&T forever. The first phase of the new gangland of T&T emerged from this project now we are in the third phase. And the killings have never ceased to date! Since 1997 the trade has had stages of further evolution but the response of the politicians and the public servants remain the same old failed formula. Is this lunacy?
Click the link to read the book and download your copy https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/d0264a_b7e261eb259248939e94aea1306ca8db.pdf
These are two photos of the semi-submersible seized at Saramacca in Suriname’s north coast in the first week of March 2018 supposedly which borders the Waini region of Guyana where a semi-submersible was interdicted. The count presently is now two semi-submersibles interdicted on the north coast of Guyana and Suriname. This illustrates that there is a fleet of semi-submersibles working the pipeline to Brazil and the Eastern Caribbean Trafficking Pipeline (ECTP). There is a thick veil of silence that has been placed over information in the public domain in Suriname with relevance to the semi-submersible. What has been made public is the arrest and arraignment of 8 persons supposedly connected to the operation of the semi-submersible 7 Colombians and 1 Cuban. The member of the Surinamese parliament who placed a photo of the semi-submersible on her facebook page exposing the matter has been publicly blamed for destroying the sting operation underway to dismantle the drug trafficking operation. Supposedly a foreign entity informed the government of the activities of the semi-submersible and the Bouterse government went in to full co-operation mode with the foreign agency same say it’s the DEA. The photo shows an operational craft designed to carry a large payload at minimum 5,000 kilos to a maximum of 10,000 kilos of cocaine operating in the Southern Caribbean basin, its margins with the Atlantic ocean and the Caribbean Sea upwards to the Northern Caribbean islands. The small creek the semi-submersible was found in is clearly not the desired anchor point for the craft given its dimensions, depth and the fact that it varies with the tidal flow. In addition it’s totally exposed to observation which indicates that it pulled into the creek as a result of mechanical problems or some other reason. The reality is the region is a soft target for this operation from the southern margins all the way up the eastern Caribbean island chain and this is now drawing Brazil into a military posture for the southern margins of the Caribbean sea seen in their dance with Guyana as is the case with the French given their position in French Guiana as product floods French Guiana on its way to France. Pax Mexicana!
Murder in Trinidad & Tobago 2017: The Response of the Politicians to The New Normal
This is an update of my paper titled: “An Analysis of the Murder Rate of Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) 1990-2016”
The number of murders for 2017 is tentatively put at 494 for 2017. This is the third highest number of murders per year for the period 1990 to 2017. Number 1 is 2008 with 547, 2009 with 506 is second and 2017 with 494 is in third place with 2010 in fourth place with 473. What is noteworthy in 2017 is that it’s a pinnacle attained in an escalation of murder from 2013 to 2017 a five-year period. In fact, from 2008 to 2017 there was a shallow unsustainable dip in murders per year for the period in the years 2010 and 2011. From 2012 the upwards spiral commenced with the rate of the spiral quickening even further in 2016 to 2017.
What is clearly apparent for the period 2008 to 2017 is the failure of the politicians and the security agencies of T&T to impact the reality on the ground towards deescalating the spiral of especially gun violence on the ground. It’s now manifestly apparent that the political power relations of the state, the power relations embracing the state security agencies and the politicians of the state and the internal power relations of the security agencies of the state ensure the inability of these agencies to engage with the reality on the ground towards impacting the murder spiral.
Great emphasis is being placed on the T&T police service but the terrain of possible change to this institution is defined and limited by its power relations with the politicians and its internal power relations. What is then possible on this terrain will not impact the reality on the ground to the extent to achieve what is sought and expected by the populace, an expectation in its diversity which is also constituted by the politics of race to control the state.
