Despite claims to the opposite, pressure groups in Trinidad and Tobago are happy for the CHOGM (Chug Emm or See Hog Emm) in November since most activist think a CHOGM protest can intimidate the Government into removing property tax and UDECOTT.
As frustrated as citizens are with the Government, I doubt our problems will impress many of the heads attending. Some of poorer countries of the Commonwealth are still trying to rake and scrape a few US dollars to buy a plane ticket to come to CHOGM and will have no interest in what we in this country call suffering. On the other hand, the more prosperous nations are glad for our high crime rate so they can sell us interceptor boats and helicopters. Some are just happy we still eat Weetabix and Canadian smoked herring.
The protests planned around CHOGM will not target the leaders since world leaders see pressure groups the same way citizens see property tax. What the local pressure groups hope to do is embarrass the Government into action via the international press. The international press will be told how the Government is squandering hundreds of millions on the CHOGM but have no money for poor Petrotrin workers. Pressure groups will also talk about UDECOTT and the Commission of Enquiry that has no end, only a beginning in a far off land. There will be much talk about suspected corruption and billions the population claims was wasted in satisfying one man’s ego. I can’t imagine the activist leaving out the Chinese smelter or the WASA potholes. The bed-ridden health services will also be mentioned but very little about CDAP and GATE. Everything the pressure groups will highlight internationally will not be new to them just quaint to the first world and laughable to the starving Third World. As much as the pressure groups will disagree, I doubt our collective woes will impress other nations and it is we, the Poor and Suffering Arabs of the Caribbean, who will have to fend off the Government for ourselves.