The fact that key and strategic institutions of the state that impact the terrain of crime and violence continue in 2018 to define themselves by apparatuses and mechanisms of power invented to serve the colonial order results in operational worldviews which enable and empower crime remains a non-issue and of no concern is a lesson in itself. That the police are there for social control and customs to collect revenue ensure that in the era of transnational organised crime in the Caribbean T&T is a gangsta’s paradise! Both operational worldviews are part of the colonial institutional legacy that we desperately hold on to trying to breathe life into a rotting cadaver hence the bloodletting in T&T. These operational colonial legacies ensure that the police don’t proactively seek out and dismantle organised and transnational organised crime operations. They search, seize and arrest sum total most times parts thereof. They are permanently in reactive mode in accordance with the colonial model of social control policing where the colonial ruling class which has a race basis is exempt from policing. The police in this colonial mode simply cannot engage with organised crime over long periods vitally necessary to dismantle organised crime groups. Gangsta’s get a free ride. How many of the gangs we are told we have in T&T have been dismantled? How many trafficking organisations have been dismantled? The issue is much more fundamental than police corruption. The internal power relations of the police are constituted by the colonial apparatuses and mechanisms of power. These power relations accede to the demand of the politicians for a politicised police service focused on social control whilst the politicians accept the colonial mechanisms of power of the police service. Politicians and the police service are then trapped in a catch 22 as the paramountcy of social control through policing for politicians obliges them to accept the police service for what it is and be risk averse to fundamental and far reaching police reform. Whilst the power relations of the police service demand stability and business as usual as being vital to career path preservation which demands the preservation of the colonial mechanisms of power and power relations. In addition, career path preservation is rooted in the maintenance of social control by policing which demands the application of the colonial mechanisms of power. When those enmeshed in the power relations, the politicians and the executive of the police service, are faced with the politics of escalating crime waves the catch 22 hardens as the path to grappling with the reality becomes even more precarious because of the political cost feared by all is intensified by the very nature of the politics of race and capturing the state in T&T. The salient question then is the ability of the politicians and the police executive enmeshed in these hegemonic power relations to gaze upon and understand the intrinsic nature of the threats posed and then to critically assess and act upon their deficiencies? Threat mitigation demands constant organic change but the actions so far taken regardless of political regime and police executive is an attempt to rescue the status quo thereby preserving business as usual. This results in threat denial not mitigation!
There is then an objective and the strategy has been applied to attain the objective. The reality is, the objective is not the safety of the masses in the streets the objective is career preservation. The politicians have invested heavily in the police service of T&T to ensure the objective is attained and in so doing have become transfixed by their gaze upon the police service. For it’s a gaze borne out of dependency which constituted the belief that the police service is the premier state security agency necessary to attaining the objective of career preservation. This conviction has redounded to the benefit of successive police executives since 1962 in their quest for career preservation but the price paid is the inability of both the politicians and the police executive to be agents of change vitally strategically necessary to ensure the police service constantly evolves to grapple with the threats posed by a rapidly evolving and globalised terrain of crime. And to the detriment of the state agencies of Customs & Excise and Immigration. Will the politicians appoint a commissioner and a deputy commissioner of police who are not trusted participants of the power relations that obtain between politicians and the police executive?
Customs encased within the colonial cocoon can never adequately engage with the strategically necessary task of border security which demands long term engagement with organised crime to dismantle crime groups. And any attempt to graft this task onto the colonial apparatus will result in failure as it creates a terrain that enables organised crime. The colonial mechanism of power determines that the primary importance of Customs & Excise is revenue collection. Since 1962 the focus has remained the same as the politicians have a marked preference for all tasks of policing to have the police service in the lead role including in areas where they have no power under law as is the case with Customs & Excise bonded areas and immigration. The use of the special powers of Customs & Excise for the express purpose of border security is then sacrificed to the perpetuation of the power relations which enmesh the police service and the politicians to the detriment of border security. It’s then practically unfathomable for politicians and the police executive to have a militarised arm of Customs & Excise whose primary task is to deal with illicit imports such as guns and ammunition in the spaces specifically and solely under the control of Customs & Excise. As this development presents a challenge to the power relations that have locked the politicians and the police executive in an embrace of power. Immigration remains tightly wrapped in the colonial cocoon and in a present state of operational capacity and capability that renders it irrelevant to the terrain of crime in T&T. The same has then to be done for with any attempt to graft onto the collapsed colonial cocoon will result in failure and a boon to organised crime. Immigration then remains a state security agency that is consigned to the periphery of border control rendered lame, ineffective and consigned to a time warp in the face of an assault of a wave of illicit migrants to T&T where we have lost control to determine who is a fit, able and a desirous person to enter and reside in T&T.
The reality is entirely different for civilian covert agencies charged with the task of state security. These agencies are viewed by all politicians as grave threats in the hands of their political opponents and powerful temptations in their hands. As a result, these agencies are totally politicised, enmeshed in power relations where ruling politicians tirelessly seek to exert hegemony over these agencies. Staff appointments are driven by powerful political considerations premised on loyalty. With a change of regime, the staff is gutted and given the politics of race in T&T staff excised and appointed reflects the race basis of politics in T&T. These agencies are enmeshed in power relations with politicians where the objective of the agency is to toe the line, to avert political witch hunting for fear of the political traitors and agents on board and to affirm relentlessly the political line of the political overlord regardless of its grounding in reality. The power relations between the politicians and the executive of these agencies have as its objectives: subservience to the political overlord, affirmation of the political discourse of the political overlord and their career path preservation at least during the term of office of the present political overlord. For with a change of party in power your career path can suddenly die. The power relations between the politicians and the executive of these agencies plus their internal power relations ensure that efforts to effectively execute the mandate handed to these agencies by law become lost in the rush of power relations. The power relations with the politicians are not seeking nor demanding effective operational conditions and the production of operational knowledge that impacts specific realities what they want are subservient, safe bitches.
What is required from the politicians is the passage and proclamation into law of a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organisations (RICO) law of relevance to the crime terrain of T&T. An effective RICO law is strategically necessary to engage in long term engagements towards dismantling organised crime groups. A gang law without RICO is simply boxing with your strongest hand and foot incapacitated.
Those who utilise taxpayer’s money to write supposedly expert reports for politicians in the public domain as the latest in a long line on the T&T police service. Please note that reports and their recommendations for change written in a power relations vacuum soon end up collecting dust on a shelf. Potently illustrated by the position that the post of commissioner of police should become an elected post based on universal adult suffrage thereby creating another elected power pole other than the Prime Minister with control over a paramilitary force. Which will overturn the entire body of power relations between the politicians and the executive of the police service. How can one realistically expect politicians to embrace recommendations which are supposedly necessary but assault the hegemonic power relations between the politicians and the executive of the police service. Do you expect the executive of the police service to publicly embrace said recommendations? One cannot insist that recommendations are necessary, vital and strategic when formulated in a power relations vacuum. These are recommendations for La La Land! Fantasyland! Solutions are the domain of politicians and the executives of state security agencies not the “experts” who are excluded from the power relations that their “solutions” address.
On the weekend of the 25-26 November 2017 another semi submersible vessel was interdicted in the North West District of Guyana. This is the second such vessel interdicted in the same district in Guyana with the first in 2014. This confirms that Guyana is now a premier operational drug trafficking base and that semi submersibles are leaving Guyana loaded with product for Brazil and up the Eastern Caribbean Trafficking Pipeline (ECTP). The illicit landing strips, the illicit air flights and the semi submersible construction and repair operations in Guyana are then linked and under the control of the MTTOs. The three jump off points for the ECTP are then Venezuela, Guyana and Suriname. The impact of the volume of product moved via this pipeline is seen in the escalating murder/homicide rates for territories previously by passed by the murder surge of the Caribbean basin. These are Tobago: 10 murders to date, St Vincent 39 as at November 27, 2017 and 40 in 2016, Antigua & Barbuda 19 murders as at November 16, 2017 the highest since 2008 when the figure was 17 and the British Virgin Islands with 10 as at November 17, 2017 with 9 murders in 2008 being the previous high. From 2009 to 2016 there were 4 murders each per year. In St Lucia the number was 54 as at November 19, 2017. What is now apparent are raging ganja wars from T&T up the island chain which flow with the dramatic changes to the illicit drug trade along the pipeline brought about by the hegemony of the MTTOs. In 2018 it is business as usual. Pax Mexicana!
The murder rate per 100,000 persons from January to September 2016 was 11.48 in the Dominican Republic whilst in Trinidad and Tobago from January to October 2016 the murder rate was 29.76. In 2015 the murder rate in T&T was 31.53 which placed T&T in the same category with Jamaica in the Caribbean island chain.
The question: In the public statements and documents of the US and the EU the Dominican Republic is named as the apex illicit drug trafficking point to the US, Puerto Rico and the EU. The Dominican Republic is also noted for human smuggling, the sexual exploitation of children, an endemically corrupt police and armed forces, questionable decisions by members of its judiciary in favour of drug traffickers, money laundering, financial corruption seen in the looting of depositors funds in banks and a political system driven by patronage and corrupt practices. But the Dominican Republic has the lowest murder rate in all trafficking points in the Caribbean. The murder rate in Jamaica, St Kitts & Nevis, Dominica, St Lucia, Antigua & Barbuda, US Virgin Islands , Puerto Rico, Belize and T&T are all outstripping that of the Dominican Republic. Why? A question for the politicians and security personnel of T&T. I have nothing to say remember I mad I just talking shit. Click the link and digest the global rates